Jason got to spend a whole three hours at home on Friday afternoon. In the last two weeks he’s been in three countries, four states and the District of Columbia. In an unexpected but not unwelcome turn of events he realized on Thursday night before flying home that I had convinced him to leave his keys in case I got locked out (so maybe the logic isn’t quite there…) and thus I headed out of work early to meet him and let him into the apartment. Darn. We had pizza and chocolate chip cookies, after which Jason unpacked his bag and packed it up again and we headed out, New Jersey-bound for Mike and Jill’s wedding!

I almost never drive when we road trip, but since Jason was reeling from all his time-zone-crossing of the last week, I bravely took on the task. We left at 7:30 pm and, surprisingly, hit no traffic. He fell asleep around 9:30 with his noise-canceling headphones on, so I cranked up the Arcade Fire and worked my way through a pack of gum down the Garden State Parkway. I was really blessed to be able to stay awake, since ordinarily I am only lucid after 10 pm if Jason’s away and I’m binge-watching Netflix. I pulled into the Marriott parking lot at 11:54 pm.

The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel, then headed over for the 11 am ceremony. We were nervous about being late, but almost no one was there when we rolled in. We mingled around the champagne station for a while, slightly worried we were not where we were supposed to be. Fortunately the hotel shuttle (from the official hotel, which I had tried to book too late, hence our stay at the nearby Marriott) rolled in around 11:25, along with all the wedding guests. Whew. The staff herded us out to the garden for the ceremony.

The venue was very pretty, and the programs/fans even had a Dave Matthews quote on the back.

Thankfully we didn’t have to sit outside too long, though, because it was mighty hot! Jason was more than a little worried about a sunburned head and I thought elbow-length sleeves might give me an even weirder farmer tan than the one I am sporting now.

The ceremony was very nice. The flower girls were especially adorable, though one of them burst into tears after their petal-strewing was over. I also liked that the officiant was one their friends (who happened to be wearing the same shirt/tie/suit combination as Jason).

After the ceremony we were directed to the cocktail hour, which featured enough food to count as lunch. Seriously. It was insane. We ate enough from the cold plates table to fill us up, forgoing the pasta and meatballs station, custom mashed potatoes table, and wine-and-cheese pairings. There may have been other food displays that escaped our notice as we were too busy pounding passed chicken dumplings and cheese calzones. Also, there was an ice sculpture.

We rolled into the actual lunch, where we were seated with some of Jason’s high school friends. 

Then the reception got underway. There was delicious food. There was dancing. There was cake.

Probably the most mind-blowing moment of the reception was at the end, when the emcee announced a special video presentation. I assumed it would be more slideshows. Nay, it was a lovely recap of the wedding day, including the cutting of the cake, which had happened approximately eight minutes earlier! As a film major, I was mightily impressed, and assume somebody in a room somewhere was giving herself carpal tunnel editing that thing so quickly. Well played, Estate at Florentine Gardens.

Anyway, the wedding was fun and great. The ceremony ended at five and we headed back to the hotel.

We change and I ate some popcorn and we headed over to the hotel where everyone else was staying and whiled away the evening by the pool. After this experience, I’m a fan of the morning wedding/afternoon reception model. It was nice to get home at a decent hour and have time to relax with everyone who was in town for the festivities.

Jason and I went back to our hotel when it got dark and he did some church work while I curled up in the bed and slept.

Jason is lucky to have a great group of friends from high school. They are all successful and funny, and they have always been kind and welcoming to me, even when it may have been a little weird that we got married so early. We always look forward to seeing them when we can while up in Connecticut. Jason’s lucky (and so am I) to have them.

We drove home early Sunday morning to be back in time for the changing of the bishopric. We didn’t hit any traffic, thank goodness, and I sent the following picture to Adam, future Baltimore-an. 

Jason didn’t end up getting released, but it was good that got back for church. We had pizza for dinner, then unpacked (again) and talked to Jason’s parents and uncle and aunt. Oh, and we ate some chocolate chip cookies. I’m so glad to have Jason home again (for a couple weeks).

last hurrah

Saturday morning we all woke up late-ish after our hard partying of Friday night. Somehow we also all still wanted donuts for breakfast…

Jason, Grant, Adam, Dave, Mom and I played tennis (after eating donuts). Those boys have skills. I should practice more.

After tennis we watched some football, ate a pizza, and took naps. Then Jason and I headed up to Provo for dinner with Dave, Jake and Justine, after which we stopped by Sue Anne and Harold’s for a visit (and mostly to see tiny new baby Allie Sue, who is 100% adorable).

On Sunday morning we went to church in the Page Ward. My mom made Adam’s famous lamb and beef gyros for dinner (which were, in a word, awesome). When my dad got home earlier than usual, we played The Bowl Game, a charades/catch phrase hybrid we learned from the Thompsons what feels like a lifetime ago in Lexington. We played twice and had the best time; seriously, I think watching my mom’s charade portion was a highlight of our trip.

The next morning my parents drove us to the airport bright and early and we headed back to our Virginia life. After such an amazing trip, I’ve resolved that all of our Utah vacations should last eleven days and include a perfect wedding. Until next time, Payson.

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.
payson lakes

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.


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.


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.

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!