Seriously??  How did we get to this already??

It's hard to believe that the summer is over already, the campus is full of undergrads again, and the calendar is already packed...  

It's a little overwhelming sometimes to think about this as being my ninth year at RPI, but it's also kind of rewarding to look back at all of the experiences and everything i've done!  

And the major upside?  THIS IS THE LAST YEAR!

Probably.... Hopefully?
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(http://www.phdcomics.com/comics.php?n=1555)
Ok, well... the PLAN is for it to be the last year!  And I'm going to do whatever possible to stick to it!  As wonderful as it has all been, I'm definitely ready for the next chapter and the next round of adventures...

So the game plan from here?  Work like CRAZY (while still maintaining dance and horseback riding to prevent burn-out).
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(http://www.phdcomics.com/comics.php?f=1611)
And then I will still be TA-ing again (Strength of Materials, of course!  Fifth semester in a row, woot!) so I'm sure that will keep me pretty busy, too. 

Although, with the first day of classes under our belt, I'm already dreading this scene:
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(http://www.phdcomics.com/comics.php?f=1598)
And I still can't believe my summer is over already!!!! I wasn't done with it yet!  

I actually do have a few posts I need to get up though... A few craft projects that need to be documented and a few stories that could probably use telling.  But I must confess - I spent 5 days in Cape Cod (WOOO!!!) and ended up not taking a single photo (ugh.....)  Please don't hate me?  I'm kicking myself enough already!  
Ok, back to work.  More to come soon!  (As soon as possible, anyway!)  
 
 
(Actually written on November 11, 2013. In true grad student style, my life got away from me and I am VERY behind in writing this...)
I can hardly believe my little Rozalyn is three already!! She's getting to be such a big girl... :)

Her birthday gifts have turned into one of my favorite annual crafting adventures, for sure.  This year?  I think I might have just outdone myself.   (A.k.a.?  What the HECK am I going to do next year????)

With a little inspiration from my own childhood, I decided what this girl needed most was a good fort!  Something that will last her for years and can supplement hours and hours of make-believe.  

I knew I wanted it to be sturdy and easy to take down and set up again - that way it could be used outside, inside, brought to Mimi's (Grandma's), etc.  I settled on PVC and canvas and after a little Google search, I came up with this for inspiration!  (In general, I used her instructions really more as just guidelines and kind of made it all up as I went along... perhaps I will have to come up with my own tutorial at some point...)

Ryan was in town the weekend I was set to make it so the two of us made a trip to Lowe's and then set into putting the pieces together!  

Long story short?  The final product:
Yeahhhhhh.... I'm pretty much in love with it... :) 

JP, Luc, Ryan, and I also tested it out briefly.  (For those who were wondering - four adults can comfortably watch TV from it.)  I wanted to cover the entire thing in polka-dots but the boys convinced me that she would have fun making "cave paintings" on the walls so I settled for leaving them blank - who doesn't love a little fingerpaint??

And, as you can see, it breaks down to be a nice little bundle!
Rozalyn's teepee was a HUGE hit with everyone at the party, too!  I managed to get a few pictures of her and I playing in it.  :)  (Someone gave her a doctor's kit so she was very excited to give me a check-up in her new "office".)


P.S. Rozalyn also had a clown at her birthday party.  Daisy had some interesting new "magic words" for us - including, "hocus pocus, chicken bones choke us" - ummmm... boy, have things changed since I was a kid!
 
 
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(From: http://www.phdcomics.com/comics.php?f=1597)
Well.... time to start writing I suppose! 
 
 
I don't know if it's because it's summertime, or if it's all this rain, if I'm just tired and overwhelmed... All I know is, I'm suffering from severe lack of motivation :(

While I'm procrastinating for one more night, I thought I might share one of my favorite Ph.D.-related antics...

(The following images/text is all taken from: http://matt.might.net/articles/phd-school-in-pictures/)

The Illustrated Guide to a Ph.D...

Imagine a circle that contains all of human knowledge:
By the time you finish elementary school, you know a little:
By the time you finish high school, you know a bit more:
With a bachelor's degree, you gain a specialty:
A master's degree deepens that specialty:
Reading research papers takes you to the edge of human knowledge:
Once you're at the boundary, you focus:
You push at the boundary for a few years:
Until one day, the boundary gives way:
And, that dent you've made is called a Ph.D.:
Of course, the world looks different to you now:
So, don't forget the bigger picture:
Keep pushing.

Pretty good, eh?  I'm not sure if it's encouraging or discouraging, to be honest... Probably a little of both?  It's a little discouraging to know that there's a pretty good chance I won't make a giant impact on the overall knowledge of the human race.  But at the same time, it will be just as big for anyone else looking at it from my perspective - in my field and specialty.  And if the Mouse and the Lion (you know... the one who pulled the thorn from his paw) taught us anything, it's that something very small can actually have a huge impact on the chain of events that follow.  So that's a little encouraging, after all!  Not to mention, it's nice to know that no matter what, I can't let my Ph.D. be my entire world - there is so much more beyond that, too.

Um... I mean... NO WAY Dr. Advisors and Funding Agencies!!! RESEARCH IS LIFE!!!!!

(Whew... that was a close one.... ok, back to work....)
 
 
There's nothing like a new pair of rain boots to add something bright and cheery to another rainy summer day! :)
 
 
This past weekend was graduation weekend!  Not for me... but for Krista and a bunch of other friends!  So still exciting... :)

it was cold an rainy (like the whole rest of the week, am I right??) and so graduation was moved inside.  The last time this is the first indoor RPI graduation since Mom's infamous 2002 oops-it-snowed-3-inches graduation!  Katie and I ended up finding Kaleigh and watching the ceremony via video screen in the ECAV gym.  

BUT!  Before that, we snapped a few photos of the girls while they were waiting outside under the tents:
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Krista and I
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Sunny, Katie, Krista, Alyssa, Emily, Meredith, Qin, and Sidney!
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Iota Photo! (Krista, Alyssa, Emily, and Tiffany)
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Katie and Krista
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Me with Krista and Alyssa!
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Sunny, Kenzie, Krista, Alyssa, Qin, and Tiffany
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Katie, Kenzie, Alyssa, and Candy!
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Candy and I
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Katie and I
I couldn't get my camera ready fast enough but luckily Katie was!  She snapped this photo Krista getting her diplomas! Well... a photo of the screen portraying the video... same difference!! 
Congratulations again to all of the wonderful graduates!!! xoxo
 
 
On Tuesday we had a little group get together and head up to Circle B Ranch in the Adirondacks for a trail ride!

It was a bunch of fun!! (Complete with an post-ride ice cream stop, of course...)  :)
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(Photo from Susan's camera!)
So the back row is JP, Trick, Tyler, Katie, Shannon, Luc, and Steve, and then the four girls in the front would be me, Krista, Susan, and Yaroslava! 

Best part of the day?  My horse was named Forest!  (He's in the one in the middle...)  When I take lessons back at school (well... technically East Greenbush) I also ride a horse named Forest!  Crazy... My Forest is white with gray spots though... this Forest had honey highlights in his brown maine...)
 
 
The Friday before Mother's Day, Luc and I decided to take a mini-adventure into Albany to check out the tulips in Washington Park!  (We ended up going before the official kick-off of the Tulip Festival, but with the looming crowds and possibility of rain the next day?  Playing hooky on a Friday afternoon seemed like a better plan...) :)

We took a bunch of photos of the tulips, made it rain pink petals from some of the flowering trees (um FUN!) and then decided to continue our wandering down at the Plaza.  We checked out the reflecting pool, peeked in the windows of the museum, and then walked the entire length of the Convention Center Concourse!  (And almost had to walk it again when we couldn't figure out how to get back to the ground level... but luckily we found and elevator that spit us out in the Egg!  Even if it was a creepy elevator...) 

Anyways!

Here are some photos :)
 
 
So I'm thinking it's time for a change... New look, maybe some new organization to the whole thing... just trying to make everything more efficient and streamline.  

For starters?  I'm going to abandon the au naturale look and go with something a little more colorful... (Maybe this purple dye is literally going to my head at this point?)

And ultimately?  I'm thinking of rearranging the pages a little.  One big thing would be moving the actual blog portion of my website to the homepage - so for those of you who follow me with an RSS reader, be prepared to have to resubscribe to alisonrosek.weebly.com!  (Instead of http://alisonrosek.weebly.com/all-at-once.html)  Sorry in advance if that causes problems... :-/

Ok... deep breath... here we go! :P
 
 
I'm not even sure where I saw the baby-stats subway art but as soon as Baby Lucas was born, I knew I wanted to make him something to commemorate, well... him!  I used my scrapbook software (MemoryMixer, FYI) to come up with my own design... 
and then had it printed on glossy paper and framed it in a shadow box!

Adrienne and James loved it! :)
(yes, I've blocked off their last name... just being careful <3)