Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Inspired: Fall

Our trip up to the mountains was awesome. I sounded like a parrot, chirping "Look at those leaves!" every two minutes. But seriously, they were amazing. We had a blast hiking, soaking in the mineral tubs, and mingling with every person from Florida on vacation.

Fall finally feels like it is here, despite the high 70's today. I am thinking lots of skinny jeans, lots of button up shirts and oversized sweaters, lots of boots, and this coat...

So cute!!

(perhaps a birthday idea... perhaps?)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

And we're off!

Yet another weekend getaway, this one starting on a Thursday to boot! October definitely has been a fun month for us. We are driving up to Asheville to stay at the fancy lodge tonight (and have a lovely dinner at the hotel, thanks to parents!). Tomorrow we will do lots of hiking and enjoying the fall foliage and then check into our rustic cabin and soak away the evening in the mineral hot springs. A bit more hiking and time exploring Asheville and then home Saturday evening.

Mr. Pilot is off with his uncle Jerz again (best friends ever), looking forward to some quiet time alone with my husband!

Happy weekend!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Newest Family Member

Big "welcome to this world" to my great-nephew (is that right?) Karsen Earl Traudt.

Born yesterday afternoon, 7lbs 7oz.
(I'll always remember his birthday!)

Weekend Recap

So we promised each other that despite the date, this was not going to be our anniversary celebration weekend. We justified it by deciding that since our wedding fell on Fall Break last year, it is only appropriate to celebrate on Fall Break this year. So we get an extra long weekend to celebrate.

And he had a crew race. But we had a lovely, and adventurous, weekend still!

Friday night: Exhausted from a long week. I made homemade pizza and we shared a bottle of vino verde while catching up on Hulu.

Saturday: Both up early, I was off to do a local UNC 5k race with the crew team and Trent was off to work on his 10 page paper about Bandura's social cognitive theory and its applications on school based interventions on childhood obesity. Fun times. The race was great, very mellow and a nice way to force myself to do a bit of speed work. Rode my bike there and back home where I felt a little under the weather so had a lovely long, snuggly, nap with Mr. Pilot. He is mellowing and SUCH a nice dog. Up to finally shower and then meet up with Trent at Weaver Street for lunch. We made sandwiches with fresh salami and cheese and set to working. I was chosen to give the student talk at the biology retreat coming up so needed to get going on that. Lovely few hours typing away and drinking tea.

However, an idea was sneaking into my head. Trent was planning on going up with the crew team boys on the bus, at 3:30am, while the other coaches left Saturday night, hauling the boats, and spent a night in a hotel. He wanted to spend Saturday night with me. A couple of phone calls later, and we decided to head up that evening with them. We went home and did a massive house cleaning (so nice to come home to a clean house) and then dropped Pilot off with Amanda and Jersey for the night. We went to the boat house and watched the team load the massive boats on to the trailer, and then hit the road around 6pm. It was the second weekend in a row where we sat in the back of a big truck and didn't have to worry about driving or lodging, love it!

Easy drive up north and we arrived in Fredricksberg around 10:30 pm. We all bunked down in a very nice hotel room and crashed.

Sunday: Up fairly early to drive the rest of the way to the course. We arrived right as the team did. The race was on the Occoquan River, just south of Alexandria in Northern Virginia. Beautiful!! Corienne, the head coach's girlfriend, and I stayed in the truck chatting for a while until it warmed up and then I headed out for my long run. The change of scenery was great, I found a path along the river and ran for hours. This scenery is some of my favorite, the trees and the river and all the public parks. Love this area.

Back to the race to enjoy some of their snacks and then my dear friend Calen picked me up for lunch. He lives in DC and works for the Union of Concerned Scientists and rented a Zipcar to come visit. We were besties during our time abroad in Costa Rica and I am pretty sure we are long lost twins. I have so many great memories of stomping through the forest singing 1950's show tunes and Peter Paul and Mary songs with him. He absolutely loves science and really helped me own a lot of my quirky traits. Unfortunately he's had a rough couple years, but is really starting to find his way again and DC is the perfect place for him. We had a nice lunch on the river in the historical town of Occoquan (so cute) and it was fantastic to catch up with an old friend.

Back to the race and Calen and I puttered around and tried to not get hit in the head by any boats. He left around 4pm, fantastic parents brought a big pasta dinner for all the rowers (and us), and we were back on the road by 6pm. Long drive home, not as fun as the team didn't do as well as they had hoped, but Trent and I spent a lot of time working on his paper that was due today and napping. Home around 11pm, to find Mr. Pilot home and exhausted from his weekend getaway. We all slept very well. And he is spending his first day outside of his crate (in the office with all the chewable things removed), fingers crossed!!

I am very much looking forward to our romantic getaway weekend coming up, but in some ways I feel this weekend really reflects what I love so much about our relationship. We compliment and support each other but each have our own lives and hobbies. We are definitely better together, but not too shabby on our own. And any time we get to spend together is fantastic. Even though he was so busy, he definitely made me feel special and a welcome part of the weekend, and I am glad I had got to explore a new area. I am so lucky to have such a perfect partner in this adventure!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Anniversary Memories: Wedding Flowers

My wedding flowers are still some of my favorite flower arrangements I've ever seen... Thanks to my awesome sister Emily for soooo understanding me. Chili peppers, equisitum, thistles, and ferns?!? You can't do better...

I loved the boys' boutineers and the ring pillow flowers tying in so well. Ferns!!


Oh goodness... things are humming along with my project. Which is REALLY exciting, there is lots of underground talk of graduating next summer and doing a mini-postdoc while Trent graduates, but it is also exhausting. Underground as I've been discussing this with many folks in the lab, Trent, even Pilot.. but not my boss yet. Someday....

I am happy to report today I completed my first quantitative reverse transcription PCR reaction. This is the closest to robotics I will get in a while and there was SO much math involved to set it up, but it worked! Hooray.

Dissecting tons of eye discs, my undergrad is setting up a 50 reaction PCR to screen for a recombinant fly that will give us tumors, things are moving along.

Votes for where we should go next?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thinking of MO

Loving these pictures of April and her mom at our wedding last year. MO, as we called her growing up, played such a special part of my teenage years. We'd often get ready for dances and such at her house and we'd always get a pre-outing speech from her. We were the nerdiest, most gawky, most wonderfully naive little girls, but she'd always tell us we were beautiful and confident and that someday the perfect boy would come knocking down our doors.

And she was right. April and I both have wonderful husbands and stuck together at those awkward dances and made music videos instead. She's dealing with some health issues now and I am sending her all my love and best wishes.


Trent is planning our mountain getaway for our anniversary. The fall colors should be perfect. In "Trent and Jean" style we are spending one fancy night here and one night camping. I can't wait!

Weekend Recap

Remember when I said summer was over? I was wrong. Fall in the South is fantastic. This weekends highlights include:

1. Cooking a fantastic dinner for Stephen and Amanda on Friday. I was feeling like being indulgent and showering friends with love after a rough week, so after work I headed to Weaver Street and got all sorts of delicious things to cook. I made twice baked potatoes with broccoli and bleu cheese, a big green salad with pumpkin seeds, pecans and dried cranberries, and steak rubbed with herbs from the garden that Trent grilled. For dessert I made a big pear and cranberry crumble that we ate with local organic vanilla ice cream. Everything was delicious and it was lovely to spend time with good friends eating good food.

2. Up later than I had hoped on Saturday. Trent headed out for Parent's Weekend for the crew team (taking parents out in boats, showing them around, etc) and I laced up for my long run. First an hour in the forest with Pilot, seeing lots of friends along the way, then a quick stop at home for hydration/food and I headed out to Maple View Dairy. Ended up running 2 hours and 45 minutes, so I am thinking about 18 miles? It was a great marathon training run and a lovely day to be out running.

3. Home and just a quick nap before we decided to head to the beach! Thomas, Alecia and Emily were heading out and invited us. I was pretty sure we weren't going, after Trent's incredibly busy week (midterms and filming his documentary) and an emotional rollercoaster of a week for me, but I am SO happy we did go. They planned everything, we just brought clothes and Mr. P. Carolina Beach lets you drive right on the beach and camp, and after October 1st, dogs are allowed off leash. Perfection. We all crammed into one truck (with Pilot in his crate in the back of the truck, big brave boy) and left around 1pm. The weather was perfect, we played in the ocean, read lots of good books (I am reading Nick Hornby's "Juliet, Naked" a perfect beach read), played games, made lots of doggie friends, grilled hotdogs for dinner and had s'mores and sparklers for dessert. Pilot loved all the socialization and got braver and braver with the waves (especially when other dogs were playing). I took him for an early morning walk on Sunday and we watched the sun rise over the ocean, which still seems wrong to me! But gorgeous. Tons of pelicans and beautiful boats, lovely to just relax and think nice thoughts. We stayed until about 1pm on Sunday and then drove home.

4. Home and unpacked the car, and then Pilot's friend Abbey came over. They played for a while, but I could tell he was exhausted. Then lots of studying, long talks with good friends, leftovers for dinner and a sleeeeepy pup. We decided to take advantage of his exhaustion and he spent his first nice sleeping outside of his crate. Big boy!

Productive (hopefully) weekend ahead. It is our anniversary this weekend, but we are going up to the mountains the following weekend to celebrate (just worked out better for our schedules). Hoping to get some experiments checked off the list, write a lot more, be there for friends, and enjoy this AMAZING fall weather. It couldn't be a more perfect temperature right now.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Thanks New Yorker

A perfect poem on my bus ride to work. We all give, and take, so much from those we love. Our worlds are so much richer for all our "sisters." By Brenda Shaughnessy.

I wish I had more sisters,
enough to fight with and still
have plenty more to confess to,
embellishing the fight so that I
look like I'm right and then turn
all my sisters, one by one, against
my sister. One sister will be so bad
the rest of us will have a purpose
in bringing her back to where
it's good (with us) and we'll feel
useful, and she will feel loved.

Then another sister
will have a tragedy, and again
we will unite in our grief, judging
her much less that we did the bad
sister. This time it was not
our sister's fault. This time
it could have happened to any
of us and in a way it did. We'll
know she wasn't the only
sister to suffer. We all suffer
with our choices, and we
all have our choice of sisters.

My sisters will seem like a bunch
of alternate me's, all the ways
I could have gone. I could see
how things pan out without
having to do the things myself.
The abortions, the divorces,
the arson, swindles, poison jelly.
But who could say they weren't
myself, we are so close. I mean,
who can tell the difference?

I could choose to be a fisherman's
wife, since I'd be able to visit
my sister in her mansion, sipping
bubbly for once, braying
to the others, who weren't invited.
I could be a traveller, a seer,
a poet, a potter, a flyswatter.
None of those choices would be
as desperate as they seem now.
My life would be like one finger
on a hand, a beautiful, usable, ringed,
wrung, piano-and-dishpan hand.

There would be both more and less
of me to have to bear. None of us
would be forced to be stronger
than we could be. Each of us could
be all of us. The pretty one.
The smart one. The bitter one.
The unaccountably-happy-
for-no-reason one. I could be,
for example, the hopeless
one, and the next day my sister
would take my place, and I would
hold her up until my arms gave way
and another sister would relieve me.

Front Page...

Of the Chapel Hill weekly paper... doing my 10k thing. Fun to have all the profs in my department coming up to me with copies of the paper. Guess the photographer was a fan!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Cape Cod

I never got around to posting pictures of my vacation this summer to Cape Cod. We went after New Hampshire to visit our dear friend Norma Simon. It was an absolutely lovely time. I am so lucky.

Monday, October 04, 2010


This last week was half "Trent's birthday week," half "Anniversary Month" celebrations. Perfection! Events included:

1. Dinner Thursday night at Margaret's Cantina. We've been meaning to go there forever, really healthy, organic, authentic Mexican?! We meant to go last weekend, but were not feeling fully recovered from the crime spree party until later in the week. Delicious!

2. Trent surprised me with Ozomatli tickets for Friday night. One of my favorite bands. The venue wasn't optimal (on campus at our fancy Memorial Hall) but I still got to dance like crazy in my little area and ran into lots of folks we knew from campus. Debated meeting up with rowers afterward, but instead walked home, stopping in bars along the way to wave/hug friends, but kept moving.

3. Up early for a Carrboro 10k race. Met up with Paul and Sheila, and baby Alex, and Rebecca and Erik and their baby Hayden. The boys pushed the babies in their strollers, Amanda came and joined Rebecca (both are 3.5-4 months pregnant, adorable) and Sheila and I raced! I was happy with my 7:24/mile average, especially after taking a couple weeks off for health stuff. Lots of mingling afterward with the awesome Carrboro running community, including my boss! Trent and Pilot had a blast playing with all the kiddos too.

4. Home to shower and then meet up with Paul and Sheila, Amanda and our neighbor Alyse who also ran the race for breakfast at Weaver St. Lovely time chatting and eating with good friends.

5. Lots of grocery shopping, then home for a quick nap before massive house cleaning.

6. Hosting lab potluck! We are social butterflies. Good thing we have a great patio. My entire lab came over and we grilled and chatted. It was a lovely fall day, perfect weather for sitting around the fire pit and roasting marshmellos. My boss's 6 year old daughter LOVED it. As did Pilot (he loves company). Everyone went home around 9:30, we watched Hulu and crashed.

7. Up for a lovely long run with Pilot in the forest. Ran into ALL sorts of dog and people friends. Trent headed to a cafe to work on his 10 page paper on Social Cognitive Theory (hooray Bandura!). Home and then off with Amanda to help pick out counter top and tile for their upcoming kitchen remodel. New cabinets, floors, counters, sink, the works! So exciting for them, also made me realize it was kind of nice being broke when we did our kitchen as there are SO many options out there if you aren't just scouring Craigslist and the "scratch and dent" section!

8. Home briefly and then off to lab for a quick visit with my flies. Met up with Trent who was taking a study break with his fellow student Clayton at the Orange County Social Club's block party. Fun bands, lots of hipster babies, free pulled pork. Perfect fall weather. Hung out for a bit then home where I finally crashed and watched some movie on Jesse James starring Brad Pitt and Trent worked on his paper.

Lovely weekend. Makes us realize it will be SO hard to leave this town, we have so many great connections and friends here.

Friday, October 01, 2010


It is the first of October so I am officially calling this summer. It has been a long one, but great. Here are some of my favorite photos of the summer, set to a Kid Cudi collaboration song I've been obsessed with.