Weekend getaway

First it was planned. Then it got canceled. And then within an hour it was re-planned and we hopped in the car, dropped the kids off at the grandparents and headed to Old Town Alexandria, one of our favorite quick getaway spots.

We dined well, drank lots of coffee, biked many a mile, and I finally got to do some relaxed pace shopping. And we stayed at a favorite hotel on King St. Unfortunately, our bedroom balcony overlooked a normally very peaceful courtyard. However this night, it was full with a rather raucous wedding reception, complete with thumping music and an enthusiastic DJ. And when they finally quieted down, the dog next door was able to be heard barking nonstop for the next thirty minutes. Truly, I was trying to stuff myself under pillows while saying, ‘turn the TV up, anything to drown out the noise.’ So, romantic evening it was not. haha.

Anyone ever read Amos on the Couch? Great book. There’s this line that says, ‘traffic was bumper to bumper to couch to bumper.’ I felt very much like that. I do love biking to dinner. And everywhere. I’ve broken my arms twice while riding bikes and still just absolutely love riding them.

So after all the hoop la ha of the night, we actually arose and were down at breakfast before eight am. I hardly recognized myself. (Not my looks, just my actions.) And then we got on the hotels bikes to hit the Mount Vernon Trail. Two miles in, Wes lost his pedal. We headed towards the nearest bike shop but they were closed so he called the hotel. I got to bask there in that sun for about thirty minutes while a hotel man rode down on another bike to deliver to us.

We hit the trail and took lots of breaks. Astonishingly, I was not the reason for these breaks! Wes was! Turns out this trail goes right by Reagan Airport and so Wes wanted to stop quite frequently to check out the take offs and landings and take pictures. I usually took advantage of the ground.A couple times I’d go about a half mile without seeing Wes and ponder, ‘hmm, wonder if I’m still on the right trail?’. I did get passed by a jogger one time so I was going pretty slow. (haha, I told the fellow as he was passing me, ‘hmm, well, this is my first time to get passed by a runner.’ He had his earphones in and didn’t appreciate the moment. The people that I did pass as I went up a hill and puffed out, ‘Barely. (puff). Passing. (huff) You. (breath) OnTheLeft. (puff) were quite amused).

Eventually I’d catch up to Wes watching planes and he offered to switch bikes.

‘Why?’

‘Well mine has gears.’

‘What??!!!!!’

And here I thought I was just a complete wimp.He finally told me to just bike in front of him so he wouldn’t plow ahead.Funnily enough, that never worked for long. Chuckle.

And as we headed back to the car, we walked through the fountain courtyard and I announced we should take a quick selfie. ‘Really?’, said Wes.

Really, said I. I’ll be super discreet. And so I popped the phone out, and we popped a pose and then noticed that camera was aimed the wrong way.

Really said Wes.

Hence the look of amusement here. 

And then we decided to interact with humans and asked a little girl to take our picture. You should try it sometime!

Such a good time. And so good to have the goobers back in my arms.

Incredibly thankful for safety.

And for my wonderful family of four.

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afternoons with jack. 

Some days, I do whatever I can to get the kids to take naps together. Because really, there’s not a whole lot like that peace and quiet while you’re sipping an iced latte and eating a dude while lounging outside in the sun on a blanket. Or washing dishes. You know.

But generally, Jack goes down around ten, then about the time he wakes up, Ev’s faltering, so off to bed she goes, and then around the time she wakes up, Jacks ready to go down again.

So. Generally. Jack and I get to spend the early afternoon with each other. And when I think about it, I’m thankful we get to hang out. It feels like I’ve spent a lifetime of connecting with Ev and now it’s like constant communication so if she wants to connect, she just hollers ‘mom!!!!!’.

Jack’s usually more subtle but the past month or so he seems to want to spend lots and lots of quality time together. As in, mom, hold me. And so once again, I remind myself that the moment I try to do something and the kids prevent me from doing it, I get frustrated. So, I pretty much don’t do much and we just go outside.

And Jack, for one is very pleased.

Until the rain comes, and the teeth hurt and the nap doesn’t happen. Then it’s back to, ‘mom, hold me.’

Oh he’s a fun goober. Really. Have you ever seen such a grin? I just bought him a baseball hat and I’m pretty sure he’s going to look exactly like my grampa. I’ll do side by sides for you. Cant’ wait!

Hugs.

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blue apron week 1

All right. This whole Blue Apron thing is pretty fabulous. Not that I’ve loved every meal I’ve made, for instance that first catfish sandwich I made was not really enjoyable in the least. To be fair, I’ve never been tempted to try a fish sandwich and I’ve never been tempted to try catfish and so I wasn’t inclined to love it. And I sure didn’t. Jack seemed to enjoy the catfish just fine. But other than that first meal, it’s been fantastic.

img_8268And did I mention that the week I got my box, there was a contest to film your own cooking show-if you win you receive a trip to NYC, a private cooking lesson with top chef winner Jeremy Ford, and six months free Blue Apron. So we hopped all over that. And it was pretty hilarious. If you’ve got five minutes to kill you can watch it here. Try not to cringe too much, thank goodness for Ev.Screenshot (26)So that was fun. Plus, I cooked collard greens for the first time which made me feel really healthy and I didn’t even mind consuming them! And the next night I cooked kale! And kind of enjoyed that too! (As long as you ate it with everything else).

So yes. It’s been pretty fantastic and I’m going to be real sad when my month runs out. But maybe I’ll win those free six months!!! If so, you’ll find me somewhere doing handsprings.

Week two coming soon!

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blue apron week 2

So this week, blue apron kinda knocked it out of the park. I first made seared salmon with green potato salad and pickled mustard seeds. Are you as intrigued as I was? The potato salad had sauteed spinach, celery and green onions, sour cream and horseradish. And the biggest surprise was how much we enjoyed the mustard seeds. Who’s ever heard of eating those? Not I.

 I think our favorite meal was next, the Korean Bao Sliders. I don’t even know how to pronounce that or half the ingredients that were in this meal. Which makes it so fun-you’re constantly trying very new foods and you don’t have to think a bit about it. Just follow the ever so clear instructions. Also. If you fry sweet potatoes with a Korean meal, it suddenly becomes tempura and much healthier than just french fries. This meal was so good and I would totally make it again. Except I have no idea where I’d find the ingredients. Amazon?

img_8307And then lastly, we ate chicken over a bed of cous cous (never made that before either) with a topping of lemon compote. (what?!) I had to read the instructions about seven times to figure out what I was supposed to be doing here. Other than the compote this was a very simple meal and I’d probably do some variation of it again.


What is just so great is that my fridge is pretty empty but I get up in the morning and I’m like boo ya, I know whats for dinner tonight. Also, when I get up in the morning, I make this. Every day for weeks now. Asparagus sauteed in bacon grease, then topped on a piece of sour dough toast with a fried egg, bacon, and Parmesan. How many different ways can you say amazing?

  Can’t wait for week three! (Insert party girl emoticon).

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and then my parents came.

A couple weeks after we arrived home from Mississippi, my parents came. I was so excited because April is my favorite month in Virginia, (trees have flowers on them, what?! and everything is just stunningly coming to life and the sky is so clear blue and the air is perfect) and I couldn’t remember the last time they’d been here in April. Of course, as soon as they arrived, the temperatures plummeted a good thirty degrees, (all the way down to 25*) and it even snowed. Like seven flakes.

So it was nice they were here to distract us from the fact that we couldn’t lounge outdoors. But a bit sad that we couldn’t enjoy the great outdoors to their fullest. Still, we packed in a nice amount of stuff.

First Megee arrived and Ev and I got to wait inside for her to come through the doors, always an exciting moment. We were sitting on the floor and when Ev saw her walk in and she was so overcome that she crawled across the room to where Mom was (now on her knees too) and then just looked back at me blushing with her mouth hanging open like ‘oh my goodness can you believe this?’. It was adorable.

We of course had to go to Yoder’s where Evelyn and Poppi ate their customary ice cream cone (when Evelyn prays she says ‘thank you for yoders’).

  
(Yes, Jack is eating saltine crackers while Ev mows on a cone).    We had a lovely lunch at Early Mountain Vineyard and Jack mercifully slept by the table while Evelyn got on her sound of music and roamed the green hills.

 Mom went into town with me and we conquered Costco and Target and weren’t even exhausted when we arrived home!

And of course, we always eat well when we’re together. Its absolutely lovely when the littles are happily entertained and I can cook away in peace.

We played music, we sang, Dad and I argued about whether or not a two chord was used frequently in songs. We then decided he was playing eighties songs and I was playing millennial songs.

Dad and I strolled down to the local market and while I stayed outside the kids and the dog he made some purchases and came out with lollipops for the kids. I was like are you serious? He was. Evelyn didn’t consume like, any type of sugary sweetness until she was well over one. Poor Jack didn’t seem to mind that he was being corrupted at an early age. In fact, he was rather delighted.   
DSC_0377 DSC_0371I’m always so thankful for the opportunity to see my family as much as we do. And I’m always so sad for Evelyn when they go because for days she wakes up, runs downstairs to go to the bathroom, then pops her head through our door to tell me, ‘I’m gonna open Poppi Megee’s door, say boo.’ And then she runs back upstairs and hops in bed with them. And then tells me all about it whenever we’re all up. And then they’re gone. And she keeps asking about them and we keep talking about airplanes and she doesn’t seem to mind much but I still wonder what is going on in that brain of hers and how is she processing it all.

Thank goodness for facetime.

And now. I’ll believe I’ll close as I have a little midget hanging out with me.

Great trip. Very thankful.

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mississippi river race.

Anyone remember that Patch the Pirate? I don’t. Just that there title.

So yes! About a month ago, we got in the car (or rather, a 12 passenger van that we rented with ten miles on it) with Wesley’s parents and drove to Mississippi. I was a bit apprehensive. It just never seems like a great idea to strap a two year old and a ten month old into their car seats and then drive through the night. But we all really wanted to go. It was Wesley’s grandpa’s eightieth birthday and we had not seen them since I was pregnant with Evelyn so it was high time a journey was made.

The kids did pretty darn well. Jack received five golden stars, Ev received four. She was pretty darn uncomfortable and it was pretty sad when she started in on the ‘hold you’ chorus. But. We arrived and after a nice breakfast and a bit of fellowship we went and crashed at our hotel where a three hour family nap commenced.

And then the party really began. Family began flowing in from Chicago, more from Virginia, and down from the coast of Mississippi. There ended up being a small group of teenagers (3 thirteen and fourteen year old girls plus more) and Jack had a major fan club in them. I’m not real sure if he was set down the entire weekend. (That made the following week super fun). Wes and I loaded up the twelve passenger van a few times to take the party to sonic and I felt just like Mr. and Mrs. Youth Group. It was a hoot. The girls died laughing every time Wesley opened his mouth. Oh it was funny.

And Evelyn was beside herself because there were donkeys. She convinced several people several times to take her out to see them and it was pretty adorable.

Screenshot (12)Screenshot (22) I was almost the star of a viral hit only no one was filming, a grave disappointment. A bunch of us had just gotten out of the van from a Sonic run and Wesley’s aunt was exercising their two crazy labs. They were both coming my way at about twenty miles an hour and I braced myself. They whizzed by me and I said, ‘Dude!! I just about got creamed!’. The words were no sooner out of my mouth when boom, I was flying through the air and crashed gracefully to the grass. The dogs had done an about face behind me and poof. There I went. And stayed for quite some time as we laughed and laughed.

Great trip. We were very thankful Wesley’s grandparents got to get to know the kiddos and I got to meet more of Wesley’s family (the infamous Uncle Edward). We’re determined it won’t be another three years before we go down again! 

 

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blue apron

I’ve got some stories and happenings that need to be written but I just got a package in the mail and you know how things just fly out the window when you get a package in the mail. Plus, I find this interesting so you might too. 

This really nice lady gifted me with some blue apron meals. (My mother.) 

If you don’t know what blue apron is, please continue on. 

First. A package shows up on your porch.  

 Woot. 

Then you put the darlings down for a nap so you can gaze at the contents. Upon opening you find some slick recipe cards.  

 Woot. Catfish sandwiches. It’s what’s for dinner. 

Then you dive down deeper and just feast your eyes on the bounty.  

 
I mean really. How cool is this? No grocery shopping, no hassling small children in and out of cars and gourmet food just showing up waiting for you to cook it. 

Plus. I can star in my own cooking show.  

 Can’t you just see Wesley circling me with his osmo while I answer questions from an imaginary audience? 

‘Oh yes, the importance of finely crushing your rosemary is crucial to enhance the overall exquisite taste of your…’

So. I’m kinda excited. I’ll let you know what I think of catfish. 

And hopefully I’ll be around here soon to regale you with more tall tales. 

Hugs. 

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