Showing posts from April, 2012

On my nightstand

I love to read, always have. I could spend hours as a kid reading alone in my room. I think I get this from my Mom- I remember how she liked to retreat with a book on a quiet Sunday afternoon, and to this day we still trade books. I will always have an affection for the old school hard copy book. I mean, just look at them - they are so visually appealing. I read books on my ipad on occasion, but it's just not the same. It's convenient for travel, but I'm not giving up my paper books any time soon.

I usually read several books at a time, one is almost always a novel, so this list isn't 100% typical. But here is what is on my nightstand right now:

1. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I haven't started this one yet but I've heard good things. I'm not usually into self-help books, but recognizing happiness in my every day is something I know I can improve upon. And I like to have at least one book that I can pick up and put down in short stretches - I d…


This week went by fast. I have lots of catching up to do both at home and work this weekend. But I enjoyed the trip, both the conference and seeing my friends. My talk went well and in spite of the early start time on Tuesday morning, the room was full. I met up with some colleagues I hadn't seen in years and had fun catching up. Coming to these meetings makes me realize just how many connections I've made over the years and how important they have been to my career success. It is a wonderful reminder of the positive side of this profession and just what I needed.

This week I was inspired on two separate occasions.

I listened to a lecture in San Diego by a woman from Harvard. Her data was exciting and extensive and she was given an award by our research society -  only the second time a woman has won this annual award. There are very few women at the top of my field and the fact that she made it to full professor at Harvard is impressive. She ended the talk by thanking her …

30 things

Turning 30 was a big deal for me. I had accomplished many things, but I was still single and felt far from my dream of having a family. Getting my Ph.D., running marathons, living in another country and learning a foreign language - these were all goals I could tackle and will to happen. Finding love and a person to share your life with is not something you can put on your TO DO list and easily check off. Sure, you can put yourself out there and prioritize your personal life, strive to meet new people, engage friends and family in your efforts, and be open to all avenues of finding love (even online!). But in many ways, it is out of your control and my Type A personality had a really hard time accepting that. I remember well the pressure I felt turning 30.

I think for women, 30 feels like an age when we should have our acts together, know what we want and how to achieve it. In 1997, Glamour magazine published a story titled "30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by th…

Checking in from the west coast

Greetings from (partly) sunny southern cal! I arrived last night after what was quite possibly the easiest trip ever. The last time I came to San Diego in February, it was the first time we had flown together, all four of us. What a difference! This time I didn't have to cart around extra bags for both kids plus snacks, toys, and diapers; wrangle with a stroller at the gate (why do we always forget to get the gate tag for the stroller?!) and worry about getting three seats together amidst the cattle call that is southwest airlines. I felt so calm and relaxed with my B16 boarding pass (for once I remembered the check in!), my bottle of water and carry on luggage. I did some work on the plane, snoozed for a few minutes, and suddenly we were in San Diego a full 30 minutes early. I grabbed a coffee and a cab and was at my hotel in 30 minutes. Wh-wh-what??
I have been looking forward to this trip for awhile and it is the first time since having Izzy that I was not dreading leaving her…

A prelude to a kiss

More than a decade ago, we almost certainly passed along the same street, or walked down the same halls towards class, and yet never had the chance to meet. Perhaps we had a glimpse of one another across the lake in the early morning mist – him on the side of the shore with a camera, me on the water in the boat at the other end of the lens.

Ryan took this photo as part of a photography class assignment in college using the rowing team as his subject. I was on the team at the time and we practiced nearly every day. Was I in one of those boats in his picture? I like to think so. It makes a lovely story.

He moved to Kansas City after college and I didn’t move to KC for another 10 years, making it impossible for our paths to cross in the interim. One year after I returned to KC, we met - online. I used to think our meeting online made for a slightly less romantic story. But that was just the medium, the go-between for something I know was meant to be. We didn’t meet in college because i…

Mid-week mash up

My last post was a bit of a downer, but, in the interest of keepin' it real here on Speed Bump, some days are like that. While I focus on the positive events in my life on this blog, I don't ever want to give the impression that every day is sunny and rosy. Life is messy and hard sometimes - and I think having challenges and obstacles in our lives is what helps us appreciate the good stuff. In the words of one famous Scarlett O'Hara, "Tomorrow is another day!" and I'm looking up. Next week I am going to a science conference in San Diego to give an invited talk. If I were just getting by in my work, they wouldn't invite me to speak and pay my way, right?? Positive self-talk is something I am still working on.
As an added bonus, I will meet up with two of my dearest and oldest friends - just like we did at this same conference in San Diego several years ago. I doubt we'll stir up much trouble like in the good old days (Susan!), but I know we'll ha…

When my best isn't good enough

Most days I am proud of what I do. And even though it is a struggle to balance an academic career with two small kids, most days I feel like I am making it work. Then there are days like today.

A competitor colleague published an amazing study today - a knock it out of the park, game winning home run study. The study was published in one of the best science journals. This paper was a world series championship, an Olympic gold medal, an Oscar, all wrapped into one. Certainly it would be for my career. While this study is not going to cure cancer, it will enhance our understanding of a very debilitating disease and also highlights a new direction of treatment. In my field, it's big. Very big.

If I was forced to find the bright side of this event, I would have to admit that in the still emerging research field that I am studying, this paper will increase the importance of my own work. It puts my research on the map in a bigger and brighter way than I could do on my own. The spotlig…

Quick weekend update

I have to report back from the weekend and mention that Ryan came through on the corsage for our prom date. Here it is in all its glory:

And in his first purchase of a corsage in probably 20 years, Ryan did get reminded of a few things. First, it's best to order a corsage in advance as apparently floral shops don't just have them sitting around ready for purchase. And second, when buying (or odering!) a corsage, you should know what color will best compliment your date's dress. For showing up at a flower shop on a Saturday afternoon unaware of either of these tips, Ryan was told he was "such a guy!" I appreciate the abuse you took for the purchase of my corsage, babe. It was a big hit at the prom and all the other ladies were jealous.

After our big night out, we had a leisurely Sunday morning for the first time in a long time. We slept in, did some last minute cleaning/prepping for a 1:00 house showing and had a relaxed breakfast, just the two of us. Just like i…

Happy Friday the 13th!

I need a do over for this week! The littlest one was sick and the week was a wash. I feel so torn when one of my kids is sick. I have deadlines and meetings at work that need my attention, making it hard to drop everything immediately. But I also feel quilty if one of them is sick and I'm not right there to take care of them. I spent a day and a half at home and was lucky Ryan's dad and my mom could cover another two days for me. But even with loving grandparents to help, there is that mother's guilt lurking around - unwelcome and uninvited. Because everyone knows that what a sick baby or child needs and wants is for mom to be there, to hold them - all day if necessary. Izzy wasn't even that sick this week but I still feel bad if I'm not right there. I try to be the one to care for them when they're sick. Some days it works, some days it doesn't.

Just like these photos...sometimes they come out, sometimes they don't.

So I'm glad this week is over …

Here we go...

Where are we going?? We have no idea at this point. Eventually, west, over to the Kansas side. I'm excited but also really nervous (and a little sad, we love our home). It is a brand new adventure, a new chapter in our family story and for now, the page is blank -  ready and waiting to be filled. We have some ideas, some tentative plans - I will share those here for sure. But for now, we're taking one step at a time. The house is ready, the sign is up, and it's really happening.

The hunt is on!

Did somebody say something about an egg hunt?

I can't believe how grown up this (not so) little one is getting. Maybe its the scarf...but I see the years flashing by and she is in highschool. It seems like just yesterday she was Izzy's age.

Getting her basket, ready to hunt for eggs!

This is the closest Izzy got to wearing the bunny ears on Sunday.

 Izzy's eggs were close by and easy for her to spot. She liked carrying around the empty plastic eggs.

Not done yet, Charlie was getting some instruction on where to look for his next egg.

Collecting the money he found in his eggs.

Trying to put the money from his eggs into his pockets...

This is my new favorite picture - maybe of all time. Iz was peeking through the garden gate, looking for eggs? the other kids or Gram?  

 Taking stock and making sure they each got 10 eggs.

 Transferring the candy from the eggs to a plastic bag so Gram can use the eggs again next year. Love the vest! Charlie is so wearing a vest next Easter.


As promised last week, here is the run down on our dyeing eggs-travaganza!

Since we're getting ready to put our house on the market, Ryan had the brilliant idea to take the dyeing outside. It was a beautiful evening, so we set up our egg dyeing station in the grass, Mom and Dad opened up a beer, and Charlie and Dad got to work.

Izzy came to check out the action, but since I wouldn't let her touch and tip over the bowls full of food coloring, she soon lost interest.

Our high tech set up. These plastic bowls were left over from the kit I bought last year. If only I had saved that little wire egg holder thingy...

Izzy and Roxie were bored with the egg dyeing. Roaming around the yard chewing on grass and sticks was much more fun.

So proud to be walking! (on a side note, nice unintentional picture of our house in the background. Will this be our last Easter in this house? Sniff.) Check out how well Dad is supervising in the background. That's how this happened....

It wouldn&#…