82.4 + 3.0 + 6.0 + 3.25 + 3.0 + 6.0 + 2.5 = 106.15
Things here got totally nutsy after my Mom's Swine Flu diagnosis, mostly because she and my Dad were scheduled to fly out here and babysit while Brendan and I were to go on vacation (I have a thing about not announcing vacations beforehand--something about posting online that my house will be empty totally creeps me out). So for a few days we were weighing whether to cancel or reschedule the trip, take Elliot with us, or leave him with a dear friend (who is completely amazing for agreeing to take him). In the end, my Dad never got flu symptoms, so he came out as planned and my Mom came out last Tuesday, after the doctor cleared her for travel and babysitting. So where did we go, you might ask. The answer--Miami Beach. And it was everything I had hoped for. Beautiful, clear beaches, nice weather, a comfy bed (in which we slept past 6:30 am), and time with my hubby away from work. We got to see our friends Junior and Melissa one evening, which we really enjoyed. We also went para-sailing, rented a wave runner, and ate some awesome Cuban food. I also discovered the Mojito. Have one. They're delicious. Here are a few pictures.
We arrived back in IL on Thursday (6/11), my Dad's birthday. Because it was both his birthday and we were in denial about the end of vaca, we went out to dinner at one of our favorite local places. On Friday, Brendan sadly had to return to work. I, on the other hand, played hooky and took my parents to Springfield to tour the Dana-Thomas House. It was an absolutely perfect day. I can't say enough good things about Springfield in terms of its preparedness for tourism. I didn't even print directions, we just drove there and easily found both the visitors center and nearby parking. Inside, they had walking and driving directions to nearby restaurants and attractions. While walking to a nearby restaurant (which was amazing) for lunch, someone from the visitors center asked if we were finding everything. I was totally impressed. And it didn't stop there. The tour of the Dana-Thomas House was also excellent. The tour started with a short video, then a volunteer led us through the 1902 Frank Lloyd Wright house. We weren't permitted to take pictures inside the house, but my Mom did take a few outside, which I'll post when she sends them. The inside has two (?) barrel vaulted ceilings, which I'm not sure I've ever seen in American residential architecture. He used them a few other times in his houses, apparently, though they are not a common feature of his design. The predominant theme in the art glass is an interpretation of Sumac, which I liked. There was a secondary butterfly theme in the glass, but the Sumac is the clear star. There are three musicians balconies in the house. Can you imagine having a quartet playing above your dining room? Wild. After the tour we went back to the restaurant where we'd had lunch and had some dessert before leaving town. It was a great outing.
On their last night in town, my Mom got some last Grandmothering in. I couldn't resist capturing it.
On Saturday morning I went to the park half an hour early to start my 6-mile long run, then came home to pick up Mom and Dad and take them to the airport. We finished out the weekend with a totally unplanned picnic with friends after church. I love, LOVE feeling like I have friends to whom I can say, "Hey, wanna go home, grab whatever you have in the 'fridge, and meet us at a park in an hour?" And they do. They show up, and we have a great time. That's what it feels like to feel at home someplace. And I love it. I finished the weekend by baking a loaf of cinnamon-raisin bread, scrapbooking, and watching In Plain Sight with Brendan.
This morning I jumped back into the reality pool with both feet. I'm feeling the pressure to keep moving my dissertation along. Today was the goal deadline I'd set for myself to finish the all-but-the-data draft of my third paper. I have most of that draft finished, but I've also done a significant amount of the data work, so I think I'm on track. Determined to inject something pleasant into the chaos, I went for my run after dinner. It was cool, and sunset was nice, and I settled in and enjoyed a short 2.5 mile run. I'm sort of inspired by stress to purposefully inject fun, even just small snippets, into as many evenings as possible. It makes for a nice life.