practicing a purpose

once in a decade, this one is

Graham and I are coming off of a fantastically eventful weekend with our Kenosha-born-turned-big-time-New-Yorker friend Elliot. We’ve been persuading him to visit the capital city for MONTHS now (honestly Elliot, it’s like only three hours away), and finally, one fine day he said okay, let’s do it.

I should back up a little first. Graham and Elliot are high school buddies who share a love for overly drawn out Mo-town runs, simultaneously singing the National Anthem four registers a part, aaannd all things Beyonce (but did I also mention that the two of them used to sing at funerals? For strangers, mind you). Elliot is a crazy good singer, which is probably why he wound up at Berklee College of Music, though I swear he is as dramatic as he is talented.

It was so good to catch up with him. His New York life is way cooler than ours, so it seems, but we were proud to show him around our city . I’m not sure we have EVER eaten at four different restaurants all in one night but we did. By golly, we did, and I’m pretty sure it filled our night life quota for the next two months and maybe our entertainment budget too.

We were sad to see him go but it won’t be long before we see him again in May. Thanks again for visiting, Elliot!

(Below are my two favorite photos of the weekend)

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this week in the District

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Elliot came to visit  /  sunday stress  /  sunday relief  /  my sister’s crafty garland  /  yesterday’s lunch  /  carpooling

another life lately saga

Life has kept me pretty busy throughout the past few weeks. With a little trip to Indiana, work at the restaurant, a new nephew, finding a new apartment post marriage – it’s been a handful (minus the new nephew part). And wedding planning! I equate it to a big class project that’s not due till the end of the semester and without proper check ups, it’s easy to put it off till the end. Oops. But registering was a heck of a lot of fun, and I sometimes lay awake at night daydreaming about my future gifts, er – I mean, our gifts. Graham and I’s gifts. We may or may not have set up a Costco card fund. The skies the limit, guys. And our dishes – oh my gosh, I love our future dishes. God bless the person who gifts us our dishes (just kidding).

Once we send our invites out (which will be soon, cross our fingers/knock on wood), we’ll launch a new blog we’ve created .. a sort of side project if you will.

Here are just a few photos of the past month.

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Pizza with friends / the roommates came to visit / Graffiato / Society Fair  / Upland, Indiana / Midas

 

Happy Thursday

Every Thursday I look forward to my egg sandwich from Jacobs Coffee because you know what? Life just isn’t as sweet without it. It just isn’t. And every time I walk in – pajamas and all – the woman always has my order rung up by the time I reach the counter. I really am shameless.

Plus, it snowed last night! It’s about dang time D.C. Granted it’s WAY TOO COLD to take a leisurely walk outside, but then again, when I have I ever just taken a leisurely walk outside? Instead, I’m drowning in blankets, contemplating if I should shower, but chuckling to myself because I know it’s just crazy talk.

Happy Thursday.

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A food confession

I’ve come a long way since the days when I believed that sharing food was a crime. Thanks to my dad, we never, EVER shared when we went out to eat as a family. My poor mother – she always tried but always failed to convince us to share a meal with her. And dessert? Not a chance in you-know-what. It was everyone’s for the taking. And during those rare times that we DID share dessert, you could hardly pause to take a breath (or blink for that matter) because the entire dessert would be devoured in minutes (May family, you know exactly what dessert I’m thinking of). Don’t even get me started on bean dip. We once devoured a 9 by 13 pan of homemade bean dip in five minutes one Christmas.

That’s how us May’s .. well, do.

I’m not ashamed. Really, I’m not.

But I’m here to you that I can finally share a meal without thinking that someone’s going to steal my rightful portion (bring on the tapas, people). Of course it hasn’t been the easiest transition. I still hate it when I finish my meal before Graham, which almost always resorts in one more run through the Taco Bell Drive thru because I can’t eat my initial meal slow enough – or Graham can’t eat his meal fast enough. Take your pick. And I’ve become a lot more civil when sharing dessert. Usually I guilt him into taking a “timeout” when we’ve finished half of it so that the dessert can “last longer.”

I’m crazy, people.

We went to 2Amy’s Neapolitan Pizzeria last night thanks to a recommendation by The Rockstar Diaries. And folks – it. was. delicious. I day-dreamed about having another personal pizza immediately after I finished mine. And when I went to bed last night. And maybe when I woke up this morning. I tell you all of this because during dinner, I shamelessly asked Graham three times if he was going to eat his leftover crust. THREE TIMES. I was denied three times and rightfully so.

The fourth time I asked it was met with uncontrollable laughter (i.e last image). I hate to tell you that I finally got that last piece of crust.

I totally did NOT deserve it. I like my pizza, what can I say?

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a painting

I found this breathtaking oil painting by Polish painter Jarek Puczel months and months ago and stored the image away for safe keeping – a “maybe one day” sort of purchase. But that maybe one day came a heck of a lot sooner than I expected thanks to a mischievous blonde haired boy. I couldn’t believe my (very teary) eyes when I unwrapped a screen print of the painting over Christmas. And thanks to a 70-year-old British man who likes to make custom wood frames, the print now has a home and is ready to be hung. It gives me shivers every time I look at it.

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6 month check up

I call this my “something worth-while” post – the more personal, self-revealing side that you rarely see on this blog any more. I’ve become so accustomed to the quick and easy posts – the kind that are, well, exactly as I described them – easy. I can’t write more than a few paragraphs before my journalist training kicks in, voicing that if I write any more the reader will become disinterested, thus entering the wonderful world of “cursory reading.” After all, people rarely read beyond the lead of a newspaper article any way (a sad truth we share among us journos).  

But some thoughts have been brewing and what a better audience to share them with. I’ve lived in D.C. for six months now – six! – and its brought many highs and oh so many lows like every major life transition. But it’s D.C., MY D.C., the city I fell in love with my sophomore year of college. The city that Graham and I set our hearts on when choosing our next big adventure. We swore to each other that we’d do everything we could to live here, even if it meant bussing tables for a few months (ahem). 

But what’s most surprising to me throughout all of this, is that D.C. is not the same city I fell in love with three years ago. Three years ago this place was a journalism wonderland. I drank the kool aide, and with it brought some of the most amazing journalistic opportunities. And that, my friends, was  my association with D.C. and what I carried with me throughout my remaining two years of college. 

Somehow, I thought that I would have a similar experience the second time around, and it couldn’t be father from the truth. I wait on people all day long. Most of them are just looking for a bite to eat, but some of them, oh my gosh, some of them are what author and veteran server Steve Dublanica calls “socially maladjusted psychopaths.” 

I’ll throw in another “oh my gosh” because – oh my gosh, do I have stories. So many in fact, that Graham has to silence me after a few minutes whenever the topic of my job comes up with others. And this is my life, day in and day out – the restaurant business – the LAST thing I ever thought I’d be doing six months into our new move. 

But this life has brought about new interests and new loves – many of which revolve around food – which is something that Graham and I both share. This is our city now, not mine. And it has nothing to do with journalism.  

And I love that. 

a quick update

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  • In two hours I’ll be boarding a train. It’s destination? Home.
  • I don’t have to work for ten days. Ten!
  • My sister had a baby (ah!)
  • I managed to pack my wedding dress in my carry on suitcase. Yep, that’s right.
  • I poured pasta sauce over rice for lunch because my pantry is bare.
  • I haven’t gone Christmas shopping (yet).
  • I finally took down the fort that’s been in my room since December 4th.
  • Andrew Belle’s new EP pretty much consumes my entire Christmas playlist.
  • Graham and I’s save-the-dates (or our stds – as he likes to refer to them) are ready to be mailed out.
  • I get to hang out with little Henry for five whole days.
  • I got to be Graham’s date at Discovery Creative’s Christmas party and I bragged about him the entire evening.
  • I’ll miss D.C. while I’m gone – but only a little bit.

 

Can’t wait to see you soon family!

our Christmas present

Wonderful roommate Kyle (not my roommate of course) gave us our Christmas gift early this year. It included a delicious dinner at Gordon Biersch  and tickets to The Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theater – I even wrote about in my column! We went and saw Lincoln the night before (it was incredible guys, please go so it this very minute) to get us in the mood, and the theater was beautiful. We snapped a ridiculous amount of photos to commemorate the evening. Thank you Congressman Kyle!

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thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was small and quaint but full of love. It was our first holiday on our own, and while we missed our families dearly, we were determined to make the most of our time a part. For weeks we talked about the dinner menu – who was making what (I made the mash potatoes and pumpkin pie), when we should go grocery shopping (Ryan and I went grocery shopping the day of – crazy kids), and what vegan dish we should make for Hill (sadly, there was no vegan dish). Graham and Kyle’s apartment is TINY, but we bumped elbows in the kitchen only a little bit and we managed to sit around a table that’s ideally meant for two.

I was so incredibly grateful for the time off of work (bless my co-workers who had to serve that day), and Ryan’s last minute arrival was definitely the highlight of our mini break. It was his first time in the capital city, and we were able to show him our favorite spots, which incidentally all revolved around food. We even threw in a little wedding planning – I’m telling you, put three great minds together and the inspiration and creativity just flows.

It ended all too soon, as good things usually do, but I knew we’d see each other again in a few short weeks. Christmas is just around the corner .. can you believe it? I hope each of you had a wonderful holiday. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the weekend:

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