Mommy Craft FAIL…mostly

I thought it might be nice to make one of those clay handprint ornaments while Jack’s hands are still small enough to make it a reasonably-sized ornament. I could make two and send one to John’s mom, earning daughter-in-law of the year status once again! I found an article with directions, an easy baking soda clay recipe, and pictures of the final product. So sweet-looking, and totally within my beginner-craft skills.

The clay part went smoothly. We made it at Emily’s house with the kids helping with the ingredients (pouring and stirring). Handprints went…mostly okay. Good enough. The edges weren’t perfectly round, but there’s some charm in that, right?

I took my two home and let them dry for a couple of days before decorating. I liked the look of the glitter in the example I had, so I followed the directions…mostly. They called for regular glue and a paintbrush to get it into all the corners. I have a glue stick. The parts I want the glitter to stick to are all raised above the actual handprint, so that should totally work, right? …Mostly.

Oh my god, no.  No, no, no.  First, the thing isn’t remotely smooth, so there are lots of places a glue stick can’t reach.  Second, glitter is TERRIBLE.  Who thought glitter would stick to glue?  So for the second one, I thought, well, maybe I can color in the outer part of ornament using a crayon.  Crayon will work on dry clay, right?  Well, yeah…And now I have two ornaments that appear to have been decorated by Jack.

That would be TOTALLY fine…if they had been decorated by two-year-old Jack, not 41-year-old me.


Glitter ornament: I think I have to toss it.  I could start fresh, do a new handprint and leave it undecorated.  That has a certain appeal.

Green ornament: it’s not terrible…?  And it has a story? I might keep it, but I don’t think I’m sending it to John’s mom.

I clearly have a lot to learn in the toddler crafts department.

A big day

Today was full of firsts.  Well, two firsts.  But some days there are no firsts, so I’ll call two in one day a full day.

The first first was a first for me!  (I am reading WAY too much Dr. Seuss.)  I made custard!  For no reason and prompted by nothing at all!  And it’s good, if maybe a bit eggy.  I have no idea what made me think of it, but then I googled a few recipes, discovered I already had all the ingredients, found a recipe that did not assume I own custard cups, and boom.  An hour later, we had custard.

The second first (same as the – no, that doesn’t work) was a first for Jack.  I think he’s learning empathy!  Finally!  We went to the beach today with Emily and fam, and McKenna gotten bitten or stung by something.  It got her finger, and she was very upset for a while.  When she started crying, Jack looked around and said, “Baby!  Baby!” I may be projecting a little, but he sounded concerned.  Tonight, while reading before bed and then as he was falling asleep in the crib, we repeated this routine probably ten times: “Baby! Baby?” and he’d hold up his finger. “You mean McKenna and her finger?” Then a plaintive “Yup.” “She’s okay, I checked. Everyone is fine.” Then a satisfied “Yup.”

He cares! Or he’s at least remembering it and thinking about someone other than himself.  Still a first!

Reading my mind

John and I bought olive oil when we went to the store the other night, and I expressed regret that we can’t just buy Wegmans extra virgin olive oil like we used to.  We’ve been not so lucky at picking out other relatively inexpensive olive oils over the last few years.  (There are a lot of really boring olive oils out there, and some of the more exciting ones aren’t great for general use.  I feel like Goldilocks.)  We have a Wegmans within reach, if you consider an hour and 15 minutes one-way to be within reach.  I don’t.  I actually considered asking Emily to buy us some so John could bring it back this weekend when he drives up with our stuff from the storage unit.  We picked something since we’ll need it this week, I don’t remember which brand, and shortly after we got home, John said, “I think we owe my mom a really big thank you.”  Of course we do, for any number of things, so I asked for a few more details in my own articulate fashion. “Huh?”

She gave us a housewarming basket with a bunch of traditional housewarming gifts, all with their own meanings, and one of the items is olive oil (“May you be blessed with health and well-being”).  WEGMANS OLIVE OIL.


All is well with the world.



Things are moving along

We switched practices recently, and even after just one visit with a doctor (met with a nurse last week to get some initial stuff out of the way), I am SO MUCH HAPPIER.  The nurse and the doctor both introduced themselves immediately, something not a SINGLE person in the previous practice did.  It’s such a small thing (and that is certainly not the whole reason we left the other practice), but it’s so nice.  I’ve seen that at other doctors’ offices, too – why do so many medical professionals skip the introduction?  Am I supposed to just assume you’re the doctor or the nurse I made an appointment with?  The nurse at the first practice never got my name right, either, so I was never entirely sure I was in the right place.

This practice is in a new building, and it’s nice, and it’s pretty, and everyone we’ve met has been nice and helpful and cheerful and WHAT A RELIEF!

Emily, Sean, and Graham visited this past weekend, and we spent most of two days driving past potential houses and exploring potential neighborhoods (and also eating our weight in seafood and ice cream and pie, which CERTAINLY showed when the doctor made me get on the scale today).  They swore up and down that they were happy house-hunting with us, but I’m willing to bet there was some regret about spending so much of the weekend in the car when they hit the road for the long trip home Sunday afternoon.  Let’s drive ALL the hours!

Graham is adorable and funny and I’m SO not ready for a toddler.  It’s a good thing that happens gradually.  I spent part of my morning trying to imagine the baby that’s going to fit into the super-cute onesies Emily and Sean bought us in Newport – our first baby things!  It’s the first time I’ve tried to picture this baby as a real baby, and I’m failing miserably.  I’m basically coming up with stock baby photos that don’t look anything like us.  I realize I could probably look at my baby pictures and John’s and get close, but that’s no fun.

Saturday night head explosions

John and I rent a townhouse in Providence.  Moving to Providence was the next step in figuring out where we want to live, settle, buy a house, and so far, we really like it.  We LOVE our neighborhood.  We’re not in any hurry to buy a house (still, although if we find one we like at a price we’re cool with, we might), and so the plan was to give this townhouse a full year, or at least get through the summer, and decide if we wanted to renew the lease or find another place.

That was the plan until our recent happy news.  Now, we know we have to move when our lease is up.  It would be easy to have an infant here, but once that baby starts to crawl…not so easy.  The entire first floor, with the exception of the entryway and the kitchen, which are both tiled, is old hardwood floor.  The old part is important – it was installed when you still nailed the floorboards down from the top.  So the entire first floor has row upon row upon row of tiny nails that are constantly popping up and ripping socks and hurting our feet.  No kidding – John keeps a hammer in the dining room cabinet.  Hammering down nails in the floor is nearly a daily occurrence.  Yes, we have a big area rug in the living room, but it’s not wall-to-wall carpeting.  A crawling baby on hands and knees on that floor?  I don’t think so.

Also, I think I take back the part where I said it would be easy to have an infant here.

  1. The stairs are twisty and steep.  And slippery.
  2. EVERY FLOORBOARD IN THE ENTIRE HOUSE CREAKS.  LOUDLY.  It is impossible to sneak around in this house.  If one of us is awake and moving, we’re both awake.  If this baby is a light sleeper…
  3. The back door (where we park) is hard to navigate if you have anything in even one hand.  It has stairs, a sharp turn, a railing that makes the space really small, a heavy storm door that opens out and takes up the remaining space, and an inner door that requires two hands to open (one to turn the key, one to turn the knob).  I have issues with it when I’m carrying groceries.  How will I handle that when I’m carrying a carseat with a baby in it?

Sure, none of this is insurmountable, but it’ll be a huge pain, and we can move, so we’re planning to.  Where?  NO IDEA.  I mean, somewhere in New England, but…that doesn’t help all that much.  So to find out, we’re going to drive all over New England most weekends for the next few months and scout.

Last Saturday, we headed to southern New Hampshire, which, to our complete and utter surprise, is only an hour away from us on a Saturday morning (because no traffic around Boston).  We drove around Nashua, Derry, Hooksett, Concord (lunch and a little walking, too), and Henniker.  Nashua and Concord are firmly on our list, and we’ve discovered that we probably don’t want to move to a town smaller than Concord (pop. 42K).  (Of course, that disqualifies all of Vermont except Burlington.  We’ll see.)  We got back home, tired and cranky from our long day in the car, and started talking about Providence.  Why have we essentially written off Providence after one day’s jaunt to New Hampshire?  Well, we haven’t.  We like it.  You know what?  Let’s focus on Providence for a while.  And then we realized one big thing we haven’t discussed AT ALL: schools.  The freakout began.  When we were thinking about kids years ago, it was easy.  We lived in the best (sometimes second best) school district in Virginia.  No thought required.  And while Rhode Island schools on the whole are pretty good, Providence schools SUCK.  Apparently.  Based on a couple of days of frantic research.  Everyone who lives in the neighborhood we want to settle in sends their kids to one of the three private schools nearby.  We are NOT doing that.  We went from “huh, New Hampshire could be it” to “Wait, we really like Providence, let’s just stay here” to “WE CAN’T RAISE OUR KID IN PROVIDENCE SCHOOLS AND OH MY GOD HOW ARE WE GOING TO FIND A PLACE TO LIVE THIS IS TOO HARD UNFAIR UNFAIR UNFAIR UNFAIR!!!!” in the space of two hours Saturday night.

Fun times.  And NO, this was not just me and my hormones.  John was right there with me, although he was more constructive about it.

We’re better today.  The plan for now is to check out the rest of Rhode Island, see what’s out there, see what towns we might like to live in and afford on OH YEAH HALF OF OUR CURRENT INCOME possibly – exactly what I’m going to do for work, both short and long term is still very much TBD.

It’ll be fine.  We’re not obsessed with making sure we live in the best school district ever – our bar for that is pretty reasonable, I think.  It was just such a shock to realize that we had NEVER considered schools in our plans to move around and find our perfect place to live.  We didn’t think we’d have to.

When I’m wrong, I’m wrong.

A correction is needed.  I have slandered the good name of the family.  (Maybe it’s libel, but slander sounds better.  Hush.)  Yesterday, I said “hardly anyone else enjoys Merry Axemas or the Brian Setzer Christmas albums as much as we do”.  I was wrong, and while I have already apologized profusely in person, I feel the need to make a public statement to remove any doubt that this family thoroughly enjoys the Brian Setzer Christmas albums.

I am sorry.  I was wrong.  And Brian Setzer rocks, although that was never in question.

If you want to hear the concert and you have SiriusXM, it’ll be on the Holly channel (channel 70) Christmas Eve at 3pm ET and at midnight ET (going into Christmas Day).  It’ll also be on the Outlaw Country channel (channel 60) tonight at 10pm ET, on Christmas Eve at noon ET, and on Christmas Day at 10am ET and 6pm ET.  It’s 90 minutes long, and it’s wonderful.

I get a little teary on Derby Day

I have just had the BEST afternoon.  To start, it’s a beautiful spring day.  John is in the recording studio with his band, hopefully having a good time.  I went for a run right after he left.  Temps were in the low 50s, and I did a respectable distance at a respectable pace.  Lovely scenery, which I was able to enjoy because I wasn’t pushing myself, and I found purple flowers blooming and I was listening to a fascinating podcast – all good.   I came home and made tortilla pinwheels for tomorrow’s SWV NOW potluck: cream cheese, sour cream, shredded cheese, green chiles, green onions, and a little garlic.  SO GOOD.  And so done and ready for tomorrow.

Run: good, chore: done.  Let’s not forget it’s Derby Day, so after I showered, I went to Steelhead to watch the race. They had NBC coverage on half the TVs, but they told me they only turn the sound up for Oregon Ducks games, so I left.  Next stop was a sports bar a couple of blocks away that I’ve never been to.  It was practically empty, and the bartender changed the channel to the Derby on four or five TVs and turned the sound up, and I was happy.

They were out of mint, so I ordered champagne.  Corey said I should go fancy and order a French 75, but this place was decidedly not fancy.  I didn’t chance it.

Me and my champagne

I had a wonderful time watching the race while texting with Mel and Corey (and Christine by proxy).  My horse (McCraken, chosen because he was the prettiest) didn’t win, but that’s true every year.

Text conversation with John:

Me: My horse did not win.

Him: To be fair, Tigger wasn’t in the race.

I left the bar after the lady with the antenna on her helmet interviewed the winning jockey while riding alongside and cut through 5th Street Market with a vague idea of buying myself a rose from Rhythm and Blooms.  They didn’t have any roses (out – I’m sure they have roses), so I kept walking and hey, there was a wine tasting table set up. Wine tastings always appeal to me, but especially after two glasses of champagne, so I stopped, tried the wine, LOVED the zinfandel (which I bought), and had a nice conversation about running with the woman in charge of the tasting.

It’s still a beautiful day, and when John gets home, we’re going to take a leisurely bike ride so I can show him the purple flowers I found.  Then dinner.


We had two reasons for going to PA and MD this time:

  1. Meet our new nephew, Graham!  This was supposed to be the first time we met the baby.  That was before the funeral trip, which, obviously, was unplanned, but since everyone was there, we met him in October instead.  Still, the tickets were booked and it cost more to move them to Christmas (or to just cancel and keep them as a credit) than it did to keep them and make the trip anyway.  Plus, we had reason #2.
  2. Celebrate John’s parents’ 40th wedding anniversary!  Their anniversary is the 20th, but we took the opportunity of coming into town to see the baby to get the whole family in one place and take John VII and Pat out to dinner.

We weren’t really sure just what we were going to do to celebrate at first – big family party?  small family party?  dinner out? – but then Emily had the brilliant (and very expensive) idea of taking them out to dinner at best restaurant in Frederick, MD: Volt.  She and Sean had been once, and they’ve been raving about it ever since.  She booked the nine of us (plus Graham) into a private room, and let me tell you – I have never felt so fancy.  The restaurant is in an old mansion in downtown Frederick.  The decor is pretty modern, but the room we were in was the conservatory, with a bay window at the end, and big windows along both sides looking into the garden.  The room was just big enough for us and the full staff serving us.  Seriously, every time they brought in a new course, five waitstaff came in at once and served us at the same time.  It was like synchronized swimming.  Synchronized service.  Very cool, very fancy.

Special menus were printed with “Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad” and their wedding date on them.  We had a four-course meal, with three choices per course.  I couldn’t tell you everything that was on the menu, but I can tell you what had.

  • Garlic: tom cove clams, black garlic, onion blossoms.  It was a soup, and it was SO FREAKIN’ GOOD.
  • Goat cheese scarpinocc: chicken of the woods mushroom, spinach, honey vinegar.  Little bitty filled pasta, and this was even better than the soup.
  • Lamb loin: mushroom oatmeal, maitake caramel, wax beans.  Also very very good, but the little bitty pasta was better.
  • Mini apple tart: maple ice cream, confiture de lait, ginger, rosemary.  By far the disappointment of the meal.  I mean, it was fine, but it wasn’t up to the standards of the first three courses.

Tiny portions, but plenty of food.  I would definitely eat there again, but I’ll have to save up for a while.  Graham cooperated by sleeping through most of the meal and letting Sean feed him when he woke up.  No crying, even though we were in a sound-proofed room, so if ever there was a time for a baby to cry in a restaurant, this was it.

We all look demonic in the one picture I have of the group of us at the restaurant, so you don’t get to see that unless you look for pictures I’m tagged in on Instagram.  Or go to Facebook.  Everyone in the family has probably posted a picture or two there. Pictures of the baby tomorrow!

I don’t really feel like it

I don’t have much to say, but I feel like I’ve been MIA a lot this past week, and I don’t like that feeling.  We’re on Long Island for the funeral of John’s cousin Kerri’s husband, and we spent the entire day yesterday at a funeral home for a very emotional wake.  Lots of people, lots of tears.  The burial is this morning (Monday), followed by lunch with the family (I think), and then John and I will spend the evening with his parents, hopefully discussing happier things.

Then back home to Oregon.

We met Emily and Sean’s new baby boy yesterday (SO cute at nearly 6 weeks old), who fell asleep in my arms during breakfast.  That was maybe the best part of the day.  They went home last night, though, so I don’t have that to look forward to today.

St. Patrick’s Day festivities

Our St. Patrick’s Day festivities are days late and did not include drinking.  We’re not very good partial (or fake) Irish people.  I am wearing green, though.

Corned beef and cabbage for lunch, plus a good luck cake for our trip out west.


We’re completely stuffed from that, but I really want the tres leches cake I know is waiting in the fridge.  We’ll just skip dinner and eat cake.  Later.  Much later.

I ran out to the hardware store to make a copy of our storage unit key for Emily and Sean, and when I came back, I found two thirds of the family asleep in the living room.


We might not make it to the next round of cake.  That would probably be okay.  Except not.  It’s really good cake.

When you’re right, you’re right

Mel has been on a roll lately.  Last fall, she insisted we create a Pandora station seeded only with Electric Light Orchestra, and you know?  It’s my favorite Pandora station.  It’s SO good.  Then last week (just a few days ago?), she told me about a trilogy she’d gotten sucked into that surely I knew about already, but if I didn’t, I had to read it.  Again, she’s on top of it.  I downloaded the first book and read it in about 24 hours.  Couldn’t put it down (Brilliance by Marcus Sakey), and I’ve already started the second book.

What’s next?  I’m all ears.

We’re not nice people

It’s Christmas Eve and everyone is here.  We’ve started drinking, we’re working on our ugly sweaters (or t-shirts, for some of us), and games (Munchkin, maybe, probably Taboo, almost certainly Bananagrams – we know how to party) and a contest are coming up.  We’re expecting a lovely Christmas Eve, at least partially because a certain someone has decided she’s not feeling well and has gone off to bed.  Poor thing.  Guess the rest of us will have to make merry without her.  We’ll manage somehow.

I’ve been banned from the basement for the time being.  I think Molly is wrapping my present.  The making of the Beef Wellington (by John and his mother) is imminent.  We’re very excited.  But if they’re busy in the kitchen, and I’m not allowed to hang out in the basement, I might have a few minutes’ quiet.  “Quiet”, I should say.  Christmas music is blasting, and there’s plenty of good-natured shouting (followed by shushing) going on.

Oops, I’ve been summoned to help Emily with something.  And I have to change the song – it’s that depressing Peanuts one.


Extended family

The other night, we went to a family party on Long Island, and I got to meet some relatives of John’s that I’ve only heard of and another dozen no one has ever mentioned to me.  Some of them were totally normal, some of them were a little nuts, and I only wanted to fight one of them.  She’s a Trump supporter (“Government should be run like a business, and he’s a brilliant businessman!”), and she turned a perfectly civil conversation into a contentious argument.  I bit my tongue and backed out.  I’m not going to have a political argument with one of my mother-in-law’s cousins, certainly not at a holiday party/family reunion.  I can’t be that in-law.  I did find unlikely allies in two of John’s uncles.  I knew there was a reason I liked them.

It has begun

It’s a misty day in PA.  John’s parents live on top of a ridge, so the view out the back of the house is of treetops shrouded in fog.  Not very many treetops, though – visibility is so low we can’t see very far.

We’re about to head to Long Island for the afternoon and evening.  We’ll visit John’s grandmother and then go to a party to see some cousins no one has talked to in years and some other cousins we see all the time (where all the time = once a year).  Probably have another late night (got to bed about 1am Monday night), and then tomorrow everyone else is supposed to arrive.  Christmas is here.  I have proof.  Photographic evidence.

Tree 1:


Tree 2:IMG_20151222_125351

It doesn’t get much Christmasier than that.

Please bother me with trivialities

My brain is stuffed with trivia.  It’s not just me – Corey and Mel have movie and music trivia down (I’m not bad those, but not great), Christine knows the Greek alphabet and can rattle off all prepositions (we don’t know WHY, but she can), I can name all the states in alphabetical order (A through L – I get stuck at the Ms.  There are so many!), and Mom and Dad can come up with all KINDS of crap.

There’s plenty of demand for trivia this weekend, what with the crossword puzzles, Songburst, and THREE versions of Trivial Pursuit in the house.  We’re the right people for the job.  Even if we all blank on the occasional question.  It’s cheating to use Google, but sometimes we can’t help ourselves. Google knows all, and we need confirmation.  What did people do before Google?

Awash in noise

Sometimes there’s SO much happening, SO many people talking, SO many dogs barking and howling and running around, that I can’t process it.  On Thanksgiving, we had nine adults and four dogs around the table.  The noise level was surprisingly easy to handle, probably because the dogs were quietly waiting under the table for scraps.  In contrast, Mom got back from the store a little bit ago and was greeted by four barking dogs and three people milling in the kitchen (Corey, Mindy, Christine, all waiting to start the dinner prep).  The rumor is we’re expecting two more people (and possibly their two dogs) tonight, making the minor turmoil when Mom walked in just now a prelude to who knows what kind of chaos tonight.  It’s not bad, not overwhelming in any negative sense.  It’s just…loud.  The noise surrounds me, stops making sense.  It takes focus to figure it all out again.  The football game in the background (UofL/UK) adds to the confusion.

All this activity drives home how quietly John and I live.  The TV is only on when we’re actually watching it, and since it’s just us, there’s nothing else going on in the apartment.  When we’re working, we’re pretty quiet unless we’re on the phone for work, and we use headphones if we’re going to listen to music. We almost never have people over (and more often than not, it’s just Jess, so we’re only three), so we never have more than one conversation going on at the same time, no cross-chatter.  It’s quiet.

Everything I’ve just written doesn’t mean I don’t LIKE the noise.  I do.  These are my people, and we’re having a good time.  It’s good noise.  So if I go blank for a minute, don’t worry about me.

Is it home yet?

We’re back from Kentucky and a successful surprise party for Corey to celebrate his 40th birthday (very late – it was in July) AND his successful bar exam results.  Corey is an actual honest-to-god lawyer now!  Well, he will be when he gets sworn in, which I think happens tomorrow (Wednesday).  He’s got business cards and everything.  (You can’t call yourself a lawyer without business cards.)

It was a good visit (and I’ll be going back soon), and it was both good and super strange to come back to Annapolis from there.  On the one hand, it felt like coming home.  It’s familiar (BWI, the main roads – we’ve lived in the area for a LONG time), our stuff is here, the weather was super-nice (that always helps a homecoming feel good), that sort of thing.  But on the other hand, we’ve only lived here for 7 weeks.  Just how homey can it be?  And on the OTHER hand, does it need to feel like home?  We’re basically itinerants now.

We missed the torrential rain from the hurricane (since we were in KY), but it definitely came through the ceiling again.  The bowl we left behind was half-full. And the toilet has started leaking again.  One of the bathmats was soaked from the end near the toilet to about halfway across the sink.  Our landlady says there’s a window leaking on the third floor (she’s waiting for the replacement window to arrive), and she’s calling the guy about the toilet.  So maybe that stuff will get resolved.

Other than that, the apartment is in good shape.

We got home around 4:30, unpacked, picked up a little, and then went out to eat.  We picked another good one this time.  Vida (on Main Street) is a taco place, local food, and really good.  Yummy guacamole and really interesting tacos.  They have traditional ones (carne asada, avocado, that kind of thing) and non-traditional ones (ahi with kimchi, pulled pork, etc).  SO good!  And when they brought the check, they brought little hot hand towels doused in lavender water for our sticky hands.  (Oh, the margaritas were really good, too.)  AND today is Tuesday (Taco Tuesday), so we got 20% off the bill.  I’m happy.  We’ll go back.

All the memories came flooding back

Last night, we went to a high school football game for the first since high school (I think).  (We lived two blocks from a high school with one of the best football teams in the state for ten years – NEVER went to a game.)  Sean is one of the coaches, and last night’s game was against their big rival, and (nicely for us and them), they won.

It was both super-strange and VERY familiar.  John and I didn’t get there until the second half (we were parking the car as the marching band marched off the field (to my disappointment)), but one half of a football game was plenty (for a number of reasons).  The view, the smells, the students, the parents – I only went to football games because I was in the marching band and I HAD to go, but I went to every football game in high school (the home games, anyway – I don’t think the band went to away games), and it was ALL familiar.  It was neat, but although there was a little nostalgia (I really enjoyed marching band), I’ve never liked football, and I’m in no hurry to re-live high school.  This will not become a regular thing.

It was kind of fun to sit with Emily and compare notes about how little we both know about the sport.  Who has the ball?  What are they doing now?  Ooh, that looked painful.  Is that allowed?

I’m not even going to get into how they must be recruiting from elementary school.  Surely those kids aren’t in high school?

I’m old.

A big welcome

Molly moved to DC a few days ago.  How happy was DC to have her?  So happy they threw a parade in her honor!  Or, coincidentally, the day we headed downtown to hang out with her also happened to be the day of the DC Gay Pride Parade!  Which was totally awesome.  We had to park 8 or so blocks away from her apartment (street closures), but that meant we could follow the parade route to her block, cheering and dancing the whole way.  (Well, I was.  John is not the dancing-at-parades type.)  And then, to our surprise, we followed the parade route ONTO her block, right past her front door.  But where was Molly?  Not on the stoop with her neighbors, whooping it up like any self-respecting young woman in her 20s.  No, she was napping and had NO idea any of this was going on right outside her front door.  In her defense, her apartment is on the back side of the building, and she swears that when she came back after a run to the store at 3:30, there was no sign that a parade was about to come through.

We gathered her up and followed the parade all the way to the circle (more dancing and cheering from us, of course, and I will admit to choking up a few times from the outpouring of love and support – it was great), and then veered off to find dinner, assuming (correctly) that we wouldn’t have too much trouble getting in someplace while the parade was still going on.

Dinner (French) was delicious.  All three of us had mussels – LOVE mussels.  We had another drink at a bar with a game theme (we played Scattergories), and then we headed home (after making sure Molly could find her back to her apartment – she’s a bit directionally-challenged).  Bed finally at 2am, and we slept until 10:30 Sunday morning.  I am not a young woman in my 20s.

Too much fun was had by all

I am SO tired.  No, really.  Seriously very tired.  Like, beyond tired.  So tired I can’t use any other words to describe how tired I am.  It was worth it, though.  John and I got back from a quick trip to Kentucky today.  Very little sleeping occurred.  We got up stupid early to get to the airport Friday morning, drove to Baltimore, flew to Kentucky.  Had a VERY good brunch with Mom and Dad (scrambled eggs with goat cheese, wild mushrooms, garlic, and truffle oil – holy hell that was good), hung out at home with them for a while (I wish I could remember what story John was telling that he had to pause so Dad could finish laughing), and then surprised Gaby at her bus stop (with Candy) and had a snack with the two of them before going back home for dinner with Min, Mom, and Dad.  Ate GIANT steaks (and my first Brussels sprout EVER), and then we (me, Min, and John) went out to meet Corey for a couple of beers.  Got the whole family in over the course of the day – it’s like collecting points.  We were out late-ish – went to bed around 1:30, but that made it a VERY long day.  Saturday was just as bad (worse?) for sleeping, but if I had slept more, I would have missed time at home.  Not acceptable.  Min came over early afternoon, and the five us played a very loud, very long, and very profane game of Ticket to Ride: Europe.  It was awesome.  Then some guitar-playing and singing (Corey and Christine were there by then), never to be missed, a delicious dinner, and several rounds of pool in the basement (I almost won one game) until around midnight.  Up before 6am to get back to the airport and THAT’S why I’m so tired.

We should have stopped at the store before we got home.  Silly me thought we’d go back out.  Don’t know what I was thinking.  We are in for the night.  At 2pm.  Since 11:30am, actually.