Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Kevin's Trip to Chicago

I (Kevin) went to Chicago the week of 11/10/10 for an APS-DPP (American Physical Society, Division of Plasma Physics) conference.  I presented a poster that summarized the research on tungsten fuzz I've been working on with my advisor.

The conference is held annually in various locations and creates the opportunity for researchers in plasma science from around America (and some internationally) to update everybody on what they have been doing and to learn what everybody else is doing.

The conference is convened for the whole week, but I went for only three days because being away from my Baby is something I do in small doses.  The conference offers numerous talks of various lengths all day simultaneously in 6 ballrooms.  There were two poster sessions each day with at least 60 posters to a session.  So, when I wasn't standing at my poster for 3 hrs on Thursday, I was perusing the other posters and sitting in on interesting talks.

Another interesting event at this conference is the Plasma Science Expo.  This expo is an opportunity for all of the participating research centers to host a booth displaying or demonstrating science that high school students can participate in.  I volunteered to man our research center's booth.  I had to explain and demonstrate how various materials reflect or absorb UltraViolet radiation.  It was great to teach students about the dangers of long term exposure and how to protect themselves with a quantitative demonstration.  The expo also served as an opportunity for me to play with the other booths cool toys.

Aside from the conference proceedings, I was able to get out of the hotel for some brief site seeing of downtown Chicago.  I mostly only got to see Millennium Park with the Bean and other striking architectural structures.  One evening, I went to the Art Museum, but it was closing.  However, I gained the opportunity to be an audience to a street jazz performer wailing out on his clarinet.  It was fun to watch as people danced in the sidewalk and even across the street.  It made me think about my Baby and our past adventures.

Another great thing about Chicago was the deep, deep dish pizza.  One lunch time, some of my colleagues and I went to a place called Giordano's.  The pizza was two inches thick of toppings with a delicious crispy crust.  I will definitely have to take Crystal there when we go.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Parents Visit in Boston

My parents drove up from Texas and arrived in Boston on Sunday October 24th.  They loaded up their Durango with some of our things we left in Texas.  Along with those items they brought up my old crib!  The main goal for this visit, besides visiting, was to start and finish Liam's Room.  This sounded like a perfect family project.  Mom and I get to decorate while Dad and Kevin are there to do the hard grunt work :-)

The day my parents arrived we unloaded their car.  Mom couldn't wait to put the crib together!  So we did that first thing and put all the bedding on it.  So cute to see the room coming together already!  

We had lunch, visited for a little bit, and then went to the Head of the Charles!  The Head of the Charles is the largest Regatta in the world.  It was a lot of fun watching the rowing teams strut their stuff.  After that we went back to our apartment and made dinner.

On Monday Kevin went to school while my mom and dad worked from our dinning room table.  After making my dad some lunch; mom and I headed over to Target to shop for some curtain rods for Liam's room.  Of course the trip took longer than expected ;-)  Liam made out though!  Too hard not to shop for the little guy...  We ended the evening sitting outside next to the fire pit roasting marshmallows = perfect!

Tuesday was dedicated to decorating Liam's room!  Mom and I started out putting up the Tree Wall Art.  It took some time getting all the branches to line up but it turned out great!

We put up the curtain rods, and started on the decorative shelves.  Mom and I lined up where they needed to be and called Dad in to mount them.  Then we hung up the mirrors and filled up the shelves.

Later that evening we called in the boys to install the giant Leaf and the hanging organizer.

My mom made the Bedskirts, the Curtains, and the Valence!  They all turned out great!

The Crib and Dressers are the set my parents used for me when I was a baby.  25 years and still strong!

Now the room is complete!!! ......pretty much ;-)

Wednesday was solely spent shopping!  Dad went to his company's local office for a class; so mom and I had a the whole day to shop.  The main store that we wanted to go to was Costco.  However, before that major stop we went to Home depot, Michael's, Babies "R" Us, and Target.

Thursday I had my weekly Art class and I got to bring my dad along!   We drew in Pencil transferring small scale items to a larger scale.  Half way through the class I started over in Charcoal.  It was a fun experience drawing with my dad!

Mom, always with a camera

 After class we picked up my mom and went driving around to different parks to enjoy and take pictures of the foliage.

We even stumbled upon a sail boat practice!

We decided to go Apple Picking Friday!  We had a blast!  Its too bad that Kevin had to go to school because I know that he would have loved it.  My dad was even the jokester when helping my mom get some apples at the top of a tree. :-) 
There were so many apples and so many different kinds!  We ate so many apples while we were they that we started to get sick of apples.  Our ONE bag of apples produced enough for us to share 20 and still have a lot for us and last us awhile.

The scenery was so nice that we decided to take some belly photos.  There was even a little pumpkin patch!

After Apple Picking we decided to head up to Salem, NH to see America's Stonehenge

These formations are over 4000 years old!

There is still a lot of mystery of how they got there and who put them there and why.

They were very astrological making paths that point to sunsets and sunrises of the seasons. They used the points of large stones to mark these solstices.

They even made stone walls that point due South!  With out a compass!

Below is a beautiful field for the Summer Solstice.  It was really interesting to see and fascinating to think about.

We picked Kevin up on the way back home and headed to Revere Beach to a local Colombian Restaurant for Dinner.  Gotta have our Colombian fix!

Saturday we had left over Colombian for lunch.  Then we loaded up my parent's Durango to head to Long Island New York.  We took some family pictures before we left.

Most of my dad's family lives in New York so they were heading down there to visit and I tagged along for the ride.  It gave me more time with my parents and I got to visit with my New York family!

Before I headed back to Boston, one of the things we did was go to the Sunken Meadow State Park Boardwalk with my Uncle Frank and Aunt Rosa.  It was a little cold and windy but still an enjoyable outing!

I really enjoyed my parents visit!  I got to spend over a week with them!  We did a lot in the time we had.  Unfortunately, the time went by really fast.  I was really sad to say goodbye to them but I know I'm really blessed to have the family I have.  I miss them so much now that I'm in Massachusetts; though I know its just a matter of time until we move back to Texas.  I can't wait until Christmas to see them again (along with my Brother, Grandma, and Great-Grandma!)!  They plan to stay in New York for a couple more days and then drive back down to Texas.  Please pray for them to have a safe trip back home.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

20 week Photo Shoot

Half way there!  We took a few photos to celebrate.

18 week Photo Shoot

After finding out the sex of our little mushroom we went into the Boston Public Garden to take some photos.

The 18 week sonogram of Little Liam!