Fort McHenry: An Underrated Baltimore Gem

When you think if Baltimore, you probably think of the Orioles, The Wire, Freddie Gray, Serial Podcast, the Ravens, or maybe even good old fashioned crab cakes, but one of my favorite Baltimore traditions is the Star Spangled Banner and Fort McHenry.

Fort McHenry is a star shaped fort located at the mouth of the Baltimore harbor, famous for defending Baltimore from an attack by the British navy during the War of 1812. The sight of a garrison flag, signaling an American victory, on the morning after the battle, inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem that became our National Anthem. This national treasure is located just over a mile from our house!

DSC_0882

The Fort and its grounds are a National Monument and open to the public seven days a week from 9am to 5pm. The park and grounds are free of charge, but admission to the Star Fort and Visitor’s Center are a small fee. Parking at the fort is free but may be crowded on popular summer weekends like the Fourth of July, but you can also park in nearby Locust Point for free for up to two hours. Bring a picnic lunch and a nice blanket and enjoy the wide open spaces and beautiful views.

DSC_0993

One of the things that initially concerned me about raising a child in the city was the lack of outdoor activities and opportunities to feel the grass under her bare feet. I’ve been making it a point, especially as Blair has become more mobile, to find ways to expose her to those simple things in life, even while in the city. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the opportunities before us! Baltimore really has so much to offer if you’re open to looking for it.

When everything sux.

Remember sux? Slang from the 90’s, otherwise known as my teenage/glory days. I feel like it’s appropriate for use when something sucks (duh), but doesn’t suck as bad as more… serious sucky things. If that makes sense.

So, allow me to explain how everything SUX today.

I felt kind of crappy yesterday, so I went to bed early and when I woke up to my gym alarm, I was still feeling tired and I figured I could use the rest. Being an unemployed loser since my recent firing, I have nothing else to do during the day and figured I could go later.

I had some work to do for a lawyer I’m doing a little part time work for (for $10 an hour, apparently, which is insulting, but I digress) so I started working on that in the morning. I simultaneously started thinking about my paycheck and my lack of money and how useless this job is. Cue a freak out, emotional breakdown and a lot of crying. Once I pulled it together, I figured that was as good a time as any to go to the gym and get a work out in.

Working out is my stress relief, after all.

I dropped my darling child off at the gym daycare, put my belongings in my gym locker, ordered my post-work out shake, and headed over to the treadmill. I was just turning it on when…

The daycare supervisor walked up to me, told me my daughter had pooped in her diaper and that she needed to leave.

No workout.

Everything sux.

Another botched job application

Literally, for as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to work for the Public Defender. That’s basically why I went to law school. As life and luck would have it, I’ve never been able to get a job there. Not for lack of trying, either. I’ve applied to three (four?) positions there at various times over the last several years, without any measurable success. I did manage to get an interview for one of the positions while I was living in Chicago. We did the interview via Skype and I did not end up getting the job.

This week, I applied to several more jobs with the OPD, one of which was part of their giant fall recruitment. I’ve only applied to specially advertised positions there in the past, and this is my first time putting my name in the ring for general recruitment. I felt like this was my best chance yet…

Until I re-read the applicant essay I submitted and realized I made a mistype that renders a sentence in my essay awkward and inappropriate… Oops.

Sigh.

4 Drinks 4 Dinner

Last night, my sweet husband handled the bath time/bedtime routine on his own so that I could go out for dinner and drinks with my two best girlfriends from college. There is nothing quite like a girls’ night #amiright 🙂

I’ve known Holly and Jennifer since my sophomore year of college when Holly and I lived in the our sorority’s house and Jennifer was a new member. We hit it off instantly and I have shared some of my best (as well as the worst) memories with them. No one knows me quite like they do and we have always had the sort of friendship that can pick right back up where it left off. These days, there’s not a day that goes by where I don’t talk to them, thanks to the wonders of iPhone group chat, but it is a rarity that we are able to get together in person due to our busy schedules. Holly is a busy working wife and mom to an adorable baby boy, and Jennifer is a busy professional gal who is planning a September wedding to her fiance!

The Orioles were in town and most of the restaurants in Federal Hill were booked as a result, so we ended up at a cocktail bar/restaurant (but let’s be honest- mostly a bar) called Bookmakers. We spent 3 wonderful hours drinking Tom Collins’, laughing loudly and reflecting on life… And splitting only an order of calamari between the three of us. A lot of things may have changed since college, but our poor decision making in the face of managing our alcohol is not one of them. Obviously. 😉

After a rough couple of months, it felt great to smile again. I almost felt like that version of myself on the bottom, below. She’s not 100% satisfied with everything in her life, but she has so much joy and hope for the future and she hasn’t forgotten what it means to live in the moment.

Image(1)

Three Things To Avoid Doing While Pregnant

I am by no means an expert in life or motherhood, but if I were to two give pregnant women of the world (or women considering becoming pregnant in the near future) one bit of advice, it would be to avoid these three things for at least a FULL YEAR (you heard me..) after having a baby:

  1. Move Cross Country
  2. Buy A Home
  3. Make Major Career Decisions

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably thinking “..but I’m pregnant; not disabled.” That’s true. Just trust me when I say that you will not be in the mental state to handle any of the aforementioned monumental life decisions within your first year of parenthood and to do so will leave you picking up the pieces of your decisions thereafter.

Not one to listen to good advice, I did all three of these things within the first year of having a baby, two of them within the first three months, all of which pretty much leave me where I am today: unemployed and in therapy.

Don’t get me wrong- I have a lot to be thankful for, and I am lucky to have this opportunity to slow down and learn something… to fix this mess that I’ve made of my career and the mess that currently constitutes my post-partum emotions.

Here, on the eve of turning 30, the future of my life is pretty uncertain.. but I’ve got the feeling we may be on the verge of realizing something amazing.