Monday, March 11, 2013

Life Lately

Well friends, sorry for the unintentional little blogging sabbatical. The past week and a half were crazy at work—to give you an idea, I was at work til after nine one night! Happily things are calming down.

I finished reading Mansfield Park (on the suggestion of my roommate Colleen, who's writing her Ph.D. dissertation about it) and loved, loved, loved it. Why isn't Fanny Price more popular? She's the sweetest and most sensible of Jane Austen's heroines. After reading it, I had this startling flash of insight about how I used to be a bit of a Maria Bertram, but now I want to be a Fanny Price, and not always succeeding but trying hard. If this makes no sense to you, carry on.

Last Saturday, I spent the day at a workshop on Montessori education. My dear friend Ruth planned it; she's assistant head of school at the only parish Montessori school in the United States. Ruth is the sweetest friend and has been such a gentle, warm presence in my life since I moved to DC; I'm grateful for her friendship. Here we are after the workshop:

The workshop absolutely blew me away. I learned so much and came home with 15 pages of notes, about 60 pictures (I wanted Frank to see the classrooms even though he couldn't come to the workshop), and a long list of books I want to read before having kids. I'm thinking of typing up my notes and if you'd like, I can put them up here with the classroom pictures; if anyone is interested in a Montessori post, let me know!

After the workshop, I went over to dinner at lovely Teresa's house, where I enjoyed seeing her two darling little ones and sparring intellectually with her brilliant husband (my idea of a great time). They lent me a book called Jayber Crow, and I've been having trouble putting it down. At less than 200 pages in, it may already be my new favorite book. This is my first exposure to Wendell Berry's fiction and I can see why so many people are obsessed.

I also discovered that my new glasses came in the mail and of course I had to take an excess of pictures.

Many thanks to the nice people at Firmoo for offering me this prescription pair for free (in exchange for an honest review)! They're just what this nearsighted girl needs, and I've gotten so many compliments on them already. They have a first-pair-free program (you only pay shipping) if anyone is looking for some new specs (and for another post about this company, check out Martha's take).

The day after the workshop, I talked some friends into venturing away from our usual Sunday Mass haunt to a church a little farther afield with a well-known vibrant young adult community. The young adult group sponsors a coffeehouse and brunch after Mass so we stuck around for that and enjoyed it immensely.

And last but not least, the Sunday before that, I got to hang out with Lillian!!! She was in town running a conference for her awesome job (interested in journalism? Check out her company!). We went to Mass, had lunch, and talked a mile a minute for the duration of her stay. As Lillian said, "Our lives are an ongoing conversation with each other," interrupted only by time and other responsibilities. I missed her.

Also I totally wore the same dress two Sundays in a row ... this might be why I stopped doing What I Wore Sunday. But come on now. Who doesn't have a go-to Mass outfit?

This weekend Frank and I are going to Miami with Lillian and Matt for our joint family bridal shower!  I can't wait! Also, joint bridal shower—does it get more twinsy than that? :)

Happy Monday!


  1. Dear all of Tess's readers:

    Interested in starting a student newspaper? Yes, I know you are! Email me at CN@isi.org and we can be best friends.

    Lillian (Tess's twin with the company mentioned in this post)


  2. Hi Tess! I am definitely interested in a Montessori post. A friend of mine works at Siena Academy; I work in a non-denominational Montessori school (ironically in the basement of a Methodist church) and it would be a dream come true to work in a Catholic Montessori environment, but I don't see that happening for at least a few more years. I am very interested in hearing more about your experience at the workshop and learning more about the Montessori Method. I love it so!

    God bless you!

    1. Awesome! I'm hoping to type up the notes some time in the next few weeks so I'll do a post with all the pictures.

      Wow, that must be amazing to work at a Montessori school—I would love to hear about that experience some time! Also, I wonder if we have a friend in common; I know almost everyone who works at Siena...

    2. Sorry I didn't see this until now... Becca Horvath? I've known her for years through her days as FOCUS Missionary at GMU. We even had the pleasure of attending her wedding over the summer!

      I'm excited to read your notes and see more of your pictures. I post from time to time about my work at Montessori; presently, because of how part time I am do to my academic schedule, I post mostly about the funny things kids say to me. My hours will increase during the summer and I might be able to fit a more "Montessori-esque" post in there then. God bless!