Sunday, April 16, 2006

FINALLY making dissertation progress

Although I'm still nowhere close to where I wanted to be at this time, I finally feel like I am making progress with my dissertation. I have conducted two interviews, and I have expanded the eligibility criteria to include divorced fathers. My hope is that the expanded criteria will allow more therapists to refer their clients to the study. I had spoken with a number of therapists who said that they had a few fathers who might participate, but the father was divorced. I originally required that the father be married to and/or living with the mother of the child in therapy in order to minimize the effects that family structure might have on father engagement and the co-parent relationship. After discussing my recruitment problems with committee, I have determined that I can still answer my research questions as long as I address the effects that this might have on the findings. It is a small change, but it might make a large difference.

Additionally, the two interviews that I conducted recently gave me a wealth of data that I am eager to analyze. They helped confirm my commitment to this research and the value that I see in it. Although I will not finish before graduation in May, I should be able to finish in time to defend the dissertation in August. That is great news, and really gets me pumped to dive into it all. I know I will continue to encounter obstacles as this journey continues, but I believe that if I can overcome the recruitment problem, everything else will fall into place.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The First of Many

On this day exactly one year ago, a precious little baby girl entered the world. Regan Karina Martin was born on April 5, 2005. She is one year old today. We through a little party for her with just us. We had cake, streamers, balloons, party hats, and presents. Because it was after a long day of work for both parents and kids, it was a pretty abbreviated event, so abbreviated that the birthday girl had to take a bath and go to bed before even having cake. (It had been a long day.) So she opened her presents and actually loved every minute of it, and she'll get to have some cake tomorrow.

I can't believe that it has been an entire year. So much has happened, and so much more will happen in her second year. She is an incredible little girl. She has taught me so much abot life, people, and little girls. She's taught me a lot about myself. She is sweet, happy, spunky, and stubborn. She gives the tightest hugs I've ever gotten from a one-year-old. She smiles and laughs every day, even when she is ill or not feeling well. She loves her brother, despite his knocks against her. She can even hold her own when she tackles him to the ground. Happy Birthday, Sweetie, and here's to many more! (You can see more birthday photos at Flickr, and I'll post video of the party to the podcast this weekend.)