Tag Archives: America

A Little Mommycation!

3 May

A month ago I got to go on a little trip to Asheville, NC.

IMG_20170408_223427_508Yay don’t we look happy! I was actually a bit disgruntled until this picture because we hadn’t come up with a good plan of what we wanted to do and had pretty much aimlessly wandered around downtown Asheville to no avail. Thank god for the beautiful scenery.

This trip was a little present for surviving two whole weekends home alone with the kids while my husband traveled — once for work, and once for fun. I felt like SuperWife saying, “Yeah, no problem, go hiking with your friends out of cell phone range while I take care of the 4 year old and 2 month old!”

When W was three months old, I was barely able to make it outside to the front porch. It amazes me the difference in my ability to cope with a baby now versus then (though Rex’s personality is way more chill than W was as a baby). For example, we didn’t take Walter to a restaurant for dinner until he was six months old (and we were exhausted and overwhelmed by the experience). Rex, however, by three months old, had been in six different states.

Both weekends alone with the kids presented different challenges. The first weekend Dave was available by text and phone, but all grandparents were out of town, and I was also dog-sitting my mom’s sweet pups Tashi. Just to make life more fun, the dogs were throwing up around the house, the cat got a bladder infection, Tashi got a couple hot spots that needed frequent attention, and Rex had one of his worst night’s sleep ever. There might have been some crying around 3am one night, and it wasn’t the 2 month old.

The second weekend all grandparents were in town, and we hung out with them, but Dave couldn’t be reached 98% of the time. This is very unusual for us as we have seen each other almost every single day since we met (literally), and we also talk a lot anyway. I had an upsetting dinner Friday night, so I spent almost the entire weekend getting depressed and unable to talk it out with my husband. And then Sunday morning I started reading a really psychologically crazy book The Hike for our book club, making me further nosedive. It took me until Wednesday to get out of my funk.

Hence, a little trip for mommy.

IMG_20170409_113322_732 - CopyHoly crap the chicken and waffles are good at King Daddy’s. We both got the sweet potato habanero sauce on our chicken. Perfecto!

IMG_20170409_100446269Walter loved the crayon bucket.

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We returned to a “favorite” — Juicy Lucy’s — for dinner Saturday night. It was yum but the boys were tired (although cute as always).

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We really are mountain-loving people.

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Soothes the soul to see all this land.

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I wanted to go hiking before we came home. The views were fantastic, but I probably won’t be back to Chimney Rock again. I love climbing mountains, but this was a staircase bolted onto the side of a mountain. And you drive halfway up the mountain on harrowing roads just to get to the bottom of the staircase (which you pay a ton to “climb”). My fear of heights did not enjoy this very much. My legs and brain were jelly so the baby and I didn’t climb the last two staircases to the very top. But my other boys did!

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A boy and his American flag. He’s the most patriotic kid I know.

 

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Washington D.C. – Just leave me here!

15 May

My mom has this habit of, without fail, proclaiming that she’s going to move to wherever she’s just gone on vacation. I usually don’t do this (even when I adore a vacation), but I am so in love with D.C. that I really wish we could move there. It is such an awesome city. We have tons of friends and family that live there, and as a history buff (hello useless bachelor’s degree) the museums and monuments are amazing. I love that you can just walk right by the President’s house, as if you’re simply strolling through a neighborhood. It’s clean. It feels safe. Public transportation. Easy navigation.

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This was our first real trip without Walter; three nights away from him. I felt sad and glad to have some adventurous alone time with David. Also, I’m pretty sure this is one of the best pictures I’ve ever taken. I’m just sayin’.

We got there and took the Metro into Alexandria to spend some time with my middle school BFF Sarah. She took us around Old Town, where we ate a delicious lunch (with maple root beer, which was seriously syrupy), walked the Potomac, window shopped, and toured the Torpedo Factory, an amazingly unique place where artists rent work space and also sell their stuff. Super fun first day.

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Her husband watched their baby for us so we could hang out a bit! And he cooked dinner for us: stuffed chicken and rice! Yum! What a guy!

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Planes fly in so close (all over the city really) that you feel like you can catch them!

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Lunch was at this really cool old converted fire station. I love how they build the architecture in the D.C. area to last, or at least restore it when it’s falling apart. I really wish Atlanta felt the same way about her buildings.

The next day we took the Metro back in to town to Foggy Bottom, where we stayed at the Marriott surrounded by G.W. students in their last weeks of classes. It was super close to everything and of course the room was nice. It was great to crash there after a long day of walking and sightseeing.

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We did the monuments the first day, which was a good decision because it was rainy and cold the next day when we did as many museums as we could. This picture was taken by a very cool guy from Ireland. We saw so many people with “selfie sticks” that it was almost embarrassing. We are fans of the old-fashioned way: get to know a stranger for a minute and ask them for this small favor. Don’t compartmentalize so much so that you never meet anyone new.

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We ate breakfast one day at Lincoln’s Waffles, an amazing breakfast place right by Ford’s Theatre. It might have been the best breakfast I’ve ever had. Hot wings, waffles, sausage, and eggs… yes please!

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So very tall.

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So very windy.

It was warm in Atlanta when we left, so we weren’t totally prepared for the cold weather, even though I did check weather.com. I thought 65 and sunny would be warm. So I didn’t bring socks. Whoops.

Friday night we ate dinner with my two high school best friends, family style in Arlington. We brought a bottle of wine on the Metro and walked the half a mile to their house. That in itself is so cool, coming from a car-dependent city like Atlanta.

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Walter was with his cousin at Mimi and Pop’s house having a blast. It certainly helped us have fun knowing he was having a good time too.

Saturday was spent touring museums. We waited in line at the US Archives to see the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. It was other-worldly to be a room with the same exact documents that brought about something so incredible. We also went to the Air and Space Museum and the US History Museum. I had recently read The Aviator’s Wife, which made seeing Lindbergh’s plane even more exciting. The other history museum was decent. I liked the First Ladies exhibition the best, with their dresses and china patterns. George Washington ate on those plates!

We walked around til the back of my knees stopped working properly, and we still barely saw half of what we wanted to see, which was a narrowed down list already.

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Great meal, great company!

Dinner on our last night was with Dave’s cousins at Firefly in Foggy Bottom. We had so much fun with them, and I can’t wait to go back to stay with them, as they have both offered their guest suites to us. How lovely! Firefly had some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. Completely worth the mile walk in the rain.

D.C. I’m coming back for you soon!

Veteran’s Day with my veteran

11 Nov

Today was a beautiful day to celebrate Veteran’s Day. In a way, probably because I am married to an amazing veteran, it is becoming a more special national holiday to me than July 4th. It is not about a day off work, a day to drink, or a day to watch fireworks. It is a day set aside every year to honor those who have gone off to war in the name of America.

Many people these days despise war. I’m not sure they understand it, because honestly, who could who hasn’t been there? If all you see is what the media tells you, do you know the reality? Does the American military simply go overseas to expand our empire and kill helpless citizens? Is it so horrible that every veteran comes back with PTSD and a knack for homelessness?

I think a lot of these misconceptions hurt our military because they come back to a nation that doesn’t really want to accept the truth. That the US uses our military to take care of other nations. That they have to be trained in war because certain people in other countries do not pay attention to humane laws of treatment. Our military are also our protectors, because we are not an isolated country. We allow our citizens to have extreme free will, and not everyone in this world agrees with that.

Because I am a huge fan of the Atlanta History Center these days, I was pretty excited to hear about their Veteran’s Day ceremony and lunch in their new Veteran’s Park. Dave and his mother joined me and Walt, and it was beautiful. The National Anthem was sung so wonderfully it gave me the chills and I almost got teary. We recited the Pledge of Allegiance. I’m not sure I’ve had to remember that since elementary school, when we stood up and said it every morning after announcements. It felt good to stand with a group who are truly patriotic and repeat it together. It’s like singing a really great song with your congregation on Sunday mornings. Then there was a prayer (which started, “If you are comfortable, please pray with me” which I thought was very inclusive. Easy to tune out if you wanted to!), and a keynote speech by a very nice General who is now a Police Chief somewhere. We also met WWII veterans.

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Walt actually behaved himself, except during the moment of silence when he said “BANANA!”

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They had all the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who were there stand up in front. I was one proud wife!

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He actually chucked one of those at a Vietnam vet.

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OORAH!