Posted by: Kate | April 25, 2013

Welcome Back, Softball Season!

It was a beautiful evening for our first softball practice of the year.

It’s hard to believe that it’s the Mixed Nuts’ 12th season – I was so giddy on my way to practice tonight!

I’m particularly excited because i didn’t get to play last year between being very pregnant in May and June, and then recovering from the c-section for the rest of the summer.

Sunset over the Anacostia river…

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Eleanor had a good time at practice tonight too!

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Posted by: Kate | April 22, 2013

Weekend Scenes

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It was a wonderful weekend!

We had a great time at the Irish Embassy on Friday night to kick off the 2013 Washington, DC Rose of Tralee weekend (self portrait while we were stuck in traffic on our way there)!

Saturday was a gorgeous day for rock climbing at Great Falls. And yes, I am kissing the rock in the photo above, happy to still be holding on!

On our way home from Great Falls we stopped by a going away party for two of our good friends who are moving back to CA.

My 15 year high school reunion was lots of fun on Saturday night, capped off by a late night visit to Five Guys in Georgetown!

Sunday we had a quiet and productive morning around the house before we were off to the 2013 Washington, DC Rose of Tralee Selection Night.

We had a great time cheering on our friend, Elise, who was a Rose Candidate.

And it was wonderful to see all the other previous DC Roses and welcome 2013 Washington, DC Rose, Lauren DeBeriis to the bunch!

And the cherry on top? What better than a new episode of Game of Thrones?!

Hope you had a great weekend too!

Posted by: Kate | April 20, 2013

Happy Saturday!

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Hope you are having as beautiful of a Saturday as we are!

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Posted by: Kate | April 17, 2013

Floss, Like a Boss.

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I’ve never been very good at flossing.

I always brush my teeth and wash my face before bed, but for some reason flossing seems to take so long and be such a hassle.

Sure I’ve had a week or two here and there when I’ve flossed regularly (usually right before or right after a dentist appointment), but I’d always give up pretty quickly.

After Eleanor was born and the sleep deprivation torture started, there was no way that I would consider doing anything that would reduce my sleep by even 3-4 minutes (yes, I’ve timed how long it takes me to floss).

And then, I had my six-month visit to the dentist.

They had quite a few things to say about my horrible flossing habits, most of which I had heard before, but for some reason this lecture really hit home for me.

I was feeling very overwhelmed between our huge work conference ending a few days prior and the first year of parenthood. When the dentist asked me why I wasn’t flossing the first thing that popped out of my mouth was:

“I just can’t do anything more than I am already doing right now.”

I was at a breaking point, and the thought of one more thing that I had to do every day sent me over the edge.

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*If you saw someone crying on the yellow line metro on the last day of February it might have been me.*

I left the dentist, called my husband, called my mom, and then went home and took a three hour nap.

Sleep helps everything.

When I woke up I still felt ashamed of my bad (nonexistent) flossing habits, but I also felt resolved to change my ways.

So I dug out all the free floss that dentists had given me over the years — I never threw them away, see, I always had the intention to be better — and I started flossing every day.

It got easier and easier as flossing became a part of my nightly routine.

I flossed for 41 consecutive days!

Last week the streak was broken by a particularly rough night with the baby. I feel guilty about it, but I woke up the next day ready to start again. I’m now on day 6 of what will hopefully be an even longer streak.

While I’m still quite embarrassed about my previous lack of flossing, I’m also really happy that despite feeling totally overwhelmed and stretched too thin, I have made the decision to take some time every day to do this small thing for myself (and my gums!)

It’s a good reminder that even in the hustle and bustle of family responsibilities, work, fun with friends, and just life in general, it is possible (and necessary) to carve time out to take care of yourself.

If anyone has any floss recommendations, let me know – I’m still searching for my perfect floss! 

E doesn't have to floss yet since she still doesn't have any teeth!

E doesn’t have to floss yet since she still doesn’t have any teeth!

Posted by: Kate | April 11, 2013

Choosing Joy

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We try to go to yoga at our rock climbing gym on Tuesday nights because the instructor, Chuck, is amazing. He recently started doing readings at the end of class and I love it!

This week after a beautiful and challenging class, Chuck read us a version of this story. I’m not sure who it should be attributed to but I found this version here, and it goes a little something like this:

A big burly samurai comes to the wise man and says, “Tell me the nature of heaven and hell.” And the wise man looks him in the face and says:

“Why should I tell a scruffy, disgusting, miserable slob like you?”

The samurai starts to get purple in the face, his hair starts to stand up, but the wise man won’t stop, he keeps saying, “A miserable worm like you, do think I should tell you anything?” Consumed by rage, the samurai draws his sword, and he’s just about to cut off the head of the wise man. Then the wise man says, “That’s hell.”

The samurai, who is in fact a sensitive person, instantly gets it, that he just created his own hell; he was deep in hell. It was black and hot, filled with hatred, self-protection, anger, and resentment, so much so that he was going to kill this man. Tears fill the samurai’s eyes and he starts to cry and he puts his palms together and the wise man says, “That’s heaven.”

This is so powerful for me. Being agnostic, I don’t believe in heaven and hell as actual places or things. But conceptually, this story is such a great reminder that while I can’t control everything around me, I CAN control how things affect me.

I can choose to be annoyed that I seem to be developing seasonal allergies, or stressed about a big deadline at work, OR I can choose to be grateful for my wonderful family, a job that I love and the beautiful world around me.

At any given moment I can choose misery and negativity or joy, and I choose joy!**

Eleanor playing first thing in the morning.

**Disclaimer: these happy sentiments may have been somewhat influenced by Eleanor sleeping through the night for the first time in weeks! 🙂

Posted by: Kate | April 8, 2013

Cherry Blossoms!

The gorgeous weather and the cherry blossoms blooming inspired me to ride my bike to work today for the first time since coming back from maternity leave.

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As you can see, it was lovely!

Hopefully I’ll be able to ride my bike to work more frequently, and I’m certainly not done taking pictures of the cherry blossoms!

Posted by: Kate | April 7, 2013

Baby’s a Belieber?!

Eleanor saw her cousin’s Justin Bieber poster yesterday and it was definitely love at first sight.

While we’ve joked that Eleanor will probably rebel against our jamband music tastes, can we console ourselves that at least Justin Bieber is a Phish fan?!

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Posted by: Kate | April 6, 2013

My lovely, lost ski boots

My amazing ski boots enjoying free refills on the snow in Breckenridge for one of the last times.

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Posted by: Kate | April 5, 2013

Baggage Karma Got Me

Apparently, I have offended the Checked Baggage Gods.

I try to do everything right. I carry on as much as I can, I put my small bag and coat under the seat in front of me.

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I always tip Skycab and shuttle bus drivers, I’m an expert at packing a bag to just under 50lbs.

But none of that seems to matter because I am cursed.

I have bad baggage karma.

Things started to go wrong back in 2005. On my way to Ireland to participate in the International Rose of Tralee Festival as the Washington, DC Rose, both of my checked bags (filled with brand new clothes and hats for the publicity tour) were lost for two days!

I'm on the left, clothed solely due to the New Orleans Rose's generosity!

I’m on the left, clothed solely due to the New Orleans Rose’s generosity!

Then on a business trip to CA a couple years later my checked bag was lost for a day leaving me with only the jeans and t-shirt I was wearing, and a meeting scheduled for that afternoon!

Given these experiences I learned to carry on as much as possible.

Unfortunately, on our 2011 trip to Costa Rica we were forced to check our carry on bags when we transferred in Miami, resulting in our bags being lost. By the time our luggage caught up to us three days later in the Costa Rican jungle we had some very worn travel clothes and some hilariously skimpy Costa Rican wardrobe additions.

In 2012, our ski bag was lost on the way to Tahoe, necessitating ski rentals. But at least that bag showed up a day later.

And then, the final straw.

My ski boots are not on this plane.

My ski boots are not on this plane.

On our way back from a lovely ski trip to Colorado last week, Southwest somehow lost my boot bag on our direct flight, despite us checking-in well in advance.

After several days of searching they have now given up hope, and it looks like the best, most comfortable ski boots that have ever shushed through the snow have been sacrificed to the Checked Baggage Gods.

I’m in mourning.

Potential future home of my ski boots

Potential future home of my ski boots

Posted by: Kate | September 30, 2011

Breakfast of Champions!

After a fabulous bike ride into work today (oh, hello fall! I’ve been waiting for you!), I enjoyed this fabulous Breakfast of Champions:

Well, at least it made me feel like a champion!

I keep oatmeal in my breakfast rotation, but despite how good it is for you, it certainly can get boring! So I started looking for ways to jazz it up. A free magazine at my gym mentioned that adding peanut butter to oatmeal is a great way to add protein – and wow – it is delicious! This is my new favorite way to eat oatmeal:

1/2 cup unflavored oatmeal (instant or regular works)

1T Peanut Butter

fruit of your choice sliced or diced (bananas and strawberries are both delicious with this!)

Hope you are having a great day and feeling like a champion too!

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