Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cruelty, Defined

Cruelty: Leaving the "American Baby" magazine your address mistakenly received on your husband's nightstand for him to find when he comes home from his law school meeting.


Shorter than a blog post, longer than a haiku:

* I don't notice the 19th anymore. In fact, I totally missed it this month. I thought that would make me happy, but really it just made me sad.

* I got to have lunch with two of my nieces and my sister yesterday and it was over-the-top wonderful. Quesadillas, made by tiny hands, have never tasted so good.

* Work is getting easier from home, even if B also decides to work from home. Today I made bread, cookies, and buffalo chicken dip. It's a happy home office.

* We're starting to make holiday plans. I can't wait until everything is set just so I have it all "right" in my mind.

* B and I got to have dinner with my sister's family over the weekend. Even though Ella was sick, we still had a family dinner and got to talk to little sister Sienna as she ate dinner with us. I love those kids!

Friday, September 25, 2009

French Onion Soup; Why Not?

B and I decided that French Onion Soup was just the ticket last night. Of course, that was after I lied through my ladle and told him that "of course I can make it!" Thank God for Julia Child.

I made this recipe from Julia Child, and it was delicious, amazing, and wonderful, plus it made my house smell amazing! It's not hard, but there is a lot of onion slicing, so be warned. For some reason, that doesn't bother me? Maybe I'm further evolved. ;)

Anyway, enjoy yourselves! Soup season is upon us!

Waking Up is Hard to Do

6am Alarm. B gets up.

7am Alarm from couch. Silenced.

8am Wake up. Go get B from couch. "I'm going on a run," he says, then looks at his watch and laughs.

9am Get up. Start work.

10:14 B still sleeping.

Love him.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

B Hates Needles

B hates needles. The first time I found out about this was when he refused to get a flu shot in college. He finally agreed to, only to encounter a rather large, rather angry nurse who quite literally stabbed him with the needle, in spite of his polite request for her to give him a little notice.

So today he heard Duke was giving out free flu shots, and the discussion went something like this.

B: They're offering free flu shots, should I go right now?

Me: I'll trust you on this one. I know that if I could get our free work one, I would, but Iwe'll be out of town.

(Translation: I'd love you to get one, but I'm not telling you to get one in case you get the flu next week as a result.)

B: It's done. That's how much I love you.

Me: You have no idea what that means to me.

Whirlwind: Birmingham Edition

I feel like my head is on backwards! Just got back last night from my first return trip (via flight) to Bham. Thank goodness I didn't get in too late (around 8), so that made it much easier to adjust.

Monday morning, sweet B got up with me at 5 am to get me to the airport for my 7am flight. He didn't complain one bit, but I'm pretty sure I did! The flight left an hour late, but at that didn't bother me-- I was completely asleep in my seat. I arrived in ATL to find a LOT of grumpy travelers. What? Flood? Here? I had no idea! Seriously. Clueless.

I got into Birmingham at 10am to discover that the storms had knocked out my company's power grid, including our email and phone lines. Awesome. No way to get any information, so I called my boss and heard the word: Closed for the day.

Closed? I'll go to my apartment. Oh wait. So I called my friend Lily for lunch (whose office was NOT closed, much to her disgust), then went to see my sister-in-law Holly and new baby Carolyn. Though I definitely could've used those hours in the office, it was so nice to have an excuse to really spend time visiting with friends and family. Mom came down, so I got to have dinner with she and Grandma.

Tuesday night, my Bham girls threw me a birthday dinner at 26 (brilliant, I know!) and it was beyond good to see them. I've missed those ladies!

I got out of town on Wednesday, arriving here late last night in time for a fabulous Mexican dinner with B and a few hours of couch snuggling while we watched a few season premiers. Love him, he Tivoed everything he thought I might like. Best Husband Ever? I'd say so.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Girls Girls Girls!

This weekend my girlfriends and I got away to celebrate one of the final days of my dear friend Emily's bachelor(ette)hood. B's parents were super generous and let us use the NC beach house (thank you, family!) as home base for these six awesome girls, plus me.
Renee, one of my best college friends, and I planned to leave early Friday morning. Instead, she got in late Thursday night and we stayed up talking until almost two. B came home from class at 10 to find us in bed watching Fresh Prince. Good times. We left around 11, arriving at the beach around 1:30, hungry and ready for some sun.
Sadly, the sun wasn't so much with us, so we had a long pizza lunch at this sleepy little Long Island joint, then headed to the house to get set up. It was perfect-- she napped, I made beds and cleaned the shrimp we'd picked up at the local seafood market.
The rest of the crew arrived around five and we got to it, opening wine (and the bucket of cookie dough) and enjoyed getting to know each other as we watched the sun go down over the ocean. Such a great Friday night!
Saturday, the sun came out in full force, so we made our way down to the beach for a full day of sunshine, sand, surf, and, well, sandwiches, if we want to keep the trend going. We capped off the night with an amazing dinner at Indigo Marsh, a place B has taken me for a couple birthdays. It looks out over the marsh/inlet area, instead of the ocean, so it's a totally different scene, and oh-so peaceful.
The night ended with more wine, more cookie dough, and the ends to both Dirty Dancing and Sweet Home Alabama. Girly to the max. I'm sure B's sorry he missed it. ;)
We got up early this morning to get home for the bride's kitchen shower at noon, which turned out to be such a blessing, because I got to spend so much time with B this afternoon, watch football, make a jumbo dish of baked ziti, and get ready for tomorrow-- I'm off to Bham for three days to visit the main office. I hate leaving B; I miss him so much! Good thing is, we're so used to long distance, that even the slightest reminder kicks us into high gear to cherish each other and the time we have together. Plus, how great are the first few minutes, and the first hugs, when you've really missed someone?
Speaking of, I get to see Mom tomorrow. I Can't Wait!
Best end of the night came when my sister showed up to drop off a baby gift bound for Bham and let us play with the kids on the playground at our complex. So fun. Such a great night.
Off to sleep now... early to rise!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Weekend Away

I'm up late tonight (B's long asleep, passed out leaving just enough room for me when I decide to crawl in) waiting on a girlfriend who's coming into town for another girlfriend's bachelorette weekend (or "spinster weekend," as Miss Manners prefers to call it... seriously). She said she'd be here by midnight, so I'd been watching my computer clock, which I know is 20 minutes fast, but I'd totally forgotten that it's also on central time. No wonder I'm tired!
This month has been so incredible. So much fun, so many friends... but I'm pooped. I've got to say, after this trip to the beach and my work trip to Birmingham from Monday to Wednesday (poor B!), I'm staying put for a while!
I'm excited for tomorrow though. We're off to the beach house for a weekend of surf, sand, food, and, hopefully, sunshine. What better way to celebrate an upcoming wedding??

I Love My Husband

Thanks for a perfect weekend, sweetie!

In about 12 hours, I'm off with the girls for my first trip away from B since our vows. I'm going to miss him!! ...I told him he could come and sleep in the car, but no dice. How selfish is he??

The Governor's House Inn

Our home away from home in Charleston...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Road Trip: Myrtle Beach

B & I skipped the main roads today and instead took to the back highways of South Carolina to make our way from Charleston to Topsail Island, North Carolina. We could've gone back on 40 to 95 and ... you get the picture. Instead, we did as my family always did and took to the road less traveled, which was ironic, as it was the highway leading straight to Myrtle Beach.

So many sites caught my eye, starting with the seagrass basket stands along the roadway and ending with the neon and buffet-laden countdown to Myrtle Beach. We'd been in the car for about 3 hours at that point, so I was a little punchy as we took in the enormous crab buffets, dinosaur-adorned putt putt places, Girls Girls Girls nightclubs, and more. What beach? Who needs a beach? All our inventory is $5.99 or less (yes, but what do you sell??).

I love bonding with B, and being myself with him as I start to make snarky buffet-related comments. We can be "Slightly North of Broad Street" (Charleston restaurant-speak for "snobs") at times, but today it was just simple fun.

Highlights from the Road: the steak place called Thoroughbreds (what's your meat, again?); the 2:30 buffet traffic; the amazing resemblance to Pigeon Forge (everyone needs mountains and beaches, sweetie!)

B's Highlights: the Dixie Stampede; laughing at the people who clearly had no idea there was a beach 2 miles to the east (and groaning at those that did-- don't go shirtless walking along the beltway!)

I Feel Loved

You know your husband loves you when he lets the computer autodraft his fantasy team so that he can celebrate your birthday (for the third time) with you at home.

Oh Sweet Charleston

I'll post pictures later this week, but I just had to share... B & I had the best time in Charleston this weekend. We took off on Friday afternoon and made the long drive down I-95 almost all the way to Hilton Head (deja vu, anyone? clubbed baby seals?), stopping about an hour short in the fabulous, delicious city of Charleston.

My sister's in-laws had given us a super fun wedding present: a gift certificate for two nights at any inn on Select Registry. They're everywhere! Wine country, Maine, rural Georgia... We decided that a fun way to use it would be to celebrate a birthday weekend in Charleston, exploring, dining, and just enjoying our first "just us" married weekend getaway.

Neither of us had ever stayed at an inn, and we really had no idea what to expect. Stuffy? Quiet? Old? But we figured, if there's a city best for bed and breakfasts, it had to be Charleston, so B picked The Governor's House Inn and, I have to tell you, it was amazing.

We arrived at the inn in time for "afternoon tea" (Read: a gracious spread of wine, cheeses, cake, and candies on the formal dining room table). We pulled up into the tucked-away circular cobblestone driveway and kissed our car goodbye for the weekend.

The hosts/innkeepers were just fantastic; they made us feel so welcome and at-home at this transformed southern mansion, which boasted something like 11 rooms and suites. Our room was the only one on the first floor and had everything we could've hoped for.

We settled in quickly and enjoyed a glass of wine on the back porch before going for a quick stroll up King Street, by the market, through Waterfront Park, and back to our inn, to get ready for dinner... after we enjoyed "evening sherry," of course.

After sherry and a little dolling up, we headed to Magnolias, on the recommendation of B's parents, who based the rehearsal dinner menu (down to the pimiento cheese-stuffed steak) on the offerings there. We stuffed ourselves silly. Scallops and fried green tomatoes to start; steak and Parmesan-crusted flounder for the main, and a cream cheese brownie sundae for dessert (complete with birthday candle!). They seated us right in the front window, where we could people-watch while we dined and watch the sun go down through the skyline of Charleston's lower streets. Amazing.

We took a long walk out onto the pier and enjoyed the night, garnering a few suggestions of restaurants from the locals, before heading up to the rooftop of the Vendue Inn, where we found a twinkly fairyland of lights, drinks, and comfy bench seating with a view of Ashley River. Loved it!

We made our way back home and crashed. B got up early the next morning and did a scouting run of the city to see what we needed to explore later that day. I met him on the back porch for a breakfast (arguably the best part of any B&B!) under the fans. We dug into sausage-cornbread breakfast casserole, fresh fruit, and fresh-squeezed orange juice before saddling up and walking our tales through the residential area "below" us and down to the Battery. From there, we curled around to Waterfront Park, then explored the market before heading to the huge Farmer's Market, where we bought a pretty glass Christmas ornament to go in our slowly growing collection (1 from honeymoon, and now 1 from Charleston!).

We took a break around 1 to grab a delicious lunch at... Wild Wings! I kid you not. B loves this place and we never get to go, plus it was a great excuse to get off our feet and enjoy a little college football during the heat of the day. After the wings, we headed down Market Street to The Exchange and Provost, where we toured the dungeons, then over to the Powder Magazine (which I assumed was the first American women's publication... wrong!), then on to the "pink house" (a tavern turned pirate whorehouse turned watercolor art museum), then the former slave market.... Need I go on?

About then, I cried "uncle" and we headed home to regroup for a few minutes before dinner at High Cotton. And by "regroup," I of course mean "enjoy wine and cheese on the back porch." Of course! We walked to High Cotton, where we ate a little less, thankfully, then to Baked, a delicious chocolate-induced pastry place (I totally bought the cookbook), then on to the docks for 30-or-so minutes of swinging in these enormous porch-type swings. We had to stock up on calories before our 90 minute.... Ghost Tour. Muwahahaha...

The ghost tour was great, and reminded me of our fun night in Roswell hearing stories of the township. We skipped the "dark side of Charleston" (prostitution, corruption, etc) in favor of a more historical representation of the town... and the people who still "exist" there.

This morning, we got up and off B went on his run while I got ready to leave. We enjoyed another breakfast on the porch (quiche, anyone?) then took a long walk in another residential area and back down Market Street before taking in one last glass of peach iced tea and heading for lunch at Hominy Grill.

Oh, Hominy Grill! It won "hands-down favorite" by the New York Times and we heard it was wonderful and, shocker, it was. :) I had the lamb, but B won hands-down with the "big nasty biscuit," a homemade biscuit topped with fried chicken and sausage gravy. Sweet Mother of Breakfast! Soo good.

We headed out after that, driving up the coast on highway 17 into North Carolina and on into Topsail, where we're going to stay for a few days while I get work done and B knocks out some law school assignments. Tonight we took a long walk on the beach at sunset before settling in for more football, an easy Italian dinner, and some serious couch time (love you, honey!).

Moral of the story? Get thee to Charleston! We can't wait to go back and, hopefully, eat less.

Highlights: the tour guide at the Exchange and Provost (were those jokes? can you really compare the British tea tax with the GM bailout?); driving through Myrtle Beach (uuuuuugh); pulling into the manicured backyard of the inn and squealing; explaining to B what a flat whisk is in a cooking store; our crazy inn "neighbors" that we saw everywhere (and B noticed they wore the same clothes the whole weekend); the gorgeous architecture.

B's Highlights: (censored); the Ghost Tour; swinging on the pier swing; fantastic dinner (both); Baked; awesome, amazing porch at the inn; walking along the battery; "fun stuff like that"

Friday, September 11, 2009


What a (short) week! Brian and I are headed to Charleston for the weekend after a while to celebrate a belated birthday for me and just enjoy a few days of exploring a new city. Can't wait! Even though we're both tuckered out from all the traveling, we're super excited to get on the road!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Four Months!

Whew! It's been a busy week. Yesterday was my birthday (in case you haven't scrolled down in a while) and today is our four-month anniversary, which B so wonderfully reminded me of when he woke me up with kisses before he left for class this morning.

This month has been wild for us. B drove up to Durham with a car-load of clothes, leaving me at home for a long weekend to enjoy girltime, a night out with the high school girls at The Melting Pot, and, among other things, Julie & Julia. :)

I spent a lot of time packing and cleaning in anticipation of B's flight back to Birmingham. We loaded up my car then let the movers pack the truck before hauling ourselves to Durham via Uhaul truck.

We moved in, had dinner with both our parents, and headed to the beach for a few days after B's first week of class.

I think travel has been the theme of the month-- Hilton Head, Top Sail, Birmingham, Atlanta (overnight during the move), Durham, and probably a few other places I've forgotten!

It's been an amazing month. I can't believe we've already been married over 100 days. Where does time go?

Looking forward to celebrating month five. Coming up? Trip to Charleston, trip to the beach, bachelorette party at the beach, my first trip back to Birmingham to work in the office (and plan 2010!), and more football. Roll Tide!

26: A Year in Review

Twenty-six was a pretty great year. I don't really remember turning 25. B and I had just gotten engaged and wedding planning was well underway. My Birmingham girlfriends took me out for a fabulous Italian dinner and loaded me up with pretty purses and fun earrings. A great one!

For eight months of this past birthday year, I was wedding planning, spending hours and hours on the phone with Mom and B and loving every minute of it.

B and I shared our first holidays together this year, me with his family at Thanksgiving and him in Florence with my parents. We welcomed baby Ethan and baby Carolyn and celebrated birthdays for every monkey all the way up to Alex.

We planned a wedding, enjoyed a honeymoon, and lived out of suitcases for a summer while we lived with B's parents (I miss our lunches!) and then in my apartment as we got packed up to move to Durham.

B finished his 2L year and started his first 3L semester. He rocked two summer clerkships, welcomed two job offers, and accepted a placement with a judge in Florida for next year, starting in August (update 27, anyone?).

I worked from home for the first time and set up a home office in Durham.

We lost Dad, which was the hardest thing I've ever been through. Mom and I planned a funeral/made arrangements while the siblings rushed to get home. I remember her looking at me and saying, "I knew you were strong enough to plan a wedding, but I didn't know you were strong enough to plan the funeral and bury your Dad."

I did a lot of growing up this year. While I was already "on my own," I wasn't really. Now I'm officially on my own two feet, which makes it so much more fun to reach back to everyone who has helped through all these years! I got married. I enjoyed showers, bachelorette parties, a friend's wedding, engagement parties, a honeymoon, and (ugh!) a name change.

B & I traveled to UVA for a softball tournament, to DC to visit his brother, to Virgin Gorda for the honeymoon, and all over the south to visit each other and friends. I flew to Chicago to visit my college roomie. I sold something on Craigslist (hey, it's the little things!).

While this year has included the hardest moment of my life, it's also included the best yet, making it a rewarding, worthy year full of awesome moments, both good and bad. I'm deeming 26 a great year, one I want to savor and remember. I am truly blessed.


Birthday birthday birthday! This was a great birthday. It started over a week ago, when Mom took us all out to celebrate at this great little Italian place in Durham, and is going to keep rocking through this weekend, when B & I head to Charleston for the weekend (yea!). Monday night, we celebrated with the nieces (see birthday cake helpers, below). And last night, on the actual day, B and I kicked off the night by trying new recipes (baby back ribs and homemade mac n cheese) before I opened all my cards and my gift from B: a framed, enlarged copy of our favorite honeymoon photo.

The day got off to a great start. I "slept in" a little, waking up around 8:30 and getting to work (no rest for the weary!). It was a pretty busy day, work-wise, plus I had a quick coffee break with a friend of a friend who is planning our mutual friend's bachelorette weekend that kicks off a week from Friday. Eep!

I got home after coffee and popped the ribs in the oven to start baking (3 hours, plus grill time!). It's been a little bit of a weird day. I'd felt kind of sick to my stomach and just a little draggy (that's a lie-- I almost got really sick in Harris Teeter. Eep!).

B got home after class and I had him put the ribs on the grill and, well, they stuck and we couldn't get them off and I was upset and (yes) started crying. So I'm crying into B's shoulder at the grill while he's trying to get what's left of the ribs off and all I can say is "It's not the ribs!"

B finally gets the ribs off and flips them onto the cookie sheet, which splatters the homemade barbecue sauce all over both of us and finally, I start laughing. So then B's scraping rib meat off the grill and making jokes about the sauce on his shoes (and forearm, and shorts, and BACK of his shorts...) and all is better.
We go inside to eat and discover that the meat that stayed on the ribs was pretty
damn good (look out Mike! Time for a rib-off!) and the mac n cheese was enough to put me in a lactose coma. B pours me red and white wine and we proceed to get even further covered in sauce.

After dinner, I headed to the couch to open the cards from our families (so fun!) and B's present, the awesome framed photo--I can't wait to hang it in the hall! Then B turned out the lights and brought out the final surprise-- two enormous slices of my favorite strawberry shortcake from my favorite Durham restaurant, complete with candles on top.

We ate cake, drank wine, watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and rang in 26 in style, then got ready to turn in for the night and... the crying started. I knew (and B knew, I'm sure) that I'd been a little down all day, thinking about Dad, which didn't make a lot of sense to me-- Dad and I didn't have some special birthday ritual, but I think just getting through these "firsts" is a lot harder than I expected. So I cried. And I'm so glad I had B, who let me cry, and made me laugh, and got me tissues, and made me laugh again.

I was upset at myself, for bringing a little cloud over my birthday, the first married one with B, especially when he'd made it so great. And he's been so great, as the night cryings continue, granted fewer and further between. I was upset missing Dad, which I assume is normal. I was upset for feeling like I shouldn't be upset, something B worked tirelessly to convince me was entirely crazy.

Speaking of crazy, I know it sounds crazy to say that I had a great birthday, but I did. I think I'm learning that welcoming the good (birthday! fun! cake! cards!) and the, well, memories. I'm looking forward to Charleston, when it's not "the day" and B and I can explore a new place together and enjoy fun dinners out, drinks on the porch of our bed & breakfast, and our first weekend getaway together. We can't wait!

Thanks to all my friends and family for making this birthday a special one!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Free Chick-Fil-A Day!

B & I took two of our (!) nieces out for free Chick-Fil-A in honor of Ella's 3rd birthday (which occured approximately 2 months ago. Eep!).

After sandwiches, we played in the kids' zone, then got milkshakes. Could there be a better day-before birthday (me) and day-before first day of school (Ella)? I submit that there cannot.

Birthday Helpers

Candles are always better when shared...

Happy Birthday to Me!

From B's parents...

Monday, September 7, 2009

I Heart Hilton Head

B and I took off on Thursday night for Hilton Head, SC, where we spent a weekend with his high school buddies at one of their family's vacation homes. HH is super special to me; we spent so many vacations there riding bikes on the beach, cruising into Harbor Town, and playing in the sun. I told B that HH always makes me think of being sleepy and hungry, because you always are!

I hadn't realized how excited I'd be until I was literally squealing on the ride in. We arrived and got a tour of the house before settling in with a glass of wine and waiting for everyone else to arrive.

The house we stayed in was gorgeous; the set-up included a backyard pool, private beach access, a great entertaining kitchen, and basically six master bedrooms with fantastic bathrooms. It was truly a vacation for all of us.

B got up early on Friday morning and we headed out on a long walk toward Harbor Town. By bike, it's only about 20 minutes. Walking and running? Well, let's just say that we were gone a good 90 minutes. By the time we got back, we were hot, exhausted, hungry, and ready for the pool, which we promptly fell into.

We rallied and headed to the grocery store with his buddies to stock up, then got back, made lunch, and hit the pool for a few hours. When we tired of that, it was off to the beach, where we splashed around in the late-afternoon surf. Dinner was a pile of gourmet burgers. Fresh Market, anyone?

Saturday was more of the (glorious) same-- walk on the beach, floating in the pool, an wonderful wine, which started flowing around 2 pm. Around five, we headed for the small marina town around the corner from our house where we loaded up on pina coladas at the outdoor bar and celebrated the start of football season before heading home for some amazing kebabs. We finished something like 40 skewers that night. I told you-- hungry!

Sunday we played in the pool while the boys played wiffle ball on the beach. B and I headed out around 5:30 for Durham so he could make his 9 am class this morning... on Labor Day! I was so sad to go-- I love hanging out with B's high school friends, especially in such a beautiful place--but I'm excited, too. Because we left, I get to spend the morning in bed catching up on emails and Facebook before taking my nieces to lunch at Chick-fil-A (free sandwich if you're wearing your favorite team's shirt!), then meeting up with them again later for an early birthday cookout and pre-first day of school celebration.

What a great weekend. What a great start to a school year. B and I are so blessed and so lucky. Plus, Bama won! Can the weekend get any better?

Things were a little hard this weekend. Being in HH brought back great memories, but also reminders of Dad. From the fishing hat on the beach to the bikers winding their way through the trails, memories of Dad were everywhere. Luckily, so were memories of Mom, and my siblings, and my first trip there with B. Memories are starting to become friendly things. Maybe they bring tears to my eyes, but they do conjure the good times. I'll take it.

Birthday, Part 1

Thanks sweetie!!

Seen on the Road

South Carolina billboard:

Save Baby Seals--Boycott Canadian Seafood


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Sea Turtle Moment of the Day

This past weekend, when B finished saving a sea turtle, he looked at me, over the head of his barely-teenage cousin, and said, "Ahhh, nothing like delivering a helpless creature to its natural predators."

Love him, and his sense of humor.

Football Season Commeth

On the phone with my brother...

Me: I'm excited to watch football this weekend, but I wonder if it's going to be sad, you know, thinking about Dad.

Todd: You know what Dad would say, "It's only sad if you lose!"

I love my family.

At Least I'm Working Hard?

Ever answered the door for the UPS man only to realize that you're wearing a red silk nightgown and the only thing you can grab is your husband's NIKE sweatshirt? I think some people have dreams like this. Mine, realities.

People of Wal-Mart

Stumbled over this site today that showcases the wonders found at Wal-Mart. Ironically, the site name reminded me of Dad, who always always always found an excuse to go to Wal-Mart every. single. day. It's one of my favorite things about him. And no, the photos on this site did NOT remind me of Dad, though I'm sure he would've befriended them in the checkout line.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Missing Dad

Funny what strikes you. Today, it was a Captain D's commercial...

Dad: A, did you know that you can get a full lobster dinner at Captain D's for $3.99? Most places that would be $20 or $30.

Me: Is that "lobster" is a "j" Dad?

Dad: What? No! It's real lobster!


Over lunch, I went with B to get my Duke card. I'm in love. I'm not sure what it actually does, but all it does for me is scream SPOUSE, which I love. It's almost enough to make me want to go back to school, so that B can get one too. Best thing is that it comes with a metal clip, so I can wear it anywhere. I think it gets me into the gym, but I really want to wear it to Sam's. And the pool. And to the beach this weekend. SPOUSE. In a big red stripe. Love it!

I Love My Nieces!

Last night, B & I took dinner over to my sister's family to celebrate Mom's last night in town and just get a little time together. On the menu? Shrimp we picked up at the beach this weekend, green beans, rice, poundcake, and my Grandma's roll recipe.

I love making rolls. They're easy enough and require just a little bit of planning. But the real draw is that I've got so many great memories making them with my Grandma when I was little and my Mom, after Grandma decided she'd sit and watch, finally let someone else do the rolling out and cutting.

The tradition came full circle last night. I brought the dough over for the girls to play with. We poked it, smelled it, and, yes, even tasted it. Sienna, my 18-month-old niece, asked her Mom, "Is this yucky or yummy?" She pondered it over and said, "Well, it's kind of yucky now, but once we cook it, it'll be really yummy." Brilliant.

So we rolled the dough, let the girls cut it with cookie cutters (scalloped-edged and star-shaped rolls, anyone?) before dipping the rolls in butter and folding them over on a cookie sheet. Mom took some pictures, so I'll post one when she emails it. It was so nice, a perfect night.

I love going over to their new home. My oldest niece, at three-years-old, Ella welcomed us at the door wearing her new Snow White outfit (she's just discovered Disney movies). Sienna looked at me no fewer than three times during the roll-cutting process and asked, in her super-sweet voice, "Where's B?" They love him! Little stinkers.

While the men manned the grill, the girls worked on the rolls and enjoyed a little wine before dinner. It was such a great, refreshing night. Can't wait to go back!