Channel 34

In my opinion, Sirius XM Channel 34 – Lithium is the best Sirius XM radio station.  Lithium is 90’s Alternative and Grunge and it takes me right back.  Do you have Sirius XM Radio?  Do you wonder about their business model like I do?  I bought my car in the summer of 2014, right before Wes was born, and I have never once paid for Sirius XM radio.  For the longest time I ignored it but then I disovered Lithium and if those Sirius XM people ever finally catch on to the fact that I’m not paying for their service I might have to consider!

Anyway, I was in my car last month listening to Channel 34 on the way to preschool pick up.  Madeline was in the back either happily babbling or just being delightful.  And then The Flaming Lips’ song “She Don’t Use Jelly” came on and I turned it up and sang so loud.  Do you remember this song too?  Do you wonder why it is she chose Vaseline over jelly?  Not quite as mysterious as the Sirius XM business model, but still a great mystery.

 

As I was singing this song and thinking about the 90s and how wonderful the music was, it reminded me of a conversation I had with my parents recently.  I was telling my dad how growing up I just could not understand why he only listened to Oldies.  Why wasn’t he interested in staying current with music?  It’s so good!  I told my dad I had been listening to Lithium for a few weeks enjoying the music of my youth when I realized.  Oh.  That’s why he listened to Oldies.  And oh.  I guess I’ve reached that point too.  And oh.  Lots of other things you feel when you’re about to be 35 and you’re not old and you know you’re not old but you’re not young and worst of all you’re not relevant anymore.  They aren’t marketing to you anymore.  And who are these people hosting and performing in the recorded episode of SNL you’re watching at 8 pm the next day once the kids are tucked in?

And oh.  Maybe I could write a blog post about this.  But oh, I just canceled that subscription.  Hmm.  To be continued?

Giving it another go

Hi Everybody!  We’ve missed you!  But we weren’t sure what to do about you.  Because of the amount of pictures on the blog, it costs a little bit each year to maintain it.  Last year’s payment expired right around the time of my last post.  I couldn’t decide whether I could justify the cost given my blogging habits.  But Sean misses the blog!  Maybe you do too, but Sean does!  So we’ll see how this year goes!  I’m nervous to be back at this again.  I’m worried that I’ll feel stressed out about not posting.  At the same time, I’ve been writing stories in my head for months now, and I’m excited to have the space back to share.

So what’s going on with us right now?  Here’s a picture dump of some things you’ve missed in the past months.  Enjoy!

 

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We created some art of the living room!

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We spent lots of time in our playroom and dad made Wes a fort!

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Headed to DC for a museum play date!

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I ran out of gas with the captions, could you tell?  Hopefully you can guess some of what’s been going on?

 

 

Planning for the Long Haul Yeah!

I’ve mentioned this just twice before, but I’d like to remind you that Sean sings.  If Sean’s singing he’s in a good mood or something good is happening or he’s pleased with himself.  It’s fun.  And funny.  He usually sings about the activity he’s doing in that moment, or maybe sing something you’ve just said that resonates with him.

I have no idea why, but I was sharing Sean’s love for random singing with my colleagues the other day.  Which reminded me of this commercial:

We saw this commercial for the first time a few months ago and just busted out laughing.  We immediately searched for it and watched it several times.  If you’ve never had the privilege of hearing Sean sing but are curious then just know that this cat and Sean are kindred spirits in song.

Home Alone

Sean’s been out of town a lot lately, so when I saw this blog post from one of my favorites, Cup of Jo, I laughed out loud at the image.  It’s so comforting to know that when home alone I’m not the only person that eats a completely random assortment of foods or talks to a pet. Sean’s most recent time away was this past Sunday & Monday.  On Monday I asked Aiden about his day and I think he fully enjoyed his midday walk with his dogwalker despite the grey weather.  Then, over and over, I sang to him phrases from a Beauty & the Beast song.  Specifically:  “I want adventure in the great wide somewhere/ I want it more than I can tell/ And for once it might be grand/ To have someone understand/ I want so much more than they’ve got planned.” (Around 5:20 in the video I’ve linked, if you want a refresher.)  I feel on the brink of one of the greatest adventures of my life, so I’m not looking for more adventure.  But I think Aiden was cool with it even though no one could understand where the urge to sing this particular song came from.

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Volunteering and Cabin Fever

Sunday night I volunteered with the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary.  It’s my committee assignment through Junior League for the next two years.  The Apothecary is a pretty neat space.  It’s a time capsule.  When the Apothecary closed in 1933 they locked the doors and walked out.  Luckily the property was purchased immediately and turned into a museum six years later in 1939.  Everything inside, include the ingredients in the jars, is original.  I just love that!

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When I signed up for a volunteer shift on a Sunday night I knew I wouldn’t be excited about it when the day came.  Sunday nights are so important to me (and us) for winding down before going back to work on Monday.  Sure enough, as my shift time drew nearer yesterday I didn’t want to go.  I had gotten up early to take Sean to the airport for a business trip, and I was cozy on the couch in pajamas with Aiden.  If I didn’t go I could watch an Oscar-nominated film that Sean would never agree to.  But I went, of course, because I committed and that’s what you do.  It was so fun!

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Last month I got together with my “book club” friends and everyone talked about how they were suffering from cabin fever due to all the cold and snow this winter.  I didn’t relate and told Sean as much.  He said our trip to Phoenix in January helped.  While I think he was probably right a month ago, that trip did not sustain me all the way to now.  I think I’ve suffered from cabin fever without even realizing because it felt so good to be out of my house and out in public last night.  To do something and not just go to work or have dinner out.  To be among a new set of people.  I talked with the other docents and learned that the Marine Corp Band plays for free during the winter probably five minutes from our house and on the Mall when the weather in warm and they aren’t traveling.  I learned that our Bill of Rights was largely based (as in word-for-word copied in some places, at least according to this docent who seemed very knowledgeable on the subject) on Virginia’s Bill of Rights which was written by George Mason.  I had no idea!  Sadly for George Mason he gets hardly any of the credit for this.  I had never heard of George Mason until I moved to Arlington and realized George Mason University was a metro stop.  Poor guy.  But so interesting, right?  Also, his estate can be toured and is perfect for a picnic lunch in the Spring.  Oh, Spring!  Where are you?

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Volunteering was a nice change of pace.  Then I woke up to snow and another snow day yesterday.  Which was really disappointing.  I really hate to complain because I know several winters from now when there’s not a snowflake in sight I’ll be sad.  But this cold and snow is really getting to me.  On the bright side, at least I had a bag of Cadbury mini eggs to help me through yesterday and a dog who was feeling very snuggly to make up for the lack of husband.

Snow Day

Monday was my third snow day this winter.  Luckily, Sean’s office has also been closed for the last two.  Snow days are so much better with company, so much cozier.  Even though snow and days off of work have been common this winter, when I received an alert from the city of Alexandria Sunday night I not nervous.  It warned us to be prepared for power outages and up to three days without the ability to travel!  What!?  I shared the alert with Sean.

“We need to stock up on water!” he said.photo 2

“Sarah, why do we have all these pitchers?”  “Two matching crystal for future breakfasts when we have company over and water and orange juice are served, one smaller crystal pitcher for a smaller crowd, one stylish plastic pitcher in case we have a pool one day, and this last plastic pitcher you brought to the marriage.”  Obviously, husband.

“With all these pitchers do we really need to fill the punch bowl, too?” he asked.photo 1

Apparently not.

“Oh my gosh, do we have enough flashlights in case the power goes out?  How will we see anything?” (Me.)photo 3

I forgot we were campers.  While flashlights and lots of pitchers are not all one needs to survive a power outage for multiple days, we were more prepared than I realized.  Go A Team.

I’d just like to clarify that this isn’t our usual style.  We don’t usually stock up on anything before a storm.  We’ve never whiped out that emergency kit before.  But for some reason this one got to us.

Yes, we had snow, and yes our neighborhood was poorly prepared so the roads remained un-plowed even into Tuesday morning, but we didn’t lose power and things were just fine.  Cozy and warm and snowy.  So I made hot chocolate.

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I used this recipe.  I love Pinzey’s so much I was happy to find a recipe that included vanilla extract.  Personally, I needed much more chocolate, so I would double the cocoa powder and sugar amounts if I were to make it again.  Maybe the vanilla, too.

Then we did some working form home and snow falling observing.photo 12photo 8

It was nice to be snowed in together (again), but enough.  Enough, Mother Nature.  I’m ready for March to turn into a lamb.

One for the Good Things Jar

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February 6, 2014

I am surprised how grateful I am that Sean banged up his car, which was really not fun at the time.  We put it in the shop right before heading to Phoenix and we won’t be able to pick it up until today or tomorrow.  Instead of getting a rental car as he initially planned, we drove to and from work together.  I’m sure Sean didn’t love getting up earlier to accommodate when I like to start my work day, but I’ve loved getting to start and end our work days together.  It’s made for a happier commute.  I’ll miss it a little next week.

January iPhone Pictures

I take more pictures than I used to since starting this blog.  I don’t know what’s going to make it into a post and posts are better with pictures!  Here’s a collection of iPhone pictures from January that didn’t make it into a post.

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My friend Angie had her second baby, Robinson, in December and I got to meet him just after the new year.  He’s so teeny!photo 14This guy.  He’s got the life.photo 4 photo 5 photo 13photo 15photo 6photo 7I know, a bathroom selfie…really?  But, look, I’ve been twirling my bangs sometimes!photo 12photo 8 photo 9Sean turned leftover boeuf bourguignon into a version of the spaghetti pie he had in childhood.  Not bad!photo 10 photo 11photo 17

Hey, January was pretty photogenic, huh?

Good Things in 2014

2014 Jar of Good Things

I don’t know where this originally came from, but Junior League posted this picture on Facebook in December, and I thought YES!  What a great idea!  I think Sean and I are able to capture lots of good moments here on our blog but not every small, good moment/blessing/funny story/etc. can be recorded here.  I love the idea of opening up our memories next New Year’s and remembering all the wonderful things you don’t think you’ll forget but do by year’s end.

So I went on a trip to Target and got to work.NYE 012I wanted colored paper in case I decided to make a scrap book page out of these or something similar.NYE 014Initially when I was at Target I thought I would buy a Mason jar like the one in the photo and ribbon.  Luckily I remembered I have a stock of ribbon and plenty of vases that I don’t fill.  So my version only required special pens and paper.NYE 015NYE 016Simple!NYE 018Our cardboard selves are ready and waiting for the good things of 2014 to be recorded and kept.  We’ve actually added two to our jar since I’ve taken this picture.

If you really think about it we’re all very lucky and have plenty to be grateful for.  But it’s so easy to become bogged down by the day-to-day.  So I’m not only looking forward to reliving these wonderful moments in 2014 next December, but also to make sure I’m remaining mindful of the moments worth adding to the jar as the year goes on.

One final note!  While this isn’t exactly related to this jar but on the note of good things, the Words to Inspire Page-a-Day calendar Santa gave me is reminding us all that we are doing a freaking great job!Great JobIt’s hard this first official no-one-is-on-vacation-anymore day back to work.  It’s tough.  But hang in there because you’re doing great!

A Word for 2014

courage1In 2014, I’m striving for courage.  My mom started having a word for the year maybe four years ago now.  Something to inspire her as she navigates her way through the year.  Something to help keep her on track, to help her improve, to reflect on when she’s down.  I like the idea.  Last year I picked assertive but didn’t implement it or strive for it the whole year long the way my mom does and the way I intended when I first chose it.  This year I’m not only picking courage but I’m going to remember courage and remember that it’s guiding me through the year.

I’m picking courage because of Brené Brown’s TED Talk.  At the suggestion of a friend I listened to the talk a few times earlier in December.  Honestly, I think there are a few words and phrases from this talk that I could pick and strive for in 2014 but baby steps.  It was what she said about courage that really resonated with me.  “Courage, the original definition of courage, when it first came into the English language — it’s from the Latin word cor, meaning heart — and the original definition was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.”

She says the line I’ve quoted about eight and a half minutes in, but if you’re curious enough to find just that one line then I recommend you listen to the whole thing.

I’m trying not to put too much pressure on courage, but I kind of have a tall order for courage in 2014.  It turns out I really like the current definition of courage, which I think still ties into the TED Talk.  “Courage: the state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery.”  Oh, man those vicissitudes.  I can’t plan and predict life the way I want to, the way Brené Brown talks about how she wanted to.  So those vicissitudes, I need a little courage to get through some of those.  I can’t plan and predict my way through life but boy do I try.

So in 2014, I’m striving for the courage to tell my story with my whole heart (to live life with my whole heart, really), for the courage to put myself out there for whatever is waiting for me, and for the courage to weather pesky vicissitudes that I haven’t planned or are beyond my control.  All of this in lieu of a resolution.

Whether you’re picking a word, making a resolution, or deciding just to embrace 2014 for whatever comes, best of luck!  Happy new year and best wishes for 2014!