The Summer from Hell

Dandelion seed in a transparent locket

This upcoming Friday, I would have been 4 months pregnant. It feels weird to say it out loud. It almost feels like a bad joke or a bad dream and not something that was our reality a few months ago.

It feels as if I am perfectly aware of what our alternate reality would be, I can sense exactly what stage I would be in, how we would be preparing for our bundle of joy, the stresses that would seep into daily life. It hurts to think about the future wondering how it will play out and contrast it to what could have been, especially when we had a concrete timeframe that shattered within a matter of days.

March will roll around and it will be just any other day. March will come and I will be wearing the same pair of pants I have been wearing for the last few years. But in my alternate reality, it would be a completely different March. March would have been full of discomfort, pain and an unbelievable amount no sleep, but it would have been perfect.

I think as a human species we anticipate growth, as uncomfortable as change is, without it, we feel lost or wonder what we are doing wrong to be stuck in whatever rut we are in. And to be forced into a life stage for an indefinite time period is anxiety inducing. We had our ticket out of this phase, and I lost it; pushed back into a boat we no longer wanted to be in.

Part of me wants to forget our alternate reality, and on certain days I bury myself in my work that it is quite easy. But it doesn’t diminish the grief and pain that will come in waves. It doesn’t replace the hole in my heart. But if I forget it feels like I would be turning my back on the little one that we lost.

I will always wonder how our lives would be different if he/she would have been present in our family. I will always keep him (or her) close to my heart, because in its short time with me, it had my heart, so it just seems right that it will forever keep a portion of it.






**We experienced a death, there is no spin to make it better. We are completely capable of seeing the blessings we are given, please do not try to point them out. If there truly is a silver-lining we will have already thought of it, but that will not bring back the life that once was, that will not heal the wounds and memories that this summer created for us. 

Qualifications of a Future Husband



I am a huge fan of making lists, and have been for as long as I can remember. And as any young girl can, I made a list of qualities I wanted I my future husband.

It consisted of nearly 50 qualities that kept getting longer with time… I didn’t have a boyfriend in high school, what else was I to think about (insert sarcasm)?

But one day in science class we were giving our presentations and there was a boy who gave a presentation on the space program. And I had been fascinated about it before but his presentation made it seem attainable. So naturally, I put it on my list of qualifications.

Eventually with the everyday, day in and day out, tasks I stopped thinking about it. Now once I actually was dating the list never came into play, you know since I married an aspiring architect.

This past year has been rough. I have been trying to do away with the things that have brought negativity into my life. So I got to thinking why did rocket science get on in my “future husband” list and not mine?

That might be a completely different conversation, but the result of that question is leading me down my current path and I am so excited.

I am starting from scratch. I am going back to school.

I am going to be an astrophysicist.

I start this fall to complete my pre-reqs and reintroduce math to my brain since its been nine years since I’ve used more than basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

I am so nervous about the journey because it is going to be a lot of hard work but its okay to work hard for the things you want to accomplish.


*Photos are from the Adler Planetarium Doane Observatory where I volunteer every week.

If at First You Don’t Succeed


Innovation Engine Exterior


Innovation Engine Atrium

After moving to Chicago I had a tough time finding a job for a while.  Being in a new place where I hardly know a soul is not the ideal environment for job searching.  I spent four months unemployed, except for my short stint as a chess wizard.. I had the hat and everything, before I finally got my job.

Luckily, while I was unemployed I was not just sitting on my laurels.  With all of my free time I revamped my thesis project to submit to the AIA Committee on the Environment’s Top Ten for Students Design Competition.  I did not change too much, the basis of the project remained essentially the same, but there were a few things that I had wished I was able to spend more time on during my time at the U of O.

I submitted my edited project to the jury in January and I recently heard back that my project was selected as one of the 10 winners.  The day before my little brother Bruce gets married I will be in Atlanta to accept the award. I am glad that I kept working at it, it has really paid off and will hopefully open up plenty of new opportunities for me in the future.

Innovation Engine Project Details
2014-2015 COTE Top 10 Student Awards
AIA COTE Press Release/Announcement
University of Oregon Press Release/Announcement

My Shadow


Rexburg, Idaho, 2009

February is almost over, its been over three months since I last posted. Perhaps it is because I can’t fake the happiness anymore.

The last two years have been an emotional roller coaster and I don’t even know when this ride is going to come to an end. From the anticipation of the “should we have kids NOW or later” conversation, to the hope and excitement of “Yes, birth control is in the trash no going back now”, to the cycle after cycle of negative tests, second guessing everything I do, “Is xyz hurting our chances?” and now to the scheduling of test after test.

Unwillingly, I have turned things into a singular focus and it is taking its toll. Everything revolves around my cycle, regardless of how much I try to push it out of my mind each month.

I feel as if I have become a shadow of who I used to be. Just this person who takes each day as it comes, hoping that I won’t breakdown in the bathroom of a movie theater or in the middle of a lesson at church. I would have never imagined myself in this situation, feeling broken, my soul slowly being ripped away. I miss my old self and I don’t know how to get her back. I can only go one step at a time feebly grasping onto hope that one day things will work out.

Gingerbread Competition 2014















I hope everybody has been having a wonderful Christmas season. We have just settled in at my aunts house in Michigan for the week and are excited to ring in the New Year!

But to recap, our Annual Gingerbread Party was fantastic. All the submissions were top-notch. Our windmill took hours! We went through three versions for the roof (and its still not up to my standards, but by that time I was fed up), figured out how to weld ring pops and candy canes together and got the blades to actually spin.

To decide the winner we decided that Emi (our two year old niece) should choose her favorite one. She, of course, picked her own house because it had the most marshmallows.

I think we finally figured out the best way to bake gingerbread and put it all together. Next year is going to be our best yet, stay tuned.


Family Pictures 2014 Part Two





I know we already had some photos taken while we were in Oregon, but I thought it might be nice to have something a bit more wintry for our Christmas cards. So Bobby’s sister Char offered to take our pictures again this year.

We wanted to show that we were in Chicago, as it was one of the biggest changes for us this last year, so we met up with Charlotte near the Lincoln Park Zoo and walked along the Lake Front Trail until we found this dock that allowed us the perfect view of the skyline.

I am so happy we moved to Chicago. I never thought I would move back to the mid-West when I left for college in 2008. Our road trip this summer changed all of that, once we left I felt like Oregon wasn’t home anymore. I missed the people, the weather, the roly-poly hills, the Great Lakes and so much more. I have been overcome with disbelief (and cried in my car on my way to work and back) because I feel I have to pinch myself that I live here. So heres to you Chicago, I am glad I am home.