Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Brush 'Em

Part of our morning routine. There is usually more brushing and less "uh oh-ing," but I can't help posting.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Confessions

Confession One:

The raspberries in the office fridge that are growing mold might be mine. I don’t throw them out because they might not be mine and I wouldn’t want to throw someone else’s food away. Even if it had mold on it. Because you never know if someone is experimenting with fermentation.

Confession Two:

I think I’m getting more and more socially awkward as time goes one. Earlier this week I thanked a person as I held open the door for him? Was I thanking him for allowing me to hold open the door for him? Did he think I was making a snarky comment about what he should have been saying to me? Is that what I was doing? These are the questions I asked myself for thirty minutes after I got back to my desk.

Confession Three:

After not getting my eyes checked out for three years, I can now definitively say that it is worse than going to the dentist. The series of tests they put you through are so uncomfortable, the horrible anticipation of knowing a puff of air is coming at your pupil soon, staring into bright machines to hit a button when you see a squiggly mark. Turns out I put eye technicians up there on the list of authority figures in my mind because suddenly I’m worried that I’m not passing the test and I think I missed that one squiggly, should I hit the button now to indicate anyway…or will they think I’m seeing things that aren’t there? Maybe I should tell her that I know I missed one, so she knows I know she knows? Or ask for a do-over because I know that wasn’t my best effort?

I guess what I can take from all of these confessions is that I have an anxiety disorder of some kind and/or should stop consuming caffeine.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Happy Birthday, Michael!

A very happy birthday to my own personal dreamboat Michael today! 

I've heard that the 32nd year is marked by an increased love of golf and tolerance of giving hair tickles!

May your next year be filled with as much love as this one. I love you.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sunset Sail

One of my favorite memories from our trip to Delaware was the boat ride we took on our first evening there. One of my parents' friends, Tom, took the whole family out on his boat so we could catch the sunset at sea. 

When first cruising down the canal toward the open bay, you have to go slow (a no wake zone), and I loved it. I sat on the edge of the boat and dipped my toes into the chilly water. Cracked open a beer. Pointed out different things to June.

We bought a little life vest and made her wear it the whole time. I'm sure it wasn't the most comfortable thing for her, but I wasn't taking any chances.

Is there any better feeling that sitting at the bow of boat as it speeds through the water, nothing in front of you but water?

We slowed down again to watch all of the dolphins swimming around us. There were so many! And we got to get pretty close. June was so excited pointing to them and making excited noises.

Tom, my Dad and Michael, each of whom took a turn behind the wheel. (The wheel? The...mast? The steering column?) I asked Tom if we should call him "Captain" or "Cappy" and it sort of stuck. So when we saw Tom later that week, we asked June where Cappy was and she pointed right to Tom. It was adorable and I think Tom really liked it.

Such a wonderful, relaxing, amazing evening. A really great start to our trip.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Thought Catalog

Yesterday I was published on ThoughtCatalog.com for the first time!

I submitted an article defending people who marry at a young(ish) age after reading a few recent articles by people saying they didn't understand why people their age were getting married and having kids. They outlined all the fun they were having being single and on the prowl, partying every night and being free from any expectations.

While I understand their view, I also had a rebuttal. I typed it out and sent it over and heard back within 24 hours.

So here it is, if you'd like to read:

In Defense of Marrying Young

Take a look through the comments section if you're brave (as of right now there are 90). Comments are - as I expected - mixed, but at the end of the day, it makes me happy that so many people had something to say on the issue.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 13, 2012

One Night in Flag

When I was assigned to head to Flagstaff for an overnight work trip, I have to admit that I got a little more excited than would be considered normal. Was there work to be done? Sure. Would most of my time be spent indoors in front of computers? Yeah. But I was so glad to get back to Flag. The weather, the culture, the campus I belonged to for two years.

So every moment that I wasn't at work, I was outside walking around campus or the little downtown and parks. Just to simply be outside was a pleasure when you normally can't spend more than 10 minutes outdoors without succumbing to heat exhaustion. At one point I even felt a bit chilly...I know.

I mean, you all know me by now. You must know how I felt. I was sitting outside with an overcast sky overhead. Live music was playing - some mix of folk and blue grass - and I was watching little kids dance and enjoy without the responsibility of making sure they didn't fall down the steps. I treated myself to a peanut butter bucket from a little local sweet shop and then melted into the pavement from sheer contentedness.

I had breakfast at a cute local place called Macy's the next morning before I was due in the office. I am apparently not quite granola enough for Flag because I was shunned for even asking if they had vanilla syrup. Not wanting to further shame myself, I took my coffee and scone and walked around NAU campus. 

I just have very strong feelings about red stone buildings. Positive feelings.

At the end of the day, was my business trip successful, beneficial? Sure. But I think what we all really took from the experience was that Michael, June and I need to go there stat this summer. STAT.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

One Morning in Philly

We scheduled our flight east for June's bedtime, which was great for convenience (she slept for two hours or so) but meant that we got into Philadelphia at midnight local time. We planned on staying the night in a hotel and spending half a day in Philly exploring the city. Neither of us had seen Philadephia and now was our short chance!

I recently finished reading a book by Jeff Schaara called Rise to Rebellion. It's historical fiction based in fact and it deals with the drama leading up to the Revolutionary War. It was perfect timing because a lot of the book takes place in the Continental Congress(es) that was located in Philadelphia and now I'd get a chance to see the places I'd read about.

It included Independence Hall, which is where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed. 

My cousin Eric goes to school in Philly and he met us for a tour of the building.
The ground floor of the building (the only part we toured) wasn't very big, although our tour guide said that it was the second largest building in the colonies at the time of its construction. It mainly consisted of the Supreme Court Room:

And the Assembly Room. This is where the Declaration and the Constitution were both debated and signed! As nerdy as it may seem, I definitely got the chills from being inside this room.

We walked past the Declaration House, which I'd also read about in Rise to Rebellion. It was on the second floor of this house that Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration, and that the five-person committee (including John Adams and Ben Franklin) met to edit and revise it.

All that history worked up an appetite, so we headed to the Reading Terminal Market to get some food. It was a large indoor market with all kinds of food being prepared and sold.

We, of course, got cheesesteaks. (Don't mind that it appears to be more steak than cheese... the cheese was more wedged on the other side of the sandwich.)

And we finished off the afternoon with some Bassett ice cream. This little spot has been featured on the Food Network so we had to give it a try. It was the first of many ice cream spots that were sampled on our trip, and it was certainly appreciated on such a warm day. 

We said good bye to Eric, packed up the car and started the 2-hour drive to Delaware for the real beginning to our trip.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Fourth

We spent the 4th of July in the first town in the first state, which in and of itself is pretty cool. We dressed June in her 4th outfit and headed down to the ferry dock to have lunch and watch the ferries come and go. 

During June's nap, Michael and I headed across the canal to grab a drink on the water. 

Then it was on to the Doo Dah Parade! To me, it was the perfect 4th setting - good, clean, hometown fun and festivities. I'm pretty sure June never quite understood what was going on. She was too busy staring at the cars and people with wide eyes to wave back. Still, it was a great time. 

We had a quiet night in. For dessert I made a cake to celebrate a late Father's Day.

We didn't know if June would stay up late enough to watch the fireworks but she did! We headed out to the deck and observed. It was really cool because we could see 6 or 7 different private displays of fireworks all up and down Lewes beach. Since some were far off, they weren't loud enough to scare the Bug. It was just a really beautiful display of light.

I hope you all had a great Independence Day!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Toddler Travel Tips

I was pretty nervous about taking our extra squirmy, very active 15 month-old on a 4 hour flight. Two four hour flights, really.

Things went really well. She napped on each flight, she played with the toys, read books, took walks up and down the aisle with us.

So with that, I'd like to give some travel tips that I've learned or implemented.

  • Exercise that babe. Get there early enough that you can walk her around, or, as in my case, run her up and down the people movers 8 times until you are out of breath and needing a reliever. 
  • Snacks. Snacks snacks snacks. Bring snacks.
  • Schedule your flight around bedtimes and nap times. Maximize the chance that she will sleep. If your baby - like mine - won't fall asleep just sitting on your lap, bring a carrier (Ergo, for me) that she will sleep in.
  • Airline magazines have a lot of interesting pictures in them. "Do you see the puppy?" "Can you point to the man-version of Spanx?"
  • Don't get annoyed if not everyone is thrilled to be seated next to a child. One woman changed seats after we sat down in the row in front of her. It's hard not to take it personally but it's a them-issue and they're welcome to want a kid-free flight. Just like you're welcome to feel a bit smug when you hear a baby crying from her area of the plane while yours sleeps silently in an Ergo while you watch Casino on your husband's tablet. 
  • Bulkhead it up. This is personal preference obviously, but I wanted a bulkhead and we got it on our flight home. No, you can't keep your bags under the seat in front of you during takeoff and landing, but the extra legroom is awesome. When June was extra active, she was able to play with toys, climb around our outstretched legs and generally hang out in the extra 3 feet of space we had. 
  • Pray like hell no one sits in your row. Our flight home was the perfect situation: bulkhead with no one next to us. 

Why must airport carpet be so airporty?

I'm not sure how it could have gone any better. I guess June could have napped more on the ride home, but she was awake and mostly happy. We were able to keep her entertained with a combination of toys I made and also crackers. Always crackers. More crackers.  

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Crab Shack

Thursday night's all-you-can-eat crab dinner had some highs and lows...it was truly a microcosm of the world in general. The glory of pulling a big chunk of meat out, the pain of getting the Old Bay spice mix in the cut on your thumb from crab shell shrapnel, the denial you experience when briefly considering the green gooey substance vaguely referred to as "mustard" but that is actually crab guts.

After an afternoon at the pool of some friends (with some playdates/future husband for June!), we headed over to The Surfing Crab for some coastal grub.
(Madeline, June and Ben lounging post-swim.)

Holding 3 month old baby Madeline incited Baby Fever in me and some jealousy in June. Eating dinner with children in tow is always a different ball game, but it was especially fun in this environment that was so casual and loud.

Besides, I think that, with all the crab-cracking advice being shouted down the table, we adults were probably louder than the kids.