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).

snochi

On Monday everyone in the greater DC metro area started obsessively checking the weather. Now, back home in Utah you realize it is snowing because you go outside and see snow. Then you continue your daily activities because 1. You have seen snow before and 2. It isn’t a big deal. Life goes on.

How do you know it will snow here? Don’t worry: someone (or everyone) will tell you.

We have had a couple of much-hyped and ultimately disappointing storms this year, but this one seemed different. My forecast app (which does not lie) made me suspect this might be the real deal.
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The only problem was that my parents were flying in for a quick long-weekend trip on Thursday, right at the tail end of what I am affectionately calling “Snochi.”

Jason and I both knew on Wednesday night that we wouldn’t have work the next morning, so we slept in Thursday. I made breakfast and we watched some Olympics. By midmorning we had 10 inches of snow. Jason did the laundry (all of it, even the sheets and towels) and I cleaned the kitchen in preparation for my parents’ arrival. Meanwhile, my dad’s flight from Denver was delayed and my mom’s straight-through flight was diverted to Detroit. The snow started up again around 2:00 PM and I was pretty sure they would not make it in that night. I was wrong, though, and my dad’s plane touched down around 6 PM. He waited for my mom’s flight, which would supposedly be in an hour later, and then the two of them kindly agreed to take the Metro out to our place.

Jason inspected the car situation and discovered that our accumulation had increased to a good foot. The car was stuck behind a bunch of snow and in spite of Jason’s best efforts the Jetta just wouldn’t move.
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I called my good friend Lara to see if we could borrow a snow shovel and she offered their crossover. Her husband (our home teacher) confirmed that the roads were terrible and that it would be unwise to venture out sans four-wheel-drive. He very kindly picked Jason up and drove to the station to pick up my parents when they arrived, then dropped everyone back at our apartment.

We had supper and stayed up talking until almost midnight. I’m so glad Mom and Dad made it, especially right in time for my mom’s birthday!

super fun flood day

Thursday was not a great day. Jason’s had this sinus thing going on, so he didn’t feel well. I had a work event in the evening, which I was supposed to leave early so Jason could take care of some church stuff. We are not often busy in the evenings (one of my favorite things about being a pair of 9-5 childless adults), so a full slate like Thursday night is bothersome.

While I was at the event, Jason called several times. Unfortunately the happy hour was in a basement sports bar, so my phone reception was terrible. I sent some eloquent texts (“what’s up?” and “??”) but never heard back. When I left and was above ground again, I called him and learned that 1. Our apartment was flooded and 2. He had been sending illuminating iMessages in response to my questions, but I hadn’t been getting them because my data was turned off (something I do to keep my phone from draining on the metro). Great.

I metro-ed home with a pit in my stomach. Indoor floods are the worst, as I discovered in my parents’ old house in Utah when we experienced two minor indoor floods in one day. I missed the last shuttle of the night by one minute, but my very wonderful visiting teacher came to pick me up (the church is true), as Jason was waiting for the maintenance workers to show up with a vacuum.

The damage wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected. Yes, water had been running down the out and inside of the dividing wall between our kitchen and living room. Yes, there was more than an inch of water still on the kitchen floor. Yes, the carpet around our (brand new!) expedit TV stand was soaked. If we had to have a flood, though, it couldn’t have gone better: our precious books were spared, the art on that wall was undamaged, and all our furniture (even the expedit, thanks to its heft) stayed dry.

Jason headed out and I waited patiently for the maintenance workers, who promptly cut open our carpet (what?!) and yanked out the sodden padding. They promised (I think) to bring fans the next day, but that never actually happened. (Discussions with the complex are ongoing.) I ordered a pizza and waited up for Jason until I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore and fell asleep.

christmas-y things and a reunion

Last week my office celebrated nondenominational wintertime holiday party three of four by visiting the capitol Christmas tree and the botanical garden.20131216-092804.jpg

The botanical garden, as it turns out, is pretty awesome at Christmas time. There’s a pretty big model of the mall, with the buildings made of plant-based materials (bark, I guess?). To be honest, I initially thought the capitol was made of chocolate. 20131216-104928.jpg

The party went long and I ended up meeting my dad at the metro around 7 PM. There was insane traffic (more to come on Friday), so we didn’t get home until after 7:30. By then I didn’t really feel like cooking, so we went to Nielsen’s. Now, I love Nielsen’s, but their customer service that night was not great. The sandwich station had apparently been put away, so we had frozen custard for dinner. Jason also had a soup and my dad ordered a soup, but let’s just say Nielsen’s does custard better than soup.

Friday was Christmas party four of four and the day my dad left for Utah. I woke up at 5 AM to bake pistachio cookies for Jason’s work Christmas party. I grossly overestimated the time it would take to bake them, so I had time to also make a big breakfast, unload and reload the dishwasher, and finish a book.
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On Friday night, Jason and I had plans to meet up with the Oswalds and Grant, some of our favorite Bluegrass Ward friends. Traffic, it turns out, was once again horrible, so Grant and I waited at the metro for an hour while Jason battled to drive four miles in that time. We did all make it to Cafe Rio (of course) in one piece and actually ended up right behind el auto de Oswald in the last turning lane. There was much catching up and eating of nostalgic salads and cooing over adorable children, which by and large made for a wonderful evening, traffic notwithstanding. The thing I hate about moving so much is missing people that we like, which is definitely true of the Laytons.
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We took Grant to Trader Joe’s for some stocking up, then dropped him off at the metro.

Saturday morning I went for a bold earlyish morning run with a friend from our ward. I haven’t had a running buddy in some months and it felt good to run outdoors. It was pretty cold out and even started snowing the tiniest little bit at the beginning. Worth it to feel hard core.

The rest of Saturday: naps on the couch, reading, watching of basketball, ward Christmas party with excellent food, Trader Joe’s, listening to the BYU-Utah basketball game until I couldn’t take it anymore and fell asleep. Jason stayed up because he is a true fan (or a masochist).

novembrrrrrrr

I’ve still got this ridiculous cough which sounds far worse than it actually is. It’s a little embarrassing at work to be like, “Oh, excuse me while I hack up a lung. Don’t worry, I don’t think I’m contagious. Probably.”

Seven days of influenza has also taken a toll on my running, but today I victoriously ran my 900th mile of 2013 (I should say that 900 includes 12 miles of swimming, which I count because swimming is so hard!). Right before I got sick I calculated out how many miles/day I’d have to log to make 1,000 by the end of the year. Missing as many days as I have means it likely won’t happen, but who knows? I am planning to do the currently-in-vogue Holiday Running Streak, in which one runs at least a mile every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanks to my faith, I will be counting a walk on Sunday as running. If nothing else, this should get me out the door on days when the weather is unfit for man or beast.

On Saturday we embarked on our yearly late fall trip to Ikea. Seriously, last year we went in October and the year before that we went in December. It’s not far away, but I’m of the opinion that relationships can suffer if repeatedly exposed to Ikea. This trip was not bad, though; we had a list, were well fed and rested, and hadn’t been driving away from beautiful Lexington for nine hours while my dad followed in the moving truck. We picked up a new TV stand (photos to come), new pillows, measuring cups and spoons (because my plastic sets are one-by-one biting the dust), and the ottoman for Jason’s POÄNG chair. We also picked up the leather covers for our chairs. Those chairs have been with us since the second week of our marriage and it felt like a betrayal as we tossed the well-worn seat covers into the dumpster. Then I sat on the cool comfortable leather and didn’t feel bad anymore. Jason also bought me a stuffed panda because I am five years old. Kidding! He bought it for me because he was going to get me a stuffed Ikea panda five years ago for Christmas and didn’t. Omission rectified!

One thing worth noting: we carefully measured the trunk of our car to make sure it could accommodate the EXPEDIT bookshelf we got for our TV. Dieter’s back seats fold down and provide trunk access which, according to our calculations, should have provided enough clearance for the package. Unfortunately we didn’t factor in rigidity and spent more than a few minutes at the loading dock trying to finagle the sixty-six pound package of wood into the back. Try as we might, we just couldn’t make it fit. We were just about to unpack it and stack everything separately (which would have been a fine solution) when I suggested trying to fit it horizontally across the back seat instead. By scooting the passenger side front seat all the way forward, we were able to just barely squeeze in the EXPEDIT. (Seriously, the thing could not have been one inch larger.) I rode home with my feet knocking the glove box, but “Wait Wait! Don’t Tell Me” was on and we made it home without incident.

Saturday afternoon was spent with friends watching the BYU v. Notre Dame football game. We were the only BYU fans there and it was a little sad. Our sorrows were assuaged by phenomenal pulled pork and chocolate cake. We brought coleslaw and non-alcoholic beverages.

Other things we have done lately:
– Stayed up far too late to watch the BYU basketball team take on Iowa State. Stayed up less late last night to watch them beat Texas. Will stay up far too late tonight to watch the Wichita State match-up.
– Made the Holbeins’ acorn squash with cornbread-sausage stuffing, which is really the most autumnal meal ever.
– Took a headshot at work. It’s not official; folks were testing out a lighting concept for portraits and I got to take advantage.
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– Still haven’t achieved fall bingo.
– Worked a lot.
– Read a lot. I just finished Sonia Sotomayor’s autobiography and a thrilling book about the first (and only, until a few years ago) five women to summit K2. I think Jason is reading Passage of Power, or “More Than You Ever Needed To Know About LBJ, Vol. III.”
– Talked about putting up our Christmas tree. It’s going to happen soon.
– Watched The Hunger Games over the course of three nights.
– Bought the season’s first box of Peppermint Joe-joes! (a.k.a. mint Oreo-style cookies from Trader Joe’s.)
– Experienced our first fall cold snap. On Sunday morning, my Forecast app informed me that it was 23 degrees, but the windchill made it feel like 10. Brrr. If it’s going to be so cold out, I’d at least like some snow (and a snow day).

highlights from a busy weekend

Like last year, I spent much of Friday and Saturday working at Reunion Weekend. Last year I was exhausted and spilled red kabob sauce on my lavender shirt that I had to wear the rest of the day. This year was much better.

- Jason came to hang out with me at the class party on Friday night.

- I wasn’t assigned to come in on Saturday until 11:45 AM, which was a beautiful thing. Also, it only takes 25 minutes to drive to work on weekends, a fact that is both awesome and depressing.

- The bulldog was around for photos.
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- There were three food trucks on campus schilling complimentary wares to Reunion goers. I enjoyed pizza, chicken masala, and popcorn for lunch.

- Throughout the afternoon Jason texted me updates on the BYU-Houston matchup. He’s nice.

- I went to the gym during a short break around 3:30 PM and had the worst run of my entire life. I blame this on the aforementioned pizza, Indian food, and popcorn. Note to self: if you usually run in the morning on an empty stomach, think long and hard before attempting an afternoon run on a very full stomach. You’re welcome.

- Post run, I tried to dry my hair and it looked terrible so I settled for a sort of updo. What you don’t get from this picture is the rockin’ dutch (or upside-down) braid going across the back of my head and ending in the side bun. Skills.
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-The gala was at the National Building Museum, which is actually a really cool space. I caught up with the other Georgetown Law Mormon and my very good friend Katie, who looked awesome and made me think maybe I should reconsider my personal ban on lipstick.20131022-095057.jpg
(Also: my dress has pockets! So handy.)

- Post-dinner my coworkers had fun with the step and repeat.
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- I ate two s’mores on a stick, picked up my car, and was home in time for the last two innings of the Red Sox ALCS-winning game.

wednesday night at nationals park

We went to the Nationals vs. Giants game on Wednesday night with my workmates. I rode straight over with my coworkers after our day-long retreat and Jason met us there.
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The weather was absolutely perfect; it felt like an early-autumn evening.
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Our seats were great and we had an excellent view of Bryce Harper. He’s “of the faith” in case you hadn’t heard.
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We had shawarma pitas for dinner, which were decently delicious, and settled in for the remainder of the game.
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We left after the seventh inning, but the Nats won and it was a pleasant night out!
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semi-annual commute-ageddon

I’m becoming resigned to the fact that there will be at least two nights a year when my commute is horrid. C’est la vie, DC. Since my last terrible train experience was in January, I was due.

Yesterday I left work at 5:00 PM. I’d driven to our home Metro stop, so I didn’t have to time my homebound commute to catch the shuttle. I made it onto the orange line with no trouble and settled in to read Opening Mexico (since I did absolutely no reading on our trip and am a little behind on my goal for the year).

All was well until we reached the Court House station. The conductor announced that we’d be holding momentarily. Five minutes later, she amended that to “holding for a disabled train”. I finished my book. Five minutes after that, people started to get antsy. I should also include that the train was HOT and crowded.

My train was offloaded, which is one of the most frustrating things ever for a Metro-er. We all crowded onto the platform in the manner of sardines and were informed that there would be a Vienna-bound train coming soon. The train we’d been on departed empty.

Yes, a train did come, but it was full to bursting and only a few masochists shoehorned their way on. The rest of us waited for the next train…which didn’t come. I tried to figure out an alternate bus route home, but there weren’t any buses coming soon, and all options would require at least two transfers and/or a very long walk. I opted to wait.

And wait.

And wait.

I waited for an entire hour before a train finally appeared. I practically leaped on. The train was single-tracking, but we made it to my home stop with no additional problems. I walked in the door at 7:45, exhausted and disillusioned with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. I watched the last half of Jeopardy! and made fajitas, both excellent decompressing activities. Sometimes Metro is the worst.

everything breaks, apparently

- My fingernails are blue and red from the YW shirt tie dye-ing activity last night. The shirts are for camp and the girls’ unbridled enthusiasm reminded me very much of being excited to go to camp the first time some thirteen (what?!?!) years ago.

- The oven continues to be out of commission. I’ve been told the part is in Merrifield and will be here and installed today. I could walk to and from Merrifield in the time this has taken and am kind of unconvinced that not a single gas oven igniter could be located in this, the greater DC metropolitan area. Of course, tonight’s book club is at our house, limiting my array of Hemingway-inspired apps and desserts to no-bake. Thank goodness he drank so much.

- In that same vein, I also got blocked from my work email server yesterday. I’m not sure how/why/when that happened, but it did and I’ll now be without work email for three days while it resets. I feel almost jumpy sitting uninterrupted in my office, like something is happening that I don’t know about. Thankfully my colleagues have been helpful in forwarding university-wide email, but I’m weirded out imagining my incoming email in a black hole somewhere until Friday.

- I’m currently in the middle-ish of On the History of the Idea of Law, by Shirley Robin Letwin. It was the textbook for the jurisprudence class Jason and I took together back in 2008. Technically, Jason signed up for the class first and I am just a copycat; jurisprudence, it turns out, fulfills not a single Media Arts Studies requirement. The class was excellent, though, and I’m getting way more out of the book this time around.

weekend update

Last week was a wash. Work was great; a project I’ve been working hard on came to much-better-than-expected fruition. On the other hand, Jason was gone for four days. I wrote a blog post of things that are terrible about being home alone (and there are many such things), but it seemed whiny so I deleted it. I’m just really happy to have him back.

Also last week I:
– went to YW for the first time since I graduated from high school. I think the YW have just as much energy as my former primary class.
– read a lot.
– cheered on Adam and Grant from afar in their respective tennis tournaments.
20130520-161921.jpg They each took second place (first singles) in high school and junior high regions, respectively, a feat I never thought possible for a Pullan athlete.
– made many smoothies.
– ran in oppressive heat more than once, and attended my first gym fitness class in a while. It was intense, but good intense.

Saturday we:
– did our grocery shopping
– had chocolate-frosted donuts for breakfast.
– discovered the baking part of our oven was broken when we tried to make hashbrown patties. Management sent over a maintenance worker within the hour who diagnosed the problem as a broken igniter. The new part should be here on Tuesday.
– returned 2/3 of the swim suits I ordered online. Love the remaining 1/3 very much!
– went to a barbecue with some of Jason’s friends and brought a mango quinoa salad.
– made our biannual trip to Target.

Sunday we:
– slept in.
– read the newspaper.
– made dinner in the crock pot and had angel food cake instead of lasagna and strawberry shortcakes, thanks to the aforementioned oven issues.
– had friends over for supper.
– talked to the Frosts.

This coming week is the first of four <5 day work weeks. I'm very excited. Summer has arrived, and I've got my sandals on to prove it!