Sunday, January 22, 2017

Why I showed up.

Monumental.  Simply put, this day was monumental.  I can't find another way to describe what I was fortunate enough to be a part of.   The Women's March is an event I will forever remember and feel so proud to be counted among those who showed up.  Those who took a stand and had their voices heard.  One of my favorite signs said, "So many concerns, I couldn't decide."  Yes, exactly. 

Women's rights.  Equality among all races, religions and gender.  The right to chose what happens to our bodies.  The ability to marry regardless of being the same sex. Being kind.  Not being a bully.  All of it and more.

And boy did we show up.  It has to have easily been one of the most attended marches that Washington DC has ever seen.  In addition, there were 673 "sister" Marches around the world, all held on January 21st.   According to reports 3 million participated globally!  It was the single largest protest ever attended in a single day.  In Washington DC I had never seen so many people before.  Everywhere you looked, it was wall to wall people, as far as the eye could see.  It was an amazing site.  I didn't realize just how huge until I got back home and turned on CNN.  To be a part of something so overwhelming and breathtaking is beyond inspiring. We are stronger together.

There were so many men, women and children who showed up that by the time the rally was over and the march was to begin the route was completely filled with people and no one could actually march. Wow!

My day started at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue.  They hosted a very meaningful program to kick off the Women's March with song and prayer.  We then walked as a group, with a police escort, to where the Rally was going to be. The group I was with never even got close to the stage.  It was impossible to get even remotely close.  We stood by the side, watched the crowds, read the signs and soaked in our environment.  It was amazing.   A completely random moment was when former Secretary of State John Kerry went by walking his dog.  What??   He was being swarmed with mobs of people, but it was pretty cool to see him among the people.

By 1:00pm, I had enough and left my group to head home. Considering we arrived downtown at 8:00am, 5 hours was plenty.  I am not a big crowd person and this was a test of how much I could handle. But it was so important to me to be there. 

I love the idea of unity and strength in numbers. We will be seen and counted! I personally represented all the women who didn't have the option to travel. We are very fortunate to have this opportunity in our "backyard". I hope I never take it for granted and always do my part to stand up for justice!

The story is best told in photos and video:

People as far as the eye can see.

Sixth & I Historic Synagogue

Love is love is love is...

The Vienna Metro station at 7:00am.

Anna and Me...we've had some awesome adventures together.  And now a new one to add to our list.

Some great signs.

Yes, this is an excellent time to show up with your dog.

Love these "old" women!

Yes, this.

The group I spent the day with.  Beautiful.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Favorite words

As we head into 2017, I asked the family what their favorite word is.  Without hesitation, they all quickly gave an answer:

Ian:  Plump

Sam:  Schnauzer

Jeff:  Under-budget

Me:  Extravaganza

This made me smile. :)

Friday, January 13, 2017

Our Wegman's morning.

Years ago, we'd load up the car and go to Wegman's as a family.  A very crowded, popular grocery store on the weekend and us with 2 young kids.  Why we did this time and time again, I do not know.  But there we'd be yelling back and forth through the aisles, "When you are getting pasta, get pizza sauce!" Or, "Don't forget to grab the eggs near butter!", "Ian is coming to you!"  And, the ever popular, "I'm taking Sam to the bathroom!!"  We had our own inter-grocery story walkie-talkies...our mouths and bellowing voices. 

Over the years, our trips as a family of 4 got fewer and fewer.  The kid's activities increased and we'd have to divide and conquer.  For several years now, Jeff has for the most part done our grocery shopping solo.  I give him a list and he happily goes to Wegman's very early on a Saturday or Sunday morning and gets the job done.  He takes pride on how quickly he can sail through the store.  He knows where everything is, that is until they've done one of their infamous reorganizations. 

This past Saturday, we had a day with very little planned activities.  I thought out loud, wouldn't it be fun to go to Chesapeake Bagel for breakfast and then Wegman's for grocery shopping?    Jeff and I couldn't remember the last time we did either of these places as a family.  Jeff wasn't sure he wanted us to invade his routine and mess with the good thing he has going.  Ha!

Oh, how times have changed!  It's funny that in just 4 years we are getting nostalgic about what life was like back then.  With the kids older (now at the the ripe old age of 11 and 8), we've come far.   We divided the grocery list and had two shopping carts going.  I took Sam with me and Jeff had Ian.  We were the model of efficiency!  In and out of Wegmans in under 40 minutes.  It was pretty spectacular. 

I am not sure when this event will occur again or if ever.  But it was cool to see us in action.  As we were walking into the store, I had a vision pop in my head from the movie, "Armageddon".  When the crew (all misfits!) are suited up and getting ready to launch into space to do their mission.  It made me giggle. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

My new thing.

A friend I work out with in the mornings was telling me about this new thing she started doing... Bullet Journaling.  After she got done describing it to me, I knew I had to do it too!   In its most simplest form the idea is to keep track of everything and anything you want to keep track of.  For example, one of my goals this year is to get back to running/walking.  I can plot out how often, how far I want to run/walk and chart my progress.  Or, I want to drink more water.  I can plot out my strategy for drinking water and chart my progress.  It's a way to stay motivated when you see all the little check marks add up and create a bigger picture.  

I love this!  When you search "Bullet Journal" on Pinterest, it's crazy all the posts that are on the website.  Wow!  Some of these pages are amazing!   I have so many ideas on various pages I want to create.  I'm going to do one on healthy habits, weight loss, working out, running/walking, gratitude.  Plus, it can also double as a 'brain dump' and be a handy place to keep track of all my lists -- movies I want to show the kids, books to read, day trips to take, tv shows to stream, etc.  

This is all very exciting.  I ordered my journal from Amazon and it arrived 2 days ago.  Now I just need to take the time to set it up.  My workout buddy gave me some cool decorative tape to liven up my journal pages with.  I can't wait!  

Monday, January 9, 2017

Date Night Extravaganza

We don't usually go out on New Year's Eve.  It's really not our scene to party or go crazy bringing in the new year.  Most years you can find us at our good friend's house having a very kid-friendly dinner and early countdown celebration.  That's typically more our speed.   However, this year we sprung for a babysitter (can't even remember the last time we had a babysitter!) and went out.  

I loved our evening.  We had an early dinner with another couple, followed with a comedy show at 7:00pm.  Jeff and I had seen this comedian a few years ago and thought he was hilarious.  He was going to do a New Year's Eve show just down the road from where we live.  How perfect!  For some reason Jeff didn't remember seeing him the first time despite all the details I was able to give him about our evening.  This is very strange to me because usually Jeff has an amazing memory -- like an elephant.   After the comedy show, we hit the road and went to the new MGM Grand hotel and casino at National Harbor.   Despite it being a Saturday night, New Year's Eve, very newly opened (only 3 weeks) and the new "IT" thing, we easily found parking and had no huge crowds to deal with.  We briefly played a bit in the casino, walked around the hotel and got some yummy dessert.  I have to say SJP's shoe store is gorgeous and beautifully displayed.  If you like shoes, this is one place worth checking out.  

It was a great night!  I am glad we had this time together, because hours after, Sam got sick and we were grounded at home.  

Oh yeah, right after the lights came up at the comedy club, Jeff leans over to me and says, "I think we saw this guy before."   Seriously???   I told him 3 different times we had.  

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Sick no more!

We ended 2016 much like we started 2017 with one of us being sick.  Most of December 2016 and the first week of January 2017 had us dealing with fevers, sore throats, flu, colds, and vomiting.  So not fun!   Each of us was spaced far enough apart that I don't think we were all sick with the same thing or caught it from one another.  Ian missed a full week of school right before Winter Break and needed a nebulizer to help him breathe. This was a first for him.  And Sam was the latest to get sick; just now recovering from a very high fever for 4 days.  In between, Jeff was confirmed with the flu (despite having received a flu shot!), and I had a bad cold that put me out of commission for 2 days.

I find us getting ill noteworthy.  For the most part, we are a very healthy bunch and rarely get sick. It's not common for Jeff to call in to work sick, or for me to drink NyQuil like its water so that I can get some much needed sleep.  Even Ian and Sam very rarely miss school because they don't feel well.

But something was definitely in the air and it affected all of us in one way or another.  Now that we have that out of the way, I hope we can move onward, keep us all upright and germ-free.

For the record, Sam was the most dramatic out of all of us when she was sick. The drama was extra high with this one.  At the end of a two week Winter Break, it was a extra challenging when we both realized she wasn't going back to school when all the other kids did.  Somehow we survived and lived to tell about it.

Fingers crossed we are done and can resume our regularly scheduled programming.