Fluffy Hats and Velvet Robes

In last post’s major catch-up sesh, I somehow managed to forget one very large trip: Boulder, for our PhD graduation! This has to be documented.

Weez and I flew back to Colorado to visit friends and family, and were honored to participate in the University of CO hooding ceremony. Felt very fancy and full of tradition/silly hats/photo-ops.
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Forever a Buff.

Mama and Papa Dubs came out for the big event. I cried no fewer than 5 times because of this. I’m so lucky to have such incredible in-laws. They are the best a gal can get.
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After brunch at The Buff restaurant, we got all gown’ed up.
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#selfie
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Those puffy hats were awesome and we even got to keep them. Maybe we’ll find a way to display them with our diplomas. Or maybe I’ll stuff it and give it to Cabo for a chew toy.

The ceremony was lovely, and made me very honored to be a CU Alumn. Our PhD advisor was one proud papa with 3 of his students graduating that day.

I had an incredible graduate school experience, all thanks to my advisor, Doug. Genius, comedian, bulldog, storyteller, teacher, leader, mentor. The myth. The man. The legend. We love him.

Typical Efo Face.
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Labmates for 5+ years. There’s nothing we haven’t been through together.
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I can’t be spotted making a polite smile when decked out in professional regalia. It’s a problem. Thumbs up for being DOCTORS!
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For my folks back home, here are a few more family photos :)
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After the ceremony, we wandered back to campus for a schlew of photos with the amazing Flatirons as the backdrop. CU wins the award for most gorgeous campus. PS. How sweet were our hoods?!
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After the photos were taken and robes removed, we met all our friends for celebratory drinks, where we shut the place down and eventually had to call it a night. Such a great day/memory.
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The next morning, we had to say bye to Mama and Papa Dubs but not before a delicious brunch in Golden and more tears and hugs and good times.
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The rest of the weekend was dedicated to our friends, and enjoying time at our favorite restaurants/trails/spots around town. It just felt so nice to go back to the city that we love/miss so much.
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Boulder, you are a dream town.

And if we get lucky enough to find a way back to you, we just might. But in any case, we will always consider you home. The place Brian and I fell in love; the place we found Cabo; the place we earned our doctorates; the place where lifelong friendships were made and passion for vegan food and local microbrews began.

6 of the best years of our lives.

Home.

Well, hello there :)

Hi guys! It’s Efo! I’m writing a blog post! Crazy!

Perhaps before any regular blogging can happen, we have some serious catching up to do! In a nutshell, I’ve been living well and running everyday (the streak continues!). But we don’t need nutshells. We need photos. And stories. So here we go!

Early May: Camp Trip in Mt. Hood national forest. No work pagers, a campfire, freedom for Cabo to run around, and good friends. What more could you want?
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Blog world, let me introduce our good friends Faye, Stephen, and Lillie! Faye and I met on Day 1 of orientation at Intel, and we’ve been buds ever since. I’m so thankful to have such a great girl friend at work (there aren’t many chicks around!).
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The next weekend, I was on call, so there was a whole lot of this at first:
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…until I couldn’t take staying inside anymore, so we grabbed my pager and wifi hot spot, and we drove till we hit the coast.
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Oregon, you are ridiculously gorgeous. You win all the cool points.
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We had lunch at the cutest little beach town and I only had to whip out my work stuff a few times #winningandhavingfun #corporatecorevalue #noseriously

Then one weekend in late May, we went up to Seattle to visit my sis/BIL/nephew/niece. Dad and mom were there, too!
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There were walks to the park, adventures to find Cake Pops, meals outside, and catching up to be had. After all, my sis and BIL had just gotten back from a dream vacay to Bali. Um, jealous.
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I love being an aunt. I love watching my parents as grandparents and Weez as an uncle. I love watching these kiddos grow up.
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There’ve been trips downtown Portland exploring new vegan restaurants (so many good ones), the night life, and the famous Saturday Farmer’s market.
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There’s been hikes around the Portland Arboretum and runs in Forest Park.
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Somewhere in there, I finally planted a mini garden (something I’ve wanted to do for a long time) with strawberries and tomatoes, and jars of basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary.
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And most recently, we went to Bend for a 3-day/2-night camping trip. Bend is awesome. It’s kind of like the Boulder of Oregon, and we loved it.
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We hung out at the many microbreweries and hiked around by day, camped by night. Blog world, meet another one of my closest friends here, Gary!
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And to bring us to present day, I surprised Weez with tickets to a OneRepublic outdoor concert this week to celebrate his birthday :)

And here we are! Mid-June, I can’t hardly believe it.

There was a lot of work that happened between those fun weekends, but we kind of love the whole work hard-play hard thing. That’s how we roll.

So that’s MY life. Tell me something fun about YOURS! Let’s catch up! I missed you all!

What’s Next? And a Portland Challenge GIVEAWAY!

As I toed the line on marathon Monday, I knew I was going to lace up my shoes for an easy (very easy!) little jog on Tuesday. I’ve been running every day this year, and I didn’t want the streak to end :) It’s leveling, really. Doesn’t matter if you run 26.2 miles or just 1. A runs a run. A time to give back to yourself a little, enjoy the fresh air, and focus on your health/your mental peace. You deserve it.

As my soreness faded, it didn’t take long (errr, 2 days) before the question, “what’s next?”, popped into my mind. It’s almost like the cool folks at Challenge Nation HEARD me….

Challenge Nation, Portland – May 4th 2014!
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Looks like fun.
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Ya’ll know Weez and I moved to Portland back in October and the city is totally still new to us. We try to go downtown once a week or so to explore the restaurants (loving the vegan options here), culture, museums (OMSI rocks), and night life.

Portland is a pretty rad city. We love it. But there’s SO much more we want to explore.

Again, it’s like Challenge Nation read our minds. So when I was contacted about participating in Portland’s Challenge this May, we jumped at the opportunity!
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Urban 1-day adventure/scavenger races (think, The Amazing Race but less eating gross bugs) are getting super popular. One of my coworkers talks about adventure races like these all the time. They’re totally in vogue right now and I’m super excited to explore undiscovered parts of the city as we dart around solving clues.
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The pitch behind this “race” is that:

  • teams of 2+ race around the city solving tricky clues before you can move on to the next checkpoint
  • you gotta execute clever strategy to get around by foot quickly
  • it’s a sweet way to explore the city
  • costumes are encouraged
  • team work will be tested!

Weez and I have found ourselves in some preeeeetty tricky travel situations a time or two, and we even worked in the lab job for 5 years, but we’ve NEVER tested our teamwork like this before. I’m kind of stoked to try this :) And I’m stoked to be able to give away 2 free entries as well!

Two free entries for the Portland Challenge are up for grabs! Deets:
- Race Info HERE
- When: May 4th (this Sunday!)
- Where: Portland, OR

To enter, leave separate comments for the following:
(1) what’s your favorite restaurant in Portland
(1) how long have you lived in the area
(1) suggest a goofy/fun team costume

I’ll use a random number generator to pick the winner (based on the comment #)… but enter QUICK and BEFORE THURSDAY at 12PM. Remember, this giveaway is for the Portland race location :)

I’ll post the winner on Thursday night! Good luck!