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.
20140602-154520.jpg

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.
20140601-123940.jpg

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.
20131228-002638.jpg
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.
20131228-002647.jpg
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.
20131228-002657.jpg
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,
20131228-002716.jpg
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.
20131228-002734.jpg
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.
20130715-143102.jpg

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.
20130715-143128.jpg

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).
20130715-143150.jpg
We also walked out on the pier, which is pretty and smells like fish.
20130715-143137.jpg
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.
20130715-143144.jpg

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.
20130715-134025.jpg
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.
20130617-122357.jpg

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.
20130617-122405.jpg
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.

20130617-122525.jpg
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!
20130617-122533.jpg

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.

20130617-123155.jpg
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.
20130617-123140.jpg
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.