Things to Do - Project 52, Weeks 9 & 10

And the days keep flying by . . .

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(1) Flowers at Middleton Place in Charleston, SC
(2) F, keeper of the dictionary, during Sunday morning family meeting
(3) Downtown Charleston
(4) Sometimes P likes to scare the hell out of me when I'm sitting in the passenger seat and staring at my phone
(5) Two strong females on National Women's Day
(6) Sisters
(7) P is always drawing lately
(8) One last Charleston photo (from Middleton Place)

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(1) The Hirshhorn's Kusama exhibit with T (I took all three kids separately, so this was my last visit)
(2) Before bedtime
(3) Family bookclub reading
(4) The boys in the morning, playing Minecraft
(5) The kitchen table after everyone leaves for work/school
(6) Clue is hard
(7) T let P come sit on his bed and bond with him (which is a pretty big deal)
(8) Flowers on the tree/bush next door
(9) Another shot, from another morning, of the boys on the couch. I think they need to diversify their morning routine.


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

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Happy Friday everyone! I'm shooting a wedding tomorrow and it's supposed to be 70 degrees, making me crazy happy!

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


* I just blogged another one of my favorite fall weddings - a sword arch, money dance, hora, and the best garter toss I've ever witnessed (the bouquet toss was also pretty amazing). Click here to check it out.

* YES!!!!

* I know I'm late to the party on this, but I can't stop listening to this song (and the video is so pretty). I learned about the song and video from this article, which was fascinating in its own right.

* A normal week of food, throughout the world.

* Dear Lorde, please continue to ignore the haters. I love you. Sincerely, Darcy.

* The disturbing origins of 10 famous fairy tales.

* There are a ton of great shows for families coming to DC this spring and Kidfriendly DC has the scoop - check out this list here.

* I've always wanted to do a photo shoot in a house under construction, like this one. I think it would create so many amazing memories.

* I find this salad intriguing (and easy to make)!

* 32 women authors on the life-changing books they read in their 20s (mine would be Of Human Bondage).

* Are these the best US National Parks?

* Loving this shirt.


Things to Watch - Captain Fantastic (My New Favorite Movie Ever)

Remember when I used to blog for Netflix and I wrote about movies all the time? Well that ended. And, honestly, it was hard to write about tv and movies once a month, I ran out of things to say. Because a lot of movies just aren't that great. Or maybe they are. Or maybe I'm too picky. I don't know. Really, the whole problem might be that I tend to fall asleep within the first 10 minutes (so who am I to judge?).

But anyways, a few weeks ago, a good friend saw a movie called "Captain Fantastic" and she told us she couldn't decide whether she hated it or loved it, but that she couldn't quite let it go. And, seriously, what better praise is there than indecision coupled with an inability to forget? Obviously, I needed to see it and judge for myself.

And, well, WOW! In summary, Captain Fantastic involves a dad of six kids who chooses to live off the grid (pretty far off the grid). And then circumstances cause them to go on a road trip, where the kids have to learn how to interact with strangers and eat meat they haven't killed themselves (one of my favorite lines from the movie is when the 6 or 7 year old asks his aunt "how did you kill those chickens? With an axe or a knife?" and she replies, "they’re, it’s a rotisserie chicken so you buy it on, it’s already dead.")

Basically I fell in love with this movie. And it made such an impact on me that I told Dan that the kids needed to watch it with us. And I'll never forget his response (by the way these are all soft quotes, because we were drinking and some of the details are fuzzy). "Don't you think it may be a little too much for them? It raises all these complicated questions. What is the role of a parent? Is it to raise your children to become part of society or to teach them your own belief structure? How much can kids really handle and how much is the role of parent to ease their burden? How much are we expected to love and how much to teach? What are we trying to prepare them for? How important is it to be part of a family and how important is it to figure out your own needs and break away?"

So we watched as a family (it is R by the way, so I'm not sure it's the right choice for all families). And my kids thought the dad was crazy. And he is crazy. But lovable too. And fallible and ridiculous. And maddening. And at times I hated him. Though, usually, I rooted for him.

Second favorite quote:

"Harper: Ben, you sound so ridiculous.
Ben: Is knowing how to set a broken bone or how to treat a severe burn ridiculous? Knowing how to navigate by the stars in total darkness, that's ridiculous? How to identify edible plants, how to make clothes from animal skins, how to survive in the forest with nothing but a knife? That's ridiculous to you?"

I don't know the answer to any of these questions. But the movie has me thinking about them. And a lot more.

Watch it.

And by the way, here's Dan's favorite quote "There's no cavalry. No one will magically appear and save you in the end." Which summarizes it all.

(By the way, Captain Fantastic is free right now on Amazon Prime).


Places to Go (Vacation) - A Relaxing Girls' Weekend in Charleston, SC


A few weekends ago, I had the luxury of spending time in Charleston SC with two of my favorite girlfriends. We walked, shopped, lunched, drank, mead tasted, plantation visited, ate more, drank more and in general had a wonderful (albeit relaxing) time. Some of my favorite photos are posted above.

Now that I'm finally on instagram (come follow me!! I'm over here. PLEASE! I feel like I just arrived at a party and haven't made many friends yet), I'm trying to work with square formatting, which seems so odd after envisioning life in rectangles for the past four or five years. Does anyone else feel this way? Or am I the only one who finds this transition challenging at times? Oh well, it's always good to learn new things.

Happy Monday everyone!


Things to Do - Grateful List (January & February 2017)

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* Watching Hidden Figures (SO GOOD!!!)
* Watching American Honey (best cinematography ever)
* Watching Casablanca for family movie night
* Watching Girls, Season 5
* Watching the Goldbergs as a family
* Watching Captain Fantastic (MY NEW FAVORITE MOVIE!!!) - we loved it so much that after Dan and I saw it, we watched it again with the kids
* Reading Homegoing
* Reading My Name is Lucy Barton
* Reading Walk Through Walls
* Reading A Gentleman in Moscow
* Reading Patience
* Listening to Ryan Adams, Prisoner
* Listening to Vagabon, Infinite Worlds
* Listening to Thomas Dolby's Astronauts and Heretics for the first time since high school

* My family birthday dinner at Texas Jacks BBQ
* Making beesting cake (recipe here) (our favorite guilty pleasure)
* Dinner at Espita Mezcaleria with Shannon

* Family hiking off the GW Parkway (Fort Macy)
* The Shirlington & Scott Street dog parks with Isla
* The Women's March (T - "If I don't go to the march, can I still be a feminist?")
* The Hirshhorn's Kusama Infinity Mirrors exhibit - I took all the kids separately, which was awesome because I got to spend time alone with all three of them
* Family hiking in Prince William Forest Park (and P saying, "wow, this is surprisingly fun", after complaining the whole care ride there about how boring hiking is)

* Uberpool (I wasn't sure what category this went in), but it's cheaper than parking downtown. And still super fast. I never want to drive anymore.
* Molly Flangan's Real Still Life photography class through the Define school (one of the best online classes I've ever taken).

* Starting off the year at candlelight yoga and then purchasing an unlimited yoga pass at Journey Yoga - going three to four times a week feels fantastic
* Wins (and baskets) for both girls during basketball's opening weekend
* Board game nights!! - lots of Splendor, some Settlers of Catan
* Reuniting with Greg Koorey for dinner and board games!
* My birthday donuts and homemade card from T
* Cole to one of the sixth graders - "Darcy is always taking photos, it's easier to ignore it than it is to complain about it. Seriously, it's every day. If you try to fight it you'll lose." Yay, I'm a winner!!
* Super warm January and February days (70 degrees and higher)
* Dan teaching P poker (she loves it!)
* A great basketball season for both girls (both their teams made it to the second round of play-offs)
* Both girls' acting in the school play, "Harmony High" (F was Junior and P said "Sodium!")
* T and most/all the boys in the neighborhood (grades 2 through 6) staging constant nerf wars (really, that's all they do)
* Late night phone calls with my best friend (thank you Jenny!!)


Things to Do - Project 52, Weeks 7 & 8

So this was February . . .

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(1) A stranger's dog at the dog park; (2) fort building is really hard (according to the boys, they now have a ton of respect for native americans because making things out of nature is much more difficult than it looks); (3) best friends in cat masks; (4) F at the dog park, hoping I'll put my camera away; (5) homework time is family time; (6) Valentine's Day flowers; (7) all three of my kids in one photo (after it was taken, they started fighting and somehow P's phone fell out her pocket and broke and after that dinner was a disaster); (8) T had to stay home from school because he threw up, but then he became really bored and I made him go to the dog park with me; (9) sunset in Arlington.

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(1) After preschool at Rocky Run playground; (2) the sky before F's basketball playoff game; (3) THESE THREE KIDS ARE THE WORLD'S BEST BABYSITTERS (anyone need a sitter?); (4) F laughing (this makes me happy); (5) family hike at Prince William Forest Park (and exploring an old cemetery); (6) P working on homework; (7) Nerf wars; (8) The Hirshhorn's Kusama exhibit with P; (9) the kids with their cousins.


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

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The photo above is one of T as the Hirschhorn's Kusama exhibit (so cool!).

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


* I want to eat these school lunches myself.

* So excited to finally post some photos of this gorgeous country wedding!

* This website is all sorts of awesome (link via Cup of Jo).

* 21 informative maps that will change your worldview.

* Have you tried google fortune-telling?

* Goop's spring reading list (the book about the Infinite Family Project sounds intriguing). I'm also loving this list of 365 books by women.

* I want to live in this old cement factory!!

* I'm a little obsessed withthese disappearing sculptures.

* Wouldn't these make wonderful posters for a little girls' room?

* 41 incredible museums to visit before you die.


Things to Read - Four Great (and Totally Different) Books


Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned that in 2016 I read some duds? Well, so far 2017 has been way way better - there are so many books that I can't say enough good things about. So even if the country is falling apart, at least the diversions listed below will keep you entertained during America's demise.

1. Walk Through Walls by Marina Abramovic (memoir)

I've been intrigued by Abramovic ever since watching The Artist is Present - a documentary about her retrospective at MOMA - and her memoir doesn't disappoint. I loved Abramovic's vivid descriptions of growing up in Communist Yugoslavia, as well as how she became a performance artist and the inspirations behind many of her key works.

Though I find some of Abramovic's work bizarre - such as "[s]omeone stuck pins into me. Someone else slowly poured a glass of water over my head. Someone cut my neck with the knife and sucked the blood. I still have the scar." - I admire her dedication and creativity. Plus, whenever I walk in a museum, I always wonder about each artist's path to fame, so I enjoyed how Abramovic takes you through her years as a starving artist performing in galleries to an icon.

2. Patience by Daniel Clowes (graphic novel)

As you've probably realized, lately I'm a little obsessed with graphic novels. Patience is odd and quirky and over-the-top - time-travel, murder, true love, weird blue people from the future, etc. But I couldn't put it down. Literally, I read it straight through in one (long) sitting.

3. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (fiction)

This novel begins in late-1700s Africa with the separation of two half-sisters - one who leaves for America on a slave ship and one who becomes the wife of a white slave trader. Each chapter of Homegoing continues the family tree by telling the story of a new generation (the novel spans seven generations in total). While some chapters are stronger than others, most of the characters are so real that I felt sad when their stories ended and a new generation was introduced. All in all a fantastic book.

4. The Bitch is Back: Older, Wiser, and (Getting) Happier (essays)

My friend Carolyn compared this book to "sitting down for long lovely chats with friends over coffee or wine and chocolate, and listening to their stories." I was a little nervous the essays would be negative or spiteful, but instead they are so varied and diverse (and, for the most part, positive) that reading them makes me feel like part of a community - one that I didn't even know I needed, but that I'm so glad I found.


Things to Do - Project 52, Weeks 5 & 6

Ordinary life . . .

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(1) P always leaves dirty clothes on the bathroom floor; (2) Opening foreign soda bottles at the neighborhood Ramen restaurant; (3) Lazy Saturday morning; (4) The Washington Post; (5) The dog park after school; (6) P practicing her speech/report; (7) T's cavity removal; (8) Walking to school with the cello (and one of the few times we saw any snow this winter).

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WEEK 6 (I didn't take a lot of photos this week - all of the girls' basketball games and practices combined with the school play left me exhausted).

(1) Fourth grade basketball game; (2) Lazy weekday morning; (3) P and Dan practicing at the playground; (4) T home sick from school with a very bored preschooler to keep him company; (5) F in the school play, Harmony High, she was Junior, one of the main characters; (6) Walking home from school; (7) Fifth grade girls' basketball game.


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