Tuesday, March 31, 2009


It was worth a shot. What were the odds? (Actually, I had no idea what the odds were) It was late one evening and I received an email that the lottery for the Nike Women's Marathon was open. Sure, I'll throw my name in the hat...

So yes.. I may be running this the weekend before my wedding. Why not? That is if we decided to go with the Hacienda on Oct 24th, which is still totally up in the air. Oh man.. I get myself into trouble sometimes!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Pretty House Pictures

Hey friends-

Two weeks from tonight.. I will be one happy camper. Hopefully. Or a miserable ball of goo.

I am nearing the end of my patience with this nonsense. I am sick of being so anxious about it! Ack. Proposal is done, just need to work on my talk and memories a bizillion factoids. No problem.

But life continues to be be pretty awesome, outside of the studying madness. Here are some more spring house pics.. because I just can't get over how adorable our house is a year later. Enjoy!

Trent wanted to try out his "recipe" for growing moss. Clump of moss, can of beer, into the blender. Yummers.

I was on a bread kick. Here is my okay attempt at honey wheat bread and my most fantastic "no knead" bread ever. It is delicious.

Sadie says "what the what" to the beer-moss smoothie application.

I will update to let you know how our science experiment goes. Look at that sweet path. Gracious.

Oh cute house. You look so much better than a year ago. Getting rid of the dead trees and the addition of the shutters was about 85% of the external improvement, but still...

Happy Spring Mr. Postman. Hope this cheers up your day.

Team Johnson hard at work. She is such a helper monkey.

I'm sorry.. another cute house pic. But seriously.. so so cute. Path is missing about 10 bricks.. gotta finish that off sometime.

I am trying to show off our underground drainage system in this picture. Take my word for it, it is pretty awesome.

This is where pobre Jean had to be when everyone else was out having fun. Not cool. So close to being done though!

Otherwise, the weekend included some FANTASTIC basketball. Go Heels! Have you seen this ridiculousness? So amazing. Ellington is still my favorite.. though Lawson being small and scrappy will always be near to my heart. Also, we became members of our fancy new community pool and had a great swim workout, hit up the local library, studied at the neighborhood coffee shop, went to a crazy play on campus and were otherwise stellar Carrboro citizens.

Happy Spring to you all!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I am not sure if it is the economy, the idea of being a "wife" in the near future, or just being in Carrboro for too long, but I am on a super "homesteading" kick recently. I have no idea if that is the correct phrase. I am dying to bake my own bread, make jam and yogurt, make a quilt, have chickens and thriving garden.

I am taking a class from the bread-bakers at Weaver St to learn how to make really good sourdough (and they give you their starter!), I anxiously peek at my budding veggies daily, and seriously.. chickens would be awesome. Or ducks, a la my childhood? I am hoping to pick up some more ideas when visiting Norma in a few weeks.

Any other suggestions? I want to learn to quilt.. recommendations?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Proposal Updates

1. A new, awesome-er, draft is sitting on my boss's desk. Just need him to actually read it! But thanks to help from friends and lots of reading and thinking, they are getting better each time.

2. This whole thing is taking over my dreams, however. Trent had to wake up early for morning crew practice. The main alarm went off and he went to get in the shower. Then his cell phone alarm went off. Instead of just turning it off, I yelled for him to come deal with it. My understanding, at that sleepy moment, was the alarm was the sensor for my protein being around in the wrong phase of the cell cycle.. which is half of my thesis project. Nerd alert.

3. Happy birthday wishes to my newest brother, Rob. Hope you have a very happy day.

4. Trent found me this picture. He likes to send me awesome random shots throughout the day to cheer me up. This is what I imagine I will be like the week after my orals are done!

But seriously, does anyone know what those creatures are? I kind of need one.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Making me happy today...

1. A beautiful 18 page proposal draft sitting on my boss's desk. Huzzah!

2. All sorts of fun experiments running around in my head, and the fact that I am enthused by these sorts of things.

3. The people I love being recognized for how truly wonderful they are. Yay Mom!

4. Having the brick path and fence/gate all done! The little house is growing up and turning into quite the looker.

5. Dreams (and tickets) of trips to Cape Cod and home to California!

6. Spring is officially here and it is gorgeous.

Happy Monday. I'm off to the pool to get a swim in and then actually getting back to bench science for a little bit. Should be nice, I've missed both!

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Today is a gorgeous spring day. I have a little lift in my step after coming up with a novel line of thought in my research (which is tricky because my boss is the worlds expert on our field) and it seems quite feasible. Yay. Undecided whether this new set of experiments will make it into the thesis, but very exciting regardless. Speaking of the thesis, I am on my second draft and much happier with this version. Lots of work to do, but I am trucking along.

But today, Trent is up racing UVA (Go Heels!) and I am taking a bit of a break. And thought I would show off the beginnings of spring at the little house. Enjoy!

One of our azaleas, just getting ready to explode. Surrounded by snapdragons and pansies. Cute!

Sadie is a dedicated guardian of the newly seeded grass.

Started lots more veggies for the garden. Should be a good year.

Rode my bike to the farmers market and got a few goodies.

One of the inside gardenias is about to pop... I can't wait!!

Tulips are also getting ready to bloom... should be nice for the mailman!

The pear tree in bloom. It is much happier now that it isn't surrounded by mean Cyprus trees.

Gorgeous brick path, eh?

Baby grass filling in around the new path.

Hard to tell in this picture, but these flowers are blue and white. Go Heels!

The backyard tree. It is kind of sick and sad, but trying to bloom so we decided to leave it for a little bit longer.

Sadie loves getting a little sun on her pink belly.

Amanda and I went to an oyster roast last night at Johnnies, great conversation and Sadie and Jersey had a fantastic time playing in their backyard. Now back to work! Happy Spring!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Week Recap

What a week!

1. It was 70's and 80's for the majority of the week. I wore flips. It made me so happy.

2. It is currently about 45 degrees and rainy today. This winter/spring transition is having a tough time. Pear tree bloomed, planted seeds, tulips are about to pop.. and it is cold and drizzly.

3. If I go crazy, it will be because of Sadie's amazing shedding skills and wood floors. I vacuum everyday.

4. I have 16 pages of thesis proposal goodness sitting in front of me, with an extra 5 pages of citations. There are figures, aims, and subaims. I want to cry. But I also realize it will require a lot of work to shape up. But I've sent it to my boss and Deirdre, so they can have a go at it.. I might take the afternoon off.

5. Some people go to coffee shops everyday. This boggles me. Who are these people? However, there are some adorable "lifetime learners" in Carrboro who study and learn Spanish and I hope Trent and I are like them someday.

6. Trent and I have been ships passing in the night this week. He has been getting up at 5:30 for morning crew until 9, then work, then crew again from 5-7, then to sleep by 8pm or so. I've been rolling out of bed around 8, working all day and going to bed around midnight. We have a good hour at 7pm and I've been making yummy dinners.

7. I got homesick and made my mom's world famous olive chicken casserole. Man, that is good.

8. I am fluctuating between panic and being too overwhelmed to care.

9. I've done nothing wedding related except thinking these bridesmaid dresses might be cool. Although I am also flirting with just saying wear your favorite black dress and we'll jazz it up with flowers and bright shoes? Thoughts?

10. When I am done with my orals, I think I will reward myself with a few of these. Because they are SO cute. Thanks Jamie for the link. And, thanks Jamie for the awesome-est UNC shirt, I got tons of compliments at the Duke game. And that bonus shirt?!?! It might just be the coolest thing ever.. I am thinking of wearing it under a sweater for my orals for a little mantra power. I will post pics and details soon.

This weekend is rainy and gray so hopefully I will get lots done. I have to give lab meeting next week, but that might be good to motivate me to work on my presentation early. Trent's boys have their first big race tomorrow against Virginia Tech, Penn State, and Bucknell. They should do great. And then spring break practice is over, hooray. And tonight... I think it is jammies and catching up on tv on Hulu. Happy Friday!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Week Recap

It snowed on Monday and is 70 degrees today. Bizarro. And my week has been equally tumultuous. But like the weather.. it ended well.

1. Convinced ourselves that our favorite rotation student wasn't joining our lab.. until she announced she was on Wednesday! And she is going to work on things similar to my project which is terrific news. We'll be super productive.

2. Amazingly nervous about how soon my orals actually are. Going into full time writing/no science next week. Good motivation and I have a nice story line to tell.

3. Last recruitment weekend! Hooray.

4. Went from sick on Monday to going for a long run yesterday in the sunshine. Much prefer the latter. Exercise is my salvation.

5. So proud of Trent doing well on his biostatistics midterm. That class sounds hard and he really worked hard and I am thrilled he did well. And now it is sunny so he gets to lay brick to his heart's content!

6. I was super jealous that Trent's boss decided to take him to the Carolina vs. Duke game here this Sunday. Until I got invited by Amanda! Hooooooray. I even got a new shirt for the occasion! Thanks Jamie.

This weekend will include lots of writing, I just want to get all these words and ideas down and then work on arranging them most coherently. And hopefully planting my garden in the warm sunshine and enjoying watching Carolina destroy Duke with Amanda! Sounds pretty awesome.
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Welcome Madison Stine

Some delicious baby eye candy from my dearest April's big brother. Born last week, Madison is absolutely gorgeous. And big brother Connor looks like he is already in love. Happy times for the Stine Family! Congrats!

I have a date!

No, not for the wedding.. sillies.

For my orals!! Hoooray. Let the panicking commence.

April 13th I will go brain-o a brain-o with 5 of the smartest profs in town. They will put me through the ringer but I will show them I know why my project is the coolest.

Or so I hope.

I am actually pretty excited about this. But I also feel I will need lots of incentive-ization. Because I am a 10 year old. I am thinking:

* A month's pass to the yoga studio who graciously gives Trent's team a free class every week to help me stay calm and collected.

* As many coconut lattes as it takes.

* This. I wish. My poor lappy is holding strong, but I fear its days are numbered.

* New jeans when I am done writing. It has been a long time I am happy/embarrassed to say since I have bought new jeans.

* A trip up to Cape Cod to visit Norma when I am done with the test. Need to check with her, but we were talking about a spring visit and this could be awesome.

Then, the freedom to wedding plan without guilt, a trip home to California in May, and the knowledge that once I do these specific experiments, I am outta here!!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Weekend Review

It was rainy and gray all weekend. Trent and I both were were fighting colds (I lost the battle on Friday and had to stay home). So we had a nice quiet weekend in, taking advantage of our community and friends. One of the hightlights, we went to a showing of Casablanca at our community center, lots of fun Carrboro folks, free popcorn and sodas, and an awesome film. We had a great time, and are looking forward to the next showing, the silent Buster Keaton film "College" with pianist accompanist. Yay for cheap, local, community activities!


Carolina certainly is beautiful with a dusting of snow.. but twice in one year!?! Ridiculous. What is the world coming to?