It’s been a big week for us here. On Monday, T. defended his dissertation and became officially “Dr. T” :) A friend was nice enough to take C. for an hour on campus so that I could attend the public part of his defense and listen to his talk. Then C. and I paced campus and looked at flowers and walked in circles waiting for papa to finish the Q&A portion of the defense that took place behind closed doors. Finally, three hours after it all strated, T. emerged happy, tired, and ready to celebrate. We wasted no time reaching a nearby patio, ordering mojitos, and toasting to his accomplishment. Congratulations, Dr. Papa!

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On Wednesday, I submitted the completed manuscript of my dissertation to my advisor and basked in the glory of being (almost) done. I cancelled my babysitters for the rest of the week, put C. in her stroller, and took off to campus to return some books. There, we happened upon an outdoor concert and decided to join the fun on the campus green, listening to the live music and enjoying the sheer mindlessness of it all. I had nowhere to rush to, nothing to work on, nowhere to be but there. It was one of those rare moments of feeling completely at peace and in the moment.




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That night, T. had a work engagement to attend, so my sweet friend H. called me up and invited me to a girls’ night out to celebrate. H. is a “mama, phd” herself, so she fully understands the magnitude of this moment. It was wonderful celebrating with her and our three little ladies.

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The immensity of the accomplishment didn’t fully sink in until the next morning though, when I woke up and realised that for the first time in three years, I didn’t have a dissertation to get to work on. Oh, what a feeling. Of course, then the thought set in that I better get to work on all those things much neglected over the past weeks (months), and I was brought back down to earth.

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But all in all, this week was one that left me feeling excited and inspired by all that we’re able to accomplish while taking care of a baby and still (somewhat) taking time for ourselves and for the things that make us happy. Running, the lake, baking, reading a good book. The important things in life.

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I’m still somewhat in shock that I was able to write as much as I have these last eight months. All I can say is that it’s truly a testament to the practice of “a little bit each day.” A little writing before the baby wakes up, a little more during nap time, a little more in the afternoon while the sitter has her, and a little more after dinner and the baby’s asleep. Some days, nothing got done, other days, the words just flowed and the pages got filled. Before I knew it, entire chapters were coming together and this thing was taking more and more of a concrete shape. Little by little, day by day. Or, as Anne Lamott would say, bird by bird.

And, now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to that household to-do list before the weekend hits and we’re off to the park or maybe even the zoo and the laundry and dishes get neglected once more. Wishing you all a wonderful Spring weekend too, wherever this finds you!

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About simplybike

{Bikes, a new baby, and the story of us.}
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27 Responses to milestones

  1. Amy says:

    Congratulations! What a wonderful accomplishment. Enjoy your weekend!

  2. Ms.Cleaver says:

    A HUGE congratulations to your and Dr. T!

    Also: taxes.

    That made me giggle a lot.

  3. Isa says:

    Yay!!! Congratulations to the both of you! Reading your blog for so long this was the first time, I HAD to comment ;)
    Grüße aus München

  4. Congratulations to you and the doctor! Such wonderful accomplishments to stud an already lovely life. <3

  5. Laura says:

    Congratulations to T. and to you! Love the pictures of the kids playing and smiling to each other. They put a smile on my face as well. Wishing you a lovely weekend as well!

  6. anniebikes says:

    Congratulations, Dr. T.! and to the happy family. Maybe life will be come more normal, but as we all know, “normal” is a relative term, unique to each family. My you have more time with each other to enjoy this beautiful Spring.

  7. Dorothy says:

    Congratulations to you and your husband! That sense of relief of having it all done is the BEST feeling ever!! Enjoy a lovely weekend!

    PS I love your bangs :)

  8. Bobbie says:

    Contratulations to you both! It’ll be nice having you around more, especially now that the weather is so nice and we can go on walks (and runs) and lunch in the park! Nobody wants to be cooped up in the house when it’s this georgeous out :)

  9. Jessie says:

    Congrats! Oh I look forward to this feeling. Enjoy the freedom and time in the sun and with your family. (Am also thrilled to hear you read Anne Lamott, too!)

  10. Emily says:

    Congratulations on your dissertation submission! I love the necklace you are wearing in the second picture – can you tell us where it’s from?

    • simplybike says:

      Hi Emily, thanks for the congratulatory wishes! And the necklace is a purchase from a little shop in Salzburg, Austria, bought two years ago while I was living in Munich.


  11. Rose-Anne says:

    Congratulations on two big milestones! That is excellent news. And S., you’ve been knocking it out of the park with these blog posts about your life lately. I’ve really been enjoying them. I remember how sweet it felt when I submitted my thesis to my committee and when I defended my thesis–those were some of my best days in grad school :-)

  12. marci says:

    congratulations! i can’t imagine the feeling of relief and accomplishment that you both must have. my husband finished his md this past spring and it was such a fun celebration. enjoy the outdoors and happy easter!

  13. Stephanie says:

    Congrats to you both. You’re a huge inspiration to me as I finish my own dissertation. I hope you have a great celebratory weekend!

  14. Congrats to you! Such a relief, eh?

  15. e says:

    I’ve so enjoyed reading about your progress on the dissertation, and your life in the mid-west in general (your blog with its highlights of biking culture made the move out to the praries so much easier!).

    Hopefully I’ll be following in your footsteps in a few weeks–handing in a ‘finished’ manuscript!

  16. Cleo says:

    Huge congrats! The dissertation is such a huge endeavour – two in your family, with such close submissions… And without sacrificing the rest of your lives to it either – that’s inspiring!

  17. Jess K M says:

    Huge congrats! Amazing accomplishment!

  18. Dottie says:

    Congratulations to you both! I like that approach of trusting that everything will come together if you focus on doing a little each day; helps when confronted by a big project.

  19. simplybike says:

    Thank you, all, for the nice comments and congratulatory wishes!


  20. Sue says:

    Congratulations to you both! Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird resides on by book shelf. One of my favorite writing books.

  21. Ruth says:

    Congratulations to both of you! This is inspiring – as a new mama, newly ABD I’m seeking as much encouragement as I can find and this is just wonderful!

  22. Caroline says:

    CONGRATULATIONS to you both!! What an amazing accomplishment! Despite the chores and other works, I’m so glad you’ve taken some time to just relax. That feeling of relief of having nothing to work on lasted for a full year for me! I loved waking up on a Tuesday without the need to work on my dissertation! It was wonderful, and I enjoyed it for more than a year. :)

  23. Ellie says:

    Congrats! What a huge relief! There really is nothing to compare that feeling to! Enjoy getting back to “regular” life stuff again. Thats a great feeling too! :)

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