Step by Step

I have realized, even more than I knew before, research is a step by step process. And it takes sooo much time. It is fun though….it is relaxing! More relaxing than reading textbooks, which is what I have left to do tonight. I am working on re-reading Astin and then finishing my Paula Freire book! Just a few more chapters!! 🙂 Slowly but surely!

I hope that others have not been flaring like me this week. The rain over the weekend just made for a rough beginning of the week. I have not slept good these past three nights…major hip/knee pain that has been misery at night. Then of course during the day I am soooo tired! Annoying right 🙂

I hope the pain eases for tomorrow, I have class until 11:00p.m. 😦 I’m hoping my body cooperates tonight and tomorrow. It seems to never fail that Tuesday nights are rough nights making for a ROUGH Wednesday. Last Wednesday morning I literally did not get to sleep until close to 1a.m. and then I woke up about 4a.m.! It was a LONG day, I was sooo thankful to be able to go home and go to bed!

Rest well everyone! I hope your pain eases, and I hope that no matter how much pain we find ourselves in…that we still reach out and do something positive. It is not the easy road….but it is the road that will help us see happier things in life. 🙂



Number 2

I just found out….my second conference paper has been accepted! YAY! This presentation will be my second at a regional conference, I am excited. I have one more presentation, I will not hear back until mid-November. I will be really surprised if it gets accepted, this other conference is one of the biggest and hardest conferences for a doctoral student to get into. But I am really excited that this second presentation has been accepted. It was accepted to a work in progress division, this qualitative study needs more work to get into a really good journal. I’m hoping it gets out there soon!

Great way to end the weekend and start the week!


Hanging in there!

It has been one of those crazy weekends! I have had major major flares 😦 but still some things got done! WOHOO! My Clark Scholar paper has been submitted, with a few days to spare! Now tonight, I working on getting a textbook read so that way when November 1 comes around I will be ahead in most things.  In two weeks I’m headed to Indianapolis and then the next week to St. Louis. My goal is to be as far ahead as possible so I can make sure to balance when I get back from these trips.

This week I have one paper to work on, my systematic lit paper/proposal to work on and then just keeping up with the “normal” homework. It is hard to believe that we are in mid-October already! We will celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary on November 6th! Wow does time fly! Seems like we just got married yesterday. We officially passed our 7th year mark of being a couple, we are working on our 8th year together as a couple.

Off to read and rest! Rest well everyone and remember to balance/relax/and enjoy this week! No matter what you are facing, put your best foot forward. My goal is to check out a few gyms by my house. I have been doing yoga at home but I feel there is a need to socialize more. So I’m thinking of getting to a gym that has yoga classes. Thankfully, I have a few really nice gyms by my house. Granted after this week, I won’t be home for three weeks but after I get home…finding a gym home is high on my to do list.

Hugs and spoons!! 🙂




How hard is for you to relax? I know for me I have to get to a point where I think I have everything done that needs done and then I still am thinking..what did I forget! Weird right? Well, I am learning that I need to relax more and stop to smell the roses. Time flies and sometimes it feels like years have flow by and I have missed so many things.

This week I am focusing on my systematic literature review! The hardest part of data collection is the starting and stopping, starting the research and digging and then stopping and reading the articles. It is a circular system…start and stop…start and stop! But it is a fun circle. I def. enjoy finding articles, pulling out data and creating new work.

Off to start reading another homework book! I’m telling myself I need to make sure to take me time this week! Too often I forget to take some me time, but this week my goal is to make sure to not forget about me.

Rest well everyone!



Do you have moments during the week that you have to refocus or recharge? Do you make the choice willingly or does the choice get made for you?

This past weekend went in a blur, I came home worked three days…went to class…and then the choice to recharge was made for me! My body was sooo tired and that combined with bad Vietnamese food….landed me in bed for two days.

No not the way I wanted to spend my weekend but it was what my body needed. I’ve said many times the balance I have to live in life is a lesson I’m still learning. I want to go and go but you know my fatigue and pain stops me. I still get a lot done and I am so proud of that fact.

I wrote my Clark Scholar paper this weekend. It is now in the hands of my chair, with her help it will be edited and sent up! Wow! Then I wait until January to find out if I made it! What an amazing thing that would be to add another thing to the list! My list of things I never thought I could do with a crumbling immune system (rheumatoid arthritis and lupus), pain and never ending fatigue (rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia) and the eye side effects (Sjogrens). Trust me I do this as much for me as for you! I want no one to think life is over when you hear these diagnosis! Life isn’t over! Life can just be beginning, it has slowly begun for me! In the past two years, I’ve traveled to many conferences, become the schools SERA representative, and been the Barbara Jackson Scholar for one year, with one more year to go! Such incredible blessings and opportunities! Lots of work but all life changing!

So recharge is good! Let’s me think and most importantly I rest! Then I get up and get things done! I’m making progress on my study from last semester and on my research for this semester! Things will get done! Just don’t forget to balance!

Off to rest some more, rest today and recharge! And then let’s do some amazing things this week!

Hmmmm randomness

I spent today working on homework and resting. My hubby and I decided to try something new and we had date night on Thursday. It was nice to be able to enjoy a quieter restaurant and less traffic. We have found that Fridays/Saturdays are sooo crazy, that we don’t really get to enjoy being together. Tonight was fun. Tomorrow night we go to Matt’s martial arts school because he is being awarded his strip. This is his last strip before his brown belt!!! WOOHOOO! So in a year he has come pretty far.

I was spending some time tonight googling (procrastinating my homework) and I found the tour schedule for the World Help Children’s Choir. I am not sure if you have ever heard of them but these kids are amazing!! These children are absolutely amazing, check out their schedule I am looking forward to when they get closer to my house, I can go and listen to them.

While looking at the Children’s Choir information, I found a link for the World Help Syrian aid page ( I really hope that one day I can use my photography skills and raise awareness. As I learned in Africa, one picture can say a thousand words!

Back to the homework I go! 🙂

What I learned

I am home safe and sound from an amazing first professionals conference. I think this was the first conference I came home feeling like wow I’m doing something! I was grouped with a great cohort of young professionals eagerly pursing their masters degrees. I was honored to work with them and put our heads and thoughts together to work on a case. It was definitely a fun and much enjoyed experience.

I saw people that made my day, from those friendships I was able to pick up again to the new friendships made. I also realized I was not going to let myself be stopped because of my RALF, Sjogrens or Chronic Fatigue. At the same time going from 6am (woke up) until 2am (bed time) for three days in a row was exhausting!!! And yes definitely paying for it!

Would I do it again???! Yes!!! I really appreciated the opportunity and the take aways! I see that for sure I want to stay in student affairs and academia. Call me a big kid but I never want to leave the college campus.

Off to bed, early day tomorrow and then off to class. I have a game plan to work on home work this weekend. My goal is to jump back into my systematic lit review and continue working on this semesters final project. I would love to have this semesters final project done by the time I go to my next conference. And I have to work on my Clark Scholar stuff too! Ahhhh yes but I’m organized and work encouragement and spoons it will all get done!!! Next conference is in three weeks!!!!! Indianapolis wooohooo!!

Spoons, encouragement a and please don’t ever think because of our invisible illness and pain we cannot contribute! I meet a top top administrator this week who battles like us….I want to be someone who doesn’t hesitate to make a change in her small world because of her pain! Join me?

Passing on!

Too often we forget the value of what we can do for others. I realized this today as I sat down in front of my computer thinking about the state of the United States and other countries. It reminded me of my interaction on Wednesday with a group working to sign up bone marrow donators for a child who desperately needed a bone marrow transplant. Of course with my RALf + Sjogrens + Chronic Fatigue I was not a candidate to donate but I did enjoy the conversation. I did not realize how few people eve know about bone marrow (or organ donation). I am thankful I was exposed to this early in life and am willing to make those choices but I am sad that many people are not aware of what you can do right now for someone who desperately wants to live but might not with out a transplant of bone marrow.

It is scary to think that despite all our advancements in technology….we still are lacking GREATLY with regards to “cures’ for some of the deadlinest and painful diseases that wrack our bodies.  It is interesting how despite no cure….treatment today has extended to biologic medicine and things of that nature. And yet sometimes we need something so simple as the marrow stored in a strangers body. I have to post this link…because maybe someone out here didn’t know and know maybe can become the angel to another child, another teenager, mom, dad, uncle, aunt, grandfather, etc. I hope that someone can take advantage of this link

It also made me think of again how blessed I am! I have a part time job, I’m a full time student, I have a house/food/clothing/etc. For some kids…they don’t even have that to claim as their own. Passing on means more than saying what we will do, it means doing what we say we will do. Today, my church worked hard at something they do twice a year…it is called Second Helping. They work to gather food for those in need, but I think what excites me the most is working to bring a smile to a child who is hungry. I think working with a humanitarian organization is one of the best ways to spend my “free time.” I know I’m excited to one day travel back to Africa, to the Middle East, and other countries that have a need. If you think about it and are interested go to and read about what World Help does for the many children in need. This includes children in Syria and those in Sub-Saharan Africa where there has been drought and famine.

I know that typically my posts have been about others but there are times we need to pass on what we know and think about others. My pain is real yes but then I  think about a person in another country with my pain who has no meds. How hard that would be….and what if that person had to walk miles for water…and go days with out food. Could you imagine how your Rheumatoid Arthritis would fare? Could you imagine the major Fibro flares? And what if you were running the whole time to find a refugee camp? How would your body feel? I know my body would be screaming and fighting back against me.

So tonight I’m thinking about what I can pass on through my life and words to touch the lives of someone else. I am so thankful that I can do so much and that I can raise awareness for RALF and the needs of the many around the world.


Flying By

The days have flown by!! My goodness it is Friday and I thought it was just Monday! It always seems as if the days take forever to go by Monday through Wednesday and then Wednesday through Friday just fly by! I am packed and ready to go to my conference this next week. I”m excited to participate in my first ever case study competition. From the sound of it I have a great group…I hope it goes well! 

Stay tuned for pictures and hopefully some fun posts 🙂 

27 years

Twenty seven years of life I have lived! It is odd to think about it …it seems to me that time just flies. I remember being a kid growing up in Honduras…I dreamed of being 25…that was when life was supposed to be perfect.

The many things I dreamed about being….police officer, military officer (yes I wanted to be a Lt. Colonel by the time I was 30), JAG lawyer,  trauma doctor, and finally an academic doctor.  What a journey right! Growing up in Honduras…I saw so many amazing things. I saw what happens to live through a category 5 hurricane and I know well what it is like to live with out electricity. I know what it is like to have to drive 8-12 hours for groceries…to hike for hours to find a village. I know what it is like to work in life and death situations..I have seen poverty, I have seen struggles, and I have seen resilience.  Looking back on my childhood…I would not want to trade what I had growing up…because it has definitely contributed to who I am today.

I always get so contemplative as I age…mostly because…you only live life once! Scary..but true…and I wonder…am I doing something with my life? Am I contributing something to this world? When I die….what will people remember about me…will  I leave a legacy? Growing up I also said…if I can change ONE person’s life for better….then I know i have made an impact in this world. Part of me still believes that and another part of me goes..I want to change the life of more than one.

Now as I am working on my 10th year of higher education..I do hope this knowledge passes through me to change the life another person. Either through reading my journal articles…from sitting in my class…or from developing a one-on-one relationship with me. I  believe I can still change a life for good.

That said…there are many times I wonder what I am doing for good. I spend so much time in pain…so much time so exhausted…I remember one time thinking…I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Fibomyalgia, Sjogrens, and major Chronic Fatigue…how can I do anything for anybody else? But then I realized…doing something for someone else can be a simple text message, a prayer, a word of encouragement, or even a hug.

We forget how SMALL things can make BIG impacts in the lives of other people. We forget that one word can really change someone’s life. We forget how easy it is to send a “I’m thinking of you” text message or email. We don’t even remember how AMAZING it feels to get a note in the mail. Touch someone’s life today…it is my legal day of getting older. I challenge you to take today and do something for someone in your life…a simple text…a hug…a word of encouragement…something to make a POSITIVE impact on someone’s life.  I will also do that and I will share when I post next 🙂 Let’s keep a positive chain of encouragement going.