Monday, December 19, 2011

Weekend Recap

Just such a fun weekend, have to share:

Friday: Yoga in the morning with a friend who just finished her teacher training. Lots of work holiday parties and lunches. Home to play with the pups and then head out to the master's crew team annual holiday party with Adam (the varsity coach). Mingling with very fit folks. Then off to Thomas's house to hang out with rowers who were back in town for the holidays and his awesome sisters. Home around 1am.

Saturday: Up early to run with Rebecca, Becca (7 months pregnant), and Amanda. I brought Pilot. We did 7 miles in the forest while chatting about everything. Lovely. Home to find Trent replacing all the windows in our bedroom. I help when I can and do tons of laundry and clean house. We head out for lunch in Pittsboro at the General Store. Very cute! Quick stop to find some white elephant gifts and I drop Trent off for a Santa themed pub crawl and I head to a riding lesson in Hillsborough. Fun time riding a giant thoroughbred who was feeling lively (lots of little bucks!), but he had a great canter and it felt great.

Home to shower and play with the pups before getting ready for our dinner out. All of the baby group parents got babysitters (a small miracle!) and we had a nice dinner out at a local thai place. They were so happy to have a night without all the little ones! We met up after dinner at a fancy little bar and all got fancy cocktails (I had a manhattan, Trent had a spiked cider). Fantastic conversations with all the parents, including discussing the commune we will build so we can all live together someday. There is an airstream for visiting guests. It will be awesome.

They headed home and we set off for our last holiday party (one of... 12? there were a lot this year). The third annual Bob Dylan Christmas party. Lots of science friends, dance parties, great conversations. We made it home around 1:30 but sounds like the party continued on for long afterward.

Sunday: Lazier day. Finished trimming the new windows and painting the new trim. Trent went on a run with some friends, I took the dogs to the dog park for a good long play. Groceries, cooking, laundry, napping. Thomas came over and we all headed out to Saxapawhaw to see Chatham County Line (one of my favorite bands) at the Haw River Ballroom. It is this great old mill building they've restored as a venue, very industrial and NC. Amazing show, got to see lots of friends, singing and stomping. They played a cover of a Warren Zevon song that I listened to on repeat while missing Trent when I was in Costa Rica. Home by 11pm and we crashed.

Lovely weekend. We are so fortunate to have so many great friends and opportunities.

I have a phone interview today, we are having friends over for dinner tonight and tomorrow night (whoops!) and we leave for New Orleans Wednesday morning. Exciting week!

Friday, December 16, 2011

More cute baby pictures

And they aren't even my babies. Oye, I can imagine this blog will be nuts then.

But just had to share a couple cute pictures from last weekend. We all met up for breakfast at Weaver St and then watched the Christmas parade. I wish we'd have gotten one of Porter, who came decked out in his fancy sweater, and enjoyed watching the parade go by with his two year old toddler friends.

Amanda and Maxwell. He was quite pleased with his new puffy coat.

Emma and me. Emma's grandmother made her sweater and cute hat! (She is Paul and Sheila's). She later completely fell asleep on Trent, and I was dying from cute overload.

I love the totally Weaver St. situation in the background. I will miss that place!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


We leave a week from tomorrow for our trip down to New Orleans for Christmas. We'll head to Atlanta first and spend two nights with friends Jackie and Pierre, then three nights in New Orleans, then back up through Atlanta to see other friends, Patrick and Amanda and their kiddos.

We've never been before, and would feel like failures if we left the South without visiting, but any suggestions would be appreciated!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Some race pictures...

I know these aren't the most flattering pictures, but I had to share. People think I am exaggerating when I say the Ironman was really fun, but I think it is hard to argue with this evidence. No bike pictures (for now), I definitely don't look as happy in those. But look at that joy finishing the swim (I love the grumpy looking fellas in front and behind me!).

Those finish pictures (the last two) make me think of that feeling at that instant and... it is an incredible one. So happy it was captured!

Oyster Roast

I've noticed several instances that make me feel like we should maybe move to Connecticutt instead...

My recent hobbies have included sculling and horseback riding.

Our dogs wear Baker coats.

We both wear Sperry-topsiders. At the boat house. C'mon.

But my favorite New England activity recently was a big, lovely, oyster roast a friend hosted. She brought in crates and crates of oysters from the NC sound and we tossed them in bunches in the fire. Spritzed with fresh lemon and a dash of Old Bay, they were incredible. I ate SO many.

However, there definitely was a NC twist on it... we all drank cider and homebrewed beer out of mason jars, there was a big, fantastic, bonfire, and a huge batch of cornbread made with bacon fat. Ohmygoodness delicious!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Some pictures!

(becca, rebecca, me, amanda with maxwell, stephen)

Couldn't leave with you with out a few great pictures. This was one of our many Thanksgiving festivities, a brunch at our friends Eric and Rebecca. They are our "grown-up" friends, all with babies and careers and we feel fortunate to be included in their circle. We've learned SO much from them.

(Eaden, Hayden, and Alex)

The boys. There are a gaggle of boys around the same age and it has been so fun to see them grow up and become friends. Two year old boys are awesome.

(Maxwell and Ingrid)

Some of the group are already on round two of babies (Hayden is Ingrid's older brother). Maxwell is younger than Ingrid but already bigger. He's like his dad and a great eater! He's much happier with life now that he can crawl around and do stuff. Ingrid is just a peach, she is so mellow and snuggly.


I hate to be biased, but sometimes this little fella just steals my heart. He is so loving and so silly. He's gonna be a big brother in just a few months!


Worst blogger ever?


No good explaination, other than life seems to be zooming by and I am starting to get quite anxious about all the changes ahead. I am not great with "transitions" (I even dislike falling asleep). And this year is full of them.

But we are all doing well. Highlights include:

A crazy busy October with trips to San Diego, SLO, and San Francisco. An epic combination of seeing my best friend April in SD, interviewing for post-docs, my rowdy but awesome 10 year high school reunion in SLO, more interviews in the Bay, spending time with my family. It was a whirlwind of being incredibly grown up and professional, and a complete an utter teenie-bopper.

A couple weeks after the crazy trip, I did my first Ironman distance race! And won my age group!! It was the most incredible experience. 11 hours and 39 minutes. And I honestly felt great for 85% of of it and finished strong and happy.

The manuscript is revised and I am so happy with it. And it is currently under revisions again. Fingers crossed. We hope to hear back before Christmas.

We are heading to New Orleans for Christmas! Seeing friends in Atlanta on the way down and other friends on the way back up and spending three days in New Orleans with just the two of us. I am very excited about this break!

Trent starts his last semester of his masters next year. We are abuzz with job planning and constantly talking about life goals and such.

I got the green light to defend my dissertation in May. I had a committee meeting right before my birthday and everyone was on board with my decision. Unreal. SO so so so much to do before then but I am very happy!

We got iPhones! Finally joining the rest of our generation. They are pretty awesome.

We took cheesy family Christmas card pictures with the pups. Expect them in your mail soon!

I am not running or biking or swimming right now. But I am addicted to high intensity interval training. I can be found jumping around the house most nights. It is so much fun.

I am teaching Genetics and Molecular Biology next semester. And super anxious about it! But it will be a nice way to end my time at UNC, with the great students we have here.

We are healthy and happy and enjoying all our friends and experiences as much as we can. Leaving Carrboro is going to be very tough.

Hopefully I will get to posting here more often!!


Monday, September 19, 2011


This weekend, despite my anxieties, was actually a terrific event. It forced me to pick myself up and think about my research again. And I was reminded of a several things:

Awesome Deirdre and two 2nd year students that are just fantastic. Joy just joined our lab.

1. So so so many people get papers rejected. With much harsher reviews than mine. And the journal I chose to send our paper to is apparently very "clique-ish" and "snooty" and some very fancy professors have struggled to have papers accepted there.

It was slightly chilly, so many people opted for the hotel robes to keep warm during the after hours celebrations. It was hilarious how all the folks from CA thought this was a fairly typical beach weekend and were frolicking around in the sea, no problem.

2. The way I present my research in talks and posters is different than how we presented it in the manuscript. Which was probably a big mistake. We have to be excited about this work and sell it. Which is something I am pretty darn good at. Just need to remember that.

My boss-man. We decided for our next submission we will also send this picture. We are very scary, right? And classy, with our 40 oz. beers in paper bags...

3. I have some wonderful scientific colleagues who have been SO helpful. The best part was a frantic/slightly tipsy meeting between my PI and my amazing committee-member (the other Jean). We were all throwing out ideas and getting really excited about the story again. We have one experiment we want to do that is quite high-tech and fancy-pants. I am excited about learning a new technology!

Boss-man and his favorite students. Yes, there is a lot of drinking at this retreat. But also a lot of terrific presentations. The university just hired several folks who study what I am hoping to work on next so I had some great conversations/networking opportunities!

Plus, it was a weekend at the beach with some dear friends and lots of being silly and having a great time. I got a long run in along the ocean which is always good for my soul. This is my last retreat and it was lovely.

Home last night for a lazy day of catching up and then walking down to Panzanella for dinner with Porter. Poor P was shivering already!! Time for dog-jacket searching :) Motivated to get going on the revisions of the manuscript and learning about the new technology. This week is also the "peak" training week for the Ironman, I am exhausted just looking at my schedule. But is all downhill from here!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A million times blargh.
Paper was rejected.

I have a game plan, I have wonderful committee members and colleagues I am leaning on very hard and I will get through this.

It just stinks.
Off to the beach this weekend for our annual retreat. Fun to hang out with friends and discuss science, even if science and I are not friends right now.

But I did go to a marvelous talk yesterday from a fella who did his post-doc with the same big name that the person I am hoping to join their lab did (same science father). It was interesting and novel and exciting. I am definitely heading in the right direction. And leaving all this nonsense behind.

Updates soon!