warm hands, big plans.

I finally got around to tweaking the header and background of this blog after a couple of months of thinking about it, and while I wasn’t able to get it how I wanted it without  paying to edit custom CSS, it’s okay now. It will suffice for all three of my readers, I am sure. 😉

The week started out pretty relaxed, with just CHAT tutoring for me on Monday night. On Tuesday night Dan’s friend Tom came over and they worked on a yeast starter for the imperial black IPA that Dan’s orchestrating for Ardent. There was a giant Erlenmeyer flask, and bags of various ingredients, and a stir plate — just about the coolest invention ever. I took a few pictures and hung around watching the process for a while.

On Wednesday night we had a work morale booster (drinks and apps) at Casa Del Barco. It was really a great venue for our group, and we had no trouble getting plenty of seats around the curved end of the bar and devouring like six different types of guacamole. It was magical, and even more so once the phenomenal empanadas came out. Flaky, crispy dough, flavorful fillings, etc. And there were lots of tequila-based cocktails to go around (though I mostly sucked down Pellegrino). Afterward I walked back through the recently revamped Power Plant and checked out the street art there. And then headed back across the bridge for a coffee cupping at Blanchard’s Roast Lab. I’d never been to a coffee cupping before and didn’t really know what to expect, but it was really neat. At first we Skyped directly with the farmer who produces one of the coffees we were tasting at his family’s farm in Guatemala. They’ve owned the farm for over 100 years and he’s the 4th generation to farm it. There are three volcanoes within sight of his farm, and the soil is apparently so nutrient-rich that they never have to fertilize it whatsoever. After the Skype conversation, they told us a bit about the coffee cupping process and gave us instructions for performing it and judging the taste of the coffees. Though I know very little about coffee and they tasted roughly the same to me, it was fun learning about the process and just hanging out with friends.

On Thursday morning I had the opportunity to speak to a social media class at VCU, and it was amusing to hear their questions and viewpoints as well as to share my experiences with people eager to hear about them. I really like the few little speaking engagements I do because even though it takes time out of my schedule, it’s gratifying and reenergizing and I think I get more out of it than the students / audience does. It leaves me feeling heartened and a little more creative when I get out of the office and into the rest of the world for a little while, and hear what other peoples’ perceptions of my job are.

Our City Group is always awesome but Thursday night’s was particularly so. I started baking right after work and made some rosemary nut rolls, which were tasty and a good way to use up rosemary and extra pecans. Liz brought “The Damn Salad,” her family’s go-to salad, and Lara brought some indian soup and rice. As usual everything came together really well and everyone enjoyed it. At the end of our study we broke up into groups and I had a great time empathizing with Liz on some things that I think are mutual struggles for us. I just love this whole group of people and so look forward to seeing them each week. Having people you can count on for one night in the midst of the cutthroat world I live in for most of the week is valuable.

Friday was pretty hectic because we had a doctor’s appointment, then I had a bunch of meetings, and I needed to get all the way across town (and then some) for dinner at Megan’s house after work. The appointment was great, and we barely had to wait at all compared to our other appointments (which have consisted of SO much waiting). We met another one of the midwives and she took belly measurements and listened to the baby’s heartbeat, and all is well. We stopped by Sub Rosa afterward for the crispiest, most delicious treats in town (I tried the manchego and fig pinwheel this time), and then I went back to work. So many meetings and things to do, so little time. I wasn’t near my desk for most of the afternoon and felt really behind at the end of the day. I know a lot of people aren’t near their desks half the time at their jobs, but for me, I’m used to mostly being at my desk and I feel so weird and Type-A-tweaky-outy if I get behind on email or other requests. Anyway, dinner at Megan’s was nice and it was good to see Mom, Granny, and Lexie. Megan had made ribs in the crock pot that were moist and delicious, but the real standout were the crispy rosemary potatoes. Not to mention Granny’s rum cake. Okay, I talk a lot about food. I love food.

When I got home Dan and I watched What to Expect While You’re Expecting while he tinkered on some musical equipment and I caught up on email, and it was meh. Pretty lame.

Today Dan worked on his project with adding shelves and organizing the attic, and I did some chores and started working on the mobile I’m making for our daughter. I broke out all the little tchotchkes I’ve been setting aside for it, and attached them to chains of varying lengths. Took me all afternoon / early evening and I felt like I watched 100 episodes of Oddities in the meantime, but now it’s all done and I just need a metal ring or some sort of apparatus to attach all the hanging parts to.

Dan is having a dudes’ night downstairs right now with a few people from work and Ardent. Sounds like they are having fun. 🙂 I stole some of their pizza and then headed over to Kathy’s for, incidentally, a ladies’ hangout. There were many desserts and much laughter, and my root beer floats were a hit. Now I’m back and super exhausted and must work in the morning.

But before I go, I must note that today was my first real sad / emotional pregnancy day. It sounds ridiculous but when I was reading my feeds this morning, I saw that Busch Gardens was posting about opening day coming up soon. And I got all excited and started to go buy a season pass and then realized I CAN’T RIDE ANY ROLLERCOASTERS. And I cried a little. Seriously, I had been looking forward to it this summer because we weren’t really able to go last year, and it just occurred to me for the first time that I can’t go this year either. Obviously though if this is the worst thing that happens in my pregnancy, I’m the luckiest person on the planet. But still. The rollercoasters!

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