I'm sitting here before I leave to see a client today and I'm supposed to be finding articles to add to my 50-article-long-list-already for one of my research papers, but I'm a little distracted and burnt out, so I'm going to attempt to update the blog instead. This is just a life update since it's been forever, and I figured people might want to know what Dave and I have been up to!
Dave: Still in his PhD program (4th year, making slow, but steady progress on his dissertation), and working full time at a new job. He quit the MTC this spring because things got a little crazy. He was working really intensely (LONG work weeks) towards the end on training materials for mission presidents on how to help missionaries struggling with pornography and how to not increase shame, etc. It was actually an incredible experience for the both of us because Dave got to write and influence these materials that will help train 18 and 19 year olds how to acknowledge their emotions and think about pornography as a coping mechanism, not just a hopeless addiction. So while that was incredible and we had a lot of really spiritual moments with that, it just wasn't possible to be working so many extra hours without getting overtime while trying to do school and being in a YSA bishopric, so right at a great time, someone reached out to him and offered him a new job doing user experience design, which was new for him, but he's really loved it and he excels at it :)
So yeah, crazy busy, they asked us to stay in the YSA ward for another year (because Dave is basically awesome and super organized and reliable, so who would want to lose him, right?), which was a hard decision for us because with chronic pain and constant emotional work, it would be great for me to have more of an established ward for support, but in the end we felt good about staying.
Dave also tries to get out to fish the Provo every other weekend or so and he always does great and it's really rejuvenating for him. But it's hard to find the time with all the homework and work and church calling stuff there is to do.
Erin: I took the summer off (sort of) from school and only saw a couple of clients a week all summer. At the end of my masters I was in a really bad spot emotionally. I was having a hard time with the emotional burden of my clients and I was working through a lot of hard personal things in my own therapy, on top of a miscarriage, on top of knowing all of my best friends were moving after graduation. So I took a break and got our house under control. I organized like a mad woman and cleaned and cleaned and cleaned ;) My mom would be proud! Then I rewrote some of my articles to submit for publication in the PhD program, which was great. And I spent a lot of time training Pepper (hence her ability to fetch!!), and intensely engaging in my own personal healing.
Now I'm back in school again, PhD this time, in the same program, but with a new cohort and a new advisor who I LOVE. I wasn't sure what he'd be like, which was unsettling all summer, but he has been super supportive of anything I want to study, and he respects me and listens to me, and can challenge me in a kind way and I'm thrilled about it :) It makes researching a lot easier when it's something I can get passionate about.
My pain was great all last year because I found my miracle drug, Gabapentin, but ever since the miscarriage it has slowly been getting worse (which would make sense because endometriosis gets worse monthly if you're not on hormonal suppression), and this month has been the worst. I'm sure it's stress related, but regardless, it makes it really hard to be productive and really hard to be patient with people--kind of a problem for a therapist, haha. We aren't doing much about it right now (other than a colonoscopy 2 weeks ago which revealed nothing) because if we get pregnant here soon, that's a whole different ballgame anyway, so there's no point messing with meds right now that I'll have to stop taking when I'm pregnant. The plan is to go back to my doctor for help with it all once we're pregnant, and hope that that's soon so that the endometriosis doesn't keep spreading.
So basically, Dave and I get less than half the nights of the week to actually see each other before 10 pm and we're back to the crazy schedule that is grad school life, but we're both happy and feel really at peace about what we're doing with our lives and our education. It's been a bit of a crazy summer with traveling and being with both sides of the family a lot for Emma's homecoming, NY with Jeremy and Sierra, Josh and Tiffany's (Rackham side) wedding, Scott visiting over Labor Day, and Dave's brothers and mom here this weekend as they settled into BYU-I. It's been great to see everyone so much, but we would be lying if we didn't say we were excited to get back to a normal routine and get our lives under control a little bit.
Hopefully that's a good enough update for now, sorry it's been so long! As always, thanks for reading!