Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving/Birthday Celebrations!

It is awesome to have your birthday fall on your favorite holiday. Especially one that includes staying home from work, cooking and eating delicious food, and celebrating with friends. Spectacular. Here's the recap of our awesome day.

Trent (still in running gear) is eager to start cooking

We were up darn early to run in our little town's annual Gobble and Gorge 8k. It is an annual tradition. This year we had a big group of Stephen, my Boss, Tri-Prof, a couple other professors, and Trent and I. Trent and I were just going to cruise, and I was trying to get my boss to beat Tri-Prof, but when I realized he couldn't at mile 3, I blasted off and beat all of them, minus Trent and Stephen, those kids are tooo fast for me. I was happy to be enjoying running again so soon after the marathon and it was a fun and festive way to start the day. But darn chilly.

The brining bird.

We walked home and started getting ready. Trent takes the turkey very seriously, this year the 20 pound bird spent 24 hours in a herb/wine/brine solution and was cooked in a fancy baking bag. I had made cranberry relish (with orange zest and ginger), a pumpkin parfait, and cranberry bread the night before, and day of I made mashed sweet potatoes with apples, cornbread, and peeled lots of pomegrantes for the signature cocktails of the day. Trent made sourdough stuffing with sausage, smoked bluefish dip in honor of our dear Cape Cod friends, the gravy, and of course the gorgeous bird. We did some last minute cleaning and watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and Westminster Dog show.

Friends started arriving around 3 with even more food. We had four first year students in my program, our neighbors Stephen and Amanda, and dear Deirdre. A much more manageable number than the previous years, but still so so so much food. Lots of wine and conversation while we heated everything up and got ready to feast.

We had a great meal, lots of conversation and good cheer. Everything was delicious, from appetizer to dessert. We sat around chatting until late in the evening when we divided up leftovers and folks went home. Enjoy some photos!

Cocktails and Wine! And lots of pomegrantes!

The table setting. Simple but fun. I loved making the name cards.

So much good food!!

Decisions decisions!

Kyle fills his plate.

Darling Deirdre and I. This is our third Thanksgiving together and I am so thankful to have a friend who is a stylish smart scientist who appreciates a good dinner party as much as I do!

Stephen, the turk, Trent and Amanda.

Amanda and Blaire chatting on the sofa.

The whole gang (minus Trent taking the pic).

The view from my end of things.

A very full plate!

Deirdre made me awesome pumpkin chocolate birthday/thanksgiving cupcakes, I got lots of sweet presents and it was a great birthday celebration as well.

Folks cleverly turned their name cards into wine identify-ers. We are brilliant.

Even Sadie got dressed up for the event.

It was a great, very festive, event. We nursed our aching heads and over stuffed tummies this morning by drinking lots of ginger ale and watching "Singing in the Rain." The house is all cleaned, Trent is working in the yard on lots of projects, and I am a happy happy camper.

Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes, I am so fortunate to have so many dear friends in my life, and for the chance to make new ones! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with your friends and family.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Best Birthday Present

Trent surprised me with my birthday present last night. I asked for an "activity" and boy, did I get one.

We are going to Mexico! We are flying into Cancun and spending a week on the beach, exploring and relaxing. We'll stay in Playa del Carmen and Isla de Mujeres for sure, but otherwise we are up to explore and find some real Mexico. We'll be gone for Christmas, which is sad that we won't be going home, but I think it will be a great chance to relax and rest up before my thesis proposal.

I can't wait, that blue blue sea is calling my name. Thanks babe!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Birthday Tuesday

Things were getting a little dreary, 99% of my lab is gone, off to holiday gatherings with their families and I was starting to feel a little down. And that is not allowed on birthday week's, no matter how much you miss your family. So I dashed down to Franklin St and got a quick manicure to brighten my day. Lovely plum purple with a hint of gold sparkle and I am back in action, enjoying the peaceful lab and getting lots done. Birthday week disaster averted!

Heading to the gym after work, then home to make place setting cards and other Thanksgiving day craft magic. Happy Tuesday.

Cute Shoes.

I've been on a tights kick recently, they let me not wear pants even in this freezing weather. And awesome Marshalls had a great deal on Betsy Johnson tights so I am all stocked up. So now..

these must be a part of my life. How cute would they be with slate gray tights and a long wool coat?

So cute. Except the price kind of defeats the point of buying tights at Marshalls...


Knowing my absolute adoration of all things small and mammal-y, Emily just sent this to me, via ISuwanee. Totally made my day. Thanks!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Yay for Trent

University of North Carolina got a Rhodes Scholar this year!! Assisting with the application process is a part of Trent's "real" job, aside from crew coaching, and it is an exciting achievement for his colleagues and certainly a huge deal for the student Aisha Saad. Read the story here.

Did you know UNC has had as many Rhodes Scholars as Harvard? Go Heels!

Birthday Monday

Day 5 was not quite as awesome as I had hoped, but you can't have an entire week of fabulousness.. it will just get stale. So it was good.

Up relatively early and had a great run with the dog (and toasty ears!). Made egg sandwiches for breakfast and headed off to work on the bike. Today was lab clean up day. A necessary, but evil, day. We all randomly drew our chores, and I got stuck with the worst! Cleaning the yucky, moldy, cold room. Blecht. But I was going to not shirk my responsibilities and make that room sparkle. I donned my hazmat suit, mask and gloves, along with lots of warm layers, and got to work. I love Clorox Clean Up. It destroyed the mold, no mercy. Except it nearly asphyxiated me in the process.

Everyone really pulled their own weight and we cleaned out and organized and arranged and now the lab should run much more smoothly and efficiently. Boss bought us all lunch that Deirdre and I picked up on bicycles (yay reason to get fresh air!) but otherwise the entire day was dedicated to scrubbing. So I had to stay late to finish the experiment I desperately needed to. Luckily Trent had driven to practice and scooped me up on his way home. He made me his world famous "everything left in the fridge" soup (brussel sprouts and ginger were tonights highlights, though he added jerkey to his.. such a artist!) as well as some hot mulled wine, which revived me. Caught up on notes to friends, cleaned, listened to the North Carolina Symphony on NPR, can't really complain.

Everything has to be fabulous on birthday week. Even if you have to work really hard to make them so. Agreed?

Birthday Weekend

The birthday weekend was lovely. Very mellow and fuzzy and cozy with friends and snuggling.

Friday, Trent picked me up from a long day at work and we dashed out to the mall. I snagged a fabulous new black pencil skirt from J.Crew on uber-sale that I plan to work into my Thanksgiving day outfit. Trent got new jeans and I stocked up on under-things at a great Gap Body sale. Fun times. We did a bit of grocery shopping for turkey day and headed home.

Trent was still under the weather Saturday, and I relished in not having to run a certain distance, so instead we got coffee and muffins at Johnny's Cafe (our hipster paradise) and took Sadie to the dog park. She got a little beat up by a pack of real huskies (I think they were being racist), so we didn't stay terribly long. Quick stop to the Farmer's Market to pick up sweet potatoes, lettuce, and poblano chilies. Home just in time to meet up with friends borrowing tools.

We got all bundled up and headed to downtown Carrboro to see the film festival. We got hot apple cider and fancy chocolate at Weaver St, and then realized the show was the next day. Whoops. Instead we toodled around town, popping into antique stores, bike stores, outdoor gear shops, and the like. Mostly browsing, but I did get a new running headband to keep my ears toasty!

We decided to go to our friend's house to help with their attic remodel. They are friends from Davis, he just got a faculty appointment and she works in a cancer biology lab as a staff scientist. Fun, small, world. They bought a new house, but it had an unfinished attic. We busted out our home repair expertise and helped them lay laminate wood flooring. It was a challenge, but our efforts were rewarded with dinner at Panang (so much coconut everything!). We stayed there until about midnight, working hard and goofing off. Off to bed, exhausted.

We slept in on Sunday and lounged about during the chilly morning. We watched Ironman, while cleaning and prepping for Thursday and took the pup on a long walk in the forest. Got all dressed up again and headed back down to the theater. The show was great, some cheesy local efforts and an adorable stop motion animated hipster music video about genetically modified goldfish. We headed to Trader Joe's afterwards to stock up even more (we have SO much food in the house!) for Thanksgiving. I am looking forward to our party!

Lovely, lazy, birthday weekend! Just perfect.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Day Two!

Birthday Week: Day Two

Not as completely awesome as yesterday, as it is SO SO cold outside, but not too shabby. Some highlights;

1. I went to a very cool talk about DNA damage and repair and the balance between aging and cancer. I think that paradigm is one of my favorites. Extra bonus, the speaker was a relatively young, well put together lady who had phenomenal presentation skills. Definite reinforcement of life goals.

2. A girl in our lab had a committee meeting and brought all her extra food to share with the lab. And she is a terrific baker, so yummy treats.

3. Trent is still a bit under the weather (not good) so he gave me a ride to work this morning. And he is picking me up. Which is especially wonderful for how bitterly cold it is outside.

4. Speaking of... I wore my Uggs to work. Sorry Emily. Under jeans, with a snuggly sweater, I was amazingly comfortable all day.

5. Nothing planned for the weekend, just cleaning and planning for Thanksgiving.
We are planning on seeing some of the Carrboro Film festival.. should be a small, arty town delight!

6. I crossed off all my "To-Do" items on my list. Satisfying, especially on a Friday.

Alrighty, off to hang with my Trent. We are going to the mall, the first time in ages! Happy Friday to you.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Official Kickoff- Birthday Week!

I feel that birthdays are too important to only be given a day of celebration. So I am kicking off my birthday week today! Here's to a week of doing what makes me happy, celebrating with people I love, and appreciating all that I have.

Day 1: Off to a great start. I finally had a good talk with my boss about things I didn't want to talk about. Time to be a grownup! And, of course, I feel much better now and proud of myself for standing up for my ideas and smarts. All is not lost, parents!

Even better? One of the company reps I know fairly well took me and the lab tech out to lunch. Can't complain. We went to Top of the Hill and I got the shrimp salad with green goddess dressing. It was no Palace, but it was free and a fun outing. And it isn't terribly cold today. And I am wearing a skirt with my favorite brown boots with argyle socks peaking out at the knees. Love it. Even my data looked fantastic and I took lots of pretty pictures, so I don't have to worry about whenever my boss finally puts up the next few months lab meeting schedule. I have data.

Thanks world for helping me get my birthday week off to a grand start. Later, an afternoon swim to be rewarded by a coconut latte and hopefully a ride home from Trent, who should be at home resting to get rid of a sore throat, but probably trying to pour concrete for posts. Crazy kid.

Much more celebrating to come!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Driftwood Art!

I love driftwood. I suppose it reminds me of all my happy days walking on a variety of beaches. And there have been many beaches. I love it used for decorative purposes. Now that the house is no longer a construction zone, and requires a little finesse, I've been pondering driftwood art. A few examples.

I love these fish, found on Black*Eiffel, from Yalos Alanya. I kind of want to try to recreate them myself!

This alligator was a wonderful piece we found at a great "green" home that Trent interviewed for Re-Nest. The rest of their great house tour is here. I love the alligator with the lake in the background!

This awning was spotted at another eco-home tour. The owner of the house picks up downed cedar after storms, and one day had enough to build this beautiful structure. I think it is awesome.

Weekend Pictures

None of the crew-capades, unfortunately. They had some terrific costumes, I hope someone took pictures. But here are some from our domestic-improvement Sunday.

Insulating the attic on a Sunday afternoon. I love that he has all this equipment and knowledge and is willing to do awful jobs like this to make my life a little better.

Sadie is a very efficient leave raker. She works hard for her kibbles.

The pallet fence, in progress. Instead of cutting the entry way posts before cementing them in, he decided to cut them to height afterwards. I think just for the fun. I need to take pictures of the semi-finished product, you hardly notice that the fence is made of old pallets. I would, but it is about 2 degrees outside. So, that'll have to wait.

Ending up our weekend, I couldn't even get mad at this cutie for bringing in muddy footprints.

It was just one of those days.

I'm dreaming of a white....Thanksgiving?

There are snow flurries falling outside. Snow. In November. Ridiculous. But if it happens to stick, you know we'll be taking some awesome family Christmas card pictures today.

And by family, I mean us and the dog. With her probably wearing one of her many winter coats. That are only useful for cute/photographic purposes, because she is a huskie. And kind of likes this cold weather.

Very much unlike her momma.

(The picture above is actually from 2004, the last time it really snowed. But I am impressed. And amazed that there is someplace legitimately called the Great Dismal Swamp. Great public relations Virginia!)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Early Christmas Presents!

Trent gave me my Christmas present this weekend.

Mine are actually the tall chestnut ones... even better :)

(Both my sister and mother just audibly groaned. Pay them no mind.)

Let me explain why I am so excited.

1. Goodness gracious, they are ridiculously comfortable and well crafted.

2. I am about to be a 26 year old... student. I am a professional student. I might as well capitalized on the advantages that come with that status.

3. I am not wearing them with denim miniskirts and such. I wear them at home, around the house and on late night walks with the dog, and today, since it was freeeeeezing, I wore them on my bike ride and then switched into normal shoes at work. Totally reasonable, I believe.

I love them. Thank you babe, you're the best.

And I renewed my Surfrider membership in acknowledgment of my newly amplified "surfer-style"


We were finally home for a weekend, and it was terrific. Friday was rainy and blah, but dinner with friends at a surprisingly good Mexican restaurant in Saxapawhah (love that town name) with lots of story telling and laughs brightened the day. Home and to bed.

Trent had a crew race in Raleigh against Maryland.. and left even before I recognized it was the next day. I don't know how he does it. Sadie and I slept in and then had a yummy big breakfast and played in the yard. I went to work for a bit and then started on some Christmas shopping downtown. Hooray for the holidays! I came home and baked two big loaves of cranberry bread that were done right when Trent got home. They destroyed Maryland.. every UNC boat won, his novices did especially well. Yay. We left to run some errands (Marshalls has the best workout clothes deals!!) and then met up with his assistant coach and his roommate at a good old boy's bar to watch the UNC football AND basketball games. Basketball dominated, naturally, and football was close (against Maryland.. Trent's boys took all the losing out of them).

We decided to roll with the crowd and ended up at the undergrad's house, cooking chicken and listening to albums. Things got even more fun when lots more undergrads (all rowers) started showing up all decked out for that evenings "You know you're from Jersey when..." themed party. Lots of greased hair and short shorts. Carolina boys love costume parties! We decided, what the heck, and piled into a tiny car to head to the party for a bit. It was great to see all his boys faces when they saw "Coach" there and he had a great time. I love undergrads. I had a blast, dancing to cheesy music, drinking jungle juice, the works. We left early (to my chagrin) as Trent didn't want to interfer too much, as the Coach. They adore him.. it is fabulous to see.

Sunday, we realized we were a bit old to be doing that stuff with our achy heads. Trent made me breakfast in bed and we tried to get going early. He went to Lowe's and came back with mountains of house project things. I raked SO many leaves (I have an adorble picture of Sadie helping me... still on the camera) and Trent worked on building the front of our fence. He is using old pallets.. but they are stained and look really really cool. Stephen and Jersey came by, and the dogs played like crazy while Stephen helped dig fence posts holes. I made sandwiches! We continued being productive all day, cleaning out closets that hadn't been touched since we moved in, and Trent got all geared up and insulated the attic to make our heating a lot more efficient. Good thing, it is getting cold!

By 6pm, we were exhausted! We watched 300 (we love that movie.. so awesome!), went on a chilly jog with the dog, and came home and crashed. A long shower, clean sheets, I was in bed holding my phone to call my parents and totally fell asleep. Sorry guys!

Excellent weekend, we are getting the house polished up for the big annual Thanksgiving extravaganza. I love living in college towns and still being associated with undergrads.. but it is kinda nice to be adults with nice houses and mellow friends as well. Best of both worlds!

Pics to come tonight!

Hales/Les: A sweet rower got in the trunk of the car so I could have a seat. I guess this is a crew boy phenomenon! I thought of you guys and all our crew outings. Their crew house is just about as gross as Mulberry St!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Concert Review

Calexico was awesome. They put on a great show. They strayed from their "nuevo-desert" (as Trent likes to call them) theme a couple times with a few really loud, rambling, pieces, but otherwise they pretty much rocked. I love the Mexican influences and the lead singer's voice is velvet!

The opening band, The Acorn, was not so great, but they did rock out with ukeleles which I am sure my newest brother would appreciate. There was one guy who could really make that tiny guitar rock.

Definitely a great idea to dance a way a bad day. And I already have the cross re-set up today, so.. back on track.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Let's call it a wash...

Wednesday Cons:

1. Found out a "cross scheme" I've been working on for weeks is contaminated and all wrong. Back to the beginning. Boss is pissed... blargh. I hate flies somedays.

2. I found a paper that is pretty much exactly like what I want to write.. except in mammalian cell culture. Is it cool enough to publish showing data in "real organisms?" What else cool can I find?

3. It is kinda cold.

Wednesday Pros:

1. Took pretty pictures of embryos doing what I think they should do. Yay reproducible mutant phenotype. I took a million pictures, which the boss loves.

2. I feel kind of organized and ready to rumble for my upcoming proposal. I know exactly what I want to find out. Just need to see if they think it is cool enough too.

3. Going to see Calexico tonight with friends. Yay fun concerts at Cat's Cradle. And my legs are feeling better so standing up a for a couple hours is actually feasible.

Let's hope tomorrow falls more on the positive. Thursdays tend to be better, right?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Race Weekend Recap

Well, it was a good weekend. Not a great race, but a great weekend. We were in a cute little house directly on the beach in Kill Devil Hills with our friends Stephen and Amanda, and their friend Trevor, who brought his friend Miles. An assortment. Trevor and especially Miles are "DC insiders," Trevor worked on several Senate campaigns and is looking for a position "on the hill" and Miles has been involved in huge campaigns, like for John Edwards and Chris Dodd. I had a great time picking his brain about his guesses for positions in the next administration and his opinions on gossip and such. Good times.

We left Friday night, but unfortunately had to go to a visitation for a father of a coxswain who passed away suddenly. It was very sad, but it was great to see the team there supporting her and I know it meant a lot to her whole family. We got in around 10:30-11pm and hung out a bit before heading to bed.

Saturday was very mellow, lots of walks with the dogs on the beach, reading books on the deck, and trying to stay out of the sun. Kinda nice to be a little lazy. We headed out in the afternoon to pick up our packets and got some fresh mahi mahi that Trent bbq'd for dinner. Lots of pasta, lots of water and off to sleep!

Stephen and I were running the full marathon, so Trent dropped of Trevor and Amanda and then took us to the start. We cut it a bit close but managed to be ready to go once the gun went off. We are so happy. This was Stephen's first race, but as a previous Olympic athlete, he knows all about competition and strategy. Me.. not so much.

We ran together for the first 5-6 miles, at around a 7:30 pace, which was fast for me but I felt good. Stephen definitely felt good and took off pretty soon after that. I tried to settle into a good pace, somewhere around 7:45 min/mile. Trent cruised around on the bike, taking pictures of us, and three rowers who were also doing the race and determined to beat me. Not so much.

So I felt pretty good for the first half, but was definitely more tired than I should be around the halfway point. I was trying to eat and drink but it was pretty hot and my stomach wasn't thrilled about it. Just kept up a pretty quick pace and pushed myself harder than I had in previous races. I was doing great, really trucking, until about mile 20. I can't say I fell apart, because I did keep running and never stopped, but I definitely slowed down a bunch. I hurt everywhere, couldn't eat any more, and just wanted to be done. I tried to "kick it in" at the last mile, and sped up for about 200 meters, before slowing back down. I just didn't really care enough. Bummer. Still, I finished at 3:31, which is really fast, but the same time as last year, which was dissapointing since I thought I trained a lot more this year. Still Boston-qualifing, yay.

Me, Trevor, Amanda and Stephen at the end. Stephen had a great race, he finished in 3:06!! For his first one. So awesome. I could blame the horseback riding that I was still sore from, the heat, or the crazy past couple of weeks, but I am trying to stay positive and remind myself that I am dang fast and not many people can do a marathon, much less in three and a half hours. And maybe that's as fast as I go? I do have these short little legs. It was great to be out there with friends, and that was what matters.

We went home and I immediately went in the ocean to cool off my legs. Couldn't eat or drink for a while, which made me feel even worse, but after a little nap, I ate some pizza and orange juice and felt better. We lounged about, napping and eating, before going to dinner at a local seafood restaurant to celebrate. Home and to bed. Trent and I had to leave very early Monday morning, Trent had a busy day of work, but I managed to sleep nearly the whole way, so it wasn't so bad for me. I am hobbling around still today, but starting to feel better. Time to re-evaluate this hobby of mine and decide if this is something I want to continue. I bet my mind will change when I don't grimmace in pain trying to stand up...

Friday, November 07, 2008

Off to the Race!

We're off to the Outer Banks for a weekend of playing with the dogs on the beach, eating good food, and running for an insane amount of time. I am a bit sore from riding on Monday (not my smartest idea) but otherwise I am feeling ready to rock this race and have a blast. Have a wonderful weekend, lots of pictures of the race to come on Monday!

(just had to share, yesterday my boss presented at a big symposium, pretty last minute. he decided to talk about the work of a previous grad student, and how i am taking it over. he called an experiment i designed "elegant," which for scientists is just about the best compliment ever. i still feel like a dunce nearly everyday, but that definitely helped improve the confidence a bit. hooray!)

oh, I am running from Duck, to Manteo, for those who want an idea of what I'll be doing Sunday! Wish me luck.

Fatherly Motivations

I stumbled upon 1001 Rules for My Unborn Son. It is a great list of advice a father plans to tell his son about life and living. I love to browse and I am constantly reminded of how much of the advice my own Dad passed along to me.

A few examples:
253. There is always something that could use a fresh coat of paint.
(every summer the Frog Prince got a fresh coat)

250. Be precise.
(good skill for a scientist, and for life in general. one look at the bookshelves he built for our living room and you will know my dad knows precision)

238. Read before bed every night.
(this is engrained in me from growing up with parents who cherished reading so)

212. Make yourself useful on a boat
(he sure got me up to date on that one)

194. Have a signature dish, even if it is your only one.
(he taught me to make an excellent omelet)

7. Learn to change a tire and fix a belt.
(he did ensure that we know our way around our cars)

And this quote from the site always makes me smile, especially since we are a family of two that owns eight bicycles;
Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race."
H. G. Wells

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Yes We Did!

Way to go North Carolina!!! This is huge. I am telling you, we are getting in on the ground floor of the next "California." Come join us while you can still buy a house on a grad student salary! All our hard work paid off... I am so thrilled.

November 6, 2008, 12:38 pm

Obama Wins North Carolina

By Katharine Q. Seelye
Senator Barack Obama has won North Carolina, according to a New York Times analysis.
Mr. Obama’s slight lead of about .2 percentage points over Senator John McCain has expanded over the last several hours to .4 percent, prompting several news organizations to declare him the winner.
The total shows 49.9 percent for Mr. Obama to 49.5 percent for Mr. McCain.
Mr. Obama’s win here caps an extraordinary campaign in the state, which has not voted for a Democrat for president since 1976.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Okay, I am not even going to mention the fact it has been so long since I have last posted. Except for right then. It is a new dawn, a new day, the storm clouds have lifted, and everyone gets a freebie. Yes we can. California.. you kind of broke my heart. Fix it please?

So let's catch up real quick. A list perhaps?

1. This summer was a lovely treat. We harvested tomatoes and cucumbers, hung clean laundry on the line, went to a rope swing down by the river with friends for fun, ate lots of ice cream.. it was dreamy.

2. We made new best friends. For the whole family. It is a thrilling sensation to meet people who fit a perfect niche that was missing beforehand. Steven is the women's novice head coach, and Amanda works for a non-profit. They live about a block away, we have everything in common, and our dogs are in love with each other. Couldn't be better.

3. We did some rock climbing in Pilot Mountain. Even the dogs were involved. Awesome dogs.

3. We developed a Saturday morning routine, like my parents. Breakfast at Weaver St, Farmers Market, then to Johnny's, our newest favorite place to drink coffee with friends and admire watermelons. I think I ate at least a watermelon a week. Sweet.

4. The house has become a home. Tons of updates. Recent favorite, we turned this salvage into this gorgeous piece. Yay bookshelves finally!

5. Trent is working at UNC, writing for, and coaching the men's novice crew team. Busy fella. But he is a happy camper and an adorable coach. Or at least I think so.

6. My science is going really well, just trucking along and narrowing down in scope to a feasible thesis project. I will propose in the first few months of the year. I am enjoying it, but it is a bit draining at times. So at times, I drink too much with my boss at scientific retreats. Hillarious.

7. I've fallen back in love with horseback riding. Trouble!

8. I have a marathon this weekend. We are all going for the weekend with the dogs and such. Stephen and I are doing the full, Amanda is doing the half, and Trent brings us snacks.

9. I had SUCH an amazing time at my sister's wedding. You've heard all about it from her, but I second, it was awesome. So fun to see friends and family.

10. As you've seen from all the pictures, Sadie is just about my favorite thing ever. She is my running partner, thrilled to see us when we get home, and helps me garden. Everyone needs a dog.

11. I spent the weekend with a 1.5 year old. It was pretty awesome. But don't get any ideas.

Anyways, that catches things up a bit. I have big plans for house updates, science commentary, and plenty more pictures of the dog in the future. Trent just got home from having dinner with his team at the university dining hall. He brought me dinner. I am a lucky gal. Hope all is well..