monday mash up, labor day 2012 edition

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1. Friday night party food | 2. Much-needed down time | 3. Annie's most favorite instagram photo ever | 4. FatMumSlim's Photo-a-day, every Saturday at baseball | 5. Waiting for Dinner | 6. No Frill Grill | 7. Norfolk @ Night, we took a drive (and it's not all tattoo parlors, really!) | 8. They take Callum for the night AND give us carrot cake? Really? | 9. Why do the dogs always come lie on the rug the second I've finished vacuuming? | 10. Better him than me on the roller coaster | 11. FatMumSlim's Photo-a-day, Father | 12. Finish off the night with ice cream (and another flooding rain storm, of course.)

So we've had a pretty nice weekend, all things being equal. Callum's weekend was pretty awesome-sauce, actually. Not at all shabby for the first weekend of the school year. We had a neighborhood get together on Friday night. Just a super-casual front yard gathering. My next-door bestie put it together when we realized that we've had a lot of turn over in the past several months and we barely recognize half of our neighbors these days. It was quite perfect actually. Although maybe a wee bit hot. Practically everyone on our block showed up at some point, and there were kids everywhere! The older kids played badminton and sardines and the littler kids rode their scooters up and down the sidewalks.

I took pictures, with the thought toward a blog post, but let's face it that kind of photography is simply not my strong point. Oh, how I wish it were. I had such high hopes. I haven't looked at my photos yet, but if there's anything good, I'll pop them on for Wednesday. Or maybe I'll do plums.

While I vacuumed and cleaned out the fridge, Callum had a sleepover, went paddle boarding, to an end of summer beach concert and then to Busch Gardens with Neel. See him there on the Alpengeist? More power to him; totally not my scene!

Neel has two grants due on Wednesday so this Labor Day weekend has been much about labor for him, for sure. If you've known me for any length of time, you know that this late-August/early-September time frame is always a rough one for us. Starting school, birthdays, I'm generally in the thick of headaches (although this year has not been that bad), and Neel is oftentimes totally snowed under at work. It's almost always hard. Are there any times of year that are like that for you? It's now for us, and January a bit too. Every year, we sink a little. But we'll pull it back from the brink. I've learned this much for sure. We always do.

As you can see from Annie's favorite instagram photo ever (!), our bathroom reno continues apace. Sort of. We've hit a bit of a snag. A snag besides the fact that the guys showed up and caught me and Callum in our jammies again. (To be fair, they'd apparently called the night before but because we were out with the neighbors we never knew.) I think we can work it out, but frustrating.

We did manage a nice dinner out while Callum was at his friend's house. Took some work to figure out what we wanted. For a small(ish) town, Norfolk has a lot of great restaurant options, and when you add in the beach there is plenty of wonderful food to choose from. We were too beat to head to the oceanfront and not really hungry enough to be in the mood for anything. We landed on an old standby where I was good and didn't order some of what I consider to be the best crinkle fries in the city! Neel and I never run out of things to talk about and there's been a lot going on lately, but we had a great talk at dinner Saturday night. Not just about what had been going on but how we were doing. Remember that whole busy vs. fulfillled thing I was talking about? Well, we're a bit of both, and it's not often we get to talk like this. We made some kinda big decisions. Ones I'm excited about.  As usual, Neel didn't talk enough and we're on different timelines (right Neel?!), but all these things we'll get worked out. I'm ready to do something big. And I love how you think you can know someone so well, be so lock step with them in so many ways and think you'll know how they'll react to something and then poof! They surprise you! Marriage is crazytown sometimes.

It was so nice to have Callum back home. They got rained out of the park and came home in a rainstorm. He has a love hate relationship with sleepovers. He does love going, but my boy is a homebody at heart. It's hard not to love that about him.

We have a big week coming up. I hope you guys are off relaxing today. Poor Callum will be doing homework and Neel will be writing. Happy Labor Day to us! We'll (finally) do Callum's back to school dinner tonight. We always take him out to dinner for back to school. He always picks hibachi. What do you guys have going on? xo