Wednesday, April 6, 2016

It's time to trust my instincts, close my eyes and leap

Spring is here! Well, it's supposed to be... I did wake up to snow on the ground yesterday morning. But other than that, things are starting to turn green and bud around the farm. All this new (and returning) life inspired me to share some of the new things that have happened in my life over the past few months. 

The first is that I cut my hair. For the first time since I defended my dissertation. In the Spring of 2014. You probably can't tell by looking at the picture, but I cut 10+ inches off.

The second is I officially made the leap from Academia to Industry. If you aren't sure what that means, let me explain. When you pursue the realm of higher education, things start to be broken up into a sort of "Us" and "Them" situation. "Us" being the academics and "Them" being the people that work outside of academics, industry. Academics stay in academia: finish your PhD, do a post-doc for a few years, find a professorship, get tenured... Industry people typically finish their PhD, may pursue a post-doc for experience, then switch from academic institutions to industry institutions (essentially any non-academic institution). I've been walking the line for a few years by consulting for industry while doing a post-doc. In January I officially switched from consultant to full-time employee and wound down my post-doc. 

The third is we are getting chickens in a few weeks! We have been talking about it since before we moved to the farm, so I am super excited. Now when people ask "What type of animals are on your farm?", I have an answer. More on this later :)

Happy Spring friends!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Oh... This is a blog?

GoDaddy called me a few days ago:

"Hi, is this Meghan?"

"This is [whoever] from GoDaddy, we wanted to let you know your WP hosting will expire next week"

"Oh right, I have a blog..."

Surprisingly, the GoDaddy rep. didn't try to sell me on renewing my WP hosting after I said no thanks. Good for you GoDaddy.

Anyway, that phone call reminded me of my blog and forced me to make a few quick decisions. I had decided a while ago to let the WP hosting expire. I'm clearly not spending a lot of time maintaining this blog, so why am I paying for hosting when I can get decent enough hosting for free. I had originally thought about taking the site down for now, since it is so neglected, but I was talking to my Aunt Linda and she mentioned that she enjoyed the site. She hadn't had a chance to check it out in a while and hoped it would still be there when she did have time. Talking about my blog with her re-sparked my blog interest, although I haven't had anytime to start it back up until now. So, this one's for you Aunt Linda. The blog is still alive! I backed up my entire Wordpress site and imported what I could into Blogger. You'll notice the pictures are a mess in the past posts. I may or may not get to fixing that. We'll see.

I'm not going to make any promises of consistent or even frequent postings. But I'll post when I can.

Let's play a little catch up since August 2014:

The last time we talked, I had shared a video of the farm Colin and I moved to this summer. Well, we still live at the farm. Colin is working as a sales rep in the Kitchen and Bath industry and I accepted a post-doc fellowship over at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Both of our careers are keeping us quite busy. Some of our friends have gotten engaged, we have attended a few weddings, a few more friends are pregnant, some of our friends are single and living it up... Adult life keeps marching forward faster than ever.

We celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years with our friends and family. It was the first time in 4 years that we didn't have to drive all up and down the East Coast to see as many people as possible. Moving home was a great decision for us.

It's already February 2015. We moved back east over 8 months ago. I can't believe how fast that time has flown by. Our schedule has been jam packed for those 8 months. I think our schedule may slow down a little bit now that the "WE MOVED HOME, SEE ALL THE FRIENDS" phase and holiday's are over. Here's to hoping, at least.

I hope things have been great for you (whoever still reads this blog) since the last time I posted!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Tour...

When you move, people are always curious to see where you moved. I'm this way, I always want to see pictures. Well, today I have a tour of the farm Colin and I moved to a few months ago.

This past weekend Colin's brother, Ian, and his kids came to visit and help paint the fences. Ian also has a fancy quadcopter thing (I really have no clue about it) he brought with him, that can also take video. So, here is the video he took this weekend, doubling as an aerial tour of our farm. Hope you enjoy! :)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Fitness Fav on Friday {Week 2}

JVKom Chronicles

This weeks favorite for Fitness Fav on Friday is Fuel. What do I like to eat/drink to keep me going.

I have to be super honest here, I'm not really in to all the fitness energy/vitamin/whatevers very much. Sometimes I'll throw a scoop of protein powder in my smoothie, but thats about as far as I go. We keep chocolate and vanilla protein powder in the house pretty much all the time. My main focus for "fuel" is just to eat lots of protein, veggies, and fruits. I love to put a bunch of stuff in the blender and make a delicious smoothie so I can pack in the natural nutrients for the day.

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Lately, my favorite smoothie has been this dark cherry chocolate smoothie my friend Laura showed me a few months ago (Hi Laura! :) ). The ingredients and directions can be found here at The Detoxinista. The only substitution I usually make is to use coconut milk. I bet you could replace the cocoa powder with protein powder if you wanted to make it really fitness-y, but it probably will lose some of the chocolate flavor.

Hope you guys have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Stormy Wednesday

We have been hoping for rain all week. It has been in the forecast, and looked like it would rain the past few days, but it never did. We may have gotten a few drops last night, but I'm not sure. It was thundering and lightening when we were heading to bed.

Tonight it is thundering and lightening and some really awesome clouds have rolled in with the storm:

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Keep your fingers crossed we get some rain! The soy been fields sure could use some :)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

This weekend...

...A friend from University of New Mexico came to visit on his way to a conference in New York.

...We had a smallish Fourth of July party at the farm with some family and a few friends we hadn't seen in a while.


...I got in a run to sweat out the overindulgence from said Fourth of July party


...Macie and Millie frolicked in the soy bean fields on the farm
[gallery type="rectangular" ids="11292,11293"]
...We grabbed some breakfast from our favorite little coffee house

And finally,

...We explored our new home a bit more
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Hope you all had a nice weekend, too :)

Friday, July 4, 2014

UNM Doctoral Hooding

When I was an undergrad, I remember the first time hearing/reading about the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony. The description read something like "The doctors will be hooded on stage by their advisors". For some reason all I could imagine was something akin to The Skulls...

Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 8.06.58 PM

You know, like being initiated into a secret society or something? Or maybe if Pitch Perfect had been a thing when I was in high school or an undergrad, I would have imagined something more like...



Sadly, this is not what a Doctoral Hooding Ceremony is like. It's more like you walk on stage, your advisor puts a hood around your neck, you get all disoriented, forget to shake your advisors hand, and try to not fall off the stage while walking towards the other side.  That's how it was for me, at least.

[gallery type="slideshow" ids="11235,11233,11234,11232"]

So if, by chance, you ever wondered what a Doctoral Hooding Ceremony was like... that's it. Not nearly as exciting as my imagination lead me to believe. A few more shots, some from the professional photographers at GradImages and some by Colin.

[gallery type="rectangular" ids="11243,11244,11245,11246,11247,11248,11249,11250,11251,11252,11257,11258,11259,11260,11261,11262,11263,11264,11265,11266,11267,11268,11269,11255,11256" orderby="rand"]

So, in conclusion, Class of 2014,


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Fitness Fav on Friday {Week 1}

Hey Guys! Today I'm linking up with JVKom Chronicles for her Fitness Fav on Friday. The topic this month {if it wasn't obvious} is favorites.

JVKom Chronicles

Today's topic is Favorite Gear

1. Fitbit Flex

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I love my Fitbit. I wear it 24/7. It tracks my steps and activity level through out the day and also tracks my sleeping patterns at night. One of my favorite things is it allows you to connect with other Fitbit users. My Mom, Step-Father, and Sister-in-law all have one. We can keep up with one another and cheer on/taunt each other. It ranks you against each other, so it keeps you on your toes. My biggest complaint about the Fitbit is it doesn't have a Heart Rate Monitor. I'm interested in this whole "wearable biosensor" thing that's going on right now, but until someone can come up with a reliable wrist wearable that includes a HRM, I'll stick with this one right here.

2. Heart Rate Monitor


I admit that I am a Data freak. If I'm working out, I want to collect as much information about my workout as possible. I bought a heart rate monitor to help me determine a reasonable estimate of calories burned and to track my heart rate through out my exercise routine. Mine is a Polar FT4, but I have seen newer ones that give even more information. If I can really get into a good work out routine for a while, I may upgrade.

3. iPhone Holder Armband


I picked this up at Target. There are a lot of great apps to help with fitness. Some of them include GPS to track where you run, your pace, etc. I think it's annoying to have to hold my phone while running, and my shorts don't have pockets, so I use this armband to bring my phone along with me to use those apps as well as listen to some music.

4. Headphones


So you know those earbuds that come with your iPhone? I hate those things. They never stay in my ears even when I'm sitting perfectly still. So running with them in? Forget it! I bought these headphones that have an extra piece that loops over the ear, securing them in place. These headphones specifically even can change size, to get a tighter fit if you have small ears.

5. iPhone Apps

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So, I'm not sure if this is going to be a topic another week, so I'll include it now. If it is a topic later in the link up, I'll just copy and paste ;)

iPhone apps only feed my need for data collection. The main ones I use for fitness are Fitbit, MyFitnessPal, and Couch-2-5K. I already introduced the Fitbit at the beginning of the post, and I'm sure it comes as no surprise that they have an iPhone app. What is really nice is that it syncs seamlessly with MyFitnessPal. MyFitnessPal is an app for tracking your fitness activities and food intake. I don't track my food each day, but I like to see how my exercise is impacting my recommended daily calorie count. I actually don't fuss over calories, I just try to eat whole, unprocessed foods as much as possible. MyFitnessPal is a nice way to keep up with others in my family an friends that are also health conscious. Finally, the Couch-2-5K app is a coach to help you through a, you guessed it, Couch to 5k program. This app has GPS to track how far you run and what you pace is, and it also has a coach {mine is a zombie} that tells you when to warm up, run/walk, and cool down. I'm terrible at pacing myself when running, so these programs are really helpful. It also keeps all of your data so you can see your progress as you work through the program.

So those are my top 5 fave's, because I could go on forever but this post is already long enough! If you want to jump in on this link up, be sure to check out!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Our New Normal


Moving back to the East Coast from the Southwest has been/still is a big transition. We moved out to Albuquerque in August of 2010, which means we lived out there for a little under 4 years. There is no doubt that moving out there was a HUGE transition. It was a brand new world to us; there are mountains, NO beach, NO humidity, pretty much everything is brown, the culture is vastly different, the food is vastly different... Moving back East will be an easier transition since we both grew up here, but it will be a transition none-the-less.

This week is the first week since we have been back East that we have really had a chance to figure out our new normal. We are mostly moved in to the farm house {pictures soon-ish}, Colin has started his job {his first working from home}, and I have been working to wrap things up with my research projects at UNM. We have a lot more to figure out, but so far it has been nice to have our own schedule together. There is something oddly fun and refreshing about sitting across from one another at the kitchen table working {even though we both have our own offices in the house}.

One of the first things I want to add to my new normal is to get back into working out somewhat. I've never been good at having a solid consistent workout routine, but I usually workout enough to keep in good enough shape. I let that go while finishing up my dissertation {ahem} and now I need to catch back up. Colin agreed to start running with me, so I figured I'd try to do {and actually finish} a Couch-2-5k program.

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Can you tell I was running along side the crops on the farm? Ha! I started On July 1st, and managed to get in 2.05 miles in the 30 minute timeframe.  I'm confident I could have done more, but I want to really follow the program, and there is a lot of walking in the first few weeks. That is fine with me, that's why I like these programs, they ease you into running. And let me tell you, a runner I am not!

I'm glad we have started to find our new normal. I'm sure it'll change a few more times in the next few months before we get really settled in a routine, but it's nice to have some semblance of a routine.