Thursday, September 30, 2010

Extreme Makeover

I think everything happens for a reason. Apparently I needed a smack in the head from my "Midweek Blues" feeling sorry for myself day. I know I am a little dramatic, so sometimes I need signs... like flashing neon signs... to get a message.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is in Cleveland to help a deserving family in need. So today Jared and I volunteered and spent half the day helping out on site... and I left wishing I could do more. Feeling lucky, for everything I have.

Here is info on the family, and the big reveal is Tuesday.

Sometimes you just need some perspective.

Midweek Blues

I am mostly a happy person. Yes the tears can start flowing at the drop of a hat but mostly, I have a good outlook on life. I am blessed with a great husband, family, friends, health, and a job that I love. But some days you just have a case of the blues.

Wednesday was blue, dark blue. It was an ordinary day, getting up, going to work, etc. and an appointment with a new hair stylist. This sounds silly, but it was a challenge for me. The same lady has been doing my hair forever and I love how she makes it look. But I live in Ohio now and I really should start taking care of things here... where I live.

The salon people were very nice. I just didn't feel like I fit. Some days I am a fish out of water here. So different than everyone else. I look different than the people here. I act different than the people here. I am sooo different than the people here. And then the hairdresser tells me I should be doing my hair differently and it is the wrong color. (Did I mention that her hair looks like she was from an 80's hair band? And this salon is the highest rated in the area.)

I ended up letting her do some of what she wanted. After all, it is only hair and it will grow back. But I now have long layers... layers people and I am not in love with the color. I just felt like an alien the rest of the day. It stinks that something so small can make you think you don't fit in. It is tough being here without friends, and making new ones hasn't been successful for me yet.

I wanted to post this because even though I am mostly happy, I know days like today happen to everyone. At least, that is what I tell myself. And this is a journey. Making a new place your home is tough, and I guess it is taking longer than I expected. So what did Jared think of my hair? Well, he couldn't even tell I had anything done. Just told me I looked pretty when I got home. 
View from my balcony, watching the sunset

Monday, September 27, 2010


Surgery residents need some time off now and then. Last Friday we went to the Whirlyball bar to have some much needed fun for these overworked and underpaid residents. Luckily, I am married to a surgery resident so I got to go too. :)

What is whirlyball you say? I had no idea either, thinking it is Midwest speak for something I am familiar with like "pop" when they are referring to soda. But I was wrong. This is no play on words, no invented regional sport. Whirlyball is a combination of bumper cars, jai a'lai, lacrosse, and basketball. 

Now, I am not the most coordinated (shocking since I am such a great dancer, hehehe) so I was worried. Worried, I would be injured....   

But as you can see the night was just a ton of fun. Our faces hurt from smiling and laughing the whole time. Acting like you are 8 years old is so much fun. It could have been the ramming into each other, the competition between teams, or the beer, but whatever it was it was hilarious fun. I even scored 4 points and didn't get hurt.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Harvest Moon

Today is the first official day of fall 2010. During each season, I feel like it is my favorite. With the leaves beginning to change color, I am getting ready for sweaters, jeans, boots, and that cool breeze that makes your face look just a little flushed.

Yet, when I was out shopping this week I noticed Christmas decorations out already! What the heck?!? It is only THE FIRST DAY OF FALL!!! I realize we need to have time to prepare for each new holiday, season, or style of clothing but come on. It also makes it difficult to envision those shortened days, long nights, and chilly months ahead with the record heatwave we are having. 92 degrees today... and I am looking at a snowman in Target. Weird.

Today is also the wedding anniversary of my best friend, Natalie and her husband Brian. Four years ago they were married at a historic plantation on a beautiful fall day in Virginia!
I was proud to stand by them when they were married with my soon-to-be husband and special friends from high school that I know will be in my life forever.
A month ago, Natalie and Brian moved across the globe for a few years.  And even thought I am missing them like crazy, I am so excited about the adventure they are on. Happy Anniversary!! Hope you are having a wonderful "fall" day on the island. (And that you don't mind making my blog!)

In the meantime, I am going to enjoy this fall season. I think I will go apple or pumpkin picking this weekend.  

Monday, September 20, 2010

Case of the Mondays

I am lucky. SOOO lucky because... I LOVE my job. Every day I get to design and build experiments, play with new technologies, and train astronauts that go into space. I work on science that will be performed on the International Space Station. 
Model of the ISS at Johnson Space Center

And yes, most of my co-workers are socially impaired and can barely communicate with other humans. But hey, that isn't so bad. ;)

Because a case of the Monday's for me includes this...
Me training astronauts on the Light Microscopy Module for the CVB & PACE Experiments. While we are right next to this...

Space Shuttle Trainer & full scale mockup!!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Midweek Surprise

I worked late last night. And when I came home, my husband had made this for dinner...
Yummo! Two points for him!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Children of the Corn

On Friday we were off to Cornhusker country for the weekend. One of Jared's college roommates is a defensive ends coach for the Nebraska football team. So obviously my football fanatic husband loves to visit! This was our second trip to Lincoln and the Papuchis' were as welcoming as could be. 

Here is Coach P on the field before the game...
We had a lovely weekend of tailgating with amazing food, drinks, and the coaches, wives and families!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Virginia is for Lovers

I love Virginia. I miss Virginia. It is so hard for me to be away from Virginia. It just feels different here... like home. This past weekend was a great visit. A fantabulous, too fast, extended weekend in Virginia with my husband to see my family, my friends, and some Hokie football.

Luckily we both had Labor Day weekend off! So, Jared and I drove down to Virgnia on Friday afternoon and right to Sweetwater Tavern to take my Mom out to dinner. Dad was on his way back from NYC with my brother Jeffrey. They were picking up Julie and Madison so they could meet the rest of the family on the holiday weekend.

Saturday started off with brunch at Tallula with the friend I have had the longest, Tracey, and a lovely spa visit!  I don't see this girl enough and I love that we can just catch up right where we left off. Always so much fun!! (I'm trying to convince her to meet me in San Fran in October!)
The rest of Saturday was spent at the park with my brother Joey and nephew Jacob. Afterwards Dad and I got pizza and we continued Game Day football watching and hanging out with the rest of the Stein clan.
Sunday began with brunch with some of my college roommates. We finally were able to get together and plan one weekend a year that will be our girls weekend... now hopefully that will work, we are all so busy these days!

And then I got to work, yes work. It was me in the kitchen. You are amazed, I know. Me hanging out with kids and cooking... what a month! I worked with Dad and Jeni to make a lovely summer dinner while Mom, Julie, & Madison visited with Aunt Ronnie, Kelly, Uncle Robert, Augie, Tricia, Lauren, John, Aunt Carole & Zach! Although we did take a minute to take this super cute pic with my go-go gadget long arms...
Now, Monday... Monday was supposed to be the most fun. Monday was supposed to be the beginning of the best season of college football ever. The Hokies were ranked 6th in the nation set to play Boise State. Boise isn't even a state for goodness sake! Unfortunately, Monday didn't end up like we planned. We lost... we lost and really, no one thought we were going to lose. It was so sad, I'm still bummed about it now. But before the game, we sure did have a lot of fun. It is always a good time with Erin, another roommate from college and Matt, a co-worker of Jared's who is also a Hokie!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

One Month Ago

My sister became a mother. Since she lives in NYC, I wasn't able to be at the hospital when my niece was born... this just killed me. Being married to a doctor gives a person WAAAAY too much information. And I was worried, not that there was a reason to be necessarily but, a lot of the women I know have had tough deliveries this year, too tough. And I wasn't going to be there in case Julie needed me.

Luckily, everything went great and Jared and I were able to make a trip to The Big Apple just one week later. Oh, how I love that city. Every time I am there I just know my Nana is looking down on me smiling. And I finally got to meet Miss Madison Lily McDougall born August 5, 2010.  
Now if you know me, you know I am not what you would call a "baby" person. Actually, they totally freak me out. I don't have that supposed natural female desire to hold kids. I do better when they can talk and when I'm not worried about breaking them. I can't imagine being a mom myself until far, far into my future.

But with each little addition to our extended family, I am getting more comfortable. Thinking maybe I could do that... one day. But for now it sure helps that I just LOVE being an Auntie. I now have 3 nephews and 3 nieces and I love them to pieces!

Smiling in my arms... maybe dreaming about "touchdown Hokies!"

Uncle Jared already has multitasking down... NCAA and baby time all in one.

Julie is the happiest I have ever seen her... and I couldn't be happier for her and Jason. My cup runneth over.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Little Bit Country

It has been a long process... but lately, I am just LOVING country music. I'm not sure when it started exactly. Years ago my parents dabbled in listening to Garth, Dwight, Shania or The Judds. I would listen to a song here and there but no real commitment. But something has changed. These days I seem to turn the radio on just as often to a country station as I would to alternative music.

A few years ago I went to my first country music concert. Kenny Chesney... and it was so much fun!

Soon after this is I found a band that I loved to listen to. I was wedding planning at the time and all of their music just made me feel good. Lady Antebellum. I started listening to them so often, that finally this summer I decided I needed to see them in concert.

And even though I still think of it as the Lady A concert, Natalie informed me that really, we were at a Tim McGraw concert. Which was very enjoyable as well.
Who would have thought I would become a little bit country once I left the south!
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