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16 posts from April 2012

April 27, 2012

{this moment}: Ssh, don't tell Kelsey

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. One photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Idea courtesy of Soulemama.


Idea courtesy of Soulemama.  


April 26, 2012

I have a new kind of cozy

but you can't buy it in stores.  Well, you can buy the parts, but they sure don't create this:

or this one.



Nope, I have the new style (close your eyes if you fear TMI...this is one of those posts), er, nipple cozy, if you will.  Now, before you say, "Oh, how utterly clever!" I can't even take credit for the term.  My friend, Becky, over at Suburban Matron (who has been a wealth of information and a rock of support), first uttered (well, typed) it (to my knowledge), so all credit goes to her.

Now, I did not directly jump into the cozy, but if you recall, began (or ended) the latest surgery with my bra bandage bondage which was more a massive slathering of gauze.  I was taped to the gills and had the adhesive marks to prove it.  This past Tuesday was the day of reckoning:  my post-surgical visit with Dr. X who would remove all of the bandages (and tape...OWIE!) and then, well, I didn't know what came next.   No after photos, yet, though, thank Gawd.

Dr. X dutifully zipped the steri-strips off my thighs and while my thighs do not appear any smaller (darn you, no lipo!), the "dog ears" (scar tissue) from the first surgery are now gone.  Well, not gone so much as transferred to another location.  You see, since he is a very green doctor and waste not want not and all, those old dog ears are my new....(are you ready for this...think of it in a medical way):


Yes, if you remember, while I had a skin-sparing la-la-la awful surgery TWO years ago, the nipple went bye-bye.  For no good reason as it turns out, but I'm trying not to be bitter.  Instead, I am trying to be impressed by the absolutely amazing talents of my plastic surgeon.  He took the bits of skin that held my drains in and turned them into a work of art (well, I think at least in Peter's mind).  

He removed the bandages on Tuesday, the oodles of gauze pads and voila.  Yes, a few stitches, redness and blood, but if I didn't know better....Peter was just in shock and I can't say it wasn't pretty amazing to see what they can do with leftover skin.  Even the color is so similar.  I'm sure it's just temporary and I will still have to be tattooed, but really...quite impressive to look and feel so...natural, so normal, so...symmetrical!

Oh, and the cozy?  Well, the new nipple is actually still quite, er, swollen.  Let's just say I'm glad it's not swimsuit season yet as half of my chest would have a Madonna (you know, in that video) look to it. Not something I'm exactly willing to parade around and show off.  Now, the doctor reminded us that the swelling will go down and things will soon look and feel more like normal.  Of course, given the lifting and tucking on the other side, I'm beginning to lose site of my old normal and just going with natural.

Given the delicate nature of the surgery and the long healing process, the, uh, nipple has to be cared for quite carefully.  Lots of antibiotic ointment and, yes, a newly created nipple cozy each and every day for the next three weeks.  I can't have too much pressure, but have to wear something that keeps all the gauze in place.  The surgical bras (are they made of steel?) help keep it in place, but are just too binding.  

Thank goodness I thought to buy a few camis a while back with a little built-in bra and they are doing the trick without causing too much discomfort.  So, I need an additional 15 minutes or so each day to do the whole thing...slathering, creating the cozy, throwing on the cami, then adding the cover to the cozy (the skin has to be covered by gauze and ointment) and finally whatever else it is I do to get ready.  I've also been throwing a bit of ointment on the left side as it's still looking a little, well, injured, and I figure it can't hurt.  Oh, and yes, just like the bandage-bondage, this bra/ointment/cozy deal is 24/7 until further notice...as well as no baths, swimming, hot tubs.  Did I mention I'm glad I did this before the summer began?

And...there you have it. One more step completed, and really, just a few more weeks until I'm back in my exercise routine and spending most of the day forgetting what happened two falls ago.  Actually, I even do that now for the most part...and it's a pretty good feeling.

Lest I forget (and those of you with skittish minds, avert your eyes), I had the most amusing/sweet/adorable/thoughtful conversation with Nicholas tonight.  He has seen me from the beginning, before, during and after all of the surgeries.  He is the least phased by it (in fact, pretty much not at all) and usually just wants to know how long the surgery will take and will the doctor finally fix my na-nas?

Tonight he happened to see me.  He saw the left side first and said, "Aw, what happened?!"  I explained how they had to nip and tuck to make it equal to the other side (which he then demanded to see).  I removed the gauze, he took one look and said, "Aw, it's growing back!"

And that reminds me that my decision to never hide anything from him gave him possibly (and, yes, a bit inadvertently) one of the best learning experiences of his life.  Not that I wouldn't change the past in a heartbeat, but that little guy has more understanding of this whole situation in his little finger than....well, he's just awesome and that's that.


April 23, 2012

Last night,

Caitlin and I were briefly discussing bathrooms and, how sadly, they still have not yet learned how to clean themselves.  As you know, I am supposed to be laying low, but even then, sometimes get fed up when things aren't done in a timely manner and I just do it myself.  These days that gets me a percocet and a few hours in the recliner and dirty looks from all family members while they lecture me on how I am supposed to be resting.

Be that as it may, it occurred to me that come May 21st, I *might* want to seek some assisitance with the regards to the whole housecleaning bit.  I am not talking about having the staff of Downton Abbey move in, but more along the lines of someone to come by MAYBE every two weeks (MAYBE) and give the bathrooms and kitchen a good scrub-down.  I figured this would give me more time to (on my own for the next year) take care of the kids, plan activities, plan meals, plan a few summertime activities, cook most of said meals, work on decisions for our next post, continue to declutter, install new windows, think about getting new floors, paint most of the rooms in the house, decide what to do with the upstairs bathrooms, maybe adopt a dog since the kids are going to be so "lonely," join a pool so Kelsey can do a swim team, try to fit in summer trips to Ohio and California, and, oh, wait, sleep?

So imagine my delight when I mentioned to the one who is almost as tall as I am (scary) that I was toying with the notion of a housekeeper (and I use that term VERY lightly) for the year Peter is not here.  

OH!  The LOOK!  The DISDAIN!  You would have thought...well, who knows what was going through her mind, but the thought of me getting a break and not having to clean bathrooms (they help, but the reality is...) on a weekly basis just about gave Caitlin heart palpitations.

Then I really shoved my foot in my mouth.  I said something along the lines of, "Well, since we may have some staff in Nicaragua."


I replied I meant that we might have someone to help out with the cooking and cleaning (though mostly cleaning), and perhaps other things around the house.  

"WHY would we have HELP?"

Now, really, I want my kids to be independent and all, but give me a break.  The one chance I have at fairly inexpensive live-in help and I'm going to get dumped on by my teenager?  

You know, we might have a bigger house, we might need help with cleaning and for good measure, I threw in the ole, "We would be providing employment for those who might need it/want it."

Boy, did I get it then..."Now, WHERE did you hear that line?  Who says just because we are in the Foreign Service that we need help in our own house?  I certainly can take care of my own room!"

Yes, she can and she does.  She does her own laundry, vacuums, most of the floor is nearly always visible (as opposed to Ms. Creative in the next room over), and she still has (to my knowledge) her 14 point a.m. checklist.  

So, there we are.  I wanted more than anything to raise a free-thinking non-judgemental independent child whose idea of self-reliance extended to beyond just being able to pick out her own lunch foods at the grocery store.  I guess I got what I asked for...

but I'd still like a little help with the bathrooms, whether here or there.  Is that really so wrong?

April 22, 2012

I was bound and

determined to attend Nick's first soccer game today.  I hadn't mentioned anything about him being on a team any sooner, as well, up until this past week, we just weren't sure.  We had another one of those 'we need an extra coach' scenarios and guess who did not step up this time.  Actually, to be fair, last time he just volunteered "to help" and the next thing we knew he was Coach Pete.  And wasn't he awesome (c'mon San Ramon friends, did he rock that coaching thing or what?....).

Given that practice sessions led by Skype from far off locations might not go over so well with other parents, we just kept our mouths (and emails) quiet this time.  Then, we lucked out and another parent volunteered...and he just happens to be (get this!) the head soccer coach at the University of DC!  Well, now extremely glad we just kept the idea of Coach Pete to ourselves.

Practices began yesterday and while Nicholas was a bit nervous at first about being a "teamer" he quickly warmed up after meeting new friends at practice.  Being that my incredibly swollen and slow self is still convalescing, I skipped practice in hopes that resting up would allow me to attend the game. It did and so glad to have not missed his....first goal!

Yep, the Little Guy managed to score the first goal of the game!   He had a free kick, hit it right in and boom, the white team scored!  He played at least half the game, if not more, and had a great time running, kicking, stopping and randomly looking around (most of them did this, I think it's required...and adorable) and just getting sweaty and having fun.  He loved snack, he loved hanging out on the sidelines (and on Dad's shoulders) and I am so glad we signed him up for this trial run.  As we found out with Cait, this age is perfect to find out if they really have interest or not, especially as it is so non-competitive.


Shoot it in the wrong goal? No worries! Other team scores?  Go red team, congrats!  

I don't know even know the final score, just that they had fun and I managed to walk one quarter of the way to the car (about 20 yards) before I was in massive pain and had to hang by a light pole until Pete picked me up.  Given my long sleeve shirt and sweat pants (bad idea on a hot day), you can't see my bandages and I'm sure I was given many a looks for my shuffle and moans of pain because I tried to walk more than a step a minute.  You know, cause I look so young and all (as if).

Oh, and my get-up?  Yep, I'm still bound in that direction.  No changes in that regard until Tuesday when I have my post-op with the famous Dr. X.  At the pre-op appointment, he insisted I was doing terribly well, and that all was healing beautifully.  He even thoughtfully ignored my beached whale look (which is now twice as bad).  So, I would offer a slew of photos of me looking absolutely fabulous, but all we have right now are these (avert your eyes if you are squeamish about large amounts of tape and gauze):

Yes, I know, I look lumpy, bumpy and a bit weird all around (see the tape up to my neck?).  However, God forbid anyone else ever has to go through, this is what a Stage 2 DIEP looks like 5 days post-surgical.  Oh, and my chest is not screwed up as much as it might look ...those wrinkles really belong to this massive amount of bandaging.

Yes, there I am in my glory.  My swollen, gauzed up, overly-taped, then constricted by a super surgical bra glory.  FYI, there will be no other before and afters, not to worry, as I don't even know that I will be looking on Tuesday.  I'm sure the PS will want to ooh and aah over his work, but I'll definitely be covering my eyes...at least at first.  As an added bonus, I will spare you the "bweeds" (according to Nick) that the PS gave me when removing the dog ears of my abdominal scar.  

There, hope I haven't offended anyone or been added to an indecent exposure list, but figured in case anyone who had seen me in person was wondering what on earth could make me look so odd...well, there you have it, at least until Tuesday!  

April 20, 2012

{this moment}: He's a teamer!

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. One photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Idea courtesy of Soulemama.


Idea courtesy of Soulemama.  


April 17, 2012

I'm back...

sort of.  More details later, as I'm still a bit fuzzy on the past two days, but all apparently went well with the surgery.  I think it was somewhere in the realm of three hours and he did everything but lipo (not needed...I'll take that as a compliment?).

I'm still feeling the effects of the anesthesia and due to the ab work, will be on painkillers for a bit. I'm also a bit more restricted (oddly enough) than other surgeries.  I'm not even allowed to walk for a week other than around the house, no running for a month and you should see the get-up I have to wear.  My chest is so bound-up and I'm taped up to my neck. Thank goodness no fancy-pants events for me any time soon.

Lest I drivel on any longer, I just wanted to say thank you for all of the good wishes we have received.  There is nothing more comforting than having folks check up on you from far and wide.  Just wanted everyone to know the thoughts and prayers are very much appreciated and hopefully I will feel more with it soon...for now, though, I think I feel another nap coming on....

April 16, 2012

The grand finale

is finally commencing.  Right about now, I'm being rolled into...oh, I know, "What, this again?!"

Well, hopefully it is the last...NO.  No, it is the last surgical update you will ever see related to the blip. The only follow-up to this is tatooing, which will not happen until Peter's first  R & R (quite a bit of healing needs to take place first).  So, today's dealio is simply lopping off ye old dog ears on the scar running neath my belly button, minor adjustments, and well, prolly not lipo (I'll take that as a compliment?).  A much shorter procedure than the last and still outpatient, but I'll be taking two weeks or so off for recovery purposes.

So, if I'm quiet for the next few days (ha, as if!), you know why.  Many thanks for all of the good wishes and now it's off to la-la land....

April 15, 2012

We decided the eve

of the 'grand finale' of the surgeries should be a less than stressful day.  We had been promising Nicholas a family day for quite some time and this definitely fit the definition.          

On a friend's recommendation, we opted for Scott's Run in McLean.  It has quite the reputation, as apparently the land, known as the Burling Tract,  was barely saved from being a housing development back in 1970.   We are grateful that it was as not only are there plenty of other areas in which to build, but this is a gorgeous piece of land.  We are thrilled that it was left untouched with the exception of the trails.


He will quite literally have to outgrow these beloved boots. They are the most multi-purpose shoes he has ever owned.


Not sure if you can tell, but a photo of Kelsey taking a photo of me.


The waterfall at Scott's Run (from a distance).


The falls...small, but still impressive.  Oh, and, of course, Cait compared to Gullfoss.


Finally relaxing after nearly a 2 mile trek to the falls.


As Nicholas would ask, "Why DO people litter?"


Peter had to offer to help (it's steeper than it looks). The boy has no fear and I have visions of solo rapelling down sheer cliffs....I mentioned 127 hours and Nicholas was fascinated...of course!


The coolest creek crossing (for those who don't feel like getting wet), I've ever seen.


Um, it was a very warm day.

Even a nature preserve might have droids lurking around....

It was a gorgeous day, an amazing (okay, and tiring) hike and the perfect way to end the weekend.  I almost forgot what waits for me tomorrow at noon...


April 14, 2012

We're either completely awesome

or the coolest parents on the planet.  Oh, wait, maybe it's both!  Why?  Well, for sending our daughter away by herself to a land far, far away...but we have to, given that she has missed it so much.

She?  Caitlin.  It?  The land of fire & ice.

It's not difficult to understand her homesickness, given that she lived there during such formative years of her life.  We were supposed to visit in late 2010, but then our lives went you-know-where and unfortunately, we just couldn't make it.  This broke her heart, as did the fact that we could not go last year, either.  In fact, it wasn't until we thought about Peter going to...over there...that we realized we might be able to fit in a trip this coming fall.  However, Cait will beat us to the punch, as she is boarding a plane at the end of May to spend a whirlwind of a week in and around Reykjavik with a dear friend and her family.

My friend, Berta, has graciously opened her home to Cait for 7 amazing days so that my not-so-little girl can spend time catching up with friends, inhaling the clean air of Iceland, scarfing down fiskur og fronskur (see, I haven't lost my Icelandic!), careening through the lava fields, walking along the beach, embracing the midnight sun, hot-potting and swimming in any weather and re-living the life she left behind three years ago.  Of course, it will be different...people will have grown and places will have changed slightly.  However, I bet it is just enough of the same to make her heart very happy happy happy for a week or so...and given all that has happened over the past two years, that's all that really matters.

Happy Confirmation, Cait!


Mom & Dad


April 13, 2012

{this moment} : Get set!

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. One photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Idea courtesy of Soulemama.

Idea courtesy of Soulemama.  

April 11, 2012


that's over and no more until September.  What's that?  "That" would be the visit to the oncologist.

I don't really have a schedule, so can't say it's the every 3 month or every 6 month visit.  In fact, until the week before the visit, I generally forget about the whole thing....which is just the way I like it.

If you remember, I felt kind of cruddy last year.  I might have looked fine, maybe even better than usual on the outside, but the inside felt like crap.  It wasn't until that past few months that things suddenly started to look up.  Whether it was the start of school, an uptick in my activities, I'm not entirely sure.  However, things started to click and I was more like my old self.

My old self, however, never had to worry about remotely frequent visits to doctors.  Oh, sure, I had them, but until October 6, 2010, I never stressed out about them.  Now I get a major case of white coat syndrome every time I find myself in a waiting room.  The fewer visits I have, the better I feel.

Today was a 3 month follow-up of sorts.  I had last visited the oncologist just prior to my DIEP in January.  If you remember, I received boatloads of snark from the nurse practitioner and promptly vowed never to see her again.  I mean, really, I don't need MORE stress about this issue, do I?

Today was also, I suppose, a chance for the doctor to ask *the* question...the one about the medicine.  No, I'm still not taking it and, no, I have no inclination at this time to take it.  I figured the entire visit would be centered around that.  Thankfully, I was wrong.

Once I arrived (don't ask about traffic...oh, this area...), it was a good 20 minutes before we were even taken back to a room. Weight, blood pressure and temperature were taken and all acceptable levels/rates.  We then had to wait....and wait...and wait.  Finally, when it seemed like it might be time to reschedule, the door opened.  The doctor walked in (as did a med student...yippee) and sat down to chat.

We reviewed my basic history.  I had finally obtained the blood test results from the hematologist regarding the scrubbing of my blood to determine if I might be more prone to clotting issues.  For the most part, no.  One protein was slightly lower than it should be.  The doctor noted that it shouldn't cause me any issues with the medication, but stopped there.  Given my family history, no one can say for sure what would or wouldn't happen.

We reviewed all of the other labs, annual exams and such that I had taken upon myself to have completed over the past three months.  I did finally have the doctor visit  I had been dreading for 14 months.  And my worries?  Completely unfounded.  Everything was normal, my vitamin D level was up and my liver levels were just fine (slightly awry in January due to the surgery/narcotics).  

I then had to acquiesce to the lovely physical exam.  Might I add how tired I am of these?  There is the idea that when one has the surgery (or surgeries) I had, one becomes numb or can no longer feel things in certain areas.  This, thank goodness, is not the case for me, in part due to having the DIEP (though I had plenty of feeling prior to that).  So, the numerous exams, especially after surgery, are just getting...tiresome.  I'm weary of being prodded and felt up and thus, when the whole sordid affair was over, I was thrilled when I sat up and she said, "Why don't we just not see you again until August?"

This ended up turning into the first week of September, since there is no way we can verify that Peter will be home in late August.  Early September, however, should be more than doable.  The better part?  Well, she did bring up the medicine (tamoxifen) again, but it was a very brief discussion and not nearly as stressful as it could have been.  

She asked, "Have you thought about taking it?" and before I could answer, Peter jumped into the discussion, reminded her that I had just had surgery, will be having more on Monday and really just am enjoying getting back to my old normal.  She nodded and then said she just wanted to check.

I added that I thought about it occasionally, but, the thing is, I'm happy right now.  I'm finally nearly back where I was before this whole mess began and I don't want to screw with that.  The reality is that I can't start the medicine right away and nor would I.  I'm not willing to go there when Peter is about to leave for a year and there will be no one that I can reach over and wake up in the middle of the night if something seems wrong.  There is no guarantee that it will help, I will not feel better simply by taking it and could in fact, end up feeling much worse.  That's not something I'm willing to risk as I'm embarking on a year of solo parenting.

The doctor then reviewed my Oncotype score and remembered just how low it was.  She remarked that it didn't mean there wasn't any chance of recurrence, but said, "It IS a low chance..." Exactly.  Very low and very unlikely anything will happen again.  And for now, given how good I finally feel, well, I'm not willing to mess with that.

I'm sure there are some out there who completely agree with me and there are some folks that think I'm nuts.  That is absolutely fine with me.  I'm not telling anyone else what he or she should or shouldn't do with his or her body.  However, I do know what is right (and what is not right) for me at this time.  I am keeping my options open and will revisit the issue again in September. By then I will be healed to an even greater extent, Peter will be home on his first R & R and the only thing that might be stressing us out will be a back to school shopping list or two.  

I also, just might, based on this visit, might not be so stressed out next time.  The visits are really nothing more than check-ups, are further and further apart and will end eventually.  In fact, if they continue beyond next July, they will be down to once a year.  I suppose even my wimpy self can handle that...

April 09, 2012

Meet the President?

No, we didn't.  Have a blast at the 2012 White House Easter Egg Roll?  Absolutely!

I have wanted to go to the Easter Egg Roll for years, if not decades.  I remember being jealous as a child of those lucky-ducks who got to skip school (well, in a few cases) and head to Washington, DC, to roll Easter eggs on the lawn, maybe hang with the President and take home a souvenir egg after an afternoon of fun.

After eons of waiting, my dream came true today and I cannot say that I was disappointed in any, way, shape or form.  I am also extremely grateful I had the forethought not to wear 4 inch heels  (oh, yes, you should have seen the espadrilles on one woman). Thanks to my friend, Jen, we ended up scoring four tickets to the Egg Roll.  We nabbed the perfect time slot:  2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (so Nick could still go to school) and decided to give Nick a double-thrill by taking the Metro into the city.  


Peter took the afternoon off, met us at home and once we donned our Easter finery, we headed to Arlington and parked the car (far easier than in DC).  We took the train from Rosslyn to Metro Center and Nick just loved it. It was an easy walk to the White House and the line to get in was virtually non-existent.  We already had our wristbands, so we only had to pass through one security line and voila, and an eggstravaganza that would thrill any child (and many adults).


Almost too much to choose from...


Mrs. Bunny was a no-go for a photo-op with Nick.


Nick loves Martha, but this was as close as he felt like getting.


We posed for pictures (everywhere), rolled eggs, participated in the eggtivity zone,  listened to a concert by a favorite band (of Kelsey's), saw a TV star (well, from the Disney Channel...thank God Pete recognized her), ran around, sat on the grass, rolled around on the lawn, took more pictures and when all was said and done, exited the grounds to collect our wooden eggs.


Required family photo.


Let's roll!


Over quickly, but they loved it!
Comfy clothes were a very good idea....




A memory she will have for a very long time.


Kelsey and one of the stars from Shake It Up (in the background). 


Nothing like chilling on the White House lawn...


Madame President?


Possibly my favorite photo from the day.


The perfect souvenir.

Now Nick is even more intrigued and hopes for a return visit to see the inside of the White House. Well, one can dream, right?


April 08, 2012

It's not Easter

Without those dark, late at night photos which are as about as fuzzy as your brain when you took them. Someday, SOMEDAY, I will learn and somehow get the kids to sleep early so the, er, Easter Bunny can come early and I can actually get some sleep on a holiday eve night.  

Laughing yet?  That's my late April Fools' joke!  Early to bed, as if...

So, we have a plethora of pics that look like this: 



It also looks like Christmas instead of Easter.  I did that thing that I always do where I buy stuff, hide it in random places, forget about it and then compile it all late at night and realize I've gone slightly overboard again.  Oops.

To be fair to myself, about half of these items are fun Easter treats from the grandparents, so I can't take all the credit. 

I also can't take credit for the egg hunt.  I'll spare you the video (you will thank me if you have motion sickness issues), as I clearly did not major in film production.  The iPhone is great for videos, just not when I am taking them...


Oh, and we also have many fun post-Church pics.  Cait and Kelsey sang in the choir, as expected and I only wish we could have been closer.  Twenty minutes early was not early enough and we ended up in the cry room. Not a bad view, but not as easy to concentrate and/or see them singing.  C'est la vie.  It was a good service, the music was beautiful and the day could not have been more gorgeous.


We finished up the afternoon with lunch at the Peking Gourmet Inn.  No, I really just didn't want to cook. The closer we get to Pete's deployment, the more we have to do.  I figured we'd spend as much at the grocery to buy food in preparation as we would at the restaurant, so why not just treat ourselves?  Pete got hooked on PGI after accompanying a certain 'former ambassador from somewhere over there to the U.S.' there on evenings out, as well as going several times while on the Secretary's Detail.   If you haven't been, GO, because there is Beef Proper, which is pretty much like food crack.  'Nuff said.  


The paparazza was getting to him.

Overall a fairly stress-free holiday, which is very good considering everything coming up (surgery a week from tomorrow...eep!).  Oh, and that Lenten going to bed early promise thing?  Well, I tried and actually succeeded on a few nights...but there is always next year, right?




April 07, 2012

Remember this

Little Guy?


Who doesn't love a good cherry tomato?

Now we've got the Big Guy....


He was actually after the apple cider from the farmers market.

I'm pretty sure the fun has only just begun...

April 06, 2012

{this moment} : Get set!

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. One photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. 


Idea courtesy of Soulemama.  


April 03, 2012

We've been

quiet the past few days, as we have been sans kid and thus, escaped town for a night.  Our friends, the amazing Salty Dogs, took on our crew for a few days so that Peter and I might have a night away special in West Virginia.

Peter paid a surprise visit to his parents last weekend, so the kids and I offered to help the Salty Dogs by driving out, taking over their house and babysitting their LG on Saturday.  He was a  gem, as to be expected, and we had much fun.  My coup of the day Saturday?  I drew a lovely flower, but Nate pointed to it and shouted happily, "Propeller!"  Win/win! (Had I tried to draw a propeller, neither a propeller nor a flower would it have been.)


Saturday evening, I drove back home and had a whole night with the house to myself.  I really wasn't sure quite what to do, so calmed myself with a glass of wine and a movie.  I had only one activity Sunday afternoon, prior to Peter's arrival, and before I knew it, he was home.

We then had a whole night at home alone.  Wow.  It was so odd to hear thumps in the night and wonder if you shouldn't investigate, since no one else is there knocking books off their bed, or getting water at 3 a.m.  We survived the night alone, he went to work Monday, I went to the Third Culture Kids Panel at AFSA (very informative and I would highly recommend) and then had lunch with a friend from the panel.  Might I add that it is so wonderful when we have opportunities like this to catch up with those we haven't seen in years?


Monday afternoon sped by and soon we headed to West Virginia. Truth be told, we actually stayed in Winchester, VA.  We found a lovely room in the George Washington Hotel ($77/night for a gorgeous room) and had a lovely dinner at a local Italian restaurant, Violino, where we also discovered a 'new to us' wine we now adore.  Winchester is very walkable and quite a unique mix of old businesses and new.  The restaurant selection was particularly wide and we really had a tough time choosing where to dine.


After returning to the hotel, it was so lovely to do nothing more than swim in the Roman Bath style swimming pool or chatting with other visitors in the hot tub.  A good night's sleep and a light breakfast in the hotel restaurant was all it took to have me ready to walk around the town this morning.  


I had a chance to visit George Washington's office. He used it until Fort Loudon was complete (from September 1755 - December 1756).



A lovely little park outside of the office.

Peter could not accompany me as he had a training obligation (yes, the real reason for the trip) and we did not meet up until lunch, which was had at a delightful French restaurant, La Nicoise, on the outskirts of the main walking street in Winchester.  I have to say, we did not mind at all when the owner convinced us that we needed "to have a sweet for dessert."  

Despite the fact that it was a very short trip, the entire weekend was just lovely.  Given that we have so much coming up in the next few weeks and Peter's departure is rapidly approaching, it was heavenly to have a few days completely and totally to ourselves.  So very much appreciated, Salty Dog Crew!