Friday, February 25, 2011


1) The last time I saw my husband truly awake was Wednesday night. We had a wonderful time watching the UNC vs. State game at Thomas's apartment and then made a late night taco truck run. Then he got up early to go to crew practice, came home while I was at spinning, left before I got home to go to a Public Health department mixer. I got home, ate dinner, and was too exhausted to meet up. He got home after I was asleep... and I left super early to go swimming. We have a dinner date planned tonight, it will be nice to see him finally!

2) He doesn't have ringworm. Phew. Especially since we saw about 20 babies and pregnant people last weekend.

3) We have tickets to Kauai in May!! I am so excited for this family vacation to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. And we got first class tickets using our airline miles. Fancy pants, I tell ya. On the way there at least...

4) The last figure for this paper is turning into a real pain in the rear. Of course. Frustrating, but I will persevere. And then be DONE!

5) I just went to a talk which was lovely. I went to 4 lectures this week on totally disparate topics. I love lifelong learning. Today's talk was from a professor up in DC who was a graduate student in the lab I came to UNC to join. It was awesome to see someone who has made it and came from my same scenario. Her former PI was beaming the entire time, very cute to see. I think mitochondria are going to become SO important in the next few years, mark my words.

6) April and I have a countdown going until her visit... So excited.

7) I've been making these giant salads with half an avocado, a handful of kalamata olives, big dollop of roasted red pepper hummus, chopped veggies and a balsamic vinagrette dressing. Trent is sick of hearing me exclaim how amazingly good they are. But seriously, the best.

8) Nuun is amazing. The tangerine-ginger is my favorite flavor.

9) I should not listen to the Girl Talk album at work. Because I cannot help but bust out some awesome dance moves while in my imaginary music video in my head.

10) My tulips are poking up. Spring is almost here! 70 today. Awesome.

11) Unsure what it means when my 15 mile long run this weekend seems downright short. But hopefully a great bike ride on Sunday will compensate.

That's about it. Looking forward to another great weekend though it will be hard to top last weekend. Lots of writing, gardening, exercising and dinners with friends. My kind of days.

Hope you all have an excellent weekend.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Trip Recap!

Picked up T from crew practice and hit the road. Roses in the cup holder to get in the spirit!

Pilot was an excellent passenger. Especially since his bed came along for the trip.

Yes, there will be lots of Pilot pictures. We don't have kids... And he is so dang cute.

We drove about 1.5 hours right across the Virginia border to Fairystone State park in the MIDDLE of no-where. Got lost once, grabbed a pizza from a crazy Southern mountain town pizza place, and found our cabin. Pilot approved of the Pilot sized sofa.

We were all thrilled about the fireplace and adorable cottage. Such a great deal and a perfect little getaway.

Hilarious that this cabin's kitchen was bigger than our previous cottage we lived in for 2 years.

We enjoyed our local pizza while reading about Fairystone (there are sparkly mineral deposits that occasionally leave rocks that look like crosses, apparently legend is the fairies cried when they found out Jesus died. Interesting combination of stories!) and the park. There are 40 cabins, all different sizes and fun to read the messages from previous occupants.

Our cabin, with a cute front porch with rocking chairs. It would be great to come back in the summer!

View from our cabin. A few other cabins were occupied with friendly dogs.

We went on long hikes around the lake.

Pilot had a blast playing with this waterfall. Trent borrowed some equipment from campus to practice filming, so expect a stunning documentary of this trip soon. Including some epic acting from yours truly.

Gorgeous views on our hike. Wintery Virginia!

All in all it was a lovely weekend just to be together. No phone service, no internet, no TV, just us and lots to read and lots of naps and hikes and conversation. It was the perfect Valentine's getaway!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Cheers to NPR

Cutest Valentine's Day Card Ever.

Happy Valentine's Day!

My boys and I are heading up to Virginia to stay in a little cabin (with a heater and kitchen!) near a lake and just relax for a couple days.

We've been super busy and social butterflies, but I can count the number of outings that have just been the two of us one one hand. Not complaining, but I am very excited about our little cloistered weekend.

Trent went grocery shopping yesterday and got all my favorite goodies, Mr. Pilot has packed his overnight bag, and I've printed a big stack of papers and charged up the lappy. We are hoping this is our Walden and we get lots of writing done, in between hiking, eating and napping!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend with those you love!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Loving Socca!

As you've heard, a new (and super fun) past time these days is making sure I am eating enough good fats for all the running and bicycling I am doing. While I would love to eat an avocado a day, they are a) not so great here, and b) darn expensive. So they are an occasional splurge. Like fish.

But I am loving olive oil! And my new favorite vector is socca.

Pretty much hummus pancakes, they are just chickpea flour, water, salt and herbs and spices. Heat up a generous amount of olive oil in a cast iron skillet, but not too hot. Pour in some of the batter and cook on both sides. Especially good right out of the pan, but excellent as a side.

You can also bake it in the oven in your cast iron pan a la Mark Bittman.


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Oh dear... then along came the Gin Fizz.

The living room. I love 1960's teak furniture.

The bedroom. My comment to Trent was that we can have the bed and Pilot can have the sofa... perfection!

(yes, I've hit a bit of writer's block on the manuscript. looking at boats in Seattle and dreaming of our lives there is a good bait. As is watching Gray's Anatomy, you know for research)


I donated blood yesterday. It was fantastic for a couple reasons.

1. I have been anemic for a while so donating was out of the question. Being anemic was bizarre for someone who eats spinach by the bagful. Turns out I wasn't eating enough healthy fats to actually access all that veggie goodness. More avocados, olive oil, and fish?!? Best prescription I've ever gotten. And it worked.

2. I am still a "baby-donor." So my lovely, iron-filled, O- blood is off saving babies lives. Gotta admit if feels good.

3. I didn't pass out or get dizzy at all. Despite having ridiculously low blood pressure (it was a new admitting nurse and she commented on my low heart rate "do you work out?" I said, "just wait until you see my blood pressure!" She was amazed). I chatted with volunteers, boogied to the music playing, and was done in record time.

4. Trent cooked me delicious turkey burgers covered in avocados for dinner (see #1). Wonderful. I was a total bum and laid around on the sofa. A mandatory break from working out was a pretty nice bonus.

Go donate!

Monday, February 07, 2011

New Front Runner

I just love Chris Crafts!!

This Year So Far

Ya, I have fallen off the blogging wagon. I haven't been feeling it, to be honest. And I have been a busy busy bee. But I do love the idea of everyone knowing what is going on over here in C-boro, so I will be updating occasionally. Here is an uber-quick recap of the past month!

1. I am writing. Furiously writing. GLORY BE! It is so satisfying to have the figures done and be working on the story. We are hoping to submit to Genes and Development, I am optimistic but nervous.

2. I applied for a dissertation completion fellowship. Even if I don't get it (which I REALLY hope I do...) it was an awesome exercise in sitting down with my boss and planning my LAST YEAR of graduate school.

3. I definitely feel like I am at the helm more this year. I am not sure what clicked, but I realized that I am absolutely the only one driving this boat (my life) and I need to be the best captain I can be.

4. I also feel like that tiny dog at the dark park who is absolutely not afraid of all the big dogs, but secretly is terrified. I think that is my current "spirit" animal at work these days.

5. I've learned to embrace my confidence. I am not ashamed and no one can make me feel bad about it (talking to you crazy Committee Member professor). This goes back to #4.

6. I am a LUNA CHIX! Oh a total whim, I responded to a friends email suggesting I try out and viola... I am in. This is terrific. I will be in San Francisco for their annual conference from March 31-April 4th (hope to see Em and Rob, and perhaps borrow a bike??). The season is April to October and it will be a great opportunity to meet some fantastic women and give back a bit. Check out our team here (the group picture is from last year, but our individual profiles are updated).

7. We celebrated Alex and Pilot's birthday on the same day. My boys are great.

8. I helped co-host a baby shower for Amanda and Rebecca. Due April 1st and March 15th respectively. A boy and an unknown (I am rooting for a girl). Nothing like a new batch of spring babies!!

9. I am six weeks out from the Tobacco Trail Marathon. I ran 20 miles this weekend, ten by myself without music which was an interesting experience, and then ten with Stephen. We talked about babies, college athletics, and everything in between. It was a wonderful time. I am trying a different training program this time, either speed work or really long runs, not much in between. We'll see how it worked, right now I am just sore all the time.

10. I may have replaced a bad habit with a much less bad habit. But I am so excited to have gotten rid of the first bad habit, I am kind of okay with it.

11. Watching the first season of 30 Rock on Netflix is the best way to get long workouts in on the trainer.

12. Our weather is hilarious. 70 one day, 40 the next. Luckily, we've been getting enough breaks from the cold to make it bearable. And absolutely no snow, so we should thank our lucky stars.

13. We are pretty much set on living on a boat for our next move. It makes it very hard to buy anything new. Which is also pretty awesome.

14. We have some AWESOME friends. I feel so lucky. I love that I can go dancing and to a rowdy bar one night, and then to a quiet Ethiopian dinner the next. Undergrads, scientists, public healthers, bikers, runners, mothers, married and single. I am going to really hate leaving this town.

15. I've started to really appreciate having a super clean house. Why this has taken me 28 years, not sure.

16. I quit buying coffee everyday at work and instead reward myself with flowers every week. Priorities. I am at the helm! (My new mantra?)

17. I got third place at the Little River Trail Run. 10 mile trail run in the snow. I honestly think I ran so fast because I was terrified of slipping!

18. My desktop Gaspard et Lisa calendar makes me smile everyday. Especially the stickers for different occasions. They are eating ice cream sundaes this month. Thank you Emily!!

19. 'Nuff Said.

20. I try to have a smoothie with lots of spinach, frozen berries, yogurt, chia and flax seeds everyday. It is a wonderful thing.

21. April, gorgeous redheaded bridesmaid best friend, is coming to visit this April!! It is the carrot in my life right now. April is going to be the BEST month.

That's about all I can think of. We are doing good. Trent's back in class and trying to plan his summer practicum. Lots of opportunities. I will be so happy to have this manuscript done and am making fun plans for my last year here. Unbelievable!