Tuesday, August 2, 2011

California, here we come!

I have big news. I mean, really big news. I am so sorry that I have teased you about it for a little while. I have had to sit on this news until we got all of our ducks in a row, but we are finally ready to share that...


Whew! It feels so good to finally be able to say all of that! It certainly wasn't easy keeping my mouth shut. I am so excited to be able to share this story with you.

Back in February Dave was invited to an interview for a fellowship position in California. He and four other people were selected out of hundreds of applicants for the interview process. He met with many researchers and learned about many different programs that this company offered, and fell in love with one of the projects they are doing. He decided that this particular project was his dream job and, if he got the fellowship, he would want to work for the guys running it. After the interview and nearly two months of waiting (now March), we learned that the company offers 1-4 fellowships every year, but this year they were only able to offer two - and Dave was third on the list. Dave was put on a waiting list in case one of the two people ahead of him didn't take the fellowship. Two months after that (now May) they informed him that the two other applicants took the positions and that he would not be receiving a fellowship from them this year.

Dave contacted the guys running the project he really wanted to work on and let them know he did not receive a fellowship but would love to work with them should they ever have an open position. To Dave's surprise, they responded right away and said they really wanted Dave to work for them, and were surprised he didn't get the fellowship. They told him to hang tight and they would be back in touch soon. A few weeks later they contacted Dave and told them they were wanting to expand their research and had created a postdoctoral position for him, if he was really wanting to work for them. Of course Dave said yes and they began the pre-hiring process. A month and a half later (late July) Dave received a formal job offer complete with salary information, benefits and an offer to cover our moving expenses. Hooray!

All of this time Dave had been getting closer and closer to getting the experiment results he needed in order to graduate. The job is contingent on him graduating, so he is in the process of finishing up his thesis and setting his defense date. We are thinking he will be done with everything at the end of August and will start his new job in early September!

It is so amazing to me how Dave has been in grad school for eight (yes, eight) years and all of that time we had no real idea of when it would end. It is like running a race without knowing how far away the finish line is. With a research-based Ph.D. program you graduate when you get the results you thought you would, not when you complete X number of courses and do X number of projects. The process has been hard on us (but mostly Dave) with 60+ hour work weeks, weekend work days, very low pay and a ton of stress. I am so glad that this part of our lives is finally ending. Seriously, you have no idea what a relief this is. I believe we will be a stronger couple for having gone through this and I know we will greatly enjoy and better appreciate our time together with his regulated 40 hour work weeks :-)

I am so very proud of my husband and the work he has done, the hours he put into the program and for juggling our first four years of our marriage on top of it all. I am so lucky to be married to this wonderful man, and I am so lucky that he loves me - even in my impatience with this process (thank goodness he is forgiving!).

I have a lot of questions about moving to California, so over the next few weeks I'll be posting about topics I need help with. If you live in California, have lived in California, have moved across the country or just have some awesome insight, I need your help. Please check back on Mondays for some of my "California Livin'" posts. I need all the help I can get...

So, ready or not, California, here we come!


  1. Congratulations to him! That is so exciting! And such a fun adventure for you! California will be great, you will absolutely love it.

  2. Congratulations to the two of you! I will continue to stay close and get updates through your wonderful dandelion chronicles blog and facebook. You both deserve the very best! Have Fun in the Cali sun!


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!