On Thursday, the day after I was feeling down enough to leak a little of it into that last post, I found a bright blue envelope in my box at work. Bright blue envelopes mean some sort of administrative action has happened- like being fired or getting a time off award. I took it back to my office, opened it, and immediately texted our favorite babysitter to see if she was free on Saturday night. And then my vision got blurry because you guys, in that envelope was a very surprise $500 spot bonus for my efforts in drafting a 50-page narrative on a certain element of securities law that was to be added to our intranet reference page. It was an assignment I'd volunteered and then cursed for the 5 weeks it took me to do it, but I like writing and I wanted to start getting my name out there in the SEC ether, so I did it. I had no idea monetary bonuses were even possible at the government, and I think they're pretty rare, but there must have been some funds left in the budget this quarter and $500 of them are mine.
And so, because we've been doing so well on our budget (and despite my occasional complaining, it really hasn't been a big sacrifice- we're eating amazing food and new recipes at home and exploring every free thing our city has to offer. The kids love it all and have no idea there is a reason why mommy doesn't run errands or buy shoes any more and we spend a whole lot more time at the zoo and various parks than we used to), I decided we were taking at least a quarter of that check and going OUT. Our sitter was free and JP and I dressed up (I wore the dress in this post, with sky high camel colored heels, and a belted trench coat 1" longer than the dress, creating the far more exciting than reality illusion that I was naked underneath) and headed out to a snazzy, hip, delicious sushi bar with the world's best happy hour. We shared a sofa in the bar area and ate 7 rolls, 2 entrees, 2 appetizers, and 5 drinks for a grand total of $100- the exact amount I'd hoped to spend. We strolled over to a gelato place to indulge a little more before heading home. It was 3 hours and $150 of the best evening we've had in a long time.
Earlier that day was Landon's last game for the indoor soccer winter season. Claire and I don't generally attend games. JP coaches, so he's very involved on the field and I spent nearly all my time wrangling Claire and missing any moment in which Landon has the ball. We've found our time is best served by the boys going to soccer and stopping for a special (and now nearly sacred) donut on the way home, while the girls go to Sprouts and buy all the food for the week. We've all enjoyed this division of labor, but Landon asked Claire and I to come for the last game, and so come we did.
And of course, missed everything because Claire's perfect behavior lasted for only one period; a period in which Landon was sitting on the sidelines waiting to sub in. But I did get to snap a picture of warm-up with Coach JP:
And the team meeting/medal ceremony with Coach Phil (love that Claire is in the mix; she doesn't understand a world where she can't do whatever Landon does, and only the giant net between the field and the spectators kept her out of the whole game):
And my favorite, the boys with their medals (because Coach Daddy got one too):
This morning Claire overheard me telling JP that I was going to run to the grocery store to pick up the few remaining items we couldn't get at Sprouts. Moments later, she marched into the room and announced, "I'm ready to go with you Mama!". And so she was (once we added shoes to the ensemble).
I am now getting down to work- my first time to work on a weekend since I switched jobs last March, but I have a busy week of testimony ahead of me. I spent at least 3 hours last night dreaming about the testimony and all the ways it could go wrong, but hopefully a few more hours with the documents, outline, and a few big fat chewy chocolate chip cookies will help!