Friday, January 1, 2010

2009: All of It.

Okay, so it's been a while since I last posted. Almost a full year, in fact. But I am up waiting for mom to get back from chaperoning a stake dance and decided to go for it. So here is the year in review. My top 10 events of 2009 chronological order:

1- I became an aunt! Polly Gabrielle Sloan, the daughter of David and Naomi Sloan, joined the family in February and she is pretty much the cutest thing ever. She is the first grandchild and we all completely adore her. This is her at about 1 month.

2- Crystal got married! Just a month after David had a child he finally got a brother! Crystal Sloan became Crystal Black when she married Kedrick and the two are living the blissfully happy newlywed life in Salt Lake City, where he works as an engineer.

3- Ashlee went on a mission! Ashlee has served just over half of her time as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at the Salt Lake City Temple Square mission. She is doing wonderfully well and we're very proud of her. I've seen some good Dartmouth friends go on missions as well- Kersti and Reuben are both serving amazingly well in Vancouver and Brazil. Other friends saw changes such as marriages (Maurice and Deb) and broken ankles (you know who you are). Here is Ashlee on temple square the day she received her endowments in preparation for her mission. Pretty cool that she got receive her endowments IN her mission!

4- I worked in Young Women's! I had a dramatic change in calling, when after 4 years in Primary I was called to be the Young Women's 1st counselor. I learned a lot and had a great time getting to know these wonderful girls and the other leaders. Here we are before going to see a play.

5- I traveled everywhere looking for postdoc positions! That's right, North Carolina, Philadelphia, California... but in the end I'm going to... well I'll save that for later in the post. Let's just say it wasn't New Zealand, though it came close to being. Here's Duke's campus in full bloom in March, when there was still quite a bit of snow on the ground at Dartmouth.

6- Arielle and I had a rockin' summer! We hiked and learned about the Shakers and killed spiders and used the word "epic" way to much and the fun just went on and on. I also went on a trip to visit Laura and the Spjuts in early June, where I got to meet Laura's baby, Freja, who is just 2 months older than Polly. For this part I offer you 2 pictures of people on mountains. The first is Arielle on Cannon mountain in New Hampshire where she and I did a spontaneous sunset hike. Yes, we went back down mostly in the dark. The second is me on a hike on a mountain that I think is called Sunrise peak in California.

7- I graduated! After 5+ years! I became Dr. Sloan! This was my biggest life event this year. The first couple months of fall were mostly spent with me locked away in the office trying desperately to finish writing, so there's not much else to report there except that I was released from YW's, which made me sad but was good for them because I was a complete wreck with all the stress. Here are some pictures from the day of my defense. Crystal, Mom and Dad all came and we had apple pie and played games and had a big dinner at the Tip Top Cafe. I'll miss you Dartmouth! Thanks for treating me so well! Below you will see a picture of the family at my fairwell dinner. Crystal was, well, being Crystal. Gotta love it. The second is all of us on our zipline adventure that we took the next day in celebration. So fun!

8- I got a postdoc! Well, kind of. And yes, it officially came after I graduated, but better late than never. I will be moving to Long Island this month to do at least 6 months of training but it may end up being longer. I'll find out more in February. Don't you just love fuzzy futures? Yeah, me neither, but I won't be sleeping on Mom and Dad's couch for at least 6 more months! Whoo hoo! Since I don't really have any fitting pictures of that yet here is one of a rented pickup truck full of my stuff which Mom and Dad so lovingly moved to CT for me while I finished up at Dartmouth.

9- I went to Costa Rica! This was one of the most amazing trips of my life. I traveled alone to Costa Rica for 3 weeks where I lived with a host family, learned a bunch of Spanish at a language institute (though I still have a LONG way to go) made several friends and ate more beans and rice than I care to recall. I went white water rafting, saw crocodiles up close and risked my life by getting in several Costa Rican taxis which are mostly operated by drivers that are certifiably insane (with a few exceptions). It was exactly what I needed after all that defense mayhem. In order these photos are: a tour guide feeding crocodiles (craziness), the hot springs at Arenal volcano (gorgeous and oh so relaxing) a church in San Jose, and rafting the Pacuare river (unbelievable).

10- Christmas! Everyone except for Ashlee was here, including Polly the Adorable. We had a great Christmas morning, delicious Christmas dinner, went bowling (I did terrible) and watched too many movies and played too much Scrabble and Blokus. It was a blast. I even got to see Laura, Jakob and Freja. Polly got to meet Freja who I am determined will be her college roomate. We creamed the competition at our annual volleyball game against the Binghams. Arielle and Iwent to see our favorite band, Enter the Haggis and the next night we had a quiet New Years playing games with the family. In order these photos are: Polly being oh so happy about getting her picture taken, the winning Polly smile, bowling with the family, baby day with the Spjuts, and Arielle and I at the concert. Notice Arielle is wearing an ETH shirt. Yeah

In short, 2009 has been awesome. In one more week (during which I have no idea what I'm going to do) I will move to Long Island to start the next chapter of my life. Bring on 2010!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Through Christmas and Hawaii

Yeah, ok. So it's been a really really long time since I posted something. I keep thinking- "oh, I'll just post something after such-and-such," or "I'll do it over Christmas break." But I am lazy. That's all there is to it. So here you go- everything since, uh- wow. Since Halloween!

First, here is a shot from Maurice's somewhat impromptu birthday party at our house. Sweet hat, eh?
In November I went to the American Society of Human Genetics Conference in Philadelphia. Here are me and some of my labmates at the poster session. This just begged to be posted somewhere.We spent an afternoon at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This was I think my favorite painting. For Thanksgiving I easily convinced Mom and we together more difficultly convinced Dad to go see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! Here is Snoopy in all his glory. Getting back in NH just in time for the Joseph Smith Memorial Christmas lighting was definitely worth it.Surprisingly I got a new calling! I'm now in YW of all places! This chocolate musical note was given to me by one of the Valiant girls to commemorate my being Primary Chorister for 2 1/2 years!And here we arrive at Christmas. Everyone was home and it was really really fun! Dave and Naomi are expecting their first, Polly, February 18th. Ashlee's putting in mission papers, Crystal got engaged, and Arielle is still up to her schemeing ways, as you can see below.
We decided to go all out and revisit the old days of acting out the Nativity since there were so many of us and we actually had a pregnant woman. I was the angel. We even recruited some Christmas dinner guests into the action.As is tradition, we challenged the Wades and Palmbergs to a Christmas-time sporting event. This year it was volleyball instead of basketball and we invited the Binghams as well. I am pleased to report that we totally schooled all the other families. Or at least that's I choose to remember it. Since this is my blog, that's how it's going to be.We played a lot of games. This years big hit "The Great Dalmuti", also called scum in some circles. A really bad hand would be one of every number. Guess who was dealt that hand. We got to take Kedrick (Crystal's betrothed) on a tour of NYC. Ashlee and I and my friend David (not to be confused with my brother) went down and had a really fun if not terribly productive day. Here is a carousel ride in central park. This was David's first carousel ride ever! Such a thing should definitely be immortalized. This is how ground zero looks now. It's a sobering place, but they are actively rebuilding. As I mentioned before Crystal got engaged over Christmas! Whoo hoo! She's getting married March 14th in Bountiful, UT. We're all pretty excited and really like her fiance Frederick, uh, I mean Kedrick. He proposed at Wickham park on the sledding hill. Cute, eh? Here's the ring. I thought people would be interested to see.Crystal challenged us all to bowling. None of us could take down Dad, though I did come REALLY close. Anyway, we're still good at looking intimidating.Just for fun we made a movie with David's new video camera (I'm talking about the brother here). This is Ashlee dressed up as her character, "Clare deLune". I was Anna Sassin. But I'm choosing not to put that picture up. Alright- phew! Last leg of the blog post. Hawaii.
I got to fly out with Ashlee a few days early and go to Oahu before heading out to Kona on the Big Island. Surprisingly enough we ran into Crystal and Kedrick at the Chicago airport! Random!
This is my only make-you-jealous sunset beach picture, I promise. This one happens to be Waikiki.It was really really fun to go back and visit BYUH and take Ashlee on this walk down memory lane. I even got to see Dr. Day and Dr. Goodwill. Good times.Here we are in the eucalyptys tree outside the biology department. I've spent a lot of time in/underneath this tree. The Laie temple with Ashlee and her roomate Lindsay. The temple's closing down for a year and a half for renovations. I got to see Beth! It had been so long! It was really fun to catch up. Alright, here's Kona. This is the beach at the hotel we stayed at, with its own private lagoon. All this first-class living we do at conferences is totally spoiling me. Maybe I am an elitist after all.I got to go down to the Kona temple which I'd never seen before. It is very beautiful.I took a trip out to Hilo one afternoon. I didn't have much time but did get to see some things from back when I visited in the BYUH days. Here's me on the hike down to the caldera of Kilauea Iki. Some obliging fellow tourists took my picture :)
OK. I'm done. And sleepy. I look forward to many more adventures and keeping you updated as possible.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fabulous Fall 2008

Now that it is below 30 degrees on a regular basis and dark at 5 pm, I feel that we can officially call autumn over, or at least in its denouement (literary shout-out to Naomi, even though that's probably not the right way to use that word). It has been a lovely autumn- in fact, one of the most beautiful ones I can remember. The leaves stayed on the trees for a quite a while (and I'm sure are still on in many of your locations), and were really very stunning. I spent more time than I probably should have enjoying the trees from my hammock. I've actually been thinking- what if I postdoc somewhere where there's nowhere to hang up my hammock! What if I end up in a city! Can I do without it for 2 whole years?????

2 Bostonian Conferences

I attended 2 conferences in the Boston-ish area. The first was a weekend conference regional YSA conference at the church's new campsite, Camp Zion. It's really quite nice, and will help with all of the over-crowding at Camp Joseph. It has lots of cute little cabins at campsites like "Council Bluffs" and "Nauvoo" and a lake complete with a small boathouse. We spent an hour out on the lake trying to manuever a rowboat... not that easy. Though, naturally if I had been the one paddling it would have been a different story. But the boys wouldn't let us so, whatever. Below is a picture of the cabin we stayed in as well as the lake, though apparently not in that order.

The second conference was the semi-annual all Ivy league conference, which I think they should rename "Smart Mormon Kids in Debt" (S.M.O.K.I.D). Unfotunately (and fortunately too, I guess) I spent most of the time in the temple working my shifts. I got to do 2 sessions with Dad which was really great! Usually we only see each other in passing even though we're there at the same time. But the conference was really fun- I only took 2 pictures and they're both just of Elyse making funny faces, so if other people have some they should let me know, because my collection is severly lacking.

The Tunbridge World's Fair!

That's right, the Tunbridge World's Fair- and by World's fair we mean county fair with a fancy name. Though it is 138th year and thus deserves a great deal of respect. It doesn't fail to live up to its name, though! Everything there is huge- the oxen, the pumpkins, the horses, the tractors, the corndogs... need I go on? Also, I bet you all have never seen so many things that were flavored with maple syrup. I highly recommend the maple cotton candy. It's pretty amazing. I should also mention that the parking lot attendants were from the military. I've never seen such efficient and frankly, intimidating people direct us how to park our car. They took their job way seriously. They were also the people who were selling the tickets at the front. It was really kind of strange. That's a lot of security for Tunbridge, VT. I mean, the fair probably increases the town's population by a factor of 10 every night it's open.

These ducks were sooo cute- they were miniature!
Maggie is thinking of a career change. Who needs law school when you can drive this puppy all day?

Mt. Cardigan- take 2!

In an older post you can see us doing this hike with the family after Arielle's graduation. I think it's in "Summer- take 1". Maggie and I would have had a "whitest legs" competition this time too, and I'm sure I would have won, except it was too dang cold at the top to do anything but huddle behind giant rocks and try to take pictures. The wind was seriously intense. The view was spectacular, though! This was actually General Conference weekend. We hiked in the morning, watched conference, went apple picking and then watched more conference. I think it was the single most productive day I've ever had. I don't think I'll ever top it.
This is me being silly.

I went around and tried to take foliage pictures. This is Tex enjoying the view at Mascoma lake. Notice that both of these tires look full- I've had a couple incidents in that arena lately due to the construction on our street that is now FINALLY over! Anyway, isn't she cute?Homecoming

No fall term at Dartmouth would be complete without the Homecoming bonfire. The freshman build a huge (and safely designed) wood scaffolding with the year of their class on top (in this case, 12). The tower is lit, turns blazing hot and all the freshman have to run around it (in this case the goal is 112 times) while everyone else stands around yelling encouraging things like "Run, freshman, run!" "Worst class ever" "You're running the wrong way, turn around!" and my personal favorite "Touch the fire!" They like to make them feel welcome. Those of us who don't yell, watch the fire for a while and then go get some free donuts and cider in the student center. mmmmm.... donuts.....


I bet the rest of you didn't hit up 3 Halloween parties this year. But we sure did! Actually, 4 if you count the trunk-or-treat on Wednesday. Which is pretty awesome in our ward because the kids are so cute! The first Halloween party, I will grant you, ended really early and the second one we were only at for about 10 minutes. But they were pretty fun, and it was the most excitement we had seen in a while. What's funny is that the 10 of us LDS Dartmouth kids go so stir crazy we have to get out and go to these Boston activities, but once we get there all we do is hang out together and take pictures of each other! I guess that shows how close we really are. Ahhhh.... I will end my official report of fall with this picture of the classiest clown in the world trying to entertain Wonder Woman. But alas, to no avail. Despite all her powers, Wonder Woman doesn't get my highly sophisticated comedic talent. If only I knew how to juggle. Crystal, where were you when I needed you?

With that we can settle into winter. Upcoming posts will include- "Chantel meets Philadelphia" as I attend the American Society of Human Genetics meeting next week, "Thanksgiving and the Macy's Day Parade" (provided we are actually successful in getting Dad out of bed early enough to go the parade) and "Life in a Swing State!", as I'm sure tomorrow's election day in New Hampshire will be something to remember. Have a lovely day- thanks for reading :)