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Thursday, January 11th, 2018

Our last day at Disney World was the 1st, and also the only day Jill joined us in the morning. It was straight to Magic Kingdom as we had breakfast with friends from The Hundred Acre Wood. Next, Nina wanted to meet Merida again (but they didn’t let her shoot the bow and arrow this time) and we went over and waited to ride Splash Mountain – Nina loved the end. Nina and I explored Tom Sawyer Island, then we rode the train back to the entrance and our lunch at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant. We were going to use a VIP lunch there to secure a VIP spot for the parade, but gave that a pass because we would have lost our Fastpass for the Buzz Lightyear ride (Nina preferred the Toy Story ride though).

Nina Jill

We saw the line wasn’t bad for Rapunzel and Tiana and met them again, and finally caught the Wicked Stepsisters after missing them last trip. Nina and Jill rode the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad then Jill went shopping and I took Nina to see The Muppets in Liberty Square. Nina and Jill rode the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Nina got to do some shopping, then it was time for dinner at Be Our Guest where we got to meet The Beast after dinner. We had time to stop at Beaches & Cream for ice cream all around before an early bedtime.

Jill Nina Kerry

We got on the Disney bus for a 5AM trip to the airport and an uneventful flight, getting back just in time for Nina to go to a birthday party and Nutcracker rehearsal. I’d nearly forgotten that I’d bought tickets to the NPR Music Turns 10: Concert and Party at the 9:30 Club that night, and Jill was toast. I sold my extra ticket and went anyway. I wasn’t really into heading into DC on 3 hours sleep, but then I walked in and Jeff Tweedy was on stage and somehow I was wide awake. They had kept the guest list a complete surprise – other big names were Bon Iver and Margo Price.


Saturday the 9th it was snowing, but not bad enough to stop Nina and I from going to Scrawl Books to see Dar Williams sing and talk about her new book (plus Nina got a couple new books) while Jill went to her monthly sewing class. Nina had a dress rehearsal for the Nutcracker that night.


Tuesday I took off in the middle of the day so Jill and I could have a lunch date at Fiola. Some fine Italian food, and thanks to the egg in her pasta only the second time ever we’ve switched entrees (I thought it was delicious and she enjoyed my lobster ravioli). Wednesday the 13th Nina had her dance recital (to the tune of Jingle Bell Rock), and I was incensed over the new Patreon fees – this is how it worked out for me:
14 $1.00 per month pledges, so $14 -> $19.32
4 $2.00 per month pledges, so $8 -> $9.64
3 $3.00 per month pledges, so $9 -> $10.32
1 $5.00 per month pledges, so $5 -> $5.50
For a total: $36 -> $44.78. Unacceptable, so I deleted all pledges and vowed to supporting creators on new platforms. Then of course they reversed course the next day, and I reinstated all pledges.


Friday Nina had the real dress rehearsal for the Nutcracker at Centreville High School, then we each got takeout and headed home (the banh mi’s from Park N Shop were delicious). The next day we were all back at Centreville High School for the official performance at 2PM (Dad and Patricia came as well), and it went off without a hitch.


Things that they don’t warn parents about #43: It will take an hour to convince your child to go into winter break camp. That’s what I learned on Monday the 18th as Nina was very anxious about going to a new school where she might not know anyone (turned out she did, and made a new friend). She didn’t make it back that week, as she got 2 colds in little over a week, and that triggered a severe asthma attack. I was home Tuesday and she got to watch Star Wars for the first time, then that night I went to see The Last Jedi, and it was even sweeter for having just watched the original. Thursday I was home again, so I made her watch Phantom Menace and gave her an ice cream cone in the bathtub. History will decide if I’m the best or worst parent ever.


Friday Nina was better and we went to Jammin’ Java as planned for Todd Wright’s Annual Santa Clauster-f@%! Christmas Spectacular – some great Christmas songs, as usual. We usually have host a holiday party in early December, and because the Nutcracker rehearsals had taken all our Saturdays, tried having a party 2 days before Christmas. Surprisingly we had about average attendance and most importantly 7 kids so Nina had a blast. I had not hit Whamageddon yet, so I introduced Whamageddon Roulette – it was added to the playlist for the party (I hit it about an hour after the party during clean up).


Christmas Eve we headed to church, Nina opened her new pajamas and then we got to work. After all the gifts were wrapped and stockings were stuffed, it was time to break out the nog. Happiness abounded on Christmas – Nina’s favorite gift was a pink Polaroid camera from Nana (until the film runs out), lovely ham dinner with my dad and Patricia, and the Doctor Who Christmas Special was brilliant. Only bad part is that it was too cold for Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights with Nina still vulnerable and Jill coming down with bronchitis.


Nina was back at winter break camp on Boxing Day. Jill’s dad and his wife came to visit on Saturday the 30th, then Nina got to play games with the neighbors on New Year’s Eve before I made roast beef and Yorkshire Pudding for dinner. Nina asked to stay up until midnight, but we showed her the video of Times Square and she got to see the London fireworks before bedtime, then Jill and I had a games night with my new Christmas gifts until it was almost midnight, then we were in bed not much later.

Pepe Nina Meme


Thursday, July 20th, 2017

Friday June 2nd there was a massive Marvel collection sale on Kindle (which transfers to Comixology). I let Chris he could get the entire Star Wars run for $20. That night was a Daddy/daughter dinner night. Usually we’d just gone to Flippin’ Pizza, but Nina had seen the 2 person tables between Red’s table and Cafesano, and wanted to eat pizza plus Cafesano’s lentil soup. Too bad Cafesano didn’t have their lentil soup that night, but it was redeemed by feeding pizza crusts to the geese on the lake.


Saturday I took Nina to get a booster seat, then to her tee-ball game (Jill was gone for the weekend at Maddie’s graduation). That night we sold restaurant coupon books for the Reston Herndon Little League at the North Point Glory Days, then had dinner there with the family we were selling with (plus an ice cream cone afterwards). They have a genius drink called Shark Attack, which is a Sprite with a toy shark filled with red grenadine that they can mix in themselves (it was a big hit).


Sunday Nina and I went to the Herndon Festival, checked out the vendors, watched Cal Everett and Nelly’s Echo, ate some food, and did some arts and crafts. I let Nina get one thing from the vendors, and after much consideration, she went with a rainbow ponytail holder. That night I watched The Leftovers finale – I didn’t have great expectations of this series, even with one of the creators of Lost, but I really enjoyed seasons 2 & 3. The last episode really stuck the landing.


Wednesday the 7th it was Nina’s graduation from Sunset Hills Montessori after 4 years there. I had to go back to work afterwards, but Sue came to visit and she and Jill took Nina out to lunch and to Zoofari. Thursday Sue watched Nina in the morning, then Jill and I came home from work to take her to her class party in the afternoon (which included an ice cream truck).


Saturday the 10th was Nina’s final tee-ball of the season. Dad and Patricia came in addition to Sue. That evening Jill, Nina and I went over to Celebrate Fairfax. I got to eat from a delicious Indian food truck and see some of Vertical Horizon and Everclear, and Nina got to ride a lot of rides; the Ferris Wheel was her favorite.

Nina, Dad & Patricia

Friday the 16th Nina had her rehearsal for her dance recital the next day, then Nina and Sue and I went to Red’s Table for dinner (Nina refused to have anything but fries). I was disappointed to learn that night that would be closing. Nina’s recital the next day went well, then Jill and Sue went to Leesburg for tea, and I took Nina to the Bready Park playground and the Taste of Reston (she really liked the Hen Penny fried chicken and no longer liked her old favorite strawberries dipped in chocolate). I was glad I had a change of clothes for her as the thing she most wanted to do was go to the spraypark.

Kerry Nina Jill

Sunday I got a great Father’s Day with 2 of my favorite Davids: Tennant and Matthews. First up was Awesome Con where we got there just in time for our photo with two Doctor Who castmembers: David Tennant and John Barrowman. We got to meet some comic creators and Nina got some prints and coloring books, and she was more excited to get her picture taken with Shimmer and Shine. We drove up to Columbia and stopped at a playground for a bit, then had dinner at the Mall of Columbia (the Veracruz salad from Noodles & Company is delicious), then over to Merriweather Post Pavilion for Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds.

Us, David Tennant and John Barrowman

Friday the 23rd was Summer concert #1: Jonathan Coulton and Aimee Mann. That was friggin’ delightful (if she’s looking for another partner after Ted Leo, he’d be perfect), and the surprise duet at the end on “Voices Carry” was welcome. Saturday we took Nina to The Burger Shack for diner, then to Monster Mini Golf where her tee-ball team had a party for selling the most coupons. It was Nina’s first time playing mini golf, and she had a blast (I also enjoyed playing Aliens: Armageddon while they golfed).


Monday the 26th I was excited to see Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie that night at Wolf Trap for Summer Concert #2. I was surprised by how much I like their album, considering how meh I was on his last 2 solo albums. I wouldn’t have argued if they’d slapped the Fleetwood Mac name on this. Then Jill got a sinus infection, and I had to sell her ticket. It was a fine way to kick off the Wolf Trap season, great mix of new and classic songs. Nina also started a new camp that day with the Reston Association, her first camp not at school. Happily she loved it, especially going to the pool just about every day.



Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

Monday the 1st I headed into town to Brick & Mortar where they served food from Honeysuckle (the Duck Leg Confit was a winner). Service was slow, but I hadn’t loved Muse’s opening act. Still, I thought I was late enough I’d missed some of Muse, and was happy that they hadn’t gone on yet. With Bowie covers during my last two concerts, I wondered if I should be hopeful during the show. No covers, and apparently Muse does not feel that Foo Fighters should be the only arena rock gods. Amazing show, better than “The Resistance” tour (and I picked a nice spot to stand near the end of the stage).


Thursday I dropped Jill and Nina off at National as they were flying to Bradley for part 1 of the new cousin tour. Friday night I was back in the city for some delicious kimchi ramen at OKI Bowl DC & Sake before Behind the Scenes of The Walking Dead, with writers/producers Scott M. Gimple and Greg Nicotero as well as star Andrew Lincoln (who charmingly refused to watch himself during clips). A fascinating conversation ending with a sneak peek of the next episode.

Talking Dead

Saturday I flew up to Boston and spent the night at the Cannons. The next day, Chris and P drove me over to Sharon and Tom’s where Jill and Nina were soon dropped off by Mike, then P and Nina got to play for a while after we all met cousin Joshua (they had been staying at Robin and Mike’s and met cousin Finn). We got pizza and wings to eat for the Super Bowl. Nina said she didn’t like it and we let her watch Peppa Pig for an hour, but she owned the dance party at halftime – she loves her “Uptown Funk”. Too bad we had a meltdown on the way back to the DoubleTree Boston Bayside where their hot chocolate hit the spot and helped sooth the chill (it was snowing).

Nina Mike Finn

Monday we again visited for the afternoon and early evening. We helped Tom’s aunt Trish make spaghetti for dinner, then Tom took us to the T as it was still snowy and we rode over to the the hotel. The airport was pretty busy the next day, but the flight back was decent.

Nina Trish

Friday the 12th I stayed home with Nina as she had a fever the night before. She was feeling better in the evening so I kept our plans to go into town for dinner at Clyde’s of Gallery Place and Disney On Ice at Verizon Center. She enjoyed every part except leaving early. I was worried about a possible ice storm that didn’t happen, and Jill got out of work early to pick us up from the Metro (we’d taken the bus).


Saturday I went to Iota to finally see FRFF alumni The Sea the Sea (they were great). Sunday Nina and I made a fabulous chocolate cake from scratch. After 3 days mostly at home I was ready to go back to work and bank the holiday, but snow was in the forecast. Snow camp was on for 3 hours, but still worth it – got to watch Walking and Talking Dead before I had to pick her up, then we had a snowball fight and went sledding.


Saturday the 20th Nina attended the first of four birthday parties in a row (1 per week) – this one a gymnastics themed. Later we discovered snowball fights are more fun at 60 degrees. I had bought Beatles Rock Band for the Wii after Nina enjoyed playing Guitar Hero. We played it for the 2nd time Wednesday night – she chose 4 songs with 4 different lead vocals. Her verdict? She wants to be John Lennon. I told her that was a fine choice.


Friday the 26th we went to Goldfish Swim School to meet up with Nina’s friend Olivia and her folks for open swim – Nina loved playing with the pool toys (they don’t do that during her lessons there). Saturday was another birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese, then Sunday I took Nina to see Ladybug Girl & Bumblebee Boy: The Musical after she played at a nearby playground. Monday night Jill’s work again rented out L’Auberge Chez Francois, this time I was able to come for the deliciousness.



Monday, October 12th, 2015

Tuesday the 1st we left Provincetown on the Ferry to head back to Boston. Jill was jonesing for a Chilean sandwich she had enjoyed when she lived there, so we tracked it down to Chacarero (after stopping at a nearby Wendy’s to get nuggets for Nina). The most improbable thing happened as yet sat down and recognized that the Modzelewskis were sitting next us, also from Virginia and on vacation that week (we’d met through the Norwoods). After lunch we met Sharon at the Children’s Museum and Nina proceeded to tear through it (after making her leave the New Balance Climb). She fell asleep on the subway ride and I carried her on the long uphill walk back.


Wednesday was Nina’s birthday and she started the day looking for hidden presents around the apartment (lots of Paw Patrol figures). Later we went with Tom and Sharon to meet the Cannons at LegoLand for an afternoon of Lego based entertainment (the playground, zapping game, and karaoke were favorites). We followed that with dinner at the nearby Legal Seafood (we brought vegan cupcakes for everyone) and I got one last lobster roll.

Kerry, C, Jill, Nina, V

Thursday we went to the Public Garden to ride the swan boats, then went to the new Boston Public Market so I could pick up a crowdfunding reward from Sweet Lydia’s and decided to have lunch there (Nina liked the edamame, but the pasta was too strange). Nina fell asleep again on the subway ride and I carried her part of the way, then Jill managed to wake her up as Tom and Sharon were waiting for us at the midpoint of the hill. We walked all the way up the hill to get to the Franklin Park Zoo. It was a strange experience as there was almost nobody there (late in the day plus kids in Boston had started school). But we got quickly through the exhibits we wanted to see, and Nina got to spend some time on their enormous playground.


Friday morning we were up very early so Tom could drive us to the airport. Long security lines meant no time for a snack, but even with waiting for luggage after our flight and 2 bus rides we were still home by 8:30AM and Jill got to her favorite bagel place (it was our anniversary after all). We relaxed some, had Pollo Peru for dinner (and somebody got a playdate), but not too much as we had a busy weekend.

Nina Felix

Sharon and Tom flew down for the weekend, and Saturday was her baby shower at my mom’s house. There were no other kids there, so I took Nina up to play at my old elementary school midway through. Jill’s mom was in town for the weekend and offered to watch Nina that night, so Jill and I belatedly celebrated at Founding Farmers in Tysons. It was an incredible amount of food (I rarely leave enough for leftovers), but the fried chicken and donut was delicious.


Sunday was Nina’s official birthday party, this year she requested to have it at Life Time Athletic. They had a bouncy castle and lots of fun things to do in the gym – I missed about half the party because I needed to get some Cafesano pizza (not that she would have wanted the pizza they had, but theirs was made with egg, so no go). Jill had ordered an Ariel cake from Amphora and that was a big hit when it was served, almost as much as the life sized Ariel balloon. Later we had family over to our house, Nina got to open some gifts and I took her, my mom and David on a spin around the lake. Later we watched Tangled as she got a Rapunzel doll from her friends as well as the Lego one we got her.

Jill Nina Kerry

Wednesday the 9th was Nina’s first day of school, but she wouldn’t pose for a nice photo, I had to take a picture while she was walking. I went solo to the Birchmere after to dinner to see the Watkins Family Hour – siblings Sean and Sara Watkins from Nickel Creek with a fabulous band (including Benmont Tench and Fiona Apple). Fiona Apple was the odd one out – when it wasn’t her turn at the mic, she would head to the back of the stage and sit down, but a powerhouse when she sang.


Friday I noted it was weird to be planning a Disney trip while some of my friends are drinking their way around Epcot. Saturday we went over to Lake Anne to see the Chesapeake Dock Dog Diving Demonstration – basically dogs jumping in the lake. Nina thought it was great fun, then wanted to climb all the dangerous (concrete) structures (I thought I was long done with name calling, but I have to admit being called “Big Daddy Belly” when I asked her to get down stings a little). I have backed more than 100 crowdfunded projects and Michael Clem’s was the first one to be dropped at my door that afternoon. And how timely that I now had the studio version of a song about a certain place in Wales.

Michael Clem

That night we were supposed to go to Kelly Clarkson at Wolf Trap, but she had to cancel because doctors urged her to rest her voice. Instead we watched Beauty and the Beast. Apparently watching 2 Disney movies in a week and Nina’s latest jam collided, as she informed us that Princess Taylor sings “Shake It Off” and she has a tail (and I should have guessed everything exists on the internet). The next morning I took Nina to the Mosaic Central Farm Market after church, and that evening my mom was able to come over and watch her as we went to SER for dinner for a delicious Spanish tasting menu that took us right back to Barcelona. Tuesday Nina started ballet classes at Ravel Dance Studio.


Saturday the 19th Nina’s school had a back to school party and Nina had a blast – we had to literally drag her home after bouncing, eating popcorn and face painting (and she promptly went down for a long nap). Later we joined our neighbors (and Nina’s BFF) for a boat ride across the lake (and some Cafesano takeout to eat on the boat). The next day the parents of one of Nina’s classmates had an ice cream social at their home on Lake Audobon (our sister lake), then in the evening Nina and I walked over to join Jill at Red’s Table, our new neighborhood restaurant (and the maple-sriracha wings were killer).

Nina Jill

Monday we went into school with Nina to celebrate her birthday with her class (Montessori has a special birthday celebration) and Jill made fruit that we had with Nina’s class (one of the two teachers left over the summer and we had just met the new one over the weekend).

Nina Jill

Saturday the 26th Jill took Nina to the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival, then I was late meeting them at the Lynn House picnic. There wasn’t much food left and we were all hungry, so when Mom wanted us to come over and visit (and fix computers), I took Nina and stopped at Wendy’s while Jill stopped at Smashburger to get us burgers (that and the onion rings hit the spot). Sunday I took Nina and met Dad at the Nationals game. Nina was finally old enough to use the playground and loved it (and we ended going back later, even with a long wait because another kid had an accident inside), but her favorite part was the President’s Race (her only question: “When are they doing that again?”). After dinner I went over to Jammin Java to see the Songwriters Circle: Tribute To Queen with Todd Wright, Luke Brindley and Anthony Fiacco.



Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Saturday the 1st we had lunch at t’Kila ’cause of a daily deal and it was delicious. That night I had been planning on going to see the Eagles (mostly ’cause Bernie was touring with them), but hadn’t bought a ticket. But I bought one off StubHub at 5PM, 90 minutes later I was finishing off my Shake Shack burger and about to go in (Good thing Jill’s mom came to visit). Excellent show – this is pretty accurate.

Sue Nina

The following day was nice (and the snow duck melted as we watched a fat little squirrel eat the carrot and raisins), but I was at work because I knew school would be closed the next day. I was right, and was home on Monday. I finally broke out the princess costume and doll (Nina loved it) and we played outside quite a bit.


Thursday the 6th Nina discovered the wonders of peanut butter and chocolate pudding – on bread. Saturday we had our 5th overnight getaway without Nina tonight (who had a vegetarian dinner with Jill’s mom and friends and my guess is lots of french fries). We had a nice dinner at a bistro in Lovettsville, saw Todd Wright play lots of new songs at a coffee shop in Leesburg, then stayed at a B&B a little bit west. If only we hadn’t lost an hour of sleep that night. Sunday Nina finally managed to stay on her bike for more than a couple seconds. was the “True Detective” season finale (unexpected, amazing show). I prepared by teaching Nina how to say “Alright, alright, alright”. It nearly gave me an anxiety attack – who knew we’d finally find a worthy successor to Twin Peaks?

Nina Jill

Monday the 10th I bought 3 tickets for Queen + Adam Lambert, 2 for Dan Wilson (ex-Semisonic) and 1 for Sting + Paul Simon. That was all my entertainment budget for a while. Jill’s mom came with her to Nina’s gymnastics class that Wednesday. The Sting + Paul Simon show was Thursday, and was an unexpected pairing that somehow just worked (points to the 14 other musicians in their bands). And 5 Graceland songs was just the cherry on top. Plus some spicy Thai for dinner before the show with Stuart and Susan was a bonus.

Nina Jill

Friday Nina learned how to get on the monkey bars by herself. Saturday Nina got her first real injury with me when she ran into a door when I was opening it, but she’s a trooper. We had an early St. Patrick’s Day lunch so Nina could have it with both grandmothers. Too bad she wasn’t interested in the corned beef. Sunday Nina had her first shower. It was because she had a bandaid on her foot, but no crying at all. Later I shoveled 5 inches of snow. I hoped it stopped so they didn’t close snow camp the next day.

Nina Nancy

Wednesday the 19th Jill and Nina drove with her Mom to Holyoke. The second night of bachelorhood I slept in and worked late, then it was time for dinner and TV – such an exciting life I lead. The third night (Friday) I switched it up a little, went to the Barns at Wolf Trap to see indie-folkers Bombadil and Pearl & the Beard. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many hipsters outside DC.


The weekend was very busy as I had a 3 home improvement projects, culminating in building a new bed for Nina. How do you describe it when a piece of lumber slides out of you car because of some numbnut cutting in front of you and slamming on the brake, then you swing back around to pick it up and it’s just fine? Victory. It only took 15 minutes to remember how much I hate sawing (and blisters). Then it was time to make like Dylan and go electric. Saturday night I finally got to see a musical Jill doesn’t want to see – Xanadu (yes I’m straight, just a huge Jeff Lynne fan). Sunday I saw my mom in a musical salute to Reston, finished Nina’s bed, and sliced my finger deep enough that I’m on my 3rd band-aid. I was looking forward to seeing my girls the next day, but the next bachelor weekend I’m going to take a day off. Nina and Jill also kept busy, visiting the Holyoke Children’s Museum and the Holyoke St. Paddy’s parade.

Jill Melissa

Monday the 24th they took the train down and I picked them up at Union Station. Thursday the 27th Jill and I went to see Red Molly with Mark Erelli opening, then Sunday the 30th we got more snow, and we were all pretty tired of it. That night we had a dance party in the kitchen with R.E.M. and Republica that devolved into a hockey game (with a broom and a Swiffer).



Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Wednesday the 1st was quite nice, so we all went out and used the swings in the afternoon. Saturday there was no better wake up than a toddler deciding to turn a quick dog pee into a 10 minute mitten free snow playtime, then we took her to a birthday party for her classmate Abby which was a huge hit (especially the Minnie Mouse ears for all guests). Sunday we introduced Nina to fondue. She wasn’t a huge fan of either the cheese or chocolate, but she enjoyed the variety of food for both. Also, Nina and I had been working on air guitar for several weeks (using a broom and a Swiffer). That night I took it up a notch, introducing her to both AC/DC and the kick.

Nina Jill

Monday the 6th a freezer fire at Safeway stopped Nina and I from fried chicken Monday yet again. We drowned our sorrows in hot dogs and French fries (#firstworldproblems). Tuesday started with an epic meltdown in the car because part of the car seat looked like Nina’s missing Minnie Mouse ears, compounded by being too cold to stay outside, and topped off by failure to find something good to eat. Peanut butter crackers helped calm things down. Later, I thought I smelled poop, and it wasn’t Nina, it was Illa due to a power failure. And when I got back to Nina, it was her. Sigh. It was funny when I scolded Illa with “Illa Frey”, she responded “Daddy Frey”! We were very thankful that week that Nina had aftercare at school, because her school followed the county schools for closing, but still had all day “snow camp” if the county government was open (and it was).

Illa Nina

I thought I could stay up late working on a project on Thursday the 9th. Finished around 2AM, got to bed by 2:30, but I’d get a little sleep. 3AM: “Daddy, daddy!” And she’s got a fever and is sick. At 4:30 Jill took her into her room to rock her since she wouldn’t sleep in our bed, and finally got her to sleep, and we all slept until 9AM. Strep meant Jill stayed home on a freezing, rainy day – lots of snuggles and Caillou playing on a never-ending loop. Later the appetite had not returned, but the attitude had. Saturday I had to tell the universe message received. In addition to a bruised toe, achy knees, and sore shoulders, I had a jammed pinky (nearly the full finger was blue). Operation: Do Nothing Saturday was in full effect. Not much happened Sunday, either, but I watched all four playoff games and the Golden Globes.


Friday the 17th it was a very late night for the little miss, who was still under the weather and very clingy. Saved me from finishing organizing my paperwork that night, though. Saturday started with a haircut for me and Nina, a new music class at Bach to Rock and lunch at The Weiner’s Circle, and ended with Nina finishing her second movie, Monsters Inc. Sunday I got the afternoon off to go see The Hobbit, do some tech support on Mom’s PC, and stop by Trader Joe’s and Bon Chon on the way home (Jill and Nina went out for a pizza lunch). It was a Cumberbatch/Freeman sandwich day for me, as we watched Sherlock in the evening as well. Monday I had off and Jill didn’t, so I had Nina all day. Kidz Plaza in the morning wore her out good, though at one point I was trapped in the bathroom with a toddler who didn’t want to pee or leave for a good 20 minutes.


Tuesday the 21st I got to work a half day until Nina’s school closed, then she had her first homemade chicken soup (thanks to a friend) and first cocoa (she was a little more focused on the marshmallows). Little miss “I don’t want to nap” was out in 5 minutes, too. Later Nina was putting her hand inside a plastic bag and pretending to pick up dog poop. I might have a new chore for her. I finally sat down for the first time that day with nothing to do at midnight – too bad it was bedtime. Saturday the 25th we tried Mellow Mushroom after music class – delicious pizza, but afterwards epic meltdown time. Sunday I decided I would back a Kickstarter to get a season full of just drunk Sherlock next time. And I would also pay to get them on the same day as the UK, rather than plopped down in NFL/Grammys crazy busy Sundays.

Nina Kerry

Monday the 27th Jill’s company took over L’Auberge Chez Francois again, and we got to talk to Jacques. Fabulous food, and nice to chat with Robbie and Tandy for a while. Wednesday Nina made me ride on the hood of her car and I felt like Whitesnake should be playing. Thursday we took a little vacation up to Split Rock Resort in the Poconos. We had a big, late lunch at Red Robin on the way up and just cheese and apples for dinner that night. Friday Nina tried her first big sledding hill, skiing for me at Big Boulder while she napped (1st time in 2 years), her first jacuzzi tub (she loved it) and sauna for me, then bedtime and beer – that’s a nice vacation. Our friends the Chambers joined us that night, their daughter and Nina finished watching Cinderella together.

Kerry Jill

New Year’s

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

Wednesday Jill’s dad and his wife came to stay with us. She went into DC with them, then she made Caesar salad for dinner and I grilled some steaks. They were on their own Thursday as Jill was working late and I was pretty late, got home at 8:30. They were fine with that, went to Cheesecake Factory (their favorite). On Friday, both Jill and I were off, so we went into DC with them, went to the Ellipse to see the National Christmas Tree and all the state trees. We had made dinner reservations at the new Rustico location in Ballston, and had a very nice dinner there. Everyone got pizza but me, and I had the cheeseburger (it sounded great and it was), plus we got some free beer (ordered something on the menu they were out of).

We stopped at Harris Teeter on the way home for cupcakes and ice cream, then went home and watched Toy Story 3 (and now I’ve watched two of the movies on the top ten lists). We flipped between annoying New Year’s shows at 11:30, then all headed to bed once the ball dropped. Today they hit the road before we got up, and we were up pretty early for us (around 9). We had to drop Illa at the kennel, and then Jill suggested Eggspectation for breakfast. I was surprised by the lack of crowd, but didn’t have a problem digging into my crepes with egg and ham (Jill had Eggs Benedict). I spent most of the day organizing the library and laundry room and listening to the complete Jayhawks discography. I jazzed up the fettucine alfredo that had been left behind for dinner, then we watched some of Being Human (Season 2 has been sitting on the DVR for a while).


Monday, December 27th, 2010

My work is generous and gives us 2 days off for Christmas, so mine started Wednesday night. We celebrated in the usual fashion, as Todd Wright hosted his annual Santa Clausterf*@k with a lot of area musicians. Since they don’t really rehearse, there were some trainwrecks, but overall a good show (and check out the TVs on stage, new this year).


Thursday I had reserved for shopping. I started off driving down the toll road towards Tysons Corner. My sister wanted an L.L. Bean gift certificate, but looking at the traffic on Route 7, I headed west instead of east (I got her an email one instead). I did need to stop at Wolf Trap to pick up some tickets for Dad, then it was off to Manassas. In addition to picking up some books for Jill, I needed to get my car checked out as the check engine light. It only needed a firmware upgrade, but I had to wait a while for that. Next stop was Fair Lakes, and by the time I finished there, I was done (both physically and mentally).

Friday both Jill and I were off, but busy. I had a bunch of bookcases to fill, and she had some baking to do. Our friends Melanie and Scott were hosting a Christmas Eve party so we joined them for a while. Saturday was Christmas and we both slept in, then cleaned up. I baked a ham and made two sauces (pineapple and mustard), Jill made potatoes au gratin and my mom, dad and sister were soon there to help us make a sizable dent in all the food. The gift giving went well, everyone got something they wanted, but soon everyone was on there way, and Jill knitted and I read in front of the fire.

Sunday we met our friend Patty for lunch at Pho 75 in Herndon. Jill was feeling under the weather and it hit the spot. I watched a Skins game that I actually enjoyed in the afternoon, then made a Hollandaise sauce and we had artichokes and Eggs Benedict for dinner. We finally had time to watch some TV together after dinner – the season finale of Burn Notice was good, and the Christmas episode of Doctor Who was brilliant (one shark open sleigh – LOL).

Thanksgiving to now

Friday, December 17th, 2010

After we got back from our trip, things got a little busier (if that’s possible). We did make time on Sunday the 21st to take in the new Harry Potter film in IMAX (our tradition, the only bad thing was we wanted to see Part 2 right away), then it was only 3 days of work for me until I got two days off for Thanksgiving. We spent most of the day at Mom’s or getting ready for that (Jill made mashed potatoes, turnips and rutabagas while I sauteed green beans and made sweet potato butter). We brought home most of the leftovers (no one else wanted that much) and got several more meals out of it. The rest of the weekend I spent in the basement, slowly getting the place in order (and catching up on TV – really liked The Walking Dead).

The next Tuesday I went bowling with coworkers for the first time in about 20 years. It was… interesting. Two gutter balls, followed by a strike, and then another gutter ball for good measure. That was the most social I got over the next couple weeks, as we continued to unpack and clean up (I was mostly still in the basement). We got a tree on December 5th, at eight feet the tallest I’ve ever had. Of course there’s something off with its base, and it fell three times over the next couple weeks (luckily always while I was home).

We had our annual holiday party on Saturday, December 11th. Jill was not sold when we were planning, but she also put a lot of effort into making the house look nice. We’d had the floors refinished before we went on vacation, and we got both the dining room and living room furniture delivered right before the party. We decorated and prepped the food that Saturday, and I had just started the Christmas tunes when our first guests arrived. We had about 15 people show over the night – the new house definitely doesn’t feel as full with that amount of people. It was fun, and the food was good (it mostly disappeared), and then it was midnight and everyone was gone.

We worked so furiously to get ready we’ve been slacking off since, but next week the rest of the bookshelves should be arriving, and I’d like to get everything ready by Christmas day as we’ll be hosting my family this year. We had our first snow of the year yesterday, and it’s so cold Lake Thoreau has already mostly frozen (the geese sit on top of the ice, or this morning I saw them in the one unfrozen section in the middle of the lake).

House hunting

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

The weekend was fairly low key, but we kept busy. Friday Jill was interested in going out but I’d worked late and was tired, and quickly grilled some sausages and then we watched TV.

Saturday morning we cleaned up the house as an appraiser was coming by. It didn’t take too long as we don’t have that much stuff out right now, then I ran some errands (shredding papers, book sale, Free Comic Book Day and groceries).

That afternoon we looked at houses at Lake Anne and took a walk around part of the lake. We went to Charlie Chiang’s at Worldgate for dinner – hadn’t been there in a while and they’d remodeled a bit. The food is mostly the same: buffet/Mongolian, always a very filling meal for me.

Later that night we watched Hamlet starring Patrick Stewart and David Tennant – great performances indeed, but I don’t think either of us would really enjoy seeing Shakespeare performed live, it’s as if it’s in a language you barely remember.

Sunday we continued our tour through the Reston lakes. We’d been to Lake Newport a couple weeks back to look at one place, this time we hit Lakes Thoreau and Audubon. One on Lake Thoreau we kinda dismissed immediately, then the idea of it grew on us – we may make an offer on it (it’s 7 miles away from our current house).

In the late afternoon we headed down into our nice cool basement and packed books until we finally ran out of boxes. I never get rid of boxes, and that had worked out pretty well for us, but we’ll have to get more now, at least 5-10 more for the books we have left.

We had Stuart and Olivia over for dinner – Janice was meeting friends. The thought occurred to us that it would be a shame if we didn’t host anyone with the house looking as nice as it does, and they didn’t have plans. I grilled chicken fajitas and the sides while Jill whipped up guacamole, then we had a nice dinner.