For the past two years, my online presence has pretty much been running on silence. Shortly after I enrolled in a graduate school, I realized certain things would have to be dropped from my life if I wanted to add graduate school to my already busy life. This realization came after I found myself getting frustrated that I didn’t have enough time to be on social media after allotting time to work, family, and school. For years I had been active on Twitter and blogged… neither of which fit into my new packed-to-the-brim schedule. So, I had to make some difficult choices.

I stopped using Twitter (which is way harder than you might think it would be), stopped writing on my genealogy blog, and closed down another personal blog. After that, my husband took over the grocery shopping, cooking, and laundry (I’ll write about how amazing he is in another post!). In the end, I would get an hour of “fun” weekday with my husband and our dog, while the rest was allotted to work, commuting, and grad school. I worked out a plan so that each weekday evening I would spend time in the online discussion boards for my classes and reading countless peer-reviewed articles. On the weekends, I would turnout papers like a boss. Seriously, a 20-page paper on a Saturday… no problem!

While this schedule worked well, it limited my time with family, friends, and nature. First, without my husband, parents, and sisters, I am not sure that I would have made it through unscathed. I can never thank them enough for their amazing support these past two years as I pushed myself to my limit in my quest to earn my master’s degree. I honestly couldn’t ask for a better support team to keep me motivated when times got tough. Second, my time with friends both here in DC and across the states has been limited. I’ve missed parties, girls nights, and dinners. However, through it all, they’ve been fantastic. They allowed me to check-out for a bit and happily welcomed me back during my short breaks between terms. Third, I missed nature. I’m one of those people who needs to recharge by getting out of the house and experiencing things. Since I was a kid, my favorite break has been to be outside in nature. Working sun-up until sun-down put a damper on this part of my life. Sure, we got away for the occasional weekend, but nothing compares to what it was like before I started school.

In the end, I survived and now have a graduate degree! A day after I submitted my final graduate school paper, Hubs and I hopped a flight to the Pacific Northwest. We enjoyed a long weekend of wedding festivities, birthday celebrations, and even fit in a new national park. Because that wasn’t enough of a post-graduation celebration, we ventured up to Alaska for two weeks. I’ll write all about those trips in the coming weeks. In the meantime, it’s on to house hunting and divvying up the household chores again!