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Ok so it was forever ago, but we drove down to NYC for the 4th of July. Some kind family friends let us crash with them on the floor of their studio apartment.  One of our goals for the weekend was to check some items off my food bucket list which was AWESOME. Authentic potato knishes for breakfast, then a second breakfast of creme brûlée donuts from Donut Plant (daaaaang and #1 pregnancy craving unfortunately), falafel plate from the Halal Guys food cart,  then a walk over to Levain for their famous chocolate chip cookies and some ramen (me) and pork buns (ted) from Momofuku. The actual 4th, we mostly spent in line for the Rain Room at the MOMA, and then exploring the rest of the museum which was way cooler than I remember it being. It is really fun to go to art museums with Ted because he still remembers a lot of what he learned in his art history class he took in high school. We faced the crowds off the westside highway to see the fireworks over the Hudson later that night. It was a complete mob scene. The cops kept trying to herd us away from the area we were standing and no one watching the fireworks around us was even speaking English. It was one of those things that you can do once, and never feel like you have to do again:) Not that we didn’t have fun.

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Ted’s sister Maggie and her husband Al recently joined the east coasters club by moving to Virginia. We are really excited to have them a little bit closer, and we got to take advantage of it a few weeks ago when Al planned a surprise meetup in Washington DC for Maggie’s birthday. We were hiding out in the hotel room when they arrived, and Maggie was a little creeped out because she thought they were opening some random person’s room when she heard us. It was a really nice, low pressure tourist situation because Ted and I had been there recently and Maggie and Al only live about an hour and a half away so they can go back pretty easily if they want to. Mostly it was fun to just be together. We rode a boat on the Potomac, saw the stairs from the exorcist (apparently) on Georgetown campus, the Albert Einstein statue and Lincoln memorial, and ate a delicious meal at Founding Farmers.

On August 22nd, what do you suppose happened, but a few BIRTHDAY MIRACLES just for me. Well first, we started seeing the road behind my office getting blocked off and then the news slowly spread that President Obama was in town, and was in fact eating lunch in a restaurant I had just been to two days before! It was awfully nice of him to stop by for my birthday, even if the first family didn’t entirely make it up to my desk. And then, the computers crashed at work which led to me getting to go home two hours early!

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A few days before my birthday, I started joking with Ted about the concept of “birthday week” and he really took it to heart. Not a single dish was washed by this pregnant lady the whole week. On the weekend, we got to go camping-a sort of grand finale for a while, before the cold comes, before the baby comes. It was just us, our big orange tent, and the great outdoors. AKA probably all of Western New York and their dogs. State park camping in NY is not the Utah/Idaho/find a random solitary spot in a canyon and pop a tent kind of camping we are used to/spoiled with. But there is kind of a sense of community on the campgrounds and that’s it’s own sort of nice.

Ok, this is getting long so I better cut it off here.

*Bonus game: watch Elise look more and more pregnant throughout the months