Saturday, November 19, 2016

Fall Fun with grandma and grandpa

I think the kids had a good time with grandma and grandpa watching them for 3 days....

And now it was my turn to join in on the fun!

I always enjoy visits from my mom and dad.  :o)

putting up the neighbor's ducks for the night
Saturday morning pancake breakfast
dinner at Amelia's

This burrito was big enough for James and I
to share for dinner...and for lunch the next day!
selfies run in the family
gotta make a New Seasons trip

Grandma got in on the duck action, too.
Grandpa taught James all the Harbor Freight coupon tricks.

more supplies needed
Ikea lunch after dropping off grandma and grandpa
at the airport (kids eat free!!)

Another great trip...too short but I am still happy that grandma and grandpa were able to come out during football season ;o) and spend some time with us!!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Amazing (belated) anniversary trip to the coast

Marcus and I got the chance to celebrate our (belated) 18th wedding anniversary at the beautiful Stephanie Inn in Cannon Beach.

Summer was a busy season of work travel for Marcus, so it took a while to find some time to get away to celebrate.  In late September my parents flew out to watch the kids, and Marcus and I finally got our chance!

We had originally thought we might fly to Las Vegas for a short three-day trip (spa time, fantastic food, and shows!) but we changed our minds and opted for something more low-key and a lot closer.  We had never been to the amazing Stephanie Inn, so this was our chance!

First stop: New Seasons to pick up fixing' for a delicious
deli dinner.  We got all the classics, including a baguette,
a wedge of creamy brie, and decadent chocolate cake.
After checking in, we felt right at home.  AHHHHH!!
a late lunch at a local seafood joint before our spa
massage appointments back at the hotel
relaxing on the balcony after our massages

delish brunch the next morning
walk on the beach--gorgeous weather
coffee break
our hotel--bottom finger
coffee shop--top finger
early dinner (to be able to catch the sunset later)

just relaxin' on our last morning at the beach
leisurely brunch

This was quite the relaxing, much-needed vacation!  I am so grateful that grandma and grandpa were able and willing to come and watch the kids.  The best part was that, when we got home on Friday night, I still had more than 3 full days with them!!  

I think the Stephanie Inn (with grandma and grandpa as babysitters) might become a regular occurrence...  ;o)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Greek treats

The other day Bunny and I went out to lunch at a local Middle-Eastern restaurant...

...and she was inspired to make baklava when she got home!!

(always lots of helpers)
Bunny is meticulous in her baklava-making.
ready for the honey syrup

Bunny donated her baklava to the church's Fall Festival, where it was a BIG hit!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

More birthday fun for me!

My surprise party was Saturday, but my actual birthday was WEDNESDAY so I had almost a whole week of festivities!

On Tuesday night I treated myself to a playdate with my friend Stacy.  :o)  It was her birthday...for one day of each year, we are the same age.  I needed to take James to Trail Life that night, and Stacy lives near the church, so I just hung out at her house for that time.  It was such a treat for me since I only had 1 kid with me (Sedric) and he was pretty good.  :o)

Then on Wednesday I made myself a plan for the perfect birthday.  Included was:

read ~ shop ~ garden ~ pray ~ coffee break ~ work ~ clean ~ play ~ bake ~ eat ~ connect

I hustled to get it all done in one day!

I BAKED a new recipe: pumpkin monkey bread.
It was pretty good!  Made the house smell nice, too.  :o)
I combined COFFEE BREAK with PRAY like I try to do
every day (doesn't alway happen, but definitely had to
make it work on my birthday).
Unfortunately I had to spend 2.5 hours in the
car on Wednesday, mostly driving Bunny and
Mariposa to and from Franciscan Girls.
But I could count it as "WORK."  :o)
SHOP!!  I stopped by the nursery and bought "a few" new
perennials for the bed my dad helped me prep.  (He took out
all the old irised and we added a new tier using rocks.) 
My new babies from the nursery
Girls working for Franciscan Girls Club at the retreat house.

Also on my birthday I did more WORK (teacher work) and I got to GARDEN by planting some annuals.  I updated my blog so that counted as CONNECT, and I had some PLAY time with Celeste and our My Little Ponies.  And I can't forget EAT....

Marcus made Bourbon Blonde Brownies
for me!!  This was SUCH a treat especially
since my bday was on a weekday, and this
is NOT a quick-and-easy recipe by any means.
 Later that evening I did some more SHOPping at Marshalls and treated myself to a few small birthday gifts, and also READ in the car while waiting for the kids to come out of RE.  The only thing I didn't really do was CLEAN because, while I did my "normal" cleaning chores, I really wanted to clean out a closet or two.  But I guess if there was one thing that should drop off my list, it should be clean.

A few days later I was able to do some more planting and get all (but one) of my perennials in the ground.  Yay!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

Today is my 40th birthday!!

Do I feel "forty?"  I don't know...part of me has felt 40 for a long time now.  When I was a young mom in my 20s, I made friends with women who were older than me, and I still have those friends!  But in my 30s...I started making friends with moms who were younger than me as well.  So I have no idea what I "feel!"  But I can say that Forty feels Fabulous!

For my birthday Marcus made plans to take me and Bunny out to a local Japanese restaurant this past Saturday.  Or so I thought.  We made a detour to drop James off at his cousins' house for a sleepover...and (what do you know?), my friends and family were there for a SURPRISE PARTY for me!

My dear husband had been planning this since April!  :oP

After getting over the initial shock (who am I kidding, I wasn't over the shock all evening), I got to see the scope of what my husband planned.  Full dinner with appetizers and entertainment.  It was a fantastic evening!! 

While the party was at Marcus' parents' house,
he had it catered so they didn't have to provide
food or beverages.  Yum!
DD (broken ankle), Stacy (7 kids), and Sterling (from Idaho)
--these ladies went through a lot to get here!
I LOVED sharing this evening with Bunny <3
Marcus had arranged for a private PAINT NIGHT party!!!
OMG it was so much fun!

(I think the "blinking" is on purpose.)
The finished products.  I love how they are all the same but
they all have individual takes on the example painting...
except Sterling of course, who had to be DIFFERENT! :o)

I was showered with gifts.  I don't remember a birthday in the
last 20 years (or more!) when I received so many presents!

I have the best husband, friends, and family ever.  :o)  They made me feel so special on this big birthday!