Thursday, April 30, 2015

30 by 30: Month Two

This was a slower month for the list because I was busy planning and throwing my sister's baby shower, but I still got a few things crossed off the list.

2. Read 30 books. I'm about halfway through Moneyball, and I just started Crime and Punishment, but Eek! I better get moving.

4. Make Royal Icing. Katie: 1. Royal Icing: 0. I've successfully made perfect royal icing TWICE in the last month. This culminated in some adorable tea-themed cookies that we gave out as baby shower favors.

8. Blog every week. I've already missed this one (twice!), but I'm hoping to make up for it by squeezing in more than 1 post/week in the upcoming months. I figure if I blog 52 times by my 30th birthday that should count. I made the list so I make the rules.

15. Beat Jon at Settlers of Catan. More Settlers was played...and lost. This one may the hardest of them all.

16. Host more dinner parties. We hosted an Easter brunch that was quite lovely. Jon has been traveling so much lately that other hosting has been put on hold, but I have high hopes for this summer.

22. See the cherry blossoms at daybreak. We came, we saw, we conquered. Definitely glad this one was on the list or we never would have done it!

23. Memorize 12 verses. I memorized Hebrews 3:13-14. I taught on this passage for Bible study last month so it was almost inadvertently committed to memory. That's a nice bonus to teaching on a passage.

"But exhort one another every day as long as it is called "today" that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end."

28. Visit 5 National Park sites. We visited the Independence National Park Site while we were in Philadelphia. Even better, it was a new one to me. 1 down, 4 to go.

Monday, April 20, 2015

cherry blossoms

I have a love/hate relationship with cherry blossoms. I think most locals do. While the trees are beautiful and a welcome harbinger of spring, the mass of tourists that descend on the city in late March and early April almost makes you want to send the trees back to Japan. Thanks, but no thanks.

While driving into the city the other day, I posed this question to Jon, "Have you ever seen a tourist family in DC that looks like they were having fun?" The answer is no. Friends, yes. Couples, yes. Family with kids, not so much. The parents look exhausted, the kids look bored, and everyone looks like they are tired of walking. As my mom would say, DC is a work vacation, and if you come during cherry blossom season, you are guaranteed extra work thanks to expensive hotels, crowded transportation (actually, make that crowded everything), and long lines wherever you go.

Given the above, I wasn't the least bit upset when I realized our weekend in Philly corresponded with peak bloom. We heard from several friends who braved the mall over that weekend that it was a complete madhouse. Some people didn't even make it the tidal basin.

We came up with another plan to enjoy the blossoms without the hassle. We woke up early (way early) last Monday morning. We parked at Jon's office, hopped on the metro and walked all around the tidal basin. It was a perfect morning and we practically had the place to ourselves...well, ourselves, and all the trash the weekend crowd had left behind. Like I said, it's love/hate with cherry blossom season.

It's the only way to do it, and I'm so glad we did. Also, that's another thing crossed off the 30 by 30 list.

i look really awesome, but who bothers with hair and makeup at 5:00 a.m.?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

city of brotherly love

We spent last weekend in Philly sightseeing, baseball watching and relaxing. Here's a little recap of our visit in the city of brotherly love. 

We took Friday off and took a leisurely drive up to Philly. We checked in to the Rittenhouse Hotel and enjoyed their afternoon tea. I love a good high tea, and this was one of the best ones I've had stateside.

That night we went to the Nats vs. Phillies game. Another ballpark crossed off our list, but unfortunately, it was overcast, chilly, and the Nats lost. We went to a second game on Saturday night and it was a repeat of night one. Luckily, the colder weather kept a lot of Phillies fans away so we didn't have to deal with any hecklers. Despite being the city of brotherly love, Philly sports fans aren't exactly known for their love....unless you count their love for booing and heckling.

Saturday morning we started with lattes to fuel up for a day of historical sightseeing. I've never done any of the touristy things in Philly so it was fun to take it all in on a sunny, but breezy day. There was more to see than I thought. We walked A LOT. However, because we did this trip a little more spur of the moment, there was no real planning involved. This is very unlike us...and it reminded me why we usually plan. By the time we strolled over to the old city, Independence Hall tickets were already sold out. Oops. Jon assures me it's just a room so I'm assuming I would have been unimpressed anyway.

Midway through the day, we stopped for cheesesteaks at Sonny's. They were delicious, but I think one cheesesteak every 4-5 years is probably enough for me.

I know this doesn't look great, but it was. I could only eat about half of mine. Cheesesteak: 1. Katie: 0.
Jon finished his like a champ. I definitely recommend Sonny's if you are ever in Philly.
don't be fooled. tis the city of brotherly love in name only.

We brunched on Sunday before crossing the river into New Jersey. I've briefly been to NJ before, but I wanted to make it a little more official.

We randomly picked a park on the riverfront to walk around, but we stumbled upon the USS New Jersey, which is apparently the most decorated US battleship. I wanted to take the tour, but we didn't have time. Again, we probably should have planned better. Maybe next time.

Last, but not least, we did a quick drive-by of the Rocky steps before heading back to DC and cherry blossom madness. On our way back home, we literally saw a mile-long stretch of cars parked on the interstate shoulder. People will stop at nothing to see those trees.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

easter weekend and baseball

We had a pretty good run these last few days. Thanks in part to the best weather of the season so far, we had a lovely Easter weekend followed by baseball's opening day on Monday. Top that off with a good NCAA championship game Monday night, and it was a pretty great 72 hours. This upcoming weekend we are off to Philly for some more baseball and R&R.

On Friday, our friends Kelton and Rebekah came over to watch Little Big League with us in advance of opening day. Rebekah grew up a Twins fan, but somehow missed the greatness that is Little Big League. It should be required viewing in Minnesota schools as far as I'm concerned. They came in full Twins regalia. Luckily, they donned Nats gear for opening day.

Saturday was all about our living room gallery wall and Easter brunch prep. The gallery wall isn't quite finished yet because they sent me 4 of the wrong frames, but we are well on our way and I love how it's turning out.

I'm terrible with photos while I'm hosting. I'm usually too busy making sure everyone is well fed, properly hydrated and happy. By the time I think to take photos, it's all over so you'll just have to trust me that Easter brunch was a success. After eating, we enjoyed the sunshine while the kiddos hunted for eggs.

Monday was all about baseball. It was probably the best opening day weather I've experienced. It made for a great day that could have been better if the Nats had won. Oh well, there are 161 games left for the Nats to win.