Defense Weekend


Check #2 of my list of 28 Before 28!

What a wonderful whirlwind :)

Friday (defense-day) started out the best way possible, as my dear friend/old roomie, LJ, defended her PhD and became a Dr. earlier that morning! Congrats, LJ!

Celebrating our new titles, after both our defenses on Friday
Celebrating after both our defenses on Friday 

After LJ’s defense, I hustled home to get ready. The rest of the day felt a little bit like our wedding day in that I was overwhelmed (in a good way) by family and friends traveling into town at first. Then nervous, as we all piled into the car to get up to campus…
I had the pleasure of introducing my parents and in-laws to my advisor, then it was time to head to the room of my defense. My advisor gave such a kind introduction and then I had the floor for the next hour!
After my presentation (which I felt like went great), the general public asked 20+ minutes of great questions. My dad was one of them. Everyone laughed when I said, “Yes, Dad?”… apparently dad’s don’t often ask questions at PhD defenses :) That was a highlight for me.

Then the general public left and my committee asked about 45 minutes of questions before they all shook my hand, congratulated me as  a Dr., and told me my thesis is accepted as-is with no revisions!

I walked into the hallway where my family was waiting for me, and my dad immediately took this picture to send to Weez (who couldn’t be there due to his new job) with the caption, “This is what a Dr. looks like!”:


Not 10 minutes later I received some really exciting new (which I’m so excited to share with you tomorrow!), and the rest of Friday was spent celebrating with my parents, siblings, niece, in-laws, family, and best of friends.

We had dinner and drinks at this great little restaurant before going back to my apartment for fresh baked dessert from my brother. It was the perfect post-defense party!

We had Weez on FaceTime on and off all night, so it really felt like he was there with us :)

On Saturday, we girls wandered around Pearl St. and had awesome girl time (these women are truly inspiring and their resumes are completely insane: MBA/MPH/CPA/Google/Clinton Foundation/you name it, they’ve done it)
Then we came home to a grand ol’ BBQ at my apartment, hosted by my chef of a brother (who’s also almost done with his PhD)…
photo (2)
Four generations in this shot… (how amazing is that?!) (grandma turns 90 in Dec!)(she’s incredible)
These are some of the most important/loved/cherished people in my life.

There were laughs and stories and hugs and kisses. I can’t thank everyone enough for coming out to share this weekend with me.

Because of the way everyone flew in for the weekend, I was able to spend precious one-on-one time with my in-laws, and then just my family, and then just my girls. It was perfectly staged and I loved our time together.

Last weekend (Aug 23, specifically) will go down in the record books as one of the best days of my life. Hands down :)

8 Comments Add yours

  1. the dawn says:

    Oh wow! I’ve always wondered what a defense was like. Looks super stressful. But you killed it. So proud of you!

  2. Holly KN says:

    So glad that friends and family could gather to celebrate the cherry on top of the grad school experience. [Maybe it’s the whipped cream, actually. Maraschino cherries are awful.]


  3. Jessica says:

    Sounds like an amazing and overwhelming weekend!!! So wonderful :D
    So proud of you!!!

  4. HUGE congrats on a HUGE accomplishment! I love that your dad was in the audience asking questions. So great.

  5. Hillary says:

    This looks like such a lovely and lovING weekend. Congrats again!

  6. Sam says:

    I have nothing really to add that I haven’t already texted you. Celebrating vicariously with you has definitely been pretty awesome.

  7. Melon says:

    I need to start wearing eye make up STAT

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