Friday, December 30, 2011

Letting go of fall

As expected, fall was far too short and winter is here far too soon. This fall was perfect for a birthday picnic at the National Arboretum, the mixing of new friends and old, trying out the "best new sandwich in America" (doubt it), walks involving the carrying of large sticks, and learning to feel at home here in DC. Now, to winter and a brand new year. And learning to appreciate the cold (impossible).

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Summer in DC

On a hot day toward the end of summer, we took a long, leisurely walk around the mall and the monuments. The tourists are in full force during the summer and into early fall, and I'm enjoying the slower pace now that the cold is imminent. But this day, they were everywhere. Tour buses lining the streets and a variety of languages floating past. People taking pictures of squirrels (who knew they were so exotic?). And I get to walk to the mall from my house. Lucky.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Anna and Greg

(Map of the farm, made by Anna.)

Anna and Greg got married this summer on their farm in Maryland. When we found out we were moving to DC, we had no idea Anna would be there too. We were overjoyed when we learned that not only was Anna marrying her perfect match, Greg, but they were going to live and work just 45 minutes away from our new home.

At the reception, David gave a speech about his first interactions with Anna back in the dorms during undergrad. She would sit in her room and play an old, broken guitar, and even though it was old and broken, she could make it sound beautiful. David wished the same for their marriage- that when Greg was feeling down and broken, Anna would bring the beauty out of him. That she would make him sing.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Last week we watched a little Boston terrier named Lucy, and Sundance was beside himself with joy. When she arrived, he spent the next hour watching her, tail wagging, while she explored the house and tried out all of his toys. One morning while I was on the computer, he jumped up on the couch and starting chewing his white plastic toy. I could hear him chewing for the next five or ten minutes, and when I looked back over I realized Lucy had completely taken over. Lucy had settled down right in front of him and was chewing his toy while he sat there watching curiously, tail still wagging. He was so amused by her, I could just imagine him saying, “You can have all of my toys. Anything. Just please say you’ll stay and play with me forever.” Followed by a deep sigh, “My parents are seriously boring.” By the way, we’ve decided Sundance’s voice is like the awkward voice-cracking teenagers from Monsters, Inc. Can't you see it?

Friday, September 2, 2011

A sabbatical, if you will

Looks like I took an unplanned break from the blog. Let’s call it a sabbatical and then I won’t feel so bad. Actually, it has been a bit challenging to find bloggy inspiration in our new life in DC, which is quite a bit different from our life in Freetown. In Sierra Leone, stories were everywhere. Our days were less packed and I had more time to think and process. There are stories here too, certainly, but it is different.

Washington, DC is a beautiful city (or...district?) and it is beginning to feel like home. Shopping for fruit at Eastern Market, jogging on the mall past Lincoln and Roosevelt and MLK, growing tomatoes and peppers in my very first garden, getting to know all of the dogs in Capitol Hill (thank you, Sundance). This is a sweet place and we feel very blessed.

However, this summer has been a bit “extreme” in the weather arena. Heat waves, an earthquake, and then the hurricane this past weekend. I have to say, Irene was a bit disappointing after all the build-up. Sundance is definitely enjoying the aftermath of branches scattered about the streets- one of his favorite things is to try to carry branches larger than his entire body. One of my NOT favorite things is getting stabbed in the legs by Sundance's branches.

As a native Californian, one might imagine I wasn't too impressed with the earthquake…and one would be wrong. David and I were eating lunch outside when it happened. First, I thought it was just the large truck that passed by at that moment. After things kept shaking, I said to our friend, “Aaron, stop shaking the table!” Once I realized it was an earthquake, was there a rush of memories from years of earthquake drills in school? Crawl under the desk, cover your head, etc? Nope, not at all. Instead, “Earthquake??? WHOA! THIS IS AMAZING!”

It is September now, and a wave of fresh, crisp air is finally pushing out the humidity. We missed last fall while in Freetown, so for the past year my soul has felt like fall should be just around the corner. The other night, after David and I had said good night and started to fall asleep, I whispered in his ear excitedly, “Fall is coming soon.” Needless to say, he was a bit creeped out.

We are going camping this weekend in Shenandoah Valley- our first family camping adventure! More on that to come.

A few pics from our vacation in California:

(My sister Leslie and nephew Conor)

(View from the amazing house we rented in Sea Ranch)

(Jen, me, Dad, bro)

(Conor mesmerized by David's mustache)

(Relaxing in Sea Ranch)

(Breakfast with Meg and the Blainster)

While we were gone, Dancer had some super fun play-dates with Annie, his crush who lives upstairs. Doesn't he look sooo sad? Like he missed us soooo much?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Too cool for graduation

Though I finished classes LAST May, my graduation ceremony was last week. Woo hoo! I didn't sign up to attend the ceremony since I didn't think we would be living near Baltimore (oops!), so we celebrated in our own way: tri-tip, cupcakes, and strawberry margaritas courtesy of my sweet husband. Plus, not going to the ceremony made me feel like one of those people who is way too cool for silly graduation ceremonies. I'm not, but it was fun to pretend.

Sidenote: Tri-tip is a strictly California thing. Like, people outside of California have never heard of it. This is shocking to me.

Cupcake master surpriser, at it again!

"I would like some tri-tip now, please. Thank you." Is it dumb to make up dialogue for your dog?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Thoughts on being a Californian

Dog shelter employee when we adopted Sundance: "You're from California? You should have said that earlier! Yeah, you can adopt him. Californians are so laid back."

Landlord about a kale salad David made: "What is this stuff?! Seriously, Californians always know how to do the coolest stuff with greens."

Friend from church: "I could spot you guys from a mile away- tall, blond Californians."

My boss while waiting for her to finish an email: "Gosh, you're such a laid back Californian, just sitting here nicely. Don't let me take advantage of that."

New friend: "You're from San Luis Obispo? How could you leave?!"

Landlord while looking at my garden: "You planted hot peppers? That is such a California thing to do."

Neighbor: "I've never met a Californian who didn't want to ultimately end up back in California."

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


The Sundance Kid!

Age: 9 months
Weight: 40 pounds
Hair: reddish-brownish (like his namesake)
Likes: socks, toys, all other dogs (especially licking their faces), tissues, my garden
Dislikes: grates, thunder, baths
Hobbies: stretching, begging, prancing, laying in strange positions, running up hills
Nicknames: Sunny, Dancer, Prancer, Dancey Pants, Sunz, Bunz, Mister, Baby Monkey
Breed: anyone's guess
Cuteness level: maximum

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Last few months in 15 pictures

I guess it's about time I update this thing with life since Sierra Leone.

We left in early December. A day later, we arrived in London (via car, water taxi, bus and plane).

It was snowing. We didn't have winter clothes. We ate a croissant in the airport and I was pretty sure it was the most delicious thing I had ever had. Also, we looked silly.

In London, we drank cup after cup of mulled wine to warm our bodies (and hearts). Look at this cold face. We were unprepared for the winter wonderland.

We wandered around Bath for a few days, then hopped over to Paris to meet up with my Dad and Jen. I learned I was too old for hostels after a terrible night in a 12-bunk room full of 18 year old male Aussies.

We had an amazing week full of stories, exploring and food (cheese! chocolate! wine! pasta!) with the best travel buddies around. Really.

David was sporting an impressive beard.

Back in London, we hung out with our new friend Rob and his family (who are the family of Freya, our dear friend in SL). He introduced us to some excellent places (a toast and jam restaurant where you toast the bread yourself!) and we attended his Christmas choir concert.

Shortly before Christmas, we headed back to California. I finally got to meet my sweet new nephew, Conor.

In January, we moved back across the country. All of our things, BACK to the East Coast. Now we live in Washington, DC. We got a dog. We love him.

That's not him. This is Sura, his cousin. Isn't she a beauty? I'll introduce our pup more formally soon. He deserves his own post.

Great, now all caught up!