Sunday the 2nd was Nina’s first birthday, and we went big. Jill’s dad Bob, her sisters Melissa and Robin, her mom Sue and her oldest nephew Jake came down for the weekend (as well as all my family, so she had all four grandparents together for the first time), and lots of friends and family came over for the party. We had a big spread of food (including some eggless strawberry cupcakes Jill made). Nina loved her gifts and playing with the other kids.


Later Sue’s friend Sterling came over and took some family pictures – Nina was remarkably well behaved for him.


Monday was Labor Day, and Bob and his wife joined us for the Herndon Labor Day Festival – Nina loved running all around the town green, while we enjoyed beer, wine and music from the Alternate Routes.

Nina Kerry

On Wednesday the 5th Jill and I belatedly celebrated our anniversary, going to National Harbor for the first time to have dinner at Bond 45, then watch Cirque du Soleil Totem (her first time for that too). The next day I managed to scare my fearless daughter. Apparently tying a balloon to a tractor turns it into a creature sent from the depths of hell. Friday Parkinson’s law (Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion) was demonstrated for me as Nina slept late in the morning and I snuck downstairs to get some things done. Turns out, those things included cleaning up a lake of dog urine. Thanks, universe!


Saturday the 7th Nina and I had an epic playground morning, then later we introduced her to Indian food (mostly fail). Sunday we went to see Morgan at Northgate Winery for a showing of her art. Of course we got in a tasting and Jill bought a big box of their wine. Later I went to see Rush on their Clockwork Angels tour at the Lube with James. It was a great mix of the new album and their late 80s music, combined with their first ever string section during the second set.


Wednesday the 12th I headed into DC to see Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra at the 9:30 Club. Her new album is really good (very 80s feeling) and she always puts on a good show, but that night proved she’s best with a band (and bringing new innovation to crowdsurfing).


Friday the 14th Nina learned to work the home phone (apologies, random person), then on Saturday we went to Great Beginnings to get new car seats, and stopped at one of the few remaining Chicken Outs in Potomac to get dinner on the way back. Traffic was ugly, and since the back way took us by Clemyjontri, we stopped there. It was Nina’s first time and she loved it. Sunday we walked around the lake and she walked about a quarter of the way.


Wednesday the 19th, Jill took Nina to Portrait Innovations for some 1 year old photos. They turned out pretty nicely.


Friday the 21st I was walking with Nina over to the Cabots Point playground when she walked down a slope too fast and took a tumble, resulting in her first bloody lip. A little scary, but she was over it quickly.


The next day we went over to the plane pull at Dulles, but managed to get there too late to Jill’s coworkers pull a plane. We did find it easier to get in and out by parking in long term parking there. Sunday I met up with my Dad to watch the Skins play and see RGIII debut at home. They lost, but always a fun day when we do that (the marching band covered “Edge Of Glory”, then “Can You Feel It”).


Wednesday the 26th Jill wasn’t feeling well and I got takeout from Pho Reston (pretty good). The next day Nina’s first word was “uh oh”. Friday we headed to Fairfax to see Neil Gaiman presented the Mason Award. We chatted with him briefly at a cocktail party beforehand, then we saw him again as we were walking into the hall debating what to read and Jill told him to talk longer. I really enjoyed his speech (and stories, creepy “Click Clack the Rattlebag” and an excerpt from the new novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane). We stopped for a late night snack at Stone’s Cove on the way home.


The next day Artsplay started up again (Nina loves it), then we took her to Lynn House (where my mom works) for their annual picnic and a tour. Sunday we took Nina to Fall For Fairfax, where the highlight for her was the petting zoo.