Sunday, July 14, 2013

catching up, or, our friends jeff and linnea

Hello world. I've missed you.

I was doing so well there for a while, wasn't I? Humming along, almost keeping up with my resolution to blog once a week. But then it happened. Summer.

I'm really, really hoping to make time to post individually about all of these adventures, but just in case here are some of the things we've been up to since oh, you know. May:

  • A week (for me) and a weekend (for Ross) in NYC
  • I said goodbye to the kids at Prospect Learning Center (I've worked and/or volunteered there for three years!!). Their school is closing and they're all getting sent to other schools. It's a whole big, stupid thing
  • We hiked the Billy Goat Trail over Memorial Day weekend
  • We went camping in a new and extremely surprising campground
  • We celebrated Swedish Midsummer (my new favorite holiday)
  • We visited Ross' grandparents and parents, my sister, and one of my dearest friends in Chicago
  • We celebrated the 4th of July with BBQ, Hungarian dancing, and fireworks viewed from the 12th floor of an apartment building
And this is just the fun stuff, folks. This summer, I'm also wading through a list of 50 books in preparation for my qualifying exam, which I'll take at the end of August/beginning of September. For work, I've been doing some dog walking. I have three regular clients, and I frequently do weekend pet-sitting, as well. Ross just started a six month long construction rotation for his job, which means he's no longer in the state highway administration office but out on a site. Mostly it's been great, although he's no longer allowed to do four ten-hour days, which means he's working Fridays again. 

(Side note: I knew we were busy, but it really sounds like a lot when I list it all out like that!)

Like I said, I'll try to post more on all of these things soon. Before I do that, though, I want to go even farther back in to April (although like any good story, that means going farther back still. I was born on a hot day in July of 1986... Just kidding. But I will go back to February)

Back in February, our  friends, Jeff and Linnea, moved into our church congregation ("ward" for the uninitiated). I could write a long "getting to know them" story, but suffice it to say that they live just a few blocks from us and we quickly realized that we *love* them. How could we not? 

Many of the above-mentioned activities were experienced in Jeff and Linnea's fine company. Friendship bonus: Linnea is a really talented photographer (and her post about the questions/comments she hears all the time is required reading for all). Friends with a sense of adventure and a keen photographic eye: it's a good combination. 

I imagine Linnea's work will feature here frequently in the future, but I quickly wanted to post two of our April adventures. Linnea has already written great posts about these, so I'm mostly just going to share the photos.

Cherry Blossom Parade
Three years in, and this was my first cherry blossom parade! Here are just a few photos (again, all of these were taken by Linnea); see the rest on her blog. I will point out that I left early and got us the awesome seats! Just sayin'.

Shakespeare's Birthday
Guys. I live down the street from the Folger Shakespeare Library, and it's amazing. 364 days out of the year you have to have a reader's card to get into the library proper (guess who has one!), but one magical day, anyone can come explore the library and celebrate Elizabethan culture (in ways both scholarly and gleefully anachronistic). That day is Folger's birthday, and it was the BEST (I'm told I overuse the word "favorite," but this really was my favorite day. So fun). Again, see Linnea's (much more thorough) write-up here. I'm just borrowing pictures :)

We learned about Renaissance-era combat techniques and fighting schools from the Most. Passionate. Person. In. The. Universe (the gentleman on the right holding the stick*).

*"Stick" is surely not the right word for this.

We explored the reading room! I work here, guys! 

In the newer reading room we got to make "lace" ruffs.

Outside the theater, the Renaissance Man had us (and the assembled kids, but honestly mostly the grown-ups) dying. I want to make up an event so I can hire him.

Thanks so much for documenting these adventures so beautifully, Linnea. Mostly, thanks to you and Jeff for being such adventurous friends. I'm thinking Harper's Ferry next. Eh?