Made it back home, and I am happily sitting on my own couch :)
The trip was really good, busy and tiring, but good. I feel like I am actually going to make it through this process, and I feel like I found people who not only understand what I am going through, they are also willing to help!
Here is what I learned:
1. APA style, while a bear, can be funny when they make all of it's pitfalls into a song
2. Writing in a scholarly fashion can be boring, but the topics are interesting, take what you can from it
3. What I am doing, the stress and struggles, are worth it. In the end I will be part of 1% of the population with a doctorate.
4. Dissertation time will be messy, and hard, and while I really like what I am researching, no one else is as interested in it as me and my committee.
5. Doors will save my family the worst of it. I will be buying doors for the living room so I can hole up in there.
6. As supportive as my family and friends are, no one really knows what I am going through and that is OK. Even though my dad got his EdD, it was long after his kids had left home and he was in his 50's. Not many folks take this on with two jobs and three little kids, but it is OK and I am doing it!
7. The most important thing I learned is that this IS hard and that I am not being a whiny baby when I get stressed or overwhelmed. I will finish this and I will succeed, but it won't be pretty while it is happening.
I feel like I accomplished something, and I also feel like I am one step closer to my goal. Now all I have to do is finish ten more classes, take the comp exams, and write a 150 page dissertation....PIECE OF CAKE :)