Thursday, July 19, 2018

vacation celebration

While I was pregnant with Lucy Mike started working on the very beginnings of research for the project that would turn in to his doctoral dissertation (for chronological reference I was pregnant with Lucy six-and-a-half years ago.) On June 30th, 2018, Mike actually walked out of his basement office (where he has been writing the majority of this masterpiece) and said the words "I'm finished". And my heart danced and sang and I definitely cried some happy tears and posted a celebratory staged Instagram gem of the real life printed out thing.

If you're a mathematician (or know 1st grade math) here it is in numbers: 2 years of masters work + 6 years of PhD work + 2 years of a full time teaching job while dissertating = 10 years of so much hard work and so much being a graduate student that we are ready to transition beyond. Even after he finished the text and sent it off to his committee, he still had to complete the bibliography, which his completely clueless wife thought "would be about 20 pages or so??", but nope, it was a beast of a bibliography and when he finally finished that up I demanded that a vacation to celebrate happen and happen NOW.

Grad-school budget and primarily little and very dependent kids didn't give with much vacationing, so even though this was a celebratory vacation for our family, it was also our very first family vacation ever (unless you count a couple days in Holland MI when I was pregnant with Joe, and even if you are counting that this would be our first in 5-ish years and so it was 100% highly anticipated and 100% called for!)

We decided to head to Williamsburg to try out the Great Wolf Lodge (not not NOT a sponsored post, I promise!) and didn't tell the kids until a few days before. Telling kids that you are going to a giant indoor water-park is the equivalent of telling adults that they're going on an extended European vacation, or a tropical all inclusive resort stay (depending on your preferences, I prefer Europe). They were ecstatic and talked about nothing else in the days leading up to it.

It did not disappoint.

It was so fun for all of us, although Joseph's very favorite thing was the elevator we took to get to our room, so it isn't necessarily every kid's cup of tea.

Joe "Cautious" Hahn contemplating going down that slide. He contemplated it the entire time. He never did it.
Watching all the brave big kids having more fun than them but telling themselves how much smarter their choices are.
A brief break from the insane slides.
The older 2 girls could go on all of the rides and the park was small enough to be able to send them on their own and have them check in with us, since we were often keeping tabs on the littler ones who were not as excited about the giant slides. Almost 6-year-old Lucy was even able to go off and do the medium slides on her own if I was venturing down the big ones with the older girls, which I did quite a bit because it was so darn fun.

Our second evening we mixed it up a bit and found quite possibly the nicest park I have ever visited called Kidsburg in Williamsburg. The not-as-water-thrilled kids (Joe and Fred) were on cloud nine with giant play ships, canons, and a zipline, which happens to be the key to my girls' hearts. That and giant indoor water-parks.

Overall it was an absolutely wonderful way to celebrate this huge accomplishment for Mike, and also celebrating getting to see more of him, which we are all so excited about. He defends next week and the celebration continues because I get to go with him (sans kids!!) for 2 nights which will undoubtedly be blissful and I am so excited.

Congratulations (almost) Dr. Michael Hahn, we're so proud of you!!!!


  1. I'm so happy for you to be at the end of this long road! We went to a gwl with our littles and I was amazed and pleased at how kid friendly it all was. Everything is designed for them which made it the least stressful trip ever.

  2. Congratulations to (almost) Dr. Mike and to his supportive wife!
    So glad you all enjoyed your vacation; and will pray that the defensive and mini-break goes as smoothly!!

  3. What a great way to celebrate!

  4. Congrats to your whole family! And Ana this post is making me think perhaps we could hand GReat Wolf Lodge someday!!

  5. Congrats to Mike and the whole family! What an accomplishment.