Things to Do - Random Links & 5 Hours 'Til Bedtime

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Happy Friday!! I hope you all are having a great summer! The photo above is from our annual solstice/last day of school block party. Once water enters the picture everything became chaos.

If you have a chance, don't forget to check out this week's awesome on 5 Hours 'Til Bedtime! Have a great weekend!


* 32 Hilton hotel rooms in different countries (oddly fascinating).

* Have you seen these creative architectural portraits? They're so so cool.

* This book sounds really good.

* 11 ways that I, a white man, am not privileged.

* Funny third grade reading list. Bookmarking for T.

* This look yummy.

* I really want to see this female photography exhibit in Chicago.

* Emmy snubs and surprises.

* 10 cool summer date ideas in DC.


Things to Do - Project 52, Weeks 23 & 24

Our everyday in the beginning of June . . .

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(1) Grandma Troutman came to visit and P couldn't stop playing Scrabble with her.
(2) Artechouse's XYZT exhibit with my mom and the kids (have you been yet? it's pretty cool).
(3) Rather than clean up the vacuum cleaner I took a photo of the cord.
(4) T on the iPad.
(5) F having a blast at Yard Park.

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(1) T outside on his iPad.
(2) I love when the girls both have their friends over and everyone hangs out together.
(3) Sibling bonding during a dog walk.
(4) Besties playing basketball.
(5) I can't figure out what to do with our signs from the Women's March, I don't want to throw them away so they remain in the corner of our living room.
(6) Three generations of Mathesons with T's new bow that Dan bought him as a birthday present.
(7) Sisters on a dog walk.


Things to Do/ Places to Go - 10 Days of Summer Fun (the Countdown)

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To be honest, the summer did not start off with a bang. For the first two weeks I had to work everyday and I assumed the kids could mostly entertain themselves (the first week P had basketball camp and the second week F had sleep away camp, but T was here). I was wrong. At first, they loved the unstructured lazy days, but then boredom set in. And trying to edit while bored kids complained in the background was a NIGHTMARE!

Luckily, last week their grandparents picked them up and took them to Smith Mountain Lake (yay!!) and I worked crazy hours trying to get all my editing done (I'm 90% there). This break from parenting allowed me to regroup and come up with a plan (as you've all probably realized, I love a plan). So here goes . . .

DAY 1 - MON - Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in the morning (according to Kidfriendly DC the flowers are in peak bloom and look amazing), the pool in the afternoon. (rain plan - switch to day 3).

DAY 2 - TUESDAY - Apple Camp in Clarendon in the morning (it's free!), pool in the afternoon, and the King and I at the Kennedy Center at night (when I was a kid, my grandmother took me to see this play and I still remember loving it, so now it's my turn to take my kids).

DAY 3 - WEDNESDAY - Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (including butterflies and the IMAX Amazon movie at 11:20).

DAY 4 - THURSDAY - Apple Camp in Clarendon in the morning (it's free!), followed by Nicecream, which everyone says is phenomenal. Ice skating at Kettler in the afternoon (public skate is 3:40 to 4:40 on weekdays).

DAY 5 - FRIDAY - Apple Camp in the morning (it's free!) followed by chores to earn spending money for vacation. At night if everyone is motivated, drive to the Lincoln Memorial for a picnic.

DAY 6 - SATURDAY - Flag Ponds Nature Park and/or hiking at Potomac Overlook Park (rain plan - switch with day 8).

DAY 7 - SUNDAY - Spiderman in the theaters in the morning, pool in the afternoon. If everyone is motivated, at night drive to the Jefferson Memorial and watch the sunset.

DAY 8 - MONDAY - Newseum. Kids are free in the summer.

DAY 9 - TUESDAY - Apple Camp in Pentagon City (it's free!) with lunch/shakes at Shake Shack and the pool in the afternoon.

DAY 10 - WEDNESDAY - Tour the Mansion on O Street (thank you KidFriendly DC for the suggestion).

THURSDAY and FRIDAY - Get ready for vacation . . .


Things to Do - Grateful List (May/June 2017)

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* Watching Guardians of the Galaxy 2 for family date night (so good!)
* Watching Wonder Woman with my mom and the kids
* Watching Girls, Season 6 (especially episode 3)
* Watching Shameless, Season 7 (this is BY FAR the best show on TV).
* Watching Neighbors 2 (which was shockingly funny)
* Watching Manchester by the Sea
* Reading Rich and Pretty
* Reading Anything is Possible

* A not-very-hot Sunday at Claude Moore Colonial Farm's market fair
* Artomatic with P on a rainy Sunday
* Artechouse's XYZT exhibit with my mom and the kids
* Attending Wilco at Wolf Trap for date night
* Last minute Nats tickets from a client (thank you!!)

* Trunk Club (esp. Derek Brandt, my stylist)

* Cooler temps in May (after a really hot April)
* Jim and Val in town from Indonesia
* T's May 9th grateful list: (1) that my mom didn't break her foot [I thought I did]; (2) that Coco is not dead yet [she's getting old]; (3) my family; (4) nerf guns
* Straight As for P and F (T doesn't receive grades yet)
* The grade school spring concert - F's flute solo ("I am sixteen going on seventeen") and F's performances in bucket drummers, music makers, and cello. P's music makers and flute performances.
* F scored one of two goals to win her team's soccer game
* Dan and P repainting the kitchen
* A week of wine nights and happy hours
* T and his friends fort building and nerf gunning for HOURS after school
* "Isla what makes you so awesome?" "Well, a beautiful day with beautiful dresses and being nice to animals all the time."
* F and her friends STILL singing Hamilton all morning (actually, I'm pretty over it, but it's probably better than other music 5th graders would love)
* P and my mom playing Scrabble all the time
* An afternoon off school - Shake Shack and Ice Cream Jubilee
* F rocking out her piano recital
* P's comment on T's birthday - "I was 8 once. Nobody cared."
* T's love of his new bow
* 9 kids of all ages playing sardines together on an early release day (they were hiding everywhere)
* P to T, "Adults usually swear when they drink, haven't you learned anything from watching our parents."
* T receiving the good citizenship award (only two kids in each classroom are recipients)
* Our 4th annual summer solstice/last day of school block party

* Great Wolf Lodge and Yorktown/Jamestowne with P's 4th grade class
* Camping in Arlington's Outdoor Lab with F's fifth grade class
* Camping in Shenandoah River State Park (F reading, T attending the fire, P exploring) and the smell of honeysuckle everywhere
* Josh Ritter's concert at Longwood Gardens for Father's Day (we took the whole family) & T belting out the lyrics to "Getting Ready to Get Down"
* One night at Great Wolf Lodge (T and his friends loved playing hide and seek in the hotel room's xx cabin)

VACATION - Our annual Memorial week beach house in Nags Head, NC (8 families, 36 people)
* "Darcy, your room looks like your car." - Isla
* Perfect weather and conversations
* Sleeping 10 hours a night (I'm getting old)
* Margaritas with beer
* T and F rocking out the lip sync contest


Places to Go (Vacation) - Josh Ritter at Longwood Gardens (Kennett Square, PA)

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Dan and I both love Josh Ritter's music, we've seen him in concert 4 or 5 times and he's always incredible. So when I learned that he had a concert in Longwood Gardens on Fathers Day, we decided to take the kids and make a mini-vacation out of it (does one night count as a vacation?).

The concert tickets came with full-day garden admission and we had a fantastic time exploring (especially the fountain show where the water dances along to music), though wow was it hot. And the concert was PHENOMENAL, as I knew it would be - music plus fireflies always makes for a wonderful night.

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F bought Dan the Raging Feminist Dad t-shirt. Of course.

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Dan and T saw Josh Ritter walking through the gardens and asked for a photo op. How cool is that??

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Pre-concert in the gardens.

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Tired children.


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