Wednesday, March 25, 2009


My favorite things about spring, in a list:

1. Blossoms.
2. Tulips.
3. Green.
4. Opening the doors to air out the house.
5. Switching my winter and summer clothes out. It’s like a whole new wardrobe!
6. Longer days, shorter nights.
7. Easter.
8. Grilling.
9. Not craving hot thick creamy fattening food all of the time. Look out salads, here I come!
10. Sitting outside to have a drink with friends on a patio.
11. Grilled fish. This combines the three previous bullet points, but it bears repeating - nothing is better than a glass of white wine and a plate of grilled fish and asparagus on a spring afternoon.
12. Free golf lessons from my boss. Particular to this spring, but still. It means I get to play hooky from work on nice afternoons, along with all of the male managers who have been doing it all along! Finally! Inclusion!
13. Blue sky.
14. Azaleas.
15. Flowers.
16. Birdsong.
17. Naps with the windows open.
18. Packing up the family's winter coats - added bonus of additional closet space.
19. The birthdays of 5 of our siblings - my sister-in-law, my brother-in-law, my sister, my brother, my sister, all in rapid succession.
20. My baby's birthday, now thrown into that mix.

My least favorite things about spring, also in list form:

1. My baby’s birthday. Can a year seriously have passed already???
2. Not knowing what to wear in the morning. It goes from short skirts and loose fluttery blouses to Nanook of the North and back to fluttery again – and that’s just from morning til afternoon!
3. Lots of rain.
4. Um, that’s it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

what do i love about spring? EVERYTHING!

the older i grow, the more i loathe winter. but oh, oh how i love spring! i have always enjoyed spring, but i think i'm beginning to treasure it even more.

perhaps my favorite part of spring is the warm (yet not stifling hot) weather along with the abundance of flowers. there was a huge field near my childhood home. each spring, right around easter, the entire field would spring forth with gorgeous daffodils. i can't even begin to describe it; it was just breathtaking really. i remember walking through the field, picking daffodils and displaying them in various vases around our home. i haven't been back to that field in years...i wonder if it still boasts this amazing display of white and yellow. it truly is a sight to behold!

another reason why i love spring is that it holds my favorite holiday - easter! i love, love, love easter! i love purchasing new easter dresses. i love waking up on easter sunday with a new feeling of hope. i love hunting easter eggs. i love eating reece's peanut butter eggs. i love the message that i hear each year on easter sunday. i LOVE the hymns that we sing.

oh, how i love spring! and i am filled with a renewed spirit just knowing that it is nearly in full force!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring: Time of Exploding Renewal

This winter has felt so, so long and it is always about this time of year when I find that I want to burn my winter coat, that I hate the dark mornings and I begin begging for winter mercy. Now as the days are getting longer and there is a chance that the temperatures might hike above fifty degrees, I turn my face to the sun and see that the trees are beginning to bloom. Ah, spring is making its mark on the frosty face of winter.

My favorite thing about this time of year has always been that it is a time of renewal and hope. The brown grass begins to turn green, the flowers start to bloom, and the trees burst into gorgeous plumes of color. Where I live on the east coast, Washington, D.C., is famous for the cherry blossoms that explode into full bloom during this time of year. There are few things more breathtaking than approaching the Tidal Basin and finding it surrounded by hundreds of fully blooming cherry blossom trees. It always makes me want to stop, take a deep breath, and imagine that anything is possible.

I also love that spring ushers in the warm sun again. Of course, during winter the sun shines and it is always a welcome change from the gray days of snow and slush. However, once spring begins, the sun once again becomes that bright orange ball of fire that warms your skin when you turn your face toward it. How I love closing my eyes and feeling that warmth on my forehead, cheeks, nose.

My absolute favorite part of spring, though, is the fact that it means summer is on its way!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Better Late Than Never!

A day late and a dollar short, but here ya go.

If I had only one television show to ever watch, I do believe that show would be . . .


. . . Deadwood. Or Firefly. Or Deadwood. Or Sopranos. Maybe Firefly.

The language in Deadwood is so dense, and the delivery so natural (read: swift,) that I can watch it fifty times and pick up things I've missed. The visuals, also dense. Plots. Dense. Moral conundrums. You guessed it - dense. You can pick a thread and follow it down a rabbit hole, and the next time you watch you can follow another one. This would be a series I could watch a hundred times. But there aren't enough episodes! And it doesn't end!

Firefly has characters that I love spending time with. And it is so optimistic and upbeat, even when it gets serious. Its backstory is as dense as Deadwood's (I'm sensing a theme in my tastes here,) though Joss Whedon did not get a chance to explore the winding paths he laid out, as the thing was also cancelled well before its time. The "tapestry" of script, set, story, etc. is nowhere near as rich as Deadwood, but its humor, lack of pretense, and general good cheer would make it a good lifelong tv companion.

And then we have The Sopranos. I love the delicious feeling of knowing we still have 3 1/2 seasons of unwatched Sopranos chillin' in our Netflix queue. I don't know that on an even playing field I would pick this one necessarily - it has less to recommend it, re-viewing wise. However, it wins the prize for being the new series to which we still look forward each weekend. That alone - the fact that I haven't already watched it fifty times, as I have the previous two - keeps it in the running.

Don't make me choose. Don't. You're too cruel. Don't!

All right. Deadwood it is.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mad For My Mad Men

Growing up I was never really interested in television. Sure, there were love affairs with Mike Seaver on Growing Pains and I enjoyed Sesame Street every once in a while, but my parents made sure that I found other ways to entertain myself as a kid. Sure, as an adult it is nice to have interests outside of television -- reading, running, photography -- but I am definitely making up for lost time in the land of television these days! My husband travels often for work and we moved to a new city a few years ago. Couple a new city with not really knowing anyone with a husband who is gone all the time and you get me watching A LOT of television.

I have a few shows that I watch purely for entertainment purposes (America's Next Top Model), a few shows that I watch to make me feel better about myself (Rock of Love Bus, anyone?), and a few shows that I watch for educational purposes (Jeopardy). There are a few shows, though, that I absolutely never miss.

If I had to choose just one television show to watch, well, it would be a tough decision. I think I may have narrowed it down to at two: The Amazing Race and Mad Men. I know this will shock some people, but I think if pressed, I would choose Mad Men as my sole television show to watch. The Amazing Race has long been a favorite of mine and I do hold it near and dear to my heart, but Mad Men currently has me under its spell.

Mad Men is also probably my current favorite because it is pretty much the only show that my husband and I both enjoy. We find ourselves mesmerized by the characters and plot twists. The wardrobes for these characters are spot on and every little detail is attended to. The music is perfection. The characters are well-developed and yet have just enough mystery to keep you guessing. The juxtaposition of light and dark is intriguing. The female characters are fantastic. And Don Draper? Do not even get me started! He is a bad man who is also a very good man. The perfect lead character. To me, this show is perfect in every way. So, there is just no way that I could ever give up my Mad Men (and women!)!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I Wonder What Was the Best Part About My Weekend?

Well, hands down the best part was that I wasn’t here at work.

Sorry. This has been One Of Those Days, and it won’t be over soon. The roofers pounding just above my head aren’t helping much. So, in order to lower my blood pressure and focus on good times, good times, let’s discuss last weekend, shall we? Because last weekend? Was awesome.

My parents and middle sister came to visit. We see them 3 or 4 times a year, which is not enough, but it’s tough to make that 8 hour drive for just a weekend. The middlesis has signed the lease on her first apartment – whee!! – and we are donating some much-loved items to her household. It’s amazing how much stuff it takes to clean your bathroom or cook a spaghetti dinner, and I like to think that we’ve made it a little more possible for her to perform these tasks.

In any case, these boxed items in our shed + ever-aging baby boy = parental trip, and boy did the weather just suckity suck suck for their visit. It rained and drooped and drizzled and fizzled all weekend. Friday night while we waited for them to arrive, Darlin and I splurged on getting takeout. We ordered fried egg burgers and tater tots from a local bar, and Frog Baby garnered lots of attention in there while we waited. (It’s family friendly til a certain hour of the night – there were lots of kids, but Frog was the cutest!) We gorged ourselves, watched a Sopranos episode, and fell asleep waiting for my family to arrive. They got there around 11pm, peeked in on the baby, and then we all headed to bed.

Saturday morning dawned dreary as ever, but we rallied and sallied ho and took ourselves on up to the Natural Science Museum anyhow. We sloshed through the puddles to the front entrance, and then enjoyed a leisurely two hour (dry and warm!) exploration of the four floors of dinosaurs, whales, trees, snakes, spiders, and so forth. It was lots of fun. Dad bought Frog Baby a soft pillow with a wolf on it. He sleeps with it at night.

That evening we were all treated to a delicious PF Chang’s dinner, on Dad. We did call ahead seating, which is a parent’s savior by the way. The only way we were getting through a nice meal at a nice (slow) restaurant was if the experience was as short as possible. There was no reason to worry, though - Frog was a dream. He sat in his high chair, played with chopsticks, and ate the finger foods I’d packed. He didn’t fuss for a second. Eating out is really different with a kid. I can’t imagine when we have multiple children! That night, my mother and sister saw me perform with my band at a local bar. My mom rocked out until past midnight, drinking a rum and coke and cheering for me. What a mama.

Next day, we casually mentioned that I had praised my mother’s lasagna in a post here, and she gave us all a knowing cockeyed look and then graciously offered to make it. Oh yes. YESSSSSSS. We did a Wal Mart run for the ingredients, and approximately seven zillion hours later it was assembled and boiling hot on our plates. In the meantime, we hung around the house, enjoying each other’s company, and all in all spending too much time with the baby as the center of attention.

Monday morning dawned snowy and bright, and I decided to work from home (much to my Northern boss’s consternation, but tough cookies. It’s not worth my life!) I wished my family farewell, and then alternated working and teaching Jack about snow. It was the best day I’ve had in a long time.

It all feels a million miles away right now, as I wait to fire some people and discipline some other people. But I know that this week can't, in fact, last forever. And that another Friday is waiting for me just around the corner.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

it's no wonder.

it's no wonder that i loved every last second of my weekend. on friday, super jas and i treated the girls (and one of their friends) to pizza hut and a movie. we saw a movie we had seen before ('bolt'), but we enjoyed it so much the first time that we didn't mind seeing it again. it was just as cute the second time around and i would see it again and again...such a cute movie! i highly recommend it.

saturday was fairly lazy. all 4 of us piled into the car to go grocery shopping. such excitement, no?

after church on sunday, super jas and his dad headed to the annual boat, sport, and travel show at the fairgrounds. i used to attend the event with them, but after a few years, i had had enough. now, i totally and completely despise the boat, sport, and travel show. and it's such a chore hauling the girls through each of the buildings, trying to keep them happy and out of trouble. plus, how boring is it to look at fishing gear and boats all day? sooo not my idea of a good time. i decided to skip the event for the 3rd year in a row and take the girls to the children's museum. i didn't know if my mother-in-law had plans, so i called her up and invited her to tag along with us. she agreed and we had a wonderful, fun filled day together. we even ran into a couple of friends from my college days in line at the carousel. they are married now and have 2 kids and it was fun to catch up with them and their lives.

after the museum closed, we met super jas and his dad at steak-n-shake for dinner. we gorged ourselves on burgers and milkshakes and called it a day. the girls collapsed into bed and super jas and i snuggled on the couch. ah, pure bliss!

it was such a nice, relaxing weekend that i can't pick just one moment that i loved the best. i wish every weekend could be as fun!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I Wonder What I Loved Most About My Weekend?

Well, it was not the migraine. Definitely not that. Maybe I loved the meds that put me to sleep so that I could be blissfully unaware of said migraine? Hmm. I did enjoy slipping away on a drug-induced haze and not feeling my head throb anymore. I also loved scrubbing my entire apartment down so that it now sparkles when I walk into a room. I may have heard angels singing when I cleaned our microwave out, people.

I loved sitting on our couch all day Saturday watching movies and bad DVR'ed television (Millionaire Matchmaker, anyone?). I loved that I got to sit next to Superman all weekend and that we got to spend some quality time together. I loved that Wondercat, who is still heavily medicated, sat quietly and caused not one problem while we rested and relaxed.

But what I loved best about my weekend? Was that it got longer by one day due to a surprise snowstorm! A unexpected three day weekend is always welcome! I took full advantage by snuggling under a warm blankie in my warm pajama pants and watched bad daytime television. I got laundry done that would have otherwise gone undone for another few days. I got to see my husband in the middle of the day on a Monday and that always feels luxurious. I love the feeling of playing hooky even when it is boss-approved and on the up and up. Ah, my three day weekend was just lovely!