A couple of thirty-something birthdays.

I turned 32 a few days ago and Kevin turned 33 back in December.  The birthday celebrations for each were fitting for thirty-something…low key and based around food and home – two of our favorite things.

Kevin’s birthday fell on a Sunday and Ava and I insisted he open his presents from us right away.  (She had her personal assistant – me – get him a photo that we know he likes for a frame in his office.  I got him a few things including this steak brand, which he really likes and I highly recommend as a fun, unique gift for the grill master in your life.)

We headed to Flying Star for breakfast, which was very tasty and filling, as always.  Then we went home and hung out and played for awhile.  Ava went down for a nap right around the time the Broncos started playing and each of those things occupied us for a couple of hours.  We grabbed coffee in the afternoon and just relaxed at home.  At around 5:00 we picked Craig and Sue up and went to dinner at Bravo.  Ava was a little charmer, as she tends to be in restaurants.

img_9963

img_9964

That little lady loves dining out.  We got gelato after dinner and paused for pictures at the big Christmas tree.

img_9949

img_9956

Then it was home.  Kevin enjoyed his birthday and we mega-enjoyed celebrating him.

The following weekend we traveled to Denver for a Broncos game; the tickets were an awesome and much appreciated gift to Kevin from his parents.  You can read about our adventures in this post.

My birthday rounded out the holiday season on Wednesday.  Every time we said the word birthday, Ava would giggle.  “Is it Ava’s birthday?”  Giggle-giggle-giggle.  “Is it Daddy’s birthday?”  Giggle-giggle-giggle.  “No!  It’s Mama’s birthday!”  Giggle-giggle-giggle.  She was really excited to talk about birthdays.  Kevin picked up burritos from our favorite burrito spot.  Bacon, Christmas (that means the burritos had bacon and both red and green chile).  Kevin went to work and Ava and I hung out.  We read books, played in her kitchen, did some laundry…  At one point we were hanging out in her room and I was sitting in her bear chair, talking on the phone.  She threw all the clothes out of one of her drawers and started rolling around in the clothes.  It was completely random and hilarious.

img_0390

She wore herself out and took an hour and a half crib nap.  Which, I like to think, was her gift to me.  I finished Truly Madly Guilty while she napped, and read a bit on Team of Rivals.  When she woke up she helped me get ready for work and we cuddled a bit.  My favorite.

img_0382

Kevin brought home Blake’s burgers and fries for lunch because there’s no time like age 32 to continue clogging those arteries.  I went to work and had a productive day.  At work they surprised me with a cake and bouquet of flowers and a card.  It was lovely.

img_0383

img_0386

I headed home around 5:00 and hung out with Ava while Kevin whipped up my requested dinner:  green chile spinach alfredo with chicken and rotini.  It was so very delicious.  Craig and Sue came over for the meal and fantastic, heartfelt gifts and cards.  It was a really nice time.  The card Kevin gave me was specially chosen for me by Ava earlier that day and she had basically held on to it all afternoon.  She didn’t want to let it go at the store when the clerk needed to ring it up and she’d carried it with her on her walk around the neighborhood with Kevin.  At one point on the walk she tired of it, I guess, and flung it over the side of her stroller.  Fortunately Kevin was paying attention and saved it.  Sue had brought cupcakes made from my favorite cake recipe that was passed down to her from a friend.  They had a delicious buttercream frosting.  After Craig and Sue left, we put Ava to bed and just enjoyed the remainder of the evening.  I was floored by all the sweet birthday wishes on Facebook.  It was also really fun to hear my phone buzz excitedly as text messages floated in through the day.  I love the people in my life!

And those were the birthdays.  32 and 33 are proving to be great ages, thus far!

Do you like big birthday celebrations? 

Christmas recap.

Christmas 2016 was a lovely one. Ava – at 14 months old – was old enough to realize that something special was going on, but too young to understand what exactly that special something was. She basically ignored the tree and we didn’t put the presents under it until Christmas Eve, so she couldn’t get into too much trouble with bags and boxes and tissue paper.

My mom and sister came to town on Christmas Eve and Craig and Sue and my great aunt and great uncle and a family friend came over for dinner. We served up tamales and posole which Kevin had ordered from our traditional spot. This is the fourth consecutive year we have done this with basically this same group of people and we love the tradition.

Earlier that afternoon Kevin, Craig, my mom, and my sister had set up the luminarias around our house. They were especially beautiful this year and a lot of our neighbors set them up as well so the neighborhood looked lovely. After dinner my mom, Kevin, and I walked a few streets in the neighborhood, admiring the lights and chatting with a few neighbors we saw out.

1

When we got home from our walk, Elf #1 (Lisa) was hard at work, setting up the little play kitchen we’d bought Ava for Christmas. Mom, Kevin, and I dove in to help and it was quite an undertaking! I think it took us about 3.5 hours to get that kitchen operational.

img_1256

img_1258

We are so grateful that Lisa and Mom were there to help. Otherwise Santa and Mrs. Claus probably would have moved the million parts into the garage and sent Rudolph to deliver it in the spring.

The next morning Ava woke up at her regular 6:30 and Kevin brought her into our room. While she nursed he brought our gifts to each other and her up into our room and turned on the fireplace. It was so cozy! We started to open gifts near the fire but Ava was a girl on the go and promptly crawled into the bathroom area. So we opened a few presents in there. :) Marginally less cozy, but she was content dropping things in the tub, so everyone wins really.

We moved downstairs and my mom and Lisa had woken up. Nibbled on a bit of food for breakfast and then moved to the gift area. Ava loved her play kitchen and it made our trials the night before seem worthy. Her current favorite activity is to open the cabinet doors and shut the cabinet doors and put things in the cabinets and take things out of the cabinets. She discovered the phone that came with the kitchen and really enjoys holding it up to us and grunting an urgent grunt to let us know there’s a call. We take the phone, hold it up to our ear, and have a pretend conversation. She gets a real kick out of it and let me tell you, that phone has been ringing off the hook since Christmas.

img_1260

Kevin went to his parents’ house to start the prime rib and when he got back home Craig and Sue came over and we began opening gifts. Then Dale (my stepdad) arrived and the gang was all there. It was a lovely, joyful time and while I know it’s not at all about the gifts, I’m always humbled by the generousity and thoughtful love and care that goes into the selection and exchanging of gifts.

img_1267

Kiki laid low all day, but Rue hung out with us. The cats got a few new toys and a bag of treats, but Rue was most interested in the boxes.

img_0159

Craig and Sue left to tend the prime rib and the rest of us finished getting ready and napped (Ava) and watched John Wayne on AMC and started preparing some of the side dishes. We went to Craig and Sue’s and met up with the other lunch guests. The food was all so delicious – prime rib, green chile mashed potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts and kale, two types of bread (including my favorite rolls that my mom makes), green beans… Such a hearty meal! We had frozen cherry pie and Craig’s sugar cookies for dessert. No one left hungry!

Mom, Dale, and Lisa hit the road and Kevin, Ava, and I headed home ourselves. Ava was too wired to take a second nap so we basically just hung out and played and fielded the phone calls coming into her play kitchen. :) She was a busy little bear.

img_1277

It was a lovely holiday and I am so grateful for Jesus and that God blessed me with this family.

How was your holiday? 

A weekend away a week ago.

Do we drive or fly?

That was the question Kevin and I asked each other for the months leading up to our long weekend trip to Denver that was last weekend.  Ultimately we decided to drive and now – with a week’s worth of hindsight in my rear view mirror – we do not regret that decision.  Yes, we had to sing many, many versus of Row Row Row Your Boat and Tideo, but considering it was around 14.5 hours round trip, we can’t complain.

We started out at 9 AM on Friday.  Ava fell asleep around forty-five minutes into the drive and Kevin and I easily got into our audiobook – Duplicity.  Ava woke up after a solid 2+ hour nap, right as we were getting into a small town on I-25.  We stopped to eat, stretch our limbs, and fuel up, then hit the road again.  At first Ava was a bit annoyed with us for sticking her back in the carseat, especially when we realized 30 minutes after starting back on the road that I’d forgotten to nurse her and so we pulled over as soon as we could to get Starbucks and feed her.  After that she fell back asleep pretty quickly and woke up as we were getting into Denver.  5:00 traffic on a Friday afternoon annoyed all of us a bit, but we made it to Kevin’s parents’ place and there was beef stroganoff almost ready and we all forgot the long hours in the car pretty quickly.

The thing I was most nervous about going into this trip was sleep.  I love my sleep.  I need my sleep.  I covet sleep.  And I was worried that a few nights in a new environment was going to completely derail my perfect little night sleeping baby.  (Fear that any future babies will be bad sleepers is the number one reason Ava may be an only child.)  I’m not gonna lie – they weren’t the best three nights of sleep we’ve gotten, but they certainly weren’t the worst.  The combination of four hours worth of daytime sleep, a strange place, and the new bed (on the trip we used a travel crib that we normally corral her in when we’re getting ready in the morning) caused her to really fight falling asleep.  Eventually I got her to fall asleep – but she was in the adult bed.  I told Kevin we’d try co-sleeping and that worked for a hot minute.  Then Ava woke up, sat up, and was very excited to be having a slumber party with us.  The problem was that she didn’t especially feel like slumbering.  How do co-sleepers do it??  Kevin stood up, cradled her, and rocked her a bit until she fell asleep.  Then he set her in the travel crib and immediately laid down on the (hardwood!) floor next to her when she started to fuss.  His proximity calmed her down and she slept pretty well the remainder of the night.  Kevin stayed on the floor for most of the night – father of the year – and I think he still slept better than I did.  It was just one of those nights – I was nervous about Ava waking up again, guilty that Kevin was on the floor while I was sprawled in the comfy bed, annoyed that I couldn’t sleep, etc.  Ugh.

But!  We all survived (Kevin’s shoulder just barely), and woke up to half a foot of snow.  It was beautiful!  Freezing – around 5 degrees.  But beautiful.  And the condo is so well insulated that the air conditioner was running inside, so cozy, cozy.  We had a nice breakfast – Sue and Craig had bought fruit, English muffins, peanut butter, so Ava got her regular breakfast, which I think she appreciated.

img_0051

We relaxed and played and went to Micci’s for lunch.  On the drive home, there was a minor incident involving Pearl (the car) and an icy road and a road sign pole, but the pole took the brunt of the damage and sacrificed itself to keep us from hitting another car, so all in all…whew.  Pearl has a slight scratch that you’d only notice if you knew to look for it and the pole is still standing – just at a bit more of an angle than before.  After lunch I managed to get Ava down for a crib nap and Kevin and I escaped to the Cherry Creek Mall.  I needed to get a couple of watch batteries and a few links taken out of a watch so it would fit better.  Kevin stopped by Art of Shaving and we wandered around.  We tromped home through the snow and found that Ava had woken up soon after we left so the nap had been quite short.  Boo.  More playing, relaxing, etc. and then we headed downtown to The Chophouse for dinner.  It was delicious – I had the prime rib, Kevin and Craig had the bone-in rib eye, Sue had the filet, Ava had sweet potato fries, cornbread, and a bit of everyone’s steak.  We made it home safely – the roads had not gotten any better as the sun went down.  Night two brought good sleep for all of us – Ava fought going to sleep once again, but once she finally surrendered, it was fine.  Craig and Sue’s couch in Denver has one long cushion, so Kevin brought that into our room and slept on it next to Ava.

On Sunday we had a relaxing morning and Ava cuddle napped with me for an hour and a half or so.  Craig went to pick up Panera and we ate that before bundling up and bidding Sue and Ava and Teddy adieu to head to the main event – the Broncos versus Patriots football game.  Tickets to the game were a generous birthday gift to Kevin from Craig and Sue.  Craig drove us to a friend’s house where we loaded up into his car and he drove us and Jana, another friend, to the light rail train station.  We took the train to the stadium and found our seats.  We were there 45 minutes or so before kick off, and because it was pretty cold, the stadium filled up slowly.  It was nice to have so few people there initially and we got to watch the teams warm up.

img_0058

img_0060

We were in seats facing the sun and I didn’t mind at all the fact that I’d forgotten my sunglasses because it was downright comfy, despite the mercury sitting at about 20 degrees.  That blessed sun was a game changer.  Once it went down it got a little colder and the game was a bit disappointing.  It was awesome to see Tom Brady play in person though – he makes that quarterbacking thing look effortless.

img_0078

img_0086

img_0089

After the game we trekked back to the station and caught a train, disembarking and finding our friend waiting for us in his warm car.  He took us back to his house where we got into Craig’s car and he dropped us at the condo while he went to pick up Ollie’s (Chinese – some of our favorite food in Denver) for dinner.  Jana came over, Sue filled us in on the fun she, Ava, and Teddy had while we were at the game, and my feet eventually thawed from their game induced state of frozen.

I slept on the cushion next to Ava that night and we all slept well.  Just what we needed for the ride home the next day.  We left a little bit before Craig and Sue, but we all made it back to Albuquerque at around the same time.  Ava slept well from Denver to Raton, where we stopped for lunch, but she didn’t nap on the second half of the drive.  She grumbled a bit and we sang a lot of songs.  We were all giddy to be home!  We had a wonderful time with Craig, Sue, and Teddy, and it had been a great trip, but there is truly no place like home.  And we all missed Kiki and Rue.  They’d had a family friend stay with them, and they seemed a little disappointed to see us walk in that evening instead of her.  We tried not to take it personally.

Do you like road trips?  What’s the longest road trip you’ve taken?

A Thanksgiving sweekend.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I love that it reminds me to be thankful of the many blessings in my life (really – shouldn’t every day be Thanksgiving in that respect?) and I love the family tradition that my mom and her siblings and their spouses have kept since my cousins and I were babies.  We get together every Thanksgiving and Easter and those are two of my favorite days of the whole year.  My extended family is so much fun.  My mom has three siblings and between the four of them there are 12 in my generation (I’m the oldest and the youngest is a decade younger than me).  Ava’s generation has…I don’t even know how many kids.  16?  She’s the second youngest thus far (wait – third youngest!  My cousin is expecting her fourth baby in a few months!) and the oldest two are in Kindergarten so I know that these cousins are going to grow up as close as me and my cousins did – if we do our job and keep bringing them together for holidays.

Anyway, Kevin and I downloaded a book on Audible and hit the road Thursday morning around 10:00.  Ava barely peeped during the whole drive – it aligned perfectly with her naptime.  We enjoyed our book, and it was just a great trip all around.  We got to my aunt and uncle’s house around 11:30 and started having fun with the fam.

img_9710

img_9708

Ava loved exploring Dale and Gail’s huge house, we all enjoyed a lot of great food, and there was a great game of Squeak (basically group solitaire).  We did a mannequin challenge mid-game and that was really fun!  Here is a video I put together, showing off our mad mannequin skills:

We headed home around 4:00 – right around when Ava needed another nap – and she slept like a champ on the way home while Kevin and I listened to our book.

Friday we took it pretty easy in the morning.  Craig and Sue watched Ava for a few hours mid-day while Kevin and I ran some errands, met a friend of his for lunch, and took a nap.  Then we went to Craig and Sue’s where we decorated the Christmas tree and enjoyed some tasty creamy chicken soup.

img_9712

The evening included cuddles on the couch, football, and Andes mints for dessert.

img_9722

On Saturday morning I went for a pedicure and the remainder of the day was a relaxing one at home.  Lots of reading and football.  Ava took an amazing two hour crib nap mid-day.  We took a family walk – it was dreary and grey but not cold.  Saw some ducks.

img_9729

We picked up Dion’s for dinner, which was delicious.

Sunday we did our grocery shopping and Shawna dropped off some family photos she’d recently taken for us.  Ava took another great two hour crib nap (she feels sooooo good when she gets a great nap!  Especially in the crib.).  Mid-afternoon we turned on Louis Armstrong Pandora and started making our favorite beef stew.  It is so delicious and the time in the kitchen with Kevin reminded me how good we are at cooking together.  We’re so in sync – carefully working our way through different parts of a recipe and merging the finished products for a delicious meal.  I love cooking with Kevin.  His parents came over for dinner and it was a lovely evening.  Ava went to bed at 7:00, Kevin and I read and watched the Broncos game (so close!  Disappointing ending, for us anyway).  And that was the sweekend.

How was your Thanksgiving?  What is your favorite holiday?  Share your favorite cornbread recipe with me, please!  (I was disappointed in the one I used made to go with the beef stew.)

 

The thankfulist.

1

What better time than the eve of Thanksgiving to list what makes me the most thankful-ist.

My family. My husband is loving and kind and considerate and the BEST father to Ava. I am so thankful we chose one another to have and to hold through this life. Ava is the shiniest light in that life – her sweet smile and laugh and voice make my heart so happy. I’m thankful for my feline family members – Kiki and Rue – who let me rub their bellies, the utmost sign of love and adoration. And beyond the walls of my house are parents, a sister, in-laws, aunts, uncles, and cousins who support me, make me laugh, and make the world a better place, simply by being in it.

My friends. Near and far, they – nay, you! My sweet blog friends, you’re in this too – are amazing. Truly – how lucky am I to have such smart, inspirational people in my life. Thank you.

Also on the serious list is good health, a safe and warm house, and a job that challenges me and lets me spend time with people I admire. I don’t ever want to take these things for granted because I know how blessed I am to have them.

I’m thankful for little things too like crib naps, Netflix, books, leggings, roasted chicken and sweet potatoes (seriously – I want it every night), Amazon Prime, and Moscato.

I asked Kevin to list a few things he’s thankful for and here they are, verbatim-ish:

1. Pea Bear, Kiki, Ruester, you (Amy), my (his) family.
2. The schedule we have that allows us to spend so much time together and with Ava.
3. Our health.
4. Coffee.
5.Football.

We speculated about what Ava would say she’s thankful for – top five include:

1. Her cats – she adores those four legged furry siblings of hers.
2. Bamba.
3a. Cuddle naps.
3b. Monkey. When she is forced to take a crib nap, Monkey is a small consolation.
4. Books. Especially the ones low enough to pull off shelves.
5. Her box of sandwich bags that are kept in a bottom drawer. She makes a beeline for it when she’s in the kitchen, pulls the baggies out one by one – and occasionally by the handful – – and carries a bag around with her when forced to leave the kitchen.

Happy Thanksgiving, from us to you!

What are you thankful for – serious or silly? 

One-derful.

Our first born will only turn one once so Kevin and I decided to take the day (October 24) off work. We started the morning off right – with our favorite breakfast burritos. The chile was a little spicy for our little Pea Bear so she had Bamba and fruit and toast with jam. She seemed content with those options. :)

After breakfast we went for a walk around the neighborhood. The fall colors were perfect and I couldn’t help but feel a little smug that Ava has an October birthday. Then I felt silly for feeling smug about something like that. But truly – October is the best month.

img_9358

We played at home for a bit and Ava took a nice morning nap. Then we picked up Flying Star – solely so Ava could have blueberry pancakes – and Sue and Craig (aka Grandma and Grandpa) came over for lunch.

 

img_9264

Ava very much enjoyed her pancakes and she very much enjoyed Craig’s wallet. The kid loves wallets – she likes holding the credit cards and saying, “Charge it.” (Don’t worry – she also loves paying the statement balance in full each month.) Grandma bought her allllllll the 12 month clothes and elegantly stuffed them in this cute overnight duffle bag.

img_1082

 

The little fashionista is set on the wardrobe front.

After Craig and Sue left, we took Ava to a nearby toy store. We want to take her there each year on her birthday to choose a gift. This year she seemed especially taken with a little blue car.

img_9468

So we went home with the little blue car. But first we went to Frost – a gelato place. Ava’s first ice cream! At first it seemed like she wasn’t exactly sure what to think.  It’s cold!  It can’t be chewed!  It’s sweet!  She kept going back for more though and we think she loved all three flavors we got – chocolate, mint chocolate chip, and strawberry yogurt.  Like father, like daughter.

img_9291

That evening we picked up Dion’s for dinner so Ava could have her favorite – meatballs.

img_9299

She was so chatty and cheerful and charming all day.  It’s like she knew it was a special day.

On Saturday my parents and sister (aka Nana, Granddad, and Aunt Lisa) drove into town and we partied with them and Kevin’s parents. Kevin made some amazing guacamole and grilled up some delicious burgers, we roasted some sweet potato and regular potato “fries”, poured some store bought pasta salad into a bowl, and had ice cream with hot fudge for dessert. Ava loved her sweet potato fries, nibbled on her burger and the pasta salad, and went face first into her smash cake. We sang her happy birthday (she seemed a little confused by that part), blew out her candle, and placed the cake on her high chair tray. She dipped her hand in the frosting, tasted the cream cheese deliciousness, and decided to go all in. It was adorable.

{The below balloons were the only décor we had for the party.  Fortunately, Ava’s not on Pinterest so she doesn’t know what a sub-par party planner her mother is.  Someday she’ll learn but I’m living large in the meantime.  Sue designed the lovely bouquet of balloons and picked them up for us on the morning of the party.}

ee5ea1a2-5254-4bc6-a9ad-d441dcf860e9

 

img_1120

img_1122

img_1125

We cleaned up the birthday girl and then opened up the presents our out of town visitors brought (books and clothes – and a lovely custom table and chairs, Ava sized).

img_9467

Then we just hung out and relaxed. It was a wonderful day, celebrating our little one year old with the people we love the most.

Since we don’t really give Ava sugar we went with a sugar free cake.  Thanks, Allison, for sharing the recipe.  I added blueberries to the batter and made cupcakes rather than a cake and then stacked eight cupcakes together to form a square “cake,” which I then buried under the frosting.  The remaining cupcakes were a good snack/breakfast option over the next few days! 

The staycation that was.

Kevin and I toyed with the idea of taking a long weekend away this summer.  Maybe somewhere in the mountains.  We looked at a few Air B&B cabins and ultimately decided that getting away was more trouble than it was worth.  So instead we chose a weekend to tack a Friday and Monday onto and indulged in a little staycation.  Our goal was for it to be a nice combination of productive and relaxing, and it delivered.

Friday:

We knew it was important to get the productive part out of the way first.  We arranged for Craig and Sue to split the day caring for Ava and Kevin and I tackled the garage – after fueling up on Oscar’s breakfast burritos (aka:  the best breakfast burritos).  The garage had become a catch all for all and while our vehicles fit inside, nothing was organized and it was driving us bonkers.  We hit it hard early in the morning and made a few piles:  dump, keep, and donate.  It gets messier before it gets better, but we started to see progress as we filled the trash bin and recycle bin.  Kevin built some shelves and I killed some spiders and it was a good time all around.  Except maybe for the spiders.  I didn’t think to take before pictures of the mess, but here are a few in progress photos.

image

image

Perhaps the highlight for me was organizing the tools I’d gotten from my dad’s stuff when he passed away a few years ago and learning how to neatly store an extension cord.  I pulled up this YouTube video on the spot and had the extension cord neatly roped within five minutes.  Ahh, technology and education.  It’s a great time to be alive.

image

image

We took a load of stuff to the dump and a load of stuff to recycle and a load of stuff to the hazardous household waste drop off place.  And the garage looked amazing by the end of the day!  Weeks later, we still smile every time we walk out there.

image

image

Kevin was multi-tasking this entire time.  He had seasoned a brisket (that my mom gave him last year – thanks, mom!) and put it on the grill with a smoke box full of mesquite chips.

imageIt smoked low and slow for around 8 hours and we had a delicious dinner that night.  Seriously – so good.  It had this amazing crust on it where the seasoning had charred and the brisket itself was so tender. He was pretty critical of his first meat smoking experience (he’d overfilled the smoke box so the chips couldn’t smoke as much as they should, etc.), but I thought it was the best brisket I’d ever tasted!  Ava liked it too.  That day and the following when she had it in a brisket quesadilla.

image

image

image

Whew.  That was Friday.  We were tired by the end of the day, but really happy about the progress we’d made on the garage!

Saturday:

When Ava went down for her morning nap, I decided to make an impromptu trip to my favorite pedicure place where I relaxed, read my book, and had my toes painted purple.  As I was driving home I noticed a sign for a lemonade stand in the neighborhood so I insisted that Kevin and Ava and I trek down to support the young entrepreneurs.  They were really cute and their start up business had all the markings for success.  Lemonade was “10 cents.  Or more.”  They complimented the baby.  And they were selling apples which they made a point of saying were “freshly picked and washed.”  It was really a sweet little group.  And the lemonade was delicious.

image

image

We took it pretty easy for the rest of the morning and the early afternoon.  I do believe I napped with Rue.

image

Late in the afternoon we went to my cousin’s “I Do BBQ” to celebrate she and her fiancé’s upcoming wedding.  It was fun to see some family members and Ava impressed them with her talent for eating a lot of strawberries.

That evening I went to a friend’s going away party.  It was the first time I’d missed putting Ava to bed for the night and I was a little sad about that.  And nervous for Kevin as he isn’t equipped to nurse her right before bedtime like I always do.  She was like, “nbd, guys,” and went to bed like a champ at her regular bedtime.  When Kevin texted me to let me know she was asleep I was simultaneously relieved and sad that my baby DOESN’T NEED ME.  (Dramatic much?)  The going away party was really fun and a terrific tribute to my sweet, beautiful, kind friend.  Five of us continued the party at a local western bar, which was LOUD.  The people watching was great though.  I was home by 11:30 I think.

Sunday:

We started out the day by picking up breakfast from a local place and eating it at home.  It was a relaxing day altogether!  More reading, napping, playing….

That afternoon we dropped Ava at Craig and Sue’s and took ourselves to a nice dinner out at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.  We may have had a 4:45 reservation time, but we partied like rockstars once there.  Kevin had wine and I had a Diet Coke (heeeey, party people…).  He had a Caesar salad and I had lobster bisque.  We each had steak (mine came with shrimp on top) and got sweet potato casserole and mashed potatoes to share as sides.  That steak.  It was amazing.  Melt in your mouth amazing.  It comes out to the table from the kitchen on 500 degree plates.  A dollop of butter sizzles on top of the steak.  My mouth waters just thinking about the taste.  Yum.  They had a chocolate lava dessert on the menu but I was toooooo full.  Next time I have a game plan – I’ll only eat one piece of bread, get the steak without shrimp, and just eat some of whatever side Kevin orders (probably the sweet potato casserole because he loves that stuff).  Then hopefully I’ll have room for dessert.

image

imageIt was a really lovely dinner out with my man.  I love the addition of Ava to our little family, and it makes the couple time that Kevin and I share when it’s just the two of us even more special.

Monday:

It was a very busy week at work with a big event planned for Thursday, so I had to go into the office for a bit on Monday morning.  Kevin and Ava stayed home and played, and I was home to them by noon.  We enjoyed the rest of our staycation with more relaxing.  It really was a wonderful long weekend!

Did you vacation or staycation this summer?  What’s your preference when you take time off work – to get away or to stay in?