Jul 23, 2020

Summer So Far

Here we are in the 20s of July- summer is just chugging right along.

Back in mid-June we celebrated Cora's birthday and Heidi's Kindergarten Graduation with family! Cora wanted a "pink and purple birthday".:)

The breeze kept snuffing out the match every time we tried to light the candle, so we had to move the cake!

Gotta love the beer bottles photo bombing

The next week we went out to a farm with the intention of blueberry picking but they weren't ready yet. We picked sour cherries instead, something I don't think I've picked before. It was such a pretty summer day! 

Turns out picking fruit with pites is easier than eating it up; I ended up making cherry pie twice (days apart) to use up all the uneaten cherries. YOU GUYS, this recipe was so good! I think this is one of my very favorite fruit desserts. And I am a store-bought-crust-all-the-way kinda person (it's so blessedly low-maintenance!) but I'm glad I didn't have any on hand and was forced to make the crust in the recipe- altogether it was delicious!
Also,  Tim and I ate the entirety of the two pies ourselves.😬

The last weekend in June Tim's youngest brother got married about an hour away, so his family was in town for that. It was a mostly family 50 person wedding due to COVID.
The girls were so excited to see their cousins!

I tried to get pictures of the girls all dressed up before we left for the church:

Because why wouldn't you ride a bike in all your finery?

It was a really nice wedding, although I was using all my willpower not to launch the clinger/ child constantly in my space into the pews behind us, and continually giving another the eye. I was flying solo since Tim was a groomsman and something about afternoon weddings just does not seem to work well with certain kids!

The promise of an open bar at the reception and a stop at a cute coffee shop in between helped billow my depleted spirit, though. 

This coffee shop is owned by a couple in our diocese. It's so great and I wish we lived closer!
The reception was at a winery and was such a beautiful location!

There was plenty of room for all the cousins to roam.

The sangria went down eas-y.

Two nights later my sister and two of Tim's sisters went back to our college days, as we were able to get away for a girls' night! It was great to have a night away and to talk about all the things without interruption.:)

Aside from that we've been enjoying low-key summer days. I've been loving the sun and heat, and the flowers in our garden have started to bloom!

Some things we've been watching and enjoying:
Belgravia- So good! We watched it through Epix on Amazon Prime through the free trial.
They Shall Not Grow Old- such a great WWI documentary and fascinating how they colorized and enhanced the footage.
Midway- I say this is what the Pearl Harbor movie should've been.💁

Jul 17, 2020

Reaching Obliger Rebellion in 2020

I don't know if you're familiar with the framework of the Four Tendencies (how we respond to expectations), but I am definitely an Obliger (meets outer expectations, resists inner expectations). However, Obligers can also reach Obliger- rebellion: "they meet, meet, meet an expectation, then suddenly they snap and refuse to meet that expectation any longer." I can definitely identify past times in my life where I've shown Obliger-rebellion and lately, I am so there. 

A few weeks ago Tim's family was in town and one night two of his sisters and one of my sisters and I got together for a girls' night. My sister made reservations at a restaurant a family member had recommended, so we walked from our Airbnb to the restaurant. It was a long, hot walk and we were ready to sit in the cool inside when we got there, however, the restaurant required masks to eat inside. I didn't have mine with me and my sister didn't have one (we were going to eat and drink, after all). We were told (by the hostess who had her mask around her chin while talking to her friend) we HAD to have a mask to walk into the restaurant. Customers were allowed to remove them at the table, but had to wear one to WALK TO THE TABLE. I had a plastic bag with me in my purse and was fully prepared to hold it over my mouth and nose just to appease the rule and get a table in the bought air, but in the end we decided to eat outside (where our reservation wasn't honored, so we had to wait until a table opened).

Last week Tim's aunt was in town and had never been to D.C., so on Friday we drove in so she could at least see some sights from the mini-van and so we could visit the National Basilica. To enter we all had to have our temperatures taken outside, then were stopped at the entryway because none of our girls were wearing masks (Virginia's mandate is for age 10 and over and medical reasons are exempt). I immediately felt uncomfortable. I do NOT like confrontation and do not like to spur controversy. I could see Tim was getting perturbed and he likes confrontation less than I do. 
(Case in point: one rainy summer day at the beach I was something like 33 weeks pregnant with Heidi and we decided to drive an hour away to an aquarium (along with everyone else in the area). The parking lot was PACKED but after a few minutes of looking we managed to spot a vacant spot and drove towards it. As we were pulling in a pick-up truck came along side us and the young guy inside rolled down his window and said they had been looking for a spot for a while, and could we let them take our spot. Tim graciously let them go ahead of us but I was TICKED. I mean, you really want to play the game of who's most deserving of a parking spot, dude? How about the family with the really pregnant lady with two kids two and under in tow who found the spot first?! And not that truck guy could know that about us, but JEEZ that was lame.)

Anyway, the guards inside were firmly telling us that D.C.'s rules required all of our girls to wear masks. After some slightly heated back and forth, the female guard said we could visit this time but next time had to all have masks. Then she asked if we were opposed to using hand sanitizer (as if we're psycho crazy people who do not comply with rules! ever!). We let her squirt our hands, but then she said she wasn't allowed to give any to Heidi and Cora.(??) The cherry on top was that during that entire exchange (about complying with the rules!) she had her mask only over her mouth and NOT HER NOSE. What even is this world right now? There are so many double standards and rules, regulations, and restrictions that don't make a lick of sense. 

During our time there we were only allowed to visit the Crypt, and I truly wanted to cry during the whole visit. There were no clear guidelines about which way to walk or anything else, but we were reprimanded by staff more than once for stopping to look at the side chapels along the way or for walking in the wrong direction. We weren't trying to be difficult! I feel like the whole climate right now is one of hostility. There is SO MUCH HYPER-FOCUS on rules and guidelines everywhere one goes, that the purpose of any place is completely lost. As we were leaving Tim and I both asked each other why the Basilica was even open? 

I have so much more to say but it's probably best if I leave it at those two episodes. 
Also, this blog post expresses things so much better than I ever could. 

Jul 2, 2020

Life Lately {May & June}

I truly felt like it was mid-March and then the calendar turned to June (now July).

June, which has been wonderfully sunny and hot! Our library system resumed curbside pickup mid-June, so we've been driving over once or twice a week and are now enjoying variety in our books!

The girls finished four day a week e-learning at the end of May- God bless our school for making both of those decisions. It was definitely a bittersweet end to the year- Audrey & Heidi's teachers are retiring and I am SO sad about that. I'm sorry that the three older girls didn't get a full year with their great teachers, and honestly I'm currently grateful for the distraction and distance summer is providing from those months of quarantine and continual news of more things getting canceled, shut-down, and restricted.

First outing for the girls 

Mountain laurel!

On Mother's Day I visited one one new thrift store that was open and found a few things. Later that afternoon we took a drive to get ice cream at a place that was close to an hour away and the line of cars was INSANE. Truly unbelievable, and as we drove past we saw even more people parked and pulling out blankets and lawn chairs. We decided to keep driving and finally after driving to two more places that were closed, we ended up at a Tropical Smoothie Cafe. I feel like that has been a theme with this shut-down- the remaining places open or any items available for purchase are a *very* hot commodity.

riding around with her baby doll under her shirt

Tim made our garden bed!

Cora porch sitting with watermelon- the photo on the right was from a year ago:)

Listening to: Matt Maher's new album Alive & Breathing. I'm not usually a fan of listening to multiple songs in a row of one band or artist but I've been listening to this on repeat!

Watching: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency -I never knew they made a TV season of this! We're renting it from the library; I might be enjoying it more than Tim since I've read some of the books.:)

Growing: nothing much that's edible, sigh. I planted a handful of different flowers, which look like they're growing okay, but I think the late freezes that struck killed our tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and herbs. Our black mustard greens are doing well, though, which is something. And, ha, I had parsley growing in a pot on our porch which was dug into twice by squirrels, fell over with the wind,  and finally (accidentally) knocked over and broken beyond repair by the man of the house. Such is life! I had to laugh about the pot, though, as it was a Christmas gift for one of my sisters a few years ago but arrived cracked, so I kept it (and got a refund). It had a good run. 

Right now I'm just soaking up reading outside, dodging any "I'm bored" verbal darts, and baking the occasional summer dessert. Happy (almost) 4th of July!
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