Showing posts from August, 2013

Screen Inspiration, the backstory

I first introduced the metal screens designed for our new house a while back and promised to explain the inspiration behind them. Our architects wanted these screens to be personalized with a design unique to us, something meaningful and significant. At first we were completely stumped as to what design to use, thinking we had to come up with something that would represent us and also look artistic and abstract. Then they made it easy on us and asked us to just send them some images of places and things meaningful to us.

I don't remember all the images we sent, there was definitely a Jayhawk somewhere and possibly a mountain scene and a few other travel locations. And then there was this image - vineyards in Tuscany - and that is the image they chose.  Ryan and I honeymooned in Tuscany, and I spent the most amazing year of my life living in Florence. Italy holds a special place in both our lives.

I had no idea how they would eventually turn this image into a design for our metal …

Battery recharge

Last week was a whirlwind of planning, meetings, and last minute problem solving leading up to the year end dinner celebration for this organization, and the career development conference the next day that kicks off the new year. I felt incredibly proud of the body of work we produced over the past year - and also very relieved that my role in steering this ship is over. 
As I wrote in this post last year, I was nervous and excited to take on the challenge of running this large network of women. If anything, it grew in size and prominence over the past year  - but it was a ton of work from day one through last Friday afternoon. I was incredibly fortunate to work with amazing women, and create professional relationships and friendships that would never have formed outside of this experience. I had big shoes to fill in this position and I simply could not fail. I had a lot to prove, mostly to myself. 
I looked around the conference on Friday afternoon and saw all the faces, some famili…

Meet Hooptie!

We've had a bike seat on my bike since Charlie was old enough to ride along with a helmet (he looks so little here!). But we haven't had a second seat for our second child, which has really limited our ability to cruise the neighborhood by bike. While living downtown, we could walk most places and didn't really need the second bike option. But now we do. 

A few years ago, Ryan souped up his old bike from college with an Xtracycle - essentially an extension of his bike that allows him to carry tons of stuff (he has used it to get the weekly groceries in the past).You can see the flat board and cargo bags in the picture above. The downside is that a conventional kids' seat won't fit on the back of his Xtracycle. Fortunately, Xtracycle recently came out with a kids' seat and ours arrived in the mail last Friday. Meet Hooptie! 

I think Charlie would agree with Outside Magazine's opinion that it is Happiness on Two Wheels. He was so excited to ride around on th…

Rock chalk!

Ready to show their Jayhawk pride at the KU Corinth Kickoff last Friday night...

Someone in this picture was hungry and getting a little grumpy...

Izzy did not pick up Ryan's beer by mistake, that is a Sierra Mist hiding inside the KU koozie. We would never let our kids have our beer - there would be less for us to drink!

Charlie has been teasing me lately by telling me he is going to be a Wildcat. The little stinker. Maybe this high five with Baby Jay changed his mind.

On finding balance

It's a word that often gets a bad rap, and it means different things to different people.

According to Merriam-Webster, two (of many) definitions of balance:
 stability produced by even distribution of weight on each side of the vertical axis.  mental and emotional steadiness  I know when the precarious balance in my life goes awry. Take last week - work was long and tiring, and my time at home with Ryan and the kids was hurried and limited. For me, balance is not about having equal time at work/home, but an amount of both that leaves me feeling fulfilled and happy (and usually pretty tired).

I've come to accept that there will be days, weeks, months even, when my life is out of balance. The key is to recognize it and get back to a happier and healthier equilibrium sooner than later. One sign that my life is out of balance is when I fail to write on this blog.

Last week I threw together one blog post of pictures, not even bothering to include descriptions of the pictures. Writ…



My day job

I'm a full time Mom and I like to write and express my interests and opinions here on this blog. But my actual day job (what I get paid to do) is teach brilliant, interesting, motivated students about medical research. Every summer my lab fills with their energy, passion, and friendship. They always teach me something new. They are the reason I will not quit my day job anytime soon.

Back to school

I recently turned 40, but this past weekend I went back to high school. 

We watched the movie The Perks of Being a Wallflower and I can't seem to shake it from my mind, my heart. Wallflower is a smart and quirky coming of age story set in 1991 -  the year I graduated high school. No cellphones, no internet, and trapper keepers instead of tablets. Days when you couldn't Shazam a song on the radio to instantly figure out the artist and song title. And mixed tapes. 
High school for me wasn't that bad, definitely not a horror story. I have lifelong friendships from those days and many good memories. But don't get me wrong, I would never choose to go through it again.

Watching Wallflower this weekend didn't make me reflect on my own high school days so much as it made me imagine the days when Charlie and Izzy will walk those halls. I realized that watching your own children experience this right of passage is likely the one thing worse than going through it yourself. T…

Report from zombie land

Here it is August, and almost a week since my last blog post. Summer is flying by. We're still adjusting to the new house, new routines, and new sleeping arrangements. It was my goal when we moved into the new house to get Izzy to sleep in her own bed - something she didn't do for the 11 months we were in the loft.

The good news is she is sleeping in her own bed (yay!) but not without several interruptions each night. She wakes up and cries for me (or lately just comes down to our room) and I go up to her room, calm her down and lay half-on half-off her toddler bed for however long it takes to get her back to sleep (or until I wake up!). It is exhausting - I feel like I have a newborn all over again. On the nights Charlie wakes up too, all bets are off - I am a walking zombie the next day, most days. Anyone with a view to our stairwell at night would see me going up and coming down many times each night. Some nights I carry one child up and pass the other one coming down to g…