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We’re headed to the game tomorrow, Nationals vs. Pirates.

The new park is incredible (punny restaurants and all), and I’m looking forward to spending a spring afternoon at the ballpark.

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New addition to the blogroll everyone, it’s my best friend from Y camp, Shayna.

Shayna and I ended up neighbors in the District and we doing weekly Sunday dinners together. Her blog takes its title from her fabulous apartment just a few blocks from mine:

The View from the Fourth Floor Window

She’s hilarious and the blog also provides great recipes from our aforementioned Sunday dinners!

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Heading Home

I’m heading home this weekend for what will surely be the last three day weekend I have in a long while. No complaints from me since I do love my job, but I am looking forward to hanging out with my family, reading books, taking the dog for a walk and sleeping in for this one last long weekend. I don’t technically have any vacation time anymore, so I’ll take what I can get!

When I come back, I should even have some recommendations for February books, although I know I skipped January, I just finished a very powerful book that hopefully should provide for a good post.

This weekend I will also get to see my brother, who I have not seen since he set off for 5 weeks in New Delhi, India. I am so excited to hear all about his trip, see his photos and dream about my own trip to India someday. We have good family friends who live there and it would be amazing to finally be able to go see them.

Meanwhile here in DC, it seems like the Connecticut Yankee in me grows strongest when this city shuts down for some slush and a little bit of rain! I have stopped counting the number of times my friend (who teaches in the VA suburbs) has used the “googlychatter” (Thank you Amanda!) and told me that she is not at school and that they either have a delay or a snow day. Lovely for the teachers, hard on the parents, and utterly unfair for those of us who grew up in New England where even if there was four feet you went!

So I shall head northward and rejoin my fellow winterpeople and also dream about the fact that an early spring in DC will be lovely.

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This weekend I went ice-skating at the rink in the Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery of Art. It was the best thing I’ve done in awhile, and it was fun to have some of my friends finally meet other friends of mine. Will and Lucy were there, and Leah and Brian. We had a great time and I even started to learn how to skate backwards a bit and I attempted a crossover!

Hopefully we’ll go back and ice skate again before the end of the winter, maybe at night when with the lights on and all the sculptures lit up, I think that would be cool to see.

The rest of the weekend was great as well, on Friday night I went out to dinner with my roommate and her parents. We went to Agraria in Georgetown. The restaurant’s motto is “From our fields to your table”, it is a restaurant that is cooperatively owned and only used food from local farms. You would think it would be a vegan uber-crunchy restaurant but it was a really cutting-edge and delicious restaurant with all the normal ingredients. The dessert, a homemade smore, was especially amazing.

Saturday, after ice-skating, was low-key and lots of time spent out in VA with Leah. We went out for dinner on Saturday night and watched lots of episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. Then on Sunday Leah and Stephanie made amazing pulled pork and we watched the halftime show and a movie. (I know I know, I didn’t watch the Super Bowl!)

All in all it was a great weekend, now I’m just gearing up for the week again. For February I resolve to do two things, start going to the YWCA again and pick up my book recommendations again. I think if I survive all the changes that are going to be happening at work it will be because of friends, a little exercise, and good books!

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Merry Christmas!

It is Christmas Day, and I hope everyone is happy and eating as well as I am! It has been wonderful to be back in the home state, not having to cook and sleeping late. I sort of had an accidental vacation coup this year, and I’ll actually be off until after New Year’s, I doubt every year will be this wonderful! But I have lots of new things to try when I do get back to DC, especially with my brand new Cuisinart! I didn’t think I was a good enough cook to own a food processor, but I am so excited to have one that I daresay there will be some new smells in my apartment.

Home is wonderful and Boston is on the horizon, I am happy and hope everyone is having a very Merry Christmas!

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An Attitude of Gratitude

The title is another family saying, much like “most of your worries won’t happen,” that I have been feeling especially lately. Don’t worry, I won’t get too sappy but suffice say I am feeling very grateful right now that my family and friends are healthy, happy and helping me through this crazy thing called life.

So that’s my holiday motto and I’m looking forward to having an “attitude of gratitude” going into the New Year!

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Baking

There are few things to me that are more relaxing or enjoyable than baking. I had a wonderful time on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend making cookies (oatmeal choclate chip) listening to music and hanging out wiht my puppy dog while my family went on various walks and hikes. I probably should have joined them, but I needed the peace of the kitchen and a little cookie dough. Now normally I wouldn’t blog about baking but when I was walking to work this morning I listened to the latest installment of This I Believe.

This I Believe is a program done by NPR which asks people to submit their essays on a core or the core belief of their lives. This week was a woman named Emily Smith who believes in the power of baking as the foundation of how she wants to live her life. Her story is exactly how I feel about baking, so you should definitely read it, because she says it far better and more eloquently than I could. I think it is one of the biggest reasons that I love Thanksgiving, and Christmas too, is all the baking I get to do!

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Yesterday Sara and Steve-O came to visit, it was so wonderful to see them and made me realize a little bit what post-college social things can be like, fewer people in the same place but just as wonderful a time. You all should come visit, we had a great day!

I picked them up at Union Station and we walked around Capitol Hill before going over to see an apartment that I wanted to look at. My sublet only goes until Aug 1st so after that I have to find a place for me and Mel to live. This apartment was perfect, the only drawback is that it is on the Hill, which doesn't sound like a drawback but it can be. It is only 3 blocks from work!!! This is a good thing clearly because I both can sleep in and save the environment by walking to work. The bad thing about living on the Hill is that it is very residential and so there isn't much around to go do, but there is a metro stop only about 7 mins away which makes it more bearable. The apartment is on the Senate side but if you go over to the House side there are some bars that are popular with staffers, a bookstore or two and a few restaurants, meaning that it isn't totally dead on the weekends, but almost.

The apartment itself was wonderful, big spacious bedrooms, a living room and a dining room, a kitchen with a dishwasher and there is central air. There is good water pressure and a back balcony which has a back entrance and a back common area for everyone in the building. It seemed like our neighbors would mostly be young couples and older people. There is a park nearby and two preschools and there is on street parking. Really the only drawback is that it is on the Hill, which makes it extremely safe (it is under the jurisdiction of the Capitol Police) but not very interesting or exciting.

I think we will apply for it unless Mel has some big objections and see what happens. It is a pretty perfect apartment and the price is right, so that has a lot to do with it. All this apartment stuff is pretty overwhelming, credit checks and guaranteers and utilities and leases, I definitely feel way to young to be dealing with any of it. We do have some time so if we want to wait that is fine too.

Anyways, after that Sara, Steve and I went over to the Library of Congress, which is beautiful. Since I am Congressional Staff and Steve had a Reader Identification Card, we got to go into the Main Reading Room (we snuck Sara in, the guard was nice). This reading room is straight out of Harry Potter and Oxford. It is so beautiful I couldn't even believe it. You can request any book and since I am staff I can take them out, but mostly we just pulled things off the shelves and read. I read the funniest book, it was the Encyclopedia of American Scandals, it was fascinating! They have all sorts of reading rooms but the Main one is the most beautiful I think. I felt like I was in a movie or something. Alden, Jen and MB, you would love it, come visit me!

Then we went up to Georgetown to meet my housemate for coffee and walked around M Street a bit. It looked like rain so we went back to the house and Sara and I proceeded to crash for an hour nap. Then we went out to Adams Morgan to have Ethiopian food, it was a real cool dining experience! They put this huge bowl in front of you which has a huge crepe like pancake bread thing. Then they pour whatever you ordered onto the bread and then you use smaller pieces of bread to scoop up the food with your hands. It was really cool! I will definitely go back.

Sara stayed the night but she left this morning during a pouring rainstorm and Steve went home last night. I slept in and now I am going to make some pumpkin bread, do laundry and hang out. I am definitely missing Williams and friends a bit, so everyone think about coming to visit! I can take you cool places in the Capitol and into the LOC. The 4th of July fireworks on the Mall are pretty amazing.

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