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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.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Early January Adventures

Let me tell you about the slam-bang week/weekend I had.

It started, as weeks often do, on Sunday. Then, it progressed, day by day, to Thursday. (I'm skipping the slightly less interesting parts.) Thursday night I went out with a couple of friends and their friends to the Crystal City Sports Pub to watch the National Championship game. I loved hanging out with my fun crowd and meeting a bunch of new people as well.

The highlight of Thursday night was the SEC dominance. Oh yeah, baby. Three SEC National Champions in a row. It makes me feel a little better about how poorly the Gamecocks seem to fare at least. The low point was definitely that the game never seemed to end. Ever. It was the longest game of all time. Travis got caught by a Sports Illustrated photographer as he was headed into the game with his girlfriend, which was pretty exciting.

Friday, work went well and I got a bunch of posts finished for a blog I work on there. Mind you, we only post one a day over there (which makes me feel productive, and yet bad that I can't manage to write here as frequently), but I know that the next couple weeks are going to start getting much busier and I won't have as much time to spend researching really exciting pieces. Having some in the queue makes it less urgent. [Happy to share the link to the work blog via email, if you are inclined to spend more time reading my prose. It's much less tangential over there :)]

Friday evening, I headed up to a friend's house for my church choir party. Of course I don't have photos, but I may be able to secure a little ridiculous video later this week that our cantor took. Basically, after eating some scrumptious food, we hung around the piano and sang songs from the 1920's to today, ending with "Goodnight Ladies/Pick A Little" from Music Man. When I finally looked at my watch, I realized I wouldn't be getting home until about 12:15, and oops, I had to be up early, because ...

Saturday we went up to the Volleyball House to play in a tournament. Our team did well, earning a point towards our total in the region and advancing to the semi-finals. We even took our semi-final game to a third match. Alas, we were unable to avoid their hitting rally. But, it was some of the best playing our team did all day, and it was incredibly fun. I love hanging out with my new teammates and I feel like I'm getting the rhythm of play much easier now.

I've played mostly libero, which is funny, since I used to get substituted in the back row for a very strong inclination to shank the ball (shank - to send the ball flying wildly out of bounds, typically considered really poor playing). If you're not familiar with the still pretty new position of libero, it is someone who basically plays defense in the back row and does A LOT of passing the ball.

I know not everyone is as intimate with volleyball as I am, so a libero is similar to a designated hitter in baseball or a special teams receiver in football. We're in the game to offensively give the setters the best chance at a good set (which often results in a good spike) and defensively to get to the balls that are hardest hit by the opposing team. Needless to say, you can't shank the ball too often and be good in this position.

But, because our team captain is super nice, she also let me play right side for awhile. I won't explain this position too much, except to say it means I get to hit the ball up at the net (play in the front row) and also serve. Serving was my specialty before I hurt my shoulder, and I'm just now getting it back. I was really thrilled to pull my team out of a HUGE point deficit by serving a number of balls in a row that the other team just couldn't send back - including at least three aces (sort of like a strike, because the other team misses the ball entirely).

I have no idea how many I served, but I'm sure that after they took a timeout, I served at least three more times before we tied the game and they got the ball back. (It's an old playing habit that I don't look at the score mid-game unless I'm a captain or coach - every play is worth the same amount of points, so you dig deep on all of them - not just when you're down.) My shoulder is feeling all those serves (and a couple from the other games) today, but it was totally worth it. I'm really going to have to call my physical therapist and thank her for helping me get my arm back in shape.

After volleyball, the team went out to Galae Thai in Alexandria for dinner. It was super delicious and really great to recap with everyone. It's also nice to talk about non-volleyball things. I have a feeling I'm going to get to be pretty good friends with some of these girls and I'm really excited about that.

I got home around 11 and asked my neighbor to come and hang out with me so I wouldn't fall asleep icing up my aching shoulder, arm, and knees. He was kind enough to hang out for an hour (20 on, 20 off, 20 on again). When I got up this morning, it was obvious that the ice made a HUGE difference in my knees. I'm sure it helped my shoulder too, but since I can't remember the last time I played volleyball and didn't have to ice my shoulder, I'm not sure how much worse the soreness would have been without it. Hopefully next weekend will be a bit easier, since it will have been a week instead of a month in between playing.

Church was good this morning. Big water weekend with the baptism of Jesus. We sang some really fun music and I played the bells. I came home and got to talk to Dave for awhile, which was awesome since we seem to never see each even though we live in the same house. Then it was time for book club.

This month we read The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. I liked it. Meghan had tons of delicious fruit and some killer meatballs and mini quiche. I love our group and have so much fun talking with them. The book didn't provide too much fodder for conversation, but we did pick out a bunch of themes to get us going and then digressed on the usual paths. We were talking about Monty Python, and apparently, one of the new quotes for my personal quote wall is: "Sometimes, I'm sort of a square; so I just don't think it's funny." Everyone found it hysterical as I am - by comparison to other girls my age - almost always a square (or do I just make it seem that way?? [insert maniacal laugh]).

After that, it was just regular weekend stuff. Cleaned up a bit, took down Christmas decorations, made myself a leek and mushroom quiche for lunch this week, watched some TV, etc. etc.

I'm off to bed now, but in looking over the length of this post, I have to say that it seems like I'm doing pretty well on the 2009 resolutions so far. I may even have to stop saying I lead a boring life.

Big hugs,

~Heather

P.S. - During my proofread, I realized that my sentence order made it seem like we usual digressed into talking about Monty Python at book club, which, for the record, is not true. We almost always talk about movies in general, since four of us have worked in theaters and three were managers.

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