2013 was such a great year! I had some fun trips, marked a major point in my thesis research and switched callings in my church. My speaking business continues to grow. I finally stepped out of the stone age and bought a smartphone in August--I love it!
The year started with a business trip to New Orleans in February. I walked around the French Quarter and love the architecture. I found a wonderful pharmacy museum in the Quarter and spent a lot of time there looking at the old medicines, treatments and medical equipment.
In April I went to a 3 day genealogy conference in New Hampshire. It happened to be the same week as the Boston Marathon bombing so I was away from Boston during all that craziness. I am still sad for all the people who were hurt and the emergency response people who saw such trauma. It was interesting to follow the news from my laptop when I was in NH. This is the year that the Red Sox went from worst to first. While I can't speak for the people who were directly affected by the bombing, I do know that the World Series win was a form of healing for all the people like me who were indirectly affected because it pulled us together and gave us hope.
June was our family reunion in Idaho. My mom and dad and all their kids and their families were there: 20 kids and 12 adults (1 bro in law couldn't make it). The theme was "The Amazing Race" and we were divided into 3 teams. My team wore the neon green bandanas and I think the kids all look like adorable little bandits. We had so much fun. I then stayed an extra few days with each of my sisters who live in Idaho. While at the reunion I met 3 nephews I hadn't met in person before and got to see how fast all the kids are growing up.
I continue to work on my thesis research for my master's degree in history (I know--it's been going on forever!). My major accomplishments this year are finishing transcribing over 400 handwritten medical recipes into a Word document. They were collected by a woman in the 1600s. I also have a mostly finalized thesis proposal--I just need to add in some data analyses. My research is comparing recipe characteristics (ingredients, complexity, disease treated, whether elements of superstition are present, etc.) by the recipe donor characteristics (male vs. female, family member vs. not, etc.). I am slowly pulling all the elements from the recipe and entering them into excel. Once that is done I can use my statistics background to analyze the data.
In August I took a trip to the Cloisters and the Botanical Gardens in New York to look at some of their exhibits on medicinal plants. It was really interesting. The Cloisters is a Medieval museum and has a huge medieval herbal garden.
In October I took a trip to Ticonderoga with one of my friends. I love visiting historical places. They had an exhibit of military medicine that was interesting.
I also went to a Harvest Dinner at Plimoth Plantation around Thanksgiving and took the Orchard House (Louisa May Alcott) Christmas tour.
Ended the year with a 10-day trip to spend Christmas with my parents.
I keep busy with my job as a biostatistician in medical research, working on my thesis research, and building up my genealogy speaking business (bridgingthepast.com). I am starting to really focus on my niche, which is talks about using social history in genealogical research and taking particular events (King Philip's War), eras (daily life in Colonial America), or topics (medicine in colonial New England) and talking about them so that the audience members can better place their ancestors in context.
I switched from being in the Primary Presidency to serving in the Relief Society Presidency this spring. After 7 years in Primary, it has taken me a long time to be able to sit through all 3 hours of church.