Tag Archives: katie

Birthday, Birthday…

What do you get when you layer fabulous hometown beer, grilled steaks, and triple chocolate mousse cake? An amazing birthday. Yesterday was my birthday, I’m inching closer to the big 4-0 and I’m actually feeling pretty good about it. It helps to have a wonderful husband who is 12 years older and has very little sympathy for me where the aging process is concerned.

Mike is going to be 50 this year and he still gets up every morning and wages a life or death struggle with his ridiculous cat. That is a man who is not going quietly into senility by any stretch. I really have very little room to complain about 40 looming out there, just two years away.

I also have to appreciate a man who will stretch my birthday into an entire weekend of celebrating. Our family is notorious for stretching out birthdays and my birthday was certainly no exception. We celebrated all weekend long and it was wonderful!!

Saturday we spent a few hours at Lengthwise Pub. We indulged in the Zeus Imperial IPA (probably the only IPA I actually enjoy) and some fabulous food. I also had a Truffle, Lengthwise Kern County Crude Porter mixed with their Raspberry Wheat. It made for a delightful, chocolate-y, coffee, raspberry, dessert beer. I’m a dark beer girl at heart so this was the ideal way to end our trip to Lengthwise.

Sunday morning we rolled out of bed and headed to a local breakfast spot, J&M’s Bar & Grill. Mike had the homemade corned beef hash and eggs with a side of biscuits and gravy. I had the eggs benedict and the girls had pancakes and french toast. The eggs benedict was really fabulous. I’m picky about my hollandaise sauce and this one fit the bill nicely. It was the ideal way to start the day of my official birthday.

We spent the day visiting some nurseries in town. Our weather has been so spring-like lately that we almost forgot it was still January. It was a great day just hanging out with family and enjoying a little sunshine and mild weather.

One of the highlights of my birthday was logging into Facebook and seeing all the sweetest, birthday wishes from friends and family. I am really blessed to know some amazing people and have some of the sweetest friends on the planet.

Sunday morning I found myself tagged on instagram with the sweetest birthday collage ever:

Birthday collage

Katie is the most thoughtful daughter a mom could ever want. Each one of these pictures is a really great memory for me. There is Katie’s first birthday up in the top right corner and the bottom slide is from a baseball game last summer. Needless to say, this was a really special and very thoughtful treat.

We ended my birthday with a fabulous dinner. Mike grilled gorgeous steaks and we had a great dinner with all the trimmings. My birthday cake this year was an amazing triple chocolate mousse cake. There really aren’t enough words to describe the decadence of that cake, it was truly a cake fit to cap off an amazing birthday weekend.

Of course, after all that weekend indulgence the girls and I were out first thing this morning for a 2 mile run. 😉

Now to figure out how to fill the next 11 months until my next birthday! 😉 We have lots of adventures planned this year so I bet it will fly by!

Halloween Jack O' Lanterns

I Blinked and October was Gone

Just like that… October was gone. I can’t believe how fast it flew by! We’ve spent this month doing all the usual fall things. We watched our favorite Halloween movies. One lovely evening we took a long drive out to a farm to pick the perfect pumpkins. I prepped Maggie’s Halloween costume. It was a really wonderful October. But, I’m still shocked at how quickly it flew by, I really do feel like I blinked and October was gone.

Katie and the Bean October 2013

Katie and Sunny Bean

One of the highlights was getting to have a weekend visit with Anna and her family. I can’t tell you how much I adore the Bean. That baby is the funniest, cutest, little spitfire you’ve ever seen! We watched Halloween movies on the big screen in the backyard, smoked ribs, and had brunch at The Crystal Palace. This was their second visit and I can’t begin to tell you how much we enjoy having them here.

The big ending to October was Halloween, of course. We called in an order to our favorite Italian restaurant which made dinner fun and easy. This year we had so many trick-or-treaters that we ran out of candy before 9pm! Usually we have candy left over but not this year! Mike had door duty because I had costume and make-up duty. Katie and her adorable boyfriend, Collin, took Maggie and Collin’s little sister out trick-or-treating. So, the girls got to hit two neighborhoods and they brought in quite the haul!

Some highlights from October and Halloween:

Almost every time Mike answers the door he tells the kids that he forgot it was Halloween and would it be okay if he just gave them a slice of bologna. Seriously. Most kids are very polite and tell him that will be just fine. One said – No, that’s not okay.

The Jack O’ Lanterns…
Halloween Jack O' Lanterns, October 2013 Left to right: Mike’s traditional “puking pumpkin” my creepy Jack O’ Lantern, Maggie’s vampire, and Katie’s owl. 🙂 I think these are some of my favorite pumpkins ever!

For the last several years I have begged Maggie to go as Chowder for Halloween. This year she relented… and even managed to make it sound like it was her idea!

Chowder Halloween costume, October 2013

Maggie as Chowder

I have to admit, not only was this an easy costume, it was super comfy too! Chowder has been over for a few years so only a couple of people recognized her… but, she looked great!!

Of course, Halloween is just a warm up for the holiday season around here. I’m prepping for a big family weekend with all of Mike’s awesome family. Katie and I are getting our decorating plan together for Christmas and I’ve started Christmas shopping. I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about the holiday season!

Lucky Mama

Mother daughter time, #motherdaughtertime It’s our little ritual. Our time together. Maybe not every weekend, but more Saturdays than not Katie and I slip out early before anyone else is up. First stop is usually Starbucks, I get a latte and she usually has something with salted caramel, blended or hot, it depends more on her mood than the weather. Sometimes a pastry is involved, her favorite is banana bread, I love the maple scone, if it’s fall then we get pumpkin muffins.

The next stop depends on the mission. Sometimes it’s a craft store for inspiration or project necessities. Other times it might be the more exotic store down the way with interesting imports and fun knick-knacks. Sometimes it’s Target to pick up everyday necessities and possibly a new addition to our pajama collections. There are just as many times when we run to the grocery store to pick up a few things to make breakfast for everyone at home. The projects and tasks at hand propel us but the errand is never boring and always includes a ridiculous amount of giggling and snarky comments.

Our work/school week is so busy that aside from going over the day’s events around the dinner table in the evening, we don’t get a lot of down time. Taking the time to run out for coffee on a sunny Saturday morning gives us a chance to have fun and reconnect. For me, it’s not just about connecting with my daughter, it gives me a chance to just hang out and feel a little bit the way I used to when I was a kid and my friends and I would walk down to the mall to hang out. It keeps me connected to my daughter and in touch with my youth just a little bit.

I’m lucky, because all of that is easy to accomplish when I’ve been blessed with such an amazing daughter.

Sitting here with you dear makes me wanna sing
Today the sun is shinin’ on me
Sitting with my feet in the breeze
Ain’t sweating the little things
And who knows what tomorrow is gonna bring
But today, the sun is shinin’ on me
– Shinin’ On Me, Jerrod Niemann