Thursday, July 21, 2011

welcome cain.

There's so many things I want to blog about.

Like how my little brother Jonathon has been here all week and we've been amusement parking, beaching, sleeping in, and just generally acting immature.

Or how right after Jonathon leaves, Mom and Dad B., and R's brothers, Mike and Jon are going to be in town for the weekend and we can't wait to show them around.

But as exciting as all those things are, they will just have to wait. The only thing I want to blog about today is my sweet new nephew.

Cain Valkyrie, was born yesterday at 7lbs, 8oz and as handsome as ever. He had a little trouble breathing at first, so he spent the night on oxygen in the NICU, but the report as of this morning is that he's off the oxygen, he had his first feeding, and he should be ready to go home on Saturday. Valerie is doing well and they are all just eager to be able to hold him and play with him.

How beautiful is he? I think our nephews are the best ever.

Monday, July 11, 2011

come fly with me.

Yesterday, R and I drove down to Kitty Hawk, NC to see something he has been wanting to see for a very long time.

The site of Orville and Wilbur Wright's first flight.

On December 17th, 1903, on a windy day in the sandy beach hills of North Carolina, those brothers made history when, for 12 seconds, their flying machine made the first free, controlled, and sustained air flight in the history of humankind. Needless to say, we got caught up in the drama of it all.

The big boulder is where their airplane first left the ground, and the the first little boulder in the distance is where it came back down. The other little boulders past it are flights 2, 3, and waaay in the distance, flight 4, (they really got the hang of it that time). It was cool to sort of pay homage to the humble beginnings of aviation. Without those short flights, how would our loved ones come visit us in as short as a few hours? Without that hop, skip, and jump of a flight that day, we would have no Blue Angels and football game fly-by's, no first class or in-flight movies. And tell me this, if Wilbur and Orville had never left the ground in their flying machine, what would a six year old R have decided his deep passion in life would be?

Even Wilbur got it.

It really was cool to see it in person. Especially after seeing so many replicas in flight museums across the country. (It's become a joke that every museum we go to has a Wright flyer replica. I can think of four right off the top of my head, five including the real one in at the Smithsonian. And yes, we go to enough airplane museums to have jokes about them. Such is my life.)

This was pretty cool, too. This is a plaque with a little piece of wood and fabric from a wing of the 1903 flyer that Orville gave to the family of his older brother, Lorin. Years later, they gave it to Neil Armstrong to take with him to the moon. Then on December 16th, 2003, Neil brought it back to Kitty Hawk to the Memorial. So it went from the first flight ever, to the moon, and back in exactly 100 years.

But it wasn't all awestruck aviation moments. We also learned about this 'lil lady.

That's right, Betty Skelton, first woman aerobatics champion and aviation sweetheart. And also the Paris Hilton of her day, toting her little dog around. When I laughed out loud at the idea of her little pooch doing aerobatics with her in her plane, the park ranger gave me a dirty look. He was pretty old, so there's a good chance he knew Flyin' Betty personally. But I mean, really, doesn't everything about that portrait say, 'Too fabulous for her own good?'

I suppose we have Wilbur and Orville to thank for that as well.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

a cable fable.

Once upon a time, there was a girl that grew up with no cable TV. She begged and begged her parents to get cable so she could watch Nickelodeon like all the other kids, but they were cheap and they believed in the power of public television. (They had a lot to learn about life.)

Then the girl met a boy who grew up with cable and he told her about all the amazing things you could watch besides Nickelodeon, like the the Travel Channel and The Food Network and even E!. And he even opened her eyes to the magic of DVR! The girl had no idea the world of cable could be so amazing. So she married the boy right then and there.

And the girl had cable. And she was happy.

Then they moved to Florida and the girl was unemployed, and she filled her time with cable. She had over 200 channels and nothing but time, which meant Paula Deen marathons, Greys Anatomy reruns, and more Kardashians than she could keep up with. She thought she was as happy as a clam, curled up on her couch, remote in hand, nothing but her and her stories. Then one day, the laundry piled high and the dishes beginning to grow fur, the girl sat flipping between Jersey Shore and an America's Next Top Model from like 5 years ago, and it suddenly occurred to her. 'I might have a TV problem', she thought to herself. But then JWoww and Snooki were back and she forgot about what she was thinking.

Then one day, the boy and the girl packed up and moved to Virginia. And once they were in their new house, a discussion happened. It went a little like this:

Boy: I looked at the cable prices and they're really expensive. And we would have to pay even more for DVR. What would you think about not getting cable?

Girl, sweating a little: Uh, I guess that would be okay. I mean, there's still good stuff on network television, right?

Boy: Well, actually, network is still kind of pricey and really all you get is PBS. Maybe we could just watch TV on the Internet and not have a real TV at all?

Girl, heard the words PBS, made a frowny face, and somehow jumped on board for this crazy plan: Okay...

Then the girl had no cable. Or network, even. And she was a little sad. Okay... A lot sad. And a lot bored.

But the moral of this story is this; the girl and the boy are slowly and surely finding other things to do with their time besides watching TV. They are eating meals at the table instead of on the couch. They are reading more. They are talking more. They're even listening to NPR! (No, the irony of not wanting to watch public television but wanting to listen to public radio has not been lost on the boy and the girl.) They are quite happy.

And upon proofreading this post, the boy informed the girl that the money they are saving by not having cable is going to buy them a flat screen in a few months.

And the girl was a little bit happy.

Monday, July 4, 2011

being a grown up again.

What a bad little blogger I've been. I really don't mean to let this much time pass between my posts, but you see, up until pretty much 12 hours ago, my office was a room full of boxes and I just couldn't seem to get myself motivated enough to unpack them. Then I drank a whole bunch of espresso and voila! I have an office and I'm blogging (and my laundry is done and the toilets are clean, in case you were wondering. God bless that espresso).

And guess what else? Did you know having a job makes you really tired by the end of the day? No, I'm not kidding! When you work, you get up at like 7:30 and then you stay awake all day doing stuff. Then you keep doing stuff til 5pm and by the time you get home, you're ready for bed. Apparently R's school is the same way. We spent so long in Pensacola not working and not being in school that I think we forgot that this is what real people do everyday. So it's taken us a while to get into a groove and start acting like grown ups. I think this three day weekend helped.

So, finally, I'm being a grown up and unpacking my house and blogging. Hello again!

We have been getting settled in nicely though. We are so lucky to have friends here, Brad and Kristen, who we met when they were stationed in Pensacola. We are really starting to feel at home in VA Beach, which is nice because I think it took a lot longer when we were in Florida. I am loving my job, which is not only challenging, but incredibly rewarding as everyone I work with is so encouraging and they tell me all the time what a valuable asset I am. I couldn't ask for a better boss or co-workers (it's a small operation, less than 10 people). My schedule is pretty great too, considering I get to make my own hours and come and go as I please.

As far as R's school, well I really wouldn't know. He's learning a lot of secret-y stuff, so he can't exactly come home and discuss it at dinnertime. Seeing as R is the strong silent type himself, I think it's a pretty good fit for him so far. What I can tell you is that he's finding it to be really interesting and he is enjoying it.

I'm working on a few finishing touches on the house, but then it should be ready for a blog debut. I promise I'll be a grown up and actually post again soon.

Until then, I hope wherever you are, you're having a very happy Fourth of July!