Tag Archive | packing

Marhaba! Kalimera!


I’m back from my oversea adventure for 2013 — two weeks in Turkey and Greece for my hubby’s R&R — and I have so many things I want to post about from our time together… but I can’t get the 4,300* pictures my husband took off our fancy camera and will have to wait until I am in California and can use my parent’s card reader to review (and reduce) and share them.

Thankfully I have a handful of pictures from our smaller camera and the iPad available, but most of our travel stories must be put on hold for a few weeks.

While it’s always nice to go on vacation (particularly when you are seeing your husband for the first time in three months!!) it’s also lovely to be back home. But that’s another post entirely.

Marhaba: “hello” throughout the Middle East // Kalimera: “good morning” in Greek

* And yes, in 16 days my husband took 4,300 pictures. That doesn’t including the ones he already deleted from the camera.


Mini Monday: Free from the Funk

It’s been 53 days since B returned to work in Kabul and I have to admit that last week I was totally in a funk. I had a busy — but not crazy — workload (which is always a good mix) plus three dinner dates and a lunch date with wonderful friends and family to keep me distracted. Despite everyone’s best efforts, I was still feeling a bit glum.

Getting away to Tampa for a long weekend to visit my childhood best friend and her hubby was just what I needed to clear my head. I loved the sunshine, warm weather, wandering new cities with old friends, and the long talks we had accompanied by a nice glass of wine and delicious chocolates. Tomorrow it’s back to business as usual and I think I’m ready. It’s also back to wearing socks and shoes. I am definitely less excited about that part.

tampa summary

Mini-Monday: “It’s My (Pity) Party And I’ll Cry If I Want To”

I’ll admit that this post may not be mini, but the world’s smallest violin that I’ve been listening to recently is.

I found myself channeling Lesley Gore the past few days, because after a lovely holiday in California and the chance to spend 13 days with my husband, he headed back to Kabul on Thursday evening. Upon returning to DC we were able to spend pretty much every moment together cooking (and eating and re-stocking the freezer), watching movies (including Harry Potter 2–7 and Bottle Shock), and planning our next travel adventure to Turkey and Greece, so I had grown pretty accustomed to him being around him all the time. This opportunity to be together so much made it difficult to see him go, which for me was immediately followed by having to jump back into work mode and — just my luck — getting a cavity filled on Friday.

This time around it seemed much harder to say goodbye than in November. Maybe it was because we weren’t super frazzled making sure he’d packed everything he could possibly need or because I wasn’t heading to California the same day or because we will be apart for longer during this phase. In fact, it was likely a combination of all these things that caused me to shed a few tears on Thursday and Friday.

But now it’s time to buck up and get back into my groove. After nearly three weeks of not working my regular Monday through Friday schedule, I started easing back in on Friday. Thank goodness I had that dental appointment to break up my day. Not.

So I’ll admit, I’ve had a few days of moping, but I promise I’m putting away the world’s smallest violin. Here’s to a busy, productive, and sunshine-filled Monday!

Wrapping It Up (with Rapaport): The 2012 Edition


My holiday centerpiece — a tiny tree, an Icelandic wool sweater for the wine (because everyone needs this), and a few wintery candles.

When I was in college I wrote a weekly sports column (yes, the singing theatre major, history minor, never-played-a-sport-in-my-life girl wrote a sports column … and people liked it, I swear!).  The name of it — Wrapping It Up With Rapaport — struck me with some inspiration while contemplating the end of 2012.

As December 31 approaches there are so many things to “wrap up” — gifts, projects I’d like completed before 2013 (before I start my vacation really), and household chores to make sure I’ll be able to come back to a clean house in a few weeks.

Along with all these things, I though it was a good time to take a quick look back at my resolutions for 2012 to see how I’ve done during the past 12 months. Here’s an update:

Exercise: I had written that my hope was to attend my Jazzercise class as often as possible and continue my morning routine of walking to get in better shape without giving up all the foods I love. I’d say that I achieved this goal in a way I didn’t even imagine last January — by becoming a certified Jazzercise instructor during the summer. On top of regularly attending class, I have also been teaching between 4–8 times per month and can tell I am in better shape than I was during 2011. My regular walking routine hasn’t been kept up as well as it should, but my walking companion and I are both committed to getting into a better routine come 2013.

Food: As 2012 began, my hubby and I were hoping for a healthier year both in terms of exercise and eating. I switched to organic milk and tend to buy all our fish, meat and chicken from the vendors at Eastern Market where it is a bit more expensive, but also free from hormones. Plus I can get exactly what I want (although they do look at me like I am a little bit crazy when I get a third of a pound of ground meat).

In terms of veggies we didn’t do the CSA weekly box this year, but we did have more of our own veggies thanks to our backyard garden. While it wasn’t as prosperous of a harvest as I am sure is possible given the space, I learned some valuable lessons — like don’t plant 13 tomato seedlings and then refuse to thin them — that should help 2013 provide a more bountiful harvest. On top of this being the first year of navigating the garden in our own raised beds, being gone for 2 weeks of July and 2 weeks of August didn’t help. I am pretty sure we will be spending much of next summer stuck in DC, so that should help improve our luck.

Don’t Obsess About Weight: This one has definitely been the hardest to succeed at during 2012. I do my best not to be concerned with the number that pops up on the scale (and since I’ve been teaching Jazzercise it certainly has been, what I would consider, better), but even on days when I find that I am not as happy with what I see I remind myself that it isn’t the number, it’s the way my clothes fit that counts. I will do my best to continue this in 2013 and, hopefully, learn to let go of my concern for that silly number!

Now that I’ve wrapped up my resolution re-cap, it’s time to wrap up projects for the year and get ready for the craziness of the holiday season. I’ll head to California where I will spend my days visiting with old friends and family members, attending 4 different holiday dinners, exchanging gifts with loved ones, and just enjoying being “home.”

4th Anniversary

Four years ago today my husband and I said “I do.” Although we relocated almost immediately to Washington, DC, we are en route to California for the weekend. The reason behind our trip is to attend the wedding of a childhood friend who sang during our ceremony. By the way, this is wedding #5 for the year, in case you are keeping track.

But it isn’t all for him.

Despite having to get up early and travel on our anniversary, it will all be worth it since it means spending our special day in San Francisco. If all goes according to plan (we haven’t had a lot of luck with that when it comes to flying recently), we’ll be walking through the city by noon and—hopefully—enjoying a sunny, clear city day.  I can’t wait to see our accommodations at the French B&B my husband picked out and have a romantic dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant.

After a lazy Friday morning in the city, we’ll spend the rest of the weekend visiting with family and friends. It seems like the perfect reminder of how this weekend felt four years ago when we had the chance to gather 160 of the closest people in our lives together in one space. I couldn’t ask for a more special weekend.

Piles Galore

It seems that everywhere I look, our house is filled with piles. Piles of empty boxes (and full boxes), mail, newspapers that haven’t been recycled, coats — basically if you can name it, we probably have a pile of it somewhere. I feel like no matter how often I try to attack the clutter, there is no end in sight.

There are a few key factors in the pile problem that I know need to be eliminated, but where’s a girl to find the time?

Boxes that have not been unpacked since we moved into our house. Now there are only a few of these, but they still take up room. And since we cleaned the craft room they are now living in my office. Every time I look over my left shoulder it appears that the closet has thrown up thanks to all of the things in front of it. You might think that since these boxes have remained untouched for the past year and a half they could just be tossed out. I am starting to agree that this may very well be the best solution!

Old Books. When our things from California were delivered here in May, we determined that we did indeed have too many books (something that no one in California managed to convince us of). A 2003 political science overview book doesn’t need to be kept around “just in case.” Same goes for a case study about the way of life in a small town in France in 1647. They just are not going to be pertinent again. So we set aside four boxes of books to donate to the library. That was in May 2010. It’s January 2011 and those boxes remain next to my desk where I think they might spend eternity. The benefit is that they make a nice flat surface for us to pile more things on top of. Er, wait, never mind…

Bags of clothing to donate. It’s been at least a year since I did a sweep of my closet and pulled out three large bags worth of clothes to donate to the Goodwill or Salvation Army. It took another 6 or 7 months before I inventoried the items (which I finally did, thank you very much), yet the clothes remain in the corner of our bedroom where they are helping no one and driving me crazy. Maybe this will be the week that I finally get those items donated and free up a few feet of floor space!


The garden plot has been (sort of) weeded and watered. We’re (mostly) packed. The house is (relatively) clean.

It’s been a busy day as we try to tidy up and wrap-up some projects around the house while my father-in-law is here to help. This last minute push to get big projects taken care of means my husband and FIL are currently installing a ceiling fan, a task that has filled the living room with hunks of plaster and dust (hence the “relatively” clean comment). But it will be such a treat to have a ceiling fan on the main level of the house when we return. It’s already over 90 and so humid, I can’t imagine what the weather will be like a bit later in the month.

But for now I am signing off until I have news about a wedding, a luau and evening drinks on the lanai to share.