Hi guys! I'm starting with my girl Abigail. It was her 23rd birthday Monday and we all went out for dinner to celebrate. She looks pretty sophisticated with her glasses on, doesn't she? I don't know if I've you told you that Abby, my last baby, was just 5 pounds when she was born 3 weeks early. They took her right away from me although she scored 10 on the Agpar. I waited and waited to see her and finally after 5 hours they said I could go down to the preemie unit. As I had had an epidural and my right leg still felt numb, I was told they would bring a wheelchair in. And that they did. Well, it gets embarrassing after this. I waited and waited and no one came to take me to see her. Finally I called the front desk on my little thingie by the bed and told them I was still waiting for someone to wheel me down to the unit. And the reply, "Oh, Mrs. B, we gave you the wheelchair to push and maintain your balance, no one is going to bring you there." Oh my, I was mortified! I limped down there in my goofy gown and even goofier hospital socks, pushing an empty wheelchair and oh boy, the looks I got! Ha! Short story made long, as per usual.
We had a great time. Here's Papa. 85 years young. He has a great time wherever he goes. He really has an inspiring way of focusing on the good. I remember many many years ago trying to involve him in my tales of woe and he always held up his hands (still does) and said, "S*** happens. Nothing you can do about it." Just love that attitude. And another one for prosperity sake, "You're talking to the wrong person." Love that one.
So this is where we had dinner. All hand crafted beer with unusual names (wish I had jotted a few down). Excellent food. The whole family came (Abby's Tom is on spring break), so there were 12 of us. We brought our own ice cream cake and just had a great time. I took pictures with my phone and they came out terrible. At least you can see the birthday girl!
My first snowdrops! I was ecstatic! I have been trying to take things slow, do the right things in order. As many of you have experienced, my front and back yards are a terrible mess from this crazy winter we had. I'm really fortunate that I've had a lawn service for the past, hmmmm., maybe 8 years. Before that I did it myself, any excuse to be outdoors. So this year with my renewed spirit in getting my butt in gear and getting my veggie garden going again, putting some time and effort into this home as opposed to the lakehouse, I hired a new service (the last one wasn't all that great), and I opted to have them only do the lawn cutting. I will go back to the weeding and feeding and babying the lawn on my own (on top of my gardens). I am so excited. I love being outside and I'm so glad I'm over this slump I've been in that goes a long way back, which is a story for another day.
My daffs are pushing their way out. I have a lot of them but last fall I planted many, many tulip bulbs because they make better cutting flowers to me. My daffodils get spattered with mud, droop and die off pretty quick when cut for a vase. Not so tulips.
In explaining a little more of the above mentioned "getting out of my slump"...you might remember my oldest son giving me the encouragement/lecture last summer to stop making excuses and get back to the things I love. His words were really magical...okay, in the real world, a catalyst for me to realize that the things we love to do really do give us a respite from so many problems and nagging issues. I just enjoy getting my hands in the dirt, feeling my muscles work, and then feeling so much gratitude and amazement that my efforts actually create something that is beyond beautiful! He is wise beyond his years! Here's to a great year of growing the things we love! And if gardening isn't your bag, get back to the other things you love...they don't drift too far away.
We had the kids for dinner. At least Kevin and MC, and Abby invited Tom. Daughter Emily has been working hard designing rooms and selling furniture. I am praying this is a sign that the economy is improving. I made a red velvet cake with a vanilla whipped cream topping for dessert. I have been doubling cake recipes and making them in springform pans. I think they look prettier.
A simple spring~like table. I used two types of dinner plates (if you look close), and alternated pink and white bowls. I also alternated 2 different types of napkins and rings. You know, I'm really trying to get organized. I don't have a ton of dishes, maybe more than some but not at all like others. And my home is small. The other day I got so fed up with seeing them here and there, wanting them close but out of sight, I had a light bulb moment. I totally cleared out a glass front cabinet in my kitchen that was filled with mismatched wine, martini and beer glasses we would never used. And I fit a good number of dish sets in there. Sometimes the obvious is staring you in the face.
Everything was right there at my fingertips to set this table. My kids, and especially MC and Tom, know that I like to have fun...that this is not a pretentious thing I do. The Husband and I certainly were not raised using real silver and damask napkins! In my mind, I work hard on the meal and I want a wonderful table to go with it. I think everyone feels a little spoiled.
I obviously don't stage things very well. Ha! Nothing here is expensive. The placemats, both these little birdy ones from Target and the woven ones from Pier 1 weren't much. The bowls I've had forever, and I collect vintage silver and silverplate....you will find an abundance at the estate sales here in Chicago. And let me crab for a minute. I have a thing for napkins...I've never met a napkin I didn't like. But I'm a weirdo, sometimes I buy them in sets of four, or six, or eight...etc. I'm never consistent. And I have them pretty much organized in a large basket in that old vintage cabinet between my LR and kitchen. Well, it just drives me crazy. Today. Looking for six matching napkins. Taking the easy way out and doing three of two types. I vow I will sort these napkins. Organize them, press them and put them in zip lock bags marked with the number of them on it. Sounds good? No more digging and scrounging and mixing and wasting time. If you have a better method, please share.
And this is what I face next. I simply asked that the girls rinse and stack and I would get to it tomorrow. Ugh! Can you see that serving platter with the carrots? I had a great dill dip in the center and sliced celery and cucumber around it. We also had pretzel chips with a melted cheese dip. My family converges on appetizers like nothing you've ever seen. It buys me time in the kitchen thankfully, because nothing ever comes out on time!
I apologize for a lengthy post. It has been a few long days, hasn't it? And I so wanted to mention that I met an fantastic blogger the other day, Cathy from My 29 Year Old Charmer. She has been blogging a long time but we just didn't cross paths until recently and it turns out we live less than 10 minutes from each other. So Tuesday we met up for coffee and believe it or not, we sat and talked for just under 4 hours! She is so down to earth... she has the greatest laugh that makes me smile. She is so interesting...a degree in Microbiology and worked in a lab at one of Chicago zoo's (and I believe the largest)for many years. She went on to culinary school and started her own business as a personal chef. And I think for kicks, she became a certified Master Gardener. Oh, what I will learn from this gal. You won't be able to live with me!!! We will be meeting up again soon and I really encourage you to go to her blog if you aren't a follower already. What a sweetheart she is. Did I say she lives less than ten minutes from me? :)
I'm typing this a little bit late because I am determined to get out early tomorrow for a long walk...no excuses, and then finish up some projects in the house. I promised you some spice rubs and I want to get on that. I am super psyched by getting into this because so many of our liquid BBQ sauces have so much sugar in them, and as you know, I gave up sugar. This will be fun.
So, I'll let you off the hook now. Happy Hump Day and I will see you after the weekend! :)
Joining Cindy at Dwellings, The Heart Of Your Home for Amaze Me Monday
Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday