Monthly Archives: July 2009

CONGRATULATIONS ADAM! Master of Astrophysics!!


Today Adam proved to the world that he really does know his astrophysics!

I was able to attend the presentation part of his defense and I was so proud of the confident and collected manner in which he answered question after question AFTER question. I won’t go as far as to say that I enjoyed it…In fact, it was pretty awful. But it’s over and he passed! YAY!

Celebration!Thanks to Rachel who watched Megan so that I could go to the “half hour” presentation, which ended up being over an hour. One of the committee members just kept grilling Adam, and that was while the general audience was still present. I was so afraid for the private questioning, but he did it! Thanks also to Tom and Wendy for recording the presentation AND for taking us out to lunch after to celebrate! I think we will continue celebrating for days and weeks to come!!

YAY!I am so proud of Adam. For weeks his apprehension and anxiety about today have been on the rise and I didn’t comprehend the intensity of it all until I was actually there. I know that Adam has had a difficult time finding the motivation to keep working hard these past seven months or so, but he has pressed on!

Way to go Adam! Megan and I are so proud of you!!! We love you to the moon!

P.S. Holy cow Adam’s knowledge base is so much vaster then I even realize! Even though he has given me several simple run downs about what his thesis was about, I was SOO lost today! I love my rocket scientist!




Tinker Bell DVD: $19.99
Tinker Bell doll: $12.00
Tinker Bell blanket: $14.00
Tinker Bell swimsuit: $7.00
Tinker Bell soundtrack on iTunes: $6.99
Tinker Bell pens, stickers, notebook, mirror, and diary: $20.00

The smile Tinker Bell brings to Megan’s face:

Tink Tink

There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s grandma.

Megan Bell

Showin’ How Funky and Strong Is Your Fight


You know sloths? Those animals that live in trees and hang upside down? They eat plants, sleep during the day, and are mainly hunted by jaguars. Of course, the main thing people know about sloths is that they move so slowly. In fact, sloths are the slowest mammals on earth. They are not lazy, they just don’t have the energy it takes to move very fast.

I find that there are many days when I feel like I can empathize with sloths. The day Jack was born, time seemed to stand still. For six weeks my world was at a standstill and then all of a sudden it was time to jump right back into the fast lane. Could you imagine walking alongside speeding cars on the freeway and then being expected to start running along with them? Like a sloth, there were many days I just couldn’t muster up the emotional or physical energy it took to keep up.

June came before I even realized that March had passed. And now August is right around the corner. In so many ways it has been difficult to keep up with what is going on around me. Children who were born around the same time as Jack are growing and changing and it is all very strange to me. In fact, some days it feels like not only is everything moving too fast, but also like time has switched to reverse mode.

Jack's coming home jumpsuit
It was exactly one year ago that we found out we were having a boy. When we received that good news, I immediately sought out the perfect coming home layette for Jack. One piece of which, instead, he was buried in. The feeling of losing all the time since then just feels so…weird. I sometimes feel as though I have nothing to show for the past year of my life. I know that I DO. I really do know it. I just wish the proof was in my arms.

There have been many days out of the past eight months when I have been able to strap on my running shoes and run. In fact, I was actually literally running the other night when the song “Beat It” by Michael Jackson came on. Not only did the music get me pumped, but some of the words really stuck with me. One of the lines says: “Showin’ how funky and strong is your fight” and I thought it was sure applicable to the days that I somehow muster up energy.

You know, it is true that I feel like I have digressed a bit in the last year in the sense that I am still only responsible for one child and I feel so distant from nearly everyone and everything around me. But, if I was really honest, I would have to say that I have progressed more as a person in the past year than I have in my whole 25 years combined. I am throwing myself into scripture study more than ever. I am more patient with Megan. I am slow to judge and quick to forgive. I am offended less. I am kinder. My prayers are more sincere and I love more freely.

I am grateful for this progress. I am not by any means perfect, and I still have a long way to go when it comes to overcoming my many shortcomings. I pray that those I am in contact with will continue to be patient with me as I journey to the person I need to become.

I don’t really feel like I am at a standstill anymore, but instead I am moving slowly and working hard to catch up. I don’t know if I will ever be able to move at the steady pace that I once maintained, but maybe I always should have been moving a little slower. So, if I seem a bit “slothful” to you, just remember that I’m not lazy, I’m just slow. But no jaguar can catch me, because my fight is strong and funky.

The Plan…………for now


Tycho RemnantOne week from tomorrow, Adam will give a half hour presentation of his thesis, (“H1 Absorption Toward MAGPIS Supernova Remnant Candidates”) to a panel of professors at the university. Following which, they will test his astrophysical knowledge by randomly questing him regarding anything (and everything) he should have learned during his graduate studies. This questioning should last about an hour to an hour and a half.

Assuming that everything goes smoothly (please, please, please!), and that Adam is able to demonstrate that he really does deserve a Master’s Degree in Astrophysics (which obviously, he does), our time in Iowa will be at an end.

PackingAdam has applied to many jobs, and all applications are “under review”. We knew that there was a good possibility of there being a period of uncertainty and we made plans for such an event. We will temporarily be returning to Las Vegas.

So the packing has begun. Is there anyone in the world that enjoys packing? It sure is one of my least favorite things!

However, I am excited about what lay ahead for our little family. We have no reason to not be optimistic or confident because we know that fear and faith cannot coexist and we have faith that Lord wants what’s best for us and has a wonderful plan prepared.

Arrival in Ames, May 2007

Arrival in Ames, May 2007

We will MISS our home here in Iowa. More than I could say. In so many ways this move will be SO good for us…but in so many ways it will be SO difficult. We will not forget this place or the people anytime soon. That’s for SURE! We won’t be moving for several more weeks, and we plan to enjoy every moment of our remaining time here.

“Happy Birthday, America!!”


Tutu Cute

Late tonight, as we made our way home from the fireworks show, I must have said to Adam “I had such a great time today”; about ten times. Today really was quite perfect and we all had a great Fourth of July.

This is our third Independence Day in Ames, but we had not yet experienced the downtown Fourth of July activities. We woke up to rainy weather but decided to go watch the parade anyway. It rained on us the entire time, but we didn’t let it bother us, and we had a lot of fun.


We did other various holiday activities throughout the day, and then joined a large group of friends for the Ames fireworks show. Megan had such a wonderful time running around and experiencing sparklers for the first time. She loved watching the fireworks and was in such a great mood. I so enjoyed watching her excitement as each firework “popped”. She was so happy and so much fun.

There is nothing that makes me happier than spending time with my sweet girl and wonderful husband. Throw in a whole hearted celebration of this great nation I call home and I guess all I need to say is…

“I had such a great time today”!