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Festivus

Festivus

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). 

Festivus

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).

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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

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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. 

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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). 

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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.

 

Festivus

15 days to the beginning of the end of the Christmas season

THANKSGIVING EXISTS AS A DISTRACTION FROM CHRISTMAS.

In the same way I like to observe bank holidays, I am picking up another British custom this year, which is to IGNORE Thanksgiving. It is mighty unpatriotic but I need to just blow right past Thanksgiving to focus my energy on Christmas. Why?

  1. I am not hosting Thanksgiving, so I can.
  2. Christmas makes my skin crawl. It has always been stressful (“a Madison Avenue word”) to me. Gift giving is NOT MY JAM. It’s just not in my DNA. And that’s a lot of the hassle and subsequently, stress, of Christmas.
  3. Now that we live in Texas, I can’t pull a John G and wait to shop until December 24. Presents for both families have to go in the mail (but if I am being honest, better the gifts in the mail than us on a plane at Christmas). And last year, in my first year away from home, it was an EPIC FAIL. I got hosed by USPS and my gifts didn’t make it in time for Christmas. LOTS. OF. ANGRY. SCREAMING. (by me).
  4. Instead of curing the “stress” of Christmas with flavored coffee and bath bubbles, I am motivated to get on top of it and get it done, so I can enjoy my boys and the season.
  5. “Just getting it done” is insufficient–the Christmas gifting has to be good because a) we have a kid and b) I am a SAHM (as in, so what is my excuse?).

All of this said, trying to manage all of the Christmas–not just the gifting–is like project management on CRACK. I have started doing some things, but they are things that just make me feel like I am organized. FOR EXAMPLE:

  1. HEADQUARTERS. The day after Halloween, this appeared over the door to our back room: img_0402For the record, the only things “in the workshop” are a few clothes for OJ, and the presents I have bought for myself (total Pat move).
  2. HOLIDAY CARD. I made a game plan to get on top of our mailing addresses so I don’t get hosed by the infinite TIME SUCK that is the family holiday card. I made a calendar to basically have everything setup and ready before we leave town. Yeah, I keep moving the dates back on my calendar.
  3. DECOR. In the past, we have put up Christmas decorations over Thanksgiving weekend. Since we just have a moment when we get back to town before T has to go back to work, I thought I would have him get the decorations down from the attic before we leave so we can jump right into it as soon as we are home. Then I thought, why can’t we just put up Christmas decorations before we leave for DC? Since we aren’t having Thanksgiving here, we can just bypass the Thanksgiving decorations. And then last week, I thought, T just needs to get the Christmas decorations down NOW. So he did, and I pulled everything out–washed the dishes, laundered the linens, and put up the mantel decor. I then realized we don’t have a slew of festiveness–as if we have enough decor for a one bedroom apartment.img_3982
  4. img_8203ADVENT ACTIVITY CALENDAR. And now, THIS. Orders were due before October 31 so to think about 24 activities was a stretch but today OJ and I went to collect our custom advent activity calendar from Fig and Puddingimg_6272

    I was drawn to an advent activity calendar to hatch and solidify some holiday family traditions, enjoy spending time with my boys, and have an intentional season. I am motivated to deal with the crazy that is Christmas, so that we can have these family moments together.

    But let’s be real. Even as I was drafting our list of activities to submit my order, and it got more and more involved, I started thinking this might have been a bad idea. Luckily, the set comes with some empty circles for the days when you just want to punt. We may just use all the blank cards before the fifth of December. Stay tuned.

My friends, it is 15 days to December 1 and 36 days to December 25 so KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE CHRISTMAS PRIZE.

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