Friday, December 24, 2010

'twas the night

i just finished packing my suitcase and ate the last piece of chocolate out of my advent calendar. to quote the grinch, "tomorrow is christmas! it's practically here!"

i feel like christmas sprang upon me this year in a way it hasn't in the past, but i have still enjoyed this month leading up to the happiest of holidays, and i hope you have, too.

i spent a lot of time making things, which was a first for me, including a wreath for our door, stockings for our banister, and approximately 3 tons of candy.

AWD took me to see the ice sculptures at the national harbor, which i always love. this year the theme of the display was "how the grinch stole christmas." AWD didn't gloat that he could go down the ice slide so much faster than me, and i didn't gloat that i can recite the first quarter of the aforementioned book by memory. so a good time was had by all.

and then my girl KJ came to town! we spent 2.5 seconds looking at the capitol christmas tree before freezing nearly to death, and spent the rest of our hours together eating pizza and drinking hot chocolate and talking, talking, talking. old friends are a gift any time of the year.

and then, of course, there was "it's a wonderful life" in all its glory on the big screen (everyone cried) and a christmas tree and jazz at the national botanical gardens. they even had notable d.c. buildings made out of some magical combination of seeds and husks and stems. it was so warm and cozy and festive in there. in other words, perfect.

EH and i went and got our toenails painted christmas red and had our roommate christmas a few nights ago, AWD stashed presents all over my house last night, just like a real santa, and now i am just counting the minutes until i leave for home. a week of family and movies and laughing and loving sounds just about right to me.

safe and healthy and happy holidays to you, all my dears. see you next year.

Friday, December 10, 2010

light me up

we went to the temple on wednesday, EH, alyce and i, and it was just wonderful as the temple always is. though this time it was extra wonderful because the christmas lights are up.

these pictures are not wonderful, but i think you get the idea.

just blissful. freezing outside and blissful.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

word of mouth

the news i have to share today did not happen today, but it has not been announced on the internet and it deserves to be.

it is this.

i finally beat miss angela in a game of "words with friends."

it has been a long time coming and i am pretty proud of it.

the end.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

taking sides

sometimes, in order to provide a concise summation of my current situation, i say that i am either winning or losing at life.

examples of winning at life include getting $118 shoes for $35 (thanks, laura!) or getting to work on time and with all the keys, papers and laptops you need (maybe some day).

examples of losing at life include buying everything at the grocery store except for toilet paper, when that is the one thing you really needed.

mostly it's just a funny thing to say. but over the past couple of days, as i've watched some people i really love have to do some really hard things, i have been thinking about how it's not always just a funny thing to say. sometimes it really truly and honestly feels like life is getting the better of you. which is not a great feeling at all.

and so, over the past couple of days i have also been thinking about this line from "the messiah." it stuck out to me when i heard it sung on saturday, and it has been stuck with me ever since.

if god be for us, who can be against us.

for as much as we feel that we are falling behind, not living up, failing to cope or losing at life, with a loving heavenly father on our side i believe we will always win in the end. in fact, we are probably winning even when we feel like we are losing. because my answer to this question is simple: if god is for us, then no one and nothing can stand against us. at least not for long.

which is not to say that people will not disappoint us, that our parents will never get sick or that our expectations will always be met or that our decisions will always be easy or that we will always get exactly what we want exactly when we want it and live happily ever after the end.

but it is to say that we can come out triumphant on the other end of all of those things, which is pretty much the greatest feeling of all. wouldn't you say?

Monday, December 6, 2010

simply having

i do not recommend visiting the craft store on a saturday just a few weeks before christmas. unless, of course, you are looking for something to push you over the brink into totally insanity. other than my ill-advised trip to michael's, though, i totally recommend spending your weekend the same way i did.

like baking gingerbread cookies with my new ninja cookie cutters. delicious and skilled in the art of stealth.

and also like listening to a performance of "the messiah" at the national cathedral. talk about a gorgeous piece of music in a gorgeous building. it was a perfect way to celebrate the real meaning of the season.

and, check this out. we have a christmas tree! and it is white and it is wonderful!

my dream of a silver christmas tree was slightly modified, but we really love this white one. plus, it has some silver tinsel on it. and big, colorful ornaments. and even some gold butterflies. and we turn it on every night and bask in its christmas glow. i might not ever take it down. fair warning.

now i just have a stack of fabric to turn into stockings and a bunch of skeins of yarn to turn into a wreath and we'll be ready!

and, the good times continued today. liz and i hit up the holiday market on F street, where we stayed for approximately three seconds before we were frozen to our bones, but luckily that was enough time for a bag of freshly made mini-donuts. and then we grabbed some dinner at ella's pizza. doesn't have anything to do with christmas, but it sure was delicious.

and a happy monday to you!

Friday, December 3, 2010


if you want to maintain the holiday spirit and your love of thoughtful gift-giving, do not read this article. i mean, it's interesting stuff, but it is also totally depressing. and, i think, sort of untrue. i love getting, and giving gifts even if it is economically inefficient. so there.

if you want to laugh out loud and wish that you were surrounded by hilarious children all the time (is it just me?) by all means read this piece about letters from kids to michelle obama. a few of my favorites:

Dear Michelle Obama,
I think your husband should legalize immigration. Please put a statue of me in Echo Park. Thank you. J.K. No, really. I want a tuxedo on the statue.
— ANDRES ORTEGA, age 11, Los Angeles

Dear Michelle Obama,
Hi, we are 10 and 9 years old. We live in Boston. We hope you send letters back to us.
I think that you should shut down cigarette and liquor companies and try to keep drugs off the streets. Robots may be able to help you. We all appreciate your hard work to make America better.
— AIDAN SHEILL-LOOMIS, age 9, and NICOLAS ALLEN, age 10, Boston

i think those kids are really onto something with the robot suggestion.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


all year EH and i have been saying that we feel about three months behind. and wouldn't you know it but here it is december 2nd and the year is just about over. what in the world?

maybe it's the three-months-off thing, or maybe it's the fact that it was 60 degrees earlier this week and there are still leaves on the trees for crying out loud, but the christmas spirit has been a little slow coming around. i can't believe i am going to say this out loud on the internet, but a little snow might help.

but, since i don't control the weather (and since i will hate the snow literally the moment it starts to fall) here are some other plans to bring in the holiday cheer.

for starters (and this one is sort of cheating because it already happened), AWD and i saw the joffrey ballet perform "the nutcracker" at the kennedy center last weekend. nothing starts the holiday season off like "the nutcracker," if i do say so myself. it was a completely gorgeous production, and the grand paus de deux with the sugar plum fairy and the nutcracker prince made me cry. just saying.

numero dos. my mom sent me an advent calendar (only 24 chocolate days until christmas!) and the "glee" christmas album. i am very happy about both of these things.

three. i am going to decorate the house this weekend. i decided i wanted a silver christmas tree this year (if you are going faux, why not also go funky, right?) and i am going to sew us some stockings and maybe make this wreath. i really like having a house decorated for christmas.

fourthly. the office secret santa extravaganza starts next week. all i have to say about that is, if i am your secret santa you should be really, really happy. if i am not your secret santa, you should be really, really jealous.

fiver. lots of cookies and hot chocolate. and maybe some christmas movies. we currently have a TV on loan at our house, so we might as well take advantage of it. right? right.

sixthly, there are all kinds of awesome christmas things going on around d.c. and i fully intend to not whimp out about the increasingly cold weather and take advantage of as many as i can. this includes nightly prayers that aunt joyce will invite me to see the white house christmas decorations again this year. (aunt joyce, do you read my blog?)

what are you doing to spread the holiday cheer?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

harvest home

we had a simply lovely thanksgiving here, and i hope you did as well.

EH and i (mostly EH though, lets be honest) managed to pull of an honest-to-goodness thanksgiving feast. we even cooked a turkey all by our little selves. and there was stuffing and pies and macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts with bacon and grilled apples and homemade ice cream. plus a gorgeous table and a house filled with people i love. which was most definitely the very best part.

when we were done eating ourselves silly, we went around the table and each said something we were thankful for. and i don't think it's fair that you should miss out, just because you weren't here, so i am going to tell you what i am thankful for, too.

it is this.

right now, at this very moment, there is not one thing about my life that i would change.

and for a person who worries, oh, let's say all the time, this is no small thing. for the first time in a long time i am not consumed with wondering what is going to happen next and how i am going to get myself there. i don't wake up in the morning feeling panicked about whether i am in the right place, doing the right things to move myself to the next right phase.

instead i wake up every morning in a house i love, and drive to a job i enjoy and feel good at, and then come home and spend time doing things i like with people i adore. i don't feel complacent, but i feel content and at peace with the choices i have made and the place they have brought me.

and that is something to be thankful for, indeed.

(i am also thankful for days' and days' worth of delicious leftovers, which you are welcome to come and share with me any time. seriously. please?)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

three strikes, that's a turkey

last night EH and i went to the grocery to get everything we need for thanksgiving dinner. this was a lot of things, but we pretty much found them all, so you just rest your pretty little heads about that.

when we went to check out, we decided to just sort of divide the goods up so what she payed and what i payed were roughly even. and get this. we got it within $2.

two dollars!

(i want my two dollars!)

if that is not a thanksgiving miracle, then i guess i don't believe in thanksgiving miracles at all.

add to that the fact that i saved $16 (sixteen dollars!) using my "very important customer" card, which represents more than half of my savings using said card for this whole year (the WHOLE year), and i think we can all agree that it was a highly productive trip to the grocery.

then today i went to the library and checked out every "friends" DVD they had so we can watch all the thanksgiving episodes. it is going to be epic. and hilarious. but don't be jeal. i bet your thanksgiving is going to be awesome, too.

Monday, November 22, 2010

working for the weekend

my weekend started at approximately 12:01 on thursday night/friday morning, as i nestled into my movie theater seat for the midnight screening of harry potter. thanks to a very strict nap and caffeine dosage schedule, AWD and i stayed awake the whole time. i consider this a major accomplishment.

friday was empanadas and cupcakes for dinner with a side of surprise visitors (my favorite!) and saturday was a whirlwind of brunch for kellee's birthday, a capitol tour with uncle bob, dinner and a movie. sunday was an even bigger whirlwind of 16 favorite cousins in town.

i sort of feel like i need a nap.

i would tell you the heart-stopping details of how uncle bob almost didn't make it to the capitol tour (my heart, at least, felt like it might stop), but i think he might be a little embarassed about that, so instead i will tell you the origin of the phrase "red tape." as in bureacratic red tape. or cutting through the red tape. which is probably a more interesting story anyway.

in the basement of the capitol there is a room called the folding room. this is the room where, in the olden days, legislation that was about to be introduced on the floor was printed, folded according to some apparently highly complicated procedure, and then wrapped in a piece of... wait for it... red tape. the carefully printed, folded and taped legislation would be taken by the legislator to the floor, where he (or she) would cut the red tape to open it up and read it. legislation that was never introduced never made it through the red tape.

neato, right?

and now, seriously. i think i am going to take a nap.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

happy is the heart

{image via jake's new blog}

i have, for several weeks now, been wanting to write a recap post about my 28th birthday goal to fall in love. i've started and stopped a dozen drafts and imagined a dozen more and none of them have felt or sounded right to me. they are either too much or too little or don't ring true enough or tell just a little too much truth and i guess ultimately this is what i get for a) making a goal like "fall in love" in the first place and b) putting that goal on the internet.

i know i want to say something, though, because i think falling in love is good and important and i think that being able to fall in love makes us better, stronger, happier people in the end. so i decided to take it back to the basics and leave it at that.

one. i believe in love. i believe that it happens.

two. i know that we survive when, for whetever reason, love doesn't happen the way we wished and hoped it would have.

three. love is a choice. i choose to open my heart to experiences and people and relationships that will lead me to love, or i don't. the end.

four. i want to always choose love. even when it burns me. even when it hurts. even when i put it out and it doesn't come back to me. because i would rather love and lose bravely than be scared and never try.

five.the more i try, the better i get at love. it seems like the opposite should be true, and sometimes it feels like the opposite is true for a minute, but in the end loving some just makes me want to love more. which is good news because i like being a person who loves.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

reunion sweet

some time last week i got an e-mail from ABK that said, "a proposal: dinner. my house. 11/15. special guests will be in attendance. you won't want to miss it."

i e-mailed back and asked if i should wear a prom dress. he said casual dress was fine.

then that night i had a dream that when i showed up at ABK's house on the appointed day, the cast of "glee" was there to serenade us while we dined. it was delightful.

i e-mailed ABK about my dream and asked if i was on the right track. he said i should have gone into intelligence.

and then the appointed day arrived and the surprise was so much better than anything i could ever have imagined. because there at dinner were kathryn and matt, two friends from the fellowship ABK and i did together who i had not seen in seven years. seven years! and wouldn't you know but they both live here in d.c. as well. and so we were reunited over catfish with pecan muniere and oyster baked stuffing and i loved every minute.

the longer i live my life the more amazed i become at the fact that there are so few things that are ever just over and done never to be seen or heard from again. i used to think that each chapter of our life had a firm beginning and a definitive end and then that was over and on we went to the next adventure. which is true in some sense, i suppose, but i feel like my life and my experiences and my relationships keep overlapping each other in a way that is so comforting and familiar and makes me want to be a good and kind person all the time, because most things don't just get tied off and forgotten.

and thank goodness for that.

Friday, November 12, 2010

eleventh hour

my veterans day started off with a donut for breakfast, so it was pretty much destined to be great from the start. not like a thursday with no work can really be bad, but if it could be bad i have every confidence that a donut for breakfast could make it better.

we have been having the most gorgeous fall weather here lately: warm and colorful with blue skies and the sun up early in the morning (to all you daylight savings haters, i say hush. i am loving it) and yesterday was basically perfect in all four of those departments. after some errand-running in the morning, AWD and i spent the afternoon holding hands and strolling around arlington cemetery. which was even better than a donut. we saw the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknowns, and just missed joe biden leaving after the wreath-laying ceremony, but we felt OK about that. if it had been george clooney laying the wreath and we had missed it, that would have been a different story.

arlington cemetery is a 100 percent lovely place, and i don't know why i hadn't been since i moved here. most of my pictures are still being held captive on film inside the holga, but here are a few digitals. though they don't really do anything in them justice.

dana and i rounded out the day with the weepies at the state theater.

let's talk about the weepies. i really like them. they sounded super different live, though not in a bad way and they told cute stories and kissed each other at the end (cus husband and wife) and i pretty much loved all of it. remember when i never used to go to concerts? what was i thinking?

plus we parked the car in a sort of sketchy spot and didn't get towed, plus i didn't run out of gas even though my light had been on for a while, plus dana made the last train back to the city. veterans day miracles all around.

this evening i am fleeing south to watch heather and nathan's kids while they run the richmond half-marathon (they are amazing) and then i think i'll curl up in a sunny spot and read and sleep for the rest of the weekend.

i hope you get to do the same.

Monday, November 8, 2010

p.s. i'm back

to quote my dear old dad, the blog is a little "stale." so, let's freshen things up, shall we?

first i guess i should mention that halloween happened. as a well-documented halloween hater, it should come as no surprise that i did not dress up or attend any halloween-related parties. i did put some spiders on my front door, eat my mom's homemade halloween sugar cookies and hand out candy to adorable children who came knocking on my door. after ensuring that none of them had a peanut allergy, naturally.

lest you think that i didn't have any fun on halloween weekend, let me put your minds to rest and tell you that i did attend a little rally here in d.c., hosted by one jon stewart and one stephen colbert. though honestly it could have been hosted by the muppets for all i could see and hear. it was basically a perfect day to be outside, though, so any excuse to take advantage of it was a good one. plus i got to see lots of funny signs (my favorite: is this the line for justin bieber tickets?) and hang out with these kids, who came down from new york to see the show.

speaking of new york, remember how EH and i went there over columbus day weekend? that was a good time. really, i think my trips to new york are only getting better and better and this was definitely one of the best. we saw a taping of "wait, wait, don't tell me!" at carnegie hall, had the most delicious late night waffles from the waffle truck in the west village, ate delicious brunch, walked across the brooklyn bridge, hit up the brooklyn flea market, ate delicious pie and exotic fresh and hand-made popsicles, watched some "felicity" (so apropos) and ate cupcakes, went to the top of rockefeller center (it's called top of the rock. so catchy!) and spent the morning in the cooper hewitt design museum. plus, dinner with my favorite woolleys, a stroll on the upper east side with the always hilarious ryan ham(ilton) and a chance meeting with my girl miaken, who happened to be in town as well.

whew. we really crammed in a lot. it was fun for me to relive that. how about you?

back on the homefront, it is pretty much business as usual. the usual being home improvement projects and pumpkin waffles and spricket assassination. i also finally started using the holga. i am not sure if i loaded the film properly, so it may or may not be taking actual pictures every time i click the button, but the mystery is part of the fun, right? i'll let you know how it goes.

and i think that's it from me. unless there's something you'd like to talk about?