There are some things that are explained best in pictures rather than words (and you know how hard that is for me to do). Nevertheless...
Once upon there was a young girl and a guy. They practically grew up together as her Nana and Papa lived next door to him and his family. He probably pulled on her braids and she most likely tried to keep up with him and her older brothers when they played Running Bases in the street.
These two kids drifted apart and went their separate ways to high school and college. And then one New Years Eve they ran into each other at a party. She had just had her heart broken and he was looking for someone to fill his. They talked and laughed and then kissed...and not like childhood buddies.
Five years later they were married. It was more like a family reunion/block party as all of the family and friends knew each other. It was a joyous occasion.
They found the home of their dreams and if the story can be more ironic, the house was next door to Papa (Nana had passed away), and on the other side of Papa's house was the home of the young man. The same block where they played tag and sat on porches eating ice cream on magical summer evenings. He was no longer pulling her hair and she wasn't pinching him.
They adopted a cute little Boston Terrier who quickly became their little baby. Spoiled beyond belief and loved unconditionally, even when he chewed on the young girls designer shoes.
They nested and worked and made their house a home. She gardened and he helped with doing the dishes. They marveled over the fact that they had not only been best friends for 8 years, but they had a history together that seemed predestined.
And now? Well, this is a new chapter...
The young girl and guy, Emily and Michael, will be adding to their happiness this coming November! A joyous and incredible miracle that will further cement the union of so many families and long time friends.
I am so incredibly happy that my daughter will now have the happiness and feeling of completion that I felt when I found out I found out I was pregnant with her. The Husband and I, as well as her siblings, Jeff, Kevin and Abby, are so excited to welcome another new little one into our lives.
Life is good. No, life is unbelievably happy and fulfilling and incredibly blessed right now.
Couldn't wait to share this with you, my friends!
Okay. Now we can move on to the usual. Before the onslaught of rain we've been experiencing for the past few days, I was able to pull out some of my favorite things from my newly cleaned out shed. I have several birdhouses and even have some young renters in one close near a bathroom window that I can peek at. Sparrows that are busy filling their little abode with this and that. I haven't replenished the bird feeders yet so I added a handful of my parrot's seed to the window ledge and they loved it. Unfortunately the dropped seed attracts quick and little critters with names such a Mickey, Minnie and Mighty. They startle me and I've decided that my feeders need to be hung from some trees away from the patio.
This is a very old birdhouse that needs some repair and the little entrance drilled larger. We mostly have sparrows, robins, cardinals and bluejays and they couldn't fit a leg in this. But its cute, it reminds me of an old run down barn.
Can you believe I finally packed up all of my rabbits, hares, chicks and eggs last week? I was pretty lazy and kept trying to convince myself that they were perfect for spring decor. But the clutter finally got to me and I found a lot of inspiration on Instagram looking at mantels that were beautiful without a huge amount of 'stuff' on them. I now need to pare down the shelves in my living room and switch around a few things on my coffee table. And then take a look at the family room and den. Ugh.
I recently took a long look at my patio which is surrounded by 4 foot hedges. It's not large and our table with an umbrella takes up a majority of the space. Yes, that's how small it is. And then it occurred to me that after all these years of having pots of plants and flowers all over this space, they were 'lost' as they were so close to the ground. So I got on Amazon and ordered a few urns to raise everything up and make the flowers at eye level when relaxing at the table. And these were all at bargain prices. I LOVE Amazon. Please note I have no affiliation with them. I finally broke down and bought some solar lights, they were incredibly inexpensive on Amazon and Emily had bought this brand and said they were just perfect. So my first project once the rain stops is some clean up of the flower beds in this space, adding some mulch, annuals and the pretty lights. I'm sure Milo will not hesitate to lift his leg on them the minute they are stuck in the ground. But Emily reassured me, they're waterproof. I hope so.
I found this cute statue as well. I like a few small ones here and there and I hinted that for Mother's Day I'd love a birdbath. I already have one but my yard is large and another one would be perfect. The one I have now has a hairline crack about 4 inches long and loses water. Any suggestions as to what I can use to fill it?
A lot of food action going on here. I had made some pizza dough back in December and froze it. It was perfect when I took it out of the freezer Friday and let it thaw at room temperature. You can find the recipe here.
I used what I had in the fridge for the toppings; onion, red and green pepper, broccoli and pepperoni (just on half of it). I sautéed these veggies for about 3 minutes over high heat in a skillet with a few drops of olive oil just to take the crunch out of them. Very important The only cheese I had on hand was a small block of Pepper Jack and I grated it up and topped the pizza off with it. Then a small sprinkling of salt, pepper, oregano, thyme and pinch of red pepper flakes.
The sauce is simple. I never buy jarred sauces anymore. It's not worth the money nor the preservatives. I used a 28 oz. can of plum tomatoes in a skillet along with 2 T. butter. I broke the tomatoes up as I went along and added some chopped garlic (about 2 cloves). Add more of the same spices you see above as well as 2-3 teaspoons of sugar. Let it bubble away while you set up the dough on the pizza pan. Once it's reduced, not too thick or thin, you're good.
Pizza dough can't be rolled out like cookie or pie dough. It's very elastic and needs to be stretched. I have fought with pizza dough to the point where I've wanted to throw it against a wall. Today I watched this video and them made a super thin pizza/flatbread that made me wonder why I didn't Google it earlier.
Once the dough is the size of your pizza pan, fold it in half, transfer it to the pan that you've added a small palmful of cornmeal to (keeps the dough from sticking), and unfold. Pat and flatten and push into the edges. Add your toppings and bake at 425 until the crust is browned around the edges. Cool 5 minutes before cutting.
In other news, Abigail and Tom moved into their new apartment over the weekend. The Husband, son Kevin and I drove to the North part of the city. The expressway and Lake Shore Drive was a mess due to the pouring rain and the last day of the NFL Draft celebration in Grant Park. Tom's father was there helping to install their T.V. on the wall. The Husband and Kevin got on the ball putting the bed together and I scoured the bathroom, hung the shower curtain and arranged the guest towels. Abby was running all of her dishes, flatware and glasses through the dishwasher. Once the bed was together I added the sheets, duvet and the pretty decorative pillows she bought. The apartment is small but it has tons of windows and is so bright. I plan to be the Motherzilla and bring her some potted plants for all of those nice, deep windowsills. Everything looks wonderful and once she has tidyed everything up I'll have her send me some pictures.
I'm going to sign off now, I have an early appointment in the city tomorrow with my dermatologist. My rash is doing wonderful but the side effects are still here; headaches, diarrhea, nausea and tiredness. I've only actually vomited a handful of times but I fight it all the time. Still, I am plugging along because for the first time in 20 years I'm not clawing at my skin until it bleeds. I imagine it will be a few more months of this but I'm going to push on.
Thanks for hanging in with me when I've been posting and visiting so sporadically. Just love all you guys! :-)