It was a bit of a hectic morning. Children had to be moved along through their paces, sick teen had to be looked in on, and even though I'd taken the day off, I ended up working all morning putting out the endless tiny fires that keep popping up in relation to the largest study I'm directing. It's a behemoth among the other merely large studies I'm also directing, and there are some dozen of our staff engaged in all its moving parts. Every study material must be passed through two levels of legal review and one level of IRB review. There are four different committees on the pharma's part engaged in the project too, and two brand teams. Directing it and conducting the research is basically a full-time job, and I have four other of these studies to direct too. Plus I have to finish two financial aid forms for Adam (FAFSA and something for private universities). Plus I have to... and then I also have to... you know how it goes.
L is taking Jo and Hen to Pittsburgh this weekend to see his mom and if the roads are better by then, he'll leave with them on Friday, which for me is scheduled solid from 10-6 just with work for this one project. We won't be able to be together on Valentine's day, and he's seen how hard I've been working, so he asked me to take a day off on the 12th for a surprise! I did, and although as I mentioned that our day got encroached upon by work regardless, L told me I should wear a dress and heels, at 1:30 he drove me downtown to our special area of the city (where we spent a long, beautiful Christmas break once, where we spent time on one of his summer visits when he still lived in Rhode Island, and where ultimately we got formally engaged) and took me to the Cassatt Tea Room. Here are pictures someone else took, but I didn't take any pictures, so you have to have someone else's imagery:
We sat in that very spot though of course the view out the floor-to-ceiling windows was decidedly less springlike, and we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly, all carb-avoidance be damned, just for one day. The tea was perfectly brewed, and the bread used for the tea sandwiches wasn't stale at all where the crusts were trimmed. We had the room mostly to ourselves, too, so it was extra-beautiful. The whole experience simply slowed down time for me, and we had beauty and serenity for a couple of hours. It was perfect.
After, he gathered our coats and then told me to put my hand in my left coat pocket. Inside, I discovered a little pouch containing gorgeous smokey quartz earrings I'd told him I was going to buy as a gift for myself after my workload lightened.
I really don't know how to express my gratitude towards and for my husband in words. I just don't. *Tearing up a little*
After, we went home and I got sucked back into work for just a bit. He went shopping, I tried to put out more fires, and then we went to the second of the trips L had arranged: Nerd Nite! We drove out to a post-industrial, newly gentrifying, hipster-soaked part of the city (Fishtown, for those of you who are interested), and listened to a few Valentine's Day-inspired talks by, first, the guy who wrote, The Geek's Guide to Dating, followed by a printer guy who works with a locally-famous astronomer and artists to combine tech and art, and last by a woman of uncertain association with Laurel Hill Cemetery, who spoke very engagingly about Victorian death ritual and custom. She redeemed the evening's lecture series -- the other two guys weren't terribly skilled speakers, shall we say. We had really good vegetarian burgers/sausage, beer and free coffee and enjoyed ourselves immensely. We left just as the snow started, and we walked back to the car, the snowflakes falling swift and sharp, pricking our faces for a moment, then melting.
My L creates islands in time. I don't know what I'd do without him.