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Adopting in Ashburn

What began in France moved to Washington, DC and then the suburbs. Let the adventures in Ashburn continue.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Dorkus Heatherulus

dorkus heatherulus (door-kus hea-thra-lus) n. a being of a heather-ish nature who does dorky things. The twenty-something, dorkus heatherulus created a definition of herself using her own name as if she was a latin-based species.

So, tonight I wrote out this whole explanation/solution with all of the available side effects/repercussions/consequences outlined. A means of deciding on a plan. No better way then to read this to a trusted friend and advisor and have them praise you for your brilliant writing style and well-thought out arguments.


Or, they could take that nice flat manifesto (or whatever you want to call it), roll it up and whop you about the head with it.

Now, being that I read it on the phone, there wasn't much actual beating about the head. Also, because my masochism typically stops at a line far before physical abuse, I was not literally beating myself about the head. But I ought to have been.

Because when your life is basically on track and you have 97.65% of things figured out, YOU DON'T NEED A NEW PLAN. Your old plan is doing just fine. You have 2.35% of life-corrections to make.

"Attention, you're not yet three decades old. Life is probably going to teach you how to fix most of those missing percentage points. You may not learn to use the quadratic formula until you have mastered completing the square."

Okay- so the voice of God speaks to me in math metaphors. Get over it.

Go on. Stop laughing.

Still laughing?

Be careful, I'll whip out some serious physics language for you next.

So, my new plan is non-existent. My old plan, which was to keep striving for happiness is the plan. And I'm totally getting there. I have 2.35% points of happiness to look for in the great, wide world of my life. I am certain that once I have achieved my magic goal, that something will happen to throw a monkey wrench into my current formula for creating happiness that will then force me to re-evaluate my plan.

However, if the only plan is happiness, then really, the plan can stay the same and the means of completing the plan should be re-evaluated. But I'm not there yet. Because, you know, I have something like 78.63% of my life to go (assuming I make it to my target age, which I'm not telling you because I think some of you may be able to do math that is not as complicated as algebra 1).

I am metaphorically going to go and ice my head (with some creamy frozen deliciousness probably). I'm thinking about strategies for tomorrow's happiness. I may just have to wing it.

Love always, ~Heather

P.S. I do not think dork is a bad word. I'd like to think that the word is often applied to those who pretty much have things together but understand math metaphors. And occasionally run into stuff because they're reading and walking. Or otherwise break the traditions of "cool"; which are truthfully, overrated.

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday Morning Update

Just a quick weekend update:

Last night was Paula's birthday party. Although we didn't get to Pictionary while I was there, just hanging out and meeting/talking to everyone was awesome. I ducked out a little early so i could get home to let Dana in, as she is staying with me this weekend.

I slept in exceptionally late this morning (wake-ups at 7:30 and 8:52, but not rolling out until 10:07) and then vegged on the couch with Dana, Brendan and Dave for awhile (the guys just coming in from a run).

Now, we're prepping for a day out - lunch with Mason and Bill, a trip to Ross (our fave discount store) and then the game and cookie-bakeoff.

Shower's free. See you later!

Love always, ~Heather

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I've had some personal craziness going on in my life lately and have been asking many of my friends and family for advice.

My family is always incredibly encouraging and their advice is predictable, but I need to hear it nonetheless. It's always the same thing: be yourself.

My friends have varying advice from playing games to having patience to hoping for a change to this last bit: empower.

To empower someone is to give them strength to do something. At HOBY, I spend a lot of time empowering high school sophomores to become leaders. Now, since the best form of leadership is leadership by example (I think), it can be a challenge to empower others to lead while you yourself are leading.

However, there is a way to do it that comes pretty naturally after awhile - you lead from behind. You are the cruise control as it were (if this was a car analogy, which it is) and you let them take the wheel. You have steady control over the speed of the situation - the velocity and acceleration are all up to you, but as drivers, they get to do all the twisting and turning and checking of mirrors to make sure it was right.

So I am taking two pieces of advice to my crazy situation - I will be myself and empower the people who are also caught up in the craziness. In fact, that is really only one piece of advice, because under normal circumstances I'd like to think of myself as an empowerer (yup, just made that word up), but under crazy circumstances, I sometimes lose confidence even in myself.

And yes, I am being intentionally vague. I apologize for those of you who may be slightly out of the loop. Unfortunately, this medium is rather obviously publicly available and in my own megalomanic way, I like being able to keep everyone inside some of my thoughts without necessarily having to spill the beans on my whole life. You'll just have to get some of that patience I've been searching for.

Anywho, I'm off to finish the book club book.

Love always, ~Heather

P.S. - I'm loving blogging moderately regularly again.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008


Je demande, en avance, votre pardon parce que je sais que le temps entre mes posts en francais est inexcuseable. Et aussi, parce que je vais me cache un peu en francais. (Pardon encore si mon francais est mal.)

La patience. Tout ma vie j'ai cherche, j'ai attende mais je n'arrive pas a la patience.

Comme prof, je pense que j'ai un peu plus de patience. Comme ami, bien sur. Mais comme humain ou femme, jamais.

Moi, je sais que je veux et je fais quelque chose. C'est mon personalite, et je ne le regrette jamais.

Maintenant que je commencais, je comprendre que c'est pas un probleme. Je commence les phrases encore et encore mais la verite, la verite a mon ame, est que quand je n'ai pas la patience, je suis souvent mieux si je sais ou si j'avais fais quelque chose que si j'avais attendu.

L'histoire arriere ces penses ...

Il etait une fois ... un festival de vin. Moi et un jeune homme qui on va appeller Cag (un acronyme) passait le soir ensemble et avant minuit, on a embrasser. Pendant tout la semaine j'etait sur un nuage. Hier soir, on a parle et j'ai demande pourquoi il ne me toucher pas - pas de tout. Et il a dit qu'il veux rester comme les amis - on avait la magie, mais il veulent plus d'un connection. En fin, on va rester les amis.

Je prefere que je sais les choses comme ca en avance. Peut-etre si j'etais plus timide, il n'avait dit pas ca et je pouvais rester sur le nuage. Mais meme comme j'adore les nuages et les penses de quelqu'un, je prefere la verite. Meme si il fait un peu de mal maintenant.

Donc, apres tous mes efforts en francais, j'arrive au commencement: j'nai pas la patience. Mais, c'est moi.

Gros bisuous a tous. J'espere que l'anglais n'est pas trop difficile de comprendre (j'ecrie dans les images et meme en anglais ce n'est pas toujours clair!).

Excuse moi maintentant, on a parler hier soir jusqu'au 3h30 de matin (les nouveaux amis, ils bavardent) et je suis fatique. Je vous embrasse tres fort! Bon nuit!


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On a Cloud

I want to tell you about my absolutely fabulous week.

The wine festival at Mt. Vernon on Sunday evening was absolutely splendid. I'm not sure if I have already posted about this, or just talked about it enough to feel like I did. I'll check back and post about it later if I haven't. It can definitely fill its own post.

Monday started a busy week at work where everything that could go right did, and everything that could go wrong was able to be avoided or immediately counteracted. I got my whole to-do list finished and wasn't stressed about the occasional later evenings. I figured out how to do podcasting for our event on Tuesday with the help of two of my colleagues.

Monday night I made pie and ate it with my two neighbors Steve and Mike. I love that my neighbors and I get along and are able to hang out either on the front walk or around a pretty decent apple pie I baked from apples Steve and his family picked over the weekend.

Tuesday brought the pleasant surprise that an op-ed I had helped write and edit had been reprinted - word for word - in the Tennessean. Of course, I was ghost-writing (hence the lack of a link for now), but my words made it in a huge name paper in the city the presidential debate was happening in on the morning of the debate. Totally awesome.

I watched the debate with Cag on Tuesday night, which was fun. It is always interesting to be able to debate the debate. Bonded with Travis on the phone on the way home. I love how much closer I am to my siblings now than I was before!

On Wednesday night I got to play volleyball with my old team - for potentially the last time. We lost, which is sort of our MO (modus operandi), but it was still good fun and moderately good exercise. Afterwards I hung out with Paula and got to meet her new significant other, which was nice (after hearing so much about him). I also debriefed on my own boy situation with her and her roommate (who also happens to be a work colleague), which helped me get a few things in perspective.

Thursday was the day of the awesome podcasting revelation at work and when I got most everything settled down for the major events we're having on Tuesday. Then at night I went and saw Altar Boyz with Ginny, Paula and her roommate (need to check on the okay-ness of name posting). It was the most hysterical show I've ever seen. Our tickets weren't all together, so the house manager found us new seats as a group. Front row center. So fabulous. My face hurt so bad from all of the laughing and smiling. Highly, highly recommended (a reasonable price and metro accessible up at the Bethesda Theater).

Friday we did alot to prep for the upcoming weekend before the aforementioned big events on Tuesday. Then, it was finally time to go home. I really felt a strong desire to have my house clean before the weekend. With so much going absolutely swimmingly in my life, having the house be clean just seemed like the sort of icing I could put on my own cake.

After work I talked to Aunt Ro for about an hour, dishing about my wonderful week and how I felt like my life was just ... glorious. I was so happy and it felt like I was on a cloud. I'd been giddy, smiling, laughing, and barely sleeping all week from the happiness (seratonin apparently keeps me awake - or at least gives me very realistic dreams).

First however, I went for a long walk with my neighbor Mike - including a stop for ice cream (my not-so-secret sugary passion). He also helped me hang this mirror case I got at a garage sale in Ocean City over Memorial Day weekend which has been waiting to be hung for quite awhile now. Then I vegged out and watched my TiVoed Grey's Anatomy.

Finally I was energized enough to clean the house. Managed to do my room 90%, the upstairs bath, vacuumed the living room and my bedroom, swept the kitchen, foyer and dining areas, cleaned the counters and stove and did the remaining dishes (that were mine to do anyway). I even dusted.

Now I must say that I had a slight ulterior motive for my cleaning splurge, but now that it is all so clean (or at least tidy), I feel a freedom from my mess that will hopefully motivate me to stay on top of things.

Of course, Saturday morning brought the rest of the cleaning and some errands before I ran out to the CCSP for the 12:30 kickoff. We had a good (if not turnover heavy) USC win over Kentucky - which means my party next week (buzz me if you're interested) to watch the LSU vs. USC match-up will probably be in the evening.

I went to the bookstore and grabbed The Secret Life of Bees for the new book club I'm joining in two weeks and I also found a killer cocktail dress for under $8 (with tax) on the way home. On a side note, I started reading the book walking most of the way home, skipped the house and went and sat on a park swing in the beautiful weather to read some more.

Followed all that with a nap, and then hanging out with Cag to watch the LSU vs. Florida game with his friend Robin (totally cool chick). After half time we switched to a movie, Awakenings with Robin Williams and Robert Deniro. It was a really good movie. Also highly recommended.

Pair all of this with amazing weather, artichokes and tomatoes growing in the garden, some adult steps in my personal finance corner, and the prospect of a visit from Dana next weekend and going to Iowa two weeks after that ... well it just lines up to being heavenly.

If my personal quest is happiness, then this week was surely proof that I am on my way. It isn't to say bad/disappointing/unfortunate things didn't happen this week. Because, believe me, they did. But what makes a week happy and oh, this good, is that the good greatly outweighed the bad. And, if I never had to deal with challenges, I'd never truly enjoy the really great things (like the majority of this week).

So YAY to fall and friends and football and a productive week in my work and home lives. It's been a good week.

Love always, ~Heather

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Friday, October 03, 2008

Is this heaven?

No, it's Iowa.

And I'll be heading there to visit one of the greatest friends I've ever had, Caroline in a just a couple of weeks.

Caroline has been to visit me in basically* every place I have lived since we've known each other. Considering how frequently I move, that's a pretty big deal. (*She missed a place I lived in for less than 6 months, so it doesn't really count.) We've hung out in plenty of states and countries: North & South Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Connecticut, New York, Maryland, Indiana, France, Spain, Belgium, and Germany - to name a few.

So, to have a chance to visit her in Iowa, her home state, is pretty exciting. Plus, this gets me out of having to do something outrageous for Halloween - I can only travel with a carry-on.

More than getting to see her and get out of DC for a little bit, I'm totally pumped about having the freedom to just book a trip to the Midwest. I mean, financially I've had this money put away for two years - but being able to find good timing for both of us ... anyway, I'm pumped.

This week at work has been long. I only got out of the office before 6 once and I passed 7 twice. I had to cancel my trip to New York with Malise. I didn't get to have dinner with my HOBY pals on Thursday because I couldn't get there in time.

I've had an interesting week outside of work too. Productive with some things - like mowing the lawn and cooking good meals for myself - and way behind in some other rather important household stuff and mailing Travis' birthday present.

This trip gives me something really great to look forward to - and I think we have a bye that week so C and I won't even miss a game.

I'm rambling. Good night y'all.

Love always, ~Heather

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