Thursday, January 22, 2009

Blogging (x 2)

Okay, some of you are on to me (it's Carol here). I've been moonlighting as a blogger for my day job.

Indeed, last September I was asked to become an official blogger for the University of St. Thomas. I'm sure it was because of the bajillions of happy readers of this Happy Couples Blog.

Okay, maybe not.

But, if you'd like, check out what's going in my little university life . You'll notice I always find a way to work in a story about my kids, hubby, dog, friends and neighbors. Because if you're not writing about something you love, is it even worth writing? (Yes, students, I love you too. Usually. Sort of).

My latest Scroll blog on "Streamlining" was inspired by Gracie and her swimming buddies, pictured here. Ah, streamlining. One of my favorite and on-going goals in life.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Few Academic Yahoos

Yes, we are both sort of academic yahoos. No, not crude or boorish (we hope). Just, per the definition "not very intelligent" outside of our area of specialty. We know.

But we also have two bits of academic news that has made us both exclaim to each other and anyone who will listen: "YAHOOO!"

First, Anna just had a paper submitted to a conference be selected as a "TOP PAPER." It might not sound like a big deal. But it is to us geeky academics. As a graduate student, to receive a top paper award is huge. And it gets even better: on the panel right after her will be presenting two of the biggest wigs in our field. BIG. HUGE. LARGE yahoooo, Anna!

And second, as I alluded to a few weeks ago in our blog, big news on my (Carol's) academic front as well. I was just awarded the biggest faculty grant awarded to folks at my institution. Beginning next year, I'll be a "University Scholar." And here's the most significant part of the deal: Half-time teaching for the next 3 years so I can dedicate the other half of my work time to writing and research. A HUGE yahoooo for Anna and I as we work toward writing more books. And developing our own theory. And presenting at conferences with a bunch of other communication yahoo's.

Life gives us so many reasons to yell yahoo. Thanks for listening to ours!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Some St. Paul Press!

My (Anna's) father-in-law called this morning to excitedly report, "I heard there is a great article about your book today on the cover of the 'life' section in the paper!"

Indeed there is. Carol did an excellent interview with the Pioneer Press, St. Paul's biggest newspaper. Click here to read.

And who is that couple illustrated on the front page accompanying the article? We'll never tell. But the couple does live in St. Paul and were a hoot to interview. Happy parents, indeed!

Friday, January 9, 2009

My Month...

...didn't include bribing children or fights at the ice-rink like Carol's. But it did indeed provide a much needed break from school. It started out with:

1. Our annual trip to Grand Marais, MN, with some great friends. We cross-country skied in sub-zero temperatures and warmed up in the hot-tub overlooking Lake Superior. We drank Manhattans and put together puzzles. We ate well and slept well.

2. Then we traveled to St. Cloud, MN to spend time with both of our families.

3. We went to my aunt and uncle's home to enjoy an Asian themed Christmas day celebration. Picture the whole family making sushi for the first time. One roll was even heart-shaped. It was most delicious, too. Our annual gift-exchange game included some very interesting items this year, as you might imagine. My brother, for instance, brought a year-long supply of fortune cookies. After all the dice were rolled, however, he ended up with an Asian makeup case. Guess who stuck it to him in the last 10 seconds? No, not me. The culprit was none other than my 80 year old grandmother! Hilarious.

4. Then we were able to make it back to Minneapolis just in time for our anniversary on the 30th. We spent our evening dining out at one of our favorite restaurants, 128 Cafe, and reminiscing about our special day and an eventful 3 years as a married couple.

5. Then I headed to Coldspring for our annual Mother-Daughter tea at the Pillar Inn. Followed by a fun night with my best friends from high school. Our next event? The Pillar Inn's summer Champagne tea in the garden. Sounds splendid to me. Crumpets anyone?

5. Between yoga, lunch dates, "adult malts," and dog-sitting, I'm finally refreshed and ready for spring semester. Or as ready as I'll ever be. Cheers to 2009.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

We're BACK!

Miss us? Hope so!

We took a little unplanned break from blogging. For all you loyal readers: thanks for checking back. Truly. We missed us too.

And although you'd think, after more than a month hiatus from blogging we'd have something REALLY big to report. Not so much.

What we do have is a few little tidbits. Most of our bits add up to quite a bit of R&R over the holidays, even more bits of writing during those lovely post-holiday hours when the recycling is finally out and the thank you notes are mailed, and a nice bit of unplugging from student emails and calls among siblings arranging joint-gifts for our parents.

Here's what the last month adds up to:

12: The number of times my (Carol's) children were heard asking "Will we be receiving presents today?"
5: The average number of deep breathes I would take before answering.
7: The number of uncomfortable beds our family endured over a one-week span at various visits to relatives.
3: The number of times I actually paid my 8 year old cash to wear the christmas outfit I painstakingly picked out AND purchased for her. At full price. (Show me some empirical evidence that bribing is bad for your kids and their sense of style).

See? Doesn't she look cute in polka dots? (the hat was her idea)

78: The number of sugar cookies I (just me - Carol) consumed in precisely 2 weeks.
?: The undisclosed number of martinis I personally consumed (think chocolate, pom, dirty, cranberry .. not all at once but always shaken, not stirred).
-1: The number of lbs I gained (yes - hate me for my high metabolism). I can't help it.
6.5: The number of times we've been ice-skating - out doors - in the past 2 weeks! (One outing got cut in half because of a fight that broke out between two kids. Yes. Those were my kids).
3: The number of cheers you should yell out if you live in Minnesota and have learned to embrace the winters too.
99: The number of pages of our forthcoming book we (Anna and I) cranked out in the past month.
286: The approximate number of days until that fabulous new book should be on the shelves of bookstores everywhere.
50+: The number of times we hope you will simultaneously laugh and cry while reading our 3rd in the "Happy series."
Almost 1: The hour at which I'm writing this blog before I finally get to sleep. Yes, I'm the in-bed-at-exactly-10-type. But tonight, "argh" + "yeah" = insomnia. I (Carol) just received some really great news and am stirring with excitement. "What? Do tell?" Not yet. But check back.
9.5: The number of hours of sleep I need to be really happy. I'm in trouble.
2: The number my fingers make when I gesture my ultimate goal for the next year ("Peace.") In my life. And yours. Corny. But true.

Again, to our friends and readers: thanks for hanging in there with us during our temporary break. We promise great news, insights and stories in 2009 and beyond.

Peace. To you and all.