A Dream Come True and a Dream Shattered

2014-04-06 09.43.22Guys. Anyone that knows me well knows that I am a nerd. Not the head in the books (not all the time at least) kind of nerd, but I like weird things. One of my favorite places in the world is the Lincoln Memorial, I read a crazy amount of news, the first time I got to vote was one of the best days ever, and….I want jury duty more than anything.

Yes, I want jury duty, you read that right. Not only do I just want to fulfill one of my duties as a citizen, but I just think it would be the most fascinating experience ever. Once, a friend and I went to the courthouse to watch people who had been arrested first be brought in front of a judge (via video), it was so incredibly interesting. And jury duty would be even better!!!

I have been talking about how badly I wanted this to happen since I turned 18. I truly thought the day would never come.

And then……it did. IN NORTH CAROLINA. I no longer live in North Carolina. I have to work on the day I’ve been summoned. My life sucks.

Just kidding (sort of) but I was extremely bummed. That’s what I get for not switching my driver’s license and registering to vote in my new county.

Rats. Everyone cross your fingers that this won’t be the only chance I get to participate in our legal system! From the jury side of course, I have zero desire to be on the other side of things.

 

Currently: April // 2014

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looking forward to going home for a four day visit in two weeks.

appreciating windows open weather.

eating my favorites–chicken and potatoes.

watching Gilmore Girls and Felicity, a little early 2000s flashback.

loving a new band, Tall Heights, that opened for Wild Child this past weekend.

planning my class schedule for the summer.

thanking Mother Nature for finally sending spring our way, I think it’s here to stay!

walking a ton with the babies–over 40 miles last week!

enjoying scouting out all the good playgrounds in DC with the babes.

ordering a few surprise gifts for friends.

wanting a new pair of sneakers, all the stroller pushing is really wearing them down.

reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown–still.

re-reading Harry Potter again……ruh roh.

drinking all the water, as always.

marveling at how quickly Chicken and Chickadee caught on to climbing steps and going down slides all by themselves.

working on figuring out where I’m going to live next.

looking forward to going to bed early tonight.

celebrating my birthday in three weeks with my best girls.

wishing I could travel abroad.

astonished by how crowded the metro was this weekend, cherry blossom season is no joke and the metro cars turned to cattle cars.

Wild Child!

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TGIF! TGIF! It’s been another long workweek for me and it won’t technically end until around 9PM tonight. I am pooped. But man, it’s been a good, hard, long week. Those are the best kind.

This weekend is a very exciting one. First up, Kate and I have a birthday party for one of her nanny babies to attend tomorrow morning! And then, something we have been looking forward to for months. One of our favorite bands, Wild Child, is playing at a bar on H Street and we cannot wait to go!!!! Wild Child plays the most fun, clever, finger snapping, whistling music ever. I am beyond excited to see them tomorrow!!! And to top it all off, Taylor is in town.

What a good, good weekend this is going to be. See you on Monday, chicken noodles!

Gone Girl Book Review

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This week’s book review is for one of my new favorite books. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is technically a mystery but it is certainly not your run of the mill whodunit. I didn’t know a lot about the book going in and I don’t want to give a lot away to y’all, but I’ll give you a little bit of information.

Nick and Amy, the main characters, are about to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary when Amy suddenly goes missing.

And that’s all I’m going to tell you. The book is written from two different perspectives, is broken into three different sections, and is seriously one of the most enthralling books I have read in the last few years. I could not wait to turn each page and was surprised from pretty much the first page to the last. After I read it I insisted Mom and Dad both read it and would call them and ask over and over again what part are you on now?! What’s happening now?!  I just could not talk about the book enough.

I would honestly recommend this book to anyone and everyone I know. Grandma, if you haven’t read it yet you need to immediately, we must discuss it when I come home. You too Aunt Julie and Aunt Terri. And Uncle Colin. And seriously I’m not kidding, everyone I know. It’s just PHENOMENAL!

And the best part is that the movie is coming out later this year and Ben Affleck is starring. Boom.

The Stroller Diaries // 15

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Keepin’ things short and sweet over here today, y’all. I’ve got a to-do list a million miles long and I’m wiped from the first couple days of this week.

Why so tired, you ask? Well aside from the regular work week stuff, Chicken has decided he will no longer nap on his own, which has made for quite a few battles. Once I give in (like last week), I have to think of a different way to get him some rest.

Luckily, this week we got a new double stroller! Our old one worked well for the last eight months but the babies are outgrowing it and we needed something we could go on more adventures in.

And dude, doesn’t that look adventurous? A Buddhist temple! Unfortunately, both babies were asleep and missed it. But really, it is never unfortuante when they nap. The new stroller has completely reclining seats so they both got to snooze away for a solid hour and a half while I walked….and walked…..and walked to keep them comfy. Every time I would pause they would stir, so I kept walking for a two full hours (about five miles) and to say my legs are tired would be an understatement.

But! I will never complain about all this walking because it means that winter is gone! Spring is here! All the walks all the time!

Gramr Gratitude Co. (Part 2!)

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I mentioned Gramr a few weeks ago when their Kickstarter campaign was running and I’m happy to report that my package arrived and it is just as amazing as I thought it would be.

My donation level got me a four pack of thank you cards, four beautiful square envelopes, two gratitude stickers, a stick of sealing wax, and my own monogrammed wax seal. It also came with the most precious instruction sheet, including a complimentary stamp to get you started with your thank you notes. I was so incredibly impressed by the quality and branding of the package. Every little detail was so well thought out!

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I haven’t written any Gramr’s yet; to be honest they are so beautiful I want to stare at them for a little bit longer. But that is definitely not the point, so I’m going to get to writing this week.

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I did however test out my wax seal on an old envelope. Yes, it is backwards. And upside down. But! Look how stinking cool that is. I cannot wait to seal a real letter, both right side up and facing the right direction.

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Get excited guys, totally legit wax sealed letters are heading your way soon! Thanks again for being so awesome, Gramr. I’m so pumped to be a part of this gratitude revolution.

Solo Saturday Adventures

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This past weekend was magical. I’ve been saying for a few weeks that a low-key weekend was required—both for the sake of my wallet and my well-being. Kate was on vacation (in Florida, lucky duck) so I took the opportunity to seclude myself and have an all about me weekend. I worked 56 hours last week so Friday night was for decompressing and going to bed early.

I set my Saturday alarm for 5AM, woke up way before the sun, and headed into the city with the hopes of beating the crowds and getting to witness the sun rising around the monuments. I drove in and parked at the Jefferson Monument, one I had actually never been to before. I arrived just in time to watch the foggy sky turn pink and snapped a few pictures. Turns out all the serious photogs head out this early—I saw two maternity sessions, an engagement session, a family session, and a bridal session in just a two-hour period. My iPhone photography and even my DSLR felt a little puny in comparison to the professionals, but I got some awesome shots nonetheless.

The cherry blossoms are just starting to come in, I imagine by this coming weekend they will have bloomed fully, and park workers were just starting to set up for the Cherry Blossom Festival and 5K that was this weekend.

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I walked around the basin to see Washington, the World War II Memorial (the fountains are on!!!!!!!!!), and then continued onward to my favorite place.

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I almost had Lincoln all to myself, aside from a couple getting wedding portraits taken, a park worker, and the occasionally jogger, it was just me sitting on that massive stoop. And it was so lovely to watch the sun rise behind the Washington Monument and then turn around to see the amazing shadows being cast on Lincoln.

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Being awake so early in the city, I had walked through all the major monuments before 8AM, was so funny. I’ve lived in the city that never sleeps, and nothing could be truer of New York. Claire and I spent one night in particular out searching for a lost (drunk….) friend and the city never got fully quiet. We made it back to our apartment just in time to realize the sun was rising under our bedroom doors and to collapse in a fit of giggles about how ridiculous the late evening and early morning had been. Yes, New York is the city that never sleeps. DC on the other hand does rest, but only for a short time. For a few hours after the workaholics shut down for the night but before the runners lace up their sneakers, the city is quiet. But even at 6AM there was an energy on the streets. One by one Nike clad runners emerged, fanny pack wearing tourists descended on the monuments, and there were a few suits out, still working, even on Saturday morning. It was quiet, no one is very social that early in the morning, but it wasn’t lonely. That’s what I love about living in a big city, you’re never really alone, but you can always find a moment or a place to yourself.

I headed home at 9AM for a breakfast and shower break and then packed my bag to head into Dupont Circle. After a nice little tour of the bookshops in the area I landed at a bakery with massive peanut butter cookies. I ignored the funny looks I got when I asked for a glass of whole milk (why do all adults think whole milk is weird? Sorry not sorry for having strong bones), and settled in to read my book for the afternoon.

It was pretty much the perfect day and was capped off by a glorious nap.

I kind of love taking myself on little adventures in the city.

Recent Good Reads

You should be reading a post reviewing the book Gone Girl (ohmygod so good) but I didn’t get around to snapping a picture of it yet and I would rather write the post when I have a copy of the book with me. So! Today, after like a four month hiatus, you’re getting a Recent Good Reads post. But really, it should be called Four Months Worth of Good Reads! Here ya go!

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To start, here is a little nerdy article for ya. How Washington Lost Its Appeal. Just the tagline for this one got me: How Republicans lost their minds, Democrats lost their souls, and Washington lost its appeal. I still love this city but this piece is a great look at our political world.

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Amy Poehler is so freaking awesome I cannot even stand it. Here are just 13 of the awesome things she has ever said.

A beautiful piece by Glennon about how truly special and gifted all children are.

Every child is gifted and talented. Every single one. Everything I’ve ever written about on this blog has been open for argument, except for this one. I know this one is true. Every single child is gifted and talented in a particular area. Every single one also has particular challenge.

I love this article from HuffPo about introducing race to children. For Whites (Like Me): On White Kids.

Dear Parents of White Children,

I vote that we strike the following from our parental lexicon:

1. “Everybody is equal.”

2. “We’re all the same underneath our skin.”

And the last article for today, a beautiful letter from Love about the church, same-sex marriage, and division.

We have allowed what we believe is right to trump our command to love our neighbor as ourselves.

I have also recently become so obsessed with podcasts, I spent yesterday listening to a ton of different ones but this particular podcast from This American Life, called Bad Baby, was so fascinating. It was all about different types of ‘bad kids.’ Some that seem evil and never change, some that start out strange and mean but become more ‘normal’ as an adult, and some kids that were forced to act ‘bad’ to survive. It was fascinating and I totally recommend it, my favorite part of the program was this idea by Paul Bloom, a professor at Yale. When asked at what point babies turn ‘bad,’ Bloom answered that he believes we start off bad, full of selfish impulses, and through culture and development we become good. 

Isn’t that an interesting thought? Enjoy the reads and listens today friends, not long until the weekend!

 

The Stroller Diaries // 14

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A baby was here–see the cute little hand prints?

I’m writing this to you all on Tuesday afternoon, Chickadee has been sleeping for two hours and is still going strong (bless you, sweet girl) and after an hour and a half long nap time battle with Chicken I surrendered and he is snoozing away, strapped to my back in the baby carrier. We are going on 45 minutes like this and I’m pretty certain my back is going to break soon, but the steady rhythm of his baby breathes and the weight of his fat little hands on my waist are keeping me standing upright.

I had today all planned out. We headed out this morning at 8:45AM. Both babies fell asleep immediately, just as I had hoped, I went through McDonalds for a smoothie and a biscuit, we headed to Target and got most of my grocery shopping done, we hit the bank and then headed to play group. Play group was wonderful, both babies are loving being around other people and having so much room to crawl and not have to worry about me stopping them from getting into something they shouldn’t. After play group we came home, had lunch, changed yucky diapers, and I was all ready to put them down for a nap and to have two hours to myself. I had a list of things I was going to do and had a little work station set up and everything.

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The cutest part of this back breaking hour.

And then Chicken freaked. Some days (most days…..) he just will not nap. And try as I might, I cannot get it through my thick skull that sometimes, I just have to give in and accept that the entire day is not going to go as planned. I’m finally at that point today, but it took me longer than I wanted it to to reach it.

Nannying is so funny. It’s sort of like parenting part-time. Except you don’t make the majority of the parenting decisions and you know it’s a temporary gig. But the fact that I only see these two babies 50 hours a week and that I know eventually I won’t be in their lives this much doesn’t stop me from loving them with all my might. And it doesn’t make me immune to going insane. Yeah, I get to leave at the end of the day. At the end of a 10, sometimes 13 hour day. It’s still hard.

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Just staring longingly out the window thinking about the walk that is in our future. 

When Kate and I meet new people and tell them we are both nannies, or when we talk about babies or strollers or types of dirty diapers (sorry, but there is actually a lot to talk about when it comes to that) people often tell us: You’re going to be such a great mom. And I smile and thank them, because it is such a sweet compliment. But then I’m quick to point out that yes, I know how babies work logistically and I (hopefully) won’t freak out about how to change a diaper or what to feed them at each stage. But having this job is no guarantee that I’ll be a great mom, heck, some days I don’t think I’m a great nanny. I know I am, I know these babies are loved and well taken care of and are thriving, but y’all, some days it is really hard. Just like parenting will be. Just like most jobs are!

Where I’m going with this rambling I’m not sure, to be honest it was mostly a little pep talk to myself. I’ve got 6ish hours left of this 13 hour work day, so I needed some encouraging words.

Any who, here’s hoping that as you’re reading this on Wednesday both babies have/are napping soundly and that things are going (mostly) according to plan. And if not, let’s hope I’m rolling with the punches pretty well.