It's Memorial Day... not National BBQ Day

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Believe it or not, this glorious three day weekend was not due to National BBQ Day or National Mattress Sale Day. I have to admit, had I not been reminded by other people's much wittier words, I may have coasted through this weekend without even thinking about why we didn't go to work on Monday. I've seen a lot of photos, stories, etc. summing up this weekend, but this one is my favorite. So rather than speak uneloquently about Memorial Day, I'll let you read this.

I kicked off Memorial Day weekend a little early with Girls Night at Marietta Wine Market on Wednesday.  My mom and I stumbled on the shop a couple weeks back and I noticed they had wine tastings on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons. Dominica and I went two weeks ago, and now we're hooked. Of course, on our first visit we became best friends with the owners - so now we're on a first name basis and feel super cool. Now that I've been 3+ times in two weeks, I do not feel super cool - I feel like a super creeper. Anyway, Dominica and I decided the next girls night had to be at the Wine Market, so off we went!

On Friday, our office closed at 1pm and since Adam's last day of school was Thursday, we decided to spend the afternoon at the pool.

I found these bad boys in Food Network Magazine this month and decided to make them to mix with my Vodka Sprite at the pool. They took me all of 15 seconds to make, but I felt so crafty and original! (And they happened to be super refreshing and delicious.)

Typical, I covered myself in sunscreen but still got burnt in the most random places. AWESOME. We headed back to the house and got spruced up to head to a few graduation parties. (Let's remember, Adam's a high school softball and baseball coach, so he had a few invites. We don't hang out with high schoolers on the reg.) They actually ended up being pretty fun. The other coaches are always a good time, and who doesn't love drinking some wine poolside on a cool summer evening?

Saturday we were up bright and early to walk up to the Farmers Market. I told Adam I wanted two things: fresh squeezed lemonade and a puppy. (They never sell lemonade or puppies.) Lo and behold, they had the cutest little lemonade stand this week and for $1.50 my thirst was totally satisfied. And then (OF COURSE), some lady was walking around holding this puppy that looked just like Ruthie. After a few pets, the woman said "Do you want her? She's free to a good home!" (Are you kidding me, lady!? Get me away from that thing!) After politely declining - and then being told by a couple randos that there was some lady giving away a dog that looked just like ours - we ran into her again. I am so proud of myself. Adam was over there saying "It's fate! You wanted lemonade and a puppy!" and I stood my ground. (But let's be real, if we had run into her again I would have bought into the whole fate thing and we would have a puppy destroying our house right now.)

Moving on - Saturday was my dad's 54th birthday, so we met up with my parents at (you guessed it!) the Wine Market for the wine tasting. (Seriously? They have to be so sick of me by now.) After wine, it was grilling time at my parents'. Check out these bad boys!

Happy birthday, daddy!

The boys got up early Sunday to go golfing, and my mom and I spent the morning checking out different antique malls. We always end up trying on obnoxious hats and just about peeing ourselves from laughing so hard. Real mature.

Adam and I have been lucky enough to receive a good amount of gift cards for restaurants, and we finally decided to redeem one of them on Sunday night and have ourselves a date night. We chose Salt Factory Pub in Roswell, and I was super impressed. Highly recommend the Calamari and Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps. The best part (other than the company, of course) was that we scored outdoor seating! They only have 4 little tables outside, and the stars aligned for us to get one.

On Monday, I felt like we had to do something patriotic so we decided to hike up Kennesaw Mountain. Turns out we weren't the only ones with that idea. We pulled up to lots of cars and people watching a reenactment. (At that point I spazzed out and fumbled to turn off the radio blaring music that I'm sure wasn't supposed to be part of the act.) We kept driving and scored a parking spot at another hiking trail, so that sufficed. Well, if you asked Ruthie I bet she loved this walk even more because it included a trip to a creek - which she immediately decided was her new home.

We ended the day with some pool time (guess what? I got awkwardly burnt again, even covered in SPF30...again.) and an early night. I was in bed by 9PM - keeping it real crazy over here, y'all!

I thought I'd be ending this post saying it was a pretty low-key Memorial Day Weekend, but after recapping all of that - it ended up being pretty eventful! Thank you to all of those who have and do serve to ensure our freedom. We are forever grateful for your sacrifices.

Bring on the Sun

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

There is nothing quite like a natural disaster to put things in perspective, which is so unfortunate in so many ways. Today I wanted to kick off my post with this video from the devastating tornado that brought Moore, Oklahoma to its knees yesterday.

A lot of people have died. A lot more people are "expected" to be found dead. And a lot of those people are kids who woke up yesterday morning probably super stoked that it was almost summer time, and then didn't come home from school. Amidst this terrible tragedy, this video made me cry tears of happiness this morning. I keep re-watching it, fast forwarding it, rewinding it - and crying every time.

Here I was yesterday, goofing around with my mom at Target, throwing myself a pity party because I didn't want to spend money on a new kitchen rug - and then I see this. This. Talk about perspective.

(Side note: I'm so annoyed with this stupid news crew. The fact that the woman had to ask for help? Are you serious? It's always about getting the story, even in these situations - isn't it? Makes me sick.)

Before the tragedy yesterday, you wonder what these people did this past weekend, without any clue that their world would be turned upside down in one short day.

Maybe they went on a boys' weekend to a lake in Tennessee to celebrate their friend's last few weeks of bachelor-hood. Adam did.

Maybe they hung out with their favorite pup (who was posing hysterically). I bet the woman in the video sure did. I did.

Maybe they surprised a friend and helped her celebrate her birthday.... complete with guinea pigs and their own personal party hats. This one is probably far fetched for anyone else, but I did.

Maybe they went to a Sips n Strokes class with their favorite sisters and mother-in-law. Painting a Tuscan Villa in anticipation of their trip to Italy this summer. I did.

I guarantee no one spent their weekend thinking about a storm that would hit one day later and turn their world upside down. I pray those affected know their city, state, nation have already rallied behind them. Get well soon, Moore.


Monday, May 13, 2013

I was going to write a post today about how life is hard. No matter how many amazing things you've been blessed with - life is hard. Instead, I sighed, saved my draft of pointless ramblings and decided to focus on the those said blessings that were apparent this weekend (as they are every day).

My big brother, Jeff, is a charter pilot and his plane needed to go into maintenance for the weekend... a mere two hour drive from Atlanta {blessing in disguise}! So he headed to our place on Friday afternoon and we went to surprise mom - what a perfect Mother's Day gift, huh? (I love surprises! But much as I love being surprised, I love being part of the surprise even more.)

His rental car looked a lot like the Vitz we rented in New Zealand for our 8 day excursion when I studied abroad over there in 2008 {those memories - blessing!}. They could be cousins!

Some old family friends were also in town, so it was just a big reunion on my parents' deck {blessing!}.

Adam, Ruthie, Jeff and I walked up to the Marietta Farmers' Market on Saturday morning. You read that correctly, we can walk to the Farmers' Market from our house {blessing!}. Jefe put together an awesome Mother's Day goodie basket full of things he purchased at the Farmer's Market. As if his surprise wasn't enough!

That evening, we hosted a Mother's Day cookout for my wonderful mother-in-law. It's the least she deserves for raising some pretty amazing kids {blessing!}.

Sunday we were up bright and early to go to church, and we dragged Jeff along. Adam and I were both holding our breath hoping the music would be amazing, since Jeff is a big music guy. They didn't disappoint - he was pretty impressed {blessing!}. The sermon was one of my favorites since we've been going to that church {blessing!}, and I'm glad Jeff was there to hear it.

The rest of the family headed over to our house and we celebrated mom's Mother's Day with brunch at Chicken and the Egg. None of us had been before, but we had all heard pretty awesome things. I can now first hand say that it was delicious! I'm also a big fan of the decor.

Jeff found out at lunch that the company was flying him to New York for one last trip before his shift was over. We were sad to see him leave, but so happy he got to spend the weekend with us {blessing!}. The rest of Sunday was spent napping on and off, watching the Braves and cheers-ing my fabulous mama {blessing!}.

For the biggest blessing of them all this weekend... thank you to this pretty lady for raising my brothers and I into some pretty awesome people (if I may say so myself). I can't imagine how chaotic life was with us as kids, but you somehow lived through it - and we thrived. I love you! {blessing, blessing, BLESSING!}

Weekend at home

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The past couple weekends have been fun, but busy. Visiting Mitchell at school, Bake Sale in Miami... it was nice to spend a whole weekend with the hubs!

Friday night we were treated to the McNeelys! They are a long-time family friend of the Bakers who moved back home to Canada in 2011. I keep trying to think of the last time I saw them, and I think it was 2011 - crazy. We sure do love them, and hope they have an amazing two weeks at the BEACH.

Lookie - they brought us real Canadian Maple Syrup!

We slept in on Saturday morning (did I mention how amazing it is to have a dog who also enjoys sleeping in?), and then slowly got our act together. Later that afternoon was our friend's Quatro de Mayo party, and she goes all out.

I was an epic fail at the pinata - I didn't even hit it.

But I dominated Twister!

The sun finally showed its pretty little face for a bit on Sunday, so we took full advantage. After church, we leashed up Ruthie and walked down to the Square to check out the Farmers Market. They didn't have much, so we decided to go exploring around our neighborhood... one of my favorite past times! That's one of the many things I love about where we live - you can get lost in all the streets surrounding us.

Speaking of loving where we live, I love our home, but I really don't like hate our front yard. We had these random skinny bushes in the front and I could not stand them. So Adam ripped them out and we made the spontaneous decision to finally get some sort of garden-y thing started. We jumped in the car and headed to Pike's Nursery having no idea what we were doing. With no direction, we naturally didn't ask for help, threw some things in the cart and headed home.


Freshly planted!

Silly me, I was under the impression that the bushes would be full size by Fall... Adam informed me it would take about four seasons. WHAT? At least we've got progress, people. (Now aa long as I don't kill them...)

Finishing up my first event season in the sun!

I'm just going to start by saying that it is cold. I wore a (faux) fur vest yesterday. Yesterday was May 6. Today looks to be about the same - cold and rainy.

But I'm going to step aside from my gross weather rant and focus on the amazing weather I got to experience in Miami two weeks ago. I rounded out my first event season with the Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry at Aventura Mall on Sunday, April 28. Lucky me, I flew in Saturday morning and spent the day doing fancy South Beach things with my manager, Jamie.

She happens to be a member of SOHO Beach House, which is this insane "country club" right on the beach. The beach was full when we arrived so we had to settle for the upstairs pool. Oh, twist my arm!

I mean, is this real life? 

After lounging at that incredible pool, we cleaned up and headed over to the Miami Beach Polo World Cup. Again, who do I think I am?

During a break between one of the matches, we were treated to a La Martina fashion show...

After spending some time in the tent, we headed over to the Raleigh Hotel where we hung out for a little bit and ate some apps. And of course, had to say hello to our friend and Share Our Strength supporter, Chef Michael Schwartz. He's kind of amazing (as in, James Beard Award Winner amazing). Jamie was nice enough to give me a quick tour of Hotel Row on South Beach, and thanks to her friend Brian who knows everyone in the city, we were able to waltz right in.

Here we are at Hyde at the SLS Hotel.  We looked pretty ridiculous in our outfits - at this point people were out for the night in full South Beach-attire. AKA...wearing just about nothing.

Sunday was the Bake Sale at Aventura Mall. We raised $5,000 to help end childhood hunger in America - whoop whoop!

 Kids' Decorating Corner

To end this post - and bring me back to real life - I'm going to share a cartoon I saw last week and keeps making me laugh. If you have a dog, I think this will make your heart smile.