Monday, December 28, 2009


Add Image
UA's Commencement was held on December 12 at Coleman Coliseum. My dad, Philip, Caroline, and my friend Erin were there to watch me get hooded (my mom was helping Mamaw, who has just had a heart procedure done).

My major professor, Dr. Tavan Trent, was there to hood me and a few others.

Five us of math nerds received our doctorates that day!

~Patrick Taylor, Julie Ryle, Karan Thaguna, Berhanu Kidane, and Chunhui Yu~

Afterward, my bunch grabbed lunch and then headed home to enjoy my yummy houndstooth cake Erin made. She is becoming quite the cake decorator!

**Funny little story: Caroline and I had driven to Tuscaloosa the day before graduation to pick up my cap and gown (I procrastinated a bit on that one). We were walking throught the book store, and of course there are elephants EVERYWHERE. Now Caroline may not say any words besides "da da," but she is a big fan of animal noises. The elephant is the one she learned first and likes best. Her elephant noise is basically a spitting sound, and she spit the entire time we were in the bookstore. People were looking at us like she was crazy. All I have to say is, ROLL TIDE!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

November 2009

Another facet to my frugality: homemade laundry soap. Steph and I made a liquid variety (recipe), but I have since learned from my friend Julie that you can make a much easier powdered variety. Oh, well. I have a five gallon bucket of detergent in my garage, and I fill up a few old detergent bottles I had every month or so. This bucket should last me a year, and the ingredients cost $1.61. Worth it.

New Caroline skill we're working on: using utensils. She's really not all that bad at it. She does get tired after awhile and dig in with her hands. How else will she learn? :)

Our friends the Shirleys left Birmingham and the States for the mission field. They are serving God in Kenya! We were honored to go to their commissioning service at Brook Hills the weekend before they left, and were able to spend a bit of time with them at a lunch after. Their Christmas card this year had giraffes in the background. Philip was jealous. :)

Philip's parents and brother came up for a visit the weekend of the LSU game. We headed over to T-town to enoy some of the atmosphere before heading home to watch the game. Caroline loved watching the percussion warm up in front of Denny Chimes. Roll Tide!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

October 2009

(more catching up...)

We kicked the month off by heading up to Kentucky to visit my bro and his fam and go to the AL-KY game. The weather was perfect! We had a good ol' roll tide time.


And then came...


The last six and a half years of academic work have been leading up to this DEFENSE. There have been many classes, a few qualifying exams, hours upon hours of research, and this was the culmination of it all. The dissertation title:

A Corona Theorem in Certain Subspaces of H(D).

Copies available upon request. Note first, before you ask for one, that it has nothing to do with beer.

D-day was October 12. All three of us had swine flu. Fun times! It went well, though. Philip and Caroline came over to Tuscaloosa with me, and I presented my work to my committee of five professors. They asked a few questions, which I attempted to answer. I then stepped out of the room while they conferred. Then my adviser Dr. Trent appeared and said, "Congratulations!" And that was that. In that moment, I became Dr. Ryle. And then I went home to care for my sick baby and pack for an out-of-town wedding I was in that weekend. Back to life.

We traveled to Albany, GA for my college suitemate's wedding. Erin found her hubby working at Disney, and he is the perfect addition to complete our group of four gals and now four hubbies. (which, of course, was a very important criterion). I'm so thankful that each of us found guys who get along well, because we have many vacations together in our future!

The rehearsal dinner was a good ol' fashioned BBQ with yummy sweet potato fries served with a cinnamon dipping sauce. Caroline took a spin around the dance floor with the groom! And of course we suiteys had to line up in our signature staristep pose. We are each four inches taller/shorter than the next.

The wedding was gorgeous, as we knew it would be. I was like Central Park in the fall, complete with a coffee bar named "Central Perk" at the reception. Pumpkin spice lattes! Yum. We has a blast being together and celebrating with Erin and Bill!

Caroline trying to love on Ava

We stopped in Columbus, GA, on the way back to B'ham. It was such a cute town! We were only there for a couple of hours, but we hope to go back and check it out a bit more.

September 2009

(NOTE: Doing some back-posting here...)

We are still waiting to decide what to call this eye color. It looks different at different times, and it seems to maybe still be changing. Most of the time it's a grayish-blue on the outside and brown around the pupil, but sometimes they look green. I guess we'll have to wait and see!

Caroline is working on perfecting her walking skills. We've been on a quest for shoes for her, since she spent the last 13 months of her life barefoot. It is so much fun shopping for a girl!

She is holding off on talking for the moment; she won't even give us a "Mama" or "Dada." You can tell by the look on her face that she is just soaking it all in. Her FAVORITE game is to go around the house, the yard, the store, or anywhere and point to things. She doesn't grab them, just wants to gently touch them. She makes a little "hmm?" sound and expects you to name the object. This can go on for hours. I am waiting for the day when all of this knowledge she is accumulating will come spewing out of her mouth. We'll see.

In my continuing efforts to scale back on costs in our lives and live frugally, I decided to groom the dogs myself. They are $30 each every time we get them groomed, and we had clippers on hand, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I called in reinforcements (Erin), and we went to town. It actually turned out better than I expected! And we saved $60. Worth it.

We took a trip down to P'cola to visit the fam. It was a quick trip, but we enjoyed the time hanging out together, shopping, and of course watching football. We got Caroline's ears pierced while we were there, and they are too cute! She looks so girly now. I love it. She cried for just a minute, but we were able to distract her by the jumpy-bungee thing they had set up in the mall and by the puppies in the pet store.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I headed down to Orlando Labor Day weekend to spend it with my college suitemates. Erin is the last of us four to be getting hitched, so we had celebrate suitey-style! The bridesmaids, (Liz, Bethany, and I) planned a BEAUTIFUL Tiffany-themed lingerie shower with Erin's sis, the MOH, Hayley. We all four live in different cities, so it was interesting to plan a shower completely on Facebook (our FB thread has over 100 messages). Anyway, there was a lot of chocolate and frillies involved.

The bride and her bridesmaids.

Bethany made the yummy cake...

On Sunday, we headed to WDW (where Erin works). We hit ALL FOUR PARKS IN ONE DAY. I didn't even know that was a possibility. We headed to AK first, and rode Everest 3 times.

"The Sleeper" on Everest

After a mishap with forgetting where we parked and a nice security guard helping us out, we headed to Studios. Tower of Terror, Rockin' Roller Coaster, and Buzz Lightyear...

Erin taking part in a street performance with Cynthia Bloom...

Then on to Epcot (looking a little worse for the wear). We rode Spaceship Earth and then toured to World Showcase, with dinner at Tutto Italia (yum!).

The bridal party (plus Liz's baby) crammed in a phone booth in England.

And finally we made it (exhausted) to MK! We got a Dole Whip pineapple float, watched the parade, and then the most hilarious viewing of Wishes I have ever experienced! We sat in the back behind the carousel, and there were fireworks on either side of us, and we were all whipping our heads back back and forth with every BOOM. I wish I has video of this! We walked away with a little whiplash and aching sides from laughter.

The Dole Whip...highly recommended!

Which way to look?



These are some of the best gals in the world, and I cherish our friendship of (small gasp) 9 years. I'm so glad we all four make it a priority to spend time with each other each year! Looking forward to the wedding in October!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...