sunday night

My parents spent Sunday night at a parents’ night with Hannah’s mission president and his wife, so the rest of us were on our own. We decided to drive up the canyon to take some pictures.

Jason insisted a while ago that a tripod would be a useful tool. I balked, but am now glad we went for it.
payson lakes fampayson lakes jason

Man, Payson Canyon is amazing.
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We drove home as it was getting dark. I made pizza dough and we invited Dave and Jordan over to play Settlers of Catan. Grant and Adam claimed they had homework. Sure, sure. Hannah and Dave conquered, in spite of being the least experienced Catan-ers of the bunch.

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).

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.

in which jason’s mom comes to visit, part two

Like many Sundays, this one started with an early morning meeting for Jason. I have a vague recollection of him leaving the house at 6:15 a.m., but he claims I just buried my face deeper into my pillow. That’s probably accurate.

Mom and I, on the other hand, didn’t have to leave until 8 a.m. We walked the route I usually take, which is just lovely on a quiet Sunday morning. We didn’t see the deer that have invaded our neighborhood of late, but we had a good time. It wasn’t too hot and we took a leisurely pace, so we weren’t even too sweaty by the time we arrived.

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After church we decided to go down to Old Town Alexandria. We took the parkway down, which is one of my favorite routes (especially traffic-free on a Sunday). We parked on King Street and wandered down to the waterfront.

If my rosy cheeks are any indication, it was a little hot out.20140610-110133-39693989.jpg

Jason and his mom. I sure do love them both.20140610-110229-39749178.jpg

We walked around the Torpedo Factory Art Center. More artists were around than on our previous visits, so it was fun to see their studios and displays.

After lunch and naps and a brief drive around town, we played Scrabble (even Jason joined in!) and ate a full pound and a half of saltwater taffy. Jason and I also introduced his mom to Yahtzee, the name of which Jason likes to pronounce with an unidentifiable accent that makes me laugh.

We dropped Mom off at Reagan around 8 p.m. We had such a fun weekend and were sad to see her go. Hopefully we can all be together again soon!

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.
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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.
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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 visit the rest of the monuments

Jason fortunately didn’t have crazy early meetings on Sunday, so we were all able to cycle through the shower before 9 AM church. During the second hour, Hannah and Mio kindly helped the YW presidency set up for New Beginnings, which we hold during the third hour.
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The Personal Progress leaders did a beautiful job with the program, decor and treats. In my recollection, New Beginnings was an opportunity to feel guilty about not having completed more of my Personal Progress; I much prefer attending as a leader.

After church we made pizza and conferenced about our next moves. Jason was exhausted, so he stayed home and took a nap while the girls and I drove downtown. As Hannah and Mariel will attest, finding parking was an experience. We spotted a place a ways away from the Jefferson that seemed good, but at the last minute I realized it was kind of sketch so we forged ahead. Fortunately we found something safe a few minutes later.

The Jefferson Memorial is one of my favorites and I think Hannah and Mariel really liked it too.
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My lovely sisters.
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We stayed inside for a few minutes talking and reading the inscriptions before heading back toward the Tidal Basin. I should point out that it is easy to find young men ages 18 – 25 to take your photo when you are wandering around with Hannah and Mariel.
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We walked around the basin and headed up to the World War II Memorial. From there, we went to the Vietnam Memorial, which is another favorite. It was a little chilly, but the sun was out and we almost didn’t need our coats.

We visited the Lincoln Memorial, where Hannah complimented the purse of the woman taking our picture and it turned out the purse was from Argentina!
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We walked through the MLK Jr. Memorial and went up the other side of the Tidal Basin through the FDR Memorial.
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The girls found the FDR as weird as I do, but it’s worth a visit if just for a(nother) picture with his little dog Fala.
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We drove home by way of Foggy Bottom so I could show my sisters our intern housing, and through Georgetown so they could see how the other 1% lives. I kid. I didn’t realize we would make it there the next night and wanted to make sure they saw the Park City of DC. On the way home we also passed my mom’s childhood home, which has now been fully torn down.

Dinner was ready when we got home thanks to the crockpot, after which we headed up to Sara’s. Kathleen and Bruce came down to see us too, which was very kind. We had a blast seeing Sara’s kids (none of whom were born the last time Hannah and Mio saw her) and eating chocolate chip cookies.

Total miles walked: 3.2

el milagro del pavo

Every year we do a big holiday dinner, usually a couple days before Christmas. This year we just didn’t have time (I blame late Thanksgiving), so we made it a First Sunday of 2014 holiday dinner.

We headed out to Safeway on Saturday morning to get our little turkey breast, not doubting for a moment that one would be available. Not so! Safeway was completely out of turkey breasts. We vowed to go to Wal-Mart in the evening, where we would surely not be disappointed.

Jason worked Saturday afternoon (a super-rarity, so much so that I think this is the first time he has worked on Saturday since we have lived in DC. Made me realize how glad I am we are both on a M-F 9-5 schedule.) so I cleaned up the apartment, made a pie, did laundry, and read. We ate soon after he got home, then headed out in the cold to Wal-Mart.

We picked up some clementines, but were stopped in our tracks when we reached the frozen bins. They. Were. Empty. Apparently Wal-Mart had suffered a refrigeration problem, which is ridiculous since our Wal-Mart is brand new, spoiling all the meats and cheeses. What are the odds? The only meatstuffs remaining: frozen tilapia, frozen shrimp, and beef liver.

I halfheartedly suggested we could just make black bean soup for Sunday, but Jason was not deterred. When we determined the next-closest Wal-Mart was in Reston (!), we opted to try Giant.

At this point it was after 10 PM and freezing cold, which should indicate how very much we wanted this turkey breast. With bated breath, we approached the meat department. Jason spotted the turkey section before I did and triumphantly hoisted a seven pound specimen! It was truly the miracle of the turkey.

On Sunday afternoon, we savored our slow-roasted turkey with gravy, stuffing, mashed red potatoes, and steamed carrots, with a sparkling apple cider accompaniment. For dessert, we feasted on apple pie and whipped cream. Now we have enough turkey for a whole week’s worth of lunches, about which Jason and I are very happy.

Turkey dinners of holidays past: 2010, 2011, 2012