Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cork and Choo Choos

Pictures above: Aidan and Leo riding on the Metro; the Carter and Mayn swimmers (Aidan, Leo, Myra, Erin, and Lauren); Taking in the view overlooking Tyson's Corner; the finished room.

Gah, I've fallen behind again. If I were a student in my classroom, I would be earning an F+ right now... and in order to push the plow forward on the literacy farm, I must take a few steps back to catch up.

Adventure Weekend -
After 5 1/2 years of wear and tear, the carpet in our family room begged to retire to greener pastures (or at least a green trash can.) We decided to "go green" and replace it with cork flooring. In order to save some of our own greenbacks, we decided to do it ourselves - and when I say "we," of course I mean "we husband and father." As "we" were discussing all the necessities of the installation process, another brilliant idea was hatched - my mom and I decided to take Aidan and Leo on an "adventure weekend" in order to stay out of the way - and create a memorable and adventuresome memory for us all! It was a terrific plan all around. Jeff dreamed of one night of uninterrupted sleep as I dreamed of not having to see just how messy my house would get...

The weekend was, indeed, memorable and adventuresome. Highlights included:
  • Riding the Metro. This was everyone's favorite! We started in Vienna and rode (just!) six stops in, to the underground station at Clarendon. The train was filled with people nearly as excited as Aidan and Leo (for the Caps/Red Wings game in D.C.) It's hard to say who was the most excited, but the feeling was contagious, and soon the whole train was infected. When we debarked the train in Clarendon, we heard the chuckles of a few who knew our sole purpose in the train ride - riding the train to ride the train.
  • We ate lunch at The Hard Times Cafe. Great food, great atmosphere, great company.
  • Our hotel included a very nice - albeit very chilly - indoor pool. We swam until our lips turned blue, and then swam some more with our friends the Mayns, who met up with us at the hotel for a dip and dinner.
  • Although this was not Leo's first time in a hotel room, he apparently did not want to miss a single moment of the time we spent there. He barely slept a wink, rejected his (familiar) pack n' play, tossed and turned on the large, comfy, lovely beds, and protested during every bit of it. Yeah.
  • On Sunday morning, we worshipped at "the sweet little church" (to quote Aidan) where I spent many happy years in high school and college, and one particularly happy day when we were married. The church is over 200 years old, huge, impressive, and gorgeous. The organ is massive and powerful, the aisle long, the carpet, bright red. I was a proud mama watching my two boys walk down that same aisle upon which our official start as a Carter family had begun. I was a proud mama watching them attentively listen to the children's meditation and receive grapes after communion, charming the hearts of so many in the congregation by their seemingly immaculate behavior and manners, not to mention their (genuine) brotherly affection. (Leo set the record straight, though, afterward when he howled and squealed and screamed on the floor of the narthex - just for fun.)
  • We marathoned out to Ikea "on our way" home, and bought - what else? - a new rug, throw pillows, and tchotchkes for the new room!
  • We arrived home, exhausted, hungry, spent, to find the worker bees laying the last piece of cork on the gorgeous floor.
Our floor has been in nearly a month, and the room is transformed, changed, beautiful. A new paint color, an updated look, beautiful floors - a room that I finally love, that feels like a family's room. The best part? The family room integrated with the family who made it a room - in their presence and in their absence, too.

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