Sunday, December 8, 2013

one year here!

Dear Abdoulaye,

We (or is it I?) stopped counting the days you have been in the US a long time ago.  For awhile there, time was marked in the passing days, then weeks, then months and now, it's been a year that you've been here.  You said today that when you stop counting time, it moves faster.  I don't think the passing of time is different but this year has certainly been one on the move.

Early in the morning on December 8th, 2012 we got on a plane in Dakar, Senegal - your freshly minted fiancé visa in hand - and prepared for touch down in Washington, DC.  I, of course, slept the whole way while you watched movies and tried to get some sleep here and there.  That morning was a blur of family and snacks and moving into our apartment with Cassie and taking lots of pictures.  I couldn't wait to share this part of me with you.  I was nervous and excited and curious to see - what would our relationship be like 3,000 miles from where we first started?  How do you prepare for something that you don't need to prepare for?

I love looking through the pictures on my blog - our outfits haven't changed much throughout the year but we sure do have some big ol' smiles.  I know that if all of our moments were captured on camera, they wouldn't all be smiles.   The harder times are just as important to remember as the good but they don't always photograph as well :)

When we have friends and family over for dinner or meet someone at a restaurant, I love watching you talk and tell stories and laugh - you have adapted to life here so well though it doesn't seem like you have to try; you just are.  I sometimes try to think back and remember what your conversations with others were like before you spoke English so well but I'm drawing a blank; I can't remember.

It's late at night, or early in the morning, and the rain outside is washing away the first snow from our front yard of our first home together as I write.  I remember when you first got here, from my memory and my blog, and how I would ask you so frequently "What do you think??" and how eager I was to hear your impressions of America - like when you saw your first snow.  I can't remember the last time I asked you that, do you?  Now when you share your experiences, they come as stories from work or the grocery store or the metro.  They're just stories of your life - of our life - and I love hearing them.

Last night we shared the love seat in the tv room - you were watching videos of babies laughing hysterically at dogs and old Jimmy Kimmel episodes while I put the finishing touches on the final draft of my capstone thesis.  I'm so looking forward to when I can snuggle up with you and watch goofy videos without feeling guilty that I should be working on school assignments.

This whole weekend I felt like your first year in the US needed to be marked with toasts at dinner or frequent mention of the date - but it's hard to celebrate an obscure date like this and I felt a little like I was grasping at straws.

I can hear the space heater going in our bedroom from where I'm sitting and I can picture you snuggled in bed, likely wearing one of your winter coats to add another protective layer from our sometimes drafty room.  You'll wake up earlier than me to get to work - my words aren't enough to express how proud I am of you for working so hard for our family.  You tackle situations on a daily basis that I wouldn't want to handle and I'm so thankful you do it all with such grace and a positive attitude.

When I remind friends, co-workers and family that it's been a year since you've been here, they tilt their head back, mentally counting the months or thinking about the passing time and then, inevitably, shake their heads and say - the time really flies, huh?  8,766 hours, 365 days, 12 months.  I'm no longer counting all of those - but I will count the years.  And with you, sweet Abdoulaye, the years really count.

All my love,
Jennifer

Friday, November 29, 2013

thankful.

I was pretty excited to make my first-ever turkey.  Looked nice (verdict's still out on taste...)
As we unpacked our groceries, Abdoulaye handed me the turkey and said, "It's our first turkey together!", which made me have this little heart-burst feeling inside and give him a look that is kind of like a wince/cry face but is intended to show my joy.  Clearly I had succeeded in communicating how important Thanksgiving is to me to my precious husband.

Last week, we had to call my parents and let them know we wouldn't be coming home, as originally planned, to celebrate Thanksgiving because Abdoulaye had to work on Friday & Saturday (they have over 100 dogs at the vet hospital where he works!).  I was disappointed we wouldn't be spending my favorite holiday of the year with them - especially when they're not so far away - but I also couldn't leave Abdoulaye for his first American Thanksgiving - and so we decided to celebrate at our home just outside of DC.

On Wednesday night I pulled up the Thanksgiving recipes I pinned on Pinterest and read them over - it was time to get cracking on the brine for the turkey!  I prepared our little friend for consumption and got to making the rolls - Thanksgiving was shaping up to be delicious.
Our West African (and Virginian/Marylandian) delegation.
Thursday morning, with our guest list totaling 5, Abdoulaye and I changed our plans from having a little party at our place to joining Aaron and Elaina for their Thanksgiving festivities - our best move of the day!  After getting in a great nap (me) and watching a movie with the boys (Abdoulaye), we headed over to our turkey day hosts' home.

It was such a treat to join our family traditions (I brought sherbet and cranberry juice!) and celebrate with dear friends for whom I am truly thankful.  I looked back, just for kicks, to my Thanksgiving post from last year and I can remember how anxious I was as I prepared to leave for Senegal and attend Abdoulaye's fiancé visa interview.  This year, Abdoulaye carved the turkey and we cut a pumpkin pie together after the meal was over.

This year, and every day, I'm thankful for a lot of things.  I'm thankful for the men and women who serve our country (in so many capacities!) like my brother-in-law to be, Dan, and my best-friend-in law, Tony, and my friends in the foreign service.  I'm thankful for my handsome husband who finds ways to make me feel special in remarkable and unremarkable ways.  I'm thankful for our home and our dear friends who fill our life with love and joy and a family that wraps us up in love.  I like to think I celebrate Thanksgiving all year long - and I am certainly a proponent of having an attitude of gratitude - but I appreciate Thanksgiving as a reminder to be truly thankful all year long.   Hurrah for this day of thanks!

A conversation with Muhamed, a Guinean friend, pretty much sums up the day.  He asked for a few clarifying points on Thanksgiving before we packed up our car to head over for dinner.

Muhamed:So, what happens when we finish eating?  Is there a ceremony or...?
Me: Nope, we just eat and then sit and talk and then eat dessert.
Muhamed: Well, how would you compare it to a holiday in Guinea?
Me: Um.  Well, it's kind of like Tabaski?  Except it's not a religious holiday and we just eat.
Muhamed (to the group):  Eh, Americans like their holidays!!
Me: Yes, yes, we do.

More pictures from our day here!

One good-looking group of people.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

An Amani Ya Juu Holiday Season!

Image source
Are you struggling as much as I am with what Christmas or holiday gifts to get for friends and family?  I'm not only struggling with what to get folks but really from where to get them.  On the one hand, I've been trying (key word: trying!) to adopt a more minimalist approach to life.  Less clutter and tschokes around the house means less clutter and tschokes to clean or arrange.  Do I really need more stuff?

And yet, I do want to share a little something with certain family and friends who I think might really appreciate a special gift.  Cue Amani Ya Juu.  I stumbled across their shop in Mt. Pleasant in Washington, DC last summer while I was subletting a room in the neighborhood.  The shop itself is quite compact and yet they've managed to stock it with quality, hand-crafted goods sourced from Sub-Saharan Africa and women's collectives, providing training and employment to women in need and desire of both.

From their website:
Amani began in 1996 with four women sewing placemats together in Nairobi. Since then, Amani has grown to over 100 women representing ethnic groups and experiences from all across Africa. As women return to their homelands, they carry Amani with them. Amani has established a presence of peace in five African nations (Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Liberia, and Uganda) and two US cities (Washington, DC and Chattanooga, TN). Each Amani center is locally registered and independently managed with support from an international leadership team.
This Sunday (November 17th) and again on November 24th, Abdoulaye and I will be hosting Amani Sales in our home from 2-5.  We'd love for you to join us for tea and some snacks and to hang out and peruse some of Amani's gorgeous offerings.  Check out their website for some of what Amani has to offer.

Is there anything you'd especially like to see offered at our sale?  Let me know in the comments below!  Disclaimer: this isn't a commissioned sale - so no pressure to buy anything!  We're hosting because we like Amani's mission and way of doing business and want to do our part to help support their purpose:
Amani is committed to holistic development. Women gain experience in stitching, quality control, purchasing, bookkeeping, management and design. As new women enter the program they are mentored in quality workmanship with strong emphasis on ethical business practices and harmonious relationships with people of different backgrounds.
Avoid the mall this holiday season and if you're inclined to purchase treasures, come on over and get them from the comfort of our home.  Contact me at jennifermorgandavis [at] gmail  [dot] com for our address and/or questions.  I hope to see you soon!

Friday, October 18, 2013

going home where you are.

This past (long) weekend I went to visit Kate, one of my oldest friends.  She has known me since I got chased by bullies around our portable classroom in the 5th grade to when we chased boys in high school and now as we chase our dreams in cities far away from one another.

It's such a delightful feeling to go home to somebody.  As we move around, our homes change and the people around us are different but there is that lovely feeling of familiarity with a friend who has known you through so much.

We spent the weekend watching TV shows, catching up on family stories, going on walks around the block and snuggling with her French bull dog, Cash.  We did all this while drinking diet Dr. Pepper and eating cookies leftover from a care package for her husband, Tony, who is currently serving our country abroad.

Kate's mom, who is a surrogate mother to me, called while we were in the middle of one of our television marathons to check in on us.  She said we sounded like a couple of old married ladies staying in on a Saturday night watching our shows.  Kate, I love being an old married lady with you!

More pictures from our trip here!
just a couple of ol' married ladies.
beauty.
dancing at the lost river cave.
Jesse James hid out with his bandits at the Lost River Cave

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Gad Elmaleh at The Birchmere


Last week Abdoulaye and I headed to The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA after work to see Gad Elmaleh, my handsome hubby's favorite comedian.  I wanted it to be a surprise but I got too excited and so I told him beforehand (try, a week or two after I bought the tickets three months ago) so there goes that one.  

Surprise or not, the show was excellent and a fun way to process a foreigner's experience in America (the foundation of Elmaleh's schtick).  The show was in French, peppered with English phrases for emphasis (Elmaleh is fluent), and kept the whole crowd rocking in their chairs.

Apparently Gad has been called the French Jerry Seinfeld and I like the comparison.  His humor is thought provoking, based in everyday interactions and relatable - not vulgar or offensive.  Here's a trailer below of Gad & Jerry in a car.  I've never watched Seinfeld's clips of comedians in cars before - they're cute if not a little long :)  There's also a clip below of the sketch Abdoulaye repeated a lot while learning English and with an English translation!




Monday, September 23, 2013

Falling for it

A snapshot on my way home - delightful!
Each morning and afternoon I think about my commute to and from work.  Bus, bike, or metro?  I ask myself.  The weather usually dictates my reply since each mode of transportation takes approximately the same amount of time.  As soon as I get on my bike, I always remember it's my favorite way to get around.  Coming home yesterday afternoon, I snapped this picture and felt the thrill of Fall around me.  

I love my rides to and from work because they allow me (nearly) uninterrupted opportunities to reflect on my day.  I mentally comb through what I hope to achieve and the good and bad of the day before.  Lately, I have also really tried to put into practice some of the methods I'm reading about on this blog about de-cluttering both my physical and mental surroundings.  

As I kick off my final semester of graduate school, I am committing to giving my best to my studies to produce a piece of research useful to a broader community than my Mom, husband and close friends who are taking an interest in my work :)  At the same time, it sometimes pains me to hear how busy we all are.  I've tried to take the word out of my vocabulary because whenever I say it myself, I realize it doesn't make me feel good to be busy (or imagine myself to be) and it doesn't make the person with whom I'm speaking feel good either.  When someone tells me they're busy I either feel like 1) I should be busy, too! or 2) What are they doing that I should be doing? or 3) Why is it such an automatic reply to say we're busy?  

This is a bit of a rambling post but this idea of 'busyness' is often on my mind as I pedal through quiet streets unused by drivers on their commute and through trails on my way to and from home each day.  I am striving to strike a balance between my family, my work and school - and somehow it's been easier in the past few weeks in large part because I've been mentally committing to making the balance.   

What do you think?  Is this a naive way to be thinking?  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Friends, Mud & Unity

Jordan, a friend from grad school, and Jonathan came to visit this weekend - their first stop on an East Coast extravaganza (Florida to New Hampshire!).  It was fun hosting our first out of town guests and hitting a few of the sites (Library of Congress & the Capitol) with them.
After I dropped them off, I headed to Loretta's place so we could go to the DMV - now she's a freshly minted, licensed driver!  Hurrah!  Then it was home again, home again before heading out to a Southern Africa picnic for a brief moment and then heading back home to get ready for a SIT dinner party.  Debie and Dan came over to celebrate Jordan & Jonathan (seems couples only date folks with their same first initial!)'s arrival.  I love love love when our home is filled to the brim with friends.  Makes a house feel like a home.

Sunday I met up with Meredith, Rabayah & Cassie to visit the Mali exhibit at the Natural History museum.  A bit disappointing (to me!) but wonderful to have a chance to get together with those ladies.  Then we headed back to Cassie's and my old stomping grounds for the 9-11 unity walk.  A filled-to-the brim weekend with real treasures.  
Rabayah fits right in (well, in that she smiles about Mali, too)!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Blessings!

Image Source
I am on a roll today.  Abdoulaye and I listed our guest room on Airbnb last night and we already have folks booked for a month!  Then, I've been stressing about these tickets I got for Abdoulaye as a surprise for his favorite comedian, Gad Elmaleh.  The only catch?  The show is in Boston and it just didn't make (financial) sense to head up for a couple of days (can you believe I'm too impulsive sometimes?? :).  But what was I going to do with the four tickets (and I couldn't keep the surprise, either :)?  After trying unsuccessfully to unload them on friends, I just called World Music/CRASHarts and they reimbursed me practically on the spot.  Such a blessing!

Now I can look forward to the rest of September with a little bit of an easier breath.  This weekend is going to be a treasure - a visit from a friend in grad school, this party, this exhibit and this walk.  Later this month, we have the wedding of a lovely friend, a visit from my parents and hopefully a little nephew/sister-in-law/brother time at the end of the month.  I can't wait.

What are you looking forward to doing this weekend?  September?  Can you believe the weather here in DC?  I am loving that crisp in the air!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Toki Undeground: Mary Washington is all over the place! :)

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A couple of nights ago Jackie came into town - what a treat!  Molly, another friend we were meeting up with, suggested we head to Toki Underground on H Street, owned by UMW grad (my alumnus) Erik Bruner-Yang.  There were four of us - all University of Mary Washington grads - and we were able (to my surprise!) to get a seat at the counter in front of the kitchen right away.  

I remember reading about Erik's restaurant in the Spring 2013 edition of my alumni magazine and thinking that I would have to wait for hours to get a seat in his slam-packed eatery.  I'm glad I was proved wrong (though the restaurant didn't have an empty seat while we were there)!

I ordered a vegetarian Ramen and a Hey Song Sarsaparilla Root Beer - mostly because I liked the name of the drink.  Neither disappointed!  The soup spoon was the size of a serving spoon and made me feel like I was in a cowboy restaurant eating with a spoon made for camping (that had been blown up).  The music was good (not too loud, which is a pet peeve of mine) and the seating made for good conversation with Jackie.  She made a good point, however, when she said it would be hard to come here on a first date here - eating the soup wasn't that easy (read: tidy) and you really have to turn to face your partner since there aren't any tables - only counters - in the restaurant. 

We finished up our meals and took a group picture with our Eagle pride.  The little candies they gave us with our bill tasted like eating a Kix cereal candy; yum!  We didn't order dessert because we were too full with soup but the warm cookies on the menu were tempting.  I was envious of the couple next to us who ordered a plate - I'll definitely order some the next time I go!
Image Source

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Last Song Before the War: The Most Remote Music Festival in the World

 
A couple of weeks ago a friend emailed a group of Mali-centric folks here in DC inviting us to a screening of The Last Song Before the War (trailer above).  Cassie and I had already planned to spend the evening hanging out - what better way to spend time together (since we were already likely going to talk about Mali much of the night) than to see a documentary about a music festival situated in Mali?  
Taking me back to Mali
The documentary follows the preparation for the festival from a few nights before through the four-day (and night) celebration beyond the fabled city of Timbuktu and into the heart of the Sahara desert.  As a bonus, Cheick Hamala Diabate, as well as Supernova King, gave performances to a sold-out (or very nearly!) screening at the Burke Theater in the U.S. Naval Museum near the Archives in Washington, DC following the film.

The crowd was filled with former Peace Corps Volunteers, West African diplomats, Mali-lovers and enthusiasts and I'm sure others who don't quite fit into one of those categories (though I think that likely captures it!).  Cassie, Abdoulaye and I arrived just in time for the show to start and took the handful of open seats remaining in the third row, which were just a few spots over from the Malian ambassador to the US and his crew.
One of my favorites from my trip to Segou
As scenes from the Niger river and dusty roads connecting Mopti to Essakane flashed on the screen before us, I couldn't help but think back to my singular Mali-music festival experience in February 2011 when I attended the Festival sur le Niger.  I stayed with Monica & Samer and soaked up the time with the PHARE staff and the home-y Segou feel while experiencing Malian music in a series of unforgettable shows.  Nostalgia!

The Last Song videographers did a great job of capturing the vibe of the festival (or what I imagine it to be like!) from taking camel rides over sand dunes to having jam sessions on thin, woven mats under hastily pitched tents.  The documentary was filmed in January 2011, just weeks before before I attended the festival in Segou pictured above, and just a year (and some change) before the coup d'etat in Bamako forever changed Mali's political stability, credibility and future.  

I find it's hard to go back to a time in my mind before the coup - though most of my time in Mali was just that.  Today, however, I - along with many Malians - will look forward to Mali's future once again and a time when festivals like the Festival sur le Niger and the Festival in the Desert can once again take place (indicating a more widespread peace that will allow Malians to live with less discord and more harmony).

Today Mali will inaugurate Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (IBK) as president of the Republic of Mali and usher in what I (and many others) hope to be a new era for a country that holds a special spot in the hearts of many.  Only time will tell what his political regime will look like and how Mali will benefit (or not) from his leadership.  I've heard IBK is a sharp shooter who doesn't take diddly from anyone and who can be harsh (perhaps to a fault?).  I'm hopeful, cautiously optimistic and excited to see what lies in store.  Aid money is about to pour back into Mali - here's hoping it gets to the people of Mali and not just the deep pockets in Bamako.


September: Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and more!

dusty lily pads
What a non-labor day weekend!  Friday I helped some friends move (well, sort of - they were too efficient!) who are getting ready to join the Peace Corps in Ukraine (woohoo!).  It was neat to meet their friends and hear more about their preparations as they get ready to ship out.  Takes me back to my first blog post and how I was feeling before I left for Mali in 2008.  Eep!
On Saturday, Cat, David & Auggie came over for brunch and then we went to the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, which are so close by!  A hidden treasure just 10 minutes away.  There are ponds upon ponds of lillies and gardens off of the Anacostia river and even though we were just minutes from Washington, DC, to look around I thought I was hours away.  Next year I'll put it on my calendar to make the Lily Festival - they make me think of my grandfather who loved lily pads.  I'm looking forward to taking friends and family who visit there as a secret getaway - there were hardly any folks there even though it was gorgeous out and there were lots of picnic areas.
Saturday night we had friends over to celebrate the visit of our friend Kyra's parents and then we danced the night away in support of Guinea Edugrade.  Sunday we brunched with Alys and Luke and I went to a neighbor's baby shower, the largest one I've ever been to!  When I got home, I had a text message from my Dad suggesting we see The Butler, which I had been wanting to see, so Abdoulaye and I headed to our local theater.  I proceeded to spend the next 2 hours quietly sobbing - the movie is so intensely beautiful in capturing the essence of the relationships of Cecil Gaines (the butler) in parallel with political and social movements of the past century.  Definitely a must-see but do not forget your tissues!!

I'm excited to get our finished attic/guest room ready for our first out-of-town guests this weekend - before & after pictures coming soon (once we have a bed this Thursday!).  I'm also thinking about Kate & Tony who got married one year ago yesterday - my how time flies!  

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Colorado & front-porch sitting


There's something about front porch sitting.  I absolutely love this picture of Abdoulaye, Anna and me on hers - don't you just feel like drinking tea and shooting the breeze when you see the picture above?  I do - and I think I just might.  
It looks like we're headed to Hogwarts!
Abdoulaye and I got on a west-bound plane two weeks ago to celebrate the wedding of my cousin, Brian, to his fiancee, Kari, in Colorado.  We met up with my Mom and John and visited around Denver including Red Rocks, Evergreen & Golden.  The trip was a treat though my favorite part was the time we spent with family and, of course, seeing Anna.  The views did not disappoint and I was cured of the East-coast humidity with all the dry air.  

It's been a busy summer with settling into our home, finishing up my last classes of graduate school (now on to my thesis!) and visits with friends.  I've missed blogging and hope to get back into the swing of things with the coming of fall and more of a routine.

For now, I'll leave at this and hope for more regular posting now that September is (almost) here!  
Red Rocks Amphitheater

Monday, July 15, 2013

a very merry fourth

America+Guinea 
In honor of yesterday's Bastille Day, let's bring back the 4th of July.  Abdoulaye, Cassie and I along with friends made our way to a park in Maryland to celebrate America's independence with the Guinean community of Maryland, DC & Virginia.  There was an ice cream truck, lots of hamburgers, hot dogs, corn and watermelon,a live DJ and a blow-up castle for jumping around.  A great 4th for Abdoulaye's 1st in the US.

Cassie and I made cakes to celebrate - a carrot American flag and a banana Guinean.  It took awhile to get folks to share in our baking but the DJ, who was speaking in French, made an announcement for everyone to go by the picnic area where the white girls are sitting since they made cakes for everyone.  We were momentarily transported back to West Africa!
Abdoulaye's first 4th of July in the US!
Cassie is a master baker and has the best recipes.  
Abdoulaye promised us the Ambassador to the US would cut the cakes...maybe next year?? 
It was such a treat to share in the day with N'tossoma, far right, who was one of Cassie's Peace Corps bosses for her sector (health) and who now works for the Peace Corps in Guinea not far from Abdoulaye's family.  N'tossoma came to the US for a month for a Peace Corps training (and vacation!).  Abdoulaye's family sent hard copies of their wedding pictures from their celebration, along with video, and we were able to send copies from our celebration back home with him.
Virginia Beach!
Following the fourth we headed to Virginia Beach to see my family.  We were lucky enough to see my nephew (and brother and sister-in-law!) who is growing so quickly.  It's a blessing to be close enough to see family as often as I do - a lot more frequently than once a year (or worse, once every two years!).
With Badara, Sean & Abdoulaye
Oh man.  I need to frame this - thank you, Sean for such a great photo!
A little sunshine on my face, a lot of sunshine in my life.  

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Black Out: Studying by Lamplight in Guinea

This morning, while perusing my Google reader for articles of interest (i.e. Mali, Guinea, Virginia, international education), I stumbled upon this article on a documentary about kids studying by streetlight in Guinea.  The documentary, Black Out, follows students during exam time in Conakry, Guinea's capital.  The film has been featured at film festivals around the world and scooped up a number of awards.

What struck me in the trailer is how much these kids study and for what - there is no guarantee they will have a job, or go to college, following graduation.  I think of Abdoulaye, and all the studying he did by lamplight or with inconsistent electricity and of course of Zana, Mali where my host siblings similarly studied by kerosene lamp.

It's too bad there aren't any Guineans on the team who produced the film and I can't tell from the director and producers' blurbs how much experience they have in Guinea/West Africa/Africa.   Nonetheless, looks like an interesting piece, hopefully it will come to E street cinema.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pizza+Painting=Perfection



The painting crew for our little yellow house
We're making progress on updating things in our little bungalow as we slowly move in over the next month or so. This past weekend friends joined together for a painting party to freshen up the inside of our home and the week before, we hired painters to do the outside (Butter Up by Sherwin Williams if you're curious :)  I love the way it all turned out!

See below for some pictures of the before and after (we clearly still have some touch ups to do but we're getting there!).  We're also not totally moved in yet but will be by August.  So many thanks to the wonderful friends who made it out for the party; we truly couldn't have done it without you - I hope you liked the snacks!
Dining Room Before
I love our new curtains from Target!
Dining Room After


















                     
Master Bedroom Before
Master Bedroom After

Breakfast nook Before
Breakfast nook After
TV Room Before
TV Room After
Precious.
 


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Outdoor film screenings in DC: Summer 2013

I saw a link to the outdoor film screenings going on in DC on the Huffington Post and it made me feel nostalgic.  After seeing the picture above, don't you just want to pack your picnic blanket and popcorn and head out to the movies?  I do!

I hope to see ET on July 22nd on the lawn and I'm having a hard time picking one from the NoMa list - do you think you'll go to any?

Monday, June 10, 2013

diaper cakes, banana cafe and grilling out

Last week, my department threw Abdoulaye and me a wedding shower in conjunction with a baby shower for another colleague due next month.  A friend of mine from work and I put together the diaper cake above following inspiration from my sister-in-law's baby shower.  We sourced our materials from the Honest Company (aren't the diapers - hippos & strawberries - precious??) and from around our desks (including my medal from last summer's office Olympics).

I think this cake is pretty incredible.  Such a treasure!
Another colleague made this beautiful cake for Abdoulaye and me to cut.  Since we didn't do a cake cutting at our wedding in May, this was a fun way to have one :)  Isn't it incredible?  She's so talented!
Reunion in the market
On Saturday we met up with Michelle and Alys (friends from Mali) in Eastern Market and headed to brunch/lunch at the Banana Cafe.  I had the Caribbean Benedict - delicious!  Looking forward to heading back for the piano bar.
  
Saturday night we headed to Cat and David's for some great BBQing and hanging.  Abdoulaye was loving on the chicken and rice (way to steal his heart you guys!) but more than anything, Auggie stole his attention.  Such a joyful child (as Abdoulaye noted) and fun to be around.  Made me feel like summer was really here to stay. 
Abdoulaye  with his aide-de-campe
Precious Auggie!


Hope you had a great weekend!  We're looking forward to slowly moving things into our new home as time marches on.  Any recommendations for home improvement techniques?? :)
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