Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Happy Birthday, Husband!

Yesterday morning I told Nick "Happy last day of being 34!" He looked at me for a second and said "I am 33..." Oh. Right. I am not great with keeping track of ages...
Happy 34th birthday, Papa!!!  We love you more than words can say.
(Gotta have some help blowing out 34 candles....)


Friday, March 27, 2015

DC in Pictures

I don't have a lot of time to write a thoughtful post on my trip to DC, but I wanted to get these pictures up as I am heading toward my own one week blogging deadline about life events.  I will say that while I do not travel for work often, I am constantly surprised by how rewarding the experience is when I do.  I have traveled for work before this job, and it was always fine.  Part of the job.  Now, falling in line with my post from Wednesday, I find that I get so much out of my work travel now.  The conferences I attend are absolutely packed with valuable information for our area of research, and as I sit in these meetings I am overcome with how much I enjoy this work.  Also, it's pretty cool with the Vice President of the United States is the Keynote speaker, because then your mom can tell people you had lunch with the VP, even if she conveniently forgets to include there were like, 1100 other people there.  Moms.

So, the first day I was in DC was sorta random in the fact that the cheapest flight got me in around 10am, but I didn't have to be at the conference until 7am the next morning.  My boss/traveling companion Corrine was in a workshop so I was on my own for the day.  I headed out into the city solo, which was surprisingly enjoyable.
My first stop was the White House.  Where I assumed I was as close as I would ever be to the President of the United States.
Then, as I was walking past the White House gate an office told me I had to step back, and I was like "WHY??"  and then someone else randomly on the sidewalk was like "Look!  The President!!"  So, I took a picture.  Hello President Obama.
My solo sightseeing tour then lead me to the Holocaust Museum, which was moving beyond words.  Truly.  Beyond any words that I can find.  I will say that while it was heartbreaking it was absolutely worth going through as a way to honor and understand the horrors of our past.  Here are some of the pictures.

After that I was sorta emotionally drained and figured I would head back to my hotel, but as I was walking I ran into the National Art Museum.  One of the coolest things about DC is all the Smithsonian Museums are free, so I figured I would wander in for a little while.
I took this one picture, only to be told by security I couldn't take pictures.  WHAT?  And THEN I saw like a million other people taking pictures and I was annoyed.  But whatever.  I enjoyed it, even if I can't provide photographic evidence of the pictures I enjoyed.

After that I really did head back to my hotel, and then most of the rest of the trip was dedicated to work related activities, which while awesome, aren't really relevant to this post.  BUT, on Friday night Corrine and I headed out on the Monuments by Moonlight tour and it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!  If you are ever in DC, go on this tour.  Here are a few pictures which do not in any way do the tour justice.

 Here are Corrine and I outside of the Roosevelt Monument overlooking the Washington Monument.


World War Two


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Bio Girl is Evolving (again)

I am currently at work and do not have access to my pictures, so I am pushing back the post on sharing them from my DC trip (again). I will get them up eventually!  For now, I wanted to share a video with you.  I am not sure of where this blog is going.  It is hard to find the time to write, and I worried that I had lost the desire to talk in this space.  But what I think I am realizing is that maybe I am just not used to talking on here about what is currently important to me.  While I of course love sharing stories from our family life, I no longer talk about infertility and talk very little of my grief over losing Missy.  Those things have such large places in my heart, but I feel talked out in those areas. Yet they have filled this space for so long, I wasn't entirely sure how to switch gears (again).  Yet my drive for writing, my need to get words on digital paper so they are out of my head, has to be centered on what I am passionate about.

What I am truly passionate about right this minute is my work.  And the idea of sharing those thoughts with you, how I feel about my research on how early childhood experiences influence that child's future, or about violence on college campuses and what we can do to stop it, or about teaching and general public health ideas... that is where my head is when it isn't at home with Nick and  Henry.  And so I am going to test the waters on talking about those things a little more around here.  It may happen, or this may be the only post on the topic.  Time will tell.  And there will always be Henry, Nick, and family posts with pictures and funny stories.  But since the start of this blog over eight years ago there has always been something more than that worked in, and it has sometimes had to evolve to follow who I am in that moment. So I am trying to evolve this space. Again.

Now, a video!  Not of Henry.  I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to hear Dr. Nadine Burke Harris speak at the Future's Without Violence conference I attended this past weekend.  She was amazing, and her research and practice are perfectly in line with my main areas of interest in public health research.  The ACEs measurement she discusses is something I am currently using, so it was exciting to hear her talk about something I am so passionate about.  I believe anyone who interacts with children should take the fifteen minutes to watch this video.  It is worth it.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Not Really a DC Post

So I am back from my work trip and have pictures!  Shocking! But I don't actually have time to sort through them and post everything today.  Instead I give you this one shot of the Vice President, who was the keynote speaker at our conference...
Hello Mr. VP

Plus this shot of my in front of the White House...
I will do my best to post the rest of my pictures (they are really good, I promise!) either tomorrow or Wednesday.  For now, just wanted to let you know I am here, just not HERE.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Someone was feeling much better by Sunday.  I am insanely busy  this week as I prepare to head to DC on Thursday morning for work, but here are a few pictures of us enjoying the spring weather that has settled in around here.  First tball practice is tonight... welcome back, spring!


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Sick Child of Mine

So yesterday was Career Day at Henry's school.  They were all supposed to dress up like the job they want when they grow up and parents were going to come in and talk to them about the different jobs they have.  Henry was going to dress exactly like his Papa (khaki's and a polo) because he wants to work at UK in Engineering...not just be an engineer, but work at UK with students in his Papa's lab and do research EXACTLY what Nick does.  Alas, Nick had to teach class during career day so I had signed up to talk about my job, which Henry thought was pretty awesome. They wanted some people representing the STEM professions and I was actually sorta excited to tell them about the different jobs I have had over the years. I made a power point presentation and everything... it was all going to be great!


Thursday in the middle of the night I heard Henry sorta cough and choke and I was like "What was that??"  And then I realized he threw up. And I was literally like WHAT. THE. HELL?!  He was perfectly normal when we went to bed!  PERFECTLY NORMAL.

Now is a good time to remind you that Henry has been really sick twice this year prior to this event.  Once on the day of the Halloween Party, for which I was also supposed to volunteer, and once during the Valentines Day party.  SERIOUSLY?!  Like, they don't have THAT many cool days at school, and he is missing ALL of them!  And not that it is at all about me, but I keep signing up to help, and then backing out.  The school is going to ban me!

But I look at him after "the event" and he seems fine.  He says he feels fine and goes right back to sleep.  No more issues.  So I start to think what all parents think in moments like this... "Maybe he just got choked and threw up.  I mean.. that has NEVER happened before, but there is a first time, right?  Or maybe it was drainage.  YES!  DRAINAGE!  And now he is fine.  Just a random fluke.  This is nothing.  NOTHING!"

(We as parents do this because the alternate thought it too awful.  That this is just the beginning.  That this is going to be SO BAD.)

My first thought, the blissful denial one, was actually supported on Friday morning as Henry woke up and said he felt fine.  PERFECT!  He ate dry cereal and played video games. I even felt a little bad for letting him stay home with me for the hour before the start of Career Day.  Clearly this kid should be in school. 

"See!  He is totally fine!"  Nick and I said to each other.   DRAINAGE! These things DO happen!

And then, he was not fine.  Not fine AT ALL.  We will skip the details as nobody cares, but about fifteen minutes before we were about to walk out the door he declared himself EXTREMELY NOT FINE. 

Career Day was canceled, we would stay home.  Typically when he gets bugs like this they run their course quickly, but man, the bug was a beast.  Seriously, he was SO SO SICK.  Fever of 103, could not keep anything down all day, pale, weak, pitiful. It's now 24 hours later and we see a light at the end of the tunnel.  He is doing okay.  Not great, but better.  He has eaten a little and that's a start.

So we are home for the weekend.  Recovering.  Maybe I will give my Career Day power point pretension to Henry so he can at least see one presentation... or I guess we can just save it for next year.


Monday, March 9, 2015

Games, Games, and more Games

We had a very game filled weekend.

Friday night we were talked into heading to Chuck E Cheese by Boo and Chris.  Our other option was to continue to sit on our couch and do nothing, so you would think the decision was easy, but with all this snow we have become extremely sloth like and it was hard to pry us from the comforts of home.  Turns out it was a good decision.  This makes our second trip ever to good old CEC, and it was once again surprisingly enjoyable.  Who knew??

Saturday we we watched UK play.  I didn't take any pictures, but watching games is always enjoyable. Expect several UK posts in the coming weeks because THE LOVE FOR THIS TEAM IS INTENSE. 

Sunday we headed to to Louisville to celebrate Uncle Chris and Grandaddy's birthday.  One the way we decided to swing in to the Louisville Arcade Expo.  It cost $20 per adult to get in and we only had an hour so I sat in the lobby and read a book  while Nick and Henry went in and played.  Everyone was happy.
Next we headed to lunch, then out to laser tag.  I am sad to say I do not have a picture of Henry decked out in his laser tag gear but it was AWESOME.  He barely hit the height requirement and I think the pack came down to his knees but the kid was ALL IN and it was ridiculously enjoyable for all of us.

So that's it.  A weekend wrap up that includes games, games, and more games. Henry kept telling us he was having the best day EVER.  I guess now I see why...

Friday, March 6, 2015

Epic Snow, Take Two

So it snowed.

If fact, it's more snow than we had two weeks ago...
Our measurement says around 14 inches, but right down the road the official city measurement is 17.1".  Other places in the state got TWENTY FIVE INCHES OF SNOW. It's madness around these parts. And not the normal sort of march madness. 
So we did what you do...we dug out.
Child labor at it's finest.
Nothing is as motivating as hearing the temps are about to drop to record lows.  Might as well dig out while it's a toasty 20 degrees...
I turned around after getting to the end of our sidewalk and found this... he is finding a way to engage in spring activities, no matter the weather conditions... we are just about ready for spring.

And now a video of Henry walking in the snow., because why not?
PS.  I have read three more books and am starting on #4 this afternoon.  Another Bio Girl Reading Corner is on it's way.