Archive for July, 2019

Awesome, wow

Posted in Family outings on July 16th, 2019 by c-had – 1 Comment

We saw Hamilton! I know many of you may have been on the Hamilton train for the past couple years, but we did not get on it until this year. Back in May, we bought tickets for the whole family to see it at the Hippodrome in Baltimore. Since we got the tickets, we’ve been non-stop Hamilton obsessed in our house. We listen to the soundtrack constantly, all of us read books about Alexander Hamilton (Jen and the girls read several, I just read the really long one), and we’ve been studying the history of the origins of our nation. Our favorite car-ride pastime is belting out lyrics to the song in a way that our children are both embarrassed by and happy to take part in.

Last week, we finally got to be in the room where it happens. The show was fantastic! Molly and Leah were so into it (especially Molly) that I could just watch them reacting, singing along, smiling, and cheering. We even got comments from the folks behind us that they loved how into it Molly was. Molly had to sit on the edge of her seat to see over the bar in front of us. She told us she didn't mind, because "the show is so good, you want to be on the edge of your seat.”



The one drawback for the show was our seats. Our tickets were the first row in the upper balcony, which we thought would mean we had a railing right in front of us (like at our knees). Instead, it meant there was an aisle in front of us (so lots of leg room) and then a railing. For me, this was perfect, as you can see from my view:

My seat

However, the others in our family don’t have my height. So, Jen’s view was more like this:

Jen's seat

Jen and Molly solves this by sitting forward on the edge of their seat. As mentioned above, this didn’t bother Molly one bit. Jen, however, would have preferred to sit elsewhere. Leah is so short she solved the problem by slouching a bit and watching the whole show under the railing.

Despite the seat problems, we loved the show and would love to go back (we’ve been entering the lottery to try to win tickets to go back this week, but I don’t have my hopes up). We are also talking about seeing it at the Kennedy Center in D.C. next year. We just can’t get enough Hamilton!

In the room where it happens

Savannah trip

Posted in Family visits, Trip on July 15th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

During the week of the 4th of July, we went to Savannah for the first time in years. This included us in our car, Grams and Aunt Caroline in another car (Uncle Charles was hiking in the Alaskan tundra at the time with his family), and Aunt EA, Uncle Scott, Charlie, and Max flying in from Texas. This was our first long road trip since Molly got her Nintendo Switch, and we created a very fancy system of holding up the Switch for the girls to see the screen involving the case she keeps it in, kitchen twine, and chip clips.

Car Nintendo

The cars decided to split the drive down into 2 days expecting traffic and delays (though it ended up being not too bad). We did most of the drive on the first day, and stayed in Florence, SC. We were very happy to find a Mellow Mushroom and a Bruster’s right across the street from our hotel.

Pit stop

The big reason for our trip to Savannah was to attend the revival of my extended family’s reunion gathering. My grandparents held this every year for decades. My aunt and uncle, who now live in the same house, revived the tradition this year. Of course, we had to get a picture on the dock right away. And, as you can possibly guess, Jen made all the clothes here except mine.

Happy Fourth read more »

Building shelves

Posted in Leah, Woodworking on July 3rd, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

I’ve been getting more and more into woodworking over the past couple years (as you may have seen when I made wands for Molly’s Harry Potter party). So, when Leah planned to move into her new room last summer, she asked me to build her some shelves. We planned them out together. She helped a bit with building in the early days, but it eventually just became my project to build.

It took way longer that I ever thought it would have thought. In all, it was about a year. Of course, there was lots of stopping and starting along the way as I got busy with other things. Also, there was a lot of learning how to do things and trial and error. And of course there are lots of tools, jigs, and other helpful things to buy and make to help out along the way. But as things warmed up this Spring I was determined to finally finish them.

Here are the completed shelves (well, mostly) in Leah’s room, loaded up with stuff.

Leah's loaded shelves

I said mostly completed. Immediately after loading up her shelves, it became apparent that the bin at the bottom needed a latch. The idea of the bin was to load it up with stuffed animals, but when they were stuffed in there, they would push the door open. So, I made a little latch to hold the door shut. I think I can now finally call the shelves done.

Shelves with latch

I’ll also show you one in-progress picture toward the end. This is the first time I’ve finished with an HVLP sprayer instead of a brush. I’m glad I did - it’s a much smoother finish and brushing on these giant shelves would have taken forever.


10 months after she moved in, Leah finally has her room set up. All the stuff that’s been on the floor waiting for shelves to store it is put away. All the things waiting to be hung on the wall are finally hung. I think it’s a pretty nice room.

Leah's room

Leah's room

And one more picture of just the shelves. Thanks to Lumberjocks user grimejr for the idea of putting a bin at the bottom.

Leah's shelves


Posted in Celebrations, Family visits, Molly on July 2nd, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Molly’s black belt test ended late, so we did not go out to celebrate that night. Fortunately, the next day was Grams’s birthday, so we went out to BJ’s Brewhouse to celebrate both Molly’s black belt and Grams’s birthday. After some delicious dinner, we of course ordered pizookies (which were also delicious). While waiting for these desserts, we gave Molly a present.

Earning her black belt was a really big deal, and we wanted to give Molly a big gift to commemorate it. We joined together with G’Mom, Grampa, and Grams to give Molly a trip to New York to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway. She and I will go up and see it in August. Molly was shocked.

Broadway gift

Molly was so excited. She’s talked about wanting to see this play so many times, but didn’t see this coming at all.


When our pizookies arrived, Grams got a special birthday one. We’ll celebrate her again in a couple days when we’re together with my siblings, but it was nice to get to celebrate on the day as well. Happy birthday, Grams!

Happy Birthday Grams

Tennis family

Posted in Leah, Sports on July 1st, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

We are a tennis-loving family. Well, at least half of the family is. Leah and I both play regularly and really enjoy it. This Spring, they started a Junior Team Tennis league, and Leah was happy to join a team.

Junior Team Tennis

Junior Team Tennis

Between lessons on Friday, team tennis on Saturday, and match play on Sunday, Leah was playing a lot of tennis this Spring. I’ve been playing a lot too, but I have no pictures to share with you.