Category Archives: me and my thoughts

blogworthy.

I ran a quick errand to the mall this evening. Honestly, the awkwardness I witnessed at Aerie made me look around for a camera, and could be the focus of a blog post all by itself.

As it stands, in light of what happened after that, the story about how I saw a young 20-something-year-old man bra shopping for his girlfriend (who was not present) WITH HIS GRANDMOTHER will have to suffice as the opener. Seriously. People are so.weird.

As I was walking out of the mall, I got a text from my beloved. It was a picture of our closet, with all of the belongings from the long side of the closet on the floor, and the brackets dangling from the wall.

So yes. While my children slept, and my husband minded his own business, our 22-year-old shelf in our closet decided it had had enough, and dumped all of my clothes and the few remaining Christmas gifts stored up high to the floor.

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this is a first world problem. fully aware. still a major pain in the butt.

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previously, this bracket was the opposite direction. this is not very helpful for holding up a shelf.

I’ll cop to having said a pretty bad word in my head when I looked at the picture a second time, and realized that the kids’ one and only Santa gift had just tumbled to the floor.

Sidenote: this is the last year for Santa in our house, and he’s going out big: the kids are getting an iPad! They have NO idea. It will be such a fun surprise. If it works after the 7-foot drop it took, of course. (I did open the packaging…the screen did not shatter.)

The following is Matt’s and my text convo before I got home:

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The wine was waiting when I walked in.

And then Matt said the words I hoped he’d say: “Let’s just redo the closet.”

HOORAY!

The timing is horrible, but it’s something we’ve wanted to do for a long time. It’s ok-sized for a walk-in, but so poorly configured that the space is not nearly maximized. From the moment we laid eyes on this house, we’ve wanted it changed, but just haven’t wanted to spend the money on it.

With the brackets all busted and my belongings scattered about on the floor, this seems like as good a time as any.

So…have any of you used a custom closet company? Would you recommend them? We are not handy people, so installing this ourselves is likely out of the question, but I’ve already found a couple of online design tools that I’ll at least give a try. Fill me in on your experience!

“A Riddle, Wrapped in a Mystery, Inside an Enigma…

…but perhaps, there is a key.”

That was originally spoken by Winston Churchill re: World War 2 Russia (thanks, internets, for educating me on that), but I’m referring to Bennett in the title.

Dramatic much? Perhaps.

bennett laughing autumn pics

i adore this picture of him.

Monday morning: I woke him for school. You know the drill, parents of difficult-to-wake children: draaaggg him out of bed, coax him with “how about I get your clothes out for you…see? They’re right here. Ready to go.”, etc.

He got up. Looked at the clothes I’d pulled out. Put away the jeans, looked for a pair of athletic pants (seriously, child, I get it). However, there were none to be found. Monday = laundry day around here, so Monday morning is not the best time to go looking for clean clothes.

You would’ve thought the world was ending. HE HAS PE TODAY! HE CANNOT POSSIBLY WEAR JEANS! Drama, stomping, the whole nine.

Me: “there are 2 solutions to the problem for the future: a) you start doing the laundry yourself or b) you plan better for PE days if athletic pants are so vital to your happiness and existence. Today, however, it’s jeans.”

(Yes, I could’ve let him wear dirty athletic pants to school…however, at this point, it was the principle of the matter and I was not going to lose to a surly 8-year-old who apparently thinks that acting rude will get him clean pants.)

I joked that he was being a South Pole Elf and gladly watched him leave for school that morning.

Today, this same child woke up on his own right on time, and he was an absolute delight to be around from the second I saw him. I was in his room helping Jack Henry move along (seriously…that kid is SLOW in the mornings…a cattle prod would be helpful), and Bennett said to me, “Mom, I think this shirt is too small.” I looked closer, and while it wasn’t ridiculous, the sleeves were a little above his wrists, and the hem even looked a tad short. Knowing that he likes his shirt sleeves a little longer, I told him I’d take that one to the basement for Jack Henry’s grow-into box.

The next shirt was the same story. Too short.

So I sent him over to the wall in his room where there’s a growth chart (thanks, Cardinals, for the life-size Matt Holliday poster), and he’d grown a half-inch since he last measured. He measures himself all the time (Luke will go in and verify it for him), so he thinks that it was about 4 days ago.

He complained of leg pain on Friday night, with no idea why his legs might be sore. (He was sick on Saturday morning with a stomach virus, but that is unrelated:) ) He was an absolute bear of a child on Monday…could he have literally gone through a growth spurt in a couple of days’ time?

Is this the key of which Churchill spoke?

Who knows. But that’s what I’m going with.

Eleven on Twelve Thirteen

(kudos to Nana Jo for figuring that out…Luke is 11 years old on 12/13!)

Dear Luke,

For your birthday this year, we made really fun plans. Like usual, you would get to choose the dinner place. Then, we would head to the Anheuser-Busch brewery to walk through their Christmas light display, and cook s’mores in the firepits they have set up and see the Clydesdales and have this totally fun, memorable family excursion. And in the picture in my head of this lovely event, when I made these plans, it might’ve been snowing a little and that would’ve been pretty and everything.

Well, a couple of days ago, the weather forecast started looking bad, saying rain would turn to sleet and snow by midday, and then it would snow all night long. Boo.

It did start raining around 11am, and kept raining all afternoon, though it didn’t freeze. However, we had to make a decision before dinnertime, and we felt it was best to try to go the brewery a different night, but that we could still go to dinner.

A few years ago, this would’ve been completely devastating news on your birthday…however, at 11, you’re thankfully better at dealing with disappointment than you used to be. You totally rolled with our rescheduling plan*, which is just another example of how grown up you’re getting to be.

It’s not all sunshine and happiness; the last year had its fair share of rough moments, and parenting experiences that left your dad and me scratching our heads (and me realizing just how completely parenting babies-preschoolers is my wheelhouse, and your age, well, is not). Parenting you is just more complicated than before; the issues we have to talk about about and worry about are just bigger and have more impact on real life and who you’ll be when you’re grown.

I know you sometimes think we’re too hard on you…and that might be true. We’re doing the best we can with what we know about parenting a pre-teen, and, as you’re probably aware, it’s not a lot. We just don’t want to screw this (meaning, of course, you) up. So we’re going to err on the side of being too strict. I know you won’t love it. I know we’ll do some things wrong. I also know that your youngest brother will someday probably have more freedom than you do at this age, and you’ll think it’s unfair, but that’s life.

If I sound negative, I don’t mean to…it’s been a GREAT year! I am extremely proud of the responsibility you’ve taken on at school. Your principals view you as a leader, and ask you to do lots of things that show they trust your decision-making. And I love that you’re old enough to watch your brothers for a very short time now and then! That’s a win for everyone :)

Having a birthday so close to Christmas means that we are sometimes crunched for time, but I hope you know how much we love celebrating you being a part of our family. While our plans were altered last night, we still had a great time! Dinner at Dewey’s was a great choice, and I hope you love your presents, too. And even though we completely made up our own rules for Creationary, it was good for a lot of laughter and fun! Also: a big thanks to Jilly’s Cupcakes for having a stand set up, in of all places, Sam’s Club, so that when I realized we might not be having s’mores as a birthday treat, they were available to save the day!

We all love you so much!

Mom

*Now likely out the window, since Bennett threw up this morning. And what I know of this stomach bug is this: it is swift and incredibly contagious. I’m bracing us for a long few days of puke.

Gag.

This morning, in anticipation of the impending snow, I decided to wear my snow boots. They go best with my leggings so that’s what I wore.

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I had to go to Walmart. Sidenote: people the aisles work just like streets. Stay to the right, don’t pull out in front of someone. It’s not that hard. End rant.

I was nearly finished shopping when I stopped at a bin full of tiny Lego sets. A man stopped behind me and picked one up, too. I made small talk about it being a good stocking stuffer (what can I say…I try to make the Walmart shopping experience friendly and less painful) and went on my way.

A few seconds later I realized he had followed me into a rather remote aisle of the store. He immediately told me that I had nice, muscular calves, and he wanted to know: was I a runner? Did I work out?

Initially, he seemed harmless. I answered that I run a little and workout. I asked if he was a trainer.

And then it got weird. He said no, he just has a “thing” for women with muscular calves.

He asked me if I’d flex my calf and let him touch it. I said no and turned away to attend to what I was shopping for. He remained in the aisle, clearly not taking a hint from my social cues.

He asked if my quads were strong, too (see picture above: thank you Jesus they were covered completely) AND IF HE COULD TOUCH THEM.

I whipped around with the most disgusted look on my face, and said no with more than a little ewwww in my voice.

By now I put what I was looking at back on the shelf and made a beeline out of the aisle as he headed the other direction. I watched carefully during checkout and leaving the store to make sure he wasn’t anywhere nearby.

My next stop was Kohl’s, where I took the above picture. About 10 minutes after I got there, I spotted this creeper again. I ducked behind a display; I was pretty certain he didn’t see me. I watched him head the other direction and to the checkout. So I really think that was just a disgusting coincidence. Which is good because I was ready to call the cops.

Here’s what’s funny…he must just have a fetish for girls with thick legs. Because despite my hundreds of hours of working out and 28lbs lost, my legs are still holding onto a disproportionately large amount of fat. They’re better than they were for sure but they are not muscular.

Weirdo. Seriously.

Spontaneous.

Those who know me well know that I am a planner. Big time. I like to have my calendar organized well ahead of time. I needed to know the sex of my babies as soon as possible. Life works better when I have meals planned for the week.

Being spontaneous sounds fun…and don’t get me wrong, we do things spur-of-the-moment sometimes…but I just like knowing what’s going on. Spontaneity that works best for me is something like, “Oh hey, Saturday afternoon is open. Let’s do something fun that day!” as opposed to waking up on Saturday morning, realizing you have nothing going on, and deciding to take a day trip. And I fully realize that planned spontaneity, as I described in the first part of that last sentence, isn’t really spontaneity at all.

I swear I’m fun, you guys. It’s just that I’m a mom with a lot going on, just like most of you taking the time to read this right now. And being spontaneous fell off my list of important things a long time ago, replaced by things like “feed the children multiple times a day” and “holy crap there is nonstop laundry to be done” and “volunteer hours” and “oh my gosh, you’re hungry again?”.

(Frankly, it’s possible it was never ON the list of important things. I’m a firstborn. But I digress.)

On Friday, my brother Jake sent me a link to this great, short post by Tony Dungy. Here’s an excerpt:

I don’t know what’s going on in your life right now. I don’t know what important stuff you have in front of you. I don’t know what, or who, is bothering you or trying to set your schedule for tomorrow or the days ahead. But I wonder if we all need to do a better job of listening to that gentle whisper from a God who daily reminds us to enjoy the sacred moments with those we love—with our dear friends, with those who need us, and especially with our precious children. They are moments we will look back on with either regret or a smile.

Yes, Tony, I DO need to do a better job of hearing that whisper.

So on Friday after school, even though it wasn’t in our plans, we went straight to the park after the boys’ running practice. I realized that I almost never take them to the park anymore…yes, they’re getting older, but they still enjoy it when they’re all together, and that isn’t going to be the case for long. I also realize that going to the park isn’t as memorable as me jumping in the pool with my clothes on (um, seriously. I’m never doing that.), and that this might not even be something they remember in the years to come.

But there are 3 important things to note: 1. I didn’t die because it wasn’t in my plans. 2. The boys loved it. 3. We had a great time together, and for the first time, Jack Henry totally left his trepidation behind and climbed up on all of the high stuff.

And I got to be there and do that with them. It was awesome to see him conquer his fear and hear his brothers cheer him on.

We played until the sun had almost gone down, and then headed on to accomplish our initial task at hand, which was shopping for what we needed to fill our shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. The boys had a budget on which to shop, and they did an awesome job picking things for their boxes. We followed that up with dinner at our friends’ new Chick-fil-a in Sunset Hills.

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It was a great afternoon and evening, which is a good reminder tonight, as all of my children are in bed early, apparently possessed by some day-after-the-full-moon demon that’s been around the past 2 months.

Sigh. Such is parenthood, right?

Boston: Last Day of Vacation :(

Before the memories get too distant, I need to finish up this vacation series!

We had one last day in Boston with no really specific plans, except to do a little shopping, more walking, and more eating.

Since there weren’t any cannoli left for breakfast (sad face), we headed out for real breakfast food at a little diner-like place in Beacon Hill called Paramount. Cute, tiny and good (though, we have to admit – our fave was Panificio just down the block). From here we walked down toward the Harbor, accidentally happening upon the bustling Chinatown section of the city, which was fun.

When we got to the Harbor, Matt decided to read about the Boston Tea Party on Wikipedia, so that’s how we filled in some details of that historic event. I’m sure the museum there is fascinating, but we weren’t interested in paying $50 to get in, so we settled for the probably-true information we found on the internet.

We spent the rest of our day shopping at Quincy Market, eating lunch there, and then doing some more shopping downtown and along Boylston until we were too tired to walk anymore. We dropped our stuff off at our little Nest, and headed back to the very first bar we went to, this time to have dinner and drinks while watching the Cardinals (we loved Battery Park, btw!).

Since our flight left at 7am, we decided making it an early night was the best call, and headed back to the apartment to arrange for our early-morning cab, pack up, and get ready to reenter reality the next day.

We got up at 4am (OUCH), ate cold leftover Figs pizza for breakfast like teenagers, and hopped in a cab at 4:45 to get to the airport. Smooth flight, back in STL by 10am, with a few hours to spare before we picked the boys up at 2:30. We got such a great reception from them – huge happy hugs in the entryway of the school.

Also – a huge, HUGE thanks to my sister Hayley for keeping the boys over the weekend and Matt’s mom and dad for coming to stay with them during the week. Obviously, we couldn’t have done this without them! And thanks to our kids for not being rotten while we were gone, which I hope means we can do this again.

And I’ll wrap it up with this: this was the longest we’ve ever been away from the boys. They’re old enough that I didn’t worry about it at all, which was great. But even if your kids are young, and you can only get away for a night or 2, do it. It’s good for you. It’s good for your marriage. It’s good for your kids, too. I am firmly of the belief that if you don’t pour into your marriage now while your kids are little and time-consuming and sucking every bit of life out of you (sorry, got carried away there for a sec), you’re going to find yourself married to a stranger when they move out. And I don’t want that to happen. For me OR you, friends. :)

Thanks for bearing with me while I recapped all this!

Boston: Tuesday and Cape Cod

aka Nicole gets to see the ocean again.

Somewhere in the last year or so, I’ve developed this love affair with being at the ocean…maybe it’s just that we went this summer and had such a great time, and I knew at that time that Matt and I would be in Boston later in the year. Maybe it’s me realizing how peaceful and relaxed and 10-years-younger I feel there, and desperately wanting to get that back. Who knows. All I know now is that Matt understands how much I love the ocean, and he knows that getting me back there is important:).

Tuesday morning, we woke early, ate a breakfast of champions (round 2 of Mike’s Pastry cannoli substituting for a meal, FTW), and walked the half mile to our rental car place. Before long, we were navigating the streets of Boston by car for the first time, and out on the interstate within minutes.

First stop: Plymouth. This wasn’t a destination on its own for us, but since we were practically driving right past, we felt like we should stop. We did a quick (like 45-minute) walk around the area to see a few sights, had lunch at the Blue-Eyed Crab, and went on our way.

I have to admit: the drive on Hwy 6, until we actually got the ocean, was less impressive than I thought it would be. I was expecting the entire Cape to be full of pretty houses and a scenic drive and well, it’s not (I should say: we didn’t have time to venture south of 6 to Hyannis, which is likely lovely).

BUT. We did finally make it to the ocean at Wellfleet, to the beautiful Newcomb Hollow Beach, a part of the Cape Cod National Sea Shore. And I got to breathe in salty ocean air, and walk in the sand and the water, which was really, really cold. And I loved it.

We drove north expecting to go to Great Hollow Beach, but it was closed. Thanks, government. You’re the best. We were able to park somewhat nearby and walk that beach, too, so I got a little more ocean time.

We finished our trip to the Cape by driving all the way to the tip at Provincetown, the original landing spot for the Pilgrims and current gay vacation mecca (which we knew, of course – and we were not the only straight people there, for the record). We drove and walked around Ptown for a bit, had a snack, and then decided we needed to head back to the city, because we had a 2+ hr drive, and we wanted to eat dinner back in Boston.

You know how sometimes a song goes with a memory? Well, Joe Nichols’ “Sunny and 75″ came on the radio as we drove Hwy 6 out of the Cape. And while it was nowhere near 75 and I don’t wear a bikini, it was beautifully sunny and the song just fit, like a soundtrack to the day. I’ve since listened to a million times. Ask my kids.

We formulated a great plan for the evening…we were exhausted and didn’t much feel like going somewhere for dinner, so we did carryout from a place called Figs, which ended up being my favorite dinner the whole trip.

One more day to go!

Boston: Monday, Harvard, and Cheers

So clearly, after Sunday’s excitement, we needed to sleep in. We got a lazy start to our day on Monday, and sometime late morning, we walked through the Common (where a 10K was starting later in the day, so it was bustling with activity) down to Newbury Street (which I can only compare to a really upscale Michigan Ave), where we spent some time window-shopping. Then, it was time for an early lunch at Stephanie’s on Newbury, recommended to us by 2 friends!

It was delicious, and can I just say how delightful it is to sit and have a leisurely lunch on a patio, where there’s great people-watching to be done? My only complaint is that unfortunately, it became abundantly clear to me that the city of Boston has mad love for the F word. As I mentioned, we heard a LOT of it at Fenway. But for the rest of the trip, I was just surprised that no matter where we were, people felt very comfortable loudly throwing it around.

Let me say – I am no stranger to coarse language. Mine is saltier than it should be. But not that. And not out loud in public. Back to my story.

Great service, excellent food (picture below of the amazing salad I had), and all-around lovely minus me having to give the sailor (not really – he looked like he’d just stepped out of J Crew) sitting behind me a dirty look for having such loud, foul language in public.

After lunch we continued down Newbury, and we decided that this was a good time to go explore Harvard and Cambridge. Matt convinced me that walking there was a good idea, and said that it would take a while but didn’t get more specific than that. I trusted him, despite having sore legs and feet from the prior day’s 10 miles, and we started walking. And it was mostly a really beautiful walk. But about 1.5 miles in, I asked if we were getting close. He said “yeah” but what he really meant was that we had another mile to go. By this point, we were both worn out and happily plopped down on some chairs in Harvard Yard to chill out and just take in that we were hanging out at Harvard.

Now, being responsible adults who always make good choices, we decided that for lunch, we’d eat Insomnia Cookies. I heartily endorse this as a great alternative to salads and sandwiches at lunchtime. At least while you’re on vacation.

We navigated the T (subway) back to our neighborhood, and promptly walked to Cheers for a beer. It was early but again – vacation. And we just couldn’t go to Boston without stopping in at the original Cheers. It was fun to see the bar that inspired the show and then sit at the bar that was made up like the set (I’d have preferred to sit at the original, but it was full).

We headed back to the apartment to get ready for dinner, and walked to the North End to eat at Giacomo’s. So keep in mind this is a Monday night at 7:20 when we got in line…we got seated at 8:45. The restaurant, like so many Boston establishments, is tiny. I counted and Giacomo’s seats a squished 40 people. It’s loud, the menu is on the wall, the waiters and cooks kinda yell at each other, and the food is delicious – we loved it all!

The Cardinals were playing, and wanting to watch the end of the game, we headed to a sports bar that was kind of new, and honestly, a total dud. Probably the only place we went in Boston that we didn’t like. And the Cards lost, so that stunk.

Normally, I wouldn’t include the information that we walked back to the apartment, but something that totally freaked me out happened on the way home, so it needs to be noted. It was probably 11:30, very chilly, and we were walking fast. About 2 blocks from our apartment, this completely hunchbacked man steps out of the entryway of an apartment about 20 feet in front of us. He came out of nowhere, which would’ve been enough to spook me anyway, but I turned back to look at him as we passed (Matt had pulled me out onto the street so that we could keep going quickly around him) and oh my gosh…I’m not kidding. The scariest human face I’ve ever seen…he seriously looked dead. It was all I could do to stifle a scream (Matt didn’t see his face) and practically run the rest of the way to our place. I know Matt thought I was being dramatic, but I can still see his face in my head and it freaks me out.

Thankfully, I slept without nightmares that night. Because one of my most favorite days was yet to come.

Boston: Sunday, The Longest Vacation Day in History

Saturday night was pretty low-key, so on Sunday morning we were ready to start the day pretty early. Good thing, we thought, since there was lots we wanted to see and do. We had no idea.

We started out with a walk to the Charles River, and then to breakfast at Panificio. After that, a short walk to the beautiful Acorn Street, and on to the City Garden and the Common, so that we could start our tour of The Freedom Trail. We’d looked into going with a tour group, and we are SOOO thankful that we didn’t choose that route. The groups are big, and frankly, there were some stops where we didn’t really want that much information. Matt found an app that we followed and it was perfect for us!

Midway through our history lesson, we stopped for a drink at Bell in Hand tavern, the oldest bar in America (not at its original location, though). I’d recommend doing that to fuel up for the second half of the Freedom Trail tour…sustenance is important.

Because it was Columbus Day weekend, there was a huge parade through the city streets on Sunday afternoon, so by the time we reached the North End (Italian neighborhood, and also Paul Revere’s home and the Old North Church on the Freedom Trail) it was pretty crowded. We were hungry, so we ended our tour at the church and headed to Mike’s Pastry for cannolis, which we bought and carried to a nearby park.

Sitting for the first time in a while, and with no specific plans for the rest of the day yet, over a chocolate chip cannoli lunch we decided to check Stub Hub for Red Sox tickets one more time.

You see, the 2 days prior we’d been checking to see what it would cost to get us into Fenway. When we’d checked, it was about $85/each for standing room only tickets. We kept debating spending that on the game to see historic Fenway vs. walking down near Fenway and watching in a bar.

Well. When we checked Stub Hub just 4 1/2 hours before the game, we found that we could get 2 bleacher seats (not even standing room!) for less than $100! Which meant we were in…Matt was SO excited (looking back, he says that he didn’t realize how much he really DID want to go to the game until we decided we were doing it for sure!).

However, we had a logistical problem to solve. We needed a paper copy of our tickets; I even called Fenway to confirm that they couldn’t just scan my phone. We were staying in this tiny apartment and though we had our laptop, we were sure there was no printer*.

We thought of the public library; called and it was closed for the holiday weekend. Our next plan was a hotel lobby, but we were either going to have to sneak into their business center or befriend someone at the desk to let us print these out. We headed towards downtown with this as our goal (passing the police station and literally wondering aloud if they’d help us), when I remembered passing a FedEx/Kinkos the night before on our way to watch the Cards game.

We hightailed it over there, and thankfully, they were open. We used one of their workstations and printer, and for about $4 and 5 minutes, we had printed tickets in our hands! We almost jumped up and down, I kid you not.

We raced back to our apartment to put on layers (the low that night was around 40) and set out on foot towards Fenway with plenty of time to see things and stop for a bite to eat along the way.

As we neared Davis Square, we decided we should look for somewhere to eat and almost immediately, Boston Burger Co came into view, and I remembered that it had been on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, so we decided we’d eat there. We split a burger that was loaded with mac and cheese and bacon, and yes, it was delicious!

So then it was time to walk over to Fenway, and let me just say: getting to experience it all in the playoffs was really, really cool. Yawkey Way, the Green Monster, the great music between every half inning, the diehard fans – really fun.

The deal with our seats was this: we were on the end of a row of about 20 bleacher seats, 3 rows from the top. And there was only one way out of our row. And the vendors don’t sell beer up there. I can’t even begin to count how many times we got up to let people through, but hey, part of the experience of an old ballpark.

The Sox weren’t doing so well {for a while Matt and I *might* have secretly been wishing for the Tigers’ ace (and STL native) Max Scherzer to throw a no-hitter since it appeared the Sox weren’t going to get the job done}. Probably the most surprising part of the whole Fenway experience was how the fans turned on one of their own players when he made an error. I kid you not: MULTIPLE people in the seats around us literally yelling, “I f-ing hate you, Drew!” and “You’re the f-ing worst player ever!” and on and on. If guys struck out a second time, more of the same. If their pitchers gave up hits, more of the same. And since the game wasn’t going in their favor, there was a lot of this.

Now, before you think that I think this would never happen at Busch Stadium, I’ll say this: I’m sure you could easily go to a game and sit next to a drunk guy who cursed at our players when they messed up. But I’ll guarantee I’ve never personally been to a game (at any of the other 4 MLB stadiums I’ve seen a game) where there was anything near this magnitude directed at our or opposing players.

So you know, that was interesting.

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REST OF GAME RECAP:

So it’s the bottom of the 8th. One out. Red Sox down 5-1. Matt and I haven’t had a drink OR a bathroom break all game, it’s super late, we’re tired, and we have a 2.75 mile walk home. He looks at me and says, “If it’s still 5-1 at the end of this inning, we’ll leave. Let’s head down to the bathrooms now, and we’ll watch on the tv to be sure this seems like it’s over.”

I agree to this plan.

We exit the bathroom, watch a couple of plays happen in the Sox’s favor on the tv in the concourse, and all of a sudden, the bases are loaded. And we realize that Big Papi is up. We take off in a dead sprint towards the stairwell up to our seats and before we can even get there, the crowd absolutely erupts…grand slam on the first pitch! We made it to the landing to be able to see out onto the field as he ran the bases, and ran up the stairs to our seats to celebrate with those people we let in and out of the row 1487 times earlier in the evening.

The Red Sox ended up winning it in the bottom of the 9th, and as you can imagine, it was craziness.

So, so fun to be a part of (and now, of course, I hope the Cardinals win it in 4 games!).

We had a LONG walk home, wrapping up our now-16-hour sightseeing day with the last of our 10 miles of walking for the day.

Whew. I’m tired again just reading back through this.

Here are the pictures!

*So yeah. We get back to the apartment? There’s a printer. No paper, but a printer. Naturally.

Boston: The Nest and Beacon Hill

Since we knew nothing about Boston, we enlisted the help of some friends to give us some guidance about where to stay/eat. One friend in particular helped us a ton ahead of time, and then while we were there I texted her frequently, so Hillary, this is my big thank you to you…you seriously made this trip go so smoothly with all of your helpful tips! I still wish I could’ve packaged up Figs and sent it your way!

With the info we had, we decided that we’d much rather stay in an apartment than a hotel, which meant that we’d try to find a place to stay in Beacon Hill. I spent lots of evenings sorting through listings on VRBO, and we finally settled on a cute little place called “The Nest.” {If you plan a trip to Boston, please consider staying in this studio…Paul is very easy to work with and has thought of every bit of information you might need as someone new to the city and his place!}

We just couldn’t have been happier with our choice. The studio was snug, yes, and it was up 3 narrow flights of stairs, but it was oh-so-perfect for 2. And the location, smack in the middle of everything, was awesome, too. We were a 10 minute walk to so many things, like our favorite breakfast at Panificio, my favorite dinner at Figs (for the rest of my life, I’ll be wondering if I’ll ever eat focaccia like that), the Common and Public Garden, Acorn Street, the subway, etc. You get it. Perfection.

One memorable thing happened right when we got there. We unlocked the door, oohed and aahed over how cute it was, and then I heard water running. From behind the closed bathroom door. So I opened it to find the bathroom COMPLETELY steamed up – I’m talking water dripping down the walls, from the windowsill – and the shower running full blast behind a closed shower curtain. Now, I don’t watch scary movies, ever, because I know what is probably behind that shower curtain in this scenario – a dead body, obviously.

I yelled for Matt to come open the shower curtain, and I’m not joking when I say I held my breath and winced when he pulled back the curtain to reveal…nothing. Of course. We emailed the owner, and he thought a new cleaning lady maybe had trouble turning it off or something? The shower was a bit complicated (steps on how to use it were posted in the shower!), but we were able to turn it off and on. Very weird, and thankfully not a crime scene, though the humidity remained for at least 2 days in the bathroom.

Take a peak at The Nest and Beacon Hill!