Things that have happened or are happening: new job, lots of work, spring weather, consumerism at its finest, sailing season is gearing up, the patio is ready for enjoyable evening wine sipping, Gracie amusing us day in and day out.
Things that have not been happening: blogging. Not even a little bit.
The new job continues to stretch my mind on a daily basis but the good news is that I really, really like it. The subject matter is stuff I’m passionate about, I am using said subject matter in new ways, and the company I work for us a good match for me. Win-win-win!
B is also busy at work, billing hours and taking names. Sailing season has begun again- he was down in Charleston for a week to kick it off- and the boat work days have begun. He managed to get my Dad sucked into sailing a few years ago, so we’ve been seeing my Dad as he comes into town to travel to the boat work days with B. Gracie has really enjoyed the time with her Papa.
We’ve had a lot of family in town over the past two months, and that has been great as well. Grandparents and Gracie get along like peas and carrots. Rhett Butler doesn’t mind a few extra hands to give him belly rubs either. My brother also got to come which was really nice- meshing our schedules is never easy and it was great to have him out here.
For Easter we hosted a bunch of friends in Chicago that were not traveling home (or having family travel to them) for various reasons – it was really nice and fun. My cousin at Northwestern was able to come down, we had multiple kids hunting eggs in the living room, and I made enough ham for 40 people despite only having about 20. Nothing better than a home full of laughter and good food. I highly recommend this fancy truffled deviled egg recipe for anyone feeling like they need to provide a fancy side dish.
Gracie continues to amuse us daily. This evening we were in the kitchen and she was holding a clean mixing bowl. I told her it went in a drawer where I have about 6 nesting mixing bowls. I didn’t think much of it, but when I turned back around she had taken all the bowls out of the drawer, then she spread them out, properly nested them back together in the right order and then began giving herself a pep talk about putting them away carefully because they were “so heavy.” I watched from a distance and when she turned around I gave her a big high five and hug. She never ceases to amaze us with her new skills -and take this as an endorsement for those dang nesting stacking cups babies play with! For Mother’s Day we all went to brunch and then over to Nordstrom where her foot measured at a 7.5 (what?? all her shoes are size 5 and 6…Mom guilt…) and she charmed shoppers on every floor by carrying a shopping bag and a shoe department balloon with a lot of sass. She was not interested in photos at brunch though:
I have tried a few new recipes I’d like to endorse. Try this cheesy pasta with tomato cream sauce if you need something delicious and comforting (it makes well a day in advance), these spinach and black bean enchiladas for vegetarian Mexican food, and this roasted broccoli if you need to mix up the usual side dish suspects.
As far as consumerism…oh man. Gracie got two new car seats because we’d like to keep her rear facing past the age of two (we are aiming for as close to 4 as we can get) and she was outgrowing the original seats we bought, at least rear facing. We traded out a Combi Coccoro and older Britax Boulevard 70 G-3 for a Britax Boulevard Clicktight and a Chicco Nextfit CX. We love both and we are glad to upgraded. The Britax is great for a center install with seatbelt in my car, and the Nextfit is awesome in our SUV- both are compact front to back, which is great. (No judging those who move their kids around earlier, but extended rear facing feels right for us). Speaking of cars we *finally* traded in our 2003 Grand Am for something new – Mama is now driving a 2015 Subaru Legacy and it feels downright luxurious every day when I get in. Bluetooth, safety features, all wheel drive, and heated windshield wipers (and seats) – yup, talk about upgrades! In less pricey news, I got a Fitbit Charge HR that I’m really enjoying (further proof I need to move more during the day) and we bit the bullet and had a carpet cleaning company come out and steam clean our upholstered furniture. I won’t go into the details, but, uh, everyone should consider doing that from time to time. I also strongly recommend the Babyiator sunglasses Gracie is wearing above- flexible, shatter proof, and come with a one year guarantee against breakage or loss. She wears them in the car when the sun is in her eyes and they do the job quite nicely.
I braved the crowds at Target for the Lilly for Target bonanza, thinking that my Chicago target would be just a few people perusing the racks. I sorely underestimated my fellow Chicagoans, but I did manage to grab a few cute things for Gracie. I wouldn’t have braved the women’s department if someone offered me $100 for my time. My Mom found a few more pieces for next summer at her less-crazy Target so that was a fun foray into controversial consumerism. (You know what they say about opinions….)
I have had time to read a few books (books over blogging I guess…oops?) and I finished All The Light We Cannot See the week it was awarded the Pulitzer. It felt very fancy to be sure. I also enjoyed Girl On the Train and now I’m halfway through (and very much liking) Cold Sassy Tree. Next up is The Royal We and Elephant Company. Let me know if there is anything I should add to my list.
B is getting a bike this summer and we are looking into getting a bike trailer for Gracie to ride in so we can go on rides as a family- if you have any suggestions, please pass them along!
Anyway, with all of that mashed together into one lump, I think we can call this a blog post. Things are going well despite my infrequent writing and I hope you are all doing well (or, you know, still around and haven’t totally forgotten about this little blog).
(Amazon links affiliate, as per usual)