August 30, 2011

Celebration and Anticipation

As August draws to a close, we have so many reasons to celebrate:  birthdays, anniversaries, coming out of two natural disasters (within 5 days) unscathed, and anticipating the beginning of a brand new chapter of our lives!

anniversary cake

August has always been one of my favorite months.  Yes, it’s hot.  Yes, its arrival means that summer freedom is coming to a close and school will soon be back in session.  But it’s also the month of my birthday!  (And my mom’s; I love that we share the same day.)  For over a decade, it was also the month of an annual extended family beach trip.  And for the last three years, it’s been the month of Brian’s and my wedding anniversary.  So it’s a great month.

white cake slice

This year August was even more eventful than usual.  I spent almost every weekend working on a film (rather than my usual sleeping in and going to the farmers market and cooking and blogging).  I was also in the midst of a will-we-or-won’t-we-be-moving-across-the-country-next-month quandary, which was causing me more than a little anxiety.

white cake with buttercream
Happily, everything seems to be turning out even better than we’d hoped.

dinner at st. arnolds

A couple of days before my birthday, I was offered a wonderful and unique opportunity for a new job at an organization whose work I admire and that is actually in the same field as my graduate degree. (Imagine that.) I accepted the position on the morning of my birthday, which happened to also be the same day as my first earthquake ever. Maybe it means that this coming year is going to be particularly …. vibrant? Moving? Earth-shaking? Or maybe it doesn’t mean anything.

moules frites

The new job means a new city and a cross-country move. Actually, we’re moving back home. We’ll be within driving distance of our families, close to lots of friends, and finally in a position to get a house with a yard, where I’ll finally get to grow some vegetables of my own(!).  

strawberry cake

I've learned a lot in my 5 years in DC. We’ve enjoyed our city life, but we’re at a point where being close to our families is a priority, where the comforts and ease of small-town living are more alluring, and the inconveniences of the city are starting to outweigh the advantages. A five- to ten-minute commute is also pretty appealing.

birthday candlesGuess what?  I blew them all out in one breath.

Our destination town is Fayetteville, where Brian and I first met and where we both attended the University of Arkansas. Fayetteville is a charming place nestled in the beautiful Ozark Mountains.  It’s a top college town and boasts a lively arts scene, a brand-new American art museum (nearby), and a 60-stall farmers market.  It’s a place where college football passions run high and cost of living runs low.  It’s also the home of some of my favorite people in the world.  

strawberry cake slice

Oh, but it does get hot there.  And there’s no Trader Joe’s within a 199-mile radius. (The closest one is exactly 200 miles away.  I checked.)  Whole Foods is 180 miles away.  I’m already anxious about where we’ll find our favorite cheeses.  (Yes, I mean you, Santa Teresa.) Is it possible to buy cheese online?   On the upside, there is a great locally owned natural foods store (a co-op, in fact) that I’m excited to explore.

September 28 will officially be our last day in the District.

DC to AR

John F. Kennedy said that “Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm.” 

He knew what he was talking about, and there are a number of things we won’t miss about the city, including the WMATA with its myriad problems and those of the DC/MD/VA drivers who refuse to use their blinkers or turn their lights on in the rain.

rooftop view of DC

On the other hand, there are plenty of things we will miss about DC. I’ll miss my kitchen and its humongous island (but hopefully I’ll find a new one with equally excellent counter space). We’ll miss having the year-round Dupont farmers market and our neighborhood14th and U farmers market, Ethiopian food, and great grocery stores.  We’ll miss the U Street Corridor; wine happy hour and bocce at Vinoteca; fried oysters and gypsy jazz at 1905.  I’ll miss the shopping (but not the inconvenience of getting there).  We'll miss impromptu weekend trips to New York City that don't require a plane ticket. We’ll miss the view from our rooftop deck and seeing the Washington Capitals play live.   We’ll miss the parish we’ve grown to love and the beautiful Masses at the Basilica.  Most of all, we’ll miss our DC and New York friends. But we'll have great excuses to come back and visit.

spritz on the roof
So, here’s to August 2011, and all that the next year has to offer!


jxxc said...

Can't wait for you to get in a somewhat reasonable driving distance! :) And your anniversary cake looks amazing!

Elizabeth said...

Thank you! We can't wait either!!

Caroline France said...

Aw, that almost made me cry :)

Elizabeth said...

Caroline, you're so sweet! Can't wait to live in the same place! :)

Francescangeli said...

You will be closer to me too! I am so glad I have yet another wonderful reason to visit Fayetteville more often! Good luck with the move. And let me know if y'all stop in Saint Louis. Love you!

Elizabeth said...

Yay! And we'll be up to St. Louis occasionally to see Brian's family, so hopefully we'll get to see you more often! You are always welcome with us in Fayetteville! :)

Rae said...

Congratulations on your job! I hope that your move goes amazingly well and that this next phase of your life is full of joy.

Maggie said...

I just got caught up... I'm so very happy for you and this next huge chapter! I wish you all the best... and I know DC will miss you!

Elizabeth said...

Thanks, Maggie! It's too bad we never got to meet in person. I love following along with your house renovations and other adventures. Hopefully, we'll be in a similar boat house-wise(but not in a boat house or a houseboat) before too long!

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