Sunday, January 12, 2014

Some changes....

It's been an eventful couple of months here in Nashville, so you'll have to excuse our online absence.
We'll start with the biggest change of all- the loss of our faithful dog, Khaya.  We will devote a post to her, when we can bring ourselves to write it.  It happened the day after Thanksgiving, was a complete surprise, and suffice it to say- we are still devastated. She was our dog for 8 years, and Brendon's and my only "child" for 5 of those years. It's almost impossible for me to type just this without blinding tears in my eyes.
Our little family will never be the same.

In happier news, Brendon has had a couple of months of changes in his employment.  He left his job as a Product Manager at a Wine and Spirits Distributor, and moved into managing lighting solutions for an alternative energy company... a job he really enjoyed... for about a month...until he got the call to join a company he had applied to months before,  which is a job that he'd wanted for a long time.  He is now a manager for a real estate developer here in Nashville.  He's only been on the job for a week, but he really likes it.  It allows him to meld his years of customer/product interaction, construction and management skills. I think it really appeals to his creative side, as well.

As for me,  this summer I'll have been a postdoc at Vanderbilt for 3 years and 1 year as an Instructor.  I just had another paper provisionally accepted, and received a private foundation grant (my first ever!) from the American Gastroenterological Association for my salary and research for three years.   It's my goal to run my own academic lab, so this year I applied to a number of assistant professor positions, including a couple here at Vanderbilt. So far, I know I'm in the running for two positions at Vanderbilt, one at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,  and I'll interview at University of Oregon at the end of this month, which you can imagine, we are thrilled about. It takes, on average, 3 years for a cell biology PhD scientist to get a academic job as tenure-track assistant professor in the United States, so even if these chances don't end in a job, I'll keep trying. Fingers are crossed that I'll be able to start my own lab soon!

The girls are doing really well and changing rapidly, as kids do.  Evelyn will turn FOUR in a month, and I can't believe it.  She's such a big girl- she's writing her letters and working on sight words.  I can't believe kindergarten is only 1.5 years away.  Cora Jane is 1.5 years old as of last month, starting to babble up a storm and runs and chases her sister everywhere.   They play together really well and we feel very lucky to have these two little ladies as sisters.

So... many things going on.
Thanks for all of your support.
Here's a shot of the ladies from a rare, snowy day we had in Nash, not long ago.
(Did I mention it was 2 degrees here for a week, with a -10 wind chill?!)

Friday, November 1, 2013


Photo Dump- Trip to Oregon

Here are a ton of pics from our trip to Oregon early October.  The weather was beautiful, the marathon was outstanding (22 minute PR!) and it was SO wonderful to see family and friends!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Home in Oregon!

Up at 4am with the girls and a dinosaur this morning. Guess they're still on Nashville time!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, September 21, 2013

*only* 12 miles...

Well, that's it.

After a month of running 18-20 miles every weekend, its now time to taper-off, in preparation for the Portland marathon Oct. 6th. (Did you know you'll be able to track my progress online??  Check out the Portland Marathon site on the day-of for details.)  We will travel to Oregon from Oct. 2 to Oct 9.  We haven't been "home" in over 2 years, so its bound to be a trip full of emotions and building memories and we can't wait.

(Truth be told, it's hard for me to even type about it. A faculty member from the University of Oregon visited Vanderbilt recently and I got choked up at dinner talking to him about Oregon, but I managed to keep it together. Have I mentioned I miss Portland? A lot? ;-) )

ANYWAYS.  Enough of the mushy stuff.  There will be plenty of time for that when we are out there.

Tomorrow's run?
*Only* 12 miles.

I smoked the last 20 miler in 3hours, 30 mins! (on an incredibly hilly route!) WOOO!

Tough to see, but here's the course. Suffice it to say, it's along the river for pretty much all of it.  :-)

Thursday, September 5, 2013


We had our first professional photos of the girls taken when we were home in Montana.  Here are a couple of "teasers" the photographer provided. More to come when we get them all!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Happy 1 year birthday, Cora Jane!

We can't believe it, but one year ago on August 26th 2012, Cora Jane Dietz Powell joined our family! She is the sweetest little girl and we love her so much.
Here we were one year ago:
(This photo doesn't even look real to me. Taken 12 days before she was born- 2 days before my "due date" of course, we all know how that went. If and when we have a third baby, I'll know to just ignore those pesky "due dates.")

Here she is now!

Born at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, August 26th, 2012 at 4:58am
8lbs, 12oz and 20.5 inches

One year appt. August 27th, 2013:
21lbs, 3oz (71st percentile), 31 inches (97th percentile)

She's growing so much and eating everything we do!  She walks along things (no independent steps yet) and says "bye-bye", and "up" and "uh-oh" and "dada". (Ok, and she signs "more." But now I'm just showing off. ha!).  SUCH a joy to have!!  We love you, Cora Jane!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Trips to the West

The lats couple of weeks, I've been in Colorado for a meeting and then in Montana to see family.  (Brendon flew with the girls to Denver, met up with me and we went to Montana together.)  All in all, it was 2.5 weeks of gloriously non-humid weather, [real] mountains, and a wonderful time with family and friends!!

First Colorado:
Steamboat Springs is such a wonderful location for a science conference.  It's located at about 6,500 feet in elevation and right in the middle of the mountains.  Tons of hiking, etc.  The conference was great (I gave a talk- see page 2- and got good feedback-- which also meant I didn't have to haul a poster there.  WIN). And I was able to see my former mentor, Missy Wong, and go hiking and to the hotsprings with her, some folks from my lab and and one of her postdocs, Nick, (who actually did grad school in Eugene right next to a lab where a friend of mine worked. Small world).  We found out the hotsprings were "clothing-optional" after dark, and some people were taking advantage of that.  Thank goodness it was VERY dark out!  Great trip!

Missy and I taking a break from a hike

Western US streams are something I will never take for granted!

One of the views as my lab mates and I approached RabbitEars Pass on a hike

My lab mates and I as we made it to the top! 9,500 feet!

Brendon sent me pics of the girls everyday.  This was a favorite.  They look so grown up!

Now for Montana:  We went and visited my mom and dad.  We didn't see my little sister Katy, as she was out in Seattle, but are looking forward to seeing her in December or January.  Mostly, we stayed in Great Falls, where I am from, but did take a 2 day trip up to my parents cabin they bought a couple of years ago.  It's 20 acres in the middle of the mountains on the Continental Divide in Montana.  Its a wonderful little spot and we felt lucky to visit it!

Ev loved digging in grandma's dirt!

Beer from the west!


Frying fish caught by Grandpa with Grandma!

Out on the boat

Driving with dad

View from about halfway through my 18 mile run.  Missouri River. Gorgeous.

Dirt with cousins!

Dinner with cousins!

Dishes with grandma!

With great-grandparents!

Bedtime story on the porch at the cabin.  Best setting ever!

Ev and grandma

Feeding the trout at the hatchery

Family pic!
That's a moose. 

Grandpa talks to us about a bug.

The best way to grill fish is with no pants.

LOVE Montana!

Flying home. iPad is a savior. Such a big girl now!

Cora slept on the flight.

This is about the time we realized it was her first birthday! Whoops!