Thursday, March 26, 2015

Saying no is hard to do

I have a problem: I'm really bad at saying no.

Seriously, it's an issue.

I am a people-pleaser, and a do-er, and an extroverted introvert. When invites and ideas start flowing, I almost automatically say yes. I like to do things! I like to see people! I don't like to let people down, and I definitely suffer from FOMO. I don't want to live vicariously through pictures or miss out on the fun - I want to be part of the fun. So I say yes! Let's do all those things! But I always come to kind of regret that decision. I don't regret the things I take part in, but I do regret not allowing myself to say no, and give myself a little time to recover from allthethings.

Spring brings weddings and babies and parties and celebrations, and it's so much fun, but I inevitably wear myself (and my husband) down. Unfortunately, it's already happening this year, and it's not even April - we are smack-dab in the middle of four straight weekends that are booked solid with plans, and I can already feel the dust and laundry piling up in the house, my stress levels increasing, and my sleep levels decreasing. It takes a toll on my total well-being!

For a while, C and I had an agreement that I had to literally schedule one weekend per month during which we would have absolutely no plans, so that we could do the things that need to be done: laundry, housework, yard work, grocery shopping. There was a time when I would write in my calendar, "DO NOT MAKE PLANS," and leave that weekend empty. Looking at my spring schedule, I'm pretty sure I need to reenact that rule. Here's to making an effort to gently and firmly saying no sometimes, so that I don't actually lose my mind.

How do you say no? Do you suffer from FOMO?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A brunette, a blonde, and a redhead walk into a winery...

...sounds like the beginning to a great story, right?? Well, it was certainly the beginning of a great weekend!

Two of my oldest friends came to Fredericksburg this weekend for a much-needed visit, and we had so much fun. The three of us have been making a pointed effort to schedule some time to get together, and we've had three "girls' weekends" now in the last two years or so. It is so worth the effort to get some quality time with old friends!

It was my turn to host the fun this time around, so I decided to take full advantage of the amazing weather on Saturday and take the girls out to Old House Vineyards, a local favorite here at Typically Late! There was a chili cookoff taking place at the winery on Saturday, but we weren't sure what that was going to be like, so I packed up a bag of snacks just in case and we hit the road. When we got to Old House, we started with a tasting, and then picked a bottle to take outside and share. 

We found a great table on the patio right in the sun, and spent all afternoon talking and catching up. I was glad that I'd packed the picnic, because while the chili looked yummy, we opted for grazing over veggies, fruit, hummus, cheese, and crackers, instead. It was absolutely gorgeous out, with full sun and a light breeze, and all three of us were perfectly content to soak up some sun and some gossip. It is such a sweet thing to have friends that you can not see for months, and then pick up right where you left off when you do get together. I couldn't have asked for a nicer afternoon.

We headed back to my house to freshen up, and then headed to downtown Fredericksburg for dinner at a new-to-me restaurant: Kybecca! I've heard lots of great things about this restaurant and wine bar, but we've never been there for more than a drink. I thought it would be a fun place to have dinner - and I was right!

We started with a round of craft cocktails and a few appetizers (I will never pass up fried Brussels sprouts). I went with the "Bello Sanguiello," which their menu describes as "house chocolate vodka and chocolate bitters, shaken with blood orange ice." It was so different and so delicious - it tasted just like a chocolate orange, like you get at Christmas. One was definitely enough though!

We enjoyed a leisurely dinner, which is such a rare thing these days. We sat at the restaurant for over two hours, sharing a bottle of wine and eating delicious food. Personally, there is nothing better! For my dinner entree, I chose shrimp and grits, which was a little risky for me because I don't always like grits (they have to be super well-cooked or else they are too mushy and weird!), but it turned out to be a great decision. The cheddar grits were fluffy and flavorful, the shrimp was perfectly cooked, and the addition of andouille sausage and bell pepper were excellent accouterments. I was so happy!

After dinner, we returned to the house for more wine and a rousing game of "Heads Up," which is an iPhone app I'd never heard of before... hilarious! Check it out if you've been living under a rock, like me. We stayed up far later than I'm used to these days (hello, 10 PM bedtime - can't remember the last time I've seen 1 AM voluntarily!) but it was well-worth the lost sleep. Sunday morning came with blueberry muffins, coffee, and Food Network, before the girls hit the road. We passed around hugs and talked about what to do next time - we are already thinking about the next place to visit! We've done each of our hometowns... might be time to plan a new destination!

I have said this before and I will say it again: I consider myself really lucky to have made (and kept!!) such great friends. While we don't see each other all that often, I know that they are no more than a text or call away, and that we will continue to carve time out of our busy lives for each other. It makes my heart happy to get to connect with girls who just "get" me, regardless of how many years go by or how old we get. Sappy but true! Make new friends, but keep the old. They are a treasure!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Serious questions I am currently pondering: do the minor holidays become more fun when you have kids? Is that inherent, or do you have to work at it? Will I be good at it when the time comes?

By "minor" holidays, I am referring to almost anything that is not Thanksgiving, Christmas, or the 4th of July - take it to be whatever you like. Personally, I'm thinking of Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, and Halloween. Do holidays like those become more important and / or more fun if you have children to celebrate them with?

Yesterday was an absolutely normal day for us - I wore green to work, sure, but other than that, there was no recognition of  St. Patrick's Day, whatsoever. Granted, neither of us are Irish.... but then again, neither are most of the people I see "celebrating." In the past, we've drank green beer, and experimented with black and tans, but we haven't ever decorated or gone all out or anything. The same goes for things like Valentine's Day and Halloween: we don't really decorate the house, we don't do anything special other than have a nice dinner for the former and hand out candy for the latter. HOWEVER... everyone I know who has kids seems to really embrace these "minor" holidays, and have a ton of fun doing it.

Exhibit A:

My friend, Ashley, made leprechaun traps with her two kiddos. How freakin' cute is that?! It looks like so much fun. Clearly, though, if I tried to convince C to sit down and catch a leprechaun with me, he'd look at me like I'd just grown two new heads. And the look would be well-deserved.

My Facebook and Instagram have been covered with special pictures for these minor holidays: special outfits, fun treats, new activities - you name it. Who comes up with these things, and how do you know to do them? Do you just automatically have more fun when you have kids in the game to work your magic with? More importantly, will I be good at celebrating the minor holidays when the time comes, after years of generally ignoring these days? 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Hockey bookends

Well hellloooooo there. Happy Monday! How are things looking in your neck of the woods? It was still pretty chilly when I left the house this morning (34, I think), but they are saying it could wind up in the low 70s this afternoon!! We are soooo close to Spring, I can almost taste it. I did spend a good part of yesterday with the back door open while I cleaned and lounged, which is always nice, but it was super windy yesterday and my wind chimes were clanging like crazy. I am ready for the long days of nice weather!

This weekend started and ended with Capitals games, with all kinds of things packed in between. The home team ended up with a win and a loss, so that's not so bad, I suppose. A nice set of hockey bookends for the weekend!

Friday night, we headed into DC with our friends, Stephanie and Chris, to catch a Caps game in person! This was only the second game of the season that we've been to in person, and it is always so much fun to be in the arena. We started with a quick dinner at Penn Quarter Sports Tavern, where we braved the wind and opted to eat al fresco. Might not have been our smartest decision, but it was where there was a table open, and we all had jackets... so we made the most of it and kicked off outdoor-eating weather! (PS - I had the Guacamole burger, with guac, cheddar, and pico de gallo, and loved every bite. Highly recommend!)

Hockey games are always way more fun in person than they are on TV, and I love the atmosphere of being at a game live. Unfortunately, the Caps couldn't get us a win this time around... but we still had a great time with friends and enjoyed our night in the city.

On Saturday morning, Stephanie and I went over to a local event that was going on: the Weecycled Children's Consignment sale! We had no idea what to expect when we got there, but it turned out to be really well organized, and the prices were pretty good, too. I told myself that I was just going along as moral support, but once I got inside and saw all the tiny baby girl clothes... I couldn't help myself! I have so far avoided buying anything clothing-wise for our niece (due next month!), but the dam finally broke. Once I gave in, it was really hard to stop!

I texted my sister-in-law to find out what items they actually still need for Baby Girl, and tried to limit myself to only those categories. All those tiny ruffles and adorable dresses are so tempting, though!

Yes, that is a tiny onesie that says "I love my auntie" - !!!!
After several hours of shopping, I stopped at home to grab C, and we headed to Wegmans for lunch and grocery shopping. We are really exciting, aren't we? In case you've never been to Wegmans (I'm sad for you!), they have a huge prepared foods / hot & cold bar area, and you can get all different types of cuisine. We each piled up a container with the foods of our choice and enjoyed a little lunch date in their upper dining room. It was a good rainy afternoon activity!

Saturday night consisted of binge-watching season 7 of Parks and Rec - we are halfway through and I never want it to end! #saveJJsDiner

On Sunday, I did the taxes - whoop, whoop! Not. But our taxes are quite simple at this point (two steady jobs and one mortgage, done) so it only took me a couple hours to have them completed and filed. No refund for us this year... just handing over more money to the IRS. Cry. That was a depressing-enough way to spend the morning, so I let myself lounge for most of the afternoon. Yesterday evening, we headed to our local Buffalo Wild Wings to meet up with C's cousin and his family to watch the second Caps game of the weekend! The outcome of that one was much better, and it was fun to catch up! C's cousin and his wife have two super cute little boys, and we love getting to see them. Plus, babies in Caps jerseys! So cute!

I ended up with a horrible stomach ache by the time we got home, and pretty much put myself to bed immediately. So that part kind of sucked... but the rest of the weekend more than made up for it. We are about to have a solid month of booked weekends, so it was nice to be able to enjoy one that was spent mainly at home before the madness starts. Everyone needs a little time to rest and relax - it's good for the soul!

How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun? Have a great week!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Five for Friday: Friday Inspiration

Sharing some words of wisdom on this beautiful, sunny Friday... because we all need a little inspiration sometimes, right? (Or is that just me right now?) Today's Five for Friday is mainly for myself, but I'm sure there is someone else out there who needs it today. Enjoy!