Monday, November 14, 2011

Washington D.C.

Have you ever written a blog post, edited pictures, and then realized two months later that you never hit "publish"?  Yeeeaaaahhh.... 

Our family recently spent an impromtu long weekend in Washington D.C.  Josh had a work-ish thing to do for a couple of day, and Caroline and I tagged along.

The work-ish thing was actually pretty cool.  Nickelodeon puts on an annual Worldwide Day of Play and shuts down its programming for the afternoon, encouraging kids to get outside and play.  And the actual event is in front of the White House on the ellipse. 

Josh's company, who produces lawn and garden products, had a booth there and gave away mini-greenhouses.  Their booth was next to a big Zumba party, near a PGA activity involving "golfing" into a dinosaur's mouth, and down the way from the stars of iCarly.

We were shocked that anyone would bother with the greenhouses, quite frankly.  But they did.  5,000 kids went home with them.


We got into town Friday morning, and embraced the rain.  I bought a child-sized raincoat because it was all I could find on short notice.  We walked down to the Air and Space Museum and checked out the planes, then headed out to dinner at a pizza place behind the Capital.

The wetness on Josh's pants cracked me up... who manages to keep their knees dry only?

We were making the trek back to our hotel after dinner, when...

The clouds parted.  The rain stopped.  The sun shone magnificently on the Capital.  And we got to witness the sunset overlooking the Washington Monument. 

Further highlights:
  • Breakfast with one of my very oldest friends, Rachel.
  • Exploring the Newseum.  American history as told through newpapers, television coverage, photographs.  It rocks. 
  • Enjoying a visit with Jamie, my friend from college.
  • Watching the Michigan game at an alumni bar in town.  We work vacation time around football games in our family.
  • Visiting the monuments.  At night.  The very best time to visit them.  Who needs regular bedtimes where there are sights to see?
  • Arlington Cemetery.  I was there as a kid and remembered NONE of it.  So it was worth another visit.  There's nothing like viewing row upon row of those little white stones.
  • Lunching in Georgetown.
  • And taking a solo bike ride around town, courtesy of a public co-op bicycle system. 


Sunday, November 13, 2011

First Birthday Party

Well, it's that time.  Time for the littlest member of our family to turn one.


[Yes, we were trying to win the "hipster baby of the year" award with the too-short skinny jeans and Chuck Taylors.  Or perhaps she's just getting tall and her mom loves baby shoes?]

Her real birthday isn't until Friday the 18th.  But we hosted a birthday party on Saturday to celebrate with friends and family.

You know, because somebody in our house is driving up to the Michigan/Nebraska game next week Saturday and we couldn't possibly have a party that would interfere a Michigan football game.  We were fabulously blessed to have both sets of grandparents AND Montoya and the kids in town for the shin-dig.  And then some in-town friends came over as well. 

We decided on a simple "rainbow" theme.  Who are we kidding?  I decided on a rainbow theme.  And, thank you Pinterest, there were lots of fun ideas to copy from the Internet.  Layered Jell-o, marbled cupcakes, no-sew bunting, multicolored cake-pops, a potato stamp tablecloth, a bib-meets-apron pattern, etc.  I could have gone crazy but *tried* to keep it in check.  My mom and Montoya helped out big time the day before with all of the last-minute details.

11-12 Birthday Party

I thought I was all clever, planning the party around her nap schedule for optimum mood.  And then the time change happened and the party was smack dab in the middle of nap time.  But despite being a bit tired and cranky, she held it together pretty well.

However, she would have nothing to do with her matching headband.

Or party hat.

Ah, well.  She was loved on, played with, and spoiled with presents.  As any party girl should be.

And her first taste of cake?

At first she was more interested in the candle.

Then she tossed the whole thing on the floor.

We tried again, this time cutting it up.

And it went down much easier.  1112_6689

And some even made it into her hair. No surprises there. 1112_6696

Happy birthday, most precious of girls. You are pure joy, and we're thrilled that we got to spend the last year with you.