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Mini Monday: My First Mother’s Day

MothersDay

Here are the highlights from what will no doubt be the most relaxing, quietest mother’s day weekend I experience for quite awhile:

• Saturday I took a great prenatal yoga class with lots of other mamas-to-be. It was a wonderful practice and afterward I found myself relaxed and more in tune with the hippo.

• Bright and early yesterday morning my hubby gave me this sweet card (note the birds are made of actual feathers — it’s super cute) and my mom and dad had sent me a card too. It made my morning!

• The baby has apparently launched a VIP rave in utero. He’s been dancing around in there the past few nights in the wee hours of the morning (we can neither confirm nor deny that there are glow sticks involved…). Since I am awake anyway, it’s fun to feel him kick, punch, wiggle or whatever the heck he’s doing! He’s been so active the past two nights that my husband has really been able to feel him moving which was a fun Mother’s Day treat for both of us.

• We picked our first three strawberries yesterday. Whatever will I do with such a haul?!

• After church we strolled over to the local bakery and indulged — a coffee milkshake for my honey and an apple poptart and decaf iced mocha for me.

• Post-treat I took a nap and may have even gotten a little sleep! Yay!

• As a bonus treat, my husband gave me his free birthday drink at Dunkin Donuts, so I headed over there bright and early this morning to get a decaf iced mocha and a maple donut. The trek home surely burned off all the calories, right? At the very least, it helped lessen my case of the Mondays!

Mini Monday: Five Month Hiatus

April-14-Blog

Hi there! It’s me again. I know we haven’t connected this way since early December … sorry about that! I’m mulling over the list of things I should have been blogging about since then and it’s a good one. So here’s a rundown of what’s been going on and I am hoping with this mini post, I’ll get my blogging booty back in gear!

Since my last post:

• Our house renovation has been completed! And it looks amazing! We are just starting to get used to having (and using) our new space. It’s wonderful to have the extra light and a much more open feeling to our floor plan than we had before the remodel. It’s leading to some interesting projects … more on those in a future post!

• In other “addition” news, my hubby and I found out in January that we are expecting our first little one in September! I’m so grateful that, despite being tired and hungry, I haven’t had any morning sickness or complications so far. At the beginning of the pregnancy the baby was making me so hungry that we nicknamed him/her the hungry, hungry hippo. Hopefully tomorrow our little hippo cooperates and we will find out whether we are having a boy or a girl. I can’t wait to know!

• Okay so back to the house, the contractor’s portion of the work was completed in mid-March. Now we (and I use the term “we” loosely as it is mostly my husband) are still taking care of all the little things — re-arranging rooms, hanging art, putting things away, yard work. Thankfully we received A LOT of help from my amazing in-laws and my mom who were all visiting in March. Quite a few things got crossed off the to-do list during their time in DC — painting, cleaning, hanging new ceiling fans, the list goes on and on. Now it’s just the two of us plowing through what remains of the list, so thank goodness for weekends allowing us to continue making progress!

• After a terribly long winter (it snowed like crazy on March 30!!) spring has finally sprung in DC. While our yard was a total wreck because of the construction, the garden beds have been cleaned up and planted (with the exception of tomatoes and peppers) and we have flowers going in pots and planters, too. The other side of the yard is still in need of a lot of TLC. One thing at a time!

• We briefly escaped DC for a long weekend in Florida, in fact we managed to depart while it was snowing and returned just in time for yet another snow storm. It was great to catch up with the family and friends we visited in the Sarasota/Tampa area and I made a new friend while we were there — Cliff the Penguin!

 

Phew! I told you that we have had a lot going on! It may be a Monday, but I can still say I’m grateful to have ice cream in the freezer (hey, I’m pregnant, don’t judge my four different pints…okay, okay there are five…) and for being able to have the windows open while I work. Hope you are all having a great start to the week!

Mini Monday: Renovations #1

When things like “upgrading your heating system” start to excite you, you have clearly reached a different phase in life. As a little girl, fun gifts and trips to Disneyland got me all riled up. When my hubby and I got married, I was surprised that I could get excited about receiving place settings and water glasses (but I did). And here we are, upgrading our heating system and I am excited about improving our lovely (but old) space. Old Lady Annie, reporting for duty!

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Originally designed to run off of coal, our radiant heat has been running off the same monstrosity of a boiler since the house was built in 1936. This fuel oil beast, which seems to be about the same size as a bank vault, is a wee bit past its prime. Almost immediately after we moved into the house the thermostat stopped working, so since 2009 we have had to manually turn the heat off and on with a little switch that was installed by my husband and a friend. It basically jump started the system and has worked fine all these years, but with every flick, I said a little prayer that the whole boiler didn’t explode and take me with it.

Today the company that is replacing the system came and took away the asbesto shell that was around the core of the boiler (so what you see is actually smaller and taking up less room than it has all these years…). Tomorrow they will be back to remove this core and prepare to install the new system — a tankless, gas powered boiler that will be mounted on the wall like our energy efficient water heater (shown in the upper right hand corner of the image).

I can’t wait for this project to be completed so that we have a more efficient (and more functional system) in place for the winter, although it’s pretty hard to imagine it being cold right now. It’s also the unofficial kick off to our major renovation project which I am excited (and a little bit terrified) about. Many blogs about that will be coming soon, I’m sure!

Mini Monday: Whirlwind Weekend

We spent a long weekend California where we celebrated my birthday, America’s birthday and — the real reason behind our visit — a family wedding. Arriving late last Tuesday and heading back to DC even later last night, the past few days have been packed with family, food, and adventures.

We were able to spend the first few days in our hometown, catching up with our parents and extended family members. My parent’s dog, Bonnie, was particularly glad that my husband is back from Afghanistan. She just couldn’t get enough snuggles, despite the temperature topping more than 100 degrees when we were there.

The final 2.5 days of our visit we were in the Bay Area where we attended a rehearsal dinner, the wedding and a post-wedding breakfast. We also managed to wander on the beach in Half Moon Bay (where we saw some frolicking labs) and do some sightseeing in San Francisco. Despite how much was packed into 5ish days, everything went pretty smoothly.

sightseeing

The terrible plane crash at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday morning impacted our travel slightly, delaying our flight back to DC on Sunday evening about 2 hours, so instead of taking off at 11:30 pm we were on our way about 1:30 am. All things considered we had a safe flight and had nothing to complain about. This morning we were certainly rushing to get  ready and start our delayed work days though.

Not surprisingly, this afternoon I am pretty wiped out, but I wanted to share a few pictures from the wedding. The location, Kohl Manor, and all of the details were exquisite. From the bright flowers to the tasty desserts and unique cake toppers to the bride’s dress and the groom’s purple sneakers, it was obvious that the couple wanted to make sure the wedding reflected their personalities.

montage

As a special treat, the centerpiece at each table was given to the person whose birthday was the closest to the wedding day and since my birthday was on the wedding day, I was able to enjoy the pink and purple blooms interspersed with fragrant rosemary for an extra day (and I lugged the vase back to DC for future use). My hubby and I got a kick out of our trips to the photo booth and enjoyed our time on the dance floor, but most importantly the bride and groom were over the moon in love — who could ask for anything more?

Mini Monday: Reunion Weekend

As my faithful readers (i.e. my dad) know my husband has been working in Afghanistan since November 1. Thankfully he finished up his time in Kabul last week and returned to DC early Friday morning. The weekend was definitely a special one after all those months away. Highlights included:

• Seeing my hubby walk around champagnethe corner at the airport after clearing customs! I was so excited to give him a hug and a kiss for the first time in more than two months. It was the perfect way to start the day.

• Arriving home from the airport to see a friend had left B (and me) a welcome home bag containing a bottle of wine, some cheeses and prosciutto, crackers and some much needed croissants — it was about 8 am and we were starving. She thought we may not want to bother with running errands or cooking during the weekend, what a sweet friend!

• Walking to and from Eastern Market to enjoy some iced coffee and pastries outside our (okay, okay, my) favorite corner coffee shop. The weather was gorgeous Friday morning and being outside enjoying the sunshine and cool breeze (and chocolate muffin) was a wonderful way to spend our first morning together.

• Having a celebratory brunch at a local French restaurant that opened since B started his tour. The champagne came in these fun glasses and the food was delicious.

• Surprising B with a home improvement project (repainting the upstairs bathroom and hanging a piece of art). More on about this revamp later in the week.

• Just being together — relaxing, working around the house, cooking. It was so refreshing to be able to talk face to face!

Mini Monday: 15 Hours at Atatürk

Please enjoy this guest post from my beloved (and crazy) husband.

In order to spend an extra hour with my wife after she checked in, Istanbul_airportI decided I would just bum around the airport until my flight departed at 3 am. Here’s my record of what I did for 15 hours and 49 minutes at the Istanbul Atatürk Airport.

11:28 am Arrived at Istanbul Atatürk Airport

11:28-11:37 Tried to check-in and check luggage for my 3:05 am flight and found out I couldn’t check any bags until 10 pm at the earliest, but I could get a boarding card and accompany A to her gate

11:37-11:46 Cleared security and passport control

11:46-12:26 pm Sat with A just outside the additional security at her gate

12:26-12:32 Watched A go through additional security at her gate

12:32-12:38 Played cards (war) with A through the glass wall at her gate

12:38-12:42 Watched A board her flight

12:42-1:48 Perused the Duty Free: sampled 11 types of Turkish Delight and 2 types of Baklava

1:48-2:14 Surveyed the food and beverage options: was not impressed by Popeye’s or Sbarra or Burger King, but did identify cheapest vendor selling bottled water

2:14-2:22 Realized I didn’t need to lug my duffle around because they had little carts and found one

2:22-4:18 Found Gate 213 empty and napped with shoes off (to keep others away), watched a flight take off for London

4:18-5:36 Visited book store: read chapters from Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; Game of Groans (a parody); and Orhan Pamuk’s Museum of Innocence standing up; tried to find a Turkish Cuisine Cookbook in English (they had Spanish, Russion, Italian, French, Portuguese, Chinese, and Arabic, no English—though they had plenty of Western cookbooks in English…), read the recipe for ezme (our favorite Turkish meze) in French and think I get the general gist

5:36-6:01 Bought and consumed an Ayran (yogurt drink) and bottle of water

6:01-6:29 Checked various email accounts and confirmed my ride in Kabul

6:29-7:48 Went back to Gate 213 and read some Sherlock on my Kindle and watched a flight take off for Dubai

7:48-7:59 Read about the curative powers of apricots and the “miracle” hazelnut while snacking on them and watching the sunset

7:59-8:13 Walked from one end of the international terminal to the other in 765 paces and saw a large group of Muslim pilgrims heading to Jeddah all dressed in white

8:13-8:28 Walked it a second time in 768 paces

8:28-10:02 Bought a simit (sesame roll) and another bottle of water and did a little people-watching by the “bar scene”

10:02-10:37 Found a quiet place with no one around and listened to Adele because that’s what A was listening to last

10:37-10:44 Cleaning staff decide to have an argument three feet from me when there was no one around

10:44-11:09 Listened to Flight of the Concords because we had been discussing the “Rhymnocerous” song earlier and realized there was a pedometer on my iPod

11:09-11:54 Walked 1,704 steps according to my iPod, noticed my flight finally made it onto the departure boards (bottom of the third screen at 11:06)

11:54-11:56 Texted A “H is for…” after realizing there were exactly the same number of days to our anniversary as letters in “Happy Anniversary”

11:56-12:17 am Bought second simit, which was much chewier than the first

12:17-1:03 Settled down back at Gate 213 played logic puzzles on my kindle, watch a flight depart for Ercan (the Turkish part of Cyprus)

1:03-1:07 Checked the boards and found there was still no gate assignment with 2 hours to go until departure

1:07-1:11 Ironically noted my flight was leaving from Gate 213

1:11-1:12 Receive text from A that she had landed in the U.S.

1:12-1:20 Return to Gate 213 to find it the most crowded it had been all day/night

1:20-1:39 Wondered how long it will take A to clear passport control and customs

1:39-1:44 Called A and found out she already had cleared passport control and customs and met our friends who were picking her up

1:44-2:38 Read more Sherlock and glanced repeatedly at the deserted counter because we were supposed to board at 2:05

2:38-2:52 Boarded plane

3:17 am Departed Istanbul Atatürk Airport after 15 hours and 49 minutes

If you are wondering, 15 hours of loitering was totally worth the extra time with my honey muffin.

Where’s My Motivation?

gettoworkdemotivator

I was an actress in a past life and I always got a kick out of the “What’s my motivation” element of creating a character. Today as I sit at my desk writing a blog post at 2 pm I’m wondering where my motivation is — it certainly doesn’t seem to be here.

Just like any job, some days are easier than others. Today doesn’t appear to be one of those easy days. Not that anything is wrong, but I just can’t seem to find my work groove. And, of course, it isn’t a quiet day. With my vacation looming, there are plenty of projects I need to get wrapped up and I am running out of time.

Things I should be doing:
• Video editing
• Learning new Jazzercise routines
• Writing copy
• and Washing the dishes (okay this isn’t work related, but I totally need to do it)

Things I am doing:
• Writing this blog post
• Checking our Pepco account to see what the electric bill will be this month (clearly super important)
• Thinking about how much I have to do (but not doing it)

I’ve still got a few hours to turn the day around before teaching tonight, so we’ll see what I can get accomplished. Here’s hoping that the classic Despair.com demotivational poster I found can help me get it together!