Monday, June 28, 2010


Pretty awesome. Friday pool party was perfectly rowdy, Coors Light out of coozies, eating hotdogs and popsicles... while sitting in the slightly too warm pool. Fun to hang out with the youngins, even when it declines into naked swimming races and coming home with somebody's boxers in our stuff.

Saturday run was great, fun to catch up with Amanda and enjoy the sliiiighly cooler temps of the forest. Off to the bike shop and met up with Trent who managed to survive his charity century ride (just barely) and spent the afternoon lying on the cold concrete floor of the bike shop, eating pizza, while we watched the US vs. Ghana soccer game on Univision.

Home to nap and then off to the Wimbleton party. Fun times. Trent and I made it to the finals in the awesome tennis tourney (barefoot and miller high life in hand required) but lost to host Deirdre which seemed fair. Another night ended by sitting around in the pool.

Up early to bike with the ladies. We ended up splitting up and I really enjoyed pushing the pace a little more with Sheila and Amanda. Lucky to have such awesome ladies in my life. Home to eat watermelon on the patio. Perfect. Decided to head down to the Eno river with the hound. Did about a 1 mile hike before we got overwhelmed with the heat and bug-iness. Pilot had a couple good swims and I got to pick up lots of frogs. Stopped for sandwiches and spent the rest of the day trying to stay cool. Highlights include:

1) Timing how long the icemaker takes to make ice since we had eaten all of it...

2) Using the ice cream maker to freeze watermelon juice to have a cold drink.

3) Lying on the hardwood floor in Trent's boxer shorts crying hysterically while watching "The Blind Side."

Pretty sure we both had heatstroke, the whole afternoon was a blur. Finally rallied around 9pm, I went to lab and Trent made an awesome dinner. Oh man, this heatwave is killing us!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Things of note from the week

1) I gave a stellar lab meeting on Wednesday. You can't handle all my data. Actually starting to see this story come to a conclusion, gotta get busy writing and schedule a committee meeting soon.

2) Puppy class is going very well. I am amazed at how much he has learned in such a short time. He is going to be the roll over champ (we had to pick a trick to teach our pup and due to a cute trick turned addiction with Miss Pen, we steered away from fetching). He's gotten a lot better about not pulling and is still a very sweet, snuggly, fella. I just can't believe how big he has gotten!

3) I currently am mentoring two undergraduate boys. It keeps me on my toes. They are both nice guys, but I definitely am starting to have a favorite. One is super sharp, super excited about research, and very careful. The other is incredibly enthusiastic, but I spend a lot of time trying to decipher his experiments to I can explain them to him... not cool. But trying to not get too biased.

4) Favorite undergrad also is introducing me to lots of cool music. So far my favorites are the Black Keys and Lissie. I'm cool again. Almost.

5) I've been making lots of changes to my diet (mostly all vegetarian, tons of fruits and veggies and crazy grains, hooray for chia seeds and quinoa). I feel I've reached a new peak when I am seriously considering nutritional yeast as a yummy alternative to Parmesan cheese. Maybe time for an intervention...

6) We went and saw the Bowerbirds at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens on Wednesday. Elizabeth arranged and we brought yummy sandwiches from Fosters Market and cold white wine. It was incredibly hot and sweaty, but I haven't been that happy in a while.

7) Having an Argentinian male in the lab makes this whole World Cup stuff much more exciting.

8) One lab member (crazy Canadian) left yesterday to start her postdoc at Harvard. I can't say I will really miss her, but it definitely is different around here. New postdoc arrives in July so very very soon.

9) I'm loving: weights and treadmills, only way to work out in this heat. Eating entire watermelons for dinner and being totally satisfied by it. Reading Russian literature (Dead Souls by Gogol), a habit of mine since I was determined to finish "War and Peace" one summer. My crazy long hair, it has a Farrah Fawcett thing going on today (hooray for showering at the gym in the morning) but I am kinda digging it.

10) Super stoked for Trent who is getting sent to Portugal for a few days to watch the cork harvest!! His blog is sending him because he does all the eco-home stuff. So jealous, but very happy for him. He flies directly from Portugal to Indianapolis for a conference on scholarships... not as glamorous. Lucky fella.

Fun weekend ahead. Pool party tonight with some recent crew boys who are just now realizing they are not in college any more. Trail running with Amanda in the morning, bike shop, soccer games, then Deirdre's world famous Wimbleton Whites tennis party. Biking with the girls Sunday morning and then hopefully a whole lot of relaxing. Happy weekend to you all!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Green Smoothies

Folks who visit and stay with us know I am huge fan (and pusher) of green smoothies. They are my favorite breakfast option, especially in this crazy heat. Any combination of spinach, frozen berries, chia and flax seeds, peanut butter, plain yogurt, bananas, the options are endless. Whirl 'em up in my magic bullet (awesome) and you are set for the day!

I was spreading the green smoothie religion to our friend Becca who works with the nutrition of the Durham school district. She was skeptical but was willing to try these smoothies with the kiddos..

and check out the results!!!


Another week full of lots of working out and working in lab. Fun to cut loose for the weekend.

Friday: Home to play with Pilot, taco truck, beers and a fantastic bluegrass band at Johnnys with Stephen, Amanda, Dave and Kristen. Bike ride over to the Local 506 to see Thao and the Get Down Stay Down's perform with Mirah. Great show, excellent company.
Favorite quote of the evening: "Between this crazy bike ride and Amanda's hair cut, I feel like a hipster" (Trent when riding from Johnny's to the concert)

Saturday: Hibernation mode. Could not wake up. Finally rallied and walked over to Farmer's Market with Trent and Pilot. Lots of delicious veggies, love it. Breakfast and relaxing before putting in a few hours at the bike shop. Walked over to Weaver Street afterward and made amazing fresh basil, tomato, goat cheese sandwiches on sourdough bread. Back to hibernation mode and a fantastic nap on the sofa while Trent worked on our new kitchen cabinet.

Finally rallied when Sheila and Paul invited us over for dinner. Lovely tacos and conversation and playing with Baby Alex. His eyebrows have come in (and you all know I am a fan of eyebrows) and he looks so expressive now.

Sunday: We were both up early. Rebecca, Amanda and Su came over at 7:30 to start our bike ride. Early, but it was already hot so we were happy to be leaving before it got scorching. We met up with Anne along the ride and did a pretty quick 22 miles. Su, Amanda, Pilot and I walked down to Weaver St for breakfast (he got all sorts of compliments for being calm... could our baby be growing up!?!).

Home to shower and cook up a salad for the bbq that evening at Rebecca and Erik's house. I roasted some farmers market beets and eggplant and cooked up a batch of quinoa. Mixed them all together with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and torn fresh basil and left it in the fridge a few hours to marinate. Yummers!! Went over to the bike shop and promptly set off the alarm and spent some time with Carrboro's finest police. Small town, not a lot of excitement for the police so they were happy to come over. Very mellow day at the shop, but managed to sell a bike.

Home to get picked up by Stephen and Amanda and head to the bbq. The salad was a huge success (definitely have to make again soon) and Trent got dropped off at their house from his fun day of climbing. Paul and Sheila and Alex were there as well as Erik's roommate from med school and his wife and two kids.

Favorite quote: "I wish someone with long hair would pick me up and twirl me." The adorable three year old Mira, talking to me. Apparently my hair now qualifies as long and I was thrilled to twirl away.

Spent a lovely evening sitting out on their patio reminiscing about proms and discussing haircuts. Came home to call our fabulous fathers and clean house to get ready for the week ahead!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Song of the Day

Watch out, it gets stuck in your head and makes you dance down the hallway "doing the tightrope."

But totally worth it!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I couldn't take it any more. It was just tooooo hot. Went shopping last night to try to find some new summer clothes. And man, I know I am a grown up, but I love me some American Eagle for summer. Breezy tanktops (racerback, does anything make your shoulders look better?!) and short, comfy shorts. Much much better. Growing up can wait.

Such a contrast to Emily's post yesterday "I hate shorts, feel naked in tank tops." Sisters can be different!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Summer Weekend

Friday night: Epic adventures with Jersey and Pilot at the dog park. Left them at the Frazong's house to recoup while we all enjoyed a cold beer and spicy spicy tacos from the truck at Johnny's. All of Carrboro was out and about, and it was nice to relax after a super busy, but very productive week at lab.

Saturday: Up early to go on another ride with the Luna Chix. Considering applying for the team, but this group is super cycling specific. Maybe I could be the runner/triathlete? We left at 7:30am, which was early but so necessary as it was broiling! We did 45 miles and I rode Trent's new CAAD9 and loved it. We are scoping eBay and Craigslist for a new bike for me!! Nice to chat with some new folks, beautiful scenery and I was happy with my ability to keep up, even for the nutzo sprint pace line for the last few miles.

Jumped in the shower, downed a smoothie, grabbed the lunch Trent packed me and headed to the bike shop. Sold a couple bikes, hooray! By the afternoon, a crazy storm blew in so the mechanic and I drank beer on the patio and watched the torrential rain. Once it stopped, I headed over to our friends Su and Chris's house to catch the end of their World Cup party. Excellent bbq, shots of Firefly (sweet tea vodka.. only in the South!), dancing to Wyclef in the parking lot. It was a blast. Made our way home and crashed.

Sunday: Slept in a bit, but it is too hot to stay in bed this mornings. Decided to head to Jordan Lake to cool off. Packed a picnic and grabbed the Frazongs and Jersey. It was a fantastic idea. The dogs had a blast in the lake (Pilot is an excellent swimmer, though his enthusiasm was mostly inspired by chasing Jersey into the water), munching on watermelon and farmer's market cheese and lounging by the water was perfect. We got there at 10am, it was already SO hot. Huddled up in the shade, but had to leave by noon or we would have roasted. Home to shower and nap some more, epic house cleaning/room rearranging, grocery shopping, cooking for the week. Met up with our neighbor friends Kristen and Dave to go see the documentary "Babies." Super cute and very educational. And adorable babies... never a bad thing. Home late to finish cooking and get to sleep. Lovely weekend!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Dapper Date

Too cute for words. Mr. Alex in his Sunday best.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Miss Eloise

My dearest AP (gorgeous redheaded bridesmaid) just adopted a new cat.

May I present Miss Eloise.

Isn't she awesome?

Bike Riding

Saturday: 22 miles with Trent.

Sunday: 20 miles with Rebecca and Kristen.

Monday: 12 miles with the LunaChix team from Raleigh, and Rebecca.

Summer of cycling? Definitely means I need this...

Trent is awesome

Email message from Trent:

When we get home.. we are totally trying this.

Awesome. If we don't kill ourselves...

Donating Blood

I've said it before. Many times. But donating blood is awesome. And I've got it down to a science. Here's my recipe for success...

1) Dinner the night before. Lots and lots of spinach, beans, etc. Get that iron level up! Trent made this Indian-inspired creation with a whole bag of frozen spinach, a giant can of kidney beans, lots of spices and paneer cheese. Perfect.

2) Drink lots of water. More than you'd think. Juice, water, tea, anything.

3) Exercise. I donated in the morning, which was a first for me, but still made it over to the gym beforehand to lift weights for about 30 minutes. Even that quick workout made the whole thing go so much easier.

4) During the donation. Laugh, talk, sing, shake your feet. I find when I get silent, I tend to tighten my muscles and breath more shallow. Bad news. Chat with the person taking your blood, sing along to the music, laugh with the volunteers. They know what you are going through, they won't think you are a nutter. Juice is better than soda for sipping, at least for me.

5) Afterward. Drink lots, but don't eat too much at the recovery table. Sometimes the blood required for digesting food is enough to make me dizzy. Stick with juice and candy. But do eat a good, protein packed meal a few hours later (I had black beans with a veggie patty and sweet potato).

Feel good about yourself and the people (babies for me!) that you are helping. Wear your arm bandage with pride and bug your co-workers to try to donate. And of course, eat some skittles.

Heart Warming Tale of the Day

When we adopted Pilot, he was at the shelter with his brother. They'd been abandoned in a field and were best buddies. We got a pretty good amount of pressure to adopt both of them, but were really just planning on having one crazy puppy in our lives. So we left Mojo behind.

Super concerned, I checked daily to see if Mojo had been adopted. And then one day, just a few days after we took home Pilot, he was off the available puppy list. Hooray. We had all sorts of day dreams about running into him at the dog park or on a walk, but knew the odds were fairly slim.

However, today Trent was riding his bike to work (I had to go early to donate blood, huzzah!!) and passed someone walking their dog. And immediately had to stop. Could it be? The long lost brother. It was! So they got to talking and it was all very exciting. And then it got even better... they are in our puppy class!! Last week, our first class, dogs were not invited. But tonight, they get to reunite. I emailed the instructor and am dying to see a slow motion, 80's power ballad style reunion in an hour.

Oh happy day.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Sneaks make me happy...

Hello... I am Jean's new shoes. The Simple D-Kay. I am made from organic cotton and hemp and all sorts of other fabulous things. And I am green and gray and totally comfy. I am an excellent reminder that Jean is fortunate to have a job where fabulous new sneakers are totally acceptable. Especially fantastic when paired with bright yellow corduroy shorts, like today.

That is all.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Ride the Divide

Last night we went out with a bunch of Carrboro bike folks to watch "Ride the Divide" at the community center. It was fantastic. Especially since multiple time winner, Matthew Lee, lives in Carrboro and hung out afterward to answer questions and then we all headed over to the Station to drink Fat Tire beer and toast his upcoming challenge to set the new record.

Ride the Divide is a "race" that goes from Banff Canada to the Mexican border along the continental divide. It is completely unsupported and there are all sorts of rules about not getting help and fixing things yourself if they break. About 5o people try every year and about 40% finish. Matt Lee usually finishes in about 17 days. Craziness.

Highly recommend the movie if it comes to your town, the scenery is breathtaking and incredibly motivating, we are already planning our next biking adventure!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Pictures from the Conference

A few pictures from the Cold Spring Harbor conference that my committee member/awesome science mentor Jean Cook found on the website. The tall man in both pictures is a legend in the field, my boss's former mentor during his post-doc, and slightly terrifying. I am glad there is evidence of our epic conversation during the poster session. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. But very rewarding as well.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Weekend Recap

We did the weekend right. Three bbq's, lots of gardening and building things in the yard, lots of naps and the devouring of two watermelons. Fantastic.

Lots of pictures to come, but just wanted to share this one that was just sent to me. Yesterday we went to our little buddy Eaden's first birthday at the park behind our house. Great times hanging with lots of friends, Pilot had a blast with all the babies, and Hayden and I bonded over our intense love of all things watermelon.

This is what summer should be like.