Monthly Archives: August 2011

Yes.

Last Tuesday we survived a rare earthquake in DC, and this weekend we braced ourselves as Hurricane Irene swept through with high winds and an incessant downpour.

So yesterday, when the sun was shining and the sky was blue, after a necessary afternoon nap, we had to take advantage of the day. Hugh and I ventured out to the batting cages at Woody’s in Reston where I proved to Hugh years ago that I haven’t lost my eye-on-the-ball talents and am not too shabby in the batters’ box.

Hugh showed everyone up in the “very fast” cage while I took blurry pictures of him and fielded compliments from on-lookers on his skill (not kidding).

And then Hugh made fun of me for looking crazy in Woodys’ helmets and complaining that the batting gloves smelled like feet.

I think I was impatiently waiting for someone to get out of my favorite cage, the slow softball pitch (I said I could hit, I didn’t say I wanted a challenge). Look at this professional [blurry] stance:

I got really intense as I started hitting line drives up the [imaginary] left field line.

When we’d both hit twice and I was sufficiently grossed out by Hugh’s batting gloves, we headed back to the car so that we could make it to Manassas in time to have dinner with my parents (and borrow their truck for our move this week!). While I was sitting half inside the car changing out of my sneaks and into my sandals, Hugh suggested that we take a walk to “see what’s in the woods over there.”

Sure, Hugh. Whatever you want to do.

There, we were actually surprised to find grills, picnic tables and this old camp site complete with a triangle for summoning the cowboys to dinner.

And a path leading to who knows where.

And while I was poking around, investigating the area, Hugh said

Well, Lauren.

I turned around to find him on his knee, reaching into his pocket and shock set in as he recited a modified version of the speech he’d prepared (he admitted to having forgotten most of it in the moment, understandably so), which ended with

Will you marry me?

I was in shock, I think I said “oh my gosh, really?!” a few thousand times before Hugh reminded me to answer him.

I of course said, Yes.

Before the whirlwind of calling family and friends began, we spent some time reveling in the excitement and each other, and I asked Hugh a few times if he was sure.

He of course said, Yes.

True to form, before we left I had to take some self-timer photos to commemorate the moment and the spot in the woods behind Woody’s batting cages where we decided to take on a pretty significant adventure together.

We celebrated over a home-cooked dinner and a bottle of champagne with my parents.

It was perfect.

PS: Who wouldn’t want to marry this?!

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When You Think Tim McGraw

My stress level the past few weeks has been slightly through the roof. I love my new job working in development for the non-profit I’ve been at for nearly three years, but it’s truly the first time since I started here in 2008 that I’ve felt like a fish out of water. Or a mediocre swimmer treading water. Or something about water.

It’s not that it’s that hard or I’m that slow, it’s just a lot to pick up at one time. New people, procedures, software, databases, a whole new focus that has very little to do with my publications background. It’s refreshing and challenging and frustrating all at the same time. In a good way.

So as this week drags on and I try to keep my head above water and get a million and one things done I can’t help but miss Saturday Lauren who sat on the lawn at Nissan Pavilion (it will always be Nissan to me) content and carefree.

We were so excited — we got there early and got to see The Band Perry and Luke Bryan before the main act. Luke Bryan was awesome. He covered Taylor Swift and best of all Enter Sandman in the middle of a song. I jumped and screamed and got goosebumps and yearned for Lane Stadium.

And then.

And then there was the man himself. Tim McGraw.

Now I’ve never been an especially huge fan of Tim McGraw, but after staring at him and singing with him last Saturday night I was so, so happy.

It had been a long day and I was pretty tired (see above) but so happy. Thanks Mom for the tickets and Jessie for being my date.

Oh and thank you Barrs for coming straight from a day of car shopping!

Now I just want to go back to that lawn with those people and loud music.

 

It’s Friday, Friday, Friday

I haven’t blogged in forever and I don’t feel good about it. But I’ll pop in to say quickly that I do feel good about a few things, which I promise to elaborate on later:

1. I’m finishing my second week in a new job and it’s going pretty well so far. Hooray!

2. We’re moving into our new ‘hood in three weeks. I packed one bag last night.

3. On a trip to New Orleans some time ago, Tim, Hugh and I saw Soul Rebels Brass Band perform, and they’re making a stop at State Theater tonight. I’m pretty pumped for it.

4. It’s Friday, and though I hate the song and its inevitable loop in my head, nothing could make me happier this morning than Stephen Colbert’s rendition with the Roots, Jimmy Fallon and Taylor Hicks. Enjoy!

Running Update: Success!

Approximately two months ago, Hugh signed us up for a 10K happening in DC on July 31st. Having never been a runner or having any interest in running, I saw the two months of preparation as a challenge that may result in any combination of injury, shame and complete failure.

I had doubts when I was running one mile every other morning in about 13 minutes and feeling the burn the rest of the day.

I still had some doubts after my first real set-back inspired my first really successful run.

I first felt truly confident when I finally passed the four mile mark with a month left before the race.

And when I finally ran over five miles just days before the race, I was still teetering between I can totally do this and Something’s definitely going to go wrong.

But Sunday morning came and I was cool as a cucumber. I got up before the sun, got dressed, pulled my hair into a tight enough ponytail, laced up my sneaks and headed to Hugh’s for pre-race breakfast.

Some water, some debate over whether to have coffee or not, and some peanut butter toast later we were driving across the Key Bridge and hunting for parking.

We were so early that we checked in, stashed our new shirts back in the car, milled around scavenging for freebies (including some vitacoco, which we were thankful for since there was pre-race water but no cups to drink it out of ) and did some light stretching mixed with a little sitting/yawning.

Whoever was working the mic had everyone corraled at the start line, did some talking about various charities, played a recording of Mariah Carey singing the national anthem, and while pretty much everyone was still disorganized and unsuspecting, he yelled GO.

So we ran. We passed some people and some people passed us. We got in our groove — rather, my groove that Hugh so graciously slows down to accommodate — and settled into a slightly-

faster-than-usual pace as we made our way along the C&O Canal Towpath. I felt great the whole time. No annoying cramps and no onset of exhaustion. My knee pain didn’t kick in until the last mile or so. We just trucked along, chatting about nonsense, mentally chanting slow and steady when someone who’d charged in front of us had to stop to walk.

And after crossing the finish line amid cheers from a group of strangers — race volunteers and other participants — we high-fived to the accomplishment of both of our 10K goals:

  1. Finish the race.
  2. Run the whole thing. No walking.

And we achieved both our goals within an hour and eight minutes, looking red, sweaty, and incredibly attractive.

Tired, happy and starving, we dragged our sweaty disgusting selves to Jessie & Troy’s for showers before sitting down to a massive brunch.

There was champagne involved. With a side of orange juice.

So I’ve checked ‘run a 10K’ off the life list, and it feels pretty good. Maybe I’ll run a longer race next. That’s a maybe.

I’m not running at all this week. That’s a definite.

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