Archive for the ‘Reading Life’ Category

Oof.  Is it really Monday?  Say it ain’t so.  We had another one of our hectic weekends, running around from sunup on Saturday to sundown on Sunday.  I am wiped.  Friday was my birthday, so this weekend was “Mommy weekend” – woohoo!  Of course, weeks ago, I had unthinkingly agreed to a playdate on Saturday, so I only ended up choosing the agenda on Sunday.  Saturday was fun, though – we went to a bounce house gym with one of Peanut’s friends from school.  I am lucky in that Peanut seems to gravitate toward the kids with the most down-to-earth moms, so playdates for the kids are turning into friend time for me, too – no complaints here!  The friend we met up with on Saturday just recently returned from being flower girl in a wedding, too, so her mom and I debriefed on all things wedding while the kids ran around and bounced.  The rest of Saturday, we palled around closer to home – visiting Nugget’s favorite playground and stopping by the fire station open house to play cornhole, honk the horn in the truck, and collect some coloring books.  On Sunday, I got to choose the activity and I was craving one thing – a hike.  Since the kids aren’t great at napping at home on the weekends anymore (it’s fine that Peanut is dropping naps, but Nugget shouldn’t be) we decided to venture further afield.  It doesn’t make sense to cut off the fun and rush home for lunch and naps, only to listen to Nugget bouncing in his crib for two hours – we might as well be out and about enjoying our beautiful area.  So we drove an hour to Sky Meadows State Park, a beautiful spot Steve and I remembered from the long-ago days before children.  It happened to be “fall farm festival” day, so we got our hike in (recap coming next week) and then let the kids explore and enjoy a little bit, had a picnic lunch, and drove home to the blessed silence of car naps.  All in all – a perfect birthday activity.


Reading.  Interesting week.  After finishing See America (which was good, but there were a few editing mistakes that bugged me), I picked up Everything I Never Told You, by Celeste Ng.  I had been avoiding it, because people seemed to love it so much that I figured it would be a huge disappointment.  Totally wrong.  I blew through it in a day, cried through the ending, and generally loved every second of the book.  After that, I needed something a bit sillier, so I finally got around to Nimona, the stand-alone graphic novel from Lumberjanes creator Noelle Stevenson.  As expected, I adored it.  Finally, for the past several days I’ve been reading Beartown, by Frederik Backman.  I’ve been wanting to read something by Backman, and Beartown seemed to be right up my alley – it’s about a hockey-obsessed town, after all – but I’m finding it a bit of a slog.  I know what is going to happen and am just not as captivated as I’d expected to be.  But it’ll qualify for a Book Riot Challenge task (book about sports) and I’ve passed my point of no return, where I have read far enough into a book that I refuse to abandon it, so I’m plugging away.

Watching.  Steve and I have been re-watching Parks and Recreation, one of our favorite dear departed sitcoms.  (I like it better than The Office, and that is saying something.)  We also enjoyed the first episode of Rock the Park season four, and are now mulling over a visit to the New River Gorge (which is in West Virginia, so not too far from us).

Listening.  Still on a podcast kick.  The best episode I listened to this week was the Annotated episode “The Seventeen-Year-Old Who Invented Science Fiction.”  I’d been saving the episode – all about Mary Shelley and Frankenstein, if you hadn’t guessed – for Halloween season and it was perfect October listening material, complete with howling winds and creaking gate sound effects.

Moving.  This was an up and down week on the fitness front.  I made it to power yoga on Tuesday morning, and my very first barre3 class on Wednesday.  (Loved, and will certainly be back for more.)  But then on Friday – my birthday – I was two minutes late to power yoga and the instructor had already locked the door, so I missed class, which was a total bummer.  And I didn’t feel like doing anything on Saturday after chasing the kids around a play gym for an hour, so my only weekend fitness was Sunday’s hike.  (Which was an “easy” trail but still felt strenuous.  I swear Nugget gains a few ounces every time I hike with him.)

Blogging.  Still playing catch-up on all the family fun.  I’m talking about our apple picking excursion on Wednesday, and sharing some pictures and stories from our flying trip to Florida on Friday.  Check back with me!

Loving.  As fall is settling in around here – the weather is still pretty warm, and we’re having the occasional HOT day, but leaves are dropping and so are the temperatures, little by little – I am loving my L.L. Bean flannel shirts.  They’re pretty much my weekend uniform all through the cold months, whether with jeans or with hiking pants.  I wore my favorite orange, green and blue one this past weekend and spent some time marveling over the fact that it is still so soft, and doesn’t seem at all pilled despite multiple trips through the washing machine.  (I do air-dry them.)  I am eyeing another pattern to add to the arsenal, and might have to jump on it.

Asking.  What are you reading this week?


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Happy Monday, and happy long weekend to those who are lucky enough to get Columbus Day off work!  (That is a group which does not include me, or Steve – c’est la vie.)  We had a nice regular-length weekend, though!  Saturday was full of a lot of errands and running around.  Steve had to work on Saturday morning, so I took both kids to the market with me, which is a circus – let me tell you.  I usually take just Nugget and everything really is twice as hard with two of them in the cart.  It’s not just that the double carts are always surprisingly wide (they are) but grocery shopping takes more than twice as long.  I have to factor in time to break up fights (Nugget is a hair-puller, and Peanut is an eye-poker – please kill me), intervene in exuberant roughhousing before it becomes a fight, put back the stuff they grab off the shelves, and who knows what else.  By the end of that grocery run I was so stressed out that the only cure was a run, so I loaded Nugget back into the car (much to his chagrin) and we drove to the Mount Vernon Trail for a few miles.  On Saturday evening my parents and their friends arrived after a week in the Outer Banks.  They seemed way too relaxed and happy, so we set about stressing them out with loud children.  We’re the worst hosts ever!  Sunday found us driving west – first out to the Udvar-Hazy Center (the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum outpost in Dulles) and then onward to the Loudoun County wineries.  Steve and I had been wanting to take our parents’ friends out to the wine country for years; we knew they would love it, and they did.  We packed a picnic lunch to enjoy at one of the wineries, and had a lovely afternoon sipping and swirling our way around Loudoun County – made even better by the fact that my lovely friend Zan joined us as well!  Such a fun day with some of my favorite people in the world.

Reading.  Bit of a slower reading week around here.  I finished Something True on Monday, which was good, but I’m just not a romance reader.  (Nothing against it; it’s just not my genre.)  Most of the remainder of the week was devoted to The Golden House, Salman Rushdie’s newest novel (and a reflection on the 2016 election).  It was good, but for some reason I seem to struggle with Rushdie.  I know he is an outstanding writer, so clearly the problem is with me, but I get bogged down in his books and they take me a long time to read, and then I get frustrated and don’t have fun.  I am glad I read it, though.  I finished it up on Saturday evening after the crew left for their hotel, and then picked up See America, a collection of new graphic illustrations of the national parks, monuments and other places within the NPS, inspired by the original WPA posters.  It was an impulse grab off an endcap at the library, and I am really enjoying it.  I don’t love all of the posters – but I love most of them.

Watching.  Instead of a movie night this week, we watched the first Sabres game of the season.  It was a good game, and I was determined to stay up for the whole thing.  I told Steve that I had the idea in my head that if I fell asleep, that would be it for the season.  Of course they managed to lose in a shootout while I was brushing my teeth.  So that was not the best.

Listening.  I decided to take an audiobook break this week and listen to a few podcasts – especially some back podcasts I had languishing in my feed.  All were fun, but I particularly enjoyed a back episode of Sorta Awesome – Meg and Kelly discussing their favorite meals.  They had me inspired to cook up some different dinners this fall (even if their meals are very meat-heavy).

Moving.  So, a pretty good week!  I squeezed in two power yoga classes and two runs over the course of the week.  I’d have liked to get to vinyasa on Saturday too, but I only had time for one workout and I decided to run.  (A necessary decision.  I won’t be well-trained for the Marine Corps Marathon 10K in a couple of weeks, but at least I won’t be running on completely dead legs.)

Blogging.  I have a good week coming up!  A recap of our September hike alllllllll the way back at the beginning on the month on Wednesday, and the last day of our California vacation recaps (which is also the most epic) on Friday.  Check back!

Loving.  While shopping for our picnic this Saturday, I got the idea to make a pesto goat cheese spread.  It took form in my head as I was standing at the cold case looking at the options, and it came out – if I do say so myself – amazing.  Recipe (loosely) as follows: take one log of goat cheese, one tub of crème fraiche, one squeeze pouch of pesto (I used sun-dried tomato, but you could do any flavor you liked, or olive tapenade) and about a teaspoon of chopped herbs (I did equal parts rosemary and thyme from my mom’s friend’s garden).  Stir it all together until it is smooth and combined.  And that’s it!  It was super-easy and everyone loved it.  It made a ton of spread, and I had none left after the picnic – the sign of a popular recipe.  I’ll definitely be making this again as soon as I have an excuse.  (Who wants to come over for a party?)

Asking.  What are you reading this week?

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Happy Monday, y’all – yup, it’s here again.  We had an up and down sort of weekend.  It was actually a long weekend – we left at the end of last week for a short but sweet trip to Florida to see my best friend, Rebecca, marry her longtime love.  Rebecca and Eric planned a fun and casual beach wedding and every detail was so them – from the sandy setting to the signature drink (hurricanes) in mason jars and the lights twinkling in the trees.  Peanut and I were in the wedding, and she made the most of her moment in the spotlight, taking an inordinately long amount of time to get down the aisle and stopping frequently to strike poses and blow kisses.  Pretty hilarious!  And of course, the ceremony and reception were such a wonderful celebration of Rebecca and Eric’s love and their blended family.  As for the rest of the weekend – there was great stuff, like kayaking in a beautiful park near Tampa and swimming and collecting shells with Rebecca and her friends and family.  And there was stressful stuff, like oversleeping on Sunday morning and having to make a mad dash for the airport so as not to miss our flight (we made it, but it was close), flying with a kiddo with a double ear infection (poor Peanut) and an urgent work email that ate up naptime on Sunday (it happens).  But we got through it all, and the good memories from the weekend far outweigh the little stressors.  And now we’re looking ahead to another busy week.  Life is very full, and very good.

Reading.  Lots of bouncing around this past weekend.  During the workweek, I finished up Louise Erdrich’s Birchbark House series – at least, those that are out so far (there are five; I think nine total are planned?) and loved them.  So complex, yet so joyful – these are really excellent middle grade books, and I can’t wait to introduce Peanut and Nugget to them in a few years (when they have the patience for chapter books).  After I finished Makoons, the latest in the series, I picked up Salman Rushdie’s newest, The Golden House.  I’m only three chapters in; I didn’t want to take a big hardcover with me to Florida, so I left it on my nightstand and picked it back up on Sunday.  While traveling, I bounced between Coronation Summer, which I had started reading on my kindle in California, and Something True (for the Book Riot Challenge) on the kindle app.  My Goodreads currently-reading shelf is completely out of control and I will be spending my free time this week getting a handle on it.

Watching.  The best thing I watched this week was not on TV – it was my best friend, Rebecca, exchanging wedding vows with her soulmate, Eric, on the beach in Florida.  All the feels!  As for TV, I didn’t watch anything – unless you count little snippets of the kids’ shows, which I don’t.  We’re entering the busy season of the year and what little free time I have is just not going to TV.

Listening.  I am almost three hours into the audiobook version of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (read by Lin-Manuel Miranda!!!), which I am reading for the Book Riot Challenge.  (Can you tell that we’re in the home stretch of the year? I am frantically trying to cram in all of the challenge tasks I haven’t done all year.)  I can’t say I’ve fallen in love with the book yet, but so many people did that I feel there must be something to it, and in any event I’m on board with anything Lin-Manuel does.

Moving.  It has been sort of a quiet week on that front.  I made it to 5:30 a.m. power yoga on Tuesday – my two early morning power yoga classes are some of my favorite hours of the week – and it was a particularly tough class.  I was actually sore!  Didn’t make it to the Friday morning class, because we were off on our long weekend Florida adventure.  But I did squeeze in kayaking over the weekend – I will always kayak if I can – and there was the usual circus of chasing two kids around.  Not to mention the lung workout I get whenever I have to yell at them for running off.

Loving.  Loving LOVE this week!  What else?  There is nothing in the world as heartwarming as standing with toes buried in the warm sand watching your best friend marry the love of her life while your little flower girl holds your hand.  Best ever.

Blogging.  September books coming to you on Wednesday – it was a great month of diverse reading! – and Part II of my Channel Islands National Park recap on Friday.  I’m going to try to share with you one of the videos I took, but no promises – I’m a Luddite, as you know.

Asking.  What are you reading?  And how was your weekend?

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Whew – what a weekend.  I’m actually kind of glad to be headed back to my desk – I need a break from running around!  On Saturday morning we were up at the crack of dawn to drive out to Dulles for a 5K race on the runway.  I ran with Nugget in the stroller, a decision which I almost regretted (pushing 45+ combined pounds of stroller plus toddler is no joke) but he had so much fun seeing the planes from a different angle and being part of a race that I couldn’t be sorry I decided to bring him along for the ride.  Peanut was breaking it down at the finish line dance party with Steve and my BFF, Rebecca, who came into town on a flying visit (a week before her wedding, no less!) to help me put Peanut’s fifth birthday party together.  (She actually turned five in August, but we waited until September to throw her party, so that she could have her friends from her new class at school join in the fun.)  As soon as the race was over, Rebecca and I snapped into party-mode, and the rest of Saturday, and Sunday morning, was devoted to trips to Michaels, Party Depot and Wegmans, and cooking, crafting and planning for the party.  I spent almost two hours on chalkboard decorations for the party, and am now the official chalkboard lettering artiste for the wedding next weekend.  (Saw that coming.)  It was totally worth it, because Peanut and her friends had a blast, and everyone loved the mermaid theme.  Once the party was over, I really wanted to collapse on the couch, but instead I had to fire up the old computer and get some work-work done.  And now I’m looking at another busy week ahead – but good stuff, all around.

Reading.  I have spent my entire week with Omakayas and her family in Louise Erdrich’s beautiful Birchbark House books, and I regret nothing.  Early in the week, I finished up the first in the series, The Birchbark House, and then sped through the second and third, The Game of Silence and The Porcupine Year, respectively.  Reading speed slowed down a little bit when Rebecca came into town, because we spent Friday and Saturday evenings chatting over cups of herbal tea instead of reading.  But I ended Sunday curled up on the couch with Chickadee, and I am loving every moment I spend with these books – yes, even the heartbreaking ones (and there are heartbreaking moments aplenty).

Listening.  I am sooooooo close to finishing up The Great Courses’ Classics of British Literature on Audible!  Twenty-four hours total; I’m seventeen minutes from the end of the last lecture (which is about contemporary British theatre).  I’ve really enjoyed it, although I’m quite put out that Anthony Trollope didn’t merit more than a brief mention during the Jane Austen lecture.  Excuse me, but if Dickens gets two lectures, Trollope deserves at least one.  Anyway – Trollope snub aside, I’ve loved spending time with this course and my reading list has grown exponentially.  Next week, I think, I’m going to listen to Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.  It’ll fulfill one of my Book Riot Challenge categories (YA or middle grade by an author who identifies as LGBTQIA+), and Lin-Manuel Miranda reads the audiobook.  What’s not to like?

Watching.  Nothing – oops!  Our usual Saturday movie night was replaced by Rebecca time (while Steve watched a show on his tablet, upstairs).  But I’m really excited that Season 4 of Rock the Park is due to start airing soon!  I’ve missed Jack and Colton, and while I love following them on social media, it’s just not quite the same.  From what I have seen on Instagram, they’ve been having some epic adventures, so I expect Season 4 will be lots of fun.

Moving.  Good week!  In addition to running around after children and setting up a mermaid themed birthday party, I got in my regular two power yoga classes and ran a 5K with the stroller.  I’m pretty pleased with that, and now that it’s getting easier and easier to get up early as I am more in the habit, I’m hoping to squeeze in a few more runs so I can work up to the Marine Corps Marathon 10K in October – ooooo-rah!

Blogging.  Fall list coming to you on Wednesday (and it’s too ambitious, as usual) and the first of two posts about Channel Islands National Park on Friday.  Yes, you read that right!  Our adventure there was so epic that it demands a two-part recap; look for pictures of a gorgeous hike this week, and a truly awesome adventure on the water next week.

Loving.  My friends!  Old and new friends came together and helped me throw Peanut a fabulous party.  My BFF drove up from Virginia Beach and devoted the weekend before her wedding to important tasks like filling baggies with blue jelly beans and Swedish Fish; and every. single. mom. at the party – moms of kids from Peanut’s old class and moms from her new class, some of whom I’d barely even spoken to before today, jumped right in to help me set out food, distribute favors, haul extra boxes, wrangle kids, and do anything else that needed to be done to make the party a success.  You know you’ve happened upon a truly special bunch when women you’ve only just met take one look at your stressed out face and start rolling up their sleeves.  Warm fuzzies all around.

Asking.  What are you reading this week?

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Well, here it is Monday – somehow.  This weekend went insanely fast.  Anyone else?  They’re all fast, but this one seemed faster than most.  On Friday, Peanut was complaining of a sore throat, so Steve took her to the doctor – she’s usually pretty reliable when she mentions a sore throat, so we thought better safe than sorry.  It turned out just a cold, not the strep we’d feared, but we still decided to give her a cozy day at home on Saturday.  Since both Nugget and I go stir-crazy if we have to stay at home too long, we left Daddy and Peanut on the couch and headed off on an adventure to the Andrews Air Show.  It was amazing – great recommendation by our nanny.  We got to check out lots of military aircraft, saw the Golden Knights parachute from the sky, and watched a B2 stealth bomber fly overhead.  Pretty awesome day!  On Sunday, Peanut was still running a little bit of a temp, but she felt fine, so we headed up to Maryland to pick apples.  We had a great time, saw a tractor, and came home with half a bushel of delicious apples.  (At least some are destined to be pie.)  And now it’s Monday again, and I’m zonked.


Reading.  Pretty crazy reading week.  I spent most of the week in Sinclair Lewis’s nightmare America.  It’s pretty crazy disconcerting stuff – some of the paragraphs could have been lifted right out of today’s headlines.  After I finished It Can’t Happen Here, I checked another one off my list – Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir Fun Home.  I polished Fun Home off in a day and now I’m in the early pages of The Birchbark House, Louise Erdrich’s Native American Little House.  I have the whole series out from the library, so you’ll be seeing it again next week.

Watching.  Movie night this week was Steve’s choice, and he picked Guardians of the Galaxy.  I’m not sure what we will do when we run out of Chris Pratt movies.  (Movie night just won’t be as fun when I don’t sing “I fell into the pit… you fell into the pit…” over and over again.)

Listening.  I am happy to report that I’m almost done with The Great Courses’ Classics of British Literature.  Less than four hours left!  Since it was a twenty-four hour course, I’m pretty pleased with that.

Moving.  Kind of a slow week – just two yoga classes and some riding on my DeskCycle.  That’s not counting the usual circus of chasing after two insane munchkins, of course.  Next weekend I have a 5K, so a couple of weekday runs are in order this week.

Loving.  It must officially be fall, because seasonal Larabar flavors are out!  (At least, I think they’re seasonal.  I’m basing this entirely on the fact that they were on an endcap at Wegmans, though, so I may not be completely reliable.  You should trust me anyway.)  Anywho, I got snickerdoodle and gingerbread flavors, and they’re a fun way to mix things up from my usual coconut cream pie – cherry pie – apple spice rotation.  Dates, nuts, dried fruit and vanilla – yum.

Blogging.  Summer scenes coming to you on Wednesday, and the next installment in the California fun recaps on Friday.  Check back!

Asking.  What are you reading this week?

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Hello new week, and happy birthday to my adorable sister-in-law Danielle!  (Insert heart emojis here.)  It was a busy weekend around here – the kind that leaves my heart very full.  On Saturday, Peanut and I were out the door early to visit with my friend Allison, who just welcomed a sweet baby girl.  We brought over three boxes and a bag filled with hand-me-downs – the best, right?  There’s something so comforting about the act of passing down outgrown clothes to a new baby.  It feels like – community, I guess.  Anyway, Allison was well taken care of when it came to tiny clothes, and I don’t have any of those left anyway, having passed them all to my friend Allegra two years ago.  But I had a truckload (literally) of 24 months, 2T and 3T clothes and was glad to see them off to a fabulous new home.  Almost as soon as we were back from Allison’s house, we headed out again, this time to the first birthday party of the school year.  And then we were exhausted, and spent the rest of the evening recovering at home.  I read It Can’t Happen Here on the front porch after the kids went to bed, while Steve played a video game with his friends while obsessively Irma-watching (his mom lives in Florida, and we have both been worried, but thank goodness – it looks like the absolute worst of the storm missed her).

Sunday was another busy and heart-full day.  Nugget and I ran out to Wegmans in the morning, where we loaded up on groceries for the week and food for a mini-party we were hosting – our dear friends Zan and Paul came over for the first Bills game of the season!  (New readers: Zan and I both moved to Buffalo from D.C. within a month of each other back in 2013, met and became close up there, and now they have moved back to D.C. – yay!  Zan is one of my framily – friends who are basically family – and she was the person I missed most when we moved away from Buffalo last year.  I’m so excited that we are living in the same city again!  Her friendship has been a huge blessing to me for the past few years.  Insert more heart emojis.)  Anyway, we had a fab afternoon.  The boys watched the game (the Bills won!) – the big boys for the entire duration; the small boy for about half an hour before going down for his nap.  And the girls hung out in the kitchen, baking a gluten-free vanilla coconut cake with a coconut glaze (that was supposed to be coconut whipped cream, but reality struck; everyone liked the glaze, though).  As usual, Peanut had so much fun baking and decorating the cake!  That kid loves to be in the kitchen (she also helped me make the veggie chili for the party).  Ended the weekend curled up on the couch with It Can’t Happen Here – so, yes, it was a good one.  Nothing earth-shattering or over-the-top; just a weekend spent pottering around northern Virginia, holding a baby, cooking with my girl, and spending time with beloved friends.  What adventure could ever beat that?


Reading.  I started the week still on London War Notes, reading slowly and savoring, but laid it aside temporarily while I beat back some library deadlines.  First up was Crazy Rich Asians, which has been on my list for ages, and which was so much fun.  I can’t wait for the movie!  Then a bunch of holds came in, and first up on that agenda had to be Sinclair Lewis’ classic It Can’t Happen Here, which is freaking me out, you guys.  Lewis predicted Trump back in 1935, and it’s completely terrifying.  But still a must-read for “thinking Americans,” as it was described 80+ years ago when first published.  Anyway, I’m still in the beginning pages (did you read the weekend recap up there? busy, busy) but once I finish It Can’t Happen Here, I think I’m going to pick up Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home – another one that has been on my list for ages.

Watching.  Nothing, actually.  Unless you count the “Octopus Wildkratticus” episode of Wild Kratts about half a dozen times.  We skipped our usual movie night this week.  Next week will be Steve’s turn to pick the movie.  Odds are he chooses Jurassic Park.

Listening.  Still catching up on my podcasts, but midway through the week I switched back to Audible for a change of pace.  I’m down to about twelve hours to go in The Great Courses’ Classics of British Literature, and still no Dear Aunt Jane, although I think her appearance is imminent.  I’m listening impatiently and will only truly begin to calm down once I have gotten my Austen fix.  Or maybe I won’t calm down, and will instead begin agitating for Trollope.

Moving.  A pretty good week.  Only two yoga classes – it was too busy of a weekend to get in my usual Saturday asanas – but I did squeeze in a before-sunrise run down to the marina and back on Thursday.  I need to be getting in one or two weekday runs and one weekend if I’m going to be up for the Marine Corps 10K at the end of October.  Ooo-rah!  The time is now.

Blogging.  I have a very cheerful post – filled with flowers! – coming to you on Wednesday: a recap of our pick-your-own sunflowers fun at Burnside Farms last weekend.  I can’t wait to show you the pictures!  It was such a great day.  And then on Friday, vacation recaps continue.  Check in with me then!

Loving.  This is old news by now, but I seriously can’t get enough of Prince George’s front door back-to-school picture on the steps of Kensington Palace.  I think I squealed out loud when I saw it pop up in my Instagram feed.  The pictures and video of Prince William walking him in to his new school were precious, too, but I am beyond gleeful about the Kensington Palace picture.  Royals, they’re just like us!  They take front door pictures on the first day of school, too!

Asking.  What are you reading this week?

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Morning, friends.  First of all, let me say, I hope you’re all okay.  It feels like we are living in a horror movie and every day a new terrifying ghoul pops up.  I never know quite what to say after awful events like what happened in Charlottesville over the weekend (of course, I’m not the President, who should know what to say).  To my friends who feel targeted by the kind of hate that was on parade this weekend, please know that you are safe and welcome in my space (both my internet space and my physical space).  To Nazis, white supremacists, bigots, and racists of all stripes – you are not welcome; get the hell out of our country.

Anyway.  It seems weird to talk about our weekend now.  There wasn’t much to tell, anyway.  Steve and I went out for an anniversary dinner on Friday night (our actual anniversary was Sunday).  We toasted twelve years of marriage, ate a ridiculously delicious multi-course tasting menu, debated Rey’s parentage in Star Wars, reminisced about past travels and fancy meals, and talked about the kids.  The rest of the weekend was pretty quiet.  Steve had to work on Saturday morning, so I took the kids into D.C. to pass along some hand-me-downs to a pregnant friend.  The rest of Saturday was pretty routine – yoga, then making the fire station – library – playground circuit.  We ended Saturday night watching Star Wars Episode IV with Peanut (who got to stay up late as a special treat).  On Sunday, we laid low at home.  I would have liked to go out for an anniversary hike or paddle, but there was so much to do around the house.  I had to do a little work, and the rest of the day was spent doing laundry, cleaning and getting organized for the rest of the summer.


Reading.  Bit of a quiet week on the reading front.  Mid-week, I finished A Room With a View, which I’d been meaning to read for years (literally, years) and carting from house to house.  I really, really enjoyed it, and now I can’t wait to watch the movie.  After A Room With a View I was still craving a classic, but something a touch more modern, so I picked up London War Notes, a collection of the weekly “Letters from London” that Mollie Panter-Downes wrote for The New Yorker for the duration of World War II.  The letters are beautifully written, and alternately funny, sarcastic, sad, and foreboding.  I absolutely love them and am battling between competing impulses to tear through the book and to read slowly and savor.

Listening.  More podcasts this week.  I’m alternating between parenting podcasts and book podcasts.  Best thing I listened to this week combined the two – it was Sarah McKenzie’s discussion with a children’s librarian on how to maximize your use of the library, for The Read-Aloud Revival.  I also listened to a back RAR episode all about G.K. Chesterton, which inspired me to make my two August book purchases be Volumes I and II of the Folio Society’s Father Brown Stories.

Watching.  Still loving my one night of TV per week.  This week, as mentioned above, it was A New Hope with Steve and Peanut on Saturday night.  We had movie snacks – Steve and I had zinfandel and popcorn; Peanut had pink lemonade and Pirate’s Booty – and Peanut stayed up for the entire movie and watched with big eyes.  Both of our kids love Star Wars (Nugget walks around humming “Darth Vader’s Theme”) and I could tell Peanut felt like an extra-special big kid getting to stay up late and watch the movie.

Moving.  Lots of yoga again this week.  I went to power hour on Tuesday and Friday (it’s hard to get up for a 5:30 a.m. class, but once I’m out the door I’m never sorry) and to vinyasa on Saturday afternoon.  I can already tell that it’s having an effect, because I’m looser and more comfortable in general, and I’m getting deeper into the poses in class.  Soon I will need to add some running back into my schedule – I’m doing the MCM 10K in October and I want to be trained for that one – but for now, I’m just really pleased to be back at the studio.

Loving.  We didn’t make a huge deal out of our anniversary this year – other than the very fancy dinner on Friday night – but that’s about right for our current stage of life.  We’re busy, life is busy, and the kids keep us running around.  Still, I think twelve years is darn impressive, and there is no one else I’d want to be in the parenting trenches with.

Blogging.  I have an outdoorsy week coming to you – my thoughts on peak-bagging on Wednesday, and a new favorite kayaking spot on Friday.  Check back!

Asking.  What are you reading this week?

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