Monday, May 19, 2008

A Fun Weekend

I finally got to go to an art show with Dustin! For those of you didn’t know, Dustin is working for an amazing artist, who also happens to be his sister’s husband.

My sister in law and I have been wanting to go to a show with them (my husband and hers) and this one worked out really well since it was only about 5 hours away near Charleston, South Carolina. We tried to do it as cheaply as possible since we took everyone with us! So this is what it looked like:

My sister in law and brother in law, their 3 kids, the babysitter and Grandma (brother in law’s mom) all rode in their big van pulling a little U-haul trailer with all of the sculptures and pedestals. My husband and I and our kiddo's rode in our mini van. We got 2 hotel rooms with 2 full beds in each one. Brother in law and sister in law slept in one bed, Grandma in the 2nd. Kid 1 & 2 slept on the floor and kid 3 slept in a pack n play. In our room, my husband and I slept in one bed and the babysitter slept in the other one with both of our kids in pack in plays.

We also tried to plan cheaper meals and took stuff with us to cut down on costs: like sandwiches for lunches, the free continental breakfast at the hotel and easy Mac n cheese for dinner.

We took a babysitter because this show has some really nice meals for the artists in the evenings (which I am going to talk about in depth down below) and we both wanted to go to all of them. We took a girl in our ward that is home from college for the summer and she was great!

The first night's party was held at a historic estate home that is now a Bed and Breakfast. Black Tie was optional. We wore nice church clothes. The 2nd night's party was held at the home of a couple who donate to this art show. Their home is also a Bed and Breakfast. Both nights we had shrimp and grits but they were so different and both SO good.

The first night the shrimp had mushrooms and bacon in a kind of broth served over the grits and topped with cheese and bacon wrapped scallops that were fried. YUM! Also at this party, another surprisingly yummy treat, a grape rolled in goat cheese and then pistachios. WOW. I also liked the salmon on bruschetta and the stuffed mushrooms. It was fun to mingle with everyone but a bit cramped. They had planned to do it outside around the pool but it poured rain right before we got there so they moved it under the porch and inside.

The second night's shrimp and grits were even better. They called it a traditional Lowcountry gourmet meal. The shrimp was in a red sauce with bacon and tomato and the grits were so creamy, I found out later that they were made with butter and half n half or heavy cream. Absolutely sinful. And worth every bite. They also had prime rib, tomato slices with a slice of mozzarella, and delicious fresh green beans.

It was fun to have stimulating conversation and pretend to be an educated person with something to add. We had a very interesting couple at our table. The husband was from Zimbabwe and the wife had lived in Zimbabwe and Zambia but was from England. They had wonderful accents. They were forced to leave Zimbabwe because of something he was doing to protect the wildlife (I think? It was hard to hear and with his accent I didn't quite catch everything he said). He had just gotten back from Uganda because they want him to help with the exact thing he was asked to leave Zimbabwe for. Crazy! Anyway - they were just super nice and it was so cool to talk with them. They live in Montana now. So he was saying that he is a true African American, since he was born in Africa and now lives in America. But he is white. For those of you who don't know - my brother in law is from Nigeria and is black. We all got a kick of that.

I have no pictures :-( , because I can't find my camera.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mother's Day: Remembering My Mom

This Mother's Day will be very bitter-sweet for me. Bitter since it is the first one since my Mom died and sweet because I am finally a Mom myself. The one year mark of her death is fast approaching and I am still grieving. I think of her so often and miss her terribly. It is especially hard as my children reach milestones and she is the first one I want to call and tell. I have a journal where I am trying to capture all of my thoughts and feelings of her. I want my kids to know who she was. She was such a part of their lives when they were fist born; we spent the first 8 weeks together. I really treasure the memories I have of that time. My Mom was such an amazing person and if I turn out to be even half the woman she was - then I am doing pretty good. She was kind, loyal, sincere, and curious, a good cook, a gardener, patriotic, spiritual, loved the Lord, accepting, hard working, selfless, creative, loving, strong, honest, loved the country and missed the farm, and loved to spend time with her family camping and playing games. She sacrificed so much to raise her children and take care of her family and often forgot herself in the process. As I have gotten older, my husband has teased me about certain things saying that I am turning into my Mom. And for me that is the highest compliment a girl could ask for.

This was my mother's engagement picture. She was 19.

When the babies were a week old.

She was folding my laundry and playing with the babies. I was probably sleeping!

She loved being a grandma! Here she is holding her first red headed grandbaby.

Holding Dillon.

Holding Lauren.

Holding both!

My parents would have celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary this November.

I love you Mom!

*For more pictures and stories of Moms check out Lei's blog.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Dillon and Lauren turned 2 yesterday! We had a fun filled day with presents and cake and Elmo. My friend said once that when you have babies and toddlers the days feel like they will never end but the years go by fast. That saying really rang true for me. So indulge me while I reminisce with pictures.

Here I am at 36 weeks pregnant. I delivered at 36 weeks 2 days.

I just love how this dress hangs off my belly.

Lauren weighed 6 lbs 9 oz and was born at 7:02 AM
Dillon weighed 6 lbs 8 oz and was born at 7:00 AM
So happy to be finally be a MOMMY!!!
Our two little burritos!
About 1 1/2 weeks old and ready to go on a walk!
And now for the party pictures. Our decorations were really low key but they liked them!
Another view of the dining room.
One of the things that always made my birthday special growing up was that my Mom made a cake for me. I looked forward to picking out what I wanted and she would do it! So I am trying to follow in her footsteps but I am not a professional cake decorator. I was lazy and used store bought frosting which got soft really fast and was hard to ice with. I also ran out of red food coloring so Elmo is not quite dark enough and I also ran out of red icing but all in all not bad for my first time.

The birthday girl.
Cousin, Uncle and Uncle's Mom. She is the kids adopted Grandma and they say Hi to her whenever they see her. They can also say Grandma. It is pretty cute.
The guest list: Aunt and Uncle, cousins and Grandma.
The Loot.
Opening presents!

Showing Grandma
Of course whatever one does the other has to do as well!
Dillon LOVES his new "bike".
All the kids had fun.