Happy Birthday, Papa!! // 2014

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Pictures from July to remind us how fantastic my family (especially my dad) is and also to remind us that it is not always this incredibly frigid outside.

Today is a happy day! Even though it’s a freezing one. Today is my dad’s birthday! Happy birthday, Dad!!

I am so incredibly lucky to have a such a strong, loyal, kind, giving man as my father. He sets an amazing example for both my brother and myself (as well as countless friends who love him dearly as well). Thank you for being the best dad I could ever ask for. I’m so glad that we get to see each other often and that we get to FaceTime even more often! The babies love to talk to you, too.

I hope you have a good work day today and a great day off tomorrow. Can’t wait to see you next week! Hooray!

PS Guess what?!

What Friday Looks Like Over Here

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Here’s what Friday is looking like right now.

It’s cold. Like, winter is here, my hands are numb, the babies ears are cold, the wind is piercing us with every gust.

But the sun is shining, there are no clouds in the sky, and the birds are chirping. So we’re doing okay.

Ladybug woke up this morning at 4AM, so she’s going on her third hour of napping right now. Stink woke up 30 minutes ago and is trying to color on my laptop with a crayon as I type this.

We are working very hard on being quiet and letting our girl sleep, but I’m not sure how much longer it will last.

I’m dealing with a frustrating billing issue over a hammock I bought in JUNE. WTF HAYNEEDLE.COM.

Stink is now looking at the baby monitor and yelling Ladybug’s name.

We have three hours left of our work day plus an hour of happy hour with their parents before my weekend.

Katie is already in town and waiting to head over for a movie/candy/wine night at my place.

Tomorrow morning we head out on a big wedding dress shopping extravaganza for Taylor! We already did a mini-trip on Tuesday but the family has arrived for this weekend.

I’ve got lots and lots of reading staring me down for class on Monday, but I think Sunday will be a perfect cozy day to knock it out. And to get started on my Christmas cards. Eep! Tis the season!

TGIF to you and yours! Cheers to my last five day work week for the next two weeks!

Serial. The Podcast.

I’ve written before about my deep, undying love, for podcasts. To say I’m obsessed with them would be an understatement. I’ve pretty much stopped listening to music because of my obsession with podcasts. If it’s not Joy the Baker (which p.s. Joy and Tracy WHERE ARE YOU), it’s The Longest Shortest Time, if it’s not Call Your Girlfriend, it’s The Lively Show. If it’s not Elise Gets Crafty, it’s The Influence Network. Or maybe it’s Around the Table or Uhh Yeah Dude! So many to choose from (p.s. those are all links, all very good shows, check them out).

But really, the most important podcast, the podcast to end all podcasts, the podcast which will probably break the internet (even more so than Kim Kardashian’s butt did yesterday), is Serial.

Serial is essential a real life murder mystery. Here is the description from their site.

On January 13, 1999, a girl named Hae Min Lee, a senior at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County, Maryland, disappeared. A month later, her body turned up in a city park. She’d been strangled. Her 17-year-old ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested for the crime, and within a year, he was convicted and sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. The case against him was largely based on the story of one witness, Adnan’s friend Jay, who testified that he helped Adnan bury Hae’s body. But Adnan has always maintained he had nothing to do with Hae’s death. Some people believe he’s telling the truth. Many others don’t.

Sarah Koenig, who hosts Serial, first learned about this case more than a year ago. In the months since, she’s been sorting through box after box (after box) of legal documents and investigators’ notes, listening to trial testimony and police interrogations, and talking to everyone she can find who remembers what happened between Adnan Syed and Hae Min Lee fifteen years ago. What she realized is that the trial covered up a far more complicated story, which neither the jury nor the public got to hear. The high school scene, the shifting statements to police, the prejudices, the sketchy alibis, the scant forensic evidence – all of it leads back to the most basic questions: How can you know a person’s character? How can you tell what they’re capable of? In Season One of Serial, she looks for answers.

I first heard of Serial in its fourth week, binge listened to every episode, made Mom binge listen to every episode, and have been waiting on the edge of my seat for every Thursday morning since then.

And I’m not the only one. In my attempts to write this blog post, I simply googled “Serial” to find the website. Before I knew it I was ten tabs deep on my browser; reading articles, watching videos, and avoiding the Reddit thread about it at all costs because I don’t know how I’ll ever climb out of that rabbit hole once I fall into it.

Basically what I’m saying is, you should listen. And I’m conveniently posting this for you on a Thursday, meaning you now have all the old episodes AND a new one to listen to. You’re welcome. And for the love of all that is holy, Sarah, PLEASE TELL US WHAT IS GOING ON WITH JAY!!!!!!

Before you go, here is my one major take away from the podcast. I should never be on a jury (even though it’s my one dream in life) because I think everyone is innocent. I am CERTAIN that Adnan is innocent, and have been from the beginning.

I have deep thoughts about how this podcast reveals our ideas about human nature, how it might be kind of sick that we are all geeking out about this when it is actually a real story. Adnan is actually in jail. Hae was actually murdered. We still don’t know about Jay but something actually did happen with Jay! Is it wrong that I’m loving hearing about their lives so much? Is this also a contemplation on gossiping and how much Americans love to look at someone else’s real, messy life to make themselves feel better?

Who knows. All I know is while you’re reading this, I’ll be listening to Episode 8. Then I’ll be listening to Slate’s podcast about this podcast. And then I’ll be reading a few blogs to see what the rest of the internet thinks of it.

Happy listening!

The Stroller Diaries // 41

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It’s nap time. The house is quiet. Messy, but quiet. This is the first day in a week that I haven’t been so exhausted by nap time that I snuggled up next to Stink as soon as his eyes closed. Today I had a little more energy so I tip toed downstairs to eat half of my lunch and read some blogs. Of course, now my eyes are starting to droop and I’m yearning for my half of the bed upstairs.

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I should finish this post and then clean the living room. There are books and crayons and toys everywhere I turn. But all I can think about is snoozing. So, I think I’ll tell you a quick story and then do a quick clean up and then take that nap. That seems about right.

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Stink learned the word friend in the last week. As a former pre-school teacher, I can’t help but refer to every. single. child I meet as a friend. Even if we haven’t met them, any kid across the playground is our friend. You would think that my regular use of the word, and the fact that I refer to Stink and Ladybug as friend all the time would mean that they picked up on the positive connotation surrounding it.

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Nope, you thought wrong.

Stink now runs around the playground, pointing at every child he sees, and screaming FWIEND, in the most pathetic, sad, half-crying voice I’ve ever heard in my life. He’s terrified of all the friends. And he will repeat fwiend, fwiend, fwiend, in the sad little voice over and over and over again until I say yes, Stink, that is a friend, friends do not hurt us, they just want to play! And then two seconds later he says it again.

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It is simultaneously the most endearing and maddening thing that has ever happened. Alas, such as nanny life. IMG_4696

Currently // November 2014

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#seriouselfie at Belk in my new favorite outfit. I love it so much I wore it twice in a three day span. OOPS.

looking forward to wedding dress shopping with Taylor this week!

appreciating the money I’m saving on rent with extra babysitting hours.

eating too much junk food.

watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix (insert double hand emoji)

loving getting to wear boots more often.

planning all the Christmas gifts I need to buy.

walking less and less the colder it gets, uh oh.

enjoying being able to drive the babies different places, all hail carseats.

ordering nothing. No ordering until after Christmas.

reading The Help and Harry Potter. Both repeats.

drinking a Diet Coke every now and then, shhhh, don’t tell anyone.

working on working out more.

listening to TSWIFT. Who else?!

celebrating Thanksgiving with friends and family soon.

grateful for a little more sunshine when I wake up early in the morning.

Why Isn’t It Enough?

I’m sure by now that you’ve seen the video making the rounds online and on media outlets of the woman walking in NYC for 10 hours and the catcalls that resulted.

If not, here it is to catch you up to speed.

If you can’t (or won’t) watch that video right now, it is exactly what you think it’s going to be. She is walking down the street, in normal clothes, and does nothing to elicit all the whistles, winks, yells, creepy following, and uncomfortable situations she is put in. She never speaks to or really even looks at the men, which doesn’t stop them from sometimes walking alongside her for up to FIVE MINUTES continuing to harass her.

WHY IS THIS A THING. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING.

In addition to the outrageous content in the video, the news media and the internet in general have made things worse. Much, much, much worse.

First, there’s this. The rape threats. In case you didn’t click on that link, the woman in the video is receiving an insane amount of rape threats. I’m not going to type them here because I try not to use the words these men chose to express themselves, but know that they are cruel, inhumane, and out of line. These men disgust me.

And then, our beloved 24 hour news networks chimed in. CNN and FoxNews, you may no longer deliver any news to us, but thank you for at least making fools of yourselves for our enjoyment.

In case you didn’t watch that one, the gentleman (Steve Santagati) (see how I’m treating him with respect even though he doesn’t deserve it?) states that women simply need to stand up for themselves more often. When the female commentator points out that a woman DIED in Detroit last week while doing just that he replied well, she should have been carrying a gun. WHAT, SIR?! I’M SORRY, WHAT?! PLEASE GET OUT OF HERE. And by here I mean Planet Earth, we no longer want you.

And here is the gem of a segment FoxNews did:

Yes, yes, Bob Beckel did say “She got one hundred catcalls, let me add one hundred and one. Damn, baby, you’re a piece of woman.” And to you sir, I say, please get on the spaceship with Steve Santagati and we will promptly shoot you to Mars. 

But really, here is my thing. This video went viral for a reason. There is a reason I don’t even really need y’all to watch the original video to know what I’m talking about. Every. Single. Woman. I know has experienced catcalling. Every one of them. The area you live in may increase how often you experience it, but it happens. There is a reason I almost never walked around NYC alone without headphones in. There is a reason I wear headphones when I walk in DC. It’s a reality that I cross streets to avoid men not because I’m concerned they are going to physically hurt me but because I just can’t listen to their gross comments. Although I’m never completely certain they won’t try to hurt me.

So if we all know this is happening, regardless of the intentions behind the comments, why is the fact that WE DON’T LIKE THEM not enough of a reason for men to stop making them? Why does it matter how you meant for it to sound if I’m perceiving it as some sort of threat? Why is it not enough for us to say, please, stop that, we feel uncomfortable.

I just don’t get it, I really don’t.

 

The Stroller Diaries // 40

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Yesterday, after we went to vote, I decided we should take a cute group pic to commemorate the moment. A sloppy group of sweaty, hysterical, far from cute pictures came from our photo shoot, but I have to say that it was all worth it when little man jumped up from the steps and wrapped his little baby arms around my neck for this squeeze. Sheesh, I love them so much.

RVA Visit (the first of many!)

Happy Tuesday, peeps! And happy Election Day! I hope that you’ve all either already voted or plan to before the end of the day. It’s your civic duty and you should really exercise this right of yours. Just do it.

Any who, I’m gonna go all political on y’all on Thursday, so that’s enough for now. Instead, I would like to recap my wonderful weekend in Richmond with Kate! Also, she did a great job recapping on her blog yesterday, so check that out as well right over here.

I was lucky enough to get off work on Friday at 2PM and got on the road to Richmond by 3PM, hoping that the normally two hour drive wouldn’t be much worse than that due to Friday traffic. I arrived in RVA at…wait for it….ALMOST 8PM. THAT’S RIGHT. IT TOOK ALMOST 5 HOURS. THAT IS HOW LONG IT TAKES TO GET TO GREENSBORO.

I wasn’t happy about it, as I’m sure you can tell. But Taylor Swift kept me company the whole way and I made it eventually, so alls well that ends well, right?

So, I arrive around 8PM, we head to the liquor store, Kate buys the liquor with her ID, we go home, and proceed to dress up.

Before I go on let me make it clear, once again, that I hate Halloween. I hate the pressure. I hate dressing up. I hate how everyone and everything becomes slutty. I hate it. So Kate and I did not put much thought into our costumes until about two hours before we planned to go out. We settled on Minnie and Mickey Mouse because we could buy the stuff we needed for about $10 each and call it a day.

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Cute, right?!

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We were pretty proud of ourselves. We got all ready to go out, hoped in our Uber, arrived at a bar, got to the door, and realized Kate had lost her ID somewhere between the liquor store and the bar. We headed home to search for it and never found it anywhere, so then we turned on HGTV and went to bed.

WAMP. But really, I wasn’t that disappointed. It had been a long week and we were both pooped, so it was alright.

Saturday was spent doing homework, shopping, and just generally being lazy together which is one of our favorite things to do. We also walked around The Fan, the neighborhood Kate lives in in RVA, and I fell madly in love with it and have not completely ruled Richmond off the list of places I would like to live one day.

After shopping we had dinner with Kate’s sister (Hi Kimberly!) and then by some sort of MIRACLE Kate remembered that she still had her old NC license back at her apartment. At this point, we were both desperate for a night of dancing and so the thought of actually making it happen made us crazy excited.

And happen it did! We had to go to four bars before we finally found one with the PERFECT music, a decent crowd, and benches for us to dance on for three hours straight. Our legs were sore and our voices were hoarse from singing but it was worth it. Trust me, when Shake it Off came on and we took over the entire dance floor, it was well worth it.

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This fantastic night however led to very little sleep. Like, three or four hours of sleep. So Sunday was spent trying desperately to nap while taking Kobe on the occasional walk. Where we found this brick!

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How fitting.

It was a great weekend, it was so good to see Kate and Bear. I LOVE LOVE LOVE her apartment, it’s amazing, and Richmond in general is awesome. I cannot wait to go back and I miss her so much already.

Love you forever, Kate!

November Goals // 2014

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Happy November! Happy holiday season! Welcome to our second to last goal post of the year! WHAT?!?!?

You know what comes next, review time!

October Goals

- Exercise 20 days this month. Continue running and doing Pilates (I’m recently obsessed with these videos). Travel is what always throws me off my exercise game so I’m working hard to schedule workouts in beforehand–giving me no excuse to skip them. I sucked at exercising the second half of the month. I made it about 10 days before I quit. I started back up again on the 29th. 

- Take advantage of Columbus Day sales to buy a few outfits for a teaching conference I’m attending in November. Oops.

- Order Sevenly print as well as buying/hanging a frame. I bought a frame but have yet to pick a poster to order.

- Ride my bike to work three days a week. No comment.

- Purchases two Christmas presents–trying to get a head start on this! No comment. 

- Start checking books out from the library and only purchasing them to add to my collection if I absolutely love them–I’ve spent too much money on books I’ll never reread. This one gets a strike through because I haven’t bought any new books. I also haven’t been to the library for books yet because I’m finishing up the ones at my house.

- Reserve dress from Rent the Runway for Brit’s wedding! Done! It will arrive Wednesday! Let’s hope it works since the wedding is Friday, eek!

Sheesh. Not my best month. It was a busy month. While I had only one weekend with visitors in town, I babysat every other weekend and just had jam packed nights and days. It was not my best month organization wise. Good news, I’m super aware of it and I’m trying to combat that this month.

November is nuts. This past weekend I was in RVA. This coming weekend I’m in North Carolina for a wedding and I’m babysitting the day before and the day after. The next weekend we are going wedding dress shopping for Taylor and Katie is staying with me. The weekend after that I’m attending the National Council of Teachers of English conference in National Harbor. And the weekend after that is Thanksgiving, which will obviously be spent in North Carolina.

Whoa. That is crazy busy. I knew it was that intense but writing it all out is kind of terrifying. Throw in regular work hours, a few late babysitting nights, and school and you’ve got one busy lady over here.

But it’s ok, I’ve got this. I can do it. Everything I’m doing this month will be fun and rewarding.

As far as goals for the month, here’s what we’re lookin’ at:

November Goals

- Order Christmas presents! And birthday presents! Three of my four best friends conveniently (insert as much sarcasm as possible here) have birthdays that are within two-ish weeks of Christmas. It’s a busy season!

- Do a Thanksgiving craft with my babies (do I need to start calling them toddlers yet?! I refuse).

- Buy and start addressing my Christmas cards. This is serious. Last year I spent a marathon session at Starbucks writing and addressing them all and I’m not joking with y’all, I thought I had permanently damaged my hand. Must. Get. Head. Start.

- Order and hang last poster for above the couch. GEEZE CAN WE GET THIS DONE ALREADY?!

- Sign up for and run the Greensboro Gobbler with Alex (and Uncle Colin!) And I’m just gonna put this out here so that I really try hard for it–run the entire thing. Yes, I can run 3.1 miles without stopping. But the course for this run has all the hills in the world on it and the struggle is always real. I can and will do this.

- Continue following the workout guide that I have restarted. DO NOT QUIT THIS EMILY.

- Continue with my ideal morning plans. My day is so much better when my morning starts well. Here is what my best mornings look like: wake up on time, no snooze button, out of bed, slippers on, immediately make my bed, do stretch routine, make breakfast, eat breakfast while doing my daily devotional/journal, get dressed, and then at this point I can turn on the Today Show and look at my phone for the first time. It seems silly but it seriously makes my day so much better to start my morning off peacefully like this.

Alright folks, there you have it. As I was writing this I was wondering just how bored you have to be to want to read about my pre-work routine and my Christmas card plans so, I do apologize if you’re dying of boredom. But! These goals help me to stay accountable. We are almost two solid years into this and there is no end in sight.

Happy Monday!

Oh Boy Do I Need the Weekend

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Guess what??!?!?!?!?!?

Today I finally finally FINALLY get to see Kate!! We haven’t seen each other in FOREVER FOREVER FOREVER. And going from living together and seeing each other every day to seeing each other every few months has been UNACCEPTABLE. We are both very excited for this.

This week has not been the best. A cold, the real cold outside, long hours, and poor sleep have led to a very grumpy Emily. Last night, I worked until 10PM, and Stink cried himself to sleep in his crib for 45 minutes while I cried silent tears because I just couldn’t handle it. It was not a good time.

Fear not, I woke up in a much better mood today, couldn’t wait to squeeze my babes, and I only work a half day today.

Come 2PM I’m scootin’ out the door and heading straight down 95 to spend time with Kate and Baby Bear and I CAN. NOT. WAIT.

PS I hate Halloween and I’m pretending it’s not happening, but this picture of me, Kate, and Bear from last year was too good not to post. Don’t expect anything this good from us tonight.