brdgt: (I Know by cannons_fan)
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brdgt: (Stocking)
Things to remember about this Christmas:

-First day of travel started with the most stunning moon-set I have ever witnessed and ended with the most orange moon-rise I have ever seen. Roadtrip in general went very smoothly, even the 20 straight hours of driving through the night on the way home.

-We have so many wonderful friends who went out of their way to make time to see us in our short time in Madison - people who had to get up early, normally never go out, or had a million other commitments made time for us and made us feel loved.

-Despite a huge snowstorm, commencement went off without a hitch and I got to see three wonderful people, all with different special relationships to me, become doctors (officially).

Commencement

-My hand-knit gifts were greatly appreciated - perhaps most surprisingly by the person I least expected (Nick's step-brother, who tries very hard to be very cool). Also, they resulted in bonus bragging by future step-mother-in-law to everyone else at the family Holiday party the next night.

-Playing board games with Nick's step-siblings, especially the youngest, who is finally coming out of her shy stage and really enjoying her first year of college. We totally kicked ass as a team for Buzzword.

-Had two different "heart-to-heart" talks with my future mother-in-laws (mostly consisting of them opening up to me about something - but made me feel special that they think of me as someone they can do that with).

-Gift-giving was totally subdued and had a high amount of gifts that involved spending time together (my favorite gift: opera tickets from Nick).

-This:

Visit to Santa 2013
brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
It was the first real snow storm of the year here. So we thought it was a great day to go car shopping!

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We borrowed Oink's mom's car and went to some dealerships - the snow actually really helped in getting a good deal. We negotiated a good deal on a 2010 pre-certified Toyota Corolla and decided that we should just go for it!

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Looking forward to joining a climbing gym and going camping and trying new restaurants and fun things further afield!

New car!
brdgt: (Purls by Iconseeyou)
Finished Nick's socks!

Nick's Socks

Nick's Socks

If I ever suggest knitting with black yarn again, smack me.
brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
Y'all, I can't tell you how excited we are about the move - even the parts that could potentially be stressful have seemed to magically work out - they are paying for relocation, unlike Madison (where landlords make you resign a lease a year in advance) there are still tons of apartments available, we know quite a few people out there, a friend wants to drive us out when we move so she can visit her cousins, the cost of living is less, Nick keeps hearing great things about working in this lab, etc. etc.

For example, at lunch today:
Nick: [referring to one of his good friend's summer camping trip, which we can't go on because we'll be moving/working] Well if it's just him and his friend then they'll just go to Rocky Mountain National Park in late August.
Me: So, if we get a car as soon as we get there we can go for part of their trip!
Nick: Oh. Yeah... And then convince them to do Mt. Ranier, Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens next year with us?

Last weekend we attended [livejournal.com profile] nearlymay's wedding and have another wedding this weekend. I got to wear my hot red dress, which looks even better on me 20 pounds lighter than November :)

Keely's Wedding
brdgt: (Loved by _delovely_icons)
So much celebrating lately - no time to take pictures! Luckily, other people do :)

Dr. Nick and his proud Fiance:

Proud Fiance

And from our engagement party this weekend - Nick's father threw us a wonderful pool party with both sides of his family, tons of food, thoughtful games and decorations (Nick's step-sister Tina is seriously my long lost twin in the party planning department), and generous gifts and messages of love...

Engagement Party


I also forgot to mention that Judy found me some extra money this summer, which helps out tremendously, even if it is just a little. Faculty really don't understand how little we live on and therefore a little bit of help can go a long way.

So... good things.

D-Day

May. 23rd, 2013 01:20 pm
brdgt: (Grad Student by iconomicon)
He still has to defend, but the dissertation has been printed out and given to the committee!

We celebrated by sitting on the couch watching the Colbert Report together, which was heavenly, since the only time we've seen each other in the past three weeks has been at 4AM when he comes and wakes me up for a few minutes.

D-day
brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
Nick just got around to posting some of our Apostle Islands photos - gosh my hair is long!

I look a little nervous here...

Probably because it was a little treacherous!
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But we were prepared :)
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This particular hike was either 4.5 or 8 miles, depending on who you asked. This caterpillar indicated the latter.
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But we finally found our campsite and enjoyed a beautiful sunset on the beach.
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And the next morning found it covered in these guys!
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On our return I indicated my displeasure at the poor signage.
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And then we went back to town and had an amazing breakfast!
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Afterglow

Feb. 19th, 2013 02:00 pm
brdgt: (Afterglow by Iconomicon)
The past few days have been so nice. Both of us have enjoyed all the many congratulations we've received and conversations with people about the engagement. Everyone is so happy for us and love the proposal story. We've gotten phone calls, emails, texts, facebook messages, and even song dedications - they are all so sweet. I didn't realize how much fun it would be!

My friend Kelly gave me a great piece of advice - wait until the shiny afterglow wears off before even thinking about all the pesky planning (which, I'm not really looking forward to, which I fear may come as a disappointment to some of my loved ones!)
brdgt: (I Know by cannons_fan)
Yesterday Nick and I finally got to walk across Lake Mendota. Last year it didn't really freeze thoroughly enough and we were so stressed with work and Calvin's death. We left around 11AM from James Madison Park, just a few block from our apartment.



As a crow flies it would have been 4 miles from there to Governor Nelson Park (thus, 8 miles round trip), but there was a windsailing race going on in the middle of the lake that we had to go around.



We had been concerned that there would be too much snow on the ice, making it slow going, but it was smooth and safe. There were just a few spots with large cracks and a few spots near the shoreline that we were careful around.





In addition to the windsailers there were some ice fisherman, but mostly it was just really peaceful (and COLD - I believe the wind chill was zero).



Anyway... nice story about a walk, right? About halfway across the lake Nick set up a timed shot so we could do a photo together and then he got down on one knee and proposed with a beautiful green tourmaline ring. I think I said "I can't wait!"





We continued on to the other side of the lake, had some hot chocolate and headed back around the windsailers on the other side, getting home around 4PM. We probably walked about 9 miles. Nick's camera recorded our GPS coordinates:



I had already planned to have dinner with [livejournal.com profile] antarcticlust and then join some other friends, including [livejournal.com profile] purplemb13 for karoake later at the Karaoke Kid, so I was able to tell a lot of people in person right away. Did I mention that we met on St. Patrick's Day four years ago - at the Karaoke Kid? :)

I think I look a little pleased:

brdgt: (So Say We All by nodazzle)
Spent a nice night in last night. I picked up two dry aged sirloin steaks from the new butcher shop and wore my sexy new red dress. Nick picked up some arugula and wine. I made him a card and found a rare Tom Petty video (only available on VHS) and transferred it to DVD for him. He got me flowers and made me a mix.

My favorite quote of the night:

"With your new haircut and that dress you look like that woman from Battlestar Galactica."

"Go on..."

New Year

Jan. 17th, 2013 04:08 pm
brdgt: (Mrs. Robinson Closer)
Despite always and perpetually struggling with work, I feel like the past few months have been really transformative in feeling more present and happy.

I've mentioned to a few of you who have posted about diets that I decided to try to lose a few pounds last month (too cheap to buy new clothes and I like the ones I have!) and that has gone really well (I've lost 9 pounds thus far, despite traveling and being sick making exercise difficult). Mostly I've been using the MyFitnessPal app to track food and exercise (if you are on there feel free to friend me!). It's amazing how not wanting to bother looking up how many calories 4 chips are can be motivation to just not eat the damn chips.

[livejournal.com profile] antarcticlust suggested I join Fitocracy, but I am not finding it useful or fun. The points earned seem arbitrary and you are rewarded for doing certain types of social interactions and certain types of exercises, rather than encouraging you to do the activities you love. Are any of you on there? Am I missing something?

All of this coincided with trying to get on a better sleep and self care regimen and drinking less (counting the calories of alcohol certainly helped in that regard!). I've invested some research and money into some nice skin care products, my teeth are getting whiter, and I'm sure my doctor will be happy with my vitamin taking.

So far these changes have definitely left me feeling happier overall and grounded. I would like to also translate them into being productive, both in my hobbies and work, so that is the next step. How convenient it is New Years Resolution time!

Hobbies:
-Get back to knitting and, in particular, use up stash and make Holiday gifts for next year - now, not in November.
-Get back to reading the Modern Library Top 100 novels. Last year I only read Angle of Repose and that was by accident (although it was wonderful). So, this year I'm going to devote my Kindle reading to Modern Library books (I usually keep one book by the side of the bed and keep another on the Kindle for commute/travel reading). Right now I'm enjoying Sister Carrie (I've read 32 of the 100 and all of the top 10!)

Work:
-I *need* to have three chapters done by Fall. No ifs, ands, or buts.

Relationships:
-Lots of friends have moved away, are similarly busy, or also hibernating this winter, but I want to try to plan some sort of social activity at least once a month - a girl's night out, a movie with friends, or some outdoor activity.
-One thing I have really come a long way on is stressing about the future and what I can't control. Nick and I have no idea where we will be this Fall, but there is nothing we can do about that right now. We secure in knowing we will be together and that really is all we need.
-At some point we *will* be planning a move, a wedding, and all that fun stuff, which I do allow myself to daydream over, but not take over my brain.

Speaking of which, one of our friends, Kaja, just uploaded a ton of pictures from her camera from the past few years and she posted this great picture of Nick and I at our friends Greg and Ila's wedding two and half years ago - that couple is in the hospital right now having their first baby!!

Greg and Ilas wedding

Snow Day!

Dec. 21st, 2012 08:58 am
brdgt: (Winter is coming by iconomicon)
Nick got back from Boulder (again) just in time to experience our Snow Storm. We spent yesterday walking around, snuggling, and catching up on some dvds.

king of the mountain

Snow Couple
brdgt: (Windy Road by iconomicon)
I'm seriously without words. Best vacation ever.

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Lake Superior

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brdgt: (Windy Road by iconomicon)
On Saturday morning Nick and I are going Up North (as Wisconsinites like to say) to the Upper Penninsula of Michigan and the Apostle Islands of Northern Wisconsin for a long backcountry trip to celebrate our three year anniversary.

We are roughly following this route in the Porcupine Mountains (four days, three nights), which will includes waterfalls, Lake Superior, three peaks, and a mountain lake (The Lake of the Clouds), hopefully all during nice Fall color.



The route should cover about 40 miles:



Then we are going to drive three hours over to the Apostle Islands for another few nights - hopefully one or two of which on the islands where they have just one campsite per island. You have to kayak out to them and the waters of Lake Superior can be very choppy, especially in mid-September, but we're hoping we can check out the sea caves:

brdgt: (zombies by iconomicon)
Yesterday I...

Had a great run, ending the last mile with...



Made this for dinner...



and watched this (zombie attacks shark, conquistador zombies, and the slowest eyeball skewering ever. Brilliant!)



Nick is back home for his grandmother's open heart surgery - which went well!

Lucky

Mar. 21st, 2012 04:25 pm
brdgt: (Default)
What I came home to on my pillow last night. Adorbs.



(we met on St. Patrick's day three years ago)

SCOBY....

Mar. 5th, 2012 09:48 am
brdgt: (Default)
Finished week four of marathon training! 8 more to go...

Nick talked to his grandmother yesterday. She is home from the hospital (at his mom's) and he said she sounded much better, if tired. Also, his chickenpox is pretty much gone and he'll probably just have one scar from it.

Setting new boundaries on my time proved successful last week - I was able to get some good work done even on the days I work other jobs.

I realized that some of my crankypants-ness is probably due to growing pains from various changes I've made since New Years. Change is hard.

The Department nominated me for the College of Letters and Sciences Teaching Fellow Award. That doesn't mean I'll get it, but I think I put together a strong application (including some helpful advice from [livejournal.com profile] purplemb13, who won last year!)

I won the Sallie Bingham Center Research Travel Grant I applied for! I was going to wait until after the semester was over to go, but I think I'm going to go next month. Work can't tell me not to go on a research trip and it might help me a little with my wanderlust and annoyance with work. All of that and, you know, the research is important to the dissertation, even though I've already started writing!

Yesterday I went to a lovely vegan brunch at my (and [livejournal.com profile] astronautical's!) friend Stacey's place (right across the street) and she sent me home with a Kombucha starter! I will, of course, let you know how it goes, but I'm finding it amazingly fascinating just learning about the process - from Wikipedia:

The culture mainly contains a symbiosis of Acetobacter (acetic acid bacteria) and one or more yeasts. The culture itself looks somewhat like a large pancake, and though often called a mushroom, a mother of vinegar or by the acronym SCOBY (for "Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast"), it is scientifically classified as a zoogleal mat. It takes on the shape of its container, but varies in thickness depending on how long it has been allowed to develop and the acidity of the tea medium during the development period. The culture is leathery and inelastic, similar to a thick calamari.


brdgt: (Default)
Workouts:
  • Monday: Ran in the AM at the University Gym - 6k in 37:31 (6'15'/km).
  • Tuesday: Skipped yoga - it was our anniversary the night before so Nick requested we sleep in. Did go rock climbing at the climbing gym with Dianna for a little over an hour. First time in a while for both of us, so we took it a little easy.
  • Wednesday: Ran in the AM at the University Gym - 5K in 31:52 (6'21"/km). Running late that morning so I didn't get to run as long as I wanted.
  • Thursday: See Tuesday :) Played Ultimate that night for 90 minutes.
  • Friday: Ran in the AM at gym near my house. 6k in 35:57 (5'59"/km). First time using their treadmills - usually I'm faster on the track than the treadmill, but this was a personal best for the mile according to my Nike App!


Dissertation:
This week I have been going through the Children's Bureau records for the state of Wisconsin, specifically looking for narrative reports by the public health nurses about their interactions with women. It is some disturbing material, mostly because it is uncomfortably familiar to current events. Nurses write passionately about families living in poverty, through no fault of their own (this is Great Depression era), and having to sacrifice health care for food or lodging. One 36 year old mother of 10, expecting her 11th, with a husband employed for 85/month by the railroad was sacrificing her prenatal care for her living children, and no other agency would help them because her husband was lucky enough to even have a job. Meanwhile the nurses are trying to get them services from government agencies opposed to "socialized medicine" who think people's lives are "cost benefit analyses."


Reading: “There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own.”
― Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, or, The Whale
Wearing: Cowboy boots, dark wash skinny jeans, white sequined tank, blue blazer. Smart casual Friday.
Planning: We've been invited to four birthday parties tonight and are going to attempt to attend two, after having a nice quiet dinner at home. Tomorrow is another birthday party and I really hope to get some pictures hung in the new apartment. The gift I got Nick for our anniversary (canvas prints of pictures we took in Yellowstone and Joshua Tree) made me realize how much that will help me feel moved in.

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