Wednesday, May 18, 2011

fun times with a two year-old (and his parents!)

The American Urological Association hosted its annual convention in DC this past week, and it provided a great reason for Kim and Brian and Jackson to come visit! Kim was my freshman year college roommate and is so dang smart. She is almost finished with her urology residency at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, and she was her to present some of her research, in addition to seeing me and Richard. We had the best time with Kim and Brian, her husband, and with their adorable two year-old, Jackson, who was our ring bearer. He has gone from barely talking to putting together sentences and giving an emphatic NO to almost every question you ask him. SO independent!

Brian had never been to DC, and they saw all kinds of monuments while I was working. But we did all sorts of other fun things while we were together.

We enjoyed the BGR Joint- Jackson is asking for a "sipasoda' below.

We visited the Georgetown Cupcake. Before dinner. Because it made sense to us! And then Jackson's cupcake kept him entertained while we waited on our food at Jaleo.

yummy icing

On Sunday, we went to the Cabin John park, which has an incredible ride-on train. Sadly it was closed because the tracks were wet, but we still had a great time playing.

always on the move

hard to believe it's been ELEVEN years this August since we moved in together!

I love the picture below of the Burgess family. Jackson rarely wants to pose for a picture- he's just way too busy!- but I love how this captures his joy. It's amazing how that joy can turn to despair in 0.2 seconds, and then joy again with the suggestion of the Mickey Christmas DVD or Nit Nots on Imagination Movers. Man, we will have DVD players in ALL cars when we have kids!

Richard loves the Pirates Tavern, and while I'd never been, I thought it would be the perfect place for lunch considering Jackson's obsession with pirates. He's quick to play the villain though, and gleefully announces "I Captain Hook!" Dad usually has to be Peter Pan. The Pirate's Tavern staff was great and brought out all kinds of swords, including foam ones for a sword fight!
get him, Jackson!

Jackson fell asleep after the Pirate's Tavern, but another (bigger) boy in our group was determined to go to Glen Echo to ride the carousel. Glad we could do that while Jackson slept. It was just a little odd that they were playing Christmas music...

The Burgess family came to see me at the Capitol on Monday, which was really fun. The Hill magazines always catch different Members coming through the Cannon tunnel, so I thought I'd catch a similar picture of my friends.

Our fabulous intern took us on a tour, which I had actually never been on, so it was equally as informative for me. We saw the old Supreme Court chambers where Marbury v. Madison was argued, sat on the House floor and went in the old Senate chambers.

old Supreme Court chambers- I got goosebumps being in there!

looking a little wind-blown in the rain

Kim and Brian went out for the anniversary on Monday night (they celebrated 8 years on the 17th!), and Richard and I baby-sat Jackson. Bless his heart, he was NOT happy to be stuck with us! But we made it through and learned a little in the process- maybe we're not as ready for kids as I thought!

We were able to celebrate with Kim and Jackson at the Blue Duck Tavern on their actual anniversary, and the food was incredible.

discussing throwing in "monies"

so stubborn- "no camera!" "no pictures!"

stubborn or not, I love this child

We also strolled the Georgetown waterfront and finally got a picture of everyone.

We ended our food tour of DC with a stop at Ben's Chili Bowl and even had a celebrity sighting!

half smoke and chili cheese fries

hey Donovan McNabb!

It was absolutely wonderful to get to spend some quality time with my old friend and her family. I just wish we were closer and our visits more frequent! Kim is like a sister to me- Jackson even calls me "Aunt Jessie" which is Brian's sister's name. Considering she's several years my junior, I'll take that as a compliment. After having his car seat in the back of my car the past several days, I got a little sad when I looked in the rear view mirror and saw it was gone this evening.

Burgess family, please come back soon!

Friday, May 13, 2011

two weddings- a study in contrasts

Richard and I had the privilege of attending two beautiful weddings in April- the first one was the wedding of Kelly and Lauren in Philadelphia. Kelly is one of the orthopedic surgery residents at Walter Reed, and he and the other ortho residents have been great friends to Richard. Lauren is from the Philly area, and their Rehearsal Dinner was at Chicky and Pete's. Quite different than what we're used to, but they have Crabfries, which Richard absolutely loved. And I obviously think a fun casual, rehearsal dinner is a great option- we square danced at ours!

Richard, Kevin, Kelly the groom, Jon and Matt (who's up next!)

The Rehearsal "late night" was at Drinker's Tavern- but not just Drinker's Tavern, downstairs Drinker's Tavern. Between the dancing and Matt landing on his face attempting the Worm, it was a wild night!

Saturday turned out beautiful, and we enjoyed the Reading Market before heading to the ceremony, at a Catholic church right near Pat's and Gino's. After the ceremony, we picked up a cheesesteak then headed back to the hotel to get ready for the reception, which was right down the street from our hotel. I understand having your ceremony early and a cocktail hour and reception later is very common, especially up north, but it sure does make for a long day. The bride and groom get a ton of time for pictures though, which I would have loved!

Kelly and Lauren's venue was perfect, and their band was amazing. And the bride was beautiful! We had a great time and loved getting to spend the day with good friends.

view from the Cocktail Hour

Congratulations Kelly and Lauren!

Richard's cousin Molly got married the Saturday before Easter, and it was special in its own right. We always love getting to spend time with family in South Carolina, and I was in town for the entire week before working from Spartanburg and Greenville. I had the privilege of helping with the details- from putting together the programs to telling the guys when to walk out, and it made me miss my own wedding planning!

The Rehearsal Dinner was at the Piedmont Club, and it was very tame compared to Kelly and Lauren's. Just a sweet (calm) time with family and friends. The after-party was at the Spartanburg Marriott, which is not quite downtown Philly, but still fun.

Suzanne, Molly (the bride) and me

the Clark and Webb cousins and spouses

Proof that the world is small- Josh, the groom, used to coach at South Dakota State, and his friend Shannon is still a coach there. Shannon was one of the groomsmen, and he is friends with the Assistant Volleyball coach at SDSU....who lived with my dear friend Bec in Columbia before she moved to South Dakota! Richard and Shannon bonded, and we loved making a new friend.

Shannon, me, Molly and Josh

Molly and Josh wanted to do something different for the wedding, and so they decided to get married in Molly's parents' neighbor's back yard. It was GORGEOUS. As was she...and everything went off without a hitch. Richard played with many of the musicians who played in our wedding, Richard's mom directed the wedding and got everyone to their appropriate place, and Molly laughed and was full of joy all through her vows.

talented musicians

Clark family

The ceremony was in the front of the house, and the reception was in the back. Molly's Aunt Vicky did the flowers, which were amazing. And Darla, the baker who did our cake, did Molly's. It was a huge treat to enjoy her skills again!

part of the reception site

Clark, McAbee, Noe, and Webb cousins

Congratulations Molly and Josh!

When Molly and Josh left, Molly's big brother Al drove them out in a Gator. One of the funniest moments of the night was when Molly hopped in the front with Al and Josh was left in the back by himself. I didn't get a great shot of it, but Emily Corey, who did an incredible job with the pictures, did. You can see it and a few other sneak peeks here.

I love having the opportunity to celebrate with friends and family at their weddings and am thankful Richard and I have been able to enjoy so many together, regardless of where they are or how different they may be! But this one is still my favorite. :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

jersey shore

I have a ton of pictures and stories to post from the wonderful week before Easter that I spent in South Carolina, but tonight I wanted to share thoughts on our trip yesterday to New Jersey. We went to Jackson, New Jersey for a baby shower for my dear friend Jeanine, who was a close friend from Clemson- and an even closer friend since we left there! She is a practicing pediatrician in New York City now, where she lives with her husband Alex. I attended their beautiful wedding in Bermuda almost three years ago now. She's expecting a little boy in June, and it was fun to get to celebrate his upcoming arrival with her and her friends and family!

friends from high school, Clemson, med school and NYC

me and the glowing mama-to-be

lots of great gifts!

Jeanine and her adorable niece and nephew

Richard was extremely kind and drove me the 3.5 hours to New Jersey so that we could spend some time together and see Atlantic City after the shower, since neither of us had ever been. I had heard that Atlantic City wasn't the classiest place in the world, so my expectations were low. But it was definitely worth seeing!

We had dinner at the Continental Diner in Caesar's on the Pier, and it was really good. It's a Stephen Starr restaurant, and the menu was fun- we had buffalo chicken meatballs, kobe beef sliders and a yummy feta and red pepper dip.

the scenery was more interesting than it appears here

The Pier had these sitting areas by the windows, which were cute. A way to put your feet in the sand and enjoy the view without being outside...

We walked on the Boardwalk and the beach, but it was really chilly. It's sad that we were wearing coats and long pants in late April!

As a lifelong Southern Baptist, I have serious reservations about gambling. I have never in my life bought a lottery ticket (though my brothers once won $500 on one!), and I have only once played blackjack while on vacation in Punta Cana. But Atlantic City is obviously known for its casinos, so we strolled around a few of them while there. I ended up losing a total of $3.00 on the beginner's luck here!

pulling my first handle at the Tropicana

We went in the Tropicana, the Trump Plaza, Caesar's and finally the Borgota, which is much nicer than the others, but we weren't too impressed with any of them. It's actually kind of depressing. There were lines of people waiting at the ATMs, bays of slots machines full of players, and lots of tight, short dresses. We counted no less than 10 bachelorette parties, and seeing them made me thankful for my "quiet" bachelorette gathering on Edisto. It just all felt kind of dirty, and we were ready to get back to DC. I'm glad we can check Atlantic City off of our places-to-see list though!

late night gelata