friends

alone again

I know quite a few people who, for various reasons, find themselves alone for periods of time without their spouses around, and I don’t really know how they manage not to go insane.

For the second time this month, I’m home with the kids while Brendan is not. First, over Spring Break he went to San Francisco for a conference for four days. Don’t get me wrong, I had fun hanging out with the kids and taking a break from working, but it was exhausting. Last night, he left again for a camping trip with the Muskoxen. He’ll be back tomorrow, and it’s not like today was hard on me or anything (the kids had been sick but they are better now and both went off to their usual school and daycare today).

The evenings are always a bit harder for me. I find myself wishing I had a pal to hang out with. Locally, there really isn’t anyone. I do have friends, they just live hours away. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I am really awful at meeting people. I’ve (sort of) tried and it’s never quite clicked. Having kids has actually made it harder. I over-think it, I know.

Wah, wah, wah. I actually feel bad being all angsty about this stuff. There are people with real problems and here I am all melancholy because my husband went on a trip with his BFFs for a day and a half? Jesus. What a hard life I have.

That being said, I think I shall go somewhere by myself. Alone. Maybe see some damn art. 

checking in

I’m just taking a moment to reflect on how my resolutions for this year are going.

First up: less screen time. This one is the hardest. It’s not going as well as I had hoped, but I am not watching Top Chef  or Project Runway Allstars so that’s improvement – nothing new picked up. I do find that I am reading more (number 1b) and being more crazy with the kids (1a) so there is less screen-looking, but I don’t feel like it’s quite enough.

Next: make more. I’ve got some works in-progress. Some other ideas working in the back of my head, and have gotten some really great emails recently. January has been pretty good in this regard. Perhaps I’ll get myself to another Needlework group at the library or to the embroidery shop for a stitch night this month. Here’s hoping

As for eating right and exercising, I haven’t gained any significant weight so it’s going just fine. Though exercising isn’t exactly happening…

I have not been brave with my correspondence. Nor have I cut the snark completely. But it’s only 24 days in to the year. Can’t have everything!

***

I’ve been spending some time in my own head. Thinking. My latest read is MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend (http://mwfseekingbff.com/) and it’s got me considering the state of my current friendships and so forth. Perhaps more on that to come. We’ll see. I am not feeling particularly brave today. 

this december

We have been pretty darn busy over the past month. 

We took the kids to see The Muppets just after Thanksgiving. Bridget really loved it (and so did Brendan and I), and now we’re watching The Muppet Show! thanks to Netflix. Johnny would have made it through the whole movie quite nicely had the previews not gone on so long. He loved Ms. Piggy and her karate chops. 

We went to a fancy holiday party at the National American History Museum. It was pretty awesome. Saw the Jefferson Bible and Brendan totally geeked out. The next morning we were (some of us more than others) reminded that we are not in our 20s anymore.

We did a little bit of decorating, but not too much until…

The basement got finished! Brendan and I put in a lot of time putting up walls (him) and painting and painting (mostly me, but also him) and getting trim up (him). And still more painting. Carpet was ordered and installed just in time…

.. for the MuskoX-mas celebration at our house. And though I mis-read the directions on how long the ham would take to heat up, it was still very successful. 

 

Now we just have some final preparations for Christmas. I think our artificial tree looks pretty darn good. 

gobble

This year, we decided to skip the driving and stay home for Thanksgiving. Brendan’s mother and a couple of our friends made the trip down to have dinner with us. 

It’s only the second Thanksgiving dinner that I’ve cooked. The first turned out well, but sacrificed my right shoulder. I have gotten better at cooking meals for a group of people over the past six years, so it wasn’t nearly as stressful as my first Thanksgiving. We had turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, candied carrots and parsnips, corn, jello salad, and green salad. It was just enough food to have some leftover for today, but not too much. 

We took it easy on the table settings, and while we used our wedding china and crystal, we kept all the food buffet style in the kitchen. It was a good move. We sold our really big table in the big yard sale this summer but we made it work with our little table and an extra card table. 

Today we hadn’t planned on doing any crazy shopping. I like to stay out of the way of the crazy shoppers. However, as we were browsing the ads (we get the Sunday paper now like good little suburbanites) I noticed that the tree that we just bought on Monday was on sale for $100 less than we spent on it. So Brendan woke up at 5:00 and went over to the store only to find them all gone (barely, people were in line with them). Thankfully, the managers at the store were very nice at 8am when I called and asked if we could just return the one we bought and re-buy it at the sale price. Even though their policy is to only allow that sort of thing within three days of purchase, they were kind and let us do it today four days after purchase. 

We promptly turned around and spent that money on primer and ceiling paint for the basement. Now it’s up to me to start painting. I haven’t quite worked up the momentum just yet.

mixed

We’re all experiencing some mixed feelings around here. Firstly, in exciting news, Bridget turns five on Saturday and lots of family and friends are coming to celebrate with us. It’s hard to believe she’s starting to write really well, read, add and subtract and will be hopping on the bus to school in the fall. Wasn’t she just born yesterday? I don’t think I’ve ever gotten really sentimental about any birthdays, but this one has me feeling a bit sniffly (but I’ll blame it on the pollen).
In less happy news, our current daycare provider is moving. Our last day is tomorrow, and that’s got us all a little bit bummed out. We’ve got a new place all lined up, and I’m sure it will be wonderful, but we’ve been with Mrs. Diana for three years now. Change is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
So, I’m going to concentrate on the awesome things this weekend – seeing family and friends, lots of kids running around and general merriment. (Or at least, that’s the plan.)

new years eve involved a lot of driving

Like last year, this year we planned to spend New Years Eve (and weekend) up in Pennsylvania with some friends (and fellow Muskoxen). Brendan’s body however, had other plans. He went from feeling slightly-a-little-sick-but-willing-to-power-through to pull-the-car-over! somewhere around the Delaware line. Still, we headed onward. As soon as we arrived, Brendan took himself to bed upstairs and the kids and I hung out, helped with dinner and played around. But alas, Bren didn’t make a quick recovery (as he had hoped) so after some delicious lasagna, I put the kids in their pajamas and we came back home.

We made it back here with plenty of time to spare to watch Dick Clark and the ball drop. (And by “we” I mean me and Bridget.) After the boys were tucked in, she and I snuggled (under her new Snuggie naturally), had ice cream, counted down the seconds and banged pots and pans outside to ring in the New Year. Not exactly what I had planned, but still enjoyable.

double trouble

This past weekend, my college roommate Chris and her daughter Evelyn came for a visit. The girls are only 5 months apart and they had a lot of fun together. It was Bridget’s first sleepover, and they stayed up late late late on Friday night giggling and being silly in her room. There were a lot of reasons why they couldn’t sleep. And endless stream of reasons. Eventually though, they did go to sleep. (Not that anyone really cared they were awake. Who hasn’t stayed up late at a sleepover?)

There was a lot of running around the house, making messes and general four-year-old (Bridget is almost 4, I think of her as 4 at this point anyway) shenanigans.

Saturday afternoon the girls all went to see The Nields do a kids show at Jammin Java. I haven’t seen The Nields since college. It was a lot of fun. (Though since they are originally from the area, there was an abundance of friends and family, and it sort of felt like we were the only ones there who didn’t actually really know them.) Bridget spent a lot of the time standing front and center at the base of the stage (she really wanted to get on it) and just staring at Katryna. She’s that perfect age where she will just dance and spin and not really care (or know) that anyone is watching her.  

Once Chris and Evelyn left on Sunday, Bridget declared herself officially bored. And then took an EPIC nap.

giddy

It’s SNOWING!

And from the looks of it, it’s going to be snowing for at least 24 hours. Oh, and we’re here visiting Keith and Shade’ for the weekend. Actually, the last time we had a big snowstorm, we were out of town. However, I was sure to pack extra clothes and we made certain we were here before the snow started coming down. Now all that’s left to do is to sit back and enjoy it.

The part I love the best about the snow is the way that the cold smells and feels. That is, until I get snow in my gloves and/or shoes; then, I am done. Done. I have a feeling that Bridget will have a grand time outside with Brendan and Keith. I’ll have a little fun, take some photos and then hang out with the baby and whoever else wants to be nice and cozy inside.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be working remotely on Monday. =)

quite nice

This weekend was really great. Yesterday was the much anticipated TU ReU. Yes, it actually all came together. The pavilion at the McKeldin Recreation Area was just about as perfect as it could be: just the right size, in the shade, right next to the playground. Just about everyone could make it, too. I packed my camera, but ended up taking ZERO pictures. Hopefully others who did will send them around. Everyone seemed to have a really great time. We all made each other the usual promises to see each other more often, but you know, who knows. Everyone has their people that they still talk to.  I certainly will try.

Later on, after a bit of driving around trying to figure things out, a few of us hung out at the Victoria Gastro Pub. In a bit of a classic move, it was right across the parking lot from the hotel where my friends were staying and I didn’t even notice until we were inside. There it was, right out of the window! Inside it was really nice. Great atmosphere. The food was good, too. Though I’m not sure why it took as long as it did for the first round and our food, what we ate was yummy. The beer choices were quite extensive, and a lot of the beers from the Muskoxen QFTB were on the menu, but the ones that I sampled were only just OK. Maybe just a matter of what was selected. However, Shade’ did order some cocktails both were pretty horrible.

We also had reservations at the gastro pub for brunch today. Same sort of experience. Food was excellent: French toast for Brendan and his mom and eggs benedict for me, but it seemed to take a bit (although being Mother’s Day brunch, it’s not too unexpected). The waitress was really great with Bridget, too.

All in all, it was a really great weekend. (You know, except for the traffic on the way home.)

Disclaimer.

Brendan joined the party on January 2, 2004. He's cool now.

Jessica has never been cool. She is OK with that.

And just so everyone is clear, what we say here is not endorsed by either of our employers.