a whole lot of things


There’s been a lot that’s happened over the past month:

  • Easter at my grandmother’s house (photo above by my brother, more in the gallery).
  • The kids first camping trip. It was short, but successful. We got a big fancy tent and it was a bit comical setting up, but next time it’ll be easy.
  • A trip to Pennsylvania for Molly’s 2nd birthday.
  • Bridget learned to ride a 2 wheeler sans training wheels (video).
  • And this last weekend was the arts festival. Full run down over on the crafty blog.

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 ( 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. 


I am not normally one for formal resolutions at the start of the year, but if the Mayans are right and this is in fact our last year of existence, here goes nothing.

1. Less screen time. The internet isn’t going anywhere and I’m not going to miss anything that important. (Right?) And missing out on a show or two isn’t going to ruin me*. 

1a. More kid time. And hopefully less me agonizing over things getting completed the right way, and just letting them do a dang project. (Really, you have no idea how hard it is sometimes to just keep my hands off.)

1b. Read more books. I used to. I can again.

2. Make more. Ideas are great and all, but having them go nowhere isn’t accomplishing much of anything.  

3. Keep up with the eating right and sort of exercising. I haven’t really blogged about it at all, but I’ve lost over 30 pounds since this spring and have been dabbling in running. Winter running and I aren’t really getting along, but brisk dog walking should do for a while. 

4. Maintain correspondence with more than just two friends. I love emails (and real mail) and by golly, the best way to get either is to hand it out. 

5. Biting my tongue. Enough with the snark. 

And that’s where I’ll leave it. Let’s not go crazy here. 




*Except Downton Abbey – I had to add that one. But promise to drop something else so it balances out.

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. 


A lot of things got checked off our to do list today:


  • Post Office to send in forms to renew passports. Hooray! Hopefully they will be back in time for the (GROWN UPS ONLY) trip to Canada later this summer.
  • Doctor’s visits for the kids. Bonus: no shots for anyone this time. Forms filled out for daycare and
  • KINDERGARTEN forms filled out, ready to turn in on Friday. <– Sorry for the all-caps there, but seriously, it’s sort of hard to believe that Bridget will be 5 at the end of the month.

Still, plenty on the needs to get done list, but feeling like that list is getting smaller is good. 

This is not to say that today was without it’s irrational freak out. No, I was (expectedly) neurotic about getting to the doctor’s office on time and a trip to the drive thru at the bank (which seemingly took ages) pushed me over the edge a little bit.



Yesterday evening when we got home from the grocery store, Bridget said she saw a shooting star (i.e. a place) and made a wish. But she didn’t remember what she wished for. It got me thinking, what would I wish for?

  • To eat dinner with both of my hands and as slow as I wished because no one was crying or needed to be held or fed.
  • That people who really need naps would actually take them. Every day.
  • Zero whining.
  • A magical cleaning fairy. One that did laundry, washed dishes and cleaned up toys. I’d settle for Mary Poppins’ magical abilities.
  • A pony. Or chickens.
  • A maintenance-free vehicle. Or at least one that didn’t currently have it’s check engine light on even though we just spent a bunch of money on it this summer.
  • A city house and a country house.
  • Clothes that always fit.
  • holiday

    Since this weekend is the only weekend in May that we had absolutely no plans made we just decided to relax at home and do a few things, but not too much. So far, it’s been a pretty easy task to accomplish.

     Yesterday Brendan took down the Japanese Maple that totally died in the front yard. It was partially dead when we moved in and slowly just kept dying. I know those things are crazy expensive, and I feel a little sad that it died, but when the tree guys were here a few years back they said there wasn’t really anything that we could do. Oh well.


    Today, I made bagels. I was a little dubious at first, I thought it sounded a little bit too easy, but they turned out pretty great. I am just a little bit proud of myself, actually. 

     Later, Bren and Bridget are headed out to Home Depot for some stuff for the seemingly endless backyard drainage project.  I kid, because it is 10,000 times better than it ever was before, and there is just a little regrading and grass seeding that still needs to be done. Honestly, our backyard is the bane of my existence. 

    busy busy

    We’ve been busy around here.

    Last weekend, we went up to Val’s graduation for her Master’s (hooray Val!). And I got a spectacular sunburn while sitting in the shade. 


    On Tuesday, Brendan and I met David and Carolyn at the Nationals, er Pirates game. I took this photo not that long before the first pitch. It did fill in as the game went on, especially in the lower levels. Brendan was happy to see the Bucs win.

    This weekend we are staying home. No big plans, no overnight guests, just chillin’. We’ve had event after event this month, and next weekend is Bridget’s birthday party. It will be so nice to just not have to do anything. 

    Bridget’s top five

    When we are in the car, we more often than not will put on the iPod in lieu of the radio. There are certain songs of course that Bridget adores and will either request by name (her own name for the song if she has one) or emphatically tell us that we need to listen to if it. So here are Bridget’s top five songs:

    • Gasoline Serpent by Devotchka. Aka "The Whistling Song" By far this is her favorite song.
    • A-Punk by Vampire Weekend. Aka "The Hey Hey Song" A top contender. She also likes M79.
    • Intervention by Arcade Fire. This one doesn’t have a nickname, but I think that’s just because she isn’t really sure of the lyrics.
    • Sloop John B by The Beach Boys. This one also doesn’t have it’s own name, but she can recognize it in less than one note. Seriously, if Name that Tune makes a come back, I might just sign her up!
    • St. Louise is Listening by Soul Coughing and also the solo Mike Doughty version. Aka "Get Up on It." Again, recognition here is pretty amazing. She can pick out Doughty’s voice on most any of his tracks.

    She also has a fondness for the Pogues, but we’ve decided that it’s best if she isn’t walking around singing about drinking just yet.

    ah responsibility

    In the past few weeks we have:

    • had the truck inspected (it failed)
      • took it to mechanic, he "fixed" what turned out to be a non-problem with some extra grease and had the truck re-inspected (it passed)
    • had extra maintenance done on the truck
    • got a new roof on the house
    • had the house thoroughly power washed

    The new roof was originally supposed to go up on Tuesday, but the foreman called and said he was sick, so they’d put it off until Wednesday. So Brendan and I changed our regular schedules around (we normally work from home on Wednesdays) and got childcare squared away. Then, we came home to roofers working on the house Tuesday evening. Not a bad thing, just unexpected. So it was out to dinner and to Target and hoped they’d be done banging for the day before Bridget had to go to bed. They were more or less. They still had to come out on Wednesday to finish up, so all our schedule shuffling was not for nothing.

    Then today the power washers arrived. They have been here for approximately 2 and a half hours. I had no idea it would take this long and be as loud as it is. Thankfully, Bridget (who is getting a cold) is napping through it. The compressor is giving me a slight headache, however. Seriously, who would have thought it’d take probably 4 hours at the rate they are going to rinse of the house. It must be pretty freaking dirty. Maybe we don’t have beige siding after all! 

    In short, we are not moving any time soon. Our assessment came and let’s just say that although the property tax rate has gone up a good bit in the last year, we’ll end up paying less this year than we have in previous years. SIGH. I suppose I should be thankful we can make our payments. 


    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.