Monday, March 28, 2011


Friday night: Watching basketball... first at Alyse and Matt's house before rallying for a walk downtown to watch the Kentucky vs. Ohio State game with lots of friends. Well, really we sorta watched the game while telling funny family stories (my favorite, I love my family) and getting excited for a friend who is moving back to Carrboro after being a traveling nurse for a while.

Saturday: I headed out to Durham to run with Joel and Rebecca (and Eaden) and a few of their friends. I wasn't dying to run so soon, but I really wanted to see these friends. Luckily it was only a 3 mile loop (we did one and half and then walked the rest of the second loop). I was tired! Great to see everyone and catch up.

Back home to find Trent working hard. It was our semi-annual yard working bonanza day. He borrowed his friend Adam's truck and we managed to haul in two loads of mulch and two loads of dirt throughout the day. First lawn-mowing of the year, spreading hay on the lawn (to help with muddy spots that Pilot loves to bring inside), lots of cutting stuff back, re-organizing and cleaning the shed, getting the raised beds ready for the seedlings I am growing inside the house. We worked hard for about 5 hours... I was very impressed with us. Good thing our garden store is just up the street, they knew us by name at the end of the day.

Showered and exhausted, but we managed to head out to a massive returning/exchanging shopping trip. New pillows (not for you Pilot!!) and a few decorative touches for April's visit, lots of returning things that didn't work/fit (so satisfying). We were totally beat after all this so dinner at our favorite Mexican place in Durham before home to Hulu and crash.

Sunday: Trent was fairly out of commission, having caught my cold and hurt his back hauling all that dirt the day before. While he rested and studied, I went on a crazy inside cleaning spree/panic attack. Dust bunnies are my nemesis! And they are everywhere! Donated tons of stuff, Trent is selling a whole other pile of things, trying to pare our stuff down. It felt great to have a sparkling clean house. Cooked a giant pasta with lots of veggies for our lunches for the rest of the week, while watching UNC play Kentucky in the Elite Eight. We had so much heart, I was really impressed, but we didn't prevail. Next year!

Nice phone conversation with Sheila (they just found out baby #2 is a girl, and totally healthy, hooray!!), a quick dash to lab and grocery store and then Stephen and Amanda picked us up for a dinner out. We tried to go to pho, thinking we could make it extra spicy to encourage Baby Frazong, but it was closed so we ended up with Mediterranean. She is feeling good, finally sleeping better and fairly resigned to the fact that baby will come when he is ready, but now Stephen is so anxious and ready! Her official due date is this Friday, doctor's appointment on Wednesday to see if any progress has been made. Exciting.

They dropped us off and we climbed into our super clean bed and slept great.

Busy week ahead, lots of meetings with boss about the manuscript (I overheard him talking about it with "Prof I Came To UNC For" and felt so nervous the entire conversation, even though it was pretty positive. I felt like they were judging my child! This process is going to be stressful for me!), and then I fly out Thursday for the LUNA Chix Summit in San Francisco. It will be great to see sister and hopefully my good friend Stacey, who is just weeks away from meeting her baby boy too!

Happy week to you all.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Lotsa Updates

Oye, things are busy. Good, but busy. Here's a quick recap-

1) Big-shot scientist was great. The whole visit was wonderful. He was very friendly and loved talking science and everything else. His visits with faculty, lunches with students, presentation to the department, dinner with a few of us students at Acme, watching soccer till the wee hours of the morning at a dive bar in Carrboro, all fantastic.

2) I was SO nervous the entire time he was here. I think I held my breath until I he called to say his flight got in to San Francisco. Then I got a major migraine and had to go home and go to bed. 14 hours of sleep later, I was feeling great.

3) But... he is not the person for my postdoc. And I think we both realized this. He is a great person for PhD training, but not what I need next. Which was sort of awesome to realize, and be so confident in the path I am choosing that I felt comfortable letting this amazing opportunity be just a great time meeting a stellar scientist, as opposed to an interview.

4) I think the universe is telling me to go to Seattle. Amazing PI doing exactly what I want to do, who really wants a post-doc, who is coming to the NIEHS in Raleigh to give a talk soon. I am keeping my options open and have found people in San Francisco area and San Diego, but I keep coming back to this lab.

5) Plus, have you seen how "Jean-tastic" the Seattle soccer team's jerseys are? Seriously... I could not have designed them better myself. Fancy scientist and I cheered for them against LA. He did have a funny comment about living in Seattle, "It is like having a super hot girlfriend who is sick all the time." Hilarious. He moved from a small town in Saskatchewan to San Francisco for his graduate work and has never left. Now lives in Noe Valley, rides his bike to work, loves it.

6) Luckily I had a few days to recover before the big marathon on Sunday!! Trent left Friday morning so it was just Pilot and I for the weekend. We had lots of lazy trips to the dog park and farmers market, and lots of writing... which was cruel since Saturday was gorgeous! Had to rest up though.

7) Lots of fun visits from friends, including the uber-pregs Amanda. Baby any day now, she is ready!

8) Deirdre wins friend of the year for picking me up at 4:45am Sunday morning to drive me to the race. The race was fantastic. I felt trained and prepared and rested and not injured. Plus the weather was perfect, a bit cloudy but not cold. I felt great for 92% of the race and really enjoyed the small venue, running on trails, passing all the half-marathoners, and having lots of people to talk to during the race. Incredibly, I set a new personal record by 5 minutes, 3 hours and 26 minutes. This is under 8 minute miles. Fantastic. Not sure I can go much faster though... I was pushing myself pretty hard. But no big bonk and some fantastic runner's highs. Lovely race. Running makes me SO happy, as evidenced below at mile 18 or so...

9) I went to Whole Foods immediately after for some delicious sandwiches, tons of local chocolate milk and other snacks. Awesome. Not so awesome, having to take an ice bath without Trent around to encourage me. I am glad I did it though.

10) Trent got home Sunday afternoon and then was off to a meeting for school. Busy fella. He had a Skype interview with the company in Oakland he might do his summer internship with. He is very exciting about that prospect, but also has a great position lined up in Raleigh. We'll keep everyone posted!! The team did great at their race, beating Ohio State all across the board.

11) This week has gone well, felt pretty hobbly for the first few days but recovered quickly. I am pretty sure every time I do this, I think afterward, "what in the world was I thinking, I am never going to be able to walk again, this is awful" but then several days later completely forget the pain and start thinking about next races. Similar to how women forget the pain of childbirth?

12) I did pick up an annoying head cold though. Thought it was allergies and missed the "sleep it off" window. But feeling better thanks to Sudafed! And tons and tons of sleep. Should be 100% tomorrow.

13) Draft submitted to the boss!! Still waiting to hear back about the results section (see if there are any more experiments I MUST do... fingers crossed no) but got back other sections so back in editing mode. Must make everything about 50% shorter than it is... yikes!

14) Weather got chilly again... no fun. But I am loving my outfit today. My favorite Joe's Jeans we randomly found at Sam's Club that make me feel like my legs are a mile long, my new Clark sandals with just enough wedge to let me wear these jeans without then dragging on the ground, a comfy American Appearal v-neck shirt and a cute Madewell cardigan. Plus awesome earrings Emily got me from her honeymoon trip!

15) I got a new swim suit in preparation for Hawaii at TJ Maxx. It is sorta silly, but pretty awesome. I can't wait.

16) I head to San Francisco next Thursday for the Luna CHIX summit. Exciting!! Can't wait to see Rob and Emily.

17) April comes to visit the next Monday (April 11th!). We are going to finish up the guestroom and work on the yard lots this weekend in preparation. I am already dreaming of her visit.

18) I am going to a Gordon Conference this summer at the end of June in Maine! And I got the greenlight to put my name in to give a talk. I've always wanted to go to Maine, and now I will be there for a week. Hopefully the paper will be in press so this will be icing on the cake for this story.

19) Busy busy summer already! San Francisco, April's visit, Hawaii, Maine... love it!

20) Trent got a fancy new camera (D700?) for work/life/re-nest purposes. We've taken about a million pictures of Pilot. Baby Frazong needs to get here so we have a new photography subject!!

That's about it, I suppose. Just trekking along with our busy schedules. I am constantly aware of my amazing symbiotic relationship with my husband. We coordinate our schedules like none other, but are still there for each other at the end of the day. I am so fortunate. Gardenias have started blooming and my tulips are about to start. UNC is in the Sweet 16 (hopefully the Elite 8 after tonight) and Duke already lost (hooray!). Lots of work ahead, but I am ready!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Rest of Spring Break (and the weekend) Recap!

Thursday: Tons of fun seminars. I was on seminar overload last week. But fun. Met up with Trent after work for lifting weights and swimming. Tapering running is the hardest part of marathon training for me! Quick dash to Sandwhich for their hamburger specials, with a side of mac and cheese (eating lots is my favorite part of marathon training!). Trent headed off to a city planning meeting and I went home to hang with Pilot.

Friday: Trent's up and off to Georgia. Nice short run with Pilot before leaving him out of his crate for the day. Not usually a problem. However, today he had some problem with one of the pillows... Naughty. I worked all day on finishing the LAST FIGURE of the paper and emailing frantically with my boss. Also starting to panic about hosting a super fancy scientist this Tuesday. Yikes. Home to find the pillow fiasco, but no time to deal with it as I was off to meet up with the LUNA Chix for dinner. Such a fun mix of women, students, mothers, professionals, it will be a great opportunity. Big Cobb salad for dinner (hooray avocado!) then home to deal with the pillow massacre and play with Pilot.

Wee hours of Saturday morning: Apparently the pillow did not sit well with Pilot's digestion. We were up every two hours for a visit outside. I was happy he woke me up, but man.. I almost feel like I know what a newborn would be like! Of course, each time I woke up I could not fall back asleep due to panicking about all the terribly ways my hosting the scientist could go wrong (mother!). Not the best night, especially with Trent gone.

Saturday: However, managed to get up reasonably early and head out on a bike ride with my LUNA Chix roommate, Nidhi. She is a public health professional in Orange County and it was great to get to know her better and get a lovely ride in. Quick change and off to Deirdre's annual St. Patrick's breakfast. She gets traditional meats shipped in from New York, this is serious business. I brought a pineapple.. I've been obsessed lately. Fun to see lots of science friends and enjoy a delicious breakfast. The day was too nice to be inside, so I headed home and took Pilot to the dog park. Lots of good friends and tons of running, it was just what he needed. Home to clean house before Trent got home around 4pm. They did great at their races, hopefully it will be a good year! We immediately headed over to Rebecca and Eric's house to meet baby Ingrid. She is SO adorable, tiny and mellow. I held her for a couple hours (swoon) while Trent played with Hayden who is a great big brother and we caught up with the parents. Everyone is doing great, they are very happy. I brought a pineapple. Naturally...

Wanted a nice dinner, but did not want to go out to eat again, so we stopped by Tom Robinson, our fish shack, to pick up a big piece of striped bass. Trent grilled, I cooked some asparagus and rice and we caught up on Fringe on Hulu. To bed early, everyone was exhausted!

Sunday: Lazy morning, Pilot and I headed out into the forest for a long easy run. Lots of stops to admire all the plants sprouting, play in the river for a while, and play off leash with friends. It was 70 degrees and just perfect. Black bean and egg tacos for breakfast and then I headed off for a grocery extravaganza. Never send me to Sam's Club by myself. I am in love with fruits and veg, and I can't believe how cheap it is there. We have enough produce now to feed a small army. Lots of big salads this week. Quick stop by Target and Ross and then over to meet up with Trent at the crew boys house to watch the last ACC championship game (we sadly lost.. to Duke! ew). Good thing Katy made delicious cake to soothe everyone. Home, big salads for everyone, quick nap on the lawn in the sun, then lots of work for both of us. Trent took off at 7 for group meeting and wasn't home until 11:30. Yikes.

I am picking up my big shot scientist from the airport tonight. Miraculously, a lot of details fell into place today, so I am feeling much better about his visit now than I was yesterday. It should be lovely. Hope everyone has a great week!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Fancy Spring Break

This has been a very fancy spring break so far...

Cocktails with Deirdre on Monday night before heading to the Local 506 to see Tennis in concert. Except Tennis was sick so we watched the opening bands and I was (not-so) secretly stoked to be home in bed by 11pm. The Lantern is our favorite place for a swanky drink, I got the special which was fresh grapefruit juice with pine and rosemary infused vodka. Totally inspired to soak some pine needles in liquor now.

Last night, after a brief stop to buy a real bed (Ikea awesomeness) for the guest room (April's visit plus thinking ahead for graduations and all the other people we want to visit) from a girl moving to Seattle to work at Amazon (I am the nosiest Craigslister), we headed to dinner. Acme has something called Recession Special Tuesdays, where all the entrees are $12. Amazing. There was a bit of a wait, but there were very reasonable glasses of wine while we waited. I got an amazing hanger steak with mashed potatoes and asparagus (hooray for iron-loading!) and Trent got a big tuna steak with shitake mushrooms, bok choy and rice. So fancy and delish, for so cheap! And since it was Mardi Gras there were lots of beads and complimentary tiny little beignets fresh from the fryer (I was in love).

Tonight we have a lab happy hour and Trent is off volunteering at the free clinic. I am about to hear a stellar female scientist talk about her career! Happy Wednesday.

Monday, March 07, 2011


I am sorta feeling too old to still be wearing my beloved North Face backpack every day, but I carry my laptop, lunch, papers, workout clothes everyday... this could be a sort of grown up compromise?

Or this?

From Etsy store Infusion out of Oregon


It is only a 13 hour drive to New Orleans from here...

Pretty sure this is worth it.

Oh my goodness... dying that I don't live in California right now.

Weekend Recap

Fantastic weekend. The theme (at least for me) was being open to new adventures, last minute changes, and not planning anything, just going with the flow. And it worked out marvelously.

1) Friday night, last minute meet up with the lab downstairs and other science friends for dinner at Milltown. Deirdre, Trent and I shared two entrees and lots of good conversation. Nice way to finish up a good week.

2) On my way, I got a call from my new running friend Kim. She is ver organized when it comes to running and is training for the Boston Marathon. We ran 18 miles together last weekend at 6am, so I was a little nervous to run with her again (I am not a morning person!) but this time she suggested 13 miles at 8am. Much more reasonable. We went with a few of her running friends and did the last few miles of the marathon I am running in a couple weeks which was great. Running while getting to meet new people, two of my favorite things combined! She dropped me off back home around 10.

3) Big omlette for breakfast and a bit of cleaning before heading to the dog park for a puppy date with Abby and her owner, Alysse. Pilot loved it. Alysse and I discussed how we had not seen a "Kings Speech" so decided to go to the matinee that afternoon. Sure, why not?!

4) During the dog park, got a call from Amanda. Stephen is out of town for crew spring training, and she is due in three weeks, so we are all very anxious. Her parents are up visiting. She wanted to meet up for lunch at Weaver Street (where Trent was studying in between crew practices). Drove over and had a nice lunch on the patio with her and her parents. Also, she realized she had Stephen's basketball tickets, did we want them? It just happened to be the EPIC Carolina vs. Duke game. Of course!! So exciting.

5) Quick walk back home to drop off an exhausted Pilot before Alysse picked me up. We loved the movie, so well done.

6) Dropped off at home and a little more cleaning and a quick nap. Got dressed in our finest Carolina gear before meeting some of Trent's classmates downtown for a pre-game drink. Walked to the Dean Dome and got to be a part of the best game I have ever seen. It was intense, but we won, snagging not only incredible bragging rights, but winning the ACC regular season. And it was senior night, so all the seniors got to play and their parents were there. It was amazing to be a part of. We stayed to watch the team cut down the net (because of winning ACC) and then went down to Franklin Street to be a part of the celebrations. Lots of happy undergraduates.

7) We then met up with some crew folks at a SUPER southern undergrad bar before realizing that was not our scene. We headed to Carrboro with a quick stop at a sandwich truck for a recharge (ohmygoodness, grilled cheese with guacamole sandwich at midnight = heaven). We were with our friends Chris and Katy, who are getting married this summer and both just graduated from UNC. They were lamenting how they used to know everyone but people have left. I was telling them they just had to find their new niche, and how Carrboro was awesome for the "out of undergrad" lifestyle. Lo and behold, Trent and I knew about 80% of the people at the Station, our favorite bar in Carrboro. Professors, scientists, neighbors, our dear friend Patrick who was visiting from DC, bike shop folks... it was almost unreal how many people we saw. I think we impressed Katy and Chris that there are friends outside of undergrad! Lots of dancing until we were finally exhausted in the wee hours of the morning.

8) Up feeling surprisingly good. Pilot and I went on a nice run around the neighborhood before the rain came. Lots of cleaning, working on the manuscript, planning the week. Lovely midday nap as well. Trent had morning and afternoon practices, so was in and out. I helped him get ready for a study group/dinner party he was hosting, then snuck off to the pool for a recuperative swim. Felt great to stretch out. Quick grocery shopping, then back home where the study group was in full swing. I worked for a few more hours and then crashed. But right before we went to bed we got the wonderful news that Rebecca had her baby!! 3:30 am Sunday morning, Ingrid Edith Halverson was born, 7lbs, 11oz. A few days late but the delivery was easy and everyone is doing great. They didn't find out the gender, and I was sure it was a girl, and I was right!! First of the spring babies. Can't wait to meet her.

Nice week ahead, it is spring break, so Trent has a crazier than usual schedule with two practices a day and working full time. At least no classes! There are some amazing scientists coming to give lectures, including Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Steitz and his wife. Can't wait to hear them. I am hoping to turn in my manuscript draft to Bob by Wednesday, unbelievable. Hope everyone has a great week as well!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Ah yes...

I had forgotten that the universe does not like it when I proclaim my contentment with life.

My punishment this time was Pilot going missing at 10:45 last night. We spent several frantic hours stomping around in the forest and probably annoying the neighbors, then an uncomfortable night's sleep worrying about my poor little bear out in the forest.

Then the morning spent posting flyers all over town and calling every vet and shelter.

However, it was just a warning... I got a call that he'd been dropped off at the shelter (apparently there is a night drop box sort of thing?) and could get claimed at noon. Frantic trips around town to take down all the flyers and call all the nervous vets and he is safe and sound back home.

12 hours of anxiety to remind myself to not get too ahead of myself. I am exhausted.

(He went missing about 20 minutes after making this video, in response to that hilarious slow loris being tickled video that Emily sent me. He was tired and not as cooperative with his acting...)

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


Spring is so close. We spent a good portion of Sunday working in the yard, cutting back dead plants and planting new darlings. This is the new year for me. All the hope, anticipation, shedding of old layers.

I am in a wonderful place in my life. This summer is going to be epic. Mantra as follows:
I am ready for summer. I am ready to swim in seas and lakes, play in the forest, and drink the wild air. Ready for sun-kissed skin, eating whole watermelons, lots of dancing. I am healthy, loved, strong, and determined. Bring it on.

(gorgeous print I probably have already bought myself from thewheatfield)