Monday, December 23, 2013


I just learned that my best friend is "full of cancer" and does not just have cancer in his stomach! He only has weeks/months to live. I am devastated and heartbroken for his wife and children (who are still children). He is only 43 years old and I cannot even imagine him not being a phone call or a text away. We have been friends since 1988 when I met him and he has been there through thick and thin and then some. I danced at his wedding! I cannot even imagine what his wife, children, mother and siblings are going through. I just know that I am devastated at the thought that he won't be just a quick message or call away. Love him so much! My heart breaks for his family!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Time to be Thankful!

Today, as I prepare for Thanksgiving tomorrow, I want to take a moment to be thankful for all that I have. In no particular order, I am thankful for:

* My husband, D, and how my life has been changed because of him
* more needs to be said about my wonderful dog
*My family...parents, brother; D's parents, brother, niece and nephew; my cousins; my aunts and uncles; D's aunts and uncles
* My students and my colleagues
* The house that I live in is warm and comfortable
* My questionable as my health is, I am still here
* My doctors
* The understanding of everyone as I deal with these most recent health issues including my bosses, my publisher, my family and friends
* My degree
* My friends who are like family
* My blog readers (if any are left). Thanks for the inspiration to write

Happy Thanksgiving to all! What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Long Overdue Post

Sorry to have been MIA recently. I am now teaching at two different schools, I am doing freelance writing for a Web design firm, and I'm trying to be a good housewife.

OK, the housewife thing is suffering almost as much as my blog.

I have begun teaching at two different schools. Three classes but since I've been out of the game for a while, it's tougher to get back in it. I am really enjoying being back in the classroom at both schools and really loving my students already!

Because D is working at home more, I have purchased a desk for our second guest room. It is too difficult for us both to work in one office. Now I am on the hunt for a storage twin bed for in that room also. It is really tight with the queen that is in there now.

How are you?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Sometimes It's Hard to Focus...When You're Sad

My family is at the reunion in Ohio this week. I am not there. This weather will not let me be outside. I am missing seeing everyone and having fun. I am not 83, I am only 43...this sucks!

One position I thought was a guarantee, at least part time, has turned out to be a no-go. That sucks!

Yes, my book is at the publisher, but without any job prospects, that doesn't help me much at the moment!

Sorry, just feeling sorry for myself today, and felt the need to share with whoever is still reading.

Monday, July 1, 2013

A Couple Pictures from the Reunion

With my girls Beth and Patty! We all grew up in the same neighborhood. Love them!!!

 With one of my best friends from high school, Chris, and his beautiful wife Kari! We still party at Buffett when I make it.

With Kim--not only did we survive high school together, we also went to college together and have definitely stayed friends through the years!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

When Did I Get This Old?

Tonight is my 25th High School Reunion. Seriously, I can remember graduating like it was last week. I know I will have a great time seeing everyone and visiting (can't really say "catching up" because I am friends with a lot of people on Facebook, so I know what's going on), but I seriously can't be old enough for this!

Can I?

(Pictures next week)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

I Met Glennon and Sister!!!

OMG, Glennon  is even more adorable and strong in person than she is on her blog! Love her!!!!

Me and Glennon!

Me, Glennon, and my neighbor Geri!

Seriously, if you are not reading her, you should be!!! 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Focus on Fathers!

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers, grandfathers, and those that play the role of a father in someone's life!

I have many wonderful examples of fathers in my life:

- My father-in-law: who has done so much for his sons and welcomed me to the family as if I'd always been a part of the family. Who fights for what he believes in and loves his family more than anything!

- My Pappy: My mother's father. He taught me that I could do anything. He taught me how to garden and was always there when I needed him, if he wasn't traveling or out having fun. My Pappy taught me that life was only worth it if you actually lived while you were alive--the day he went into the hospital for the last time, he was supposed to be on his was to Atlantic City with his AARP group!

- My Dad: who has loved me since the day I was born. I know this because I had major health issues due to birth defects and my Dad left my Mom in one hospital to go with me as they transferred me to another hospital. He loves to pick on me, but always has my best interest at heart. I am, and always will be a Daddy's Girl! Today I called my dad to see if he wanted to go to a classic car show, something we love to do together, but the U.S. Open was on, so he chose to stay home. I know that he would do anything for me and has supported me, eventually, on all my decisions even if he didn't understand them.

- My cousins, uncles, and brother-in-law: they all love their children more than life itself and would protect them at any cost! They also know how to have fun with their kids and I love that about my family.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

FOCUS on Writing

Yes, I am still deeply embedded in the job hunt, but right now I have other things to keep me busy. If you remember earlier I mentioned several possible publications...well, the Public Relations case study has been approved for publication and the edits have been submitted. I have also done some freelance writing for a design firm in Pittsburgh.

The BIG news is that my dissertation has been picked up for publication in a Social Media series! I am in the process of editing my dissertation to read more like a book than a compilation of other people's work. I am my own worst editor, but I have no choice. It is moving slowly because I am too close to the project. But the things most worth it aren't easy, right?

If you responded to my survey several years ago, I may be contacting you for permission to use your story in the book. I hope you say yes!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Lessons from the Mental Hospital: Glennon Doyle Melton

I LOVE Glennon's message and her blog but I thought this was absolutely amazing and extremely appropriate for a blog titled "Therapy Failed". If you aren't reading Momastery, you should be! She is inspiring, honest, and funny. I cannot wait for the opportunity to meet her when she does a book signing in Pittsburgh this month!!

Monday, May 27, 2013

FOCUS on Remembering

Today is Memorial Day in the U.S.A. It is a day set aside to remember those service men and women who have lost their lives in service to protect the United States and our freedoms. My father, father-in-law, and several uncles served in various branches of the military and I appreciate their service. I also appreciate the service of all who have served and their families; especially the families who had an empty seat at the picnic table for the cookout today because their loved one gave the ultimate sacrifice for my freedom. We are the "Land of the Free BECAUSE of the Brave"!!!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Focus on Grandmother!

My tribute to Grandmother at her funeral:

D's Mom always says that I am just like Grandmother and then tells me it is not a compliment. I think being like Grandmother is the best compliment that anyone could pay me. Grandmother might have been stubborn, but she lived the life she wanted, the way she wanted. At 93 years old she still lived in her own home and by her own rules. Grandmother had many adventures with Duke, her sister-in-law and very dear friend. To have a family and friends that love me as much as Grandmother’s family and friends love her would be a wonderful life. I have heard stories of travels around the world and stories of trips for banana splits while popping balloons with her grandson. All of these stories were told with love and smiles. Grandmother loved to tell stories of her family and her last wish was to see everyone she loved. That even included D's brother lifting our dog, Soxy, up so that Grandmother could see her and know she was in the house.

Grandmother found her true love and had a wonderful life with him. She even wanted nothing more than to take her last breath in the home they shared together. She raised three wonderful children and has a multitude of grandchildren and great-grandchildren that love her very much. Her sisters came to visit every Sunday demonstrating a great love for her. People do not love someone that much who is not worthy of their love. If I could possibly have half the love and respect that Grandmother did while living the life I love and doing it in my own way, like Grandmother did, I will have lived a life worth remembering.

Grandmother was a very wise woman and passed on that wisdom to others. Just a few that she reiterated in the past week that will stay with me forever include that family is most important; to surround yourself with those you love and that love you; and that when you say you will love someone forever, there is no changing that. Those rules are even more reasons that those who knew Grandmother loved her and why so many people have come to say goodbye to her the last several days. But I prefer not to say goodbye because  I hope it is only 'til we meet again.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Prayers for D's Family

Please send prayers to D's family as his grandmother passed away this morning. She fell last Tuesday and broke her neck. She was 92 years old and still living on her own. His family needs prayers to deal with this as we are all reeling to some extent from the loss.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Officially Hooded as Dr. Kristin!!!


Today I officially walk for graduation! It will be official and I will be hooded as a PhD!!! Pictures will follow. It is finally here!

Now, hopefully my blog will get a little more interesting than just school updates. ;-)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

FOCUS on Presentations

I am going to guest lecture at my alma-mater tomorrow and Wednesday on Website usability...a topic near and dear to me. I must focus on getting that lecture finalized as I am hoping it will lead to, at least, a part-time position in the fall.

I am presenting at a communication conference the following week on the need for a basic course in colleges to help students get ready for college-level learning. One of the reasons for this is that primary and secondary schools are not teaching the way that today's students learn. Bringing technology into the classroom, or at least restructuring the class so that today's students are learning the material is very important. The research is fascinating as it describes how technology has changed the way our brains are wired/function and that schooling hasn't changed in decades.

I am looking forward to both of these presentations and to getting back into the swing of teaching and presenting. However, I will be doing at least one of them on crutches as I had a minor tractor accident last Sunday and still cannot walk on my leg.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I am trying to regain my focus after taking a break. I finished the PhD. and then goofed off a little. I think it was deserved. Now I am preparing for a conference, putting together a proposal to get my dissertation published, finished a case study for possible publication, and applied for several jobs.

I am hoping to have a full-time position by the Fall 2013 semester somewhere near Pittsburgh. I will drive up to 2 hours if necessary, but I just need to find a job. That is my new FOCUS for now!

Friday, March 1, 2013

You Can Trust Me...I'm a Doctor!

After seven lllooonnnggg years, I successfully defended my PhD. today! I am officially Dr. Kristin!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Slip and Fall...

On Friday, we had freezing rain and a package delivered. Usually they leave the package by the garage door so I  thought I could just walk down open the garage door and get the package. Unfortunately, it was a different guy this time and he hung the package on the door next to the garage door. I took one step to reach the bag and the next thing I knew I was face down on the driveway. Seems I split my forehead wide open. I also split my lip open, but that wasn't as bad. I haven't seen what the forehead looks like like since before they stitched me up. I have two "beautiful" black eyes, a large bandage down my forehead / nose and a bandage on my lip. Remember, my dissertation defense is on Friday. At least the stitches come out on Thursday....

Here's what I looked like when it happened:

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

FOCUS on NOT Having a Nervous Breakdown

My dissertation defense is a little over a week away. I am ready, I wrote it after all, so why am I stressing out? Not sleeping some nights, sleeping too long others. Tightness in my chest, sick feeling in my stomach, a migraine going on 6 days. I know this. I know that I know this...why is this happening?

I need to FOCUS my energy on last-minute review, not panicking...any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Just a few projects I've been working on. Although I've posted them on Facebook, I thought I'd share them here also, just in case some people aren't connected on Facebook.

Before and After of my kitchen chairs:

Chair Before:

Chair After: 

Wreath for front door for Valentine's Day:


The fabric for the chairs was 60% off and I originally bought the entire set for 75% off because the store was going out of business. I bought the set in 1999 and it is still going strong, and looks completely new because of the fabric change. 

The wreath pieces were bought at the dollar store for $6 and about 15 minutes after I was home, the wreath was hanging on my front door.

The scarf is one skein of yarn, specifically for the ruffle pattern and I made it while watching the Super Bowl because all I wanted to see were the commercials. 

I have also completed an afghan for my aunt and am now working on another one, because I loved the design so much--in different colors, for us. 

I've been keeping myself busy until my defense. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dissertation Defense Date Set...

I finally have my date for my defense...if all goes well, I will be Dr. Kristin on March 1. My defense is scheduled for 2:00 EST so if everyone could send positive and happy thoughts my way (as well as some intelligence) I would greatly appreciate it! I cannot believe I have to wait over a month still, but it is almost here!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

FOCUS on Staying Calm!!

It has been over a month since I submitted my dissertation for defense.... I still don't have a defense date!!! It is supposed to be 3 weeks from the time you submit that you defend and I still don't have a date!!! I know the more I contact them for information the longer they will drag this out, but I am getting really frustrated and p***ed off!!! Just give me the date already people!!!!!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

It's Here!!!

My first academic publication!

FOCUS on Eating

Another FOCUS update:

-Right now I am waiting for my Director to tell me when my Dissertation Defense will be; FOCUSing on not panicking

-Eating...I am fighting a stomach flu and haven't been able to eat since Sunday. I need to FOCUS on getting healthy

Monday, January 7, 2013

First Update on My Year of FOCUS

FOCUS on family:
- Drove my husband to the airport at 5 am just to spend a little bit more time with him.
- Had dinner with my parents tonight. Just the three of us. So nice. Dad will be coming over tomorrow to help me get the boxes down so I can start packing up the Christmas decorations this week; that way, when D comes home, we can actually have fun.

FOCUS on finding a job:
- Bought an "interview suit" this weekend, just in case I get an interview.
- Bought a leather messenger bag for when I land that new job.
- Agreed to "guest lecture" as a trial run for a position at my alma mater
- Sent emails to friends and family that might be able to help me out.

Still more work to be done; but starting with these two areas.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Stealing from Liberty...

Liberty posted this on her blog and I had to borrow it! This is the best idea for everyone for 2013!!! Thanks Liberty! "I think practicing happiness is a dose of medicine we could all use".

Tuesday, January 1, 2013