Monday, July 19, 2010

E for effort

To say we had a pretty busy weekend is putting it mildly, but it made me think about the word "effort". When you hear that word, do you think it generally has a positive or negative connotation? I tend to favor the more positive side, as in, "She made an effort" or "the effort paid off", but I guess there are others who would see it in a less rosy light, as in "that was a lot of effort."

Anyway, on Saturday we all headed up to Regent's Park for a Dartmouth picnic. I haven't been to a Dartmouth alumni club event in years, and this was the first one that wasn't an after-work type affair and which didn't require extensive and complicated arrangements to be made for after work. It was a very windy day - poor Noah was shivering for a few minutes while I searched for more clothes for him - and the turnout from the undergraduate years was pretty slim; most of the attendees were from Tuck, the business school. Although I was glad we made the effort to get there, it was pretty exhausting getting to and from, and it was a shame there weren't a few more people. I did enjoy trying to explain to Blake the Dr. Seuss connection. I'm not entirely sure he got it though!

After that we headed to Queen's Park where Blake and Matt enjoyed a drink with Uncle Chris before Matt headed home on the train and Blake and Noah and I headed to the swings, to kill a little time before my friend Rachel's 40th birthday party. It was a good party at the Irish pub in QP, but I was on designated driver duty since we were miles from home so I didn't really get to celebrate as I might normally have. We left there about 9:00, making a quick stop at the Sainsburys supermarket to get ingredients for several dishes that I needed to make for the next day.

On Sunday our road participated in the "Big Lunch", an event that happened nationwide where people were encouraged to get out and share a meal with their neighbors, friends, and community. Our road was closed, as was the road perpendicular and the one parallel, and it was such a cool day - all the kids loved the freedom and it was a lot of fun to have a pot luck lunch with our neighbors. The morning, I'll admit, was not that fun, with me in the kitchen making a carrot cake (that I then dropped in the refrigerator - it was salvageable, thank goodness), Matt doing his lentil salad (and after tasting it, saying that it tasted a bit fishy, and then our having a near argument over whether the pan he had used had been washed or not since some middle-of-the-week fish-based meal...it had...I think...), and then finally with lunchtime approaching, finishing off a spinach-artichoke dip before finally having a shower. It was one of those, "Why didn't I do this cooking yesterday?!" type mornings...

Blake was fascinated with this plastic toy house that someone had brought, and spent almost the entire day playing in it. He then also happened to hop on some kid's bicycle and ride it in circles a couple of times (although it did have training wheels/stabilizers). Matt just got a new camera and managed to catch it on video (me in the background going, "Blake, I'm not ready for this! I'm not ready for you to be able to ride a bike!"). I'll have to see if I can post it. At 4:30 the lady at #43 made tea to go along with all the cakes people had made; someone had made cupcakes with so many colors of frosting and I thought to myself that that must have taken forever!

With the dying Sunday sun and fading energy levels, we headed in from the street for bedtime. What an exhausting weekend it had been, but a nice one and definitely worth the effort.

View from our window as people were setting up



Blake stayed in this house nearly the whole time



Are you bored, Noah?

The cake table

Amazing cupcakes for every house number, some with names...


Just a shot of Noah looking cute

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