Wednesday, July 16, 2008

There's More to Life than Word-A-Thon's (if you drink enough coffee)

Coffee is the happy drug. I've tried to drag myself through the day without it, but, after many late nights keeping up with the Joneses (and the Jens.... okay, mostly the Jens--- can I just say at least one of them, if not both, are keeping up the ridiculous pace of 5k a day???), I started off the morning with a huge pot.... and kept drinking through the day. And let me tell you.... life seems so much better hopped up on massive doses of caffeine!

I connived my kids to let me write all morning (which goes very fast-the writing, not the morning- when hopped up on caffeine!) with the promise of taking them into Washington D.C. in the late afternoon for a museum (one of their favorite things to do) and a concert on the steps of the Capital Building (one of my favorite things to do).

I wrote, they played. And at three we headed in to D.C. We debated about museums. I have three kids, and of course they have three different favorites, but we finally settled on the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, which offers dinosaurs, live bugs, mummies, and famous jewels. Something to please us all!

We were so enthralled most of the way through (not that they don't already have this all memorized, because we visit so often), I missed photo ops at the bug exhibits and in the dinosaur hall, but here they are in the aquatic skeleton hall:

I love the gems section. It has tons of bright, unbelievable raw crystals. It reminds me of being a kid and disappearing for hours and hours into the woods in back of our house with my best friend, wading through the creek hunting for crystals. Of course, the Smithsonian doesn't have just raw crystals. Oh no! It has jewelry! So as a bonus to taking the kids out for an educational outing they love, I get to do some birthday shopping.

Shall I suggest my husband buy me a nice little tiara for my birthday??

A little over the top? Maybe then just a simple necklace would do.

So when the museum closed we gathered up my husband (who works a block away in downtown D.C. and headed over to the Capital Building.

We love the city. We love the feeling of patriotism here. And what is more patriotic than sitting on the steps of the U.S. Capital building, and listening to the "President's Own" Marine Band play? For my husband, former Army soldier that he is, the answer to that is listening to "Pershing's Own" Army Band, but the Army band wasn't playing tonight, and, for that matter, neither was the full Marine Corp Band. But the Marine Corp Dixie Band was playing, and on a Wednesday night, under a balmy 80 degree sunset, what could be better than a little dixie-land jazz?

So we sat on the steps looking straight out at this:

And my goofy husband tried to hold the Washington Monument in his hands:

While we ate a picnic dinner and took blatant product-placement photos:

Except my middle child, who is hardly ever truly goofy, but does love to pose:

And listened to amazing music while the sun set in front of us. My husband says these men, who are all the most incredible musicians, have masters and PhDs in music, and then join the military as enlisted men, with enlisted pay, to play for their country. Makes me wish I was more musically inclined...

It's so patriotic that my oldest and youngest ceased their feuding:

Mostly because my youngest was almost asleep by this point!

And, after a month and a half of feeling like maybe I made a huge mistake with my new camera, I finally figured out how to take decent photos with it. And almost every one of the 140 photos I took between the hours of three and nine turned out pretty good. And some of them were great.
And the best part? I completely relaxed and enjoyed it, because I managed to exceed my record for writing, and all before the sun went down!

So my word-a-thon totals today? 2,665!

That puts me at a total of 10,303 of 50,000.... one-fifth of the way!

29 days left.... my daily word requirement is down to 1,368 words!

The more I write, the easier it is getting.... and the more I enjoy it! It's getting good now!

Tomorrow... well, that's another day.


  1. See, then by the end of the WORD-A-THON you will be a writing MACHINE! LOL

    And I'm feeling much better now, thanks for asking. ;)

    (Have I ever told you your family is a-dor-a-ble???? SO CUTE!!)

    And I looooove the Smithsonian. Did you see the rock I let them ah, borrow, my Hope Diamond?? Someday I'll be bringing that back. ;)

  2. So fun! I wish I lived close to DC, I'd be taking afternoon trips just like you.

    Yes - you family is beautiful.

    Congrats! Great writing total for the day and you were able to get it out of the way early on too! I may need to check this coffee thing out . . .

    I know I will tonight. I'm going to watch The Dark Knight at 12:01 am, so I need to get my writing in early. Hopefully if my bosses are away, I can get it done. Not much to do today. Which is fantastic, if I can get in a good few hours, I'd be happy.

  3. Jen.... you are tooooo funny! I tried to take a picture of the Hope Diamond but the glass was covered with smudgey fingerprints.... ugh!

    I AM a writing machine now! If I could just get rid of those adorable but pesky kids I'd have more time to write! (JUST KIDDING!!!)(Sort of)

    Brittany - I started coffee very late into my thirties... about a year ago! I had to lace it with milk and a tad of sugar-free chocolate syrup (the diabetes thing you know, otherwise I'd have the real thing!). MMMMMMMmmmmmm!

    I tried Coke, but the caffeine keeps me up at night, but otherwise doesn't really do anything. Coffee, though..... it's a happy drug! My mood is definitely better on coffee (course it could be the chocolate!), and my mind moves much faster. But I can only do it before noon or I'll be buzzing all night!

    I'm a bit of a lightweight!

  4. I'll need the coffee tonight. I've noticed when I have coffee, I'm much more energetic. I drink the Monster drink - Low-carb in the morning. Its cold and crisp and I don't have to wait for it cool down.

  5. That's great progress!

    Coffee is very good.

  6. Wow - it was great to see your kids and fam. at D.C. Looks like you had a great time - and that camera - wow - it must be nice. Good thing you didn't skimp on it. ;-)

    I love your word-a-thon, how cool is that! My spanish ESL student is in D.C. today - he was very excited to discover more about the U.S. there. Keep rockin on in your word-a-thon girl - btw - O find a milkshake at night is a nice "night-cap" on an evening of writing papers. :-)