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Sensible parents or early onset scrooges

This is our THIRD holiday season since we moved to Texas. For the first two, we alternated holidays between our parents but THIS YEAR, we are here for BOTH Thanksgiving and Christmas. What will we do with ourselves?

Well. We got ourselves invited to a friend’s house!

Then, over the weekend, OJ got hand, foot and mouth and we quickly disinvited ourselves from said friend’s house. Regroup.

After we left the pediatrician on Monday morning with that fantastic diagnosis, we picked up ice cream (best for a sore throat) and a turkey breast (for our quarantined celebration). At that point, I didn’t know what else we would do, but there will be fried turkey by gosh by golly.

As we talked about it further, we decided it was impractical to believe that between the two kids, we would have time for cooking a real feast (and for just two people, could it possibly be worth the effort?). So yesterday Little Miss and I turned up at Central Market as soon as it opened (no alarm clock needed when she sleeps in your room) to pick up prepared side dishes.

  • Herbed potato gratin with roasted garlic and manchego
  • Duo of JalapeƱo pecan dressing and Italian sausage bread stuffing
  • Roasted beets with pistachios and orange glaze

Then as we were planning fry time and FaceTime appointments, we decided THE BEST Thanksgiving would be during NAP TIME. Talk about things for which to be THANKFUL!

A quiet, hot meal with your spouse in the comfort of your own home=priceless.

Fast forward to today, Turkey Day.

We spent the morning our for a nice walk, including a trip to the playground (note: NO Turkey Trotting). It was BRISK and CHILLY (44 degrees) when we left the house, but by the end it had really heated up (like 65 degrees).

When we got home, it was so beautiful that we all hung out, watched football and fried turkey. OUTSIDE. I remember Becky telling us that Texans LOVE to do Thanksgiving outside. What a perk and what luck to finally be here for this holiday. So Texans we shall be! (at Thanksgiving).

T prepared the turkey by injecting it with cajun butter and rubbing it all over with cajun spices, then dropped it in our Bayou Classic turkey fryer / crawfish boil / beer homebrew pot.

Put the kids down for naps, carved the turkey, and reheated the sides.

We grabbed our picnic, pinot noir and sunglasses, and headed back outside to sit on the deck for our al fresco feast.

Selfishly, it was WONDERFUL.

Pure, adult, BLISS.

You are thinking: THEY. ARE. TERRIBLE. PARENTS.

IN DEFENSE: We love our kids. But let’s get real. OJ would not eat any of the food and Little Miss would just demand to be held. And for a holiday that is ALL ABOUT THE MEAL, I say we made the most of it.

If there is a year to get away with having Thanksgiving without our kids, THIS is the year. Without guests or plans, we are the captains of this holiday ship, but unlikely to have such freedom again anytime soon. Best enjoy it!

And enjoy we did. In the warm sunshine on a Thursday afternoon. #WINNING


Cupid is out of a job

Being a mom is payback for how you treat your own mother. Case in point: Valentine’s Day. 

My mom always made something special, had a card, and little gifts for us. When I was in college and in London, I always got a package. I always kind of hated it. 

So why would I expect different results when I tried to make a little something nice this morning!? Instead OJ was too distracted by the BALLOONS! and the airplane sticker book to eat and T was a grumpy morning saurus, blah blah blah about morning meetings, conference calls and TPS reports. 

Here’s hoping for better luck tonight. 

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! from the ladybug (way cuter than Cupid). 


You can’t take the DC out of the girl

Home has never looked so good as it did over Thanksgiving. I think every small detail was amazing and in technicolor because we had not been home in OVER A YEAR, so it’s just the heart being fond of what it cannot have.

Here: our “glam shot” on our 5:15am (not 7:00am) flight from here to Dallas (OJ is reading the flight safety card, and telling us, “this one plane, the one sliiiide”). We barely made this flight and barely made our connection in Dallas. We would never book a 5:15am flight and we would never be able to book a flight that only has a 40 minute connection on paper at DFW, because that is asinine, but our itinerary was changed after we booked in July (which we discovered in bed Tuesday night).


With such close calls, there was no Starbucks for mommy which was a big problem. En route home from the airport, we collected lunch at The Italian Store and I got to hit up Starbucks next door. The barista was giving me sass, which I gave RIGHT BACK to him and it felt SO GOOD, like a part of my personality that has been long in hiding in Bless Your Heart Texas could finally come out. You can’t take the DC out of this girl. Leads to conversation about life stress, general kindness and seeing the East Coast as an outsider. 

Over four days we covered three playgrounds. While spending more time outside in the cold for which our clothes and bodies are not prepared, is slightly unpleasant, a kid that doesn’t sleepmis worse. We went to the Arlington County Harrison Street Park (apparently called the Chesnut Hills Park) which is majorly different from my childhood days, the on crack/steroids Clemyjonrti Park in Fairfax County next to the CIA, and the “adventure learning” palace at Beauvoir, on the grounds of National Cathedral. We have NOTHING like any of these playgrounds in Texas. Leads to conversation about tax base available for amenities like playgrounds, and why Arlington County is not an “average” population. img_3016


Friday we had AIRPLANES day. In the morning we went to Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles, and saw amazing airplanes. But maybe since the Enola Gay, the Concorde, and the Discovery Space Shuttle were PARKED and not taking off or landing, they had little to no impact on OJ. Leads to conversation about free museums. 

After naptime, we went to Gravelly Point for planespotting, which I was so excited to do with him because the planes fly RIGHT OVER YOUR HEAD.

On Saturday, we had brunch with grade school friends at Sarah’s house. The smartest thing I did was change my mind (out of sheer exhaustion) to go grab DUCK DONUTS instead of bake. Best. Idea. Ever. Damn. Delicious. Donuts. Leads to thinking about the planes, trains, and automobiles that would be involved to vacation on the Outer Banks from Texas. 


On Saturday we got lunch from the Lebanese Taverna market (chicken schwarma, kibbeh, garlic sauce), we had a double date Saturday night with Kelly and Duane at Evening Star Cafe in Del Ray, and on Sunday we had brunch with my godmother at Chef Geoff’s, one of our perennial standbys, in what used to be our neighborhood. Leads to conversation about the number of great restaurants (and disposable income). 


What Texas has going for it? After a very long morning of travel on Monday, it was 75 DEGREES when we landed in here. No cold weather, dry air, or static electricity.

Yes Texas is warm and easy but DC has A LOT of other things going for it, not the least of which–Home is where the grandparents are.



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