Hot Pockets. And Philly Pretzels.

What a fun, albeit wet, weekend we had in the suburbs of Philadelphia. When my parents announced they were planning to fly in for the weekend and stay with my sister, we went ahead and penciled a weekend trip to the area as well. We left on Thursday night after bathing the kids and getting them ready for bed. This seems to be our preferred method when it comes to short road trips – leave around bedtime and enjoy empty roads and a quiet car. We can even listen to music that requires a parental advisory label.


On Friday morning, we had some time to kill before Mike and Clay were going to pick up my parents at the airport so we took the boys bowling. My bowling skills have not held up since our days on a bowling league over 5 years ago. In fact, I came in last. Although, Weston and Mikey used bumpers so I think I can argue that I ‘technically’ beat a three- and four-year-old. Go me. The boys also had their first go-kart experience on cars specifically designed for 3-6 year olds.


Later in the afternoon Megan and I were barefoot in the kitchen (with only one of us pregnant), cooking an Italian meal that would make an Olive Garden cook cry tears of appreciation. After dinner, we had a small birthday celebration for my mom (she turned 38 a couple of weeks ago).


On Saturday morning, my dad and I made a run to Wawa because their coffee bar is unparalleled. When we first learned of our orders to the Washington DC area, one of my first thoughts was how wonderful it would be to live amongst the flying geese again. So imagine my disappointment when I learned that while there are Wawa’s south and north of the district, there are none in our immediate area. And thus concludes my southeastern Pennsylvanian rant.


Mike’s mom, Joe, and Uncle Ken came over early Saturday afternoon so we had yet another excuse to drink good beer and wine and eat delicious food. We dined on Philly pretzels, steamed clams and a turkey dinner before Clay and I excused ourselves for our date night. It is pretty much a rule that if you’re married with kids that you refer to kid-free evening outings as Date Night, right?


We drove on some ridiculously winding remote roads to Sands Casino and Resort to see one of our favorite comedians, Jim Gaffigan (insert hot pocket joke here). After the show, we grabbed some drinks and a bite eat at one of the restaurants on site before gambling away our hard-earned money. Now I know we probably look like high-rollers so it should be of no surprise that we hit the penny slots hard. I came out ahead using my non-copyrighted method for winning at slot machines. We stayed away from the tables because we’d prefer not to default on our mortgages.

Yesterday was spent hanging out around the house until we ventured into Xfinity Live!, which is an entertainment complex on the former site of the Spectrum (random fact – I saw Ricky Martin at the Spectrum in 1999). We enjoyed Victory Brewing Company beers and food while we watched the Michigan State game. Sadly, Dad had to see his beloved Spartans fall to UCONN before flying home to Atlanta. After my parents went to the airport, we got the kids ready for bed (Lucy included) and loaded them up into the car. The rain and wind made for an harrowing ride home but we finally pulled into the driveway   around 10:15pm. And thus concludes the recap of our weekend in the suburbs of Philadelphia, complete with subpar cell phone photos. You’re welcome.


An Overcast Day in Annapolis

The snow is falling as I type this post. It’s pretty but like almost everyone in the DC Metro area, I am so over it. Oh well, no sense in complaining about something I have absolutely no control over, right? Clay’s parents were in town over the weekend for Violet’s baptism. On Saturday, the temperatures reached a whopping 55 degrees so we took advantage of the heat wave and drove up to Annapolis for the afternoon. We walked on the old brick sidewalks among the 17th and 18th century buildings, spending the majority of our time on the waterfront. After a quick visit to the Naval Academy, we grabbed a late lunch (early dinner?) at the Middleton Tavern (four-word review – great service, mediocre food). And we rounded out our visit with some waffle ice cream cones from Kilwins (salted caramel for the win). IMG_3227IMG_3232IMG_3235IMG_0739IMG_3220 Historical Annapolis is filed away under ‘Places We Love But Probably Won’t Be Able to Afford to Live In‘. For as much as we love the water, it is quite amusing that Clay chose the Army over the Navy. We’re hoping the next place the Army sends us has as much access to water as our time as afforded us here. Wishful thinking, right?

Violet’s Baptism

This morning, our beautiful baby girl was baptized. In our faith, the sacrament of baptism is not simply a blessing, but rather a welcoming into the family of faith. Today marked Violet’s first step in her Christian journey.


Clay’s parents came up for the weekend to join us in the celebration of her baptism. The overcast weather did not deter Violet’s sunny disposition and she was smiled through out the service, just happy as a clam. During the ceremony, she kicked and squealed as the Pastor explained the sacrament and went through the liturgy.


The Pastor included Weston and Clay’s parents in the ceremony. Weston poured water collected from the Jordan River into a pitcher of water held by Clay’s dad, who then poured it into the basin. After the sprinkling of water, the Pastor had Clay’s mom light a candle to honor the occasion and instructed us to remember Violet’s baptism every March 23rd by lighting that candle.


The ceremony was extremely personal and such a special occasion for our family. We’re so thankful to have found such warm and inviting church to join during our time here.


I just love this capture.


This is the dress I wore when I was baptized. It is quite the special dress. My mom, her sisters, and my sisters were all baptized while wearing this simple white dress. Close to 60 years old, the thin fabric and delicate embroidery holds many hopes and dreams for the women in my family. Unfortunately, the dress was too small for Violet to wear on her special day but I pinned it in the bustle of the dress I bought so it was present and ‘worn’ for another family baptism.


The dress has an interesting story. My great-grandmother was a devout Catholic. And when her only daughter, my grandmother, married a Protestant man and renounced Catholicism, my great-grandmother struggled with my grandmother’s decision. But when my mom’s oldest sister, Donna, was born, my great-grandmother bought the white dress as a peace offering. So not only does the dress have family significance, it represents understanding, acceptance, and (most of all) love. I can’t think of a better garment for our daughter to wear when being welcomed into the Christian faith.


Weston couldn’t get enough of his pink bow-tie.

(Neither could I).


Obligatory family photo.


They can’t all be winners…


Sweet Violet.