This Post Has No Point

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Can someone please convince The Juice Shop to franchise and open up some stores in DC? There is no better smoothie in the world, I’m convinced.

Coming up with a title and a topic for a blog post is always the most difficult part. I’ve put “write at least one blog post” on my to-do list every day for a week and I’ve only been able to crank out the two that I already had scheduled for the month.

I think I might have writer’s block. Or it might just be winter blues. It’s snowing right now. It could also just be screen time overload that I’m suffering from. Lately I feel like my brain can’t settle down. And I know it’s from looking at Instagram/blogs/email/Facebook/TV/listening to podcasts 24/7–but that doesn’t mean I’ve made much of an effort to stop.

Today, during a serious case of cabin fever with the kids, I strapped them into their highchairs for lunch and then popped my headphones in with some old school country music blasting and washed dishes for 20 minutes. And it was the most relaxing 20 minutes I’ve had in a while.

It’s so stupid and frustrating that I know all I need to do is cut down on screen time, yet I still can’t manage to do it. Although, to my credit, I’ve had few wins:

- I don’t sleep with my phone in my room

- I stop looking at my phone/computer/TV at least 30 minutes before I try to go to sleep (do I need to put my Kindle on that list too?)

But my phone is still glued to my hand all day long. I’m actually jealous of my friends that aren’t allowed to use their phones at work.

This is the most ridiculously whiney, self obsessed, and lack of self control driven post I’ve ever written.

FOR GOODNESS SAKE EMILY, PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN.

Over and out.

The Stroller Diaries // 45

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I’m sorry y’all, but there are no two cuter children in the history of children ever. Except for me and my brother as babies. But really, LOOK AT LADYBUG IN THAT HOOD. Look at Stink’s ears.

In order to get them to smile (could you call Stink’s weird grimace a smile?) lately I have to stand in front of them and sing SKINNA MERINKY DINKY DINK SKINNA MERINKY DOO I LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE YOU. And yes, I look as dumb as you’re imagining me to look when I do it.

What’s new with the babies, you ask? They are more independent than ever. We walk everywhere together, they talk to each other, to me, and to strangers–all the time. In fact, leaving the library the other day, Stink finally decided he in fact really liked talking to strangers and engaged a potentially insane man who followed us for three blocks and legit carried on a conversation with Liam while Allison and I gave him the side-eye.

Lately both babies love to tickle one another, which is really more like them digging their finger nails into each other’s bellies. These episodes don’t last long because as you can imagine, it’s quite painful.

They both need haircuts like you wouldn’t believe–Stink is getting a mullet, Bug is just looking scragglier by the minute.

I love them so much that I literally miss them on Saturdays, it is a problem. Everyone keeps pointing out to me that I have to leave them at some point and to that I say……

I am in denial.

Currently // January 2015

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thinking about Dr. King and the legacy he left.

looking forward to seeing my mom on Friday!!!!!!!!!!

appreciating the sun that came out today.

eating green beans, zucchini, and Cheetos. Balance is key, y’all.

watching Gilmore Girls. And starting The Fosters soon.

missing Kate already, this weekend was too much fun.

struggling to find time to write all the blog posts I have swirling in my head.

walking the short two blocks to the park every day that the weather allows.

enjoying hearing all the new words the babies are learning.

sending all the love and hugs to the families of the tragedies in France.

reading all of Rainbow Rowell’s books.

drinking water water water.

working out five days a week. Killin’ it.

listening to all the podcasts. Literally, all of them.

grateful for my freedoms.

Wiped Out

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I’m just gonna go all cliche on you and say TGIF. I mean, people say it for a reason, right? This week just felt so long. Something about the winter just makes everything feel heavier, darker, and longer. And I mean heavier in the literal way. The coats and scarves and hats and gloves–they’re just all too much. Especially when you’re wearing your own and have to bundle up two almost-two year olds. It’s quite a struggle, lemme tell you. The good news is I get rewarded with two adorably bundled little babes, so it’s kind of worth it. Until we all start to sweat profusely and strip our layers away inside the library and I’m again weighted down with everyone’s gear hanging off my purse. The struggle.

Despite the weight of it all, this week wasn’t too bad. I started my second full semester of graduate school, I managed to work out everyday this week (what what!), I went to bed and woke up on time, and I cooked dinner for myself every night. Major improvements from this time last month, for sure.

I also started a few new podcasts this week that I’m ridiculously obsessed with. I can’t even tell you how much I love podcasts. They are the perfect companion because they don’t require any visual attention and can be listened to pretty much anytime. This week I listened to podcasts while I was working out, cleaning my bathroom, making dinner, watching the babies watch Cars (at least four hundred times), and pretty much any other time that I wasn’t sleeping.

My new favorites are as follows:

Here’s The Thing with Alec Baldwin. I know, I know, Alec Baldwin is that last person I thought would host a podcast that I’m deeply obsessed with. But he interviews famous people for about an hour and they really cover all types of topics I wouldn’t even think to discuss. I’ve listened to Julie Andrews (i.e. my idol, role model, and favorite human being), Brian Williams (also an idol, role model, and top human being), and Lena Dunham (who I didn’t really think I liked prior to the interview and I am now also infatuated with). They’re fantastic, I cannot recommend these enough. Also, Julie Andrews and Brian Williams officially have the best voices ever, I could listen to them recite the alphabet for hours on end and not get bored.

Side note: if you haven’t seen it you MUST watch this video.

Death, Sex, and Money. This is another WNYC podcast that I found through the top lists on iTunes. Each episode is about well, you know, death, sex, or money. The one I listened to was specifically about a man who was convicted of accidentally shooting and killing a 15 year old in 1990. He is serving his 24th year at Sing Sing and is now married with three children. The interview gave great insight into how prison can affect the personal lives of not only the incarcerated but those closest to them as well. Another great listen.

Dear Sugar with Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond. Cheryl Strayed is the author of Wild (read my review of it here) and also used to pen an online advice column under the name Sugar. This is a brand new podcast, only two episodes have been released, but I love it so far. Strayed and Almond give advice to listeners which sounds a bit boring, I’ll admit. But they are so real, vulnerable, and earnest that I could listen to it forever and ever.

Gilmore Guys with Kevin and Demi. Kate introduced me to this podcast, not having listened to it herself but knowing about my love for all things Gilmore. I will admit that it is a bit ridiculous to listen to an hour and twenty minute long podcast about a forty minute TV show, but I can’t stop. I laugh out loud and nod my head in earnest through almost each show. They have guests on to discuss a lot of the episodes and I love hearing the perspective of people that may not have the type of undying love that I have for the show. I’m only on episode 15, I think I’m about 20 behind, but I’m steadily catching up.

And with that, I leave you. I’ve got a baby on each side of me, watching Sesame Street on the other half of my computer, and we have adventures to get to. Today calls for a trip to the Postal Museum, a delicious lunch and long nap (fingers crossed), and then a visit to our favorite Gymboree. And if we’re lucky and the weather cooperates, I think we’re going to take Stink’s push car (you know, the red Flintstone type car we all had as kids) down to the local traffic circle and see how fast we can push each other around it.

Adios! Have the best weekend ever, and I’ll see you on Monday!

The One With the Gym

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A throwback to a more successful workout. 

Quite a while ago I promised y’all a second funny story about my sometimes charming, always awkward, public interactions. And here I am! Ready to tell you all about the time figuring out a new gym almost brought me to my knees.

It was a few weeks before Christmas and I had decided this lack of exercising situation was getting out of control. So, I figured that since I’m already shelling out an arm and a leg to go to American University, I might as well take advantage of all that I’m paying for and check out the student rec center.

I had been to my undergrad’s rec center before and it wasn’t too scary, so I figured I could handle this pretty easily.

But there were two problems.

1. Even though I know I still look like I’m in college, I feel wildly older than everyone on AU’s campus and I always feel like there is a big arrow above my head flashing SHE’S TOO OLD TO BE HERE. Because of this, I go to extremes to make sure that it looks like I totally belong wherever it is that I am at the moment.

2. I hate asking questions. I know, I know. There’s no such thing as a dumb question. But I just really hate asking them–can’t explain why.

Anywho, I put on my gym clothes, filled my water bottle, double checked that I had my student ID, and hovered outside what I thought was the gym door (in the freezing cold, might I add) until someone else in gym clothes walked inside. Obviously so that I could follow her and see exactly where to go and what to do to get in, duh.

She walked to the front desk and simply handed them her card, they swiped it, and she went about her business. Easy. I knew I could totally handle that.

I approached the desk, handed them my card, pretty much already taking my next step past the desk, when I heard a beeping noise. And not the pleasant you may pass beeping but the STOP WHERE YOU ARE DON’T PROCEED beeping. The gym employee (who I’m certain was 18 but was looking at me with such a disapproving look that I felt like she was 40 and I was 12) looked at me like I was an alien and said….

Gym employee: Is this your first time at the gym this semester?

Me: Yes! (said in my most enthusiastic voice, most likely with my eyes bulging out of my head, pleading with her to like me)

Gym employee: Is this your first time at the gym…….ever?

Me: Well, yes. (Wishing I could add–my first time at this gym!!! Not at any gym ever!!! I’ve exercised before, I promise!!)

Gym employee: You need to fill out this form and I need to go over rules with you. First of all, you must always wear workout clothes while you’re here–no sandals, no jeans (looks me up and down).

Me: (looks myself up and down, pretty sure that I’m not wearing sandals or jeans) Yes ma’am! I understand.

Yes, I’m now calling the 18 year old ma’am. When nervous I revert to extreme politeness.

I finished filling out my form and she waved me into the gym. Already humiliated by the oh you’ve never been to a gym before exchange, I walk straight towards the first lockers I see. Shockingly, I figured out how to lock it with little difficulty and spotted some treadmills at the top of the nearest stairwell.

The only problem was that I reached the treadmill and remembered that I was wearing long johns under my leggings and sweatshirt. Under no circumstances could I run with that many layers on, I’m a sweating machine even when I’m just in a sports bra and shorts. Thus, I needed to find the locker room–not just the set of lockers in the middle of the gym.

At this moment I remembered that I do in fact have a few friends at AU and, in desperation I texted them asking where in the world the locker rooms are in this joint. With their guidance, I found the nearest stairwell and hallelujah! spotted a locker room at the bottom. I hurriedly pushed the door open, irritated that I had spent 20 minutes at the gym and had yet to break a sweat break a sweat due to actual exercising–you better believe I was sweating over the complicatedness of all this. And yes, I realize the complicatedness was totally my own doing.

Don’t worry, the hilarity isn’t over quite yet. Where were we? Oh yes, I had just busted into the locker room. And what did I find? A room full of lockers and……about 25 fully naked eight year old girls. They had clearly just been swimming as the room reeked of chlorine, it was fairly overwhelming.

I pushed my way through and found the changing rooms, hurriedly got dressed and headed back out to go upstairs and get on the treadmill. Only to find that the door to the stairwell I had come down had locked behind me. AWESOME. I started pacing the hallway, trying to figure out how to exit, come to the same dead end twice, and was almost ready to just call the whole damn thing quits even though I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO GET OUT OF THIS BUILDING when someone came through the door and I snuck back upstairs.

Figuring that I must be in the clear at this point, I headed upstairs, ran a little, worked out a little, changed clothes again, and then attempted to go on my merry way.

Only to realize I had left my student ID on a treadmill, which meant I had to go back to the front desk and ask if anyone had turned it in. They had and the 18 year old girl handed me the ID with a look that said I knew you had never been to a gym before…..rookie mistake. 

 

Monday Mishmash

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It was a really good weekend, this weekend. Friday night was spent out with new friends from grad school, Saturday morning and afternoon was spent in bed reading an entire book, Saturday night was spent with good friends watching sports, and then Sunday was spent laying around, preparing for the week, and falling down a deep 30 for 30 hole on Netflix.

It started with The U Part 2. Netflix teased me with it on their homepage and I thought, why not, this could be interesting. Then I spent two hours watching a review of the University of Miami’s football program from 1990 to present day, Googling random players, and Wikipedia-ing pretty much everything they mentioned. I couldn’t stop.

Then I moved on to Survive and Advance, the 30 for 30 about NC State’s 1983 National Championship run and Jimmy V’s battle with cancer. And another two hours were spent delving into all types of corners of the Internet. And also contemplating how I much prefer those short shorts that ball players used to wear to the baggy ones nowadays.

I’m sure you can see where this was going, after that I put on another and then six hours of my life had been taken by 30 for 30. And it was awesome. I love sports. I cried multiple times.

But I’m a bit unprepared for this Monday. It’s the first day of classes this semester, it’s going to be a long day. But a good one! I’ve got a good attitude and I’m going to kick this week’s butt. And you are too!!

A Very Special Christmas Gift

 

For Christmas this year, Alex and I decided to get Mom and Dad a more sentimental gift. We all absolutely love the house we have lived in for the past 13 years. It’s the only real home Alex and I remember really well and it’s cherished by our entire family.

So when I remembered that I had a super talented friend that painted with watercolors I knew I wanted to have her paint the house in different seasons.

Rebecca of Keen Bee Designs just totally KILLED IT. We love, love, love them. I chose to do one winter picture (with our Christmas tree in the window), one spring/summer, and one fall picture. And they all look great. My parents absolutely love them and Alex and I were really proud of this unique gift!IMG_5705

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IMG_5706Aren’t they beautiful?! I know they will be cherished for years and years to come, thank you so much for the family heirlooms, Becca!!

P.S. Becca’s customer service is so awesome that she threw in two prints and a handful of greeting cards with our order. Because she’s just that awesome and she really knows how to make someone’s day.

 

The Stroller Diaries // 44

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This is our life lately. It’s a crazy, fun, super messy blur. We’ve been playing with new Christmas toys (cars! puzzles! kitchen sets! drums! airplanes!) and working very, very hard on sharing with each other. We’ve been walking without our stroller all over the town. We’ve been exploring new museums and restaurants together. It’s almost like these two littles babies are little kids now. Wait….I think they might actually be considering kids now. No, I refuse to believe it.

Highlights of the last week or so:

- Stink taking every toy that is out of batteries to Ladybug and asking her to “peas fix it!! peas! peas!” She takes each toy, studies it intently, and then beats it to a pulp with the toy hammer.

- Both babies learning when it is appropriate to say excuse me. But especially hearing Ladybug say shoot me! shoot me! because she can’t quite get the sound right.

- Passing out Christmas cookies to our librarian, mailman, and Gymboree teacher. During which I accidentally trained the kids that the word Christmas is always followed with the word cookies. Oops.

- Singing Ring Around the Rosie four thousand times a day and watching Ladybug get so angry when Stink refuses to all fall down.

I JUST LOVE THEM SO MUCH.

January Goals // 2015

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My freezing cold face on a walk around the monuments. It was just too funny not to share.

Alright, last post about the new year, I promise!

This one is a quick one, here are my goals for this month!

January Goals

- Take pictures of my apartment and do an updated post (this is mostly for Claire since she’s been pestering me to do it–it’s coming this week, Thomas!!!)

- Go to church every Sunday that I’m home.

- Exercise four times a week.

- Read two new books (All the Light I Cannot See and This Is Where I Leave You) and blog about them.

- Continuing purging all the junk in my apartment. I have TOO MUCH STUFF.

- Don’t shop for any clothes.

Peace out, peeps!! Have a good first week of the year!

11 Hours in the Car, a Baby Shower, and A Birthday Surprise

Do you like how I made the title of this post so specific that you really don’t even need to read it to know what I’m going to write? You’re welcome.

This past weekend was my last travel weekend for what I hope is a long time. I love traveling and I love getting to see people I love but I am SO TIRED of being in my car. You have no idea. But it was worth it because this weekend was a huge success.

Friday after work I headed back to NC, arriving a little before 11PM, and promptly fell right to sleep. Saturday came and with it was a baby shower for my friends Becky and Nate! The are expecting their first baby girl, Mary Rose, at the end of February and it was lovely to see them both. Although, if I’m being honest, I just cannot get into showers of any sort–bridal, baby, I just don’t love them. But I know that Becky and Nate felt loved and that is all that really matters!

Also, pretend there is a picture of Becky and I inserted here. We did take one but our photographer was a 4 foot tall little girl, not the best angle, especially for two girls that are 5’10″.

After the shower, I headed down to Richmond for a super secret surprise for Kate! Her boyfriend, Rich, had a wonderful evening planned for her but the best part (in my opinion) was that I showed up at the bar she was at and surprised her!! We had both been dying for a good night out with each other, full of nothing but dancing, and that is exactly what we got.

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It was a hilarious, fun, sweaty, and crazy night–the best kind.

I was also reunited with Baby Bear, which was wonderful, as always. Miss you, Bear! But I don’t miss your dog hair one little bit!

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IMG_5986And with that, I am going to move into my annual winter hibernation in which I don’t leave the DMV until March.