10 months…and then some

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At 10 months SBJ is SO STINKING photogenic and adorable most days I can’t handle it. He’s also a complete cheese who loves the sound of his own voice and despite not being able to crawl in a straight line has figured out how to combine scooting, lunging, sitting up and spinning to get himself wherever he wants to be.

We spent almost the entirety of SBJ’s 10th month outside of Williamsburg {highlights here and here and an additional summer recap post is coming!} and if you need to know why this post is delayed, it’s because we were here (at the amazing wedding of two dear, dear people) on August 2nd. It was SBJ’s first trip into D.C. Not too shabby if I do say so myself!

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D.C. Newness

I mentioned in my last post that I had success coordinating the 2013 Constitutional Academy. I’ve been in D.C. since the 10th of July to run this program and a similar one for teachers. Alex has been able to be here a little bit over the weekends, etc. and I’ve been able to enjoy two new things in D.C. that I thought I’d share.

First – we went with our dear friends the Cox’s to Wolftrap for the “Video Games Live” concert done by the National Symphony Orchestra. We picnic-ed and listened to music and despite the heat and nerd culture – had a great time.

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And second – yesterday during the teacher program I’m currently coordinating, I went to George Washington’s Gristmill and Distillery. We got to see both in action and it was super cool! Totally recommend a visit to it next time you’re in D.C.

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My Indiana Visitor

One of  my best friends came up to spend Memorial Day Weekend with me. 

We had a wonderful weekend doing all of the “first time in D.C. – must do” things.

Pictured [top down] The Memorial Day Concert on the West Lawn of the Capitol before we got kicked off because of pending thunderstorms…The White House Main Entrance complete with picketers (I think they were protesting engagement with Iran)…Kelly being the compassionate woman that she is at the breadline at the FDR Memorial…the Old Town Alexandria Farmers Market…Arlington Cemetery which we braved despite the heat and it was so worth it to be there on Memorial Day weekend…and finally, us on the opposite side of Capitol with our picnic lunch before we visited the Capitol, the Library of Congress, and the Longworth House Office Building.

    

    

My Commute & It’s Mockery

I wrote this up as an entry to a radio contest about bad commutes – of which there are many in the D.C. area. Here’s a look at the frustrations I have with mine.

People do crazy things all the time for love, so I know I’m not unique, but hopefully I offer a unique enough perspective to me considered. I feel like I get mocked everyday on my commute for love. I say this because I commute the 10 miles up 395 from the Landmark area of Alexandria to the Courthouse area of Arlington. It usually takes at least 25 minutes and on bad days upwards of 45 minutes – average speed somewhere in the low 20’s. All the while, mocking me are the HOV lanes in which colleagues in hybrids, those on motorcycles, and those who are lucky enough to have found 2 other passengers zoom by at 70 miles an hour…mocking, mocking, mocking.

The worst part is that on the couple of days a week when my husband commutes in with me or I pick-up my friend – I still don’t get to take the HOV lanes because the 395 HOV lanes are the only ones in the whole metro area that require 3 persons in the car for entry.

Lucky for me, the mocking doesn’t end once I’m off 395 and onto 50 via Washington Blvd. though. No – after I’ve waited in line to exit onto Washington Blvd. and then subsequently from 50 onto North Courthouse Road in Arlington, my office building gleams at me from the bottom of the hill at which I sit waiting on the three lights that are miserably short and the streets that are filled with pedestrians crossing on their own way into work. Though it’s less than a mile, the stretch from the bottom of the hill takes at least 6 minutes everyday because of these factors. All the while, I am mocked by the building in which I do work that I love, and many a time have considered that it would take me less time to walk up the hill than wait on all of the lights and the pedestrians.

white house tour –> musings & dreams

This morning my aunt and I got up early, drove into the D.C., and took a self-guided White House tour. We were able to view most of the rooms on the two state floors and see the beautiful view of the Elipse and the Jefferson from the windows.

I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was surprised at how formal the decor was.  I was struck by the combination of Italian style mansion and Mt. Vernon style color and upholstery. I’m fascinated that this 18th century style of regal, refined, and ornate draperies, molding, and upholstery is still with us today in the most famous residence in our country, particularly that state entertainment is conducting in these old feeling spaces.

Today – I was a tourist in jeans and flip flops but maybe someday I’ll return as a guest or even better yet in an event planning capacity wearing something more appropriate for the decor of the state floors. Some quick calculation in the State Dining Room got me within one table of the maximum number of tables they can seat in it – a fact I was pretty proud of – so maybe there’s hope.

Here’s to coming back – in heels and in style!

-Laura

Springtime

Our weather this last week has been like a typical week of Chicago spring – in and out of the 40’s and 50’s for temperatures, overcast, and on-and-off rainy. Of course – in Chicago this weather might happen in April, but it also might happen in June. In Virginia, we’ll risk having these temperature for another few weeks and then it’s full on summer weather.

One of my favorite things about living in Virginia is the weather. If you can get over the three really hot and humid summer months, the rest of the year this state has great weather. I really like it’s sunny like 358 days a year – a much appreciated change from Indiana for sure!

So since it’s a rainy, dreary night – I’ll remind myself why living here is great by posting a few pictures from the friend’s visit that I mentioned in my last post. We went to the Tital Basin to see what was left of the famous D.C. cherry blossoms. Even though it was late March, it was a wonderfully warm and pleasant evening. Love this place!

Post-Race Pic!

as promised! The race was really lots of fun – I ran a solid 12+ miles of it – walked just a touch in an attempt to not burn out my ankle and would totally run another one – but perhaps a less hilly course!

Pictured below with a fellow 1/2 marathon virgin, Darcy a dear friend from work.