so perhaps i was a bit hasty in my earlier impression…

Ok, so Philadelphia isn’t all bad. There are some nice parts and some are even pretty picturesque. However, i have never seen a city where there is such blatant disregard for any litter laws (if they have them here). The strange part is that it is so filthy that you expect only gang-bangers, druggies and homeless to be in the neighborhood, but instead you just see normal middle-class people waking the dog, driving past and throwing the leftover dinner out the window, or walking the kids to school. weird. enough about gross things…

i take that back. Today we went to a museum of medical oddities here in philly called the Mutter Museum. (pronounced mooder. just google it). I was in a medical museum in Asia, so I’ve seen some nasty canned body parts in my time, and being married to AJ, we of course went the Bodies exhibit when it was in town, but i still reserve the right to get grossed out and mentally scarred when walking past a jar with conjoined stillborn twins on one side and a giant colonishy thingamajig.

anyway…

Today’s post goes out to AJ. Five years ago tomorrow we said  I Do to each other for the first of many times.

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I’m not even going to attempt to catch up…

i’m using one of those “ergonomic” keyboards where they’re split in in two so that you don’t get carpal tunnel. I hate them.

We are in philadelphia right now and before i say anything else, I would like to applaud philadelphia for making me appreciate the emerald jewel that is seattle. Philadelphia is one dirty little hairy armpit of a city. dirty, nasty, gross. we were walking through chinatown from our bus this afternoon and the smells were so bad I was actually doing that sound that you make just before you throw up. you know, that funny-stomach-lurching gagging sound.  I know there are some neat things about this city, like…the history. We walked down to do the ultimate taste-test of cheesesteaks at Pats and Geno’s and the funny thing was how you never see all the garbage on all the travel shows. Seriously, i’ll post a picture when i get back so you all can see how dirty it was–not in the restaurant, just everywhere around it.

Anyway, traveling is way way way different with a baby. we are definitely having fun, but the challenging part is the little persnickety stinker we brought with us. We’ve had to re-prioritize some things to see and spend extra time in parks trying to catch pigeons, but on the whole–it’s been awesome. Violet is one city-savvy little bebe.

Our current hosts have two cute cats who love Violet. It is a very mutual love though and Violet is loving the new friends.

By the way, I thought tiny expensive grocery stores were just a European thing. Not so. I still have yet to find a decent grocery store to buy food. We found a “huge” one tonight for some fresh nectarines and it was the size of the produce department at haggen. sad.

Trust me, there are other stories…most i can only tell you in person because…well, you’ll find out.

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Aaaand we’re off!

Here is a picture of me just now. I am carrying everything we will be taking with us on this 17 day adventure. That’s right, you should be amazed.

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I learned my lesson the hard way when I went on a mission trip to Asia a few years ago and thought that it would be a good idea to just pack everything inside a duffel bag that was big enough for me to fit into. Literally. I have a picture somewhere with just my face peeking out of the zipper hole. By the time I finished filling it and my friends finished taking advantage of my ignorant generosity, my bag tipped the scales at over 70 pounds. Guess who had to carry it all through the airport? And by “carry” I mean physically support completely.

Anyway, we leave tomorrow morning at 6am, so who knows what kind of quantity and quality this blog will be seeing for the next few weeks. I do promise tons of amazing pictures when I get back…because, AJ and Violet will be in them, and they’re amazing.

Au revoir!

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I do have standards, you know…

Here’s one thing I won’t eat: Brussel Sprouts.

I never really remember having to eat brussel sprouts when I was growing up. I know that my mom planted them in the garden one year, but I don’t remember ever actually eating them. I do know that she never grew them after that.

A few years ago I figured out why. AJ and I were in the grocery store trying to think of an interesting vegetable to pair with a steak, (new york strip for those of you who wonder about that sort of thing) and we came across Brussel Sprouts.

“Have you ever had Brussel Sprouts? I haven’t.”

“No, I wonder what they taste like…a cabbage maybe?”

We took a whole bag of those cute tiny cabbages home, steamed them to perfection and served them with butter and seasonings alongside our steak.

First bite: Involuntary gag.

Second bite: dutiful chewing.

Third bite: spat into the napkin.

Here’s what I’ve always wondered since then; is there a scenario where brussel sprouts taste good? All you vegetable-haters can keep your comments to yourselves here–I love vegetables in all shapes and sizes…except small, round, green, and leafy.

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Shoe Envy

Violet loves shoes. I’ve raised my little girl right. The other day we were at target, and she was trying to put pairs of shoes over her other shoes. AJ made a comment about her being obsessed with shoes and I said, “Hey, at least it’s not purses.” She also likes to wear shoes in the house all day, and would never think of leaving the house without a pair on.

Today she had a friend visit. Little Isla sat down and made the mistake of exposing her cute shoes. Violet promptly snatched the closest one off her foot and ran away.

(this evening we discovered that Violet can now identify all her facial parts. here I thought she was ignoring me..)

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Dance, Dance, Revolution

Today’s post goes out to Pastor Tim Poetzl. Apparently, he’s come up with a unique way to teach his young children the art of genuine forgiveness and apologies.

It goes like this:

1. have your children hold hands and face each other.

2. next, they must either sing songs made up on the spot of how much they love each other,

or

3. tell each other things they like about each other.

He was laughing in the recounting of a recent incident involving one such “punishment” because of how funny and hard it is for children to have to apologize this way…funny, and hard, and effective.  You see, when I was growing up, my siblings and I fought “like junkyard dogs” as my mother would say. It’s not like we had any lasting bitterness towards each other, but…siblings fight–it’s one of the facts of life unless you are the product of immaculate conception. My parent’s method for getting us to make up? Slow dancing. That’s right–you thought holding hands and singing songs to your nemesis sounded painful? Try slow dancing, complete with the arm on the shoulder and the hand on the waist as you twirl the living room to the “dancing” music sung by your delighted parents while you hold on to the one person you nearly came to blows with moments earlier.  See, slow dancing has a way of making most people feel somewhat ridiculous, and when you feel ridiculous and that ridiculous moment is shared with another person who feels equally ridiculous–you get a completely different perspective on the tiff you were just having.

AJ and I can’t wait to try out both of these methods some day.

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