Year in Review 2010

I hope 2010 has treated you well. For us it has been a busy and happy year. Here is my annual “year in review” to summarize memories and to keep you up to date.

Personally, the highlight of the year was the birth of our second child, who arrived, much to our delight, in our home. He is a wonderful addition to our family! We remain very happy living in the heart of a big city where we can walk or bike everywhere. This year we took the kids to many holiday events within walking distance of our home and attended many of our co-op’s social events. As our eldest son grows, we enjoy these events more and more. Halloween, the children’s holiday party and the building of the gingerbread village were favorites. Our preschooler is thriving in day care and is already learning how to write his name and the letters of the alphabet. Hubby and I have spent another year watching our older miracle grow, and we look forward to ongoing joys with the new baby, and the interaction between the two boys.

Professionally, I continue work as a post-doctoral researcher and have had the pleasure of working with great people who helped immensely in the lab while I was pregnant and also made it possible to engage in an exciting side project involving fieldwork in the USA and exciting new lab techniques. Hopefully we’ll be able to continue that research in 2011. The location of my lab also gives me practical perks like onsite yoga and biking to work, both of which I continued to do until a couple weeks before the birth of the baby. Hubby continues to pursue self-employment endeavors in music and sound design, and is also exploring other options, which may provide more stable work. With two kids, we can’t give up on the dream that one of us should have health benefits!

It has also been a year full of travel. Last winter I visited Seattle for a conference and then went to the Netherlands to see a close friend defend her thesis. A month later the whole family went to the tropics to visit the “abuelos”, and in the middle of that vacation I flew to a conference in San Diego to give an invited lecture. Over the summer we did several family trips to wilderness parks close to home. Then in August (in my third trimester), I flew to Brazil to attend a conference and spent a few days in Sao Paulo. The trip was aided by an easy pregnancy that allowed much walking around and even some hiking through spectacular Araucaria forests!

We are very happy with the blend of personal and professional experiences we’ve enjoyed in 2010. Next year will bring job and grant applications for both of us. We know that our next career steps will be time and labor intensive, but we hope to preserve our home life balance. For my part, I believe the balance makes me a better mother and a better scientist!

Happy holidays and all the best for 2011!

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