Baby on the way!

We’re snowed in here in Philly, so I thought it would be a good time to write a new post! After the wildly warm winter, we’re due for some snow. It’s all coming at once! This morning, the snow had piled so high against our door that I had to shovel it out to keep it from falling in. Frankie had a blast running around our yard this morning! I think she actually runs faster through the snow than over solid ground. I tried to catch her, but no luck!

Video evidence:

 

Both of our jobs are going well. I just started a new rotation at OSIsoft. I’ll get to work more closely with some of our customers, which will be an exciting change. I’ll be traveling a bit more, but still spending most of my time here in Philly. Lauren is just a couple of weeks away from defending her dissertation! She’s been working hard getting it ready, but I know that she’ll do great. She’s also been applying to post-doctoral fellowship positions; we’ll see where she ends up soon!

Now for the important stuff – the big news since our last post is that we found out that we are having a baby! Before you ask, here’s the key information:

  1. The due date is May 23rd.
  2. Yes, we have found out the sex! It’s a girl!
  3. We’re really excited about her!!!
  4. Lauren is feeling well – better than earlier. She’s sporting a nice bump!
  5. No weird cravings yet, but I’ll let you know if the pickles starts to vanish!

Baby SwiftThanks for reading!

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Happy 4th of July!

Happy July 4th everyone!

Before we start the celebrations, here’s a quick update on some of the things we’ve been up to these last few weeks. We’ve just returned from a trip to Turku, Finland! I was there for a conference, while Lauren had a presentation with some of her collaborators over there. We also managed to fit some sightseeing into our busy schedules. It’s easy to get a lot done in a day when it never gets dark!

We explored Turku’s rich history, visiting both the Turku Castle and the Cathedral of Turku. On our last night we explored a little bit of the nightlife, visiting the floating bars on the Aura River and enjoying some seriously good seafood.

We are off to enjoy the holiday now visiting friends and grilling!

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Turku Castle

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Turku Cathedral over the Aura River

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Floating bars in the Aura River

Updates and Our Honeymoon

Hi everyone!

It’s been a while since Lauren and I last posted. So much has happened since then! We’ve gone on our honeymoon, Lauren’s accepted a practicum position at a children’s hospital in Wilmington for next year, and I’ve been to my first conference in Houston! Of course, the honeymoon was by far the most memorable of all of these things.

Lauren and I had such an amazing time in Costa Rica! We were there for about a week, and had plenty of time to ourselves for relaxing and exploring the area. We saw wildlife (monkeys!), went surfing for the first time together, and even ate some terrific food. Surprisingly, we had some of the best Italian food ever down there. It was truly the perfect trip for us!

ATV on the beach

I especially enjoyed a spear fishing day trip that we took towards the end of the trip. Dinner!Our guide took us out near this tiny island and showed us all the best fish to catch. We had such a blast! After spear fishing, we tried our hand at regular fishing out in the ocean. That was less successful, though we still had a great time. We even got to take some of the meat back with us to the hotel, where we dined on it for the last few days. I don’t think I’ve ever had fresher fish!

Lauren really loved the Costa Rican outdoors. We enjoyed bird watching, hikes through a reserve, and horseback riding on the beach. It was such an amazing trip! We hope we’ll get to go back to Costa Rica some day, but at least we have some awesome memories to hold onto until then. We can’t wait!

Pura vida!

Bridal Shower

Weekend before last, Lauren’s mom and sisters threw Lauren and me a great bridal shower in Rochester Hills, MI. It was a wonderful chance to see family and friends. Personally, I had a great time meeting many of Lauren’s family friends so I can finally put faces to names! Lauren had a blast catching up with everyone from her hometown and getting a chance to share where she grew up with my mom and sister.

Aside from seeing everyone, my favorite part was, of course, the food! We had two different salads that were really great, but the best part was definitely dessert. Lauren’s mom got us a traditional Italian wedding cake from a bakery in the area, and it was very delicious! The favors were very special, too. They were peanut butter bears, an old favorite of Lauren’s (and mine), and they were dressed up for the occasion as brides and grooms. Lauren’s mom made each one by hand! We really appreciated all the hard work that went into the day.

Unwrapping gifts

We also loved all of the wonderful gifts we received! Everyone was so supportive and generous. Lauren and I can’t wait to fill a new home, especially the kitchen, with all of our new things. We are looking forward to putting these gifts to good use. We even have a couple of meals planned out for some of our new kitchenware!

All in all, it was a really great day. Thank you to everyone who helped make it special! We can’t wait for October!

We don’t always eat beef

…but when we do, we prefer Beef Wellington. Specifically, we’re crazy about the recipe we With a heart!received from John and Molly Fitzpatrick during our visit to Ithaca. This was our first attempt at the tasty dish, and let me just say, happy Valentine’s Day to us. We paired it with Cabernet Sauvignon. So. Delicious.

To be honest, we’re not really the Valentine’s Day types. We like to be pretty low key about it since we figure that if we wait until today to remind each other that we care, our relationship is going to be in trouble roughly 364 days out of the year. Still, I don’t mind using it as an excuse for more expensive food than usual, great wine, and way too much candy (Thanks for the chocolates, Mom and Dad!). Lauren seems to be on board with this plan, too, judging by the goofy smile on her face and her food coma position on the couch post-dinner.

The rest of our night will be devoted to catching up with How I Met Your Mother episodes, and, I suppose, some extra romantic reminders for Lauren that she is one for me. I think she’s pretty awesome, and luckily for me, I think she likes me, too. I guess I can get into the Valentine’s Day spirit after all!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

About last night…

As you may have heard, Lauren and I are now engaged! We are both very excited! It’s been a fun 24 hours telling family and friends. Everyone has been very supportive and we appreciate the wonderful things that you have been saying! We don’t have any plans yet, but we will keep you all posted. For now, we’re just enjoying ourselves!

Here’s the story of how it happened: As some of you know, Saturday was our five-year anniversary. We decided to celebrate by spending the day in Philadelphia. After Lauren’s volleyball game that morning in Wilmington (a heartbreaking loss), we headed to grab some dim sum in Philadelphia’s Chinatown. We ordered shrimp noodles, siu mai, and, of course, chicken feet (a particular favorite of mine!).

After our delicious meal, we decided to explore the Franklin Institute. It was a fantastic display of science, satisfying the inner nerd in each of us or, in my case, the outer nerd. Highlights include exploring a giant heart (awww) and a wall of lights that lit up in a unique pattern when you used your cell phone. There were many interactive and informative exhibits, but by far the most exciting was the interactive CSI exhibit where we examined a fake crime scene to try to figure out whodunnit.

Here comes the good part. After the museum, we decided to take a walk along the Schuylkill River. We eventually found ourselves at a little secluded spot, reflecting on the last five years. As the sun set, one thing led to another, and we found ourselves engaged! The river was looking very nice that night, although, to be fair, I’m not entirely objective.

Of course, us being us, we celebrated by watching some NU football. Since then, it’s been a blur of phone calls, text messages, and celebrations with our roommates. There will be many other posts to follow, but for now, know that we appreciate your support and are both very excited for the days, months, and years to come!

Our first post!

Welcome to our new blog! We have been getting very excited about this as a medium to update you all on the various goings-on of our life here in Delaware. This is where we’ll post our pictures and updates for topics ranging from trips out of town to our adventures in our respective graduate programs. It will probably take us a little bit to work out a system for this (we’re still figuring out a title!), but we’ll try to keep everything current to the best of our abilities. We’re looking forward to sharing our experiences with you!