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Anne, David, and Oleg Have Arrived!

Monday night as I was brushing my teeth and getting ready for bed I started to notice dull aches in my joints. My wrists and knees felt like they had been tensed up all day. My brain was mush and my eyes protested when I opened my book to read. Physically, it felt similar to that time I tried to hover in the Chinook simulator next to Dave.

Earlier that day I spent 10 hours in Flight Control Room 1 preparing the International Space Station for the arrival of three humans. They had only left Earth 6 hours earlier - rendezvousing in space a mere 4 orbits after launch. And even though spaceflight, and these Soyuz missions in particular, may seem almost routine, it is not the time to let your guard down. As flight controllers these are the experiences we train for, "routine" must be translated into "extra vigilant" - six lives are on the line, 3 in a small Soyuz spacecraft, and 3 onboard the International Space Station. Operations in space always present danger, even if…
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Slap a Bow on it

November is coming to an end, so I would like to put a neat little bow on this "Diabetes Awareness Month" because the truth is, I can't put a neat little bow on Type 1 Diabetes itself. Nor would I want to. It doesn't look any better with a bow ;-)

Just today, as I was attempting to step off console for a little bathroom break (seemingly NOT Diabetes related) I got tangled in a web of headset cord and insulin pump tubing, delaying my precious break and causing a nugget of frustration. But this is just how Diabetes goes. It's always there, nagging and needy, annoying and ageless, constantly wrapped up and tangled into every little nook and cranny of life.

If you don't believe me, ask my daughter. She knows the words "medicine" and "diabetes" are associated with the strange, sticky patches on mommy's arms and legs. She knows sometimes we have to wait a few minutes before going on a walk to make sure my blood sugar is stable. She knows whe…

Nerdy Gift Guide 2018

I joke about it now, but while my sister and I were growing up we always felt a little behind the trends. Our bikes were often second hand - repaired by my dad and repainted by my mom. The year we got dollies, my dad made the wooden cribs and my mom handmade the dolls, pillows and blankets. Don't even get me started on the roller blades! My dad kept repairing them with safety wire and glue until they barely even resembled their original mold. I wanted new ones so bad that I *purposefully* accidentally left them behind the tire of our family minivan in the hopes they would be run over beyond repair. I did finally get a new set for Christmas that year.
But I see bits and pieces of this mentality bleeding over into my adult life - just last night Chris stayed up until 10:30 replacing bulbs on our 12 ft. Christmas tree because gosh dangit, this isn't rocket science! I can't claim to have as much patience as my dad for repairs or as much persistence as my mom with homemade gift…

Critical Space Item: Handle With Extreme Care

Someday I want to open a box. The box will be neatly wrapped up with an excessive amount of packaging. Its contents will have been years in the making, and even though it won't weigh much, this small box will represent a huge step forward.


As most flight hardware begins, the space-rated closed-loop insulin delivery and monitoring device inside the box will be sterile and stark. But as the batteries whir to life and insulin is placed within, it will become an extra appendage, an external pancreas, for this Type 1 astro-hopeful. Bluetooth connections will be made and doctors, hungry for telemetry from my bionic body, will be at the ready. We will rely on each other - he on I for his very existence, and I on him for my continued existence. Together we will make up one whole, completely functioning, Type 1 Diabetic astronaut.

Admittedly, this dream feels further and further from reality. I have lived with this disease just under 20 years now, and the cure has always been "just 5 …

Dressing for the Job You Want

You guys. It's November. What?

First, a tiny picture recap of last night's Halloween festivities:



First, food is a lot more fun when it takes the form of a fun shape, so last night's home made pizza was pumpkin-shaped! Zara's favorite part was eating the "stem" and who can blame her, pizza dough is tough to beat!

After dinner we got Zara dressed up in her SCUBA diver outfit and practiced saying "SCUBA diver" a million times before heading out trick-or-treating. My little Zara probably has no idea that Halloween holds some tough lessons for me - like the one about  Type 1 Diabetes and being an astronaut. Turns out 'SCUBA diver' is on that list too.

Diabetics on 'insulin therapy' is an 'absolute contraindication' according to the NAUI Medical Form. This doesn't mean a Type 1 Diabetic is banned from pursuing a SCUBA cert, but it does mean that a diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes,  "permanently places the diver and his diving…

This Season of Mom-ing

Summer in Texas seems to stretch on forever - the sun, the humidity....the bugs. But I'm hopeful, today, Halloween, will be the turning point to cooler weather (but not too cold!).

Yesterday was breezy and pleasant. The kids and I took our favorite outside blanket to the backyard and laid down to feel the waves of wind wash over us. Zara had a hard time sitting still, so she found an old spoon and went to work digging in the garden. Then she wanted to swing. Then she wanted to play on the monkey bars (omgeee, it gives me a heart attack every time she heads for the monkey bars). She is in a season of "busy". Her mind is always going 100mph and I am just trying to keep up with her requests (which sometimes feel more like demands, haha). She always wants to be around mommy and daddy but she also wants her space and independence - very often a tight-rope-walk between the two extremes.

So, Otto and I calmly relaxed on the blanket and were entertained as dirt was flung, scoope…

Unprepared for Picture Day

This week I purchased school photos - you know those packages with the super staged photos and kind of lack luster backgrounds? The ones that made your mom all kookie-dooks while you were getting ready because your curls didn't set just right? And your eyes were puffy from crying because she wouldn't let you wear your favorite outfit?! Was that just my mom?

But there is something about flipping through a set of children's school photos that feels like a right of passage into parenthood. Now I'm the one all kookie-dooks (ok, hopefully not as much as my mom, haha, love you mom), and it's my turn to pick out my favorite poses.

Here they are if you're wondering...


And how is picture day like Mission Control you ask?

Well, behind the consoles and people of Mission Control is a huge wall of windows. And behind the windows are rows of seats set up in an auditorium style viewing room. It is not uncommon to be plugging away on console, deep into a telemetry signature o…
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