Feed Your Soul

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I know that occasionally I wear it like a badge of pride, my lack of “me time”.  I devote myself to my children—nearly every moment of my life—and I am proud to do so.  It’s a defense mechanism, though.  Although I love spending time with my children, I do occasionally wish for an afternoon to myself.  Not because my children are annoying or difficult, but because when they are present, I am automatically bumped to the bottom of my priority list.  I don’t begrudge them their spots at the top of my list; I believe that is where they belong.  It’s just that sometimes, it’s nice to have my name up there too.

While I was in New York earlier this month, I spent a whole afternoon alone.  I think all the kids (and Matt obviously) would have loved that day–riding on the subway, walking the city, going to the Met.  But I appreciated it so much more because it was all mine.  Not once did I have to remind anyone not to get to close to the edge of the subway platform, or to hold on when the train started moving, or not to put their hands in their mouths after touching everything in the subway they could.  I just worried about me.

It was re-energizing in a way I did not expect.  Not just the time alone, which was much-needed, but spending it walking the city and seeing new things.

I miss the city a lot.  Not New York City, precisely — I’ve never lived there and it’s not MY city –but it is A city.  And I miss being in A city.  (Ideally, the city I would spend my days in would be Boston, but I’d take NYC or DC in a pinch.)  Just walking around, even on a rainy day like the one I spent in NYC, made me feel happy and awake and alive.  I think I really am a city girl at heart.

photo 3 (2)I’d never been to the Met before, and was really excited to spend an afternoon there seeing what I wanted to see, without having to consider other opinions or desires.  I thought I wanted to see the European paintings exhibit.  It turned out that I was wrong. 

About five minutes into the exhibit, I realized that although the paintings were lovely and amazing, I was bored.  I don’t know enough about art or artists or techniques to really appreciate what I was looking at.  I was disappointed in myself.  So uncultured.

And then I walked out to a balcony in the museum and looked over the railing and this is what I saw:

photo 1 (3)And I knew I found my place.

photo 3 (3)Rooms of armor, weapons, and medieval accessories. 

photo 2 (3)Entire old world chapels complete with gorgeous paneled walls and ornate altars and stained glass windows and intricate tapestries. 

photo 4Paul Revere’s spurs.

photo 4 (3)King Henry VIII’s final suit of armor, from when he was old and fat and stricken with gout.

THAT was the part of the museum I loved.  I spent probably two hours wandering that exhibit.  It was amazing.

It was a rainy, grey day in the city, but the weather did not matter.  It was food for my soul.

Inspirational Words

so much more than prettyMarch is Women’s History Month.

And we are so much more than pretty. (Although we are ALSO drop-dead gorgeous.  Obviously.)

A New York Sprinkle

photo 2 (2)When you are cruising down the New Jersey Turnpike at 80 MPH, you will get passed like you’re standing still.  And who will fly by you, leaving you in the dust?  A dude in a metallic gold Dodge Ram with a lift kit, a Dallas Cowboys decal across the whole back window…and a shiny gold ball sack hanging from the tow hitch.  Obviously.

And you’ll think, “Thank you New Jersey.  You never disappoint.” 

And then you’ll turn up the Taylor Swift song you were jamming to and you will continue rocking out all the way into New York City.

I was in the city last weekend for a little “sprinkle” for my friend, who is expecting Baby Girl #2.  A weekend away was a much-needed break after the endless snow day insanity we had going on here the last few weeks.  I always love being around my kids, but there is such a thing as TOO MUCH togetherness.

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His, Mine, and Ours

crossing the creek

I went to NYC this past weekend for a baby shower.  Matt was home for the weekend with the kids.

When he mentioned that to someone at work a few days before I left, they were stunned — he’d have all four kids all by himself all weekend?!?!?

It made me mad.

I don’t think anyone is surprised that I take care of the children by myself when Matt has to go on a business trip.  It annoys me that it’s shocking that he would do the same thing when I go out of town. 

These children are absolutely equally mine and his.  Why couldn’t he care for them on his own?  Why wouldn’t he be able to do that?

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St. Patrick’s Day

may the road rise to meet youSt. Patrick’s Day in D.C. is NOT the same as St. Patrick’s Day in Boston.  But we make do.

shamrock plate

With Irish bread for breakfast (slathered with good butter), with Irish music on the speakers (which, to be honest, happens a lot more frequently than just this one day), with a highly modified version of a boiled dinner (I HATE boiled cabbage, so substitutions must be made), and maybe a pint of Guinness if we plan ahead (not for the children, clearly.  They make do with something else.)

Irish bread

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Pack It Up, Pack It In

Snow gearYup, that’s a House of Pain blog post title.  Things can only get better from here.

This week I took all the snow pants, coats, gloves, scarves, neck warmers, hats, and other various winter paraphernalia out of my kitchen.  It looks nice in there now without a giant clothes rack covered in wet clothes dripping dirty water onto my floor.

I washed all the washable snow gear.  And I packed it up and put it away into the ginormous hockey bag where we store all that stuff.  The bag is now tucked safely into the spare closet in my bedroom where it will sit until next year (or until we move).

(So it will probably snow at least once more in D.C. this year.  Sorry.  I just couldn’t take the mess anymore and it was 62 degrees outside.) 

I have loved this winter, I cannot lie.  Matt and I skied together for the first time and the kid learned to ski and they loved it.  They just rocked it.  We got to play in 2′ of snow with our Massachusetts cousins and see my nephew in his first play and then we got a few good snowstorms in D.C. too.  Unlike last winter (which SUCKED), we did not spend the entire span of Thanksgiving to Spring Break with at least one sick person in our family at all times.  Although Matt did get shingles, it was the mildest case I’ve ever heard of, so all that happened was that he was home for the kids’ whole winter break.  We ice skated in NYC and D.C. at cool outdoor skating rinks and saw our California cousins too.  We went to the Train Show in New York and had a great weekend there with great friends.  We had a New Years Eve get-together with some of our neighborhood peeps. I have just loved so much about the last few months.

And now spring is coming and the kids are back in sports and we will have an insanely busy few months just FULL of sports practices and games and crazy schedules.  And no matter how much I’ve loved this winter, I can’t wait for spring.

Packing up the clothes made me a little sad: such a stark symbol of the end of a season of fun.  But then yesterday the kids were out in the yard, which is still covered in snow, wearing shorts and t-shirts and riding bikes and skateboards up and down the driveway and I all I could do was smile.

snow shorts_1 snow shorts_2