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Cinco de Mayo (actually 28 de abril)

Monday, April 30, 2012
Andrew's birthday weekend continued saturday night. We invited our friends over to celebrate with a Mexican Fiesta. I guess it was Cinco de Mayo one week early. It was so much fun to eat, laugh, and spent time with our sweet friends!

Our house got all fiesta-fied. I was really happy with how it turned out.

 Dessert table. I saw the idea for the parasail topiaries online somewhere. They were not quite as easy as I thought they might was hard to keep the umbrella part open, but it worked.

Andrew specifically requested my Key Lime Cupcakes. I was happy to oblige because they are really yummy. Recipe here.

One of the best parts of the table was the disposable plates, napkins and silverware. Made clean up a breeze.

 Menu: build your own taco bar, black bean chili, mexican rice, refried beans, and chips with salsa, queso, and homemade guacamole. This was my first experience with making guacamole and I think it turned out awesome. It was the pioneer woman recipe found here.

 After dinner we all got in touch with our inner child and hung a pinata in the shape of a sombrero. You can get a pinata to look like just about anything I learned.

The pinata didn't last very long. I guess 28 year olds are a little stronger than 8 year olds. Still fun though.

It was a really fun, casual party. Have I mentioned that we love our friends? We are so blessed to have such awesome couple friends to "do life" with.

Fondue Fun

Sunday, April 29, 2012
This weekend has been about celebrating Andrew's birthday. His birthday is actually this coming wednesday. Friday night we went to the Melting Pot for dinner with his family. We had a blast talking and eating yummy fondue. 

Andrew opened his presents. Ben and Kate got him a "Vader is coming" t-shirt. 

 My favorite part is the chocolate. We shared two different kinds: Yin and Yang (white and dark chocolate) and chocolate turtle. Can you guess which is which? : )

 Emily liked the dark chocolate so much she threatened to drink the last few drops with her straw.

Happy Birthday Andrew!

NASA's Great Moonbuggy Race

Monday, April 23, 2012
Last weekend was awesome. We had the pleasure of spending most of the weekend at NASA's Great Moonbuggy Race at the Space and Rocket Center. My mom was a big part of the races while she was at NASA. When I was in high school, mom would take me out of school so we could spend Friday and Saturday volunteering at the races. After she passed away in 2005, a Spirit Award began being given away in her memory at the races. It is great to be back in Huntsville so we can be a part of the annual event and help give out the Nancy J. Gibson Spirit Award.

This year's winners were from the United Arab Emirates. This was their first time competing in the races and their moonbuggy did not even arrive from fedex until friday at about lunch. The had the best attitude through it all and had worked their tails off to get here. 

The winning high school team from Puerto Rico

The winning college team from UAH

Four teams agreed to leave their moonbuggies behind at the Space and Rocket Center. The center has decided to set up a mini moonbuggy course on location so that guests can try their hand at a moonbuggy race. This is one of the buggies being left behind courtesy of team India and team Italy. 

My good friend Kathy (and my mom's secretary from NASA) who has been integral to keeping my mom's memory alive at the moonbuggy races. I cannot thank her enough!

Ready, Set, Dash!

Sunday, April 15, 2012
Last Tuesday HudsonAlpha held its inaugural Double Helix Dash - a 5k and 1 mile fun run benefiting HudsonAlpha research. If you have been to HudsonAlpha, you know that we have a 0.6 mile park with double helix shaped sidewalks which lends itself so nicely to a double helix themed race.

The event turned out awesome. They even had to close the 5k registration when it hit 400 runners. We were slackers and just strolled the 1 mile fun run with our church life group, then went and got little rosies for dinner as a group afterwards. Pretty sure a one mile walk doesn't make up for chips and salsa, but oh well, it was fun either way.


Friday, April 13, 2012
Easter was a pretty quiet weekend for us this year, mostly because Andrew had to work 90% of it. Saturday, while Andrew was working I spent the day at the church egg hunt and at Ben's first tball game. Sunday night we got together with Andrew's family after he got off work and hid eggs for the kids and ate a low key dinner. Easter is one of my favorite times of the year. We take extra time to celebrate what Jesus did through the cross and resurrection and to be outside in the lovely spring weather. 

One of my favorite parts of the weekend was listening to sweet little Ben run around the house Sunday night announcing that "Jesus is risen!"

Charlotte and ACMG

Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Last week I got to go to Charlotte for the American College of Medical Genetics meeting. It was a total nerd-fest but it was awesome. Heard some great talks and it is always cool to get to see and hear from the people that genetic conditions are named after...kind of like genetics celebrities.  : )

Here are some highlights from the week.

Even our room keys were geeked out. : )

GeneDx, a genetic testing company, has one of the best PR ideas ever. They give out these little zebras at their booth at all the different genetics conferences. Why zebras? Because genetics is the place where rare diseases are common. However at each event the zebra you get is a little different, themed for the place or time that the conference takes place in. Over the last couple of years we have amassed quite a collection of zebras in our office: cowboy zebra, canadian hockey player zebra, witch zebra, hawaii zebra and now pilot zebra. So of course I had to pick up 8 of the little guys to bring back.

It was great to be back in the state of North Carolina. I hadn't been back since we moved back to Alabama in May 2010. One afternoon, Kristen and I played hooky from the meeting and made a trip up to Greensboro.  

We got to visit the genetic counseling house and see Nancy (our program director) and Sally (the program administrator). It was awesome to see them and the weather was beautiful so we just set on the porch of the house and talked all afternoon.

That evening we got to have dinner with Brooke and Holly

The next day we had an early dinner with Whitney and Courtney, and got to meet Cooper. I can't believe how big the little guy has gotten!

Through the course of the week we got to see a lot of friends and old supervisors from grad school. From the pictures it looks like we did more socializing than learning, but I promise lots of learning was just wasn't as interesting to take pictures of. : )

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