Things to Do - BUCKET LIST (Spring - Early Autumn 2015)

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Because soon it will be warm, right?


* High tea - though I'm not sure where. Two years ago I took my mom and the kids to high tea at Pentagon City Ritz Carlton and the pastries were sub-par (despite the high price tag). So what restaurant/hotel does a better job?

* Visit the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery's Portraiture Now exhibit.

* Medieval Times - T keeps asking to go again.

* Man Ray at the Phillips Collection.

* Snow painting (if it snows again).

* Go to a trampoline park.

* Go to a climbing gym.


* Bike and Roll DC - We "won" tickets at the school auction. Apparently, young children can ride behind on tandems or trailers, so the whole family can go.

* T REALLY wants to take a boat ride.

* We haven't visited the National Arboretum in years. This needs to change.

* Huntley Meadows - I love this place.

* Claude Moore Colonial Farm's Market Fair - T keeps asking us when this will finally open.

* Plant a garden - This needs to happen.

* More freezer paper stenciling.

* Spend a Saturday at the National Cathedral playground (everyone says this place is awesome, but we've never visited).

* Visit the Library of Congress - F really really wants to do this.

* Run a 5K as a family (every since F finished Girls on the Run, she has been asking to run in more organized races). I've heard that Crystal City Fridays are pretty easy to navigate. Any other race ideas?


* A National's Game

* Flag Ponds Nature Center and/or Calvert Cliffs - 1.5 hours and you're at the beach. Plus, the water feels like bath water.

* Check out the view from the top of the Washington Monument.

* Luray Caverns - another place we've never visited.

* See Taylor Swift live - Um, P added this to the list. Tickets cost $135 per person. We will see.

* Plant a tree - P added this too and we actually need a backyard tree.

* See a play - F's addition to the list.

* Make a play - This is how P tries to one-up F.

* Learn how to sew - P keeps asking.

* Visit the Museum of Crime and Punishment (I hesitate to put this on the list because I find the glamorization of violence and sociopaths gory and wrong, but we visited last summer and T still talks about it constantly).

* Go to a waterpark (suggestions on which one???)

* Tie dye t-shirts.

* Day hikes at Potomac Overlook Regional Park as well as try new hikes in Best Hikes with Kids: Washington D.C.: The Beltway & Beyond

* Spend some time in the trees at the Sandy Springs Adventure Park (love this place!!)


* Camp and canoe on the Shenandoah River (rafting was awesome, so now we need to up our game).

* Hershey Park (we've never visited before, but since the kids now love roller coasters, I think we need to check it out)

* Harpers Ferry (every year we talk about going and then we never make it). Ideally, I'd love to spend one day touring the town and one day rafting on the river.

* Return to Cape Charles, VA (my new favorite place in the world, we LOVED this little town).

* Go back country camping (with or without the kids).

* A weekend beach trip to Chincoteague island (ever since I read this article, I've really wanted to go).

* Busch Gardens and Jamestowne (we've toured Colonial Williamsburg twice but we've never made it to Jamestowne).

* Visit my friend Jenny in NYC.


* Irving Penn (YAY!!) at the Smithsonian American Art museum

* Find a mud run we can participate in as a family.


Things to Make - Speech Bubble Magnets

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We experienced a FREEZING COLD February this year. The type that needs to be capitalized. Usually when snow falls in Virginia, the white disappears within 24 to 36 hours, leaving one to question if they just imagined the whole thing. But this year snow is everywhere. Grey, tire-stained, city snow. Last night I couldn't even find the curb to put our garbage cans on.

And with snow comes snow days and two hour delays (ha! I rhyme!). And my solution to it all - MAGNET TAPE.

Seriously, have you ever used magnet tape (tape similar to the one we used can be found here)? This stuff is awesome. Doodles become art.

I finally ordered some prints of last year's photos, so we decided to make speech bubbles to go with them. And then create a rotating gallery of funny on our refrigerator. And T made everyone a wizard because wands really are sort of awesome.

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Wizards make everything better.


Things to Do - Cherish This Day & Grateful List (January 2015)

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January started off slow, but then came my birthday (39) and a great night downtown with Dan. Plus, by mid-month I was walking again. And we ended the month at Disney, so all in all, I have no room to complain.

If you have a chance, don't forget to click over and see today's post on Cherish This Day.

* Reading This Is Where I Leave You
* Reading Amy Poehler's Yes Please
* Reading We Are Not Ourselves
* Watching The Grand Budapest Hotel
* Watching Y Tu Mama Tambien for the first time in years
* Watching Big Fish for family movie night
* Listening to Stars' new album, No One Is Lost
* Listening to The Body Electric, Small Town Heroes
* Josh Ritter singing Moon River
* Attending the play Trailer Park - The Musical

* Dinner with Shannon at Zatinya (which I now think of as "our" restaurant)
* Cava with Lola
* Alaskan halibut with roasted tomatoes (via Cooking Light)
* Gwyneth's zucchini tacos (via Goop)
* Trader Joe's salted caramel chai
* Italian sausage with cabbage and potatoes (via Three Many Cooks)

* Sunday night swim practice
* Family bowling
* The dog park with F
* A great night at the Park Hyatt with Dan for my birthday (thank you Margie & Bob for watching the kids!)

* F's Science at Home kit

VACATION (Disney World, FL)
* Fast plass plus reservations
* No flight delays or illnesses
* Benihana (P - "This is the best restaurant I've ever been to")
* Epcot's German beer garden lunch buffet (for some reason I was always starving in Disney World)
* Everest & Dinosaur and T loving roller coasters

* Playing Settlers of Catan, Forbidden Island, & Monopoly with the kids
* A wonderful extended family photo shoot (soup and stories on the couch), which helped get me out of my post-broken foot funk
* The first snow of winter (January 6) and the kids still have school
* T to his friend, "Do you know what's disgusting? When a dog licks you it's actually a kiss."
* F to P, "I'm telling you that reading this book will really strengthen the bond between you and me." (The book is Out of My Mind)
* Friends who bring you cake on your birthday (thank you Hector & Janeese!)
* After 6 weeks on the couch, finally returning to yoga and dog walks!
* Ben Sasso's lightroom editing class (through Define)


F - my family, a nice house to live in and food to eat, that everything is so great, Laura and Elise, Girls Just Want To Have Fun (the movie), Garfield comic books, Coco, Odessa, Soarin', Everest

P - my sleepover with Paige, the indoor pool with Laney, our family, swim practice, snowdates, school delays, Big Fish (the movie), a lot of stuff, Everest, my family

T - a nice house to live in and food to eat, my family, Bad News Bears (the movie), watching the Civil War show with dad, more days off school, yogurt, Disney World


Things to Do - Around . . . (February 2015)

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I feel like we have had the laziest winter ever. Now that the kids are older weekends seem to meander along - playdates, boardgames, family movies (by the way, have you watched How the States Got There Shapes on Netflix streaming? It's fantastic), dog walks, etc.

I keep making "big plans", but then the cold hits and we end up staying home. I have so many mixed feelings about this, almost as if I'm failing somehow, as I've always thought of myself as an on-the-move mom. But little kids required so much more attention than my (now) older kids, thus going somewhere always seemed easier to me than watching the children trash my living room (again and again and again). We also have more neighborhood friends than we used to, so nights are filled with happy hours and dinner parties.

When I broke my foot I took the kids out of ALL planned activities, as I couldn't easily drive them there. And I have to admit, we all are so much happier with free weeknights. Last week we made a pie (I know this isn't a big deal to most of you, but I have made VERY FEW pies in my life) and crafted like crazy (P is obsessed with going through all my old boredom buster/art/craft/mom books for ideas). P dominated the whole family at Setters of Catan. T beat Dan at Risk (craziness).

So maybe lazy isn't all bad, our maybe this winter is part of the ebb and flow. Though don't worry, even if we haven't left the house much, we still can't stop making bucket lists for spring and summer . . .

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T always wins Uno, despite his lack of any sort of strategy. And then he jumps on the table to gloat.

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We are in the process of updating our living room, F proved an excellent painter . .

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Whereas P, T, and their cousins skipped the home improvement chores and, instead, moved into a box (granted, a rather large box, but still not meant for three).

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Three kids, two dogs and one couch - you have to fight for a spot.


Sometimes little brothers attack, though we're never quite sure when or why this will happen.

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Coco's doggie daycare kicked her out for bad behavior, but in our presence she remains the mellowest dog ever.

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Oh, homework . . .

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And then, right in the middle of the lazy, a snowday come along . .

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Losing Monopoly is never very fun . . .

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The girls started a dog walking business. I hired them. They then proceeded to ask me to walk the dog, so they could play on a swing.

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After fighting for two solid months, P and T randomly decided to play No Stress Chess together. T won. Wait, I must rephrase that, P LET T win (or so we've been told, over and over again).

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And finally, if there's a sunset - you best prepare for photographs.


Things to Make - Mustache T-Shirts

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Winter is LONG. If you're looking for a fun project to keep the kids occupied during yet another cold front, head on over to Honest of Nod to learn how we spent a whole afternoon making freezer-paper stencil t-shirts. Click here for the link.


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