Friday, December 21, 2007

Pre-Christmas Getaway

Oh man. Buying a house is stressful! All this back and forth-ing, decision-making, deciding just how broke we can be for the next few years. Good times.

Plus, I am kinda down because this if the first Christmas I won't be home. We've done a good job of decorating, baking, and being festive, but now with all my co-workers heading home, reality is starting to sink in. I miss my parents!

But we will make the best of this exciting and new time. We've decided to get away from it all and head up to the mountains for the weekend. We will be camping Saturday night at the Great Smokey Mountains National Forest, in the snow and everything. Then Sunday, Trent booked us in a fancy lodge/hotel for one evening of luxury. Which is pretty much what we can afford with the pending house buying situation. I am so excited to get away and relax and quit doing science and house buying for a bit.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend before Christmas where ever you are!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The dance begins...

We just received their counter-offer, discussed with our real estate agent, and made our second offer. Yikes, seems real now! But also, seems like it might not happen.. they seem pretty stubborn. We'll see!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

House Hunting

Trent and I have entered the world of potential home owners. And it is a confusing, stressful, but exciting world!

104 Thomas Lane, Carrboro NC!

This past Sunday we made a very lowball offer on this home! It was built in the 1950's, so it definitely has some "fixing-up" to do, but it is in a great part of town, and by a city park so we feel confident that we could fix it up and sell it for more than we bought it. Hopefully! Regardless, the fixing challenges are all cosmetic. Trent and a paid engineer both scoured the place from roof to crawl space, checking out each brick and board. The house is structurally sound, it just needs some love. Like refinishing the nice hardwood floors, perhaps installing new cabinets in the bathroom and kitchen, and lots and lots of landscaping. But these are all issues we have tackled before, and I think it will be a fun adventure. We also want to capitalize on the "eco-friendly" atmosphere of Carrboro and go with all the best recycle, reclaimed, energy efficient items we can get. Hence, the low offer. We are planning on investing a pretty penny into the fixing up, hopefully our hard work will be rewarded.

So we made an offer, and now are just waiting to hear the inevitable counter offer, and then the games begin. We have a great real estate agent who has been answering all our naive questions, and we know more about APR's and PMI's than I ever imagined.

Wish us luck!

Pretty master bedroom with nice floors and windows.

Trent checks out the bathroom tile.

The kitchen is straight out of 1950's, including an extra fridge probably from that year. I am thinking it is almost vintage cool though!

The side of the house, going to the backyard. We have big plans for a driveway, fencing for a dog, and a shed/carport for all of Trent's tools and such. We'll be busy!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Today, Biology Graduate Student Association President.

Tomorrow, Dean of Research at UC Berkeley.

All part of my sneaky little plan!


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

25 Reasons why my 25th Birthday was great

1. I woke up next to the man I love.

2. Who made me a big bowl of oatmeal with lots of yummy dried fruit and maple syrup in it.

3. I rode my bike to work, wearing my favorite green J.Crew cashmere sweater.

4. It was a quintessential fall day.

5. I saw "I'm Not There," the Bob Dylan biopic on Saturday after freezing at the UNC vs. Duke football game and going to a restaurant to watch the rest of it with my awesome bio ladies. Good movie, great company. Afterwards we came back to the cottage and played a mean round of scrabble. Oh and UNC totally beat "Dook" in overtime. Go Heels!

6. Deirdre, Steph, and I went to sushi for lunch. So yummy.

7. I love my job, I get to be creative everyday and never feel stifled.

8. I came to work to find a bunch of balloons and a festive poster. And my boss brought a cake, and a co-worker brought cupcakes, and everyone sang to me. Awww.

9. Deirdre bought me a coconut latte when I crashed from all the sugar. And few things make me happier than a coconut latte.

10. I left work with an organized desk and bench, happy flies, and lots of experiments in the works.

11. I came home to find a big box of goodies from my parents, including a gorgeous silver necklace from Greece (you guys know me!!), lots of Christmas goodies including our family's traditional poppers, and lots of yummy treats from Trader Joe's.

12. Our Trader Joe's should open any day. They are stocking the shelves! We are so excited.

13. The heater guy may have actually fixed our heater... keep your fingers crossed.

14. Trent's mom sent me a cute beaded clutch, some great lotion and lip balm, and coupons to local restaurants we've been to cheap to go try out. We are going to have some excellent dinners ahead of us. Thank you!

15. Trent's grandmother send me adorable pictures of Trent as a child that made me want to have a baby. He was adorable.

16. However, we are meeting with a mortgage broker at the credit union to discuss the possibility of buying house.. so I can have a dog instead of a baby. Probably a better idea right now.

17. I heard from just about everyone wishing me a happy birthday. Nice to be remembered.

18. Darling April called to send me best wishes and asked me to be a bridesmaid for her upcoming July 5th wedding in SLO. I am SO excited, they are having it at an apple orchard in See Canyon, having it catered by F.McClintocks's, a local bbq restaurant, and I get to help pick the pink bridesmaid dresses. It is going to be a wonderful day, and I am so honored to be a part of it with her.

19. I am going to run in the Boston Marathon!!

20. I am getting my Ph.D!!

21. My family is happy and healthy and everyone is doing well.

22. My sweetie gets home any minute from his crew practice, and we are meeting up with friends for dinner and an unveiling of a new beer.

23. I am going dancing with a bunch of friends on Thursday and will be acting anything but 25 years old. I love to dance!

24. Deirdre is having a "Hills Holiday Party" this weekend. Trent and I are going as Whitney and that trainer dude she went on a date with. Good times. I am excited about all the upcoming holiday parties, decorating our house with lots of lights, getting a tree, and baking lots of cookies and such.

25. I am loved.

Happy birthday to me and thanks to everyone who helped make it so special. It has been a great quarter century, looking forward to a few more lovely ones.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving Pictures!

Trent and his 20 lb bird. Gorgeous. And delicious, after being brined with all sorts of great herbs and a bottle of reisling.

The calm before the storm.

The dinner begins. Steph is very excited about all this, as you can see.

Our desk converted into the buffet. Look at all that good food. Everyone did a great job of bringing something, everything was delicious.

Linda, Deirdre, and Anne loading up.

Folks getting seated. I didn't do assigned seating this year, and I felt the it helped keep everything casual and easy. We are all friends, and the conversation was great.

And unlike last year, we can all fit into one camera frame. Cute!

My turn in the photo, thanks Kate!

We retired to the drawing room for port in my adorable port glasses, Irish coffees thanks to Deirdre, lots of wine, and great conversations. We also enjoyed pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pie, and cheddar apple pie. Yum.

Bio-homie Adam and awesome neighbor David joined us for the after dinner aperitifs.

Linda enjoys the comfy chair, Roman Holiday plays on repeat for the 3rd time, and Steph keeps the wine and conversation flowing.

I believe in this photo we were discussing whether it is feasible to run across the Atlantic Ocean in an inflatable hamster ball. Cutting social commentary, you see.

So I decide to help myself to some more wine. A lot more wine!

We had a great evening, talking the night away, decimating the leftovers a few hours later, starting a fire in the firepit, and generally being goofy. It is hard to be away for the holidays, I missed my family terribly, but it is nice to know I have a family of friends who will celebrate with me. I am very thankful for that.

Fully recovered and cleaned up the next day. Enjoying the rest of my secret family recipe pumpkin pie.

And we went house hunting!! We had kind of given up the idea of buying but found this little gem/fixer-upper in a great part of town. We are going to meet with the mortgage folks to see if it is feasible, but we loved it because it was structurally sound, in a great location, but definitely has a lot of fixing up/beautification that can be done that may improve the value substantially. We'll see, I will keep you posted.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Happy News!

April and I at my birthday at Davis, I love this picture.

I have to say congratulations to my dear, amazing, lifelong friend April on the news of her recent engagement. I have known April since elementary school and our lives were intertwined all through our days at UCD. There wasn't a problem a long walk with our dogs on the beach couldn't solve. I am so happy for her and her awesome new career as a teacher in San Diego and her fabulous man Vic. A romantic proposal at the beach, adorable, just like them!!

April and me, same apartment, her birthday! I made cupcakes with her name spelled out in our quintessential birthday pear jelly beans.

Love you April!

(emily, do you recognize that orchid?! this was right after my tonsillectomy!)

Monday, November 12, 2007

I am part Kenyan.. you know

So yes.. I had an awesome weekend. Check out the results! Long story short.. it was awesome.

Okay, nevermind. Here is the long story.

We left here with three other folks, one exercise bio masters student and two sophomores. We headed straight to the Outer Banks and arrived at Matt's grandparents house which they built years ago. Cute and quaint, quite unlike the typical huge Banks house. I cooked up some spaghetti for the gang as we chatted and explored the house.

Slept in the next morning and had some cranberry orange bread and cheerios for breakfast. We headed down to the Expo to pick up our race packets and get acquainted with the course. We wanted to get lunch and ended up going to the same Nags Head Grill that I went to with my family in the spring. Delicious, again!

Back to the house after a few stops, as the weather got worse and worse. We watched a disappointing Carolina vs. NC State football game and then a couple more cars full of runners arrived. Only me and one other guy were running the full marathon, but it was cool to see people who were new to running trying their hand at a long race.

Matt's grandfather made up a big batch of delicious homemade marinara sauce for our pre-race meal, but some heart pains caused a scary trip to the ER. Luckily he is fine, but we enjoyed our pasta without his company. Trent and I went on a walk on the beach, gorgeous stormy evening, and then off to bed early!

Up at 5:45 to start eating and planning. It was brisk but not cold, but I always like to be warm when running so I had all my best duds on. Trent was a FANTASTIC organizer/driver/coach. He made sure I ate and drank enough, got me there on time, and gave me a great last minute pep talk. Then, before I knew it.. we were off!!

I was hoping to run well, but a couple weeks before I realized it was a bit ambitious to try to qualify. People train for lifetimes to qualify for Boston. I had a lot of school and other things going on. I just wanted to have a good race, not injure myself and hopefully beat my last time of 3:54. But then.. I felt good. I felt strong. I felt fast. I had to work to stay slow.

It was a beautiful course, along the bay side, on a bike path through a fancy neighborhood. The whole city was apparently out cheering and giving us food and water. It was amazing. Here are a couple pics of me and my posse I ran with for most of the time. I especially like the tie-dyed dude!

I am not going to say it was all a cake-walk. This is around mile 18. Mile 18 is no fun regardless. But I was keeping a great pace and Trent was super helpful speeding around on his bike, getting me more Gu's and keeping me company. He couldn't ride the entire time, as a few miles were off road, but knowing he would show up unexpectedly made the race fly by. Relatively.

Around mile 20, I got an awesome runners high. However, around mile 22, Trent had to leave me and I had to deal with the only "hill" of the course. It was actually just a bridge over the bay onto the island of Manteo, but it felt like climbing Everest. It took a lot of determination to keep going, but I had a new motivation. It was looking like I might qualify! I spent too much of the race pushing myself to give up 4 miles from the end because I was a bit tired. I pushed on. It was no fun, to be honest. I didn't think the end was ever going to arrive. I don't actually remember the last two or so miles. But apparently I was moving quite fast and passed a couple girls. I remember a nice lady telling me.. just a quarter mile, and I knew I could do it. I finished at 3:31! And I was one happy, emotional, exhausted, camper.

Here I am getting my timing chip taken off. I was too tired to lean over and help her. But look at that happy face. SO HAPPY!

It was a great race, I qualified for Boston, I was the first female finisher in my age group and the 10th female overall. Like 10th behind the Kenyans. It was amazing. And a huge thanks to my awesome Trent, the best support and coach and boyfriend I could ask for. He would have been proud of me regardless, but knowing how excited he would be if I qualified made me want to do my best.

We left, although I should have stayed and got my award on the podium, but I had no idea I did so well. Back to the house to clean and pack up, then into the car. It was rough sitting for 4 hours after running for nearly 4, and we had to make a few stops so we could stretch our legs, but everyone had a great time and we made it back. I am on a steady supply of Advil and walking like an 80 year old, but no serious injuries. Just lots of rest and relaxation ahead for me!

Friday, November 09, 2007

wish me luck!

Presentation done, flies tucked away for the weekend, car loaded to the gills with folks from our triathlon team and tons and tons of Gu...

It is race time!!

Off to run in the OBX Marathon on Sunday. Wish me luck. I am running from Kitty Hawk to Manteo.. which looks like a far ways on this map. We are staying with a friend at his beach house in Duck which should be awesome. And hopefully the race goes well, I am trained and healthy, so I will give it my best. Perhaps a sub 3:40 so I can go to Boston this spring?? We'll see...

Have a great weekeend!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

happy day!

Good news! Today I found out I have been accepted on a very prestigious training grant through our university!

I am so excited. The money is about the same, except with specific allocations for research equipment and travel and conference fees, but more importantly, it looks SO awesome on my resume. I can get my own funding. People believe in me. I have no idea why, but they do!

Hooray. This is huge! Trent and I went to dinner to celebrate, now back to work on my presentation on Friday, trying not to freeze in our chilly cottage.

Maybe I can do something about this discouraging graph I came across while reading AAAS. So darn sad.

Monday, November 05, 2007

lovely little dresses

I am loving the November JCrew catalogue. Maybe more than any other. I love the Scottish theme, the beautiful Isle of Skye backgrounds, and all the fabulous dresses with sweaters and bright shoes (my new favorite thing ever). But I can't really justify buying a bright beautiful dress..


Emily, how'd you like this guy? Pockets! And polka-dots! Perhaps the brown and cream one?

Or any of these:
Camilla, Ella, or Solid Silk Taffeta Ballarina! Nothing says bridesmaid like some taffeta.

Just a suggestion ;)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Productive Weekend!!

Introducing my friend Chester to Emily while hiking in Point Reyes!

Usually I turn into a pretty darn useless pile of goo when Trent is out of town. But I was determined this weekend, while he was off coaching his crew kids at a race in Tennessee, that I would not let this happen.

And I am pleased to report.. Success! I definitely did miss him, but oh goodness, did I get a lot done. All thanks to a trusty list, written in bright red Sharpie, which is oh-so satisfying to cross off. Por ejemplo:

1. Oil change/get gas. Done. Although I was panicking that a family of chipmunks had taken up residence in my car hood. I feared I was baking Mama Chip the entire way to the shop, but they assured me that no one had taken residence.

2. Write letters. Love it, so fun to catch up with old friends and family by snail mail.

3. Send planning Thanksgiving email. Should be another epic event, but perhaps a few less people than last year.. just for our sanity!

4. Work on painting. Huge 1.5'x 8' panel I am painting for over our bed, as a pseudo-headboard. I have it primed and ready to go, still have to do the actually art part.. but I have a good idea of what I am going for.

5. Brunch at Deirdre's house. It was awesome. Tons of good food, including my cranberry orange bread and a great reason to try out my new "dress straight out of the JCrew catalogue" outfit. Dress, sweater, ribbon belt, bright heels.

6. Make earrings. My latest hobby, so fun and cheap!

7. Pay rent, car insurance, AAA membership, etc. Not so fun, but done!

8. Email pictures from California trip. Finally. I am so bad at doing this.

9. Fix red bike. Trent is not the only bike mechanic in the house.

10. Finish paper review. Not quite done.. pretty hard to actually criticize people's hard work. But good practice and hope I impress the boss.

11. Plan journal club presentation. My first of my official lab process. Here we go!

12. Send back shoes and send Emily's birthday box. So late, so sorry Emily!!

All done, feel quite successful! Also did a bit of running, although next weekend is the marathon, so I am on my taper. Had an EXCELLENT night out with Deirdre, dinner at her house, then off to see Scissors for Lefty! They were fantastic. And we got to hang out "backstage" with them afterwards. Left halfway through Juliette and the Licks, although she was pretty awesome, and went to a fancy SF-style bar for hibiscus petal and lemongrass cocktails. Delicious. I am lucky to have a friend like Deirdre!! Otherwise, cleaned house (man, I love this vacuum), made cranberry orange bread for the neighbors, such and such.

But man, I am SO excited to pick up my sweetie in a little bit and hear all about his awesome crew racing weekend.

Hope you had great weekends as well!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happy Halloween!

This holiday totally snuck up on me, after the awesome trip to California and all the ten-thousand things that have kept me insanely busy. But I do love this day, and we managed to throw together some pretty sweet last minute costumes and had a great evening hanging with our awesome new neighbor, going to a professor's annual Halloween party with all our Bio Homies and then doing the obligatory cruise down Franklin Street. It was a madhouse, as usual, but everyone seemed to have gone all out on the costumes and good cheer.. which I love.

Hope you all had wonderful Halloweens as well!!

This picture was taken by our computer! Craziness. Get it, Major Nelson and the Jeanie? From "I Dream of Jeanie." Surprisingly, after almost 25 years with this name.. this is my first time dressing up like one!!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Some updates:

Life interrupts blogging I am realizing. Sorry! Some updates:

1. I passed my written qualifying exams. Hooray! I was pretty confident about passing, but it is great to actually know. Now on to bigger and better things. Like my oral qualifying exams!!

2. Happy birthday to my sweetest boy. You are my sunshine and my best friend. I love you!

3. Everyone please take a minute and write to Mayor Jerry Sanders applauding his decision to support legalized same sex marriages. His address is Mayor Jerry Sanders, 11th Floor, 202 C Street, San Diego, CA 92101. Thank you.

4. My race is this weekend! I am so excited. I finally feel fast in the pool, my running is awesome, and well.. I can manage on the bike. Especially because I get to race on Trent's awesome speed machine! Expect some great pictures. And wish me luck beating the professor I have been training with.. it is really my main goal.

5. I have somehow decided to do a mountain bike race on Sunday. The cycling team desperately needs a girl to ride. I am telling myself all I need to do is finish.. but I am sure my competitive instinct will kick in, if I am not totally exhausted from Saturday's race!

6. The T-ster and I have an epic shopping trip planned post-mountain bike race. I am pretty darn excited for the fall weather.

7. I love.. hosting dinner parties, hosting cookouts, embracing living in the South and calling barbeques "cookouts," our darling Dyson vacuum, parents in all shapes and forms, the recent weather that has felt like southern California, catching up with old friends, my PI, the awesome Chapel Hill library, this watch, Carolina Football, being a crew coach's girlfriend, meeting my sweet boy on campus for lunch, being on about 12 different academic committees, doing my own research project (finally!), my new favorite restaurant The Spotted Dog, and our weekly brunches with the gang at Weaver Street.

We are happy folks, hope you all are too!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Crazy Week!

I am currently curled up on the sofa, listening to the rain pour outside and eating a bowl of berries in my favorite J.Crew sweats, while Trent works away at the computer. I couldn't be more content. What a week!! Let me clarify;

1. Monday I got climbing certified, Tuesday we got CPR certified, Wednesday was First Aid certification, Thursday was Trent's first day of work, and a huge day at work for me, plus Trent's first meeting the Red Cross, while I had a meeting with the Cell and Molecular Training program I am on, and a meeting with the UNC Triathlon team. So Friday.. it just feels good to be home. We didn't get home before 8 or 9pm any day this week!

2. So, we took all the CPR and First Aid courses for a number of reasons. Trent was required as he is the new rowing coach. The tri team needed someone to be certified, so I was in. Plus, let's face it.. we are kind of accident prone. I really don't handle emergency situations that well, so I figured the training would help. And Trent is getting involved with working with the Red Cross, and it is required for that.

3. Trent loves his new job. The hours are great, he is meeting tons of important professors and contacts, he works in a gorgeous university building right on the main street, and they really seem to appreciate him. He just started Thursday but is already eager to do his best job for them and looking forward to all the events. I couldn't be happier for him.

4. He is such a natural coach. I got to see him around some of his crew team kids and they all adore him. I can't wait to see them race someday soon!

5. I had a huge breakthrough at work. I joined the lab filling the position of a woman who had just left. And while the project was pretty cool, my heart started leaning towards a different question. But I felt too young and new in the lab to demand a change of projects. So I just printed out a few papers on the new topic and resigned myself to keep chugging along on the old. Until lab meeting. A shy, but incredibly hard working, Japanese senior graduate student just made some amazing progress. He worked practically all this time here on a certain assay, and thanks to his dedication, and some great contacts my boss has, we are on the brink of something huge. But this guy is dying to leave. He already had a job in Japan! So guess who gets the project?!? And guess what the topic is?? The papers I had printed out! Too complicated to get into now, but I am basically finding a link that determines the final control on cell cycle checkpoints. And the great news is.. there are only about 40 of these possible "links." And after a ton of searching the literature and some awesome bioinformatics, I think I have saved myself about a year of slogging through experiments and feel confident about a few select candidates. I am sure it won't be as easy as it appears now.. but I am SO jazzed about this new project, I am ready for a few defeats. And yes, I will finish up what I am currently working on.. even though it is SO last year :)

6. Enough of that. So it is raining. Which is SO exciting. It hasn't rained for almost two months. Which is utterly unheard of in the South. This is some very welcome rain. Although it brought some very unwelcome tornado warnings and got me kicked out off the indoor pool this afternoon due to lightning. That was a scary bike ride home!!

7. More Trent stuff, sorry. So we just got the new iMac, which we adore, but we also got the fancy dancy Adobe design software too. I was a little skeptical at first, but somehow Trent has hooked up with a guy trying to get a certain high end car company to sponsor his "Trent just told me I can't say the name" cycling team. And Trent is doing their proposal media! He is working like crazy on it, but doing some beautiful stuff. And apparently it is quite hush hush, I just had to delete a couple sentences on his request. Big times! His volunteer work with the Red Cross is also centered around doing media and marketing, which could lead into a full time position, especially once he gets his masters of public health, which he can do with this job. The pieces are coming together!

Sorry if this post has been too sappy or bragging, but I am just really happy right now with our situation. Having him so engaged and happy with his work/crew team/ volunteering/training, allows me to focus on my science/training without feeling guilty about being away from home. And I have a triathlon coming up the last weekend in September, and the marathon in November, plus all this awesome science to do.. so there is going to be a lot of work going on. But if you love it, it stops seeming like work. Crazy!

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Stylish Scientist: Aversion to Pants

I really don't like wearing pants. Pretty much in general. But I am almost, almost, sick of wearing shorts. I can't believe I am actually excited for cooler temperatures, but this summer has been extra nuts and I am ready for some sweater action. So, I like sweaters, but I don't like pants...

Of course, J.Crew has me covered. I wish I meant this literally, but alas.. no.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Weekend Round Up

We had a crazy week of tons of workouts and work for me, and tons of workouts for Trent and his crew team. It was Trent's last full week at his old job, I made some progress on my experiments, and enjoyed some lovely late afternoon bike rides. The weekend felt short but we definitely got a lot of fun stuff done.

Friday night was the first "First Friday Biology Happy Hour" of the new school year. I remember going to my first one last year SO well, so I was quite jazzed for this. However, apparently we were a MUCH cooler first year class.. only ONE new first year came. She is pretty awesome though, especially because she is rotating in MY lab. Holla! We still had a great time, enjoy some pictures!

Nathan and Jessica

Kim and the adorable new post-doc

Stylish Bio Ladies

Trent didn't have practice on Saturday (since he is technically the Assistant coach, and had been at EVERY practice that week.. he took the day off) and we went on an awesome, intense, mountain bike ride with the UNC Bike Team. There were 4 girls and 6 guys, and everyone was really good. I was out of practice, too much road riding lately, but it came back quickly. I love how much concentration mountain biking takes, and the comradary is excellent. Beautiful weather, great to meet some new friends!

Afterwards we went to Foster's Market (my first time at this famous spot) for delicious sandwiches. I thought my dirt "tan" legs were awesome, perhaps Trent was not so impressed.

I went to lab and Trent started lathing when we got home. While sorting flies, my throat got super sore.. not so good. Especially since bio friend Deirdre has been sick for a week. I immediately went home, drank tons of cranberry juice, and went to bed. We ordered lots of chinese take-out, including the cure all wonton soup and watched The Lives of Others. Nice mellow evening.

Woke up today feeling much better, I think we dodged the bullet. We did a bit of cleaning, and then went NUTS cleaning. We finally explored our attic!! This is monumental. We both have been afraid of it. Embarrassing, I know. But today we were brave and went up there. And it is AWESOME! So much storage. We put a ton of projects Trent is working on, but need time to age, boxes from our new computer, and other storage related stuff. It was monumental. And motivational. We cleaned like mad, then went and bought new sheets, new underbed storage boxes (since there are no longer drawer building materials under our bed), and then...

WE BOUGHT A DYSON VACUUM! (haley is excited about this at least...)

We are thrilled. It is the most epic vacuum ever. Really. I know, a vacuum, really? But yes.. it is awesome. Especially at the phenomenal deal we got it at. We got a returned, old version, for a steal.

This vacuum is AMAZING. We got it set up in no time and probably could have left it sitting in one place on the carpet for 5 minutes without it slowing down on all the dirt it was picking up. We have an old house, with some real old carpet.. but this thing is amazing. We pretty much spent the rest of the day taking turns vacuuming, under every piece of furniture, organizing closets and washing lots of clothes. We have lots of hobbies, but now, everything seems to have its place. And I am thrilled. Trent bbq'ed while I ran to lab to tend to my demanding flies, and we enjoyed dinner and our super clean floors. You can vacuum everything!!

Hope you guys had a great weekend of getting a fresh start, just like we did!

Friday, September 07, 2007


How adorable are these salt and pepper shakers?!? So adorable.. that's how.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

New York Style

During our one day amazing trip to New York City, we came across Fishs Eddy. I loved it! Such adorable dishes and gifts. And a real local business. Quite charming.

I especially like the green stripe set and the
Central Park design.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Weekend Update

We had a great long weekend. Lots of training for upcoming races and plenty of cultural events. Trent got a new job which is just perfect for him right now, I have fallen in love with a dog who could be ours (sorry Penney, you will always be my number one), and we saw giant hippie puppets!

A recap;

Our awesome concert Friday night. We took off right after work and after a quick dinner at Taco Bell (Which I was so excited about, Chapel Hill doesn't have one, and we used to go ALL the time in CA), we made it to the venue around 6pm. We snagged a great spot for our blanket and enjoyed beautiful location, right on a lake. I especially enjoyed all the fantastic people watching. We definitely weren't in Chapel Hill anymore. And Southerners have some crazy ideas about what to wear to a concert. Good times. Ozomatli was awesome, people seemed crazy about Slightly Stoopid although we were a bit less impressed, but G. Love and the Special Sauce was SO fantastic. We had a great time.

Our feet-sies and the venue.

Before the show started.

During the show. As you can tell, I was very excited about the whole thing.

Saturday, Trent got up early to go coach crew and I puttered around the house. I made yummy omelettes for breakfast (Thanks Dad.. I still make them exactly like you taught me.. golden brown!). Trent got to lathing and I hit the road for a long run. I did 8 miles in an hour.. go me! Got home and bio friend Buddy came over for a chat and to drop off his student ID for Trent. We munched on fresh mango.. yummers. I made a quick dash to the library to stock up on good books to read, while Trent took a nap.

We needed Buddy's ID so Trent could get into the season opening Carolina vs. James Madison University football game. I love being in a college town. Especially one that is so proud of its university. The place was PACKED, and we aren't even that good at football. We sat up above the crazy student section, but were surrounded by these "good old Southern boy" coaches who knew all the players and statistics and definitely improved our appreciation of the game. And we won 37-7!! I don't think JMU is in our division, but it still was a great boost for our team after a pretty pathetic season last year, and a great bode of confidence for our new coach. Go Heels!!

The Marching Tar Heels

We are practically bleeding Carolina Blue, no?

Sunday, we got some much needed sleep. It was a gorgeous, cool, day, perfect for our bike ride. We did about 20 miles and were impressed as always with the huge turnout of folks riding. Definitely a bicycling community. Nice ride, I need to start doing a lot more of those before my upcoming race.

Then we headed for a little retail therapy. First, lunch where Trent had to show me some epic nachos he had previously enjoyed at the Carolina Ale House. They were pretty impressive.

He was thrilled. And yes, that is cottage cheese on them. We are a long way from California...

Completely stuffed, we cruised over to Sam's Club (yes, we are broke students) for some bulk essentials, when all the sudden Trent wandered over and told me they had Joe's Jeans. I thought he was kidding.. but no. For $70!!! This sounds silly to most folks, except maybe Emily, but I was excited enough that I was willing to try them on in the Furniture aisle (luckily I had a skirt on) and came home with some brand new awesome jeans. So exciting. Anyone need a new pair? Just let me know!

Got home, tried to go swimming, but the pool was closed. Darn. Went on a quick run instead, about 5 miles. Tired legs!!

Deirdre came over around 6:30 and we headed to the little theater in the forest by our house to see "A Shoe for Your Foot" put on by the PuppetHand Puppet Intervention. Super hippie, but really fun. I went last year by myself and wanted to share it with friends this year. We had a delicious picnic and boo'ed and cheered with the packed crowd. Very fun times.

We got home and I read while Trent studied PhotoShop and DreamWeaver. Exciting news!! He got a new job!! A full time, full benefits, awesome University job. He is the Assistant Program Coordinator for the honors program. Basically, he coordinates scholarships, does public relations and marketing, and gets to interact with students. Which is perfect. And it is only 30 hours a week, quite flexible, which will be great for his coaching gig. And, even better, he gets to take one free course from the University each semester. He already has it planned out. He wants to start taking coursework towards his master's of public health, and is planning on volunteering with the Red Cross. Really great news.

This morning was pretty slow, went on another long run, this time 7 miles in about an hour. We made yummy smoothies in our awesome blender and then headed out to do a little "house-perusing." Not "hunting" by any means.. just seeing what is out there that we could afford. I think since Chapel Hill is a temporary location we are probably just going to rent. But we are thinking of moving into something bigger, especially with Trent's growing wood turning company and the arrival of Bijou, a dog Buddy is fostering who I have completely fallen in love with. We went to visit with her today.. and I am so mad I didn't take pictures. She is beautiful, and a total sweetheart. I just hope Buddy doesn't mind fostering her for a little while longer.. we aren't ready to leave the cottage immediately.

Did a little grocery shopping at Weaver Street before coming home and going to the pool. Did about 1600 meters, but I was pretty spent from all the activities. Came home and Trent lathed while I made a huge pot of spaghetti, which hit the spot. Off to bed.

It was a great weekend, I forced myself not to go into work and to enjoy my weekend. I am really proud of us, trying all the different opportunities Chapel Hill has to offer. We won't stay here, for many reasons, once I graduate, but I think we will always remember our time here fondly, and I am really happy that we ventured out and tried something new. Hope you all had a lovely weekend, especially the folks in SLO. Sorry this was SO long!!