Here are a few little things we did in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
Halfway through Advent, Frank took me to brunch in the city followed by a performance of Handel's Messiah at the Episcopalian National Cathedral.
Sadly, there aren't pictures of us from the day because sometimes I lack the courage to buttonhole random strangers for an impromptu photo shoot. If you'd like a visual, I was wearing the same outfit I wore for Christmas. Shameless outfit repeater. :)
Our little date started at Martin's Tavern. Even though we live near DC, we cook at home a lot of the time, and when we do eat out it's usually at Rockland's (the barbecue restaurant shown here and mentioned here, and where Frank would eat every day if I let him) or some other place in Arlington. So brunch in the city is quite a treat.
I absolutely adore this restaurant. Conveniently located in Georgetown, it has a cozy old-fashioned feel inside, with warm lighting and intimate booths. And the food was delicious!
After brunch we drove to the National Cathedral.
The architecture of it is just incredible. The pictures speak for themselves.
It was wet and drizzly out, and we were excited to get indoors. Even the doors were a work of art!
We had some time to spare so we visited the awesome gift shop. What is about about gift shops? I could spend hours browsing them... although honestly, I almost never end up buying anything.
Mostly we looked at Christmas stuff, but this wall hanging caught my attention. Hmm... I could make that. So I took a picture to remember how it looked. Isn't it pretty?
Finally we went to our seats. The ceilings bowled me over. I'm such a sucker for Gothic architecture. Whyyyyy, oh why, don't churches look like this anymore?
The pretty program and my ticket...
Even the podium was ornate and beautiful! (Is it still called a podium if it looks like this?)
After that I put away my camera to listen to the music. It was stunning—lovely Shawni describes it so well here. I love that Frank and I share this love for gorgeous classical music and can enjoy it together.
The rest of Advent was not so easy. Frank was going through finals, and that's always a really stressful time for him. Last time he had finals I was in Spain so I didn't go through that experience with him. This time I was there for all of it, and all I can say is, law school finals are rough. I'm so glad he only has to go through it once more before he graduates. Of course, he'll have to take the bar exam two months after our wedding, but I'm not thinking about that right now.
On to happier news: we celebrated in epic fashion when finals were over! There was a date night at a fancy little restaurant in Arlington...
With delicious drinks for us both...
A very happy, relieved, and smiling Frank...
... and an equally happy (and slightly goofy looking) me, practically cheering at the happy day. No more finals! Hurray!
We were happy campers alright.
By the way, I mentioned it yesterday but I think I'm going to do a link-up this weekend called "Christmas Around My Home," for those of us who like to celebrate the Christmas season after Christmas, to showcase our decorations (or for those of us who are procrastinators and don't want to take them down yet). Please join me if you'd like!
Happy December 28th!