The Good Stuff

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Despite the mixed bag of emotions that came with the craziness over the last couple of months, not every day was negative. We have still had a lot of anxiety and sadness looming but we've managed to have a few good moments along the way to celebrate some of the fun stuff!

So here's a little recap of the highlights...


Totally and completely last minute, my best friend from college told me that she had scored a free trip out to Las Vegas for the second weekend of Rock in Rio in May and she wanted me to go with her! For those who have never heard of it (because I hadn't), Rock in Rio is a giant music festival (similar to Cochella, Bonaroo, etc.) that is typically held in Brazil or in recent years Lisbon, Portugal. For the first time this year, Rock in Rio came stateside to none other than Sin City.

There was a lot of back and forth over how successful Rock in Rio would be in Vegas since the city tends to be a gigantic tourist destination with lots to do aside from the music festival. Well, over two weekends (the first being Rock weekend which included acts like Metallica, No Doubt, Linkin Park, and Foster the People) the total attendance was nearly 200,000 people!

The first day of the festival, we saw Charlie XCX, Tove Lo, Echosmith, Jessie J, Ed Sheeran, and Taylor Swift. While all the performances were seriously incredible, we both agreed that seeing Jessie J from the front row was the highlight of the night. She is one hell of a vocalist and she had, by far, one of the best performances of the festival. The second day was all about the boys - our three favorites being Big Sean, John Legend, and Bruno Mars. Our feet quite literally felt like they had fallen off from all of the dancing that we did, but even as we hobbled back to the hotel, there was no doubt that the entire weekend had been worth it!

2. Work Weekend

Sticking with tradition, we spent Memorial Day up in Maine at Mike's family cottage. The trip always includes the same itinerary but never gets old. We drove up the coast on Friday and arrived late at night, waking up the next morning to a cottage full of family, hot coffee, and donuts. We worked on various projects to fix up the cottage for the season and spent all of our free time catching up with cousins, drinking local beer, devouring lobster rolls, and soaking up some rays at the beach.

We always look forward to our trips up to the cottage each year and this year did not disappoint. We love getting to see everyone and spending a nice weekend by the ocean, away from all of life's craziness.

3. Mike's 30th and Kathy's 60th

This year was a very special one for many reasons but probably my favorite so far was celebrating Mike's 30th birthday and his mom Kathy's 60th! Since January, I had been planning on throwing them a big birthday bash and I wanted to make it extra special since you don't hit these kind of milestones every year.

I planned a big Maryland themed party complete with custom crab mallets, tons of local wine and beer, Old Bay, fresh blue crabs, Berger cookies, and anything and everything I could find in the colors of the Maryland flag. We had a wonderful turnout with about 40-50 of our closest friends and family and we all had a blast celebrating two of our favorite people on the planet!

4. New job!

And last but certainly not least, I GOT A NEW JOB!

I have never been so happy to say that in my entire life. For those that don't know, I've been working in research in Geriatric Medicine at Johns Hopkins for the last four years. I got the job right out of college and while I have absolutely loved the opportunities that I was given to learn and expand my technical knowledge in the lab, I was having trouble seeing a long-term future in Geriatrics. So, after my annual review in February, I knew it was time for me to start looking to move on.

I wanted to stay at Hopkins since I am currently a Master's student pursuing a degree in Biotechnology and I still love working for the University. By some miracle, back in May, I was contacted by a lab in the Division of Infectious Disease about this new project that was getting started and they were looking to fill a new lab - the Laboratory for Integrated NanoDiagnostics - with post-doctoral fellows and Research Specialists. I interviewed as soon as I could and within a few weeks they contacted me to offer me one of the specialist positions!

While there is a lot I can't say due to confidentiality agreements and the unique nature of the project, I can say I am absolutely in heaven at this new department. I've only been here for about a month but it is shaping up to be one of the best jobs I will ever have. The project itself has the potential to impact the field of medicine so significantly and the thought of helping people on such a large scale is such an exciting thing.

To top it all off, since the project is a collaboration between JHU and this biotech company in Belgium, we get to travel to Leuven which is just outside of Brussels in a couple of weeks!! I am ecstatic about the opportunities here and I feel so insanely lucky to be a part of such an amazing team! I will be sure to take a ton of pictures in Belgium and bring back chocolate for just about everyone I know! :)


  1. 1. Ed Sheeran <3 2. Boordy's Wine is the shit. 3. Congrats on the new job and have an amazing time in Belgium!

    1. 1. He was AMAZING in concert and I highly recommend going to see him!
      2. IT SERIOUSLY IS :)
      3. Thank you so, so much!

  2. Ah!! Love Ed and Taylor, what an amazing prize for your friend to win! Boordy wine is amazing, I need to get to one of their tasting and music nights soon. Your new job sounds amazing and Brussels is by far one of my favorite places I have ever been. I can't wait to see pictures!!

    1. They really are the best aren't they?! And thank you so much! I can't wait to go! I've never been before so I'm super excited!