A Change

By on Jan 14, 2015 in General Information, working | 1 comment

With the birth of Veronica came the knowledge that having two full time working parents wasn’t going to work anymore. We were drowning with us both working and we needed some kind of life raft. My job as a postdoc wasn’t a long-term position. Postdocs are 3-5 year positions after which you work on getting a full time job as a scientist at a lab or as a professor at a university. People usually apply for these positions anywhere in the country and that last option just wasn’t an option for us. We have no desire to leave Chicago given that we have a house in a great neighborhood, my dad and stepmom live down the block, Jason’s job is downtown and he has no need to leave that place. Oh and the Cubs are here and we have season tickets so obviously we aren’t leaving those. (LET’S GO CUBS!!!). So. Change. I talked to my bosses and told them I wouldn’t be coming back after the birth of the child and I was going to do the Stay at Home Mom thing, start a photography business, etc etc. But someone at Fermilab mentioned that I should become a contractor for this one area in which I had become an expert. Hmm….maybe I should. Few hours a week, keeping my fingers in the physics (which I love…just didn’t love/couldn’t do the full time). That idea kept stewing in my mind. Followed by some discussions with another group on which I thought I could be useful for a few hours a week. So in the end, working with the local lab I became an “on-call technician”. I work a few hours a week. I get paid some amount of money. I get to go into the lab one day a week (if I want, otherwise I can do all the work from home….but I like to see adults so that’s been nice). This is the first time in my adult life that I haven’t had a full time job. And I gotta say. It’s alright. It’s different and we are all adjusting to me being home most of the time. It’s not easy (and I knew this going in), but with lots of help from my parents and Jason we are slowly getting into a rhythm. With Veronica sleeping more, I’m starting to feel a little more human and so some of the tasks that were super overwhelming are feeling less so. It’s nice being comfortable from a money standpoint and this will definitely make us watch our bank account with a closer eye. But at some point I think you have to note that there isn’t a replacement for being home when the kids are little. We are lucky that we are able to do this right now. And who know what changes in the future but for now this is the path we are on. I like the idea of doing a few different things. Photography, physics, mommy-ing and so on. So. Change it...

What is this place? Who are we?

By on Oct 17, 2014 in General Information | 3 comments

So a little bit of back story on Jason and myself and what this webpage is meant to be and why it’s a venture we are working on together. This post is long. I suggest coffee. Who am I kidding, I suggest coffee for literally anything, any time of day. We met 16ish (Oh. My. God.) years ago in college. We were undergraduates in the physics department at Indiana University together. Randomly assigned as physics lab partners our sophomore year was the start of it all. I still remember sitting behind him during a lecture and noticed he was watching the Cubs gamecast on the computer on the desk and I thought, “Ooooh that guy is a Cubs fan and is totally not paying attention during class” and I didn’t know whether to be mortified that he wasn’t paying attention (Leah might be a little bit of a … I don’t want to say teachers pet, but for sure having witnessed my Dad catching people not paying attention in his class put fear in me for the rest of my life for not paying attention to teacher) or loving the fact that he wasn’t paying attention by paying attention to the Cubs game. We spent the rest of that semester blowing things up in the lab (Jason) and sneaking out to get pizzas at Pizza Hut at The Union (Leah’s idea). We became pretty close friends but nothing that the following year would be. Our junior year was hell on wheels with most of my day spent in the physics building studying or finishing up homework. I mean I literally had to move out of my apartment and into a studio apartment across the street from the physics building because I was in the physics building or on campus 18 hours a day and the commuting back to my apartment was a pain in the ass (that and the horribly annoying roommate I had). By the end of our junior year I was spending most of those 18 hours a day with Jason, mainly at the physics building, with lunches and shooting pool breaks at The Union thrown in for good measure. Finally (finally!) at the end of the spring semester we went from friends to more than friends. Ok? Are you still here? Do you still care? Probably not. The point was that our relationship was built on working together on a common subject and spending lots and lots of time together. It got even more intense when we moved back to Chicago to finish our graduate degrees. We were working on our PhD research at Fermilab, living in Chicago, training for marathons. We had the same boss, same office, obviously the same apartment (oh we got married somewhere in there) and so we spent 100% of our time together. For some this is a complete nightmare. I know there are couples where the thought of spending 100% of their time together sounds like a death sentence. And there are times when it’s tough because you want to be like, “Oh my god the funniest thing happened at work today!!!” At which point you realize of course that the funny thing involved your spouse and thus they don’t need the retelling of the story that they were an integral part in. But for us it worked and it was enjoyable. Fast forward to now. I went from working downtown near Jason so I could at least meet up with him a couple times a week for lunch and most days for an afternoon coffee to us having separate careers in totally different places. So now we have the more traditional: I’ll see you at night and in the morning and on the weekends. Which is fine and it is what it is for now. Ok so you are saying….so what Leah? Why should I care. Maybe you shouldn’t. But the point is: this site is something we are creating together. It’s something that gives us a chance to work together even though our “real” careers are no longer together. So what is Ten Lanes all about? Well it’s about us. It’s about our lives as parents and partners. From time to time Leah’s work as a photographer and Jason’s short stories will make an appearance. It will have posts about the times when parenting is like unicorns farting rainbows. Probably followed by the exact opposite. Because it’s all a part of it. And the name? We are all on this highway of life (Yes. I just wrote “highway of life”) going towards that inevitable ending. Some of us have no kids. Some of us have one kid. Some have five.  No one has a right way or a wrong way. They have their way. Our way is three kids in a tiny house in Chicago. A tiny house filled with a lot of love. A lot of goofiness. A lot of yelling (mostly in delight but sometimes, seriously kid, “PUT ON YOUR SHOES BECAUSE WE ARE LATE”). And a lot of general fun-ness (no it’s not a word…but should be). Need more coffee? Oh hell, time for beer at this...

First First First

By on Jan 1, 2013 in General Information | 0 comments

I was at a baby shower once talking to a woman about raising kids and how I was doing something related to my kids and how someone else was doing something relating to their kids and was wondering if I was doing something wrong. The woman said to me, “Eh, we are all on some giant highway going to the same destination. Just getting there in different lanes. Just don’t fly off the road.” Simple. I loved it. This corner of the interwebs is a place for my husband Jason and I to tell you about what we are doing, how we are choosing to do things. BUT, we would love to hear from other people out there with tips they have and have found useful. I hope this can be a place of non-judgement because I think as a society we all have to be more tolerant and understanding of each other. Look at our congress these days. I don’t agree with you because I am a republican (or democrat) and so I am going to just vote against you no matter what. People. We have to work together a little bit. We have to just try and get some stuff done. And so with that let me tell you a little bit about us: Jason and I met in college our sophomore year. We were randomly assigned physics lab partners. We have lived in Chicago for going on 9 years. I grew up in Chicago, Jason grew up in Fort Wayne. Although from Indiana he’s an avid Cubs fan (what more could a Chicago girl ask for) We have two kids, Lucille and Calvin We live in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago in an old house that was built in 1910…we are only the 4th owners. We both have our PhDs in physics. I’m still a working physicist and Jason took his degree to finance and works downtown as a software developer I think that’s enough to get you started learning about us. Stay tuned for more as we figure out exactly what this place on the internet...