Thursday, May 27, 2010


Our CSA delivered fruits and veggies last night. Unfortunately, our check was lost/not received and we were not on the delivery list. This is a huge disappointment and we are working to get the problem corrected before next Wednesday. However, friends of ours who also belong to the CSA shared some of their veggies with us.

Thank you, A&P.

With our veggies, D made this for lunch today:

This is a tomato-radish salad on romaine lettuce. According to D, early radishes are so tender and mild. So he put them together with grape tomatoes, sliced ginger and the lettuce. OBVIOUSLY. He also saved the radish leaves and is planning to use them in the coming days. Seriously...what does one do with radish leaves? And am I brave enough to eat a dish that has radish leaves in it?

Hopefully this is the start of a summer full of wonderful veggies and fresh fruit as well as new and different yummy meals.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Bedtime has become the HARDEST part of the day. Sometimes (read: often) it is painful. K sucks (sucks, sucks, sucks, sucks, sucks!) at settling down. Some evenings we spend more than an hour trying to get her to lay down and sleep. During this time, she cries, screams, drinks milk, asks for more food, asks for another stuffed animal, and makes musical requests. It is exhausting.

And on those REALLY special nights, she wakes up around 3am and goes through the same routine for hours on end.

It is freaking exhausting.

D and I are tired, but we've made a pact to work together. And our goal: help K learn to settle down and sleep consistently.

We've seen K respond really well to routine and structure. So we're mixing up our bedtime routine. We're introducing more quiet time before, during, and after her bathie. Part of our new bathtime routine includes this video and song.

K enjoys it, but not as much as D does.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


It is official.

I am A.B.D.

For those of you not in a PhD program or those of you who have never been in a PhD program or those of you not married/dating/living with someone in a PhD program, ABD stands for:


Yes, I just turned in my last (EVER) class assignment.

Just a dissertation to go...

There is a small light at the end of this dark, dark tunnel.

Friday, May 14, 2010


As promised...

(and to protect the innocent, I have left out the names of those associated with some of the memories)


1. lying down in bed the day we moved into our freshmen room together (Brooks 224...ah!) and talking with Carla (she was on the top bunk; I was below). We had so much in common; she was so funny; she was a great listener; we shared so many concerns and dreams. I knew we'd be great roommates and friends. Realizing this made the thought of leaving behind my home, family, and high school friends bearable.

2. Making answering machine messages to remember. There were messages that included the theme-song to Little House on the Prairie and Puff Daddy. My all-time favorite message was from our senior year. Jill left a messages that went something like this: Becky, Carla, and Sarah are either at swim team practice, leaving swim team practice, on their way to swim team practice, practicing for swim team practice, or Becky is dragging Carla and Sarah to swim team practice... and cannot come to the phone. It was classic.

3. Traveling to Daytona Beach, Florida for spring break 2000. We drove Jill's father's Cadillac. We lived like queens in Jill's aunt's house. We spent days on the beach (although it was cold) and pretended to be cool in the evenings. I remember working on my comp while we were there (read: loser). We also met members of the British Junior National soccer team while out one night. The goalie was really cute; he was carrying a glow-in-the-dark squirt gun all evening.

4. Swimming at Nationals 1998. In addition to swimming a great meet, having super cool shwag, and getting to go to St. Louis for a week, one of the seniors on our team jumped into the diving well from the awards podium after receiving our award for the 400 freestyle relay. It was a long jump and I thought she was joking, but after pictures were taken she jumped - fully clothed - into the diving well to celebrate her swimming career.

5. Moving into Idaho. It was a dump, but it was ours. Much fun was had there!

6. One of my roommates (whose identify will be kept secret by me) took a life-sized cardboard George HW Bush out one night. George was a mainstay in Idaho. We dressed him up (once he wore a neon-green bra; another time a sandwich board proclaiming my son will be the next President). Well one night one of my dear friends decided to head out for a night on the town with George. They both wore Allegheny swim caps and I believe George was wearing a lei. It was a big night out for both of them. The last time I saw them they were stopping by the guy swimmers' house. After that they ventured over to the other side of campus to visit a frat party. Unfortunately, that was the last time any of us would see George. He did not return home that night. He was never seen again. Legend has it that he was disposed of in a ravine behind the frat house...

7. Eric.

8. Writing my senior comp. Ah... the Allegheny Senior Comprehensive Project, commonly known as your comp. I fell in love with my project. I had an amazing experience from start to finish. Highlights include winning the department award for best project and writing most of it on the second floor of the bio building. To be honest, most nights I sat in the second floor lab with my laptop and friend, Scott. Scott was awesome (more on him to come); he is still a good friend. Scott also made wine as part of his senior comp and as the end of school neared there was a lot of wine to be drunk. Scott and I would sit around typing and drinking wine. Sometimes we'd bring along some cheese and crackers. Other times, we'd simply enjoy his homemade wine out of paper cups.

9. Living  at 424 Brooks Hall. Our sophomore room was awesome. We were blessed by the room-draw gods and pulled an excellent draw. We also found a student not planning to return in the fall and added her as our fourth roommate. We ended up with three people in a quad. And it was a spectacular quad. We had a huge loft, which is where I slept. We had a spare bed in our clothes closet. We had a separate dressing room. We also had great neighbors across the hall. They were two people living in a quad. Our room was better than theirs, but they had roof access and a great view. Several spring afternoons were spent on the roof of Brooks Hall enjoying the sunshine! We also had several fun parties in our room, and our floor RA was kind and generous and always willing to turn her eyes away from our shenanigans.

10. Spectating an intramural soccer game in the spring of our senior year. I went with Carla and Sarah and one of the best pictures of the three of us was taken that afternoon. I remember enjoying the weather and each other and the wine coolers we were drinking. Note: the wine coolers were in brown paper bags because we didn't want to get caught with open bottles. Anyways, following the soccer game we made our way to the pool and into the varsity team locker room. There we enjoyed a beer together and left our underclassmen teammates a message on the whiteboard. I have a picture of our whiteboard message and the beer bottles lined up on it. It was a great exclamation point on our lives at Allegheny, our swimming careers and our four years together.


Bonus Memories...

Once one of my roommates had a crush on a math professor. At the end of our first semester, said professor sent an email to this roommate confirming when she was going to take his calculus final. The email read, I'll be waiting for you there (or something like that). My roommate was so excited about the email she printed it, cut it out, and taped it to the door of her room.

Sarah and Carla made a sign for me prior to me leaving for nationals our freshmen year that read: Do it for Gilbert! As in Gilbert Blyth from Anne of Green Gables.

Another one of my roommates mistakenly sent an email about a boy she was interested in to a boy from home she was technically still dating. The email was intended for a friend from home. It didn't get there. At the time, this was a terrible situation. Looking back on it, it was pretty funny.

My friend, Scott, got a puppy our sophomore year. He brought the little cutie to our dorm for us to meet her. And she pooped right in the middle of the Alumni Lounge!

Skunks spraying and mating in our backyard senior year.

One of my roommates had to write a book report on the book Beer Booze and Books. Surprisingly this book was not on the best sellers list.

Several of my roommates listened to a lot of rap music during college. There was a lot of Puff Daddy! There was also a lot of Santa Baby beginning the week of Thanksgiving through Christmas break.

The morning after my 21st birthday I woke up early to finish a take-home exam. The plan was to drive to the dining hall, grab a quick breakfast and coffee to go, and then camp out in the computer lab. Unfortunately it iced the night before and my car doors were frozen shut.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Ten years ago TOMORROW I graduated from college.


In some ways, it seems like just yesterday that we were tooling around Meadville stressing out about what we were going to do over the weekend and if we'd finish our comps. Those were the days...

In other ways, college seems like a lifetime ago. Its hard to remember to remember what day-to-day life in our ugly brown house (fondly known as Idaho) was like or how we dreaded waking up at 5am to get to the pool for morning practice.

In honor of our 10 year anniversary of graduating from college, I have put together two top 10 lists. Today I will share my top 10 highlights since college. Tomorrow, I'll share my top 10 favorite memories from college.

Without further ado...


1. Keeping in touch with my college roommates and watching them get terrific jobs, marry wonderful and caring men, and raise beautiful babies. It is hard work keeping up with these ladies since we live miles apart and don't see each other on a daily basis. Blogging has been a great way to stay connected. We also had a ladies weekend last fall together that I hope we keep a tradition.

2. Marrying D.

3. Having K. This accomplishment is two-fold: first, actually giving birth to her is an accomplishment in its own right. Being a mother to her is an accomplishment unto itself.

4. Finishing my masters.

5. Getting into and working towards my PhD. A sub-highlight was passing my comprehensive exams less than three months after having K.

6. Traveling. Since college I've been to: Paris, London, Taiwan, Costa Rica, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Alaska (twice!!), Mexico (cruise), Boston, NYC (too many times to count), Colorado, the Grand Canyon, and New Orleans, to name a few places. I'm traveled with wonderful people, eaten some exceptional food (post on the best meal of the past 10 years should and will be written), and made memories to last a lifetime.

7. Moving to two different cities ON MY OWN. Right after college I moved to Atlanta for two years and then to DC. Moving to a new city without friends or a support network is hard. It is humbling, scary, exciting, and life-changing. Although it wasn't always easy, I'm so glad I had the opportunity to do it twice.

8. Settling down in DC. This process began when I befriended three terrific ladies - Ang, Ace, and Becky. They became my DC family and my reason for staying here. D and I are more settled now that we own a home and are raising our baby here.

9. Completing an Olympic distance triathlon, three marathons, one 1/2 marathon, and two 10-mile races. Not bad for a girl who during college thought anything over a 100 yard swim was too long of a distance to race!

10. Growing up. I've come a long way these past ten years. I look back at the girl I was with my new VW ten years ago and I think she didn't have a clue! Sure, I was driven and I was poised to do great things, but I had a lot to learn. I had no idea that the road would have take me to some really high mountain tops and also to some low valleys. I had no idea that the path would be so winding. But I wouldn't change a thing.

Its been an amazing ten years.


Sunday, May 9, 2010


Well, it is official: D and I are out of the running for parents of the year.

This morning K got into the recycling. Usually this is not a big deal... she'll pull out a plastic bottle or an empty gallon of milk. And she loves some empty containers.

This morning though, she found a metal can.

And she proceeded to get her tiny fingers stuck in-between the can and the lid (which was hanging on by a thread but still attached to the can). Obviously said lid was extremely sharp.

She was screaming and pulling.

I tried to gently remove her little fingers from said metal trap.

A cut could not be avoided.

My baby sliced her finger on a metal can.

I feel terrible.

She cried.

Finger bled.

Bad situation all around.

Bleeding did stop; proof that her blood coagulates.

She'll probably have a scar to remind us of how stupid we are to leave the recycling within her reach and for not watching her all.the.time.

With this, we regretfully remove ourselves from the running for parents of the year.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


We're getting K's marathon training started early. Every time we visit this park, we run some hills.

**Note: the playground at the top of the hill is not open to the public. We get all the way to the top and have to turn around and go down the hill to get to the public playground.

Friday, May 7, 2010


The Pittsburgh 1/2 Marathon was one of the best races I've ever participated. Everything about the race - expo, give-aways, pre-race entertainment, porta-potties, food and drink after the race - was great. The only two things that put a damper on the race were the weather - it started raining as we passed mile 1 and continued to rain the rest of the race - and the bomb scare. If you haven't heard/read about the bomb, take the time to read the news report. D and I were so close to the site where they blew the microwave up that we felt the ground shake. And we saw the bomb squad out on 11th Street with the robotic device going out to investigate the potential threat.

We arrived in Pittsburgh late Thursday night and went down to the expo on Friday afternoon. The expo was great. All participants received a long-sleeved race shirt, dry-fit socks, and some these little balls that absorb the stink from your shoes. I walked away from the expo with three pairs of socks. D and my friend, Becca, didn't want theirs. SCORE FOR ME! It was a good thing we got socks, too, because I left my race socks in DC. I also left my photo ID in DC. Luckily the kind race volunteers trusted me and broke the rules so I could get my race gear.

Race morning we arrived downtown EARLY. We had to beat the clock... all garages near the race start closed at 6am. That made for one early morning. Here are a few pictures of the sites around the startline before the sun came up (and please ignore the picture quality as they were taken with a cell phone).

This is the Pittsburgh History Center. I believe the Heinz sign used to be at Heinz Field where the Steelers play. Am I right about this?

And here are D and I. We're ready to race and hopeful that we'll be able to stick together for the whole race. I think we look pretty good considering it is 6:30am!

Our goals for the race were simple: finish under 2 hours, finish together, and have a good time.

I got a pace-band at the expo to serve to keep us on track for achieving our time goal. The pace-bands for the race were awesome.

Yes, that is a tatoo. It was my first-ever tatoo pace-band. I loved it. Simple to read and it stayed on the entire race (and days to come).

We were on pace to run a 1:52/1:53 until about mile 7. A potty break at mile 3.5 cost us about a minute, but I had to use the bathroom.

And speaking of bathrooms, the porta-potties along the course and at the start were AMAZING. They flushed. And the handle for the flush was on the floor. How smart is that? And I didn't use a porta-potty that was out of toiletpaper the entire race. AMAZING. From someone who hates all public restrooms and cannot stand porta-potties, I cannot say enough about how nice these bathrooms were. I was SO impressed.

Miles 7-10 were a little rough. The rain was getting annoying. I was tired. I realized I went out too fast. I was frustrated that D was running a couple of steps in front of me trying to help me pick up the pace. And I was hungry. D started telling me stupid jokes to help me along. My mood and pace picked up significantly after a BIG man wearing SUPER SHORT American flag shorts, which looked something like this:

passed us. D made some comment about saluting the flag. I laughed and somehow got back in the groove.

We crossed the finish line before the race clock hit 2 hours, which was awesome.

After the race we got Gatorade G3 (which was terrible), bagels, pretzels, Powerbars, and Eat 'n Park's Smiley cookies. We also got a free massage. SCORE!

It look us an extra long time to get home. I complained the whole way and was super mad at the race organizers for not thinking about getting people home after the race. It wasn't until two days later that I learned that it was the potential bomb that caused all of the problems.

Next time I won't be so quick to critique!

My parents had veggie pizza waiting for us at home after the race. It was perfect. And my grandma was there for a post-race visit, too.

It was a great day. Great race; great time; great running partner; just great, great, great.

Here's to more great races this year...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I was rear-ended on the way home from school today.


I was at a traffic circle trying to merge in with traffic and the lady behind me just drove into the VW. Just like that. I was a little stunned by the situation. And a little miffed because I believe she was talking on her cell phone while driving, which is illegal in DC.


I'm fine.

The VW is drivable; probably needs a new bumper.

The other driver was fine; so was the car she was driving, which wasn't her own.

Lessons learned from my car accident:

1. when the seatbelt locks, it hurts. I have a sore collarbone.

2. the first question you should ask the other driver after an accident is "are you ok?" Proclaiming "my car didn't cause any of that damage; it was already there" is inappropriate especially when you are at fault.

3. have all the appropriate and up-to-date paperwork IN THE CAR. I didn't have my new insurance card and was ticketed ($530) because of it. I now have to go to court to show proof of insurance and get the ticket dropped.

4. DC police do not write up accident reports for car crashes when there are no injuries. They merely exchange information for the drivers. Calling the police simply increases the amount of time you have to spend with the woman that hit you from behind while you were stopped at a stop sign.

5. car insurance is a really good thing. I reported my claim this evening, have been referred to a local repair shop, and am waiting for the shop to call me. Thank you, Nationwide, for being awesome to me.

This is the first accident my little VW has ever been in and she's nearly 10 years old.

I'm sorry little car. It wasn't that bad. I'll have you fixed up and just like new in no time. XOXO


Note: had I stayed at the gym 10 minutes longer this evening and finished watching another compelling episode of 16 and Pregnant I probably would have avoided said crash. I'm kicking myself for cutting my workout short and missing the last ten minutes of the show. What happened to Ebony and her baby!??!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


It was a good day for running. After getting up at 4am, running a 1/2 marathon, and then driving home, I am freaking exhausted. A full report from the weekend, complete with pictures, is forthcoming. For now...

Weekend stats:

1/2 Marathon: 1:57:20. Official time was 1:58. I had to use the bathroom three miles into the race and lost a minute. It was a good decision to use the portapotty.

Finished the race with David.

Finished with a smile on my face.

Received my finishers medal from a friend from high school.

Got less sleep this weekend than I thought I would.

Had a wonderful time.

More stories and photos to come, but for now...

To quote my daughter, "Night, night!"