Monday, August 26, 2013

Resolution Sunday: This Moment

At this moment, or rather when this picture was taken,

I was running around the lake in my hometown back in Washington,

(something I couldn't do five years ago).

The wind was blowing, the air was fresh

a local band was playing on my Pandora.

People were walking their dogs and running past me.

I even ran past a couple.

I was alone but my family was just down the road.

The nostalgia of a past chapter was just settling in my mind,

The next one just beginning, not yet overwhelming.

And I felt home.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Resolution Sunday: PhD!

Photo: Introducing Marty "curing cancer is just my day job" Whittle, PhD.
I am so grateful this week that Marty is now a Doctor! (Not that kind). 

I am so proud of his hard work, diligence, and creativity needed to succeed in the hard sciences. He graduated with his PhD in Pharmacology (drug discovery and development) this last week and will continue his career as a post-doc in Seattle in only a handful of days. He will continue to specialize in cancer biology, moving from breast cancer here in NC to pancreatic cancer out in Seattle.

I couldn't be more proud, really.

Grad school was tough on both of us at times  - a lot of long weekends, little pay, and a lot of general science related frustration - but I am thankful today that we made it through. More importantly, that he made it through, and that he has finally graduated with his PhD in a very tough and honorable field.

WOOT WOOT !! Go team us!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

To keep you busy


Things are way crazy here. Both of our families are in town, we are trying to pack up and move, sell some of our things, and keep everyone fed, happy, and (relatively) sane. We haven't gotten to the point where we think about the future yet, including that pesky little detail of where we are going to live.

We have about 48 hours left in Chapel Hill. My mom lovingly packed the kitchen yesterday, including all the coffee mugs, which means I am currently sipping my morning go-juice out of a pyrex measuring cup.

Here are a few things you can do while you think of us scrambling around to the DMV, dry cleaners, and dump today.

Check out this list of how to do anything. .

Read this graduation speech.

Can you name the city by the locations of the Starbucks? (as a sidebar, I am very excited to get back in to coffee culture land).

Listen to this totally strange but kinda cool remix of Mary Poppins.

Watch the ad for a new company that sends supplies for your period (yes, that period).

Respect this rappin' Dad. (this one's for you Snoop daddy dad).

Ruminate on this. Do you believe in soulmates?

Check out this disturbing list of when people on Facebook thought Onion articles were real.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Resolution Sunday: Helpful Families

This Sunday was spent packing up the apartment while Marty was at work putting the finishing touches on his doctoral dissertation for tomorrow. I am so thankful we have families that are willing to fly across the country, and across the ocean, to help us move and transition. I am also so thankful that we are moving home so that there is less pressure to have quality time among the stress and decisions and chaos. What a great thing to be able to know we are all moving to the same place (minus perhaps our siblings who we miss way too much). This week has been just way crazy stressful and it is (surprisingly?) calming to have both of our families around us.

Thanks families! You really are the best.

Here's a really mediocre picture of a really exceptional family from last nights durham bulls baseball game.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Ten songs and their memories

Songs trigger such vivid memories for me. So often I find that when a song comes on the radio or my Pandora I am instantly transported somewhere else. Some times its a time when the song was playing in the background, sometimes its me singing the song with someone I love, sometimes its the lyrics that make me think of a similar emotion or story. I am grateful for having grown up in a home where the music was ALWAYS playing. 

Here are a few songs and their memories. 

1. I am four years old and this is the first song I remember memorizing, beyond the small kid tunes and the sunday school choruses. This is when I learn that people call those they love 'baby' and when I realize that my parents like music that isn't Raffi or Tickle Toon Typhoon. 

2. I am five, six years old when my Uncle Will comes to visit. He plays this song for us because he thinks its hilarious. This is the first time I remember my mom telling me that I wasn't allowed to listen to a song, that is wasn't appropriate. I just wanted to shake my tush on the catwalk.

3. I am ten years old when my mom celebrates a milestone birthday and throws herself a giant blowout birthday party in a barn out in the county. My sister and I are only allowed to attend the first hour or so until our babysitter comes to get us. This is the song playing when we had to leave the adults, and this was about the time I realized I was not an adult, and that my parents had friends and a need to have a life beyond us.

4. I am any age. My mom doesn't let us get out of the car until we finish every last chord of this classic on the radio. My mom drums on the steering wheel and shouts "all right" and I see her reliving some memory of her own. This is one a handful of songs with this requirement, we must pay the classics the respect they deserve.

5. I am in eighth grade and at the eighth grade tea. On a date of eighth grade proportion. This is the first time I remember slow dancing, arms straight out, his hands on my waist, neither too far up or too far down. We rock back and forth and avoid eye contact as best we can. A teacher comes around with a ruler to make sure there is twelve inches of space between us. We have fourteen.

6. I am sixteen and riding in a car on the way home from high school with my girl Betsy. We start singing the words a couple seconds before the band does, try to get as far as we can. I reach for the dial to pump the jams. She stops me and says I'll blow the speakers out on her brother's car.

7. I am seventeen and having a tough day. I really want to take a trip with my youth group to China and my parents are very very hesitant. My sister and I jump around to this song and it cheers me up. This is one of my favorite memories of being teenage girls together.

8. I am 18 and just started dating this great guy, even though very strangely he knows very little about music. I am incredulous. This is the first band I remember introducing him to, and I remember driving around in my parent's minivan listening to this song. I steal glances at him to make sure he is soaking in a love for good music.

9. I am any age. The Boss is always playing. This particular memory is one time during college when this album came out. My Dad and I dance around the living room to this song on repeat. I remember thinking that I hope I don't ever get too old to dance with my Dad.

10. It is my wedding day and I am dancing with Marty for our first dance. He is more nervous about this moment than any other. Feeling the eyes on him, he says "Am I doing okay?"  I just laugh and tell him of course. He shuts up, realizes this moment is just ours, and we soak all the love in that room in. I feel profoundly lucky.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Resolution Sunday: Sister!

I am thankful this week for my sister. I am often thankful for her, but I am so excited that she is coming next week to celebrate Marty's graduation and to be here for our last week in NC. And then the best part is that I am moving back to where she is! She is back in Washington after a year in Costa Rica, trying to figure out next steps and I am excited to be in the same state as her since I was 21.

This picture is from when I surprised her at the gate in Seattle in July (remember when we could greet people at the gate?).

See you soon, girl!

Thursday, August 1, 2013


This morning Marty woke up with a total deer in the head lights look.

"I graduate this month" he said, looking somewhere between confused and excited. I gave him the 'its okay' pat-pat and then we just stared into space for a bit.

Oh its August folks. This month will be a big one. I haven't seen a to do list like this since we got married. We have a PhD to defend for, family to host, a three thousand mile move, a new job to prepare for and housing to find. A chapter to wrap up.

It feels so good to have some idea of where we are moving to, that the light at the end of the tunnel holds 'my people'. I can't imagine my anxiety right now if I was moving somewhere I had never been to. Like Omaha. Or Baton Rouge. Or Albuquerque.

I hear the summers in Baton Rouge are just miserable. Unlike in Seattle.

Bring it on, August, bring it on.