Wednesday, December 31, 2014

12-31-14

If you want the purest expression of love, devotion, and adoration, get a dog. 

But make sure he loves, is devoted to and adores you best of everyone you live with. 

I'm not sure how to ensure that, but I can tell you there's really nothing better than that. 

Last night when we got to Jimmy's mom's house, Mac entered first and spoke to Leo. I waited at the door and called Leo, who did a double-take, barked twice and ran as fast across the slippery floor as his little legs would carry him to me.  

Pure bliss, I tell you. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

12-30-14

Today was work (again).

But the saving grace of the day is that I now find myself at the airport, waiting to board my flight to Charleston. 


And the next saving grace of the day is that we're going to eat wings after I'm picked up at the airport. 

Those two things should cancel out work. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

12-29-14

Today's agenda...

Work

Work

Work

I could really get used to 2- or 3-day workweeks. That seems so much more civilized. 

After work, I got a fabulous manicure at what I think must be the best mani-pedi spot in DC. Patsy's Nail Bar totally rocks. 
This week I'm sporting How Great is Your Dane by OPI. It'll look good until later tonight when I scrub a dish or tomorrow when I stick my hands in and out of file boxes at work. 


Sunday, December 28, 2014

12-28-14

Today's agenda:

I woke up super-early and took down the Christmas tree so I don't have to face that when I come back from SC. 

Then I went to Arlington National Cemetery as soon as it opened at 8am. There were only a handful of other people there and since they were tourists, they headed straight to the popular touristy sights there. I ventured off to parts unknown and wandered around the streets that pass through the back part of the cemetery. It was so beautiful and peaceful, hushed and reverent. 





Later on, I headed to the mall to get my Christmas present watch sized and to shop for "foundation garments".  I read that every woman should go to a bra shop that actually sizes you properly because it's apparently life-changing to wear the right-sized bra. Or so Oprah says. 

My life has not been changed because I was wearing the right-sized bra already. That's what I get for being a Type A perfectionist. But I will be wearing new foundation garments that didn't come from Target. That feels very adult. 

Next up?  I channeled my dad and Sunday-afternoon dozed on the couch through the Browns-Ravens football game. 

Now I'm watching my favorite movie of all time, Legends of the Fall. The heartbreak, the love lost and gained, the family emotion and betrayal and reconciliation, the music, the poetry of the narration, the horses, the costumes, Montana, Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Julia Ormond. Sigh and swoon. I could watch it over and over and over again.  Please tell me you love it as much as I do and we can be best friends forever over our shared good taste. 

And soon I will make one of my favorite pastas of all time, cacio e pepe, for dinner. 

Back to work tomorrow...




Saturday, December 27, 2014

12-27-14

The boys - all three of them - took off this morning for SC. I dropped them at the airport at 6:30 and away they flew. By all accounts, Leo was a champion flyer on his inaugural flight. 

I will fly out on Tuesday night to join them for the rest of the week. 

This means I have 3 nights and 4 days all by myself. Two of the days really don't count because I have to go to work, but we'll still call it 4 days. 

No dog to walk or treats to prepare. 

No picking up after anybody but myself. 

No healthy meals to plan and cook (because 4 days of cereal will not kill me.)

What to do, what to do, what to do. 

Today's agenda?  A Costco run as soon as it opened at 10 (and it was blissfully empty), a leisurely lunch date with a friend at a nearby Mexican restaurant, some online clothes shopping while watching the Gamecocks win their bowl game, and catching a wonderful performance of Pippin at the National Theater with the Maynard ladies. 

I can't believe the first day is already over. That flew by...

Friday, December 26, 2014

12-26-14

Boxing Day Haircuts for 3/4 of the family!

Before:


After:

Thursday, December 25, 2014

12-25-15




12-24-14

Tonight our dear friends, the Maynards, came over to share Christmas Eve dinner.  

If I've learned anything in the past 16.5 years as a nomad, it's that if you can't be with family on major holidays, good friends can make a holiday merry and bright. 

We're lucky to have both family by birth and family by choice and were so thankful to share a special evening with our family by choice. 

12-23-14

Tonight we were invited to eat at our friends' apartment because her mother is visiting from South Korea and was going to cook Korean food for us. 

All I can say is oh.my.gosh. 

There was pumpkin soup, spicy pork belly, bulgogi, glass noodles, crunchy shrimp, Korean sushi, veggie pancakes, rice, kimchi and who knows what else I'm missing. 

I would be hard-pressed to eat Korean food out ever again because I know it wouldn't taste anywhere near as good as Min's mom's food!  What a blessing that she shared her considerable talents with us!




12-22-14

Christmas week. 

Busy days with work and busy nights with dinners with friends. 

But then Thursday will be here, and we can rest. 

And that sounds like the best Christmas present ever. 

12-21-14

Today our church performed/conducted (not sure of the right word) a Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.

It was so beautiful and moving and was a wonderful way to head into Christmas week.  

12-20-14

Manicure and shopping with friends 

+

Relatively painless pre-Christmas Saturday Target run


Unexpected dinner out alone with Jimmy (Mac was worn out after a birthday party at the Georgetown University basketball game)

=

One great Saturday 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

12-19-14

It's Friday. 

After a long week at work. 

That's all I can say. 


Friday, December 19, 2014

12-18-14

Today we got a Christmas card in the mail from Leo's groomers. 

I opened the card and found a calendar with the most handsome dog model ever. 

How clever is this company to send a personalized calendar to its customers with a cute photo of their very own dog?!?!?  

Brilliant marketing strategy. 

I wasn't all that happy with them after the last haircut, but now, of course, I love them. 

12-17-14

Jimmy made his most delicious shrimp and grits, but I fear the appeal of it was lost on our British houseguest, who said the grits was like "savory porridge". 

"Shrimp and grits" has a nicer ring than "shrimp and savory porridge".  

12-16-14

We're latecomers to the party, but we're now full-fledged backers of District Taco. 

Which means we eat there once a week. 

District Taco used to be a food truck but they now have multiple locations in the area, one of which is conveniently located near both of the schools where Mac practices basketball. 

Which means we can get a fix on Tuesday and/or Friday night with no problem. 

We went tonight and let me to you two things:

1. I dream about the carnitas this place serves. They are the best ever. Seriously. 

2.  Jimmy had the fish tacos tonight and he said they were the best fish tacos he'd ever eaten. Mac gasped and asked, "Even better than the food truck in Hawaii?"  Jimmy said, "Yes."  

Wait. There's a third thing. 

3. They have the best tortilla chips ever. They might be laced with a drug that makes you addicted and you.can't.stop.eating.them. Seriously. 

And this might be a 4th thing or it might be a subpart of 3.  The guacamole is outstanding. Fresh and chunky. And perfect for the chips. 

Oh and they have several types of salsa that range from a little hot to your lips are falling off hot. So good. 

Hats off to District Taco. I wish we'd found you a year earlier. 


12-15-14

We went to ZooLights at the National Zoo tonight, and it was perfect:  no crowds and not freezing cold. (Last year it was about 20 degrees and packed.). 


The best part was running into a schoolteacher and church friend from Brasilia days who we haven't seen in over 7 years.  We were sitting on a bench in the dark while Mac ate a funnel cake, and Laura recognized Mac! 

When we last saw Laura, she was a single teacher (but dating her now-husband). Now she's married with 2 young children and a third on the way. She's still as cute and energetic as ever. It was the best serendipitous Christmas treat to run into her. 

I told Jimmy it's time for us to move now. When we start running into people we know at the grocery store or park or restaurants overseas, that usually means we're near the end of our tour somewhere and have built enough relationships to make running into people regularly possible. 

Is it too soon to pack my suitcase for Rio?


12-14-14

Mac's second grade teacher in Bogota, an Englishman named Ian, became a great family friend during our time in Bogota. His Christmas vacation started Friday and he's spending part of it on a 3-city visit to the US. 

He flew into DC last night, and we had a full day today. First stop was lunch and shopping in Georgetown. After that we caught the 5:30 performance of the Washington Ballet's The Nutcracker with other dear friends, Monique and Caitlin. 





Thankful for friends near and far, and especially for far who become near if only for a few days every so often. 


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

12-13-14

Late this afternoon we headed wayyyy out of DC to attend a friend's Christmas party. When I say way out, I mean it felt like we were driving to West Virginia. 

It was 43 miles away from our apartment. That's a long way.

This friend and his wife commute everyday to DC. If there's no traffic, it takes them an hour and 17 minutes. If you've traveled recently on I-66, you know there's always traffic. 

These folks live in a gorgeous and humongous home. Beautiful artwork and furniture. Huge piece of land with big sunsets. 

(On the road leading to the house)

There are moments when I think we're going to burst out of our little apartment. When I think of how it would be nice to spread out a little. To use a bathroom that's not right next to where everybody is. 

In this house, there's lot of room to spread out and there are probably multiple bathrooms on every floor. 

But there's also a lot to clean, a lot to dust, a lot to vacuum and mop.  They certainly can't plug the vacuum in one outlet and vacuum an entire floor, much less the whole house.  There's a lot of grass to mow. So much grass they had to buy a tractor. And they definitely don't walk out the door to eat at great restaurants or to grab a cup of coffee. They don't have any Metro access. 

All things considered, I'll take my teeny apartment with the quick commute, good restaurants nearby, and no yard work and just dream of one day having privacy in the bathroom. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

12-12-14

I've been a loyal federal government employee since I graduated from college in 1993. I've had periods of unemployment as we've moved around, but every job I've had brought a paycheck directly from Uncle Sam. 

Now I'm working for Uncle Sam via a third party contractor. It feels no different than other jobs, really, except that my paycheck comes from the private sector. 

I should say that it felt no different until today. 

I got home to find 4 boxes had been delivered. I assumed they were all from my online shopping blitz on Monday night when I panicked because Christmas was in, like, 2 weeks and I had not the first present bought for Mac, Jimmy, our moms, close friends, etc. God bless the Internet and online shopping. 

So back to the boxes...

I opened them up tonight while Mac and Jimmy were at basketball practice. One box contained a big box of "fresh cream chocolates". I'm all about "fresh cream chocolates", whatever those are, but I definitely didn't order them. 

I looked for a card and didn't see one. 

I looked at the label to make sure the package really was for me. My name and address were there. 

The return address had a man's name and underneath it said "Happy Holidays!"  

I did not recognize the name and decided to call the chocolate company tomorrow to tell them a mistake had been made. 

And then I saw my employer company's name off on the side of the label. 

My employer sent me a huge box of chocolates. How cool is that??  I know this is unimpressive to those of you who work in the private sector and receive annual bonuses larger than my annual salary, but this makes me happier than you can possibly imagine. 

Look at this box. 

Have you ever seen such a big box of chocolates?  

Oh wait, you need perspective on how big my box of chocolates is?  

I haven't even opened it up yet because I don't really care if there are only 4 chocolates in that big box. Or if they're gross and have cherries inside them (which are the worst chocolates ever). 

The point is that my employer sent me a holiday gift and that has never ever happened in 21 years. 

I'm kind of ecstatic over this largesse. 

12-10-14

Last week I went to an evergreen decorating class with a friend from church. Last year I made a wreath, so this year I made a beautiful tabletop tree with little splashes of red and gold. 

The tree has been on the dining room table for a week until I noticed last night that some of those red ball twiggy things looked like they were broken. I thought maybe Pearl had tipped the tree by accident and somehow broken the little red things without smushing or breaking the evergreen. I'm not always the brightest bulb in the box. 

Today when Mac got home, he found bits of evergreen under the table.

Hmmmm. 

Methinks Leo has learned to jump up on the table from the chair. That little sneaky dog who will eat anything. 



So the tabletop tree has been moved from the tabletop and is now on the kitchen counter where surely the marauding dog can't get to it. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

12-11-14

On the train home today, I overhead a conversation between two millennials. They obviously work together and from my talented eavesdropping, I gathered that she didn't get a position in the office that they both felt she should've gotten. He asked if she'd expressed her displeasure to the higher-ups.  

She said, "No, I didn't say anything. I know more jobs are going to open up, and I didn't want to rustle feathers." 

Me:  (silently) ""Rustle" feathers?  Rustle?  That is not how the expression goes. You ruffle feathers, not rustle them."

I'm going to assume she knows the correct expression but her brain was frozen because it was 40 degrees and she was wearing nothing on her legs. 

I really need to start The Wear Tights campaign soon before these children's brains become frozen . 


12-9-14

Call me a privileged diplomat's wife but now that I'm working full-time again, we've hired a housecleaner to come every other week. All of us were tired of trying to keep up with cleaning at night and on the weekends, so we bit the bullet and Pearl entered our lives with a bang today. 

All I can tell you is that there's very little that makes me happier than coming home to a spotless house that smells of bleach. 

Totally worth the price of admission!

12-8-14

Twice now in the last week, I have seen the face of American mental illness on my commute home. It's not a happy picture. 

Last week I was on the train with a man who had a full-fledged but one-sided conversation. I say one-sided because I only heard his part, but he was clearly having a conversation with someone or a voice or something. He railed against the Catholic and Lutheran churches, carried on about "fetal abortion" at the hands of the church, and talked about how Hillary performed the surgery with Bill watching. 

And today I rode right behind a woman who wasn't terribly loud but who used expletives to talk about someone when there was no one with her to listen or respond. 

Both people were dressed relatively well, both were on the train when I got on and both got off at the Court House station in Arlington. 

I say a prayer of thanksgiving everyday for my physical health, but I need to add prayers of thanksgiving for my mental health as well. Mental illness is a very scary thing. 

12-7-14

Today we had a lunch for a diverse group of friends with some type of Brazil connection. One family were great friends in Mozambique (she's Brazilian), one lady was with us in São Paulo and the other family was in Brasilia and São Paulo with us (she's Brazilian). Plus my cousin who's living in DC right now who is going to come see us in Rio, which is her Brazil connection. 

We had So.Much.Fun. Sometimes you get lucky and the adults mesh well but the kids are bored and want to leave. Or vice versa. This time everybody meshed well. We had 7 adults and 4 kids in our apartment from 1:30 to 7:30 when the last people left, and it was So.Much.Fun.  

I'm so grateful to the Foreign Service for introducing us to interesting people that we want to lunch with for 6 hours. I can't imagine life otherwise. 

12-6-14

My friend's birthday was this past week so she planned a big celebration for an overnighter at a fancy hotel in DC. I joined her and her girlfriends for an afternoon at Patsy's Nail Bar where I got a fabulous manicure and enjoyed their fun company.  I bailed after that because of other plans but these girls were off for a night of good times!

12-5-14

The best thing about today?  It's the weekend and we've got lots of fun events with friends to look forward to, starting tonight with church youth group for Mac and dinner out for Jimmy. Life is sweet. 

12-1-14 to 12-4-14

This week flew by. One minute it was a tired Monday morning and then I blinked and it was a more tired Thursday night. By the time I'm 50, I'm going to feel like a time traveler. 


11-29-14

After a great weekend, the family all left to return to SC, so we joined the 40 million other people at the mall for shopping and movies. If I don't step foot in a mall again during the holiday season, that'll be just fine. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

11-28-14

Museums, a great lunch, a performance at the Kennedy Center, a casual supper at home. 

Life is so good.  

11-27-14


Happy Thanksgiving from us to you!

11-26-14

Things I'm thankful for today:

1.  Despite a nasty, cold rain/snow mix all day, all the family made it!  Hurray!

2.  I got to leave work early today.  Double hurray!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

11-25-14

For the first time ever in my life (that I can remember), I am celebrating Thanksgiving this year with just my mom, my siblings and their families (and Jimmy and Mac, of course).  None of my cousins or aunts and uncles. And they're all coming to Northern Virginia to share the holiday with us here instead of us going to SC.  This all seems so unique and different to our holiday status quo, and I am irrationally excited about this.  

Some people are flying and some people are driving, and of course, now there's this ridiculous winter storm coming that could screw up everybody's travel. 

I would love for it to snow lots so the children could enjoy it, but I need for them all to get here tomorrow first. 

Sending up the prayers....

11-24-14

I got asked today on the Metro if I needed someone to give up his seat for me. 

Sigh...


11-23-14

Back in the spring, a former colleague of Jimmy's contracted some sort of bacterial infection that wasn't diagnosed properly and he ended up dying. One day he was an active, healthy man in his mid-50s and two weeks later, he was dead. 

His wife and their two teenaged children hosted a Friendsgiving today that Jimmy and I attended. This family is well-loved by so many interesting, engaging people as evidenced by the party's turnout, but their loss and grief are almost tangible. The wife said a few emotional words before asking their son to say the blessing. 

If I needed a poignant reminder about how much I have to be thankful for, all I had to do was listen to this young man offer a prayer for his parents, their friends and speak of how we are never alone. It was very moving and was a perfect start to a week of grateful Thanksgiving. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

11-22-14

Today we had Mac's birthday party. Seven boys for an XBox Madden tournament, flag football in the park, make-your-own-pizzas, more Doritos than 7 boys should be able to consume, and chocolate cake. I think a good time was had by all. 






11-21-14

Okay, I hate to keep harping on Parenthood, but really, if you're not watching it, you just have no idea what you're missing. The good news for you is that since it's going off the air after this season, you won't have to be clueless for  much longer. More's the pity. 

This week's episode was so tough. All the story lines I love the most, most, most just piled into one hour of a soppy, sniffly, sad mess. 

Julia and Joel have to get back together. That's it. I cannot bear to think of Joel living in that sad bachelor apartment when he's so emotional about his love for Julia. "I will honor you for the rest of my days, if you'll have me."  For goodness' sake, Julia, yes, you'll have him. 

And then poor Zeke. Oh my poor, beloved Zeke. Are they going to kill Zeke with a heart attack?  I will cry for weeks if they do. Do you hear me, NBC?  You better not do that. 

If you are watching the show and you watched the trailer for next week, you know what I'm about to say. But if you didn't, here's my PSA of the week:

there's no new episode until January. 
- there are only four new episodes left. 

There are dark days coming, my friends. Dark days, I tell you. 

11-20-14

Today is Mac's 12 birthday. I just don't know how we already got to this age because I'm fairly convinced I just had him 2 years ago. 

I am so thankful for this precious child. He's smart and has a great sense of humor, he's empathetic and compassionate, he's an all-around great athlete, he makes friends easily, he's polite and uses good manners (most of the time), and he's adaptable (which is serving him well in our transient life). 

I need to savor this time that he's still in tweenhood, while he at least needs me to drive him places, because, as fast as time flies, all too soon he'll be going out with friends and dating. 

Can you hear me crying from here???

Thursday, November 20, 2014

11-19-14

Continuing with the millennial theme...

I can't quite put my finger on a consistent theme in female millennial clothing (except that they don't dress like me.) But I can tell you that they must not invest heavily in hairbrushes because their hairstyles look like they used their fingers as combs and brushes. 

I see young women on the train everyday and at work who just have messy hair. Not intentionally messy hair. Just messy hair. Like they didn't comb it, didn't blow dry it, but instead just pulled it back in a messy ponytail with bits and bobs sticking out. Forget a sleek chignon. They have lumps and bumps all over what should be smooth pulled-back hair. 

It drives me crazy at work to see hair like that. You're in an office, not the gym, for crying out loud. 

So invest in a cheap brush and use it. And while you're at it, buy a bear of tights and use them when it's 30 degrees outside. We all realize your spray-tanned legs are gorgeous in those 4" heels, but you're going to catch pneumonia walking in the polar vortex with all that skin exposed. 


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

11-18-14

I work in a dreary, windowless office in a basement. The office has been subdivided into 5 cubicles and a conference table area. Two other women and I are occupying three of the cubes until we move to a new office in another building that's currently being renovated. 

We've had discussions about the weather recently as the temperatures were forecast to drop dramatically. One of the ladies said she had bought fleece-lined sweatpants that she couldn't wait to use.  We all decided that could be the best invention since sliced bread. 

The next day I showed up at work to find a still-in-the-package pair of fleece-lined leggings on my desk. The sweatpant lady  said when she got home the night before, she remembered she had this pair of leggings she bought for a cold-weather trip that never happened. Then she decided they were too small for her anyway so they went in her Goodwill bag. 

Obviously she recognized my love of  cheap clothes and decided to save me the trip to Goodwill. 

Well, let me just tell you: these things are amazing. I had a lot of meetings today that required walking to and from other buildings out in the bitter elements. When I say bitter, I mean this:


My legs were toasty the whole day. My toes didn't even get cold and that's a miracle. 

God bless the creator and the giver of my newest and best accessory. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

11-17-14

Prayers were answered!



Sunday, November 16, 2014

11-16-14

My goals while the boys were away overnight were to a) clean the apartment and b) veg on the couch and binge-watch tv shows and movies. 

Both goals were accomplished. The apartment is clean (for the moment) and I watched lots of tv. I caught up on The Amazing Race and Parenthood and watched the movies Everybody's FineChef, and Love Actually, one of my favorite holiday-time movies. 

I probably needed about 3 more days to watch everything I wanted to watch, but I enjoyed my respite. 

11-15-14

The boys are on a camping trip in the Shenandoah, so Leo and I are hanging out on our own. This afternoon I took him to the local dog park so he could wear himself out. 

When we first arrive at the dog park, he's always a little timid because there are always big, fast, seemingly aggressive dogs who immediately swarm him. We sit in the same place every time - a bench in the sun that he can hide under as his safe spot because the big dogs can't get under it like he can. 

Today I was sitting on the bench and he was wandering around in the general vicinity. A lady sat down on the bench next to mine, and Leo went over to her. He jumped up and put one paw, which is the size of a quarter, on her knee. (This area of the park is cement so he wasn't traipsing through the sandy part.)

I reflexively apologized to her and told him to get down (which he did). The lady made a dramatic show of pulling out a pack of wet wipes from her handbag so she could blot her knee off. 

1.  Who brings a full-size handbag to the dog park?

And 

2.  Don't come to the dog park (which is packed on a Saturday afternoon) if you don't want any dogs around you. 

I was feeling awful, like I had the worst-behaved dog on the planet. 

But the universe is often kind. 

Before she could throw her wet wipe in the trashcan, her large dog came over and slobbered wet drool all over my thigh. 

My only regret was that I hadn't hauled my handbag to the dog park and couldn't whip out my wet wipes (imaginary, of course, since I only carry wet wipes in my handbag if I'm traveling by plane) to make a dramatic show of cleaning my pants of her dog's slobber. 

She didn't even apologize. 

Arlingtonians sometimes drive me a little crazy. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

11-14-14

The next ten days. This makes me very, very sad 


Friday, November 14, 2014

11-13-14

In other Metro-riding news...

I am fascinated by how millennial-generation men dress.  They make a fashion statement very unique to their age bracket. 

You may be a millennial man if you wear the following (by my observation on the Washington, DC Metro for the last month):  

Skinny suit pants, no cuff, and hemmed to barely skim the top of your shoe. 

A suit jacket that always looks a little snug to me. You may, but this is not a definite, also have a dress shirt on that's a little too snug as evidenced by the pulled buttons. Regardless, you wear a tighter, fitted dress shirt. 


You do not wear Johnston and Murphy or Florsheim dress shoes. There's nary a wingtip in sight. And you definitely aren't bothered by the quaint notion of wearing black shoes with a dark suit. You invariably wear brown shoes with a long pointy toe that may curl up slightly (see top picture) with your skinny suit. There may be buckles involved but rarely do I see laces. 


You generally have scruffy facial hair. I'm not sure what the purpose of that is. You still have to groom it and I would assume it takes longer to keep it tidy than to just shave it all off. 

Your fingers are permanently attached to an iPhone and I believe earbuds grow from your ears. You either are conducting all sorts of business all the time or you play a mean game of Candy Crush. 

For the next month I will study millennial women as part of my anthropological discourse. 




11-12-14

I commute to and from work everyday by subway. There are certain Metro rules I follow, like when riding the escalator down into or up out of the stations, i always stand on the right side and let people who walk the escalators use the left side. 

And then there are general life etiquette rules that I also try to follow on the Metro. For instance, if I'm sitting on the Metro and an older person gets on, I stand and offer my seat. 

The quandary I find myself in time and again is deciding whether the person is really older than me or not. The problem is that in my mind, I'm still about 26 and so I must look like I'm 26 when in fact, I have 729 wrinkles and double that in gray hair, my midsection jiggles, and I wear Naturalizers on the train.  People are probably in the same quandary when they see me. 

I don't want to offend anyone and people seem so easily offended now so my rule of the thumb is that the person has to look really old and then, I give up my seat. Really old simply means they have at least 730 wrinkles and their hair is mostly gray or even white. 

In the meantime, I wait for someone to offer up their seat to me. 


11-11-14

I love a holiday in the middle of the week. In fact, now that I'm back in the daily slog of work, I've decided I'm much better suited to work a day, rest a day, work a day, rest a day. Then take a 3-day weekend, rinse and repeat. 

Do you know anyone who's hiring?


11-10-14

On Saturday night, newly engaged (and younger) friends came over for dinner. Since nearly all of our friends our age are well and truly married, we don't get to celebrate many engagements or hear many engagement stories anymore. 

I love a good engagement story, and our friends' story was great. It was a fun night. 

11-9-14

Today we went to PF Changs for lunch after church. 

Mac's fortune cookie said:

We've been praying and praying about something, and I take the fortune as a lightning bolt from God that he's heard the prayer. 

Watch this space. 

11-8-14

I have nothing more to add..,

Sunday, November 9, 2014

11-7-14

You may have thought I was joking about Jimmy get a meat slicer for his birthday. 

I was not. 

It was either a meat slicer or these ridiculously priced Bose noise-canceling headphones and I couldn't afford those. 

Besides, I knew the meat slicer would make him happier. 

And it's actually a food slicer, and not just a meat slicer. 

He is now a slicing maniac. 

Instead of buying Boars Head turkey from the deli, we bought a turkey breast so he could slice it. 

Instead of cutting salami by hand, he sliced it. 

Instead of using the handheld cheese slicer to cut cheddar off the 2-block of cheese we had to buy (Susan, it's more economical to buy the block of cheese and slice it than to keep buying those little packs like normal.), he sliced it. 

If this foreign service thing doesn't work out, he's going to be highly qualified to work in a nice deli as the slicer guy. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

11-6-14

Oh my gosh, are you people watching the farewell season of Parenthood?

If not, WHY NOT??  What is wrong with you?  Get thee to a tv and start watching. NOW.  

Every single episode is nearly more than I can bear. 

The latest one?  Did you see it? The whole Julia/Joel divorce is so sad and unnecessary. Why is she even wasting her time with that ridiculous millennial ex-boyfriend. 

The ending of tonight's episode with Joel at Julia's door?  The declaration of his love?  Oh.my.gosh. Honestly if she doesn't let him move back in in the next episode, I'm going to boycott. 

Or not. 

I understand wanting to end a show before it jumps the shark, but I just think it's too early to end Parenthood. Why is NBC ending it now?  It's too soon to lose the Bravermans. What am I going to do without them?  NBC, are you listening to me?


11-5-14

If I could choose a superpower, it wouldn't be flying or being invisible. No, it would be something much more life-changing because I could use it every single day. 

The superpower I would choose is the ability to fall back asleep once I'm awakened in the middle of night by, say, a dog that decides waking up at 4:30 every single day is a good idea or a husband who snores. 

I am sure I could set the world on fire if I got good sleeps ever night. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

11-4-14

Today is Jimmy's birthday so we celebrated by having our good friends over for dinner. Because nothing screams "I am 44, hear me roar" like a nice pot roast. 

Well, that and a meat slicer as your gift. 

A meat slicer is a true sign of maturity. 

Here's to the next 44!! 

Monday, November 3, 2014

11-3-14

The stack of toilet paper in our bathroom cabinet has been falling over for months. It didn't bother me enough to really investigate. It was just one of life's minor annoyances and after the stack fell over, I'd halfheartedly restack the rolls. 

And then this morning, I found the reason. One roll should not have passed quality control, but it made it into a pack I purchased. 

Skinny roll that caused the stack to be out of balance:

Regular-sized roll:

Mystery solved. Balance has been restored to the toilet paper universe. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

11-2-14

Normally you can use the Storys as the counterargument to "everybody has it". 

Examples:

#1
Claim: Everybody has a new car. We need one, too. 

Argument:  Everybody does not have a new car. The Storys drive a 2003 Toyota Corolla that looks and sounds like it should it be condemned. We're not getting a new car. 

#2
Claim:  Everybody gets to buy new clothes every season at the fancy stores at Tysons Corner.  I need to buy new clothes every season, too. 

Argument:  Everybody does not get to buy new clothes every season at the fancy mall. I just saw Susan Story and between her vintage Gap jeans and her Costco sweater, I'm pretty sure she doesn't even know where the fancy mall is. Besides, her old car probably isn't even allowed in the parking garage at the fancy mall. 

#3
Claim: Everybody at school has an iPhone. I need an iPhone, too. 

Argument: Everybody does not have an iPhone. In fact, I know Mac has a rechargeable Tracfone that they bought at the CVS. 

Oh except, wait a minute...

In breaking news, Mac finally has an iPhone and I don't think he's the last kid on earth to get one. He's thrilled. 

This purchase today definitely goes against my oft-expressed list of "things my child will never have". Sigh. But now that I'm working and Mac is home for a bit by himself (and we don't have a home phone although we really do have a Tracfone), the time felt right. 

So you can still use our car, clothes and a million other things as your counterargument, but you may not use Mac's lack of a real smartphone. We've checked that box! 

11-1-14

Today while out running errands, I thought I'd pick up some Halloween things on a cheap sale at Target. I even went to the fancier Target, thinking there would be more options. 

Um, no. 

It looked like the Halloween aisles had been ransacked and looted. Like there was a mad dash through there the night before, just to frantically snatch up stuff. 



I came home with Halloween Goldfish crackers and some candy corn. 

10-31-14

Happy Halloween from Mac, the creepy clown; his friend Max, the CDC guy; and Leo, the J Crew dog model. 


Some scenes from our trick-or-treating this year (one street near us was totally transformed for Halloween):