Archive | July, 2013

My twenties are almost over

26 Jul

Yesterday I turned 29. That sounds much older than 28. I guess I should get used to that feeling.

I had a pretty good day.

Despite the fact that my phone was apparently jealous so many people (5) wanted to talk to me so it wouldn’t connect to the network, let any calls through, or let me text people back.

My car, in retaliation of my love and effort, refused to get in “ready” mode so it could pass emissions. Though now the emissions guy and I are best friends since I’ve been there three days in a row. We’re going to eat King of Pops to celebrate… eventually.

Walt and I met David for lunch and the lady behind the counter told us she was going to charge us $5 for the baby since he wasn’t ordering any food.

My computer was so slow it took me an hour to change the time on my son’s birthday invitation. And then Photoshop wouldn’t let me save it in anything but .psd so I could email it to Jason for printing.

Because of unholy Atlanta traffic my husband didn’t make it to the house on time to pick us up for dinner, even though he works about 5 miles away. And then on the way to Sapori di Napoli — best pizza place in the city — it was a shorter version of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles starring me as the driver.

But once we got there, and I sat down with my family, got a yummy glass of wine and an even yummier slice of pizza in my hand, it was awesome.

DSCN83681This was after Walter met and then overlooked his first girlfriend. She was cute.

When you’re bored with dinner it’s time to dance on the table top, of course.

Me & Walt with my two lovely parents who brought me into this world.

My great family.



Music in the Park

23 Jul

A couple weeks ago I signed up for the Koala play group on Facebook for me and Walter. They let us know about playdates and other fun things happening in our neighborhood for his age range. So when they started posting about Music Mondays in Grant Park, I got excited. Yesterday was hosted by The Music Class (which I’ve taken one of my babysitting charges to before) and it is this fun, interactive music class for young babies. Music is so important for our development and lives (I actually studied Neurobiology of Music for my psych degree), and besides, if it was a nice day outside, I wanted the three of us to enjoy some family time together.

I wasn’t sure the rain was going to hold out. Earlier in the day, during a trip to Target, Walt and I got soaked on the way back to the car. Sopping clothes, crying baby, and all. And when we finally got into the car I offered Walt his sippy cup of water and he gave me this “are you kidding me?” look. But I guess the rain didn’t make it to our house/the park because the ground was only mildly wet when we joined the group later that evening. It was a lovely summer evening for a little “concert”!

Dancing and shaking to the music!


Lots of families out picnicking and playing in the good weather.

Mama enjoyed participating too!

Uh oh. Someone was getting bored of music class!

Clearly it’s time to go home.


The Cartecay

22 Jul

I don’t know why people go tubing down the Chattahoochee when then can enjoy this beauty. The Chattahoochee is dirty, cold, and way too large. Over the years, my experience on the Cartecay has varied. Sometimes there’s a rope swing to play on, other times it’s gone. The people who join me change year to year. The ownership of our drop in spot switches every few years. Sometimes we ride back to our car in a bus or the back of a truck. The river can be busy or empty. The rapids look very different depending on the water, but I always spot the same houses, the same bends in the river. There’s an old car buried on the bank shortly after you start your journey. But whatever I see or hear, I always feel reconnected to myself, the sun, the water, and the trees when I spend the day on the river. Here are some of my favorite photos from over the years:





river 9 - Copy

river 2

river 20


river 23


Another successful tubing adventure

21 Jul

Yesterday marked the 9th year that I have gone tubing down the Cartecay River in Ellijay, Georgia for my birthday. There are many things I love about Atlanta, but one of my favorite things is how close we are to everything. City life, diversity, minutes from rural country and mountains, hours from the beach, and an airport that will take you anywhere else you could possibly want to go. There is a bountiful mix of beauty and life within our fingertips, if we choose to embrace it!

The year I turned 21 my good friend Ben, who grew up in North Georgia doing all the outdoorsy stuff, asked me if I wanted to go tubing Monday. I said, yes, actually it’s my birthday, and I’d love to!

I jumped off a cliff into the river this year. It was awesome. Also, I look too skinny.

I convinced some friends to come with me. I ended up drinking too much Jager + river water. I’ve never had Jager again (or river water).

tubing 2007!
I love how in the background you can see the grass filling in more and more and the trees getting thicker.


Dave experiences the river for the first time.

best of both pictures
As you can see, the picture has become part of the tradition as well!

better group shot year 7
The same friends love experiencing the river with me every year!

this one
7 1/2 months pregnant with Walt. It was a more difficult journey than usual, especially with the water so low.

Birthday tubing 2013
It’s been 9 years, but do I look any older?? This might have been the best river trip yet. The water was so high from all the rain that it only took us 2 hours (including stops) to finish, but the rapids were fantastic and we didn’t become intimately acquainted with quite so many rocks. Also, we bought our own tubes this year that were large, comfortable, had cup holders, mesh bottoms, ropes, and didn’t get hot in the sun. And when we got back, I overheard the lady saying it was the only Saturday in months that didn’t have a single drop of rain! Walt was at home playing with his Nana all day. I kept thinking about how much I was looking forward to when he gets older and is able to enjoy this with us.

Perfection. It is my favorite day of the year, spent on this beautiful river, enjoying life, friends, and looking forward to another fantastic year!

Evidence of a problem

19 Jul

I’d like to submit evidence of my son’s Destructor OCD. I have already stated elsewhere that this new disease in the upcoming DSM-VI has the following symptoms: When you see something neat and tidy, you must wreak havoc and move on. Continue until room — or house — is in shambles.

DSC_0564The pantry. And he’s only getting started.

Destructor OCD
The nursery. Clearly his work is done here so he’s moved on to perform similar duties on blankets and toys.

At the dinner table.

This problem knows no bounds and comes in all forms. It is especially dangerous around stacks of nicely folded laundry. However, yesterday Walt pulled out a basket of his toys, pulled all the toys out, threw them around, then put the basket back in its place on the shelf. So there is hope.

He has also recently decided to tuck food away for later instead of throwing it on the floor when he’s done with his meal. This is much appreciated on Mama’s behalf.

hiding his food

Taco Night

18 Jul

Dave’s on his way home from work and Walt has already started dinner.

Me: I just wanted to call you and let you know that I love you.

Dave: I love you too!

Me: Also, I wanted to let you know that I’ve created a guacamole monster named Walt for you to clean up when you get home.

Dave: Oh good… wait, is that why you prefaced this conversation with declarations of love?

Good Changes!

16 Jul

It’s safe to say now that Dave has started his new job, that he has a new job! He took off two weeks in between jobs, and it was glorious. It reminded me of all the free time we had when we were in college together. Except we still had to adhere to the schedule of our baby.

Because I was Deacon on call two weekends in a row, we weren’t able to travel anywhere. But the beach or anyplace in the Southeast probably would have been a bust anyway because of all the incessant rain. So of course none of the yard work we intended to do got done. Instead we relaxed, took naps when the baby did, and ate. A lot. I think we might have gotten some chores done in between all the napping and eating. The second week we were a lot more social and went out with friends, went to a Braves game, and visited Dave’s sister and brother-in-law in Chattanooga. We hadn’t seen their new house yet, and it was adorable. I also took some fabulous maternity photos of them and really enjoyed it. I’d love to be able get more into photography. With our new camera – and Photoshop – it is a real possibility.

Both of us are very thrilled about Dave’s new job. It is in Midtown and already much more interesting than his previous company. The workload won’t be nearly as stressful and unmanageable (his previous company always promised to hire more people but never did, even when many of his coworkers quit) and the new people are already looking to Dave to have more responsibility than he did before. All in all it’s a great move, and I’m really happy for him. For us! I look forward to the pretty days when Walt and I can meet Dave at Piedmont Park for a picnic lunch.

We’ve had an incredible couple of months. First Memorial Day weekend, a long weekend in California, then a whole week at the beach and another two weeks off… I figured I would be down in the dumps to go back to “normal,” but it hasn’t been too depressing so far. Soon enough Dave will have some time off again and we can go back to Dua, our favorite Vietnamese restaurant. We used to go there three times a week when we attended Georgia State, and we took full advantage of our free time over the past couple weeks to go there repeatedly. Usually we get it to-go because it’s easier to eat spicy soup at home with a baby that might be napping or playing or eating purees, but last week we took Walt there for the first time (he can now fit into restaurant high chairs thank goodness) and he enjoyed some rice and the inside of an egg roll as well as his normal favorites. We love this place so much (and the owners!) that we thought about having our rehearsal dinner there.

DSCN8341Bun bo hue might be my favorite food ever. Dave and I used to play the “what if” game with bun bo hue, like: “If you also had other food, would you rather be stuck on a deserted island with an endless supply of bun bo hue or books?” Bun bo hue usually won.


Biggest Little Braves Fan

11 Jul

The Braves are very important to David. Maybe more than being a Marine. I’m not sure; I’ve never asked him. I’m pretty sure Walt and I rank above the Braves, but that might change if we were to ever like another team better. Which we wouldn’t.

David grew up in Atlanta. His whole family originated in the South. He played baseball as a kid; coached it when he was a camp counselor. He chose a house a few miles from the stadium. We watch Ken Burns’ Baseball during the off season. When we started dating, he took me to many, many games, and I grew to love the team and know the players also. And now that Walt is here (our future MLB All Star pitcher), we’re teaching him about baseball too. He’s been to a spring training game. He’s been to Turner Field. Not as many times as we’d like, but he is still fairly young.

To us, baseball is the essence of a Southern summer. Give us sweet tea, fried chicken, and creamed corn. We love it. But there’s nothing quite like going to a game with 40,000 other fans or making dinner listening to the game on the radio or relaxing in front of the game on TV with the cicadas making music outside.

We bought tickets today at the box office and introduced Walt to some important people.

Ty Cobb
DSCN8333(wait a second, are they wearing the same facial expression?)

Hank Aaron

Warren Spahn

Go Bravos!

Who is in the kitchen.

7 Jul

Making breakfast.

“David, when is the French toast supposed to be turned over?”

“When you know in your heart that they’re ready.”


Walt has discovered playing in the kitchen cabinets.

David:  “Don’t play with any of the sharp stuff in there, Walt.”

Me:  “There’s nothing sharp in there. What’s sharp in there?”

David:  “The cheese grater.”

Me:  “Oh.”

David:  “You know, the baby finger tip remover.”


At dinner.

Walt is pretty good at trying new foods. So tonight I put two little pieces of salmon on his plate. He picked one up immediately and put it in his mouth. He then went straight for the second one, and Dave and I thought it was a success. He picked it up, threw it on the floor, and shook his head at us.

Where there is a will…

5 Jul

Yesterday I ran the Peachtree Road Race for the fourth time. My husband and his family are all runners and athletes. My family enjoys things like good wine and conversation (OK, to be fair we like tennis and swimming and walking, and we’re good when we want to be, but we just don’t have traditions like running the Peachtree together for the last two decades). So when we first started dating and I said, “Will you go running with me?” and he said, “Yes,” I had to go buy some running shoes. He took me through a training program I found online and we ran a couple races that year including the Peachtree. It was hot and fun and I felt wildly accomplished when we crossed the finish line, especially since I was the girl in high school who hated being forced to run a mile and then get graded on my performance.

The second and third year we walked the Peachtree. I was 7 months pregnant this time last year, and it was a struggle to finish the race. We were very slow.

This year, David wanted to run it without me. I’m not sure I realized that when we signed up together, but it’s an expensive race, so I decided to walk it by myself anyway. I hadn’t really trained this year except when I walk a few miles with the baby either in a carrier or in his stroller. He gets bored when I take longer than that. So, needless to say, I was not quite in shape for a 10k.

There is nothing like the start line of the Peachtree. Everyone is excited, the announcer is loud, and there is music pumping everyone up. People are dressed up and some people are even drunk already. It’s Independence Day, and 60,000 people are waiting to join in on the great Atlanta tradition.

I ran the first half mile for good measure, then started walking, already tired. I was getting a little upset that I had no one to walk with and had so much longer to go, so I decided to put on my Janis Joplin Pandora radio station. Luckily, soon after that I found these older guys running/walking that were going exactly the speed I wanted to go. I was good until mile 3, when I thought I wouldn’t be able to follow them any longer and would have to fall back, but then the older guy needed a couple longer walk breaks too. I pushed myself to keep up with them until mile 4 at least. Then somehow the race got easier. You’re so much closer to finish line, after all! I think they noticed me obviously starting and stopping exactly when they did a couple miles in (I wasn’t too stealth about it), and around mile 5.5 we started chatting. We finished it in 1:30, my second best time, and gave each other high fives. The weather was perfect: 70 degrees, cloudy, with a bit of a breeze.

I felt better at the end of this race than I have at any other race. My spirits were lifted, I felt good about my work, I thought about incorporating running into my life again, and Dave cheered me on at the end.

The only two bad things about it were Piedmont Park (the finish line) was a huge mud pit because of all the rain that’s been falling in Atlanta and today my whole body has been yelling at me with every movement that I should have trained a little bit beforehand.

Little boy watched some neighborhood fireworks last night too, and cried a lot. Either from the noise or the fact that his parents hadn’t put him to bed by 9:30pm.

We did it!