November Grateful List


Every month, my Darcy does a grateful list over at her blog. I've been trying to focus on being more grateful for small things in my life that I love, so I asked her if I could "steal" her idea and she said yes. Thanks Darcy! So here goes, my first attempt ever.

The Arts
  • Listening to the Serial podcast and wondering whodunit. 
  • Watching Transparent (Netflix's new series).
  • Watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving for the first time with A. 
  • Being in kind of a mystery mood and reading two great ones: Before I Go to Sleep and The Secret Place.
  • Taking in the Worn to be Wild Exhibit and seeing new Picasso at the Chrysler.
  • Hitting the Bruce Munro Light exhibit at the Hermitage with M. and A.

  • Ramen from Kappo Nara.  
  • Mongolian BBQ with the fam for L.'s birthday. 
  • James making his delicious hummus for Thanksgiving. 
  • Getting surprise pumpkin macaroons and fresh biscuits from the neighbors on Thanksgiving Eve. 

  • Meeting halfway with DC friends and spending a fall day in Richmond. 
  • Visiting Montpelier on a whim and having a great time. 
  • A lazy afternoon at Cafe Stella with George.
  • Walking the Garden of Lights with friends. 
  • A 75-degree day at the park with pretty much everybody we know there, too. 

  • Finding the best pair of vintage boots ever. 
  • New Warby Parker glasses. 

  • Black Friday thrifting with M. and K. 
  • Molly and T. and the kids joining us for Thanksgiving.
  • "Miri, thank you for sitting with me. And for being my friend." - overhearing A., talking to her classmate, totally unprompted. 
  • Making gratefulness feathers with Kelly and the little girls (A. was grateful for Elsa, Anna, and food). 
  • Going to family chapel and hearing A.'s class recite and sing in front of the whole school.
  • Lots of late-night sewing: making pillows, a sweater, and finishing piecing my first quilt! 

What kinds of wonderful things are on your list?

A Christmas party 12 in 12 (December 2014)


Oops! I forgot to take photos for 12 in 12 on Friday the 12th, so these pictures are from our playgroup Christmas party, which we held yesterday. Our playgroup tries to have a party every year...the first year it was just me and Molly and our three kids. This year is our 3rd annual party, and since our little group has grown so much, it was kind of a blowout. Things get bigger (and better) every year. Next year, I fully expect we're going to have to rent a hall or something to contain the festivities.

Head over to No Monsters in My Bed and Not-So-SAHM to see how Darcy and Rebecca spent their days!

2:30 PM: The party started promptly at 2:00, and the first order of business is to get our craft on. We're making wooden ornaments here, and also clear plastic ones that we filled with buffalo snow, confetti, and beads. Lots and lots of beads. Everywhere.

 3:00 PM: The weather has been rainy but luckily clears enough for the kids to have a candy cane hunt in the backyard. 120 candy canes hidden and they found them in less than five minutes. In the true spirit of Christmas, the big kids even decide to help the little ones find candy. It's a playgroup Christmas miracle!

3:30 PM: Making holiday chocolates! Thanks for setting this up, Kelly!

4:00 PM: Santa arrives to hand out presents! Everyone is really happy to see him and give him their final lists of what they want to see on Christmas morning.

4:30 PM: Except for maybe Baby T., who is dubious.

5:00 to 7:00 PM: By now, all of the food (Sue's lumpia! pumpkin bread! cupcakes!) has been eaten and the kids have completely lost it in a sugar haze and are destroying the playroom. Do the adults care? No, we are far too merry for that.

The house is a mess, we all ate 3,000 calories apiece (at least), there is buffalo snow sparkling underfoot in every room, but we are ready for Christmas and so happy to have so many wonderful friends to celebrate with.

To see photos from our playgroup Christmas last year (look how everyone's grown!), click here.

The Adventures of Mr. Potato Head (at the Virginia Aquarium)


In the interest of full disclosure, I didn't actually go to the Mr. Potato Head exhibit at the Virginia Aquarium -- I was struggling with a cold a few weekends ago, so didn't join James and Anne on their trip. But apparently it was a big hit because James came home and said, "You need to blog about this. It was amazing." What I can gather from that was it entertained a no-nap-that-day Anouk for longer than 10 minutes with no whining involved, which IS pretty amazing.

(Anyway, that explains the lack of photos for this post. James does not have a soul of a blogger and only took a few instead of the hundred million I would have taken).

The Mr. Potato Head exhibit, from what I can gather online and from talking to J. and A., is not actually so much about Mr. Potato Head the toy but about the adventures that Mr. Potato Head takes through an archaeological dig, to the bottom of the ocean, on safari, and into outer space. At each station in the exhibit, kids can run and play, dance, use tools, and explore each different scenario. The VA Aquarium website says that each of these activities are designed to encourage not only play but academic learning and problem solving. A. tells me there were buttons you could push to make noises and lots of lights that "moved around when I moved." (I'm not sure exactly what this means but admittedly, it does sound cool).

The exhibit is free with aquarium admission and will run until May 2015, so there's plenty of time to check it out (and for me to eventually see it for myself, hooray!)

Happy Monday!

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