Friday, January 30, 2009

Having fun.

Here are a few fun things we've done lately:

Two weeks ago we went and visited my brother's family, armed with a present for my niece Natalie's sixth birthday.

I decided several years ago that for each of my nieces' sixth birthdays, I would get them an American Girl historical doll. Our birthday gifts are usually much, much more modest, believe me, but I just think those dolls are so neat. So Natalie was the fourth niece to get her AG doll, and I got her Samantha.

She seemed to like her! This was the first time I've actually been able to give a doll in person, all my other nieces live too far away.

So there are two nieces left who have yet to turn six, one next year and one the year after that. It's fun to do something special for them when they're right at an age to really enjoy it. I like being an aunt.

For dinner that night, my cousin Trina and her husband Brian came over, and I finally got to see their baby boy Tristan, who is six months old. He's so precious!

I love holding babies. Tristan is very alert and loves to look all around and smile at people.

The girls like him, too.

I tried to take a lot of pictures, I really did, but two active girls and a squirmy baby don't make for good photo ops. But we had a really great evening...the adults got to talk and talk, and the girls played, and the baby hung out on various people's laps till he fell asleep.

We hadn't seen Trina and Brian in a year or two, so it was super to spend some time catching up. They are both smart and funny and just very good people. Baby Tristan totally lucked out, getting them for a mom and dad.

The next morning, we stopped off in Charlottesville on our way home and met my cousin Alan and his girlfriend Krista for lunch on the downtown mall. This time we had such a good time, I never even remembered to take my camera out of my pocket! I think I need my scrapbooker's club membership revoked.

We went to a restaurant called Himalayan Fusion for lunch, which is one of the things I love about C-ville (funky restaurants) and stopped into several used bookstores, which is another thing I love about C-ville (people there read), and then we had gelato, which is yet another thing I love about C-ville (fancy ice cream.) I bought a biography of Catherine the Great, a book about Richmond burning at the end of the Civil War, and a book about the Jamestown colony.

I am a big fan of my cousin Alan, so I was curious to meet Krista, and I liked her a lot. She's super-smart and we had a big long conversation about books. In other words, she completely filled my requirements for Alan's girlfriend. Hee! It was another terrific time of just talking and laughing with two good people.

I realize, re-reading this, that smartness seems to be something I look for and appreciate in a person. In my experience, smartness usually goes hand-in-hand with niceness. Now I know there are some smart, mean people out there (Dick Cheney springs to mind) but in my experience, the smart folks I've known are also super people.

Also in my experience, stupid seems to go hand-in-hand with mean. In general.

Speaking of Dick Cheney, last weekend, we went to see the movie about his old boss: "Frost/Nixon." Richard Nixon, another smartie but baddie.
It was a good movie. Funny, interesting, and a great character study. You don't have to know a whole lot about Watergate to enjoy the movie, it's really more about a president who broke the law and the very unlikely person who made him look hard at what he'd done and finally take some responsibility for it.

So then on the drive home, Todd and I had a long chat about why Nixon got caught and yet Bush 2 has gotten away with crimes that seem much worse to me than anything Nixon and his co-horts did. This is also why I love my husband, because he'll talk about Watergate with me. Smart and nice. Last night we were watching TV and this funny phrase kept coming up, and I turned to him and said, "We need to add this to our..." and he said, "Lexicon?"

And I swear that made me want to jump his bones right there. 'Cause smart and nice is sexy, too!

Have a fun weekend!