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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 …
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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…

Thanks for Stopping By This Nerdy Spot!

I'm just popping in here today to give a little shout out to all the new readers! I'm so, so happy you're here!! I thought I would give a little introduction (or re-introduction for you long time blog followers!).

This blog originally started as a personal time capsule of my "nerdy space adventures" but, over the course of nearly 10 years has morphed into a place where we can all gather to experience life, share successes and failures, inspire each other, and root for those who may lack a cheering squad. I love writing about my journey to experience an exciting aerospace career while wrangling a chronic illness - Type 1 Diabetes. I have found that these two facets of my life go hand in hand, advancement in one often spurs advancement in the other. But, above all, this path has taught me to never give up, no matter what. Being a woman in an aerospace field is not always easy, and neither is Type 1 Diabetes, but there are communities of people out there (and right …

I > ^ v

Translation: I am greater than the highs and lows.

It's Tuesday night and I don't usually write while my blood sugar is low, but I decided I would give it a shot (ha, nice pun there April). I've been in sort of a diabetes black hole lately - I feel like I put lots of work in, but nothing great has been coming out. In fact, if you really drill down to the basics of a chronic illness, that is about the best you can hope for. Ugh, it's so depressing sometimes. Even with the best of blood sugar control there's no guarantee you will escape the wrath of "complications".

And being low is just, well, it's just the worst.

Obviously, it makes me a little agitated - these words are proof. And frustrated, and emotional. I can't put sentences together well, my mental to-do list is wiped clean, and my attention absolutely diverts from task-at-hand to survival mode. My CGM is probably vibrating...annoyingly. And that constant out-of-body reminder is incredibly i…

Experience the Kennedy Space Center

Manned spaceflight is not a challenge forged from one molten idea - it's not a put-this-in get-that-out equation - it's not a sport for the isolationists. The notion that it was "one man's passion" or "one nation's resources" that got us to this engineering moment is simply false. And the idea that alienation could ever lead to exploration is impossible. There is likely no other industry or singular goal so intentional about teamwork - from employing teachers to technicians, soliciting standard to specialized natural resources, planning short term and long, investing in ideas and inspiration, training fresh-outs to experts, and communicating technically and politically. Tangibly, the manned spaceflight challenge crosses borders and age and gender, there are pieces of its presence spanning the entire globe, and beyond! 
One of those spots - notable for it's history as the last piece of Earth many astronauts touched before launch - is the Kennedy…
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