Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Favorite Subject is Subjectivity

I love cooking because while it's formulaic, there's also a lot of room for creativity. I love taking recipes and tweaking them a bit, and I take joy when I find a dish that my husband and I enjoy equally. Such was the case with Cilantro & Lime Crab Salad in Avocado. They were filling, fresh, healthy and delicious. And I couldn't wait to make them again.

On Sunday afternoon we spent part of our day playing cornhole, Jenga and Battleship at a local beer garden while we sipped our local brews (yep, you read that combo correctly. And, yes, I did kick the fella's ass in Battleship... multiple times), then we traipsed to the grocery store with a delightfully small sunny afternoon beer buzz to plan our meals for the week (which is always a challenge since the hubbers is rarely home for dinners). We immediately spied the avocados and decided that our crab salad was in order.

Fast forward to last night. I had just gotten home from hot yoga, dripping in sweat, exhausted and starving. I have also been intentional this week about finding ways to make my husband's life more convenient and easier as he and the restaurant prep for DNC madness (his restaurant is located in the heart of Uptown Charlotte and will be in the eye of the liberal hurricane). While I concocted the world's most perfect omelet (Trader Joe's garden veggie chicken sausage, mushrooms, asparagus and feta cheese, y'all), I decided to whip up some crab salad for him to enjoy for a late night dinner, lunches, etc. I took a cursory glance at the recipe and got to work. 

Crab-mayo-onion-cilantro-lime-cumin-red pepper... dump in a bowl. Easy. Except this time it was much runnier than the previous time. So I added more crab and more onion. Then a little bit more. But it still wasn't right. At that time I deemed it prudent to re-consult the recipe. At which point I noticed that the recipe had asked for 1/2 a TABLESPOON of mayo. Not the 1/2 CUP of mayo that I had added. So I did what any sane person who doesn't accept culinary defeat would do. I put a lid on the bowl, shoved it in the back of the fridge, chowed on my omelet and pretended it never happened.

We Bought a House!

On Sunday night the Hubbers and I Redbox'd "We Bought a Zoo," and now every time I think of our house I picture that little girl yelling "We bought a HOUSE!" And we did. And we're so excited. I have been living in our little Myers Park condo for four years now. The fella moved in in January (and I moved home until our wedding, so we didn't co-habitate), and we have loved starting our marriage in such cozy quarters, but we also realized quickly that we needed more space. With two of us, two pups and hopefully an expanding family soon, we need room. 

We worked with a fabulous realtor and looked at about 18 houses. We even put an offer on a huge foreclosure and spent time alone on its front porch one night praying over it, telling God that we knew He was the Provider, and praying for the family that would live there, be it us or another one. We were so disappointed when our offer wasn't accepted, but we were so excited knowing that God had something even better in mind for our family. 

And we found the perfect one. In a precious family neighborhood, our home is nestled on a triple cul-de-sac corner lot with a front porch, fenced back yard, and open floor plan. To say that we're excited about be an understatement, and I'm pretty positive that I've spent more time Pinning house ideas than I did wedding ideas. We can't wait to move and call it home. Assuming that everything goes through as planned we'll be packing up our micro-life and closing on our new abode on September 28th. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

To Have and To Hold

On August 11, I had the sincere pleasure of being a bridesmaid in my lovely Lobster's wedding. It is so special to me that we were able to in one another's weddings mere months apart. To no one's surprise, she was a stunning bride, and the wedding and reception were everything that she and her fantastic new husband are - elegant, classy, sophisticated, timeless and fun. We are so excited for many married double (and triple, MK!) dates in our future!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Every Day I'm Pedalin'

So here's the thing about me... I want to love surprises. I love the idea of surprises. I love the end result of surprises. I don't do so well when I anticipate there might be a surprise coming. Such was the case with my birthday last week.

My husband was able to secure an afternoon and evening off of work - a true gift in and of itself, and I assured him that all I wanted was a quiet night in with him and my family. And he assured me that was what we would have. As the day progressed, however, I began to sense that there may be more going on. Small things friends would say... or not say, overly descriptive texts about our plans... they started to make me wonder, and they started to stress me. I started slyly asking my beloved friends what they were doing that evening, and they began to squirm. Hubbers finally texted me and nicely told me to leave people the hell alone and just enjoy my day.

When I arrived home, I was delighted to find our condo door bedecked with arts and crafts and our living room swathed in stars and streamers. I found my husband cooking up a storm in the kitchen with a glass of wine in hand for me. I lounged on the couch - kind of... I was very antsy and asking too many questions, and finally heard a knock on the door. I excitedly let my family in and thought we were having the at-home celebration I'd requested.
Every few minutes, though, there would be another knock on the door, and our home steadily filled with friends. Like a reverse surprise party, since I had no idea who would come next. When it felt like we'd hit critical mass, we feasted on some chef-prepared lettuce wraps, unwrapped gifts (well I did that... it wasn't a group activity) and sipped wine and beer. 

The hubbers entered the room, clapped his hands and asked if we were ready to go. I was confused, but everyone else immediately headed for their cars, and we were whisked off on a mystery adventure. I began to worry when we arrived in a back alley Uptown right behind the Rescue Mission. But my fears soon subsided when I spotted The Party Pedaler... a communal bike, type contraption with a built-in bar. I soon learn that we'd been atop that vehicle for the night doing a bar crawl around Charlotte. 
Y'all. This was seriously the most fun. We pedaled all around Uptown on a gorgeous night stopping to drink along the way, singing Wicked show tunes or Xtina hits on the microphone and just being all around ridiculous. I know I was such a pain to deal with as I tried to control every plan and figure out every surprise, but my husband knocked it out of the park and made sure that 26 started on an amazing note.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Where in the World?

I can't believe it's been nearly a month since I've posted. Although, I shouldn't really be surprised. After working for 32 straight days, this is the first time I've felt like I could write and catch my breath. Here's what my month has consisted of...

1. Work. A lot of it. It's such a blessing to love my job the way I do. Although, 32 days straight is a long time for anything!
2. Yoga. When I can. I've been yog'ing 2-4 days a week for the past few months. I did have a forced 10 day respite during my work stretch, and coming back was painful, but dang if I don't adore it.
3. A rehearsal dinner. Since I have Fridays off, but only 4 weeks a year, I was able to take a quick trip down to Knoxville to celebrate my cousin's rehearsal dinner. Although I couldn't stay for the wedding, it was great to connect with family, albeit briefly. 
4. Sewing! I've been taking orders for my Hems & Hers line again. I thought it would add undue stress, but since the hubbers works nights, it's great for me to be productive while I wait for him to get home. 
5. I turned 26! My husband planned the best party for me... I can't wait to update about that... seriously. So. Much. Fun.
6. I learned how important changes of scenery are. 

I am so lucky to live in Charlotte, NC, where we're fairly equidistant from the mountains and the beach and day trip options are numerous. Hubbers and I have both been wading through stressful seasons at work. We also highly prioritize Sunday nights as date nights together. This week I wanted to shake things up, so after wrapping the 11:15 worship experience, I tucked my main squeeze in the car and jetted about an hour and a half up the road for a day of grapes and sunshine at Childress Vineyards. We spent the afternoon sipping, chatting, reconnecting and being refreshed. On the way home we stopped at Concord Mills for some perusing, and then planted ourselves firmly at Dave & Buster's for a couple of hours of arcade fun... because, well, why not? We capped our day with Jamaican jerk chicken nachos and a beer at our favorite English pub and some generous cups of TCBY. Even though we were still close to home, breaking out of our routine was one of the most invaluable decisions we've made recently.