If you ask Jillian what she did yesterday, she would give you a list of things that we did days, weeks, or months ago… plus, a few things that we actually did yesterday. She doesn’t comprehend what “yesterday” really means and time runs together.

I feel the same way! Time passes so fast. So, what happened “yesterday”?

  • I got back to running and working out during the week. Since Jayla is sleeping through the night, I have a tiny bit more energy (5 weeks ago)
  • I celebrated another birthday – the big 32! We enjoyed dinner at my favorite restaurant, and the girls behaved! (4 weeks ago)
  • I went to visit my dear friend and met her beautiful son for the first time (3 weeks ago)
  • Our good friends from college were vacationing on the West coast, and we got the chance to spend the day with their family. (2 weeks ago)
  • I submitted proposals for two grant nominations. (the real yesterday)

That’s what’s been up with me.

And here are a few pics from my adventures 🙂

Being silly in the car


After our outdoor painting adventure


Admiring her handiwork


Sitting in a box


Riding the carousel at the mall


Pooped after a long run with mommy


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1st birthday

Jayla turned one in April and we celebrated with a party. She enjoyed fun, good company, and yummy cake! We might have let her eat a bit too much cake, because she was up for 3 hours in the middle of the night after the party… But, we had a great time.

jayla birthday party1

jayla birthday party3

jayla birthday party2

jayla birthday cake

I also made muffins for her actual birthday and was able to leave work to join in wishing her a happy birthday with her teachers and friends.

birthday muffin2

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a whole year since she was born. So much has happened since then! Just days after her birth, J and I were trying to decide about which job offer to take and J even flew out to the west coast for one final interview when Jayla was one week old. But, things are amazing! God placed us at a wonderful institution, our careers are starting off well, and the girls have had a very smooth transition at daycare and at home. We are truly blessed.

Happy birthday, Jayla!

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twiddling my thumbs

This semester, I was so focused on preparing my lecture notes, assigning, solving, and grading homework problems, and deciding on what papers to have my students read that I didn’t have time for anything else. Now that the class is over, I’m feel lost, like I don’t have anything to do. That is hardly the case, as I let so many things sit on the back-burner until I could devote more time to them. But, for a few minutes, I’m twiddling my thumbs and enjoying a little more time in my schedule. I’ll scroll through CNN, facebook, and instagram… and then get back to work.

Meanwhile, here’s a peek at my fully-mobile, getting-into-everything, no-more-bottles-only-sippy-cups 1-year old 🙂





this one is for you, mom

My last blog post was following the first faculty meeting of the year, and I just came from my LAST faculty meeting of the year. It’s obviously been a very busy 8 months, since I haven’t blogged since then. So, this post is dedicated to my lovely mother who has encouraged me to try to find time to continue this blog. It helps her to learn more about what’s going on with me and my three J’s, and it helps my family and friends around the world (literally… hi E!!) stay updated.

Okay, so I’ll work on it! And now is the perfect time to start, since I’m done teaching for the year and I will be pulled in fewer directions.

Here’s the quick update, with a promise of more details later:

  • J and I survived our first academic year as professors!We managed to keep up with all of our work stuff, raise two beautiful girls, plus make time to go on a few dates. We even had 4 days in Canada for a mini-vacation, which was wonderful.
  • Jillian turned three in February! She is her own little person – she can carry on a conversation about her day at school, likes to play with her sister, and lately, has been enamored with the movie “Despicable Me 2”.
  • Jayla turned one last month! She is walking, has the biggest, cutest smile, and is sleeping through the night. Hallelujah!

I’m looking forward to experiencing our first summer on the West coast. So far, we have enjoyed the area, and especially the weather! We have a few trips planned, plus swim lessons for the girls. For now, thank goodness it’s Friday and have a great weekend.

~ S

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my first faculty meeting

Today, I attended the first faculty meeting of the academic year, and my first faculty meeting EVER!  It was great – good people, good discussion (a bit of drama, but not too crazy), and good food.  I had the opportunity meet faculty members whom I did not see during my interview or haven’t seen since being on campus.  I was warmly welcomed and was able to see how different people interact with one another.  We made some important decisions, and although I did not really weigh in on them, I was excited to be included.  This was the first of many faculty meetings and I am looking forward to contributing to the department!

In other news, this was a good week: I wrote the specific aims for my first grant proposal, contacted the Program Official who could potentially fund my grant, and met with a Masters student who is doing a short research project with me.  I guess I really am a Professor! 🙂

Happy Friday to all!

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anybody there?

I’m here! It’s been a while, but I’m still here. I’m busy with life/work/family, which makes it very hard to keep up with blogging. So here’s a quick rundown… I am now a resident of California!  I am an assistant professor at a great west-coast university! I am a wife to my best friend!  I am a mom to two beautiful children!  The weather is gorgeous!  Our transition has been (mostly) smooth!  To sum it up, I am BLESSED!

The past 6 weeks have been hectic with our cross-country move – settling into a new home, starting a new job, sending the girls to a new daycare, and somehow making time to laugh and enjoy it all. I miss our east-coast friends, but this new life is not too shabby!

So yes, I’m here.  I’m thankful for where I am in life and want to enjoy my career and my family.  And I promise to blog again soon… at least before I go up for tenure in 6 years 🙂

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bags packed

Well, today is my last full day of living on the East Coast.  The bags are packed and tomorrow, J, Jillian, Jayla, and I will get on a plane to the Midwest to visit my family for a few days before heading to… California!

Our job applications, interviews, offers, and decisions have landed us at a private university in sunny California. Both J and I will be tenure-track Assistant Professors, where we will lead a research lab and have teaching responsibilities.  The final decision came down to two schools, which were worlds apart both physically and culturally. But, we made the hard decision based on the research opportunities that would be available, strengths of the department and students, and quality of life.  We will not be close to family (although one of the groomsmen from our wedding is in the city where we’ll be, and one of my best friends is in California too).  But, this is a great move for our careers and our family, and I am excited to start this new chapter of my life… no more training (undergrad, grad, postdoc) and finally starting a career!

Unfortunately, starting a new chapter means an old one has to close.  And that is the incredibly sad part of leaving tomorrow.  This is the place where J and I started our family and it is the only “home” Jillian knows.  She has been at the same daycare since she was 12 weeks old.  We love the women who take care of her, and it is hard to imagine making the same connection to the new daycare she will go to.  And of course, I have several close friends that have helped me feel at home here, from day one (thanks, M!!).  I feel connected to this place in a way that I never imagined, since after I moved here by myself before J finished grad school.  But, the city has grown on me, and I am very sad to have to leave.

Thankfully, great friendships and connections can endure distance (even 2000 miles)!  And, I am hopeful that we will find a great network at our new home, just as we have done here.  So, this is an exciting and hopeful time.

I am looking forward to sharing many more stories and memories in the weeks to come!


the first goodbye

Yesterday was Jayla’s two month check up. She is growing and progressing well. She is still a little on the small side (18th percentile for weight), but she is doing well. The next visit is at 4 months, but by then, we will have moved far away. That means we had to say goodbye to our wonderful pediatrician.

I am sad to have to leave Dr. B. We first met her when I was pregnant with Jillian and have really grown like her a lot. She is understanding of a new parent’s worries and offers great advice without being overbearing. The check ups always started with her asking how J and I are doing mentally, emotionally and even professionally. Then she would answer all our questions and tell us what big and small things would be coming up before the next visit. She treated the babies with a lot of care and concern. Just a really nice person and great doctor.

This is the first of many goodbyes that we will have to say as we prepare to leave the East coast. (I promise that my next post will be about our new life ahead…!) I am realizing that it will be very hard to leave the many friends and the community we have found here.

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back in the chair, 9 weeks later

This morning, I am at the hair salon enjoying some much needed “me” time. I haven’t been here since before Jayla was born, and as I sit here, I am remembering the anxiety and anticipation I felt 9 weeks ago. I was engrossed in thoughts of which job offer J and I would accept, how we would handle having 2 children, and the long list of things I needed to finish at work before my maternity leave started. I was overwhelmed! My hair stylist will attest to that… I blurted out all the things on my mind while sitting in her chair!

Now 9 weeks later, I still have a lot going on:  J and I decided on our jobs and are preparing to move (more on that later), we are surviving with 2 children and enjoying it most of the time, and well, I’ll always have a lot of things to do at work.  But what is different is my perspective.  The past seven weeks with a newborn have been very challenging.  There are late night feedings, lots of crying, very little sleep, and a toddler in her terrific/terrible twos to top it off.  But, as always, God is in control.  He has given me more patience, although sometimes it doesn’t feel that way.  He has provided a lot of help (shout-out to my mom and J’s mom for staying with us, and the women at our church for bringing us wonderful meals).  And He has demonstrated once again that trusting in Him is the best choice.

It is sometimes easy to forget all of this, especially when I finally get Jayla to sleep at 6am and then Jillian wakes up crying, but I know God will care for me and my family in the exact ways that we need.
Happy Thankful Thursday!

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farmers, flowers, and food

Yesterday was a special day for me and all mothers!  J, Jillian, and Jayla treated me to a wonderful day.  I got to sleep in a bit after a rough night with Jayla and enjoyed homemade waffles for breakfast.  J also surprised me with beautiful flowers!  Then, we got dressed and headed downtown to the farmers’ market.  It was our first time going, and boy was it an experience.  There were so many vendors and shoppers.  The weather was beautiful (just a bit windy), and we really had a great time.  We did not buy much this time, but are planning to go back next week and see how much of our normal grocery shopping we can get there.  The highlight of the trip was feasting on yummy homemade mini donuts.  These donuts were just heavenly – light, fluffy, with just the right amount of donut sugar (something like powdered sugar, but with a lemon twist).  At first we just bought 6.  Then we went back and bought 12 more.  Even Jillian loved them, and we almost fought over the last one! 🙂  Jillian took a long nap when we got back home, and I managed to get a few minutes of rest too.  For dinner, J made crabcakes, fried okra (my first time eating it!), wild rice, and cheddar biscuits (like the ones at Red Lobster).  In case you haven’t noticed, he is my resident chef!!

So, yesterday was a great day, spent with my wonderful husband and girls.  I look forward to many many more!

Happy belated Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

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