Friday, January 24, 2020

Day 397

I spend a lot of time thinking and talking about stress. Earlier this week, someone asked me about things I do to take care of myself. For the past few years, running has been my panacea for most issues. As we talked through my daily routine, she asked what I do for lunch. Specifically, she asked if I eat lunch at my desk, and the answer was, "Yeah, most days." Since that conversation, I have been making efforts to take little breaks and breathe rather than trying to multitask everything.

Today I did extra well because I had specific lunch plans. I met a student leader for lunch at The Chimes near campus, and it was a fabulous way to end the week. Before I started my PhD program, most of my days at work included frequent conversations with students, either through scheduled meetings or informal moments when people walked by my office and stopped to chat. That does not often happen in my new role, so lunch today was particularly exciting. We spent time talking about our backgrounds, goals, and the campus culture at LSU. It was nice to get off campus for a bit and have a delicious lunch. (The bacon jalapeno cheeseburger was a winner.)
I'm looking forward to the next one.

Photo from

I ended the day with the news that my car needs a significant repair, so that is less than ideal...but I am going to work through it.

Something that made today great: Catching up with Ariel and having some real talk
Time I woke up 7:15 am

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Day 398

I am proud to report that I rocked my first quiz in Structural Equation Modeling, AND I went for a run after work. I am #goals.

Also, I rediscovered the SNL skit about Britney Spears's divorce, and that is absolutely hilarious. Despite the passing of more than a decade, I couldn't stop laughing when Richard, Brian, and I watched this video...twice.

Photo from
Something that made today great: Brian came over for dinner, beer, and early 2000s Louisiana rap music!
Time I woke up: 7:20 am

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Day 399

I am not the smartest person in the world, but I think I am generally intelligent. Sometimes, however, I am awestruck by innovations that are really more common sense than revolutionary. Today, that came to me in the form of our slow cooker meal (#7 of 100 for the year). Sandra gave me a box of recipe cards for the slow cooker, and today I made ravioli lasagna. I'm a big fan of anything that combines meat sauce, cheese, and pasta, yet I never considered that I could turn two steps of traditional lasagna--laying the noodles then covering with cheese--by using a cheese-filled noodle for a layer. I just never thought about it. Turns out, it's delicious! Richard and I both approved, and I am looking forward to having leftovers for lunch tomorrow. But the fun doesn't stop there! Because the exact recipe I used is already on AllRecipes, you can experience the joy for yourself!
Photo from AllRecipes
Beyond my slow cooking endeavors, I also had a productive day at work, got a short workout in, attended an alumnae Panhellenic meeting, and read for my Structural Equation Modeling class tomorrow. I am learning so much about confirmatory and exploratory factor analysis, and it's only the second week of the semester! Provided that I can keep the different techniques straight, I have the potential to be unstoppable in the near future...even if I sometimes lack common sense.

Something that made today great: I squeezed in some training for Semper 5ive between work and my alumnae Panhellenic meeting!
Time I woke up: 7:24 am

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Day 400

I have debated when to restart my blogging for the semester, and I finally decided that there's no time like the present. Since my last post, I have been in three different time zones, traveled a lot of miles, run three marathons (all under 5:30--all under 5:21, too) and two PRs, and the LSU Tigers are national champions in football. I have completed several knitting projects and started a few.

After barely cooking anything in the fall (besides heating up frozen meals), I am trying to do better with cooking better meals for myself. My latest challenge in the new year is to cook 100 meals in my slow cooker for 2020. Twenty-one days into the new year, I am on track with six meals prepared!

My spring semester is off to a good start, though between national championship cancellations and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I have only been to two classes. I'm doing my beginning of the semester thing--using my planner, organizing my time, and swearing I won't get behind--and it is working so far. I'm tightening up my 1 am bedtime from the fall and making it midnight this semester. I'm not making any promises about what time I will wake up in the morning, but I can at least put myself to bed earlier and hope for the best.

I guess I'll be back to write more things tomorrow!

I wore my hand-knitted Kathytastic poncho today!
Something that made today great: Submitting the first round of revisions on a paper I am publishing with two classmates!
Time I woke up: 7:20 am

Friday, December 6, 2019

Day 201

Well, I have counted down from 300 to 201, which means I have officially completed the 100-day blogging challenge for this semester! I succeeded in fall 2018, missed the mark in spring 2019, and now I have achieved the goal for fall 2019.

Despite counting down the days and getting closer to 201, the end of this challenge definitely snuck up on me. I have been wrapped up in everything that's been due this semester, and a lot of my daily posts were short ones about how I was tired, busy, or both. This was definitely the hardest semester of my PhD program thus far, but let's be honest: I wasn't expecting it to get easier as I progressed. I implemented a 1:00 bedtime in October that really helped

To wrap up the challenge, I thought I would mention a few of the high points of the hardest semester of my program thus far. Here are ten highlights from these 100 days (in chronological order):

  1. Day 297: I set a new marathon PR of  5:18:58! I'm hoping to beat that in the next year or so. (Bonuses: I set a new 50K PR on Day 241 and a new 10K PR on Day 234.)
  2. Day 293: I got an ice cream cone from McDonald's
  3. Day 271: I got glasses
  4. Day 263: I made Vegetables Galore for a family dinner
  5. Day 256: I voted! (And then I did it again in November!)
  6. Day 251: I felt THE PUMP at Lunchtime Lifts
  7. Day 235: I made some really delicious gumbo
  8. Day 230: I presented some research at the MSERA annual meeting
  9. Day 229: One of several knitting days with Ellen, but this one involved wine, so I picked this one to include.
  10. Day 219: I made a reference to The Office in my statistics homework.
It's been a ride this semester. I might keep going for a few days here and there so I can document how this all shakes out...but that's still to be determined. 

Image result for 100 emoji
Found this photo at:

Something that made today great: I turned in two assignments, and Blake and I made meaningful progress on our literature review that's due next week.
Time I woke up: I rolled over at 8:00 but decided to sleep in...and ended up sleeping until 10:30.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Day 202

I allowed today to be the calm before the [next] storm, and it felt good. My workday was not stressful, and Sandra and I ran the lakes at LSU after work.

The real treat of the day, however, was that my sister-in-law Maryanne was in town, and we had dinner together at Elsie's Plate and Pie...YUM! A full meal (cocktail, appetizer, burger, and dessert) with people I love was a lovely way to spend a chunk of this evening.

Weekend madness commences tomorrow when I meet with Blake to work on our paper that's due next week. I'm looking forward to the running events for some fun and stress, they'll make me get out of bed earlier, which means I will either (a) get to take a nap or (b) be awake all day, which means I have more waking hours to work. Win-win.

Another stock photo from Pixabay

Something that made today great: Sandra and I had a good run after work.
Time I woke up: 8:00 am

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Day 203

Yesterday after work, I went for a run/walk with Ellen, then I met Richard and some of his coworkers at Olive or Twist to celebrate the end of their workweek. (Also, Tuesday is $5 Burger Night! Boom.) Toward the end of dinner, the combination of life stress, school stress, stress, being tired, and being cold (should've worn more clothes for my run) culminated in me completely freaking out and crying about how I was tired, stressed, and cold. I ended up taking a shower to get warm. Richard put my pajamas in the dryer for me so they would be warm. Then, I wrote my blog post about how I wanted a brownie sundae and went to sleep around 9:30.

Since I had a major project that still had work to finish, set an alarm for 1:30 am. I snoozed it once but eventually got up to complete the project. Something that is happening more lately (even more than before) is that no matter how little or how much time I have, that's how much time I am going to spend on a project, paper, or another task. My project was due at noon, and I submitted it at 11:45 am. I was planted at my desk for the better part of ten hours. If it had been due at 10:00 am, I would have submitted it just before 10:00; it would not have been as good, but it would have been a complete project. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I am not doing well striving for a slightly lower grade in exchange for significantly less stress. There is still time to improve, though, as I have two papers and a final remaining.

Some good news is that I managed to have a really good day even though I woke up literally in the middle of the night. I am rewarding myself by knitting a few rows on my shawl and making my way to bed by 11:00 tonight so I don't crash tomorrow!

Another fabulous free photo from Pixabay

Something that made today great: I feel pretty good about my statistics project!
Time I woke up: 1:45 am-ish