Sunday, November 30, 2014

Turkey Days


Thanksgiving didn't go quite as planned. First we left later then intended due to 1) Grandpa Fawcett having flown out early to help finish what can only be described as a super late harvest; 2) Owen had a really cool birthday party on Saturday morning that he didn't want to miss; and 3) having had 3 weeks of someone (myself included multiple times) being sick, I wasn't particularly excited about getting up at 5 am and splitting 14 hours of driving between Allen and me. So we decided to take two days and let Owen have his fun, arriving at Grandma & Grandpa Z's on Sunday afternoon. Then we found out on Monday that owing to some recent unpredicted snowstorms, Uncle Dave & Aunt Kara weren't going to be able to drive out from Colorado. We were all pretty bummed with the news, but Allen most acutely as he generally trades off being the "fun Uncle" with Dave and welcomes the reprieve that comes with being ranked second.

Despite the abbreviated schedule and guests, we had a pretty amazing visit. We managed to pack in dinner and a playdate with Grace, some sledding and work at the pond, Pinewood Derby preparations, a lot of Minecraft, a picnic or two, epic battles, an unexpected homage to Eminem, birthday surprises, Olivia's elevation to the grown-ups' table, a parting brunch at Ken & Helen's, Christmas brew, and of course, family.

(To see all the Thanksgiving pics, click here.)


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Harvest in the East

DC public schools likes to take the week before Thanksgiving to celebrate the harvest (though given we're an urban school district, the celebration tends to be larger than said harvest). Songs are sung, poetry slow-jammed and there's an abundance of food. Allen and I both managed to make Owen's party (and song) on Thursday, but Allen was off at a conference on Friday and so had to miss Nora's -- which meant he missed Nora's debut as the fifth fat turkey and the traditional harvest cupcake (and resulting purple tongue).

Wednesday, November 12, 2014



So last year Andrew and I took Owen and Luke to Carderock on Veteran's day for their first climbing outing.  They had a great time, Owen got a harness for Christmas, spent lots of time on the climbing wall at camp, and got climbing shoes for his birthday, but somehow we made it all the way to Veteran's day again before taking the boys back out on the real rocks.

With the weather 70 degrees and sunny, we couldn't have asked for a better day for our annual climbing trip.  We set up a harder climb than last year, and Owen proclaimed we should climb youngest to oldest, I guess so he could show us all how it's done.  He scrambled up the rocks like a little monkey, then came down and told us that, "Climbing is like a team sport, your arms, legs, eyes, and brain all have to work together or you'll never make it to the top."

Luke was next up, but Owen couldn't keep himself off the rocks and started bouldering around barefoot.  When Luke was stuck at a tough spot on the climb, I went up to try to help him find some holds only to look over and see Owen 8 feet up on the rocks beside us also doling out pointers.

Andrew and I had our turns, and found that some of the spots on the climb really were a bit tricky.  Then Owen scrambled up again, with a little more difficulty at the first big problem on the climb.  When he got down he dropped some more of his zen climbing wisdom, "Another way to think of the climb is it's like a war.  Your arms and legs are the armies, and your eyes and brain are the spies searching for weaknesses in the wall for your armies to attack."

If we learned one thing from this spectacular November climbing day, it's that we need to do it more often in 2015...

(click here for all the pictures)

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Halloween 2014


Halloween conveniently fell on a Friday this year, and it was a half day of school to boot. The kids went easy on us this year with their costume requests, Owen wanted to go as Ryan Zimmerman and Nora was set on Minnie Mouse, both of which we had readily on hand. Adam’s parents Karen & Edgar kindly invited us over to their pre-trick-or-treating party, where the kids burned off some pre-candy energy, and we enjoyed hanging out by the ‘poison punch’ with the grown-ups. Then instead of braving the madness on East Capitol Street, we trick-or-treated our way from Adam’s house to our old block on F Street, visited with some old friends and neighbors, and trick-or-treated our way back home. All told, a very satisfying Halloween for the whole family.

(click here for all the pictures)