Monday, April 30, 2012

Hello from Holland

For those of you that don't already follow me on instagram, here's a taste of the wonders of the kuekenhof from earlier today. It's a beautiful 70 degrees today with clear, sunny skies and the most beautiful canals and tulips you could ever dream of. I am in heaven.

Friday, April 27, 2012

More saving, more doing, more dirt in our car.

When spring hits each year, you can count on the fact that Blake and I will be up at the Home Depot every Saturday morning scouting out new flowers and shrubs, and waiting in the mulch line.  Home Depot is great in the spring.  There's a DJ playin' rasta music in the garden section and the flowers are plentiful and gorgeous.  All of this plus some grungy, dirt-covered clothes, and you've got yourself a party.

I've started to see that there would be advantages to owning a truck...  other than the very obvious disadvantage that you come across when you're Mormon and own a truck: getting called every weekend to move someone in our out or go to a scout camp-out. 

So for the time being, we'll remain selfish with our vehicle choice and will continue to deal with the dirt in our trunk that comes with all of our Home Depot outings.

Owning a home and having a yard is hard work.  It's a full-time job on the weekends to keep the place cleaned up, weed free, and looking presentable.  But I will say this: it's so worth it. 

I've been spending a few minutes out on the patio when I get home each afternoon, enjoying the great weather we've been having.  I get to breath in the smell of the lilacs, and be surrounded by these beautiful azaleas and other products of our hard work.  It's heaven. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

More laughs, better beer.

I love the Staff Awards Day. 

It's like Pretzel Day on The Office.  I look forward to it all year.

There are drinks, heaps of food, and copious amounts of junk food.  This year there was an ice cream station with all sorts of toppings.  I was in heaven.  After feeling jipped for an hour (I only got one scoop from the stingy female scooper) I made my way back into line and got a healthy bowl full from the less-stingy male scooper.  I'm now feeling uncomfortably full in my high-waisted trousers, but am enjoying pleasantly drowsy effect of eating so much heavy food.

What's that you say, Blake?  We're on a no-sweets-on-weekdays diet?  Oh yeah.  I forgot.  Well, no, I lied just then.  I didn't forget.  I just set it aside for Staff Awards Day.  It's absolutely essential.

I didn't win an award this year like I did last year, but I greatly enjoyed myself at the ceremony nonetheless.  Actually, I enjoyed myself much more this year because I didn't have the awkward honor of standing up on the stage with the Dean while he read a citation of my achievements.  (As an aside, last year went a little something like this: the color and temperature radiating from my face increased as the seconds wore on.  By the time they took the picture of me shaking the Dean's hand, I was a red, sweaty mess.  I'm so glad that the photo got lost before they could send it to me.  I do not need a permanent pictorial reminder of that moment.)

Some of my favorite people (including a couple of my office colleagues) won much-deserved awards.  I love the culture at Georgetown.  People whoop, scream, cheer and hold up signs for their office-mates.  There are jokes, photos, and laughter.  Like I said, I look forward to it every year.

Each year the staff selects a member of the full-time faculty, who, in the words of the Dean, "Is the most tolerable or pleasant to work with. "  (Insert ballroom of laughing, whooping, staff members).  This year the JD Associate Dean, Julie, won.  And rightly so.  She's great.  And, if you needed proof, she emphasized in her acceptance speech that her slogan is "more laughs, better beer."

Good words to live by.*

(*Insert the word "root" before beer if you are, like I am, a teetotaler.)

Monday, April 23, 2012


Sigh.  Nothing beats a weekend. 

Blake and I spent Saturday evening at our favorite pizza joint with Blake's parents and enjoyed our fourth Nutelloco in a week's time.  The staff there is starting to recognize us.  I'm not sure whether to be proud of this fact or embarrassed.

We also watched an edited copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  I guess because I've read the books and knew what was coming, it was even harder to watch.  I had so much anxiety that I couldn't stop fidgeting - which drove Blake absolutely crazy.  It was a good movie, but probably not one I'll be watching again soon.  Violence against women (even implied/edited out) is just so hard to stomach.

I'm really hating the fact that my body gets used to waking up early every day and then I'm unable to sleep in much on Saturdays.  Both of us were wide awake and ready to go at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday.  So unfair. 

The Weather Channel had been confirming for us all week that Saturday was going to be miserable weather-wise and that we should plan on rain all weekend.  Much to our surprise, it was 80 degrees and sunny all day on Saturday.  We took advantage by spending a large portion of the day outside in the yard.  We mowed, we edged, we mulched, we weeded, we de-vined, we pruned, we swept, we conquered.  

I realized that I may have overdone it with the yard work on Saturday when I woke up Sunday morning with a completely stuffy nose, scratchy throat and puffy eyes and swollen eyelids.  Combine that with an extremely grey, rainy day and you've got the perfect excuse to stay inside all day napping and watching movies and re-runs of Celebrity House Hunters. 

Thankfully, I'm feeling loads better today and my eyelids have returned to a normal size.  And even though it's Monday, I'm still in a great mood because come Friday I'll be heading here: 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

DC Excitement!

It's been an exciting week so far (and it's only Wednesday!).

The Space Shuttle Discovery took a hour-long tour around DC yesterday and it flew right over my office.  I saw it out my window, but was too busy staring to grab my phone and snap a photo.  Lucky for me, Blake was a couple blocks away on the roof balcony of his office and he snagged this great shot.

It's not every day that the space shuttle makes the rounds in your neighborhood. 

Yesterday we also had our air ducts cleaned at home.  Oh the joys of home ownership.  It ended up costing a lot more than I expected it to.  On the list of things I'd like to spend a heap of money on, this falls toward the bottom.. somewhere between having to replace the plumbing and social security taxes.  So, it doesn't fall under the "exciting" category, but it does fall under the "unexpected/surprising category," which is "exciting's" distant cousin, right?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Our best friend Pacci

I made it through my big deadline at work and feel like the weight of the world is finally off my shoulders.

To celebrate, Blake and I ventured down the road a bit to try Pacci's Pizzeria.  I'd heard rave reviews, and we love Pacci's Trattoria so much that we're there on a weekly basis, so we figured we'd better give the sister restaurant a try. 

It was incredible.  Fellow Washingtonians may think I blashpheme when I say it's better than 2Amys, but it's absolutely true.  It blows 2Amys out of the water.  Try it.  I'm sure you won't disagree.

I'd like to tell you that Blake and I only got the dessert pizza shown below (which, by the way, was shockingly good.  Like died-and-gone-to-foody-heaven good.)  But alas, I would be lying.  Between the two of us we shared a La Diavolo and a a Mast'Nicola and the Nutelloco you see below. 

I may have been painfully full, I may have felt a little sick, but I wasn't (and still am not) ashamed at my gluttony.  It was a celebration and it was so worth it.

Monday, April 9, 2012


We had a wonderful Easter weekend.  One of the benefits of working for a Catholic school is that I'm given Good Friday off.  So, while the rest of the work force continues to slave away, I get to enjoy the beautiful spring weather and reap the benefits of errand-running without the long lines typical of other government-given holidays.

Blake got to flex on Friday, so we took advantage of the glorious weather, cheap hotel prices, and collective wanderlust and drove the 2.5 hours up to Philadelphia. 

We snagged a great deal on the waterfront Hyatt and had a great view of the water and the city.  It was my first time in Philadelphia and it did not disappoint.

I guess I'm just used to weekend trips up to New York.  And, no matter how much fun New York is, we're always a little stressed, a little tired, and a little grungy the whole time.  Philadelphia, on the other hand, was easy-going, low-stress, easy to navigate, clean...the list goes on and on.  We have a few friends who've lived there that always refer to it as  "Filth-adelphia," so maybe I wasn't expecting much, but I am now a Philly convert.

We had a wonderful time seeing the sites, walking around the old city, eating Philly cheese steaks (whiz wit, thank you very much), running the rocky steps at the museum of art, and stuffing ourselves with food from fun cafes and ice cream shops.

Thank you, Philadelphia, for a perfect weekend.  We didn't want to come home.

 Our hotel had a great view of the water and the city.  It was also only about a 10 minute walk from Independence Hall and the Old City.

 Seeing the Liberty Bell has been on my "must see" list for far too many years now.  I love being reminded of the history of our country.  I don't know if I should admit this, but I was moved to tears more than a few times listening to the guides talk about our founding fathers as we toured Independence Hall and the West Hall. 

 The Old City was so beautiful.  We spent a large portion of our time wandering around the cobblestoned streets and taking pictures of the beautiful landscaping and quaint architecture.  I can never get enough of arbours, climbing vines and red brick.

Blake conquered the "Rocky Steps" at the Museum of Art.  Not only that, but he also was quite a champ for navigating throughout the trip and doing all the driving.  All-in-all it was a pretty easy city to navigate, but with my lack of parallel parking skills, I never could have survived it.