Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Vacation!!!

Well the semester is done and I'm so happy to get a chance to get back to Michigan for 14 days. Its time to relax and renew so that I can get a ton done this spring and hopefully by the summer be called a PhD candidate.

I love coming back up north! Although sitting in an airport all day yesterday was not the most enjoyable, I was able to people watch and even saw Evander Holyfield. Love the Atlanta airport, but the delays yesterday started to get to me. I finally arrived in Flint at 7:30pm and was to Gramma's by 8:45. Now I have to finish Christmas shopping for my dad and Gramma and relax for the next two weeks.

If anyone has the time to get together I can try to grab a car to come visit for a bit. I will be in Port Huron area until Dec. 27th and the T.C. area until Jan 1st.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Blog slacker

Ok, so I thought I could follow through on at least one thing this year, but I failed miserably. School just takes up too much of my time this year. So I will try and post a little more often when I can.

Currently I am working on writing a paper for my first publication as well as completing the first part of a 12 week study. Classes are gearing up and my midterms are Monday and Wednesday next week, so that means a full weekend of studying. Wish me luck!

I do follow everyone's blogs and wish I could comment more, but sometimes I only have enough time to scan them and move on. Hope everyone is doing well. Will hopefully blog a little about the rest of my summer and post pics later.

Have a great weekend all!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Well its off to Michigan I go. I refuse to take my computer or anything resembling work with me as this trip is going to be jam packed with activity and I will just not have any time to do it. So, I will try and catch up with everyone's blogs when I get back. Open water and a sail boat are calling my name. No internet, no phone service, just pure Michigan!

See everyone in August. Will post pics then.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Short week

I get to go home for 12 days starting Thursday. I'm super excited and can't wait to spend tons of time on the sailboat. Unfortunately I think the time is going to fly by way too quickly. At least I will get to see everyone, minus my sister Megan. She is back at work prepping for the upcoming school year in Glendale, AZ. I have a lot of packing and cleaning to do between then and now as I move to a new apartment the weekend after I get back. Well hopefully I will have some good vacation pics to post.

Kevin, Erika and Charlotte are coming to visit while I am home so that will be fun to see them again. I can't wait!!!

Nothing else is all that exciting in my life. Will hopefully have more fun stuff to blog about soon.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Work is crazy. Been lots going on, just nothing all that exciting to post. Will hopefully be able to get the blog all updated with pics from San Antonio (April) and other excursions/events soon.

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July.

Friday, May 22, 2009

1st kayak excursion

Last Saturday a group of friends and I took our kayaks out for their maiden voyage. We went to Lake Jocassee up in the mountains. It was a stormy morning in Clemson and we were a little hesitant to head out, but by the time we reached the lake everything had passes the mountains and we had a great day. Here are some of the pics I took from out on the water.
The view from the front of my brand new kayak!
This is Megan and Brett in the blue kayaks and Matt in the red/yellow kayak in the back. Paddle away guys.

The clouds moving the storms right past us. The mountains made for great sight seeing and since the lake doesn't have many houses on it we had barely any boat traffic all day long.

The sun came out and made it the perfect day!
This is Laura, she will be my roommate in August. Looks like we may be spending the summer on the water together.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Busy day

Today is going to be busy but fun! I'm heading into campus to set up for the Grad student picnic that is happening from 11-4 today, but then I'm leaving to go kayaking for the afternoon and then off to Maria and Jason's baby shower. I'll post pics of my adventures soon. I have lots to post from San Antonio and other adventures.

Congratulations Kersten and Kent on your new addition to the family! Welcome Alexa!!

Friday, May 8, 2009


I am being super lazy today. I've done nothing productive except to take an ethical training course that I have put off all year. It's rainy and blah outside and all I want to do is grab a good book, curl up, and read for the rest of the day. Guess its going to have to wait 2 hours until I can get to the library though.

I'm looking for suggestions for good summer reading. Send me any suggestions you have!

Hope all the mom's out there have a great Mother's Day!!!

Monday, May 4, 2009


The semester is finally over!!!

I somehow managed to pull another semester of good grades and am looking forward to research projects that are going to keep me really busy this summer. Hopefully I will be able to go out of town for a week or two for either a road trip or at least to get back home. I'll try and keep everyone informed of when I can get out of town so I can try and see as many people as possible.

Well off to finish a little work and then I get to go home for the day! More later.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I finally took a break from all the work and stress and was able to get out to see O.A.R. here in Clemson. We went as a group of 8 for dinner before the concert at Mellow Mushroom. On our way back from the restaurant O.A.R was playing at a fraternity house so we got a little pre-show. As we were leaving the fraternity house O.A.R came out behind us so we were able to meet a couple of the band members. This would never happen if we weren't in small town Clemson!

This is the band strolling down the sidewalk.
This is our group of friends waiting to get in the door.

Here is the opening act Parachute. They weren't too bad.

And finally O.A.R. It was a blast!

Great break from the stress and chaos of this semester. To top it all off we are still trying to push out a paper with results by Thursday with no viable results thus far. Should be fun as I am leaving for a conference on Wednesday and will be gone through Sunday. Then its time to write a 15 page paper for class and take 2 finals by Wednesday.

Monday, April 13, 2009


We've had quite the wet spring so far, which is nice for flowers and trees, but the severe storms that flew threw on Friday we could have done without. I was just finishing up watching a movie when all of a sudden I hear a loud siren and talking. So I muted the TV to try and hear what was being said. All I caught was take cover immediately, so that is what I did even though it was dead silent outside and it didn't even look all that bad. Well, apparently a funnel cloud started its decent on Clemson and decided to pull back up into the sky. We didn't get an actual tornado, but it was close. There were 4 others that did touch down in nearby towns - one of them was an EF2 that practically tore a town to pieces. They are still cleaning up from it today.

Well whenever the warm weather returns it will be nice. I'm sick of cold rain and am completely ready for a day in the sun. The pool is starting to look real good and I'm hoping I can go lay by it soon.

On another note,I can't wait for this weekend. Besides the presentation and paper that will be finished, I have an O.A.R concert to go to! We have a group of 12 that will be partying it up. Should be a great break from all the work.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Even though it is a little chilly out today, we have generally had temps near 70 for the last 2 weeks. Because of the warm temps everything is in full bloom and it is so pretty. I love this time of year, minus the pollen. The trees are all starting to get leaves and the bushes, cherry trees, and ornamental trees are just beautiful. Every day on my drive into school I come around a bend in the road just to see a lush green background and 3 trees decked out in white flowers. The contrast between the two is wonderful. I'm hoping I can get enough time this weekend when it warms up again to take a stroll through the botanical gardens.

Happy spring! Hope everyone has a wonderful Easter.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Count down has begun.

I am officially 4 weeks from the end of this semester and I can't wait until it is over. I'm not going to get one of my papers done, so I'm a little less stressed, but otherwise I still have a lot to do in the next few weeks. I'll try and post again later this week.

Monday, March 23, 2009

And the week is off!

Just another day in the life of an overly stressed graduate student. I haven't been able to sleep as well as I would like because I have lovely nightmares about not getting all my work done. I need to hurry up and be done with this paper, my first of 3 presentations, get an experiment to actually work on Wednesday, and write a 10 page proposal in 7 days. And to top it all off... I also have to have a rough draft for my second presentation completed by Friday. Can somebody spare a couple of hours so I can add them to my day, PLEASE?

Well just needed to vent. Sorry!

Just waiting until April 13th and then it will be smooth sailing until finals.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Where has all the motivation gone...

I have so much to do before the semester ends and I work so hard during the week to get as much done as possible, but the weekends come and I lose all motivation. I can't seem to get myself to do anything even remotely productive for school. I can cook, clean, workout...but school work. NONE! I was able to at least get 2.5 pages of a paper written today, but I needed to get 8 done. Guess it will have to happen tomorrow...guess my brain is telling me to take a break.

The semester will be over soon enough and then the research will kick into high gear. At least that means no class work!

Other than that....nothing exciting here lately. Spring is officially here and trees are starting to get leaves. Weather is warming up and I am waiting for the semester to end so that I can get out and explore.

Hope everyone is doing well! 10 days and counting until my B-day!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Day...

Yes, that's right...we have an official snow day today. It had rained all weekend and finally at about 4pm yesterday the white stuff started falling. It was super saturated, wet snow that caused a lot of trouble for travellers. I stayed in all day working, but by 7pm just couldn't hold back any longer. I had to get outside to play. My neighbor came and knocked on my door warning me that my car might get hit if it was left where it was. So I threw on my rain jacket and moved the car.

Once the car was moved, a snowball fight ensued with Laura (my neighbor), Jason (her boyfriend) and their friend Branford. We must have spent about 45 minutes outside chucking wet, packed snowballs in a girl vs. guy fight. It was awesome!!! So we finally called a truce after the guys were sick of getting nailed.

Then the power started to flicker on and off and then finally it was out. So what do you do when the power goes out? Sledding...except that we didn't have any sleds, but we had a kayak. We proceeded to put the kayak in the back of Jason's truck, put 'er in 4 wheel drive and headed to Kite hill on campus. We snow kayaked for a good hour and a half! It was such a blast!!!

By 11pm last night the power was back on, school was cancelled and I was ready to hit the sack after pulling a kayak up the sledding hill multiple times. To say the least, I think that is one of the best times I have had here in the south so far. Nothing like snow to cheer up a dreary weekend!

And to top it all off for a great start to the month, Erika and Kevin had a little baby girl yesterday morning. Congratulations LaPeans on your new arrival!

Have a wonderful week everyone! Mine is starting out great as March came in as a Lion and will hopefully go out on my birthday as a Lamb.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Great day!

I was too tired to blog last night so I am updating today. Yesterday rocked in the research department. It was such a productive day and I think we are going to hit a milestone we set for down the road sooner than we thought.

It started out with our new bioprinting system and being able to print faster. I was able to build up 3D walls of a square in a matter of minutes that will help us greatly in our research efforts. Its so exciting to finally feel like we are getting somewhere. What this means for us is that we can finally start to go 3D with out test system instead of only printing cells in 2D. So our next step is to get the process down for building up these 3D structures and then start to mimic structures within the body. Currently, we are only printing collagen gel, but its a great start!

On another good research note. I finally was able to produce 4 batches of beads without any problems or failures. This is great because now I can start in on my other half of my project and hopefully turn the information into a publication. It will be a 10 week study hopefully starting next Wednesday, but at least it is finally going to start and I feel like I am finally doing research instead of just prep. What a breakthrough day!!!

Classes are going good... I was shocked to find out that I got an A on my midterm for my polymers class. The one I thought I completely failed. So that is good news. I still have a midterm next Thursday, a presentation the following Tuesday and then 2 term papers to finish by the end of March. Guess I should start on those this weekend.

My website is coming along. Its my night job and last night I was hoping to get a lot done, but I didn't get home until 6 and then did my new workout (ChaLEAN Extreme) that totally kicked my butt. It will be interesting to see if I can make it through the next 90 days of workouts... hopefully to a more in shape me for the summer. Kayaking here I come!

Well this is an exceptionally long post for me, so signing off for now. Have a wonderful week everyone!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Another week

I've officially made it through the first midterm of the semester. Now just waiting to get my grade and see how bad I actually did. Hopefully there will be a make up exam as I think I really flushed this one.

This week is really busy again. I'm almost asking myself why I am doing this, but then I remember that research will pick up and progress will be made. It just takes time and a lot of mistakes to finally make a break through. Gotta love research.

Also I'm pushing hard to get this extra project done by April 22nd before I go to a conference in San Antonio to promote it. It is going to mean a lot of weekend work and no fun. Maybe come May I will take a big break for myself. I'm thinking it will start May 29th once finals are done!

Erika - I'm hoping that baby LaPean comes soon. You still look great and I hope all is well. Good Luck!!!

Signing off for now. Will write more once the week starts to fizzle out.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Feeling blahhhh!

It has been another crazy week!!!

I have a new deadline for April 22nd with my new website I need to have 1000+ articles enhanced by this date so that I can promote the functional website at a conference in San Antonio. It should be a great time as I have never been to San Antonio before, but it is going to be a lot of work and really interesting. At least I get to see what a conference is before I actually have to present at one. This will give me a great opportunity to network with others in my field. SOOOOOOO excited to go!

School/classes are frustrating me beyond belief. I feel like I am learning very little this semester. Maybe it's just that I need to push through and it will all make sense in the end. I had my first midterm and I think it went horrible. It was 12 questions and I half answered 2 of them, but he picks the best 10 out of 12 to give the final grade. Hopefully the other 10 were at least close to what he is looking for. I have a feeling that I will be very close to the failing mark and just scrape by, which is totally ironic as Polymers (what this class is about) was the reason I fell in love with what I am going to school for. Oh well...its just a grade. Who looks at grades on a resume anyways?

Other than that, I am trying to stick to a workout regimen that should help me get in shape for kayaking this summer. At least it gives me time away from school stuff.

Well enough for now!

P.S. Baby LaPean I am patiently awaiting your arrival!!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

I'm a slacker

Well I missed my goal on blogging once a week already. It has been a crazy two weeks of non-stop go, go, go. Classes aren't difficult this semester, but research is getting busier. I have so much I want to accomplish before the semester is done.

I did nothing this weekend in the way of school. I needed to get so much done, so now my week is going to be crazy again. But it is completely worth it as I got to help put flooring in at a friends house. It felt good to do something other than school.

My roommate is moving out soon and I will miss her, but it will also mean I won't have to feel like I need to be home as much or that I am interrupting her, waking her, etc.

Well hopefully life will become more interesting and I can post a little more later this week! Have a great week all!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I feel like this semester is going to fly by and be extremely crazy. I really need to start kicking my but into gear. I have so much I want to accomplish and am going to make a plan tomorrow as to how I can get it all done. Also the website/database I have been working on is finally up with real data. I'm so excited!

I'm also trying to work out every day for at least 30 minutes. So far this week I only missed Tuesday. Pretty good for my schedule. Hopefully I can turn it into a habit and lose some weight. I also need to start lifting weights so I can get the kayak in the water and paddle around this summer in Lake Hartwell (hopefully by then it will be a lake instead of a stream).

Erika - you look like you are ready to have that baby! Good luck...

I hope everyone's year is off to a wonderful start.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

1 week in...

1 week down of the new semester. I've only had 3 classes and really the first two were just 'welcome to the class' lectures. Hopefully we will start really getting into the class this next week. The classes will have lots of writing associated with them so I am trying to at least work ahead and plan out a schedule for my self.

Research is coming along with a few bumps in the road. I made samples and wanted to test them at 24 hours, 1 week, 4 weeks, and 8 weeks. But of course... the machine I am to test the samples on will not export my data and I can't see the raw data to be able to plug into an excel spread sheet. So I have delayed running the samples that I made almost 60 hours ago. So much for my first time point. Hopefully I can get them run tomorrow even without exportation and see if I can copy the files to another buildings software to export there. Research would be no fun without obsticles!

The other thing I am quickly noticing is how expensive my tests and samples actually are... 1 batch of the PLLA beads I make runs about $150 and I made over 45 batches since I started. I'm really racking up the bill. But I got on an assistantship this semester so I must be doing something right.

Well off to bed for the evening. Lots of work to get done tomorrow. It will probably be another 13 hour day in the lab. I'll try and post every week of the semester... maybe I will actually hit a goal.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

And spring semester is off....

Well, its back to school again. Christmas break was fun and super busy, but not long enough. I barely got anything done I wanted to. I saw all sorts of weather and returned to South Carolina in all its wonderfully warm winter glory of 65 degrees. I miss the snow and cold already.

This semester is going to be extremely busy for me. I have so much to get done and I am hoping to make huge strides in research. Unfortunately, the grant money did not come through and funding is on the back burner until things can get switched around. At least tuition is paid. I get to start getting actually data this semester from all my work last semester. As well as working on getting my first publication out. I have a huge presentation to give sometime this semester (hopefully after data) and on top of all that I have to start writing my literature review for my qualifier next sprint. Although my two classes should be very interesting and hopefully will give me a break from the lab.

To keep me busy after school, I have another little job. I'm working on getting a website for 3-D cell culture up and running by the end of January. I have done a ton of work reading through abstracts and papers to post. It will be a great search engine for all those interested in tissue engineering and 3-D cell cultures of any kind. I might even get to go to a conference in April to spread the word and be the face of the website. YEAH!!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and a happy New Year! Please come and visit if you get the chance.