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.

home run weekend

Saturday was rated a 10/10 by the Capital Weather Gang–because DC is the most weather-obsessed city ever–so we decided to use our last standard at-home weekend in a while to take in a Nationals game.

The weather actually was perfect: 75 degrees, no humidity, and a light breeze. We took the metro in for the 12:05 p.m. start.

I really like Nationals Park.

After the fourth inning the Nats were ahead by something like six runs, so we had ourselves some Italian sausages with peppers and onions. So good.

I’m not sure if this is a this-year thing (because I don’t recall it from previous games), but the Nats fans have appropriated a version of the “C-A-T-S Cats Cats Cats!” UK cheer, but instead of a deep cheer at the end, it’s this sort of helium-voiced “WHOOOOOOO!” which made me laugh every time.

20140601-123947.jpgIn the evening we went to Trader Joe’s and Safeway (twice, after forgetting to pick up dish soap and a card). I had a moment of pride at Safeway. Our checker, in an attempt to be more personable than the Safeway checkers tend to be, suggested we each wager a guess as to the final bill. I guessed within $0.41. Yeah, I’m a savvy grocery-shopper. Jason was off by $7.

We ate barbecued chicken twice-baked potatoes for dinner and watched Monuments Men, which we have been meaning to do for some time. I knew George Clooney was in it, but the rest of the cast was a (pleasant) surprise.

“Hey, is that Lord Grantham?”
“Hey, is that Phil Connors?”
“Hey, is that the guy from Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show?”
And, at the very end, “I didn’t realize that was Cate Blanchett!?”

On Sunday Jason had early-ish meetings and I walked to church, but didn’t give myself quite enough time to freshen up before sacrament meeting, so I was a little red  in the face and sweaty. The walk is a cool two miles, after all, a distance I consistently cover in less than 30 minutes. We went home and read a bit and I took a nap and then we headed to an Eastern Orthodox wedding.

Best news of the week: Jason’s mom is coming to see us!

in which we go home

We woke up early Friday and had breakfast at the hotel. I’m telling you, pan dulces are incredible. I was not expecting excellent pastries in Mexico and am glad to be wrong.

We walked over to the ex-convent, as we’d not been able to go inside yet. There was what appeared to be a high school choir performing that particular morning. They even sang one of the six songs I know in Spanish.20140516-162158.jpg

Afterward, we walked around the park adjacent to our hotel and it was lovely.20140516-162301.jpg

I can’t overstate how little we wanted to leave.20140516-162209.jpg

Farewell, La Purificadora.20140516-162216.jpg

Farewell Puebla!20140516-162238.jpg

Farewell bus station!20140516-162251.jpg

The bus back to Mexico City was fine. On our first bus down the movie Oblivion had played, but you had to tune in with headphones. This time, the driver selected the Spanish version of Brave and it just blared. That’s a confusing movie to watch in Spanish, but it does make good use of one of my favorite Spanish vocabulary words: oso.

We made it back to the Tapo and took the only really exorbitant taxi of our trip back to the airport Marriott. We had dinner at the hotel restaurant (the airport isn’t in the nicest part of Mexico City) and went to sleep early to catch our flight back to Virginia.20140516-162312.jpg

Our plane left almost an hour late, but we still landed at the same time. Customs was kind of ridiculous, but we made it through. As we walked toward the taxi stand, we saw one of our friends from the ward who was waiting for her husband. She offered to give us a ride home, which was really kind. We made it back to the apartment in safety and our trip was officially over.

It was so great to spend eight uninterrupted days with Jason. We just get on so well. Jason is the best, and travelling with him is a breeze. He planned every aspect of the trip, for which I give him a ton of credit. It was so nice to get away from work and our (admittedly limited) responsibilities at home to just relax and be together. Best way to celebrate five years that I can imagine.

I’m already trying to figure out when we can go back. Those cemitas are calling my name.

christmas in connecticut

We had been thinking about surprising Jason’s parents on Christmas for a while. (Aside: I can’t really explain our latest fixation on dropping in on our families unannounced, but now that we have surprised everyone, maybe we’ll be more transparent about future trips.) We waited on the weather and some work stuff and finally realized last week it could really happen. With the help of Dave, we mislead the Frosts and secretly prepare for our New England Christmas vacation.

Jason and I woke up at four AM on Christmas Day. We packed up the car and were out the door by 5:15 AM.
Turns out early early Christmas morning is the very best time to drive the beltway; it was completely empty.

We made great time and got to see the sun come up from inside our toasty warm car.
Once we made it to the Connecticut state line, Jason turned on WTIC and we sang along to Christmas carols until we reached la casa de Frost. Oh, we also saw this classy sign.
We texted Dave to let him know we had arrived and tiptoed up to the front door. Jason rang the bell, his mom answered the door, and much happy yelling ensued. I will have to get Dave to send me the video. Jason’s parents were definitely surprised!

Also surprising was how well Dave and my Christmas button up shirts match. Jason is wearing gingham too,
We opened presents and helped get ready for the Kennedy family Christmas. Jason’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins came by around 3 PM. His Grandma Funny was in an unusually acerbic mood, but that only made her more hilarious. We had delicious dinner and sat around talking for a long and wonderful while.

Late that night Jason and I chatted with the Pullans mid-Christmas party. The fam passed my dad’s phone around the whole group, which was great and really made us feel like we were in the middle of the scrum.
Grant’s hair is the best, no question.

Though six hours of it was spent driving, this was definitely one of the most memorable of our Christmases.

ocean city in a day

Weekends are the worst when my spouse is out of town, so I jumped at the chance to take a day trip with my also-temporarily-spouse-less friend Katie. She slept over last Friday night, and we got up early (five a.m. early!) Saturday morning to leave for Ocean City, Maryland. We arrived a little after 8:00 AM, when all the other beach-goers were still asleep in their relic-of-the-seventies boardwalk hotels.

We found free parking (a surprise bonus) and staked out our towel spot on the sand.

The water, as it turns out, is insanely cold in the morning. 20130715-143055.jpg

We lounged on the beach until the sun came out, then braved the water (which really wasn’t bad once you got used to it).20130715-143112.jpg

Katie was in charge of snacks, and brought lots of good Trader Joe’s treats: ginger cat cookies, grapes, granola bars, and buffalo chicken wraps for lunch.

After lunch, we walked down the boardwalk. I expected Ocean City to be like Topsail, which is not the case at all; it’s actually akin to Lagoon (for the uninitiated: a theme park in northern Utah, home to many a spring field trip for the junior high+ set).
We also walked out on the pier, which is pretty and smells like fish.
I took a brief nap (understandable, considering our early start), and we headed back to the greater DC area around 4 PM. We had dinner at Uncle Julio’s, which was delicious, and called it a (very long) day. I was a religious sunscreen applicator, but apparently need Jason around to spray my back and triceps, which are currently more than a little painful.

Thanks to Katie for suggesting such a great trip! It was a ridiculously fun day.

things i did last week

Monday – Dropped Jason at the airport at 4:30 AM. Went grocery shopping. Did not unpack from our Maine trip.

Tuesday – Went to dinner with Sadie, the older sister of Diana, my good elementary/junior high/high school friend. Had a great time catching up and hearing about their fam. It’s funny how when you are little, a few years of age seem to make a huge difference, but when you’re older it doesn’t. My mom always said that would be the case, but I didn’t really believe her.

Wednesday – I have no recollection of Wednesday, except that I finally unpacked. WAAAAIT…Wednesday was the day of horrid commuting. Clearly I’ve intentionally repressed the memory.

Thursday – Went to see the Washington, D.C. temple with Sadie and one of her friends from the conference.
Also Thursday, ate my weirdest loner meal yet this week: green beans, nutella, a boiled egg, mozzarella cheese, and a kiwi.

Friday – Made pizza and watched a lot of “Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids” with Katie. Tried Edy’s s’mores ice cream and found it very delicious–almost as good as a real s’more.

the frosts go to north carolina

I went home early on Thursday, thanks to some pretty ominous weather warnings. Supposedly tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, and flash flooding were headed to the greater DC metropolitan area. This was my view from the Metro.

When I got home, the rain still hadn’t started, so I made the cornbread for our supper and headed to Safeway to pick up trail mix, hair gel, and an avocado. Still no rain. Jason got home and we had a quick supper and packed up the car. My Google Maps app claimed the rush hour traffic had finished, so we headed out of town under blue skies and big puffy clouds and no rain.
It felt really good to leave DC behind. I realized around Richmond that my shoulders were clenched and my brow was furrowed, apparently my de facto I-95 passenger stance (which has everything to do with DC and nothing to do with Jason’s driving abilities). We didn’t hit any traffic, and made it to the Holbeins’ a little before eleven.

In the morning, we slept in and packed up the car at a leisurely pace and I let my hair air dry. 20130617-123147.jpgThe Holbeins suggested brunch on the patio at Foster’s, which turned out to be a most excellent plan. Best breakfast burritos ever.

We made it to Topsail Island in the early afternoon, but were told our hotel room wouldn’t be ready until after 3 PM. In the interim, we walked along the shore and waded in the surf.

I tried to check in again, and was told some disgruntled hotel staffer had quit unexpectedly and that our room still wasn’t ready. In full “let it be” vacation mode, we decided to head over to Harris Teeter for some groceries. On the way in, we stopped at Yozio for frozen yogurt.

Teal was apparently the color of the day. It was so good to finally be together again!

We picked up an array of food (and samples! Harris Teeter = Sam’s Club with linoleum). Thankfully, our room was ready when we got back. I had made the reservations and was a little uneasy about the suite; the online photos were all very close-up and seemed to have been taken in the early nineties. We were pleasantly surprised by a large, airy, light living room and full kitchen with stainless steel appliances, and two big bedrooms and bathrooms. Our front windows looked out on the ocean, and our back windows looked out on the wetlands/sound.

We finally unpacked and headed back to the beach to swim. The water felt great, and there weren’t too many people out. We played in the ocean, then dried off and read and napped.
At dusk, we headed back to our suite and made superfood salad, a recipe Brittney shared with us. We ate out on the porch in white wicker furniture watching the sun set, which is I think about as idyllic as it gets.

55 hours in Connecticut, in three acts

Act I – In Which We Miss Our Flight
We got up at four on Thursday morning and left the house by five, which seemed like more than enough time to make it up to Baltimore for our 7:20 AM flight. Alas, it was not so. We had to wait a while for the long term parking shuttle bus, and then the Southwest ticketing line was insane. We had packed all our non-carry-on-able toiletries in my suitcase, which definitely needed to be checked, so we waited and waited and waited. We made it up to the kiosk as our plane was leaving. Thankfully, the helpful airline employee was able to book us on the next flight, which left at 9:40 AM.

Blood pressure back to normal, we made it through security without incident, ate some granola bars, and camped out at our terminal for two hours. The flight itself was great/short, after which we made a stop at the BDL Dunkin’ Donuts. Jason’s Grandpa Bill picked us up from the airport and took us to the Frost’s, where we had lunch and got to work painting the shed (in borrowed clothes).20130610-095111.jpg

That night we watched Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune and ate Frank Pepe’s Pizza (which is only some of the best pizza in the world) and played Scrabble.

Act II – It Rained And Rained For Forty Days
Twenty-four Hours
It was raining when we woke up and when we ate our Cheerios and when we went to Home Depot to buy wood chips and stopped to pick up Chinese food for lunch. The rain continued while we visited with Grandma Funny and Grandpa Bill and while we ran food-related errands in the afternoon.

It rained while Jason’s mom and I played Scrabble again, and I had a hard time getting consonants.

We left for the concert around 6:30, while it was (you guessed it) still raining. We easily found a parking spot and donned our attractive, fifty-cent ponchos. They came in a two-pack at Dollar Tree and there was some debate about who would have to wear the ugly yellow one. Jason is one nice guy.
We slogged through the downpour over to the Comcast Theater (formerly The Meadows). Jason bought me a Head and the Heart shirt because he is nice like that.

Back when we bought our tickets in March or April, we opted for pavilion seats instead of lawn general admission like last year. This turned out to be one of our better decisions ever. The lawn was a muddy mess, and the rain and wind never stopped. Our seats were toward the back, but we stayed mostly warm and only residually wet.
The Head and the Heart was awesome. We saw them in Nashville 2.5 years ago and they’ve only gotten better since. They are coming out with a new album sometime, and played a nice mix of old and new songs, including every song I was hoping to hear.

DMB came on around 9:20 and started with “JTR” (chorus: “Rain down on me”) and played for a solid three hours. I used to not be such a big Dave Matthews fan, but seeing them live has fostered my fanhood. I especially loved the “Watchtower” encore, which warmed my Bob Dylan-loving heart. According to Jason, the set list was a great one, and they played several of the songs he had hoped to hear live.

It was long after midnight when we trekked back to the car in the rain and our attractive ponchos. We made it home by about 1 AM, much later than we have stayed out in the last…four years.

ACT III – In Which We Do More Outdoor Work In One Day Than We Did In The Previous Year
On Saturday morning, some folks from the ward came by to help build lay stones and work on the deck. We worked outside most of the beautiful, rain-free morning. In the afternoon, we ate pulled pork sandwiches (of the NYT recipe) and Mom and I played another game of Scrabble before we left for the airport.

There’s a LEGO replica of Mark Twain’s house at the Hartford airport. It’s pretty cool.20130610-153008.jpg

We didn’t miss our flight this time and landed in Baltimore around 7 PM. We didn’t hit any evening traffic, and made it home a little before 8.

Epilogue: In Which We Succumb to Illness
Sunday morning found us both with flu-like symptoms. We slept the entire day, waking only at intervals to eat what limited food was in the house and read the paper. I think a day of rest was what we needed, as today we are both back to our normal healthy selves.

caprese salad, among other things

Sometimes I think we should get a picture of the Mt. Timpanogos temple for our aparmtment, but all the available prints are of bright sunny days. While that’s all well and good, my imagined ideal photo is of a dark, foggy, drizzly morning, just like the day we got married. One of these days I’ll just have to go out to Utah and take that picture myself.
The Virginia weather on our anniversary was similar, which I loved. We both went to work on May 2 (because we are boring adults like that), then went to J. Gilbert’s for dinner. The steak and salads were great, but the real meal rockstars were my scallops and Jason’s cinnamon ice cream.

Jason got it in his head last week that we should have a caprese salad on Saturday, so we did. I made the balsamic reduction and he did everything else. It was summery and fresh and the apartment smelled balsamic-y through Sunday morning.

I thought about trying to make some Kentucky food for us to eat during Derby coverage (since the race itself is only two minutes long and doesn’t warrant snacks). Problems with this plan: 1) I can’t fry chicken. 2) You can’t buy Ale-8-One or Mingua beef jerky here. 3) A hot brown always seems like a heart attack on a sandwich. 4) All things bourbon-y are by necessity out, which includes juleps, bourbon balls, and authentic derby pie…oh, and beer cheese is out too. 5) It was too warm outside for burgoo. That left pimento cheese, which I admittedly like, but wasn’t feeling velveeta and mayo this particular day.

Instead, we ate frozen firecracker shrimp and arancini from Trader Joe’s. There’s always next year.

Not much else is new in the Frost household. I’m reading In Dubious Battle, which is a (shorter) Steinbeck novel about California fruit strikes. Jason is reading The Sun Also Rises, in anticipation of our seeing a ballet interpretation on Saturday. I’m not sure Hemingway would approve. Neither of us have been to the ballet before, though, so we’re looking forward to it.

Frost Fiscal Year 4

FY4 has been good to us. We’ve settled into our little greater DC metro area life and are happy in our jobs and in our church callings. We didn’t move, which is actually a FY first for us. We read a lot. We ate a lot. We watched many hours of BYU sporting events. Truly, it’s been a(nother) fantastic year.

Celebrated our third anniversary with a trip to La Sandia, where I intentionally ate a grasshopper. Also, anniversary-gift pearl earrings precipitated the piercing of my ears.
Went Cinco de Mayo food trucking.
Jason Frost, M.A., officially graduated from UK!
Visited the Frosts and attended my first and Jason’s not-first DMB concert.

Attended our primary kids’ little league baseball game.
Tried to go to Jazz in the Sculpture Garden, but it was packed so we went to We The Pizza instead.
Spent an afternoon in Old Town just because.

Were without power for 36 hours during the derecho storm.
Amanda turned 24.
Attended a Nationals baseball game on the fourth of July.
Amanda went to New Hampshire for work. Met up again for a trip to Connecticut to see newly-returned-missionary Dave.
Went to the beach for the first time in too many years.

Amanda and Mom Pullan went to the annual Henderson Topsail Island beach trip.
Meanwhile, Jason and Dad went to a baseball game.
The Heber Pullans stopped in for a visit as part of their great eastern seaboard summer vacation.
Amanda moved into a new office at work.

Jason spent the entire month away on business.
Amanda crocheted a lot while watching Law & Order in syndication, participated in Mary’s fall bingo, and went to North Carolina to see the Holbeins.

Hosted the Pullan familia (sans Mio and Hannah). Went on many excellent adventures.
Amanda got a passport. Finally.
Enjoyed autumn in Virginia.
Had two days off for Hurricane Sandy, which brought little more than some wind and rain.

Jason went away on business (again) and voted by absentee ballot.
Amanda spent election day with Roni in downtown.
Uncle Derek stopped by en route to a conference.
Went on a Thanksgiving morning hike.
Spent Thanksgiving dinner with just the two of us for the first time ever.
Amanda started running in the mornings with Katie and rejoiced at having a running buddy again (finally, almost two years later).

Amanda surprised the Pullans on a trip to Utah and had a marvelous time (in spite of almost not making it thanks to forgetting my own name).
Went to the Newseum and to see the National Christmas tree.
Celebrated our fourth married Christmas by staying home from work and being incredibly lazy.
Celebrated our fourth married New Year’s by staying home and watching Midnight in Paris and eating a New Year’s squash.
Celebrated our one-year-aversary of living in Virginia.

Jason marked his one-year-of-working-aversary by going away on business.
Laura visited for a weekend and we had a blast.
Attended/loved the presidential inauguration.
Went to see Y La Bamba and The Lumineers.
Made many pancakes.

Jason turned 27!
Got new glasses.
Jason rocked Valentine’s Day dinner.
Roni came to visit over President’s Day.
Amanda got into Georgetown Law.
Our venerated little car passed away, so we said good-bye to little Swift…
…and hello to new-to-us Dieter.

Had our first snow day, which we got no snow, and a non-snow day in which we did get snow.
Amanda ran a half-marathon in PR time. Jason supported like the excellent spouse he is. Hit Lebanese Taverna for post-race sustenance.
Took a day trip to Annapolis.

Went on a pre-General Conference drive out Route 66 to Front Royal.
Watched and enjoyed General Conference.
Hosted Laura for a (brief portion of the) weekend.
Started running together.
Had dinner with the visiting Armentrouts.
Visited Great Falls Park.

Whew. Happy anniversary!

Previous Fiscal Year reports: