Five things on Friday

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1. As a belated Mother’s Day gift, my sister, Mom and I recently enjoyed tea and a tour at National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Despite living just 40-ish minutes outside the city, I don’t get downtown much these days — let alone on a Tuesday. It was such a cool, fun experience, and the food was delicious! We all I know was likely British in a past life, so the tea tradition speaks to my scone-loving soul. Highly recommend to anyone looking for a unique opportunity in the city.

2. I can’t help but feel like August is the only thing standing between me and fall. Glorious, beautiful, crisp and cozy fall. Last year I totally lost my marbles and started decorating before Labor Day, which I realize was . . . a little premature. This year? I’m trying to reign in my enthusiasm, but it’s pointless. Oliver was only 6 months old last Halloween, but this year I feel like he’ll be closer to “getting it” — and I’ll be able to better position him for pumpkin photo shoots! This is the No. 1 reason to have a child, by the way: photo shoots. (Just kidding. Er, sort of.)

3. I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I think I’ve earned a trophy for adulting for finally resolving a medical bill for testing during my pregnancy (!!) that has been haunting us since January 2015. It’s a long and boring story involving many phone calls, emails, stapled statements and blah blah blah, but as of yesterday, I fought the good fight and won. Just so happy to have that resolved. Insurance issues are the worst. Also, now I don’t have to worry about bankruptcy, so. Sweet relief!

4. Oliver has been saying “Mama” like crazy lately, along with “Dada” and “Baby” (bayyy-beee). He’s also beginning to wave, smoosh up his lips for a “kiss” and is definitely grasping the concept of “no” (whether he follows it is, of course, another story). So excited to be hitting these milestones!

5. I may or may not have started my Christmas shopping spreadsheet — along with said holiday shopping. As a list-loving American, this is the only way I can keep myself organized. Despite my good intentions, I was one of those people scrambling last-minute to finish shopping last year . . . and I wound up bulk-ordering on Amazon to just officially say I was done. Let me shout it loud and proud: I AM NOT doing that this year! Like, seriously. I want to enjoy the heck out of the holidays and not feel the rampant anxiety that consumed me last year, ’cause we all know that is not what it’s about. So I’ve already purchased a few things and scribbled down ideas for others. I feel better already.

Happy weekend, friends! And thanks for staying with me during the long write meg! drought. I find my creative juices stymied by exhaustion so much lately that it’s hard to put fingers to keyboard. But I’m not going anywhere. ❤


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Five things on Friday

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1. The gender reveal is ON for tonight! Our elective ultrasound on Wednesday was a success, and our technician was able to get Baby J to move enough to “clearly” tell what s/he is. The baby was initially hanging out on its belly, just like last time, and I had a moment of abject panic where I thought, “C’MON PLEASE NOT AGAIN.” Only because I’m ridiculous and impatient. But after a few minutes, we saw a little somersault and got the money shot. And we all find out tonight through a gender reveal cake! I. am. excited.

2. But in the midst of all that excitement . . . I’m dealing with my second cold of the winter season. The first came on in early December, and I’m pretty sure I never really got over that one? This has been one of my busiest work weeks in ages, and I’ve had to muster up every ounce of energy I have to get through it. Unmedicated. Also, I’ve gone through three boxes of tissues in two days . . . so. It’s fun hanging out with me!

3. I’ve become something of a magazine hoarder. Unintentionally, of course. Which magazines do y’all subscribe to? Glamour, Cooking Light and Southern Living regularly arrive in my mailbox. I have them all piled up in the office for a rainy day but, when I finally sit down to read, I almost always reach for my latest novel-in-progress instead. I want to get better about reading and passing them along, though; maybe that’s a good weekend project?

4. Speaking of projects, Spence and I have started looking at paint colors for the nursery. Regardless of whether we’re having a lady or lad, we know we don’t want a pink/blue explosion . . . so we’ve been playing around with a pretty pale purple for a girl or a very subtle blue for a boy. I guess nurseries need a “theme”? I don’t know. I think I want our theme to be, um, soothing and tranquil . . . after all, s/he won’t be paying as much attention to the room as we will. And we’ll be tired. For a little while, at least!

5. And just because shopping is fun, how cute is this little wooly egg doll? She’s reading! A book! I fell in love with the wooly guys when a good friend shared a link with me years ago, and bought her a set as a gift. I think they’re straight-up adorable.

Happy weekend, friends!


Random thoughts on the second day of summer

Because sometimes we all need a random post, right?

1. My obsession with nail polish has reached a critical point. I’ve actually taken to selling a few new bottles on eBay to feed my addiction, because really — much like my overflowing bookcases, I can no longer store all the shiny bottles of lacquer arriving from Julep and, um, everywhere else. My nails are currently painted with Julep’s Claire, at right. When a friend commented on it being a “wild” choice for me, I decided I’m not daring enough. My goal is to wear whacky colors all summer long.

2. And in the same vein, I’m buying way too many pairs of flats. I’ve purchased three new pairs of shoes in the past month, which has to be some sort of record for my typical shoe-hating self, but I’m getting them cheaper than expected (eBay!) and trying to replace some older pairs that have really had the ax. I’m trying to up my fashion game . . . marginally, anyway.

3. I finally saw “The Shawshank Redemption” from start to finish — and wow, it’s depressing. (“But it has a happy ending!” my dad recently crowed. To which I say: yes, but just barely.) It was really good, though. Really good. Morgan Freeman is amazing — but that’s not breaking news.

4. My birthday is in less than a month. I typically love celebrating, but July 18 is a Wednesday this year — and that happens to be a serious deadline day for me. With a big section going to press plus all my normal weekly duties, there’s no way I’ll be anything but slammed . . . and that depresses me. But I guess that’s adulthood. I’ll have to settle for checking my Facebook notifications and treat myself to post-work dessert. If I’m lucky, maybe someone else will make me cupcakes. I don’t have to bake my own birthday dessert, right?

5. Speaking of dessert, I’m the head baker for my good friend Erin’s baby shower at the end of June! Blue velvet cupcakes — maybe 72 of them. I’m a little nervous. Baking is no problem, and even decorating doesn’t scare me . . . but the thought of transporting 72 cupcakes along bumpy roads makes my stomach drop. I have one of those big plastic carrying cases, but it only holds 24. Hmm
. . . if anyone has any transportation suggestions, please send ’em my way.

6. I’ve become obsessed with Brussels sprouts. I know that’s, like, really weird, but they’re my new favorite vegetable. Spencer got me hooked on them, bringing home the steam-in-the-bag variety, and I find myself requesting them at least once a week. Maybe we should try roasting them for something different.

7. I’m in a book-hopping mood. Sometimes I gobble up novels in a sitting or two, never flitting between books — and other times, like now, I’m restless and anxious and . . . I don’t know. Unfocused. I’ve picked up and put down three or four books in the last week, reading 30-50 pages of each before casting them aside. I’m not ready to throw them in the “abandoned” category, but nothing I’ve read since Beautiful Ruins has really held my attention. Really great books seem to do that: ruin you for a while.

8. Despite being a huge and long-standing fan of “The Bachelor” franchise (I know, I know . . .), I just can’t get into Emily’s season. While I initially loved her on Brad’s show, I’m very lukewarm on he rnow. Obviously she’s a real person and I don’t know her, but I always thought she was sweet and maybe a little “above” competing on a reality show for love. (Not that I judge that — I don’t, honestly; everyone has to meet somewhere.) Now she seems like yet another sell-out. But that’s just me; many people still luuuuurve her.

9. A show I am actually enjoying? “Dallas.” Considering I was in diapers when its first incarnation was on air, I have nothing to compare it to . . . but it’s filling the gaping hole in my life left by “Revenge” ending for the season. (My God, that finale. That finale. My jaw = on the floor.) And the actor playing John Ross reminds me of Jonathan Rhys Meyers, which reminds me of “The Tudors,” which reminds me of when I was actually excited about TV. So good times all around.

10. And because I like ending on even numbers . . . I’m really excited to see my family for our annual crab feast/reunion in a few weeks. You can’t be a Marylander without developing some affinity (or appreciation, at least) for seafood, and I haven’t gone crab pickin’ yet this year. Blasphemy, I know . . . but I feel like I’ve barely been home. Here’s to settling back in and wielding a crab mallet in the weeks to come.