Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend 2012 has been a hectic success. We managed to have a great balance between chores, fun, and relaxation. If only all weekends were this good. And 3-days long.

Our weekend was full of firsts! Here's a rundown:
1. Friday night started with a trip to the AMC Main street downtown to see The Avengers with the in-laws. This was the first time we had been to this theater and finally understand all the talk we hear about it. It has a full bar/restaurant as well as all these cool movie quotes and pictures of movie stars all over the place. Oh yeah, and the movie was good too. C would want me to say that. ;)

2. After the movie, we all headed to Grinder's for a late dinner. This was another first for us. Grinders has been on our list for awhile; it was featured on the Food Network (Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, I believe). It was pretty good, and we would definitely go back, but I must admit we didn't fully understand the hype. The food was decent, but honestly the best thing we had was the Gouda potato casserole side dish. That doesn't say much for a place "known" for their sandwiches.

3. Saturday consisted of a morning run, yard work, errands, and cooking club! We were thrilled to host cooking club again at our house. On the menu: Black Thai Burgers with mushrooms, Pesto Mashed Potatoes, Spinach, Avocado, and Orange Salad, and Tortilla Dessert Wraps with homemade vanilla ice cream for dessert. I finally made homemade ice cream! Another first! AND another thing checked off my list. :)

This was delicious!

4. Sunday we used our hedge trimmer for the first time and FINALLY trimmed our bushes. The sidewalk leading to our front door was being over-taken by green. I'm happy to say that a few hours of hard work and a slight sunburn later, we have our sidewalk back!

5. Sunday night was spent at Celebration at the Station with C's family. The weather ended up being really nice with a cool breeze.

6. This morning we kicked off our Memorial Day with the Amy Thompson Run for Brain Injury 8k. It was hot, but we managed to get our best time yet (this is our 3rd year doing this run) with a time of 48:53. The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing and doing some much needed cleaning around the house.

Overall, this is exactly what we needed this weekend. I'm thrilled to go back to work knowing my house is clean, my laundry is done, and my to-do list is a little shorter. I hope you all are going back to work well rested and refreshed after the holiday weekend.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

1 more month

My birthday is in exactly 1 month and I still have some major and some not-so-major projects to get done on my 26 Before 27 list. It turns out I not only suck at blogging, but I also kind of stink at my to-do lists. Darn. Oh well, life is busy and I'm enjoying it either way.

Here are some things I'll be focusing on over the next 4 weeks, in addition to living my life.

3. Learn to sew (Can we be honest with each other? I'm probably not going to master sewing in the next 4 weeks.)
5. Cook all the printed recipes in my recipe folder (Cook ALL the recipes! Or, just make a concentrated effort to make more new recipes. That's kind of the same thing, right?)
9. Bake a pie from scratch
13. Refinish the landscaping on the side of our house (While at Lowe's, Chase and I actually looked at landscaping bricks. This is a big step. Now just to buy them...)
14. Frame wedding posters
15. Make wedding album
18. Bake bread from scratch
19. Make homemade ice cream
21. Visit the Nelson-Atkins Museum
23. Join a group/do more community service
I'm pretty sure I can get those baking and cooking things tackled. I might even be able to squeeze a visit to Nelson-Atkins in over the weekend, assuming my travel schedule slows a bit. As for the rest? Well they might make a good start to my 27 Before 28 list, right?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

I have the most wonderful mother. She is supportive, smart, and strong. She is an incredible listener. She gives great advice, but always asks first to make sure I want to hear it. She is one of the few people I will actually go shopping with. Not because we share the same taste, we don't always, but because she will tell me the truth about how things look and knows that ultimately my first instinct will always drive my decision on whether or not to buy something. My first instinct ultimately drives most decisions in my life. She doesn't try to talk me out of or into anything. She understands I am independent. She has understood that my whole life. After moving me into the dorms my first semester at college, her parting words to me were "Try to come home at least once before Thanksgiving."

My mother was a teacher. I didn't go to the school she taught at, but I know she was one of those really great teachers because her past students still loved her. Once I was in high school, many of my classmates that had been my mom's former students quickly recognized me as "Mrs. Sampson's daughter." To this day she keeps in touch with students she had in her first year of teaching, over 30 years ago. Even though I wasn't ever in her class, I know what an impact she made on so many of her students. It's because of my mom, and the many teachers I had just like her, that I have always wanted to work with children. I see the impact a strong and supportive adult can have on the life of a child, and I only hope to make an impact like that during my lifetime.

I'm so glad my mom will be spending Mother's Day at my house, so I can show her just how much I appreciate everything she has done for me and taught me over the years. I hope everyone remembers to celebrate their mother's this Sunday, even if that means mailing a card or making a phone call. And Happy Mother's Day to my mother, my mother-in-law, and all my beautiful friends who are working everyday to be the best mothers possible.

Look how cute my parents are. Can you believe they've been married over 32 years?