December was a rough month.  Paul worked nights and HH started sleep walking.  Easy E decided around 2am every morning that he liked sleeping in our bed more than his own.  It was a really fun time for everyone.

Christmas day, his night float rotation finally complete, Paul started 2 weeks of vacation.  YES.   That night two zombies left their reports with some very generous in-laws and boarded a red-eye flight to Managua to attend the wedding of a dear old friend on the 27th.  We couldn’t WAIT to get on the plane to sleep.  It was going to be great.


We were in the very last row.  I was in the middle.  Neither of us slept.

It had been nearly 10 years since I had last been to Nicaragua, when I spent four months living in Managua. We arrived even more zonked out than when we’d boarded the plane.  I couldn’t think of anything except passing out on the three hour drive to our final destination, San Juan del Sur.

But as soon as we got off the plane, it hit me.  The smell.  Pretty sure it’s burning trash mixed with diesel, but to me it smells…exciting.  Like old memories.  Managua.  And I felt a little tingle.  Something in the back of my foggy, sleep-deprived mind started to wake up.

The groom had organized our ride from the airport.  As soon as we got out of customs, we found a driver holding a sign with our name on it.  His name was Delvis.  Like Elvis with a D.

As we drove from the airport, past the families of 4 riding one bike down the busy highway, the emaciated feral dogs that somehow don’t get run over, the pulperias, the back neighborhoods down crooked streets with the pink and yellow and orange houses, identical to the one where I stayed so many years ago, I suddenly, inexplicably, felt…stimulated.  Alive.  If still not completely awake.

309893_10150438243095709_1812576062_nnicaragua, 2006

We spent the whole ride to San Juan catching up with the bride and groom and, upon arriving, immediately hopped on a catamaran with the wedding party.  Which included a Nicaraguan pop star.   Suddenly there was rum to drink and potential celebrities to befriend.  Sleep became secondary.

We took the boat along the coast to a secluded beach with no road access and beautiful white sands.  While drifting on my back in the turquoise water I saw a woman who worked on the boat swimming some sort of container up onto the beach.

“First aid kit?”
“No, cooler.  I don’t even think we have a First Aid kit on board.  Maybe some band-aids?”

Nicaragua.  I love you.

The rest of the weekend continued in the same vein.

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We stayed in ridiculous homes overlooking the ocean, partied with some of our best friends, relived memories, and had a wonderful, memorable, sleepless, extravagant, glorious time.  And when we boarded the flight home 2 days later, I looked at my phone:

6 pictures.

Because our visit was so short, I had kind of intentionally put my phone away.  I felt too tired to try to deal with trying to capture every moment, I just wanted to enjoy. But really, 6?  And three of them are of Paul cleaning a pool.  None with the bride and groom.  None with our friends that now live in Costa Rica.  None of the ceremony or the blinking, gaudy, quintessentially nica nativity scene with a REAL WATERFALL that graced the alter.  None of Paul and I together wearing fancy clothes (which hasn’t happened in at least a year).  None of the city.  None of the beach.

But I did capture this blurry gem.

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So, there’s that.  Hopefully we’ll be back for more soon.

I’m the ocean


I listened to this Radiolab podcast on my run today (not recommended, I had to stop 3x because my throat started to close up and I couldn’t breathe).

It’s the story of a family that lost an infant and donated his organs, then went to find out what had come of the donations.  The podcast doesn’t harp on the pain of losing a child (though clearly that’s part of it), but rather their journey to discover the impact the short life of their son had had on the world.

At the end (SPOILER), the mother reflects on how those few years of her life changed her perception of…well, everything.

Something shifted in me. … (Before) I had felt like I was a boat on an ocean that was rocky and choppy with waves.  And then I had this feeling that I’m not the boat, I’m the ocean.  Like, the decisions that I make are changing other people, as opposed to just I’m a boat being slapped with waves all the time.
It has made me feel…powerful.

It’s a good one.

Happy weekend

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Guess who was 2 months old yesterday.

It has been one of those weeks.  Baby (and I) have regularly required 3 daily wardrobe changes due to her pooing up her back (I think it may be time to move out of newborn diapers).  Paul worked the weekend shift, then had to travel for residency interviews, and then worked the night shift.  I dropped my phone in the toilet.  This morning after I got up to feed at 4am, Paul was trying to be nice and took the baby and tucked me in with Spike to let me get a little more sleep, and 10 minutes later the dog threw up in the bed.  Etc, etc.

BUT!   As I sit here pumping away I can’t help but revel in the moment, because…

today my sister is coming to visit and meet the baby for the first time.


And Paul doesn’t have to work at all this weekend.  And the weather is ab-so-lutely glorious. And we’re going to a BBQ and then the KY-Alabama football game and then tomorrow the races.  Soooooo…the past week, compared to this, is nothing.

Enjoy your weekend!

Mother Knows Best


Today is my mother’s birthday.  Somebody is super excited about it.

In honor of her birthday, below some sage advice that she has bestowed upon me over the course of the last 32 years that I will be passing along to my own daughter:

  • Always say thank you.
  • Babytalk is not attractive.  Ever.
  • Always wear nice underwear, in case you get hit by a car and they have to cut your clothes off in public (this has come in handy more often than I ever thought it would.)
  • When things seem really terrible, take a shower.  You will come out the other end feeling at the very least a little better than you did going in.
  • Eat tomatoes.
  • A clean house is one of the best gifts you can give someone at the end of the day.
  • When you are under a lot of pressure to perform and start to feel it getting to you, remember: all you can do is your best.  That’s it.  So stop stressing.

Happy birthday, Mom.  We love you.

Margaret Meagan Golden Gate San Francisco circa sept/oct 1981

What’s in a Name


I am now officially well into my third trimester, less than 2 months to go.  Things just got real.

So I guess it’s time to start thinking about reality.  Like work schedule and sleeping arrangements and…baby names.

Plus, those of you familiar with the internet most likely saw this happened yesterday, making the topic all the more apropos.

To preface this, I would like to start by saying that when trying to come up with names for the chickens, Paul’s initial suggestions were Flufflybutt and Bugkiller.  So that’s what we’re working with.

Baby names are the most fun thing about having a baby…or at least that is what I’ve believed since I was 6.  Turns out it can also be stressful.  So stressful, in fact, that you can hire a consultant to help you find the perfect name for your baby.  I mean…what.

But really, what is the best way to go?  Family name?  Will that offend the other side of the family? Something totally obscure (like Fedora…true story) or run the risk of having your last initial permanently tacked to the end of your child’s name?  Spelling variations?  Gender neutral?  Is it OK to name your kid the same thing as a dog you once knew if you REALLY like the name?  What if you’ve found the perfect name, but the kid’s initials are ASS?  Is that OK?  Throw in the fact that everyone, even strangers, are amazingly opinionated about what other people name their babies….and game over.  Done playing.

So, yes, we do have a short list.  And since we’ve already found out the gender (it’s a girl), and since Kanye and Kim just stole our front runner, we’ve decided we’re going to follow suit keep the name a surprise until little Helga Homerette Hennig makes an appearance.


382982_10100268319931556_1868631028_nmom and dad in the middle and on the right, best friend david on the left.  1966.

Happy 45th anniversary to my parents, who (I hope) will love their grandbaby no matter how ridiculous the name is.  45 years is a really freaking long time.

Going back, going back…


First, I would like to thank everyone for their condolences for Michele.  The outpouring of love has been remarkable, she would have been so touched.

This weekend I went back to college for our 10 year reunion.


Reunions are weird.IMAG3557-1

And not just because sometimes things like that happen.

It is so fantastically awesome to see old friends249189_10151509728107732_509666382_n

and hit up old hangouts


in a place you used to call home.

But it’s weird to feel that connection, those little emotional tugs you have as you walk down certain hallways and see certain people, and simultaneously distanced from what now feels like another life.


I always walk away from that blur of a weekend (and yes, it’s a blur, even when you are dead sober for the whole thing) physically and emotionally exhausted, part of me wishing it had lasted longer, that (some of us) had more time to spend together, but also slightly relieved that I survived and we don’t have 3 more days of graduation festivities go through.

Because now we are old.  And I could definitely not handle that (I could barely handle it 10 years ago).

IMG_20130603_202634the chapel, ready for baccalaureate

Getting older is strange.

IMG_20130603_202752graduation seats ready to go, from the stage at nassau hall

So while it’s nice to be home and sleeping in my own bed, I’m already missing people and counting the days to the next time we see each other.  Even if it’s not for another 5 years at our 15th.  I’ll definitely be back.

Glad news, sad news


No joke, I saw one of these walking home from work today.  A real live groundhog in the WILD…of our neighborhood. It looked like a really fat cat with no legs and no ears. I wanted to bring it home with me.

Guess where they don’t have groundhogs.


The same place I was last weekend.


The beach! Or at least CA. For a beautiful wedding.


It was great, but the trip out there and time difference knocked me on my BUTT for most of the time I was there.  So…this week has been mostly spent readjusting and checking back into reality.

Exciting stuff, I know.

2 more weeks until the outdoor pools open.


And, on a much sadder and completely unrelated note, NASCAR legend and Paul’s favorite driver has passed away.


Yes, that’s him smoking a cigarette while racing.

RIP Dick Trickle.