It's been an exciting week here in my world. In both good and bad ways.
1. Last weekend, my husband and I escaped to a luxury boutique hotel in the city of my birth, Baltimore. It was lovely. Really lovely. The Hotel Monaco (A Kimpton Hotel) originally was the B&O Railroad's headquarters building. Built in my beloved Beaux Arts style, the building originally opened in 1906. My uncle, an engineer whom I once insulted by asking what it was like to drive a train, worked in this building. I didn't realize how lucky he was until this weekend. Go look at the pictures -- really, they are gorgeous. In keeping with the "it's a great weekend for architecture" theme, I was blown away by the building next door -- One Charles Center. I learned the next day that it had been designed by Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe. A super cool experience was looking out our window at night and into this office building. It was so amazing that I tried to take a picture, but all I got was the reflection of my flash on the window. I can't describe it well, but if you have ever played with a dollhouse, you will know the feeling I had as I looked at all the little conference tables and offices illuminated from within, shining out into the night. So cool.
2. We spent a wonderful morning at the Walters Art Gallery just up the street from our hotel. We spent almost all our time on the fourth floor with the 19th century paintings. My favorite was called An Accident by a painter whom I'd never heard of before -- a painter with a very, very impressive name: Pascal Adolphe Jean Dagnan-Bouvret. I loved it for a weird reason -- the bowl of bloody water in the foreground look so luminous. It was really amazing.
3. Habemus Papam! I was so excited watching St. Peter's Square and all of the excitement there. I admit I was like "Bergoli-WHO?". But Pope Francesco (I'm sorry, I'm going to call him Franceso to myself) seems like a wonderful choice, straddling many themes. I like his emulation of Il Poveretto, St. Francis of Assisi. My weekend in Assisi while on the Rome semester and then, later on my honeymoon, showed me the power a personality can have on a place. So many hundreds of years later, St. Francis still lived in Assisi. I think we are blessed to have a Holy Father who thinks the spirit of St. Francis is something we should all emulate. (and not the schlocky 70's version of St. Francis either -- the St. Francis who would do the radical in service of the Lord).
4. My children have a monster mommy. At least they would tell you that. But I've been getting tough with them and it's really gratifying to see them respond.
5. Showing my crazy side, however, we are also reading and studying the epic of Gilgamesh, using Geraldine McCaughrean's Gilgamesh the Hero. We are all loving it. I'm loving the idea of introducing epic poetry to an 8 year old and a 6 year old. They are loving the attention and drawing pictures of Gilgamesh. McCaughrean evidently specializes in retelling this kind of story, so we may move on the her versions of the Iliad and the Odyssey after this. Lit Trad I by the age of 10!!!!
6. Exercising has been at a minimum this week, and I've really fallen off the tracking bandwagon. Busy and discouraged. Need a break from thinking about it. Anxious that I'm supposed to go back to the doctor in April and I probably won't be where I want to be. URRRGH!
7. Going to FLA in 11 days to see my parents. Chickadees are really excited by the concept of flying. I'm less enchanted by the thought of travelling alone with them and the fact that we are not able to be seated together. We'll see how it goes.