july, by the numbers

71 days until Mariel’s wedding. So this is really happening! Tickets purchased, which means Jason and I will be spending approximately a third of October in Utah. We are pretty excited about that.

65 days until the marathon. See above. Some days I think, “Oh yeah, of course I can run 26.2 miles.” Then there are other days.

29 days until the BYU football season begins. Tickets bought.

131 miles run, a new month record. Previous record: May 2013.

39 miles worth of Sunday walks, usually while talking to my mom or sisters. Tracking these walks is just another reason I love my last year’s birthday GPS watch.

12 books read (of 87 so far in 2014). Favorites: All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenting and Maus.

10 fewer minutes spent commuting, thanks to the Silver Line. I’m a fan.

3.5 bottles of pesto devoured. Also, 3 boxes of Israeli couscous (9 servings).

2.7 weeks left of Jason’s nocturnal schedule. This hasn’t been as terrible as I thought it would be, though I am surely looking forward to spending more than one hour a day with my husband.

1.5 skeins of yarn used up. Domesticity achieved.

silver

As Jason said on Saturday, “I didn’t think we’d ever see the Silver Line operational.” Yes, this morning I took the new Metro to work and it was surprisingly seamless.
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I’m reserving judgement for a few more days, but so far so good.

when jason’s asleep

I’ve spent many hours in a silent apartment the last 2.7 weeks. This means: 1. single girl meals of the highest caliber and 2. a hunt for quiet activities.

As far as dinners go, I’ve had some nights of extreme laziness. I’ve also developed some new fixations of the flaxseed bagel variety (i.e. things I eat over and over and over again until I suddenly become sick of them and retreat cold turkey). Those fixations include:

- Pesto, bottled from Trader Joe’s. This is the sauce of the summer.
– Pretzels and roasted garlic hummus, a combination I gleaned from a colleague.
– Tortellini. Here’s my oh-so-complicated culinary hack: mix a package of spinach tortellini with a package of cheese tortellini. Devour.
– Trader Joe’s 72% cacao bars. I may never go back to milk chocolate again, much to Jason’s sadness.
– Popsicles. I’m kind of cheating here because I don’t eat them at home, but we have several giant boxes of them at work and they’ve become my go-to afternoon snack.
– Israeli couscous, mixed with the aforementioned pesto.

I did also make a really tasty salad last night which is making a second appearance as today’s lunch. I combined roasted chickpeas, romaine, cucumber, carrots, hummus, tahini, avocado, and some Israeli couscous. It was delicious.

As far as quiet activities go, I’m getting to the end of my rope. I’ve watched more Law and Order than I’d care to admit and hit the library twice a week. Last Sunday I went on a walk and talked to my friend Laura and then my mom and Hannah on the phone. According to my GPS watch, this leisurely afternoon activity ended up being ten miles. I’m crocheting a bit and, post-YW Pioneer Party, am thinking about taking up cross stitch again, though we really don’t need any more decorative needlework pieces.

Oh, and I changed up the blog today, so there’s that.

shenanigans

Here’s how our Saturday went:

8 a.m. Jason arrives home from work (hooray!). I am still in bed reading, but have been awake since 6:45 a.m.

We proceed to purchase groceries, make pancakes (which I mess up by adding twice the buttermilk because I’m trying to halve the recipe in my head and can’t figure out why the pancakes are so runny and flat) and get the laundry started.

11 a.m. Jason naps on the couch. I clean the kitchen.

Noon Jason still naps. I fold the laundry.

2 p.m. Jason wakes up. We have homemade pizza for lunch.

5 p.m. Jason goes to sleep for the night. I think, “Oh, I’ll just lay my little head down for a short nap. Then I’ll (fill in productive activity here, including building lasagna for Sunday dinner).”

Midnight I wake with a start, fumble around for my phone, and realize I’ve gotten seven hours of sleep. Oops. The good news: I’m wide awake. The better news: Jason will be too in one hour. I build the aforementioned lasagna and get some reading done (All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenting).

1 a.m. Jason wakes up and is surprised to see me awake and alert. I still feel pretty good, so I just decide to stay up with him until I crash.

2 a.m. We play Yahtzee!

3 a.m. We watch Netflix!

4 a.m. We make pancakes for the second time in eighteen hours! We eat said pancakes while watching another of our photography DVDs from the Teaching Company.

5 a.m. I start to get a little drowsy.

5:30 a.m. I head to bed for 1.5 hours until it is time to get up for church.

While staying up until it was time to go to sleep again on Sunday night was not easy, I loved spending time with Jason when we were both reasonably awake. Same time next weekend?

On Monday Jason came into the city to try on suits for Mariel’s wedding (and because we haven’t gotten the man a new suit in five years), so I met him up in Georgetown for the fitting. Afterward, we went to Good Stuff Eatery for hamburgers and a raspberry-blueberry shake. We walked down M Street, then headed to Charles Tyrwhitt for Jason to try on another suit (which turned out to be not nearly as great as the first one).

When we had concluded our errands Jason went home to sleep and I returned to work (after which I headed to an overnight retreat and thus missed seeing Jason again until Tuesday night after Young Womens).

on running and baseball and other summery things

We’ve entered an until-the-end-of-summer lull. Work is good and not too crazy for me. Jason’s schedule doesn’t allow him to do much during the week except sleep. We’re not close enough to our impending move (September!!) to really pack anything up. Our major vacations, camp, and my birthday (annual summer signifiers) are over (except for our football trip to CT in August, to which one or both of us have been looking forward since the series was announced).

Things that are happening?
– Lots of reading.
– Lots of running.
– Lots of working (for Jason, at least).

Today I went on the longest run of my life thus far: 14 miles. I went back and forth about whether to attempt the distance today en route to work or leave it until Saturday and finally–after staying up long past midnight last night reading–I opted for today. There was almost a chill in the air when I left which, as those familiar with this national swampland of ours know, is considerably rare for summer. I knew almost immediately that this was going to be a good run (and it was).

I knocked out a familiar loop, then headed down toward the church. After taking yesterday off, I had fresh legs and was pleasantly surprised by hoe easily the first few miles ticked away. I had promised myself I could walk/stretch once I hit the biggest hill on the route, but when I got there I felt awesome and didn’t even break stride.

My fueling regimen could use some finessing, but I toted along a sandwich bag of trail mix. It wouldn’t fit in the pocket of the fuel belt I had borrowed, so I tied it to the water bottle holster. I snagged some m&ms at mile 10.5, tearing into the bag as I ran. I assumed inertia (or something) would keep the remaining nuts and chocolate pieces safe in the bag. Instead, I heard pieces of trail mix falling behind me, Hansel and Gretel style. I am sure there were some happy squirrels in Arlington today.

I finished up my run at Rosslyn, where I hopped on the metro and headed to work. I was surprised by how good I felt, which I can partially attribute to today’s beautiful weather. Hopefully good, diligent training is also a culprit.

In the evening, I went to a Nats game with my coworkers. I work with a bunch of pretty great people and the yearly baseball game is one of my favorite traditions.

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Jason’s sleep schedule made his attendance impossible, but we’ll hit up another game together before the season is over.

I had a big plate of nachos from Hard Times and Bryce Harper hit a home run after I left. The Nationals lost, but it was a pretty perfect evening to sit outside and talk with friends.

one week down

Jason’s been really great about his temporary schedule. While it’s definitely an adjustment, he goes to sleep when he is supposed to and wakes up when he is supposed to and gets a lot done while he’s home during the day, including the laundry (for which I love him).

I loved having him home part of the weekend. We tried to make the most of his waking hours.

Some highlights:

- 12 mile run on Friday morning. I mapped a new route and it was awesome.

- Seeing Jason awake on Saturday morning. We had pancakes and went to Trader Joe’s before he fell asleep. Then I woke him up so we could go to Jetties with visiting friends. We ended up at different locations, but it all worked out in the end and Jason stayed awake for the entire meal.

- Sunday walk to church. Then I taught Laurels. I actually think Young Womens is the hardest age for me to teach. Maybe it’s the girls’ age gap? Maybe it’s that I’m older than I think I am? Anyway, the lesson was about ordinances and suggested this talk by Julie Beck, which I found personally very interesting.

- Jason stayed awake through Sunday dinner, then intentionally crashed at 3 p.m.

- Read, crocheted, emptied the dishwasher, and did all manner of quiet deeds until my Mom was home from church and I could call her. Laced up my running shoes, started up the GPS watch, and put in a good six miles of walking while we talked.

- Brownies from my visiting teacher, which she brought over just in time for Jason and me to have for dessert together before he jetted off. I fully intended to go right to bed, but I got sucked into crocheting and a Law & Order (season 5!) and stayed up until 12:30 a.m.

a day at misty mount

Wednesday was an unexpectedly wonderful day.

I got to work at 6:45 a.m. (okay, that part wasn’t so wonderful) and got in a good couple of hours before heading home at noon. Jason (awake!) came and picked me up from the metro and we had lunch together. It’s good to talk to him when we’re not both exhausted.

In the early afternoon I headed up to Girls’ Camp. Just before I left, I received this picture via text from my good friend and our ward camp director, Lara.
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Just a copperhead camped out in the pool bathroom. (Wait, this camp has a pool!?)(And apparently snakes!)

The rangers sorted out the snake, taking it far away and releasing it into the wild. This didn’t make me feel any less creepy-crawly about it, though, and I strongly considered wearing my galoshes.

I think I liked camp when I was a young woman. If nothing else, that was the only time of year when my mom would assent to buying me one of those giant, tongue-chafing jawbreakers from the candy bins at Payson Market. I am kind of disturbed that I would actually eat a good half of it by the end of the week.

Of course I’d love to take a week off to hang out (er, supervise) girls camp, but we’ve got two long-ish fall trips coming up, so I settled for one day. Now I’m wishing I’d stayed longer: Girls’ Camp is a blast! I got to Misty Mount during craft time and got to hang out with some of my favorite people. We walked around the camp, which is absolutely gorgeous, and checked in with all the little campers from our ward. I think it’s hilarious/awesome that girls’ camp feels exactly the same, even though I’m nine years and 2,000 miles removed from my most recent Koholowo experience.

I stayed for dinner and got to witness the “Elbows Off The Table” song, which as a youth I thought was unique to our camp. In a clever variation, the offending girls (and leaders) at Misty Mount have to check in with the YCLs and are then forced to perform an embarrassing dance of some kind. I kept those elbows tucked tight.

I helped Monica and Ilona (and Sally and Lara) prep the senior panel, where the younger girls submit questions for the seniors to answer. SO many were about boys (of course). When we got over to the fire, the YCLs were leading the girls in familiar camp songs.

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The senior panel was great, after which the girls started in with their skits. Per usual, some were much funnier than others. I’m biased, but I think our ward’s was pretty great. I did also laugh out loud when another ward suggested disguising the quadruple combination as an eighth Harry Potter book as a missionary tool. “Wait, Harry has a brother named Nephi?” That’s the girls’ camp sense of humor I remember.

In the midst of the silliness and crazy and bugs and drama and crafting and dirt and zaniness that is camp, I was just struck by what wonderful girls we have. They are well-loved by each other, parents, leaders, and most of all Heavenly Father. They are smart, confident, helpful, and kind. I’ve never thought about there being much of a spirit of Girls’ Camp, but walking back to my car I just felt such peace. Camp is awesome and I’m so glad I got to be part of it for a little while.
20140710-091543-33343505.jpgHow much are these cabins just like the ones in The Parent Trap? Also, their low occupancy means the hyper first years are contained and can’t keep everyone awake all night.

Oh, the other great thing about Wednesday? Jason and I are getting a niece! We are so excited to be Uncle Jason and Auntie Amanda to Jake and Justine’s baby daughter this fall.