Monday, September 23, 2013

And They Pay Me To Do This...

I have so much to remember from this week. On Sunday it was still summer and I was wearing a sundress and when I finally returned from what really was like a dream at 2am Saturday it was chilly and the leaves were falling already.
I had a week of a lifetime. A dream of mine achieved.
Here is a little clip... it was absolutely amazing.

More to come!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pinch Me, This is Really Happening!

I'm exhausted. Months of preparing our hardware, writing reports, building, testing, and FINALLY it is here. Tomorrow I get to go on this...
and feel zero gravity, just like the astronauts for 40 parabolas of 40 seconds each of weightlessness. Alan Shepard only had about 6-7 minutes total of this experience. And he was strapped down in a seat! I am over the moon excited!! I have a flight suit. I was hanging out all day in the NASA Ellington Field hangar preparing our rig. I need to pinch myself.

I wanted to take a second to write down how I am feeling. A whole lot right now. Nervous. Excited. Hoping my family isn't too worried (Jared and Julie). Wishing Dad was with me. But I am mostly excited. Like a 6 year old little kid the night before Christmas when you just know that Santa is going to bring you the thing that you have wanted the most... in like forever. What I have ALWAYS wanted to do, I get to do tomorrow. So freaking cool.

Fingers crossed for a successful flight with no injuries, a safe take off and landing, good data on our experiment, and mostly, a super fantastic amazing I can't believe I have the job I have day with tons of good videos and photos floating in zero gravity. No vomiting would be great too.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

One Week From Today

I've been busy. Crazy busy at work, home, and life. So to catch up with my work news... here is a little video of some of what I have been preparing for these past 3 months... and what I will be doing one week from today. 
I am beyond excited! Fingers crossed I won't vomit!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Myrtle Beach Snapshots - Day 5

Yay! for another beach day!! It was a bit overcast so the kiddos stayed longer than expected.

We hit Garden City Beach where we played in the sand, splashed, found a starfish, and had a great day.  After a few naps and showers we headed to Barefoot Landing for walking around, dinner at an Italian place, and of course, a carousel ride.

We even had some late night shopping and ice cream!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Myrtle Beach Snapshots - Day 4

I don't have many photos for today... we seemed to take is slower, be in the water more which means fewer photos. Jeff and Grace hit the road back to VA and we split up for a few hours with Mom and Dad looking at houses, lunch for the girls at a French Bistro, and the mall for Joey's family. After some more pool time, we celebrated "Tequila Tuesday" with the worlds worst margaritas at a local Mexican place. At least it was great company.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Myrtle Beach Snapshots - Day 3

Monday we spent the morning at the pool. Just lounging around enjoying the sunshine!
A funny thing about my family... they don't really go to the beach all that much, even during a beach trip! I could spend every day out in the ocean, laying on a towel, building sandcastles, you name it. Just being out there looking at the waves makes me smile. But I really, really have to convince them to go to the beach more than one day. Well, this afternoon I got them all to go!
After the full day of sun, we hit Murrell's Inlet for a seafood (sorry Dad!) dinner overlooking the water. In addition to the "I-actually-got-a-version-of-the-photo-I-wanted" picture, were these gems.

I especially like the four "Stein" kiddos with our people. :)
Sadly this was Jeff and Grace's last night on vacation with us but we were so glad they came, especially over Grace's birthday!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Myrtle Beach Snapshots - Day 2

Back to the recap of our days in Myrtle... Day 2 and we were off to the aquarium on a cloudy day where some of us found ourselves inside the oyster shells,
We saw the sharks, turtles, turtles, jellies, and more!
Next was Broadway at the Beach with Jello shots, Dino-riding, and merry-go-rounds
And silliest of all Tiki Jim's faces!
Next we headed to mini golf where Mom kept getting holes in one, and finally some of us even made it to the beach!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Today Was a Good Day

Today was a good day. I had work super early with the astronauts on the ISS, solved a problem, and was congratulated for a job well done by Mission Control. :) Jared got his badge... his attending physician badge!
And then while on the phone with my sister, my niece requested to Face Time with me.
That little girl just makes me smile. I love her to the Moon and back. I am tired, have one million things to do... but today was a good day.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

On My Way To Work

This is what stopped traffic...
I took it as a reminder for me to slow down, smile, and as my Dad would say "enjoy the ride." Happy Tuesday!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Myrtle Beach Snapshots - Day 1

Driving to Myrtle, checking into the resort sans parents!, Uncle Jeff and Miss M, Jason's first vacation with us!
Bang, bang, shrimp and lemon drop martini's (my fav!), celebrating Grace's birthday, finally Mom and Dad are here!!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Myrtle Beach 2013 Family Photo

There are a lot of us. Thirteen of us actually that encompass the "J. Stein" clan these days... 10 adults with three sets of husbands/wives, two sets of boyfriends/girlfriends, 2 grandsons/nephews (with another on the way for Juls) and 1 granddaughter/niece. It is a lot of people, opinions, and expectations... especially on a vacation... especially in our family. 

In my "post something rather than nothing" mode these days my plan is to post a collage of each day as soon as I can. With photos I absolutely love. Most especially, this one.
We had planned to take family photos this vacation. On the beach, at sunset. A big group photo and then individual families. We had a great camera, tripod, and our plan. With my Grandfather passing away back in March it makes you think of life differently, it is that fleeting feeling. A reminder that we all have limited time here on Earth together. So I wanted this photo, of our big crazy family now.

Well, it didn't happen as I would've liked. It was too hard with our do-one-million-things-in-one-day, stay-up-way-too-late schedules. It didn't work out to meet up at the beach. So, this photo was by luck. During dinner on one of the two nights Jeff and Grace were in town fireworks started over Murrell's Inlet and we all headed outside. I grabbed a stranger and crossed my fingers that a photo would come out where you could see everyone and eyes would be open. I got my wish. And although it isn't something that looks like it is from a magazine, it isn't perfectly positioned, with the perfect sunset... it is perfect to me... with the littlest ones watching the fireworks, and all us "grown ups" smiling.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

On the Way

Living in the midwest, we don't get many visitors. Somehow people think that we are so far away that we are in a different timezone... but no, we are just in Cleveland. We are not that far away at all. I try to not be sad about it and instead when we travel we try and visit all the people we can.

On the way to the beach, we stopped off to see some of our favorite people. And as I am typing I realize we have been making this an annual trip, three years in a row! to see Dr. C, and Mrs. S., who had an addition to the family with Baby H back in April! (I can't believe I didn't get a photo of this cutie... Mrs. S, I'll have to call you to see if you took any!) We even stopped off at the Carolina BBQ restaurant en route to their new house.

As always our visit was too short, too fast, and too much fun.
We love these friends! They are truly "we wish we lived next door, I could see you every day" people. Until next year or hopefully sooner at a Hokie game this season!

**Also a special shout out of Happy Birthday!! to my Dad today. We actually were "on the way" to dinner when the family FaceTime'd us to sing "happy birthday" with Julie and her family on another device as well. So cool. Wish we were home to celebrate with you... and have sausage & peppers with that yummy chocolate cake!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Just a Glimpse

Yes, I've fallen off the planet. Yes, I've had hardly any consistent posts since October of last year. So I've decided that something is better than nothing sometimes. And I don't have time to write about the details right now. But I can share this little glimpse... a small peak at the "Stein Family Vacation 2013". Where we all got together for the first vacation with ALL our husbands, girlfriends, and kiddos. It was full of sunshine, stress, laughing, crying, sand, water, food, food, food and lots and lots of paparazzi photos by yours truly.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Winter Break - Part 1:Make It Count

We headed out of town for a little winter break last week. We started off with another ski day at Wisp. Again, I was cranky. I didn't want to go, felt like I had checked skiing off the list of things to do this winter and there we were, at the ski resort AGAIN. After our 4 hour drive of me being cranky, I finally put my big girl panties on and stopped complaining. Jared and Steve headed out for a few runs while I rented my skis and boots. This time I upgraded to an Intermediate skier and even got some longer skis. They had fresh powder from the night before so it would be a better day.

I text Jared to let him know I was waiting at the bottom of the run to meet up with them and got this reply...
The next thing I know there is an ambulance, ski patrol, and a few moments later a sled with someone performing CPR on a guy while they are being towed down the slope on a sled. They skied right by me... kids and adults all around were crying at what we were seeing. Directly after them came Jared and Steve. Apparently this man had fallen out of the ski lift just before they headed down the slope. While they were coming down they saw people shouting for help. The man's daughter, a doctor as well, was performing CPR. Someone took her aside and the two of them took over CPR until the ski patrol arrived. They knew he was gone as soon as they saw him.

It was awful. Surreal. It took me awhile to realize what happened... like midway through my second run I just started crying. I wasn't ok. J stopped and talked with me for a while. They see this all the time and I don't know how they deal with it. Part of me wanted to just quit for the day. The same part of me that had been grumpy all morning. But the other part of me felt different. Like I had to choose to enjoy this day. My grandparents haven't been doing well lately... two of them in home hospice care. And I am just feeling more and more the need to make it count, every day, everything you do. Because you really never know what will happen next.

I did awesome skiing each blue trail that day and didn’t quit on myself once. 

I had so much fun. We found out later that the man had died... he was only 68. He had had a heart attack on the lift before he fell. And although so very tragic, he was with his family doing something they loved. And because Jared loves skiing so much, I'm going to keep trying to do better. Making it count for us both, everyday.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Restaurant Week

Tonight we are heading out to Cleveland Restaurant Week with our friends Mary and Steve! Our favorite restaurant in the area is Red.
J has been there a couple times for pharmacy rep dinners and we went for his cousin's birthday dinner once. It really isn't a place we can afford to go so when you see a deal for a three course dinner at $33 you make a reservation ASAP!!
I plan on skipping lunch to fully enjoy my delicious dinner. I had oysters Rockefeller here for the first time and fell in LOVE... hope they are on the menu tonight!! Pics to come since of course, I take photos of my food. I can't help it, it's genetic!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


I eat oatmeal now. It is so weird. Not real oatmeal, instant with cinnamon and sugar flavoring and two yellow packets of fake sugar. And it looks totally gross to me. But it is good for you, good for Jared not to just have coffee and go every morning. Supposedly good for your cholesterol. So, we've been eating it and maybe one day I can move to a more healthy version.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Change Is Coming

We can feel it, the both of us. The uncertainty that is all around us that we are just starting to vocalize. Finally J's training is coming to an end and in 4 short months he will be done. Finished. Officially a Plastic/Reconstructive Surgeon and we are so super excited. I am beyond proud of this man. But with this comes change, possibly some big change. It will mean a new job for J, finally able to be out on his own as a doctor. But it may also mean moving, new places, and who knows what else. 

The search is on for what will situation will be best for both of us and the unknown is hard to deal with sometimes. Especially for the Type A person I am that wants to plan everything. It seems as if we have just gotten comfortable in our lives. Perhaps, as crazy as it sounds, we were meant to live here in Cleveland... but this just might not be an option. So who knows? It is kind of scary. Balancing the good and bad for each of us. What this will mean for my job is really hard to think about. I honestly find it hard to imagine finding a better job than the one I have now. But I am trying not to worry, to remember that I do believe everything happens for a reason.
This is an image of Cleveland taken last week taken from the International Space Station... our home for now. So we wait and try and get comfortable with this feeling. The excitement, anticipation, nervousness, sadness, all of it. Hoping that this next step will also be as great as the one we are currently in, a situation that we never knew we always wanted.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Magic of an Ordinary Day

We are usually pretty busy here at ECGML doing this, that or the other thing. Traveling, celebrating, baking, or heading out on the town with friends. But this weekend we kept it low key. We spent Friday night in, Saturday we met J's Aunt for lunch, worked out and then watched movies. And today was just lovely... just an ordinary day. The forecast was for a day filled with snow showers so we hit the road for our Sunday drive. We went through our favorite little town, Chagrin Falls and looked at the new home construction of places we could imagine living someday... right next to this barn with Clydesdale horses.
We hunted for pizza by the slice... realizing that we might as well drive the 7 hours to NYC for it. Then headed home to a crock pot dinner, some crocheting, a nap, and watching our little baby kitty play with her latest toy. Just one of those ordinary days that we love.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


As I am getting ready to leave work today I receive this text from my darling husband...
Hilarious! And so super cute.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Fallen off the planet

I'm still here. Honest. I haven't fallen off the planet. So much has been going on these last few months. I can't believe it has been 4 months since I really blogged.

When I returned from Italy I wanted to capture my trip perfectly, waiting for photos from my Dad and cousins and as I did the time just slipped away. There have been job interviews for J, birthdays, football games, Thanksgiving, a trip to Indianapolis, holiday parties, baking cookies, snow, End of the Mayan Calendar party, dinner with high school friends, Christmas, NYE, a work trip to Houston, our 15th year (OMG!) dating anniversary, movie nights, date nights, dinner with fraternity brothers who've moved into our favorite little town, a NYC visit, the Superbowl, game night with new friends in our building, a ski trip, and cooking new dinners.

So today... while figuring out what I was giving up for lent (5 days late and ice cream it is!) I decided to get back to blogging. I hope to backtrack on all those things I missed. Especially since I love getting this little blog printed so I can remember all the fun I get to do each year.

In the meantime, these are the photos from today. Me in red skinny jeans and red/white/and blue for President's Day. Thought I loved them until Jared saw me at the end of the day and mentioned how similar to a clown I looked. I hate clowns. Luckily I can use the jeans for Husker football games in the fall. We received some lovely Valentine's from Madison, Jacob, and Jamie. Love those kiddos too much! I tried my mother-in-laws recipe for stuffed shells and they were so good it put J into a food coma after dinner. Finally a new, well new to me, recipe that he likes!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time.

Such an odd little saying. I heard this at work while I was attending a microgravity science presentation to astronaut Suni Williams last week (Pinch me!). There were about 30 of us in the room discussing experiments that had been performed with her help on station. One of the scientists was referring to the daunting challenge of combustion physics and how the challenges we are presented at NASA are like trying to eat an elephant. You just have to take it bite by bite.

Fast forward to Saturday where we are skiing at Wisp resort again with our friend Steve. For some reason I haven't been thrilled with the thought of skiing. I am worried more than normal lately. I have my second half marathon coming up in May, which I haven't begun training for, and I'm worried about getting hurt. Not to mention that I don't like being cold. I don't like falling in the snow. I don't like when I'm not good at something and don't have control. Enter skiing. I have been a few times now over the years but I have just been super cranky about this little trip.

Jared wants to ski so much more than I do, so I go. I complain and try my best. One bite at a time.
Shockingly enough we had a great time. Maybe I'll make it down all blue trails next time!
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