Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesday Randomness

Two photos from my day today.  First of all, I did my civic duty this morning:

Virginia technically doesn't have "early" voting, whereby one can vote before Election Day for no reason at all except avoiding long lines.  Instead, we have "in-person absentee" voting; the difference is that to vote early in Virginia, you have to attest to why you can't vote on election day.  There are any number of legitimate reasons, including being out of town on Election Day.  Which, now, I will be!  I booked a plane ticket yesterday to go visit Arwen, Bryan, and Camilla next week.  

I figure that, despite fervent prayer on my behalf (and by countless others), we are likely facing a bloodbath next Tuesday.  Better for me to be in a home with no television, an adorable child to dote on, and plenty of opportunity for baking than to be stuck on Capitol Hill with a bunch of gloating Democrats.  And if endless repetition of the Itsy-Bitsy Spider and "Here's the Church, Here's the Steeple" doesn't dull the pain of watching the country go to Hades in a handbasket, well, there's always alcohol.  Stock up, Arwen.  I know you can't have any, but do it for me.

Second, David and I received an adorable Halloween surprise in the mail today from my dad and Beth and J.J.:

I am more fun than your typical Halloween card.  I am jaunty and smiling.  Hang me by your front door for the two trick-or-treaters you may see on Friday.

Ever since my sister and I were little, Beth has sent us random holiday cards.  Not one to hit up the Hallmark only on Christmas and birthdays, Beth is likely to send you a dancing leprechaun on St. Patrick's Day, a Jack-o-Lantern on Halloween, a smiling turkey on Thanksgiving, or a toiling worker for Labor Day.  Okay, I made that last one up, but it was always fun to get "extra" holiday cards in the mail for holidays where they're not expected.  Thanks, Beth!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Playing Tourist in my Own Town

I took Thursday and Friday off from work to play like a tourist in D.C.  Ali and Trip came up from Savannah for a visit, so we had to see all the sights.  

Thursday was a perfect, gorgeous day in the city:  Bright blue skies, a few puffy clouds, and just-cool-enough temperatures.  We decided to head down to the National Mall to walk around the monuments.

We parked near the Washington Monument to start our walking tour.  

Ali and Trip agreed to some rare PDA (of the arm-around-the-shoulder variety) for a photo by the monument.

We don't get terrific fall color in D.C., but we do get something!

I was excited to get to walk through the World War II memorial.  The last time I'd been near it on foot, it was roped off, and we could only see it from afar.  It really is a beautiful and fitting memorial.  I wish that my grandfathers, both WWII veterans, had been able to see it before they died this year.

The field of stars represents the American soldiers who died in World War II.  Obviously each star represents many soldiers.

After the WWII memorial, we continued down the Mall toward the Lincoln Memorial.  The reflecting pool was looking kind of gross.

Check out the duck butt by Trip's hand.  Hee hee.

Yes, we were twinsies in our vesties.  At least they weren't the same color.

The squirrels on the Mall are very fat and very unafraid.

We stopped over to look at the Korean War veterans' memorial.  I kind of like it because it's so different, but there are a lot of folks who think it's ugly.  

It's also really spooky at night.

Trip contemplates the images at the Korean War veterans' memorial.

Trip and Mr. Lincoln's house.

I loved reading the Gettysburg Address again.  Seriously, if you haven't read it in a while, do it now.  It's worth it.  

Ali contemplates the words of one of our greatest Presidents.  Or enjoys the view.  You know, whatever.

Check out the reflection of the Washington Monument in my sunglasses.  Who needs the reflecting pool when you have Lauren's gigantic reflecting glasses?

Okay, maybe the reflecting pool is pretty cool.  Even if it's pretty slimy.

I find the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial to be pretty moving.  I know some people don't like it, but there's something about seeing all those names etched in the granite.

We had to get a shot of me standing by the little island where David and I got engaged.  The island is a memorial to the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  

Another beautiful day in D.C.  

It turned out to be a good thing that we walked around outside on Thursday, because Friday and Saturday were both gray and rainy.  We still had a good time, though.  We hit the White House on Friday morning to tour the East Wing, and followed that up with a tour of the Capitol.  Because I see the Capitol every day, I neglected to take any pictures-- though I'm sure Ali will put some up over at her blog.  

The gray day matched our mood after touring the Holocaust Memorial Museum, which is extraordinarily well done-- and incredibly moving.  I feel like I need to go back at least three more times just to take it all in.  You could literally spend hours in there and not see everything.

The funniest part of the day occurred as we finished up lunch at Matchbox.  Our waitress suggested that we visit the new Newseum, which is dedicated to news and journalism.  Sometimes I tend to-- ahem-- speak without thinking (I know, you're really surprised!), and I just blurted out, loudly, "Nah, I kind of hate journalists."  And I do.  I can't stand their lack of objectivity, their generally obvious liberal bias, their pushiness, and the way they can never seem to accurately describe anything involving the law.  (To be fair, I know that the law is complicated.  But in their efforts to simplify important court rulings or new laws, news writers always seem to lose important nuance.)

Our waitress didn't seem to mind my little outburst, but the two girls at the table next to ours whipped around and stared at me, mouths agape, eyes glaring.  Journalists, I suppose.  Ah, well.  I hope I didn't embarrass Ali and Trip too much.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I'm sure you can imagine how excited I was on Monday morning when I actually saw "ILUVME" in front of me at a stoplight! I grabbed my iPhone and snapped a picture.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Prayer Warriors

We are officially four weeks away from the election today, and I've been feeling pretty down. The news anchors this morning were discussing tonight's second Presidential debate, and I told David that I really didn't even feel like watching it-- although, of course, I will.

After I got showered and dressed this morning, I put Sadie on her leash for a quick walk and grabbed my iPhone for some music. A song came on by a Christian band called Casting Crowns. The song is called "What if His People Prayed," and it's a call for the faithful to pray for the world, for our leaders, and for the conversion of souls.

You can hear the song here.

I'd already heard that a group of pro-life Christians and organizations was engaging in a "40 Days for Life" campaign, which you can read about here on their website. I hadn't been inspired to join in, though.

Now, I am. David and I are committing to pray the Rosary every day from now until November fourth for the election of candidates who respect the sanctity of human life. We will also pray for a conversion of the hearts of those elected officials who support the legalized killing of unborn children.

I don't believe that prayer always gets us what we want. But I believe it it powerful nonetheless, both in its power to impact the world and its power to change our own hearts. I believe that God hears our prayers and answers them.

Several months back I was reading a book about Carthusian monks. The Carthusians live in cloistered monasteries and spend most of their days alone in their "cells," praying. I was fascinated by their lives of solitude, and I was telling a girlfriend about them.

"What a waste," she said.

"What do you mean?" I replied. I was a little surprised at her reaction, because I know that she's a devout Christian.

"It just seems like there are so many other things they could do to help the world," she answered.

My response to her then, and my continued view, is that if you truly believe in the power of prayer to change the world, then there is no better way for these monks to spend their days than praying for all of us.

We're going to send up our prayers for faithful leaders between now and the election. Won't you join us?

Monday, October 6, 2008

I am a huge geek

I just downloaded the "Constitution" application to my iPhone.  Because one should never be without a copy of the Constitution.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Vanity Plates of the Day

Yesterday was a banner day in the vanity plate department. David and I both saw plates that would easily qualify as the vanity plate of the day. We can't decide, though, which one is more outrageous. So we'll give you both!

I spotted the first one as I was driving home from work: 55&SEXY. I'm of the opinion that one should never, ever refer to oneself as "sexy," least of all on a license plate. If you are sexy, people will know it by looking; no need to announce it to the world. If you're not sexy, but claim that you are, then you're just opening yourself up to ridicule.

I was on the highway and couldn't catch a glimpse of "55&SEXY," so I can't speak to the accuracy of the plate. But does it really matter?

David, though, saw what may be the ultimate in vanity plates: "ILOVEME." I mean, that really does say it all, doesn't it?