1!

Our sweetest girl, my teensy pea, the bumblebee (according to Auntie Lisa) is 1!

She is wild. As you can see from the snap above, though she refuses to walk (she has taken two steps for us a few times!) she plays hard enough to tear holes in her socks. Wants to climb on and up everything. Does climb on and up everything she can.

Is a full-on carnivore.

Loves to cuddle.

Tolerates me putting a ponytail into her hair but then pulls it out as soon as is practicable.

Waited until two weeks ago to start teething but one finally popped through and then two nights ago the second fang emerged!

According to Critter, she is a “big grirl.”

Happy birthday, little one.

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Some Things

Hello, my friends.

I lied last week. It was warm one more time. After a week of so much rain we had a really very nice weekend of 70 degree temperatures and sunny skies. I made sure that for my evening workout, I took advantage and went for a walk because Lord knows that even the best basement gym cannot rival a beautiful fall day. After today we’ll be praying for the days that crack 60.

Meanwhile, Glitter was up intermittently yelling last night so I am exhausted and my body feels like lead. Not enough coffee in the world, people.

For the last four weeks, we have had a really non-traditional schedule on our weekdays because of a daycare “development” week, labor day and two weeks of Jewish holidays. That is all over and at last our weeks will look “normal” from here until Thanksgiving and then again until the winter holidays. I have enjoyed the bonus slow mornings during the week, but I know that Critter especially will be glad to be back into an extremely predictable routine. Honestly, we all will.

I just finished Marching Orders on Netflix which is a series of mini-episodes about the marching band at Bethune Cookman University and it is great. I hope they do another season, either following this school or another.

Glitter turns one tomorrow. We’ll have her party this weekend. I need to order some balloons and some paper plates and napkins and we’ll be set to go.

Friday Food Round-Up!

I felt like I cooked a lot this week? That may also be due to the fact that I put more soup into the freezer and hosted the Yom Kippur Break Fast (which was mostly other people bringing food. Anyway, who knows.

Sunday – Grilled Chili Lime Chicken Burgers with Roasted Potatoes and Corn on the Cob

Last summer grill dinner!

Monday – Korean Beef Bowls with Steamed Broccoli, Rice and an Egg

We really need to work these into our regular rotation. I would also like to share that I fried eggs in coconut oil for the first time.

Duluth!

We actually went to Duluth a month ago but I have the time now to write about it so here we are.

I will also say that while we were up there, it would have been nice if it was sunny for more than four hours on Monday, but the overcast and stormy weather made for some great snaps!

It was so fun to go on this trip because (1) it was the first vacation my in-laws have taken with the kids and (2) the art in Critter’s room is based off of Duluth so now we actually talk about the ships and how the ships and the bridge talk and all of it.

We stayed in our cousins’ home on the shore of Lake Superior and that was such a blessing it is impossible to overstate. There were three bedrooms and a finished attic which meant the kids did not have to share a room nor did we have to share a room with one of the kids. So everyone slept well. And it was beach house cozy.

We saw ships.

We practiced what the ships would do before vacation by watching a few come in on this harbor cam.

Critter got to run laps around the lighthouse and splash in puddles.

During the four sunny hours I went paddle boarding for the first time.

We also arranged for Critter to go on his first-ever train ride and we visited the aquarium which was a first for all of us.

Critter really got a kick out of all of the touching pools.

While the boys were on the train, my mother-in-law, Glitter and I visited the Karpeles Manuscript Library.

We finally got to visit Bent Paddle’s taproom and we had a feast from Northern Waters Smokehaus for my birthday dinner.

It was a great trip.

Some Things

Behold, the view from happy hour on the last weekend of summer.

It will now rain and become fall for…the end of time until it is winter. That said our windows are open again after a week of HEAT. It feels good to enjoy the fresh air.

Billy moved home from Texas over the weekend. We are all so glad he is home for good. Thanks to him I have been in more places in Texas than I had ever expected, BUT all things must come to an end.

After yesterday’s post a sweet friend let me know her neighbor was thinning out some of their strawberry plants so I am going to plant those straight into the ground this week too!

Now that the ash tree is gone, we are getting significantly more light in our house which is truly lovely. Especially once it is winter and always dark, any and all extra light will be especially appreciated. We had actual sunbeams in our kitchen at 6:00 PM tonight which I am fairly certain has never happened before.

My copy of Cravings 2 should arrive in the mail tomorrow and I cannot WAIT to cook more with Chrissy. The original Cravings has been a go to for us so I know there are more good dinners ahead!

The Back 400

…the back 400 square feet of our yard.

In May we planted that very small row of raspberry bushes and now we finally have a vision to work off of! The “bush” (sprig) that Marcus weed whacked grew back and no varmints ate the plants so we are off to the races with our jam garden/orchard/berry ranch.

Last week, we had the giant Ash tree in the middle of our yard cut down. It was really too close to the house (if you look at the snap above you can just barely see the stump in the middle of so much dead grass). Someday it would have died from some Ash parasite anyway. If it were at all to fall toward the house it would have caused significant damage. We wanted to open up the space so that we can build a playset next summer. Cutting it down also meant that we could finally envision what our yard would truly look like without it.

Answer: sunny.

It also meant we could move forward with other remaining yard transformation plans for this year!

Over the weekend we planted the small Bali Cherry Tree you see in line with the raspberries. And I inherited a rhubarb and some chives from some family friends that went into the ground today.

The yellow lines show where we can continue rows with…something. I tried to give a decent amount of space between the raspberries and the rhubarb because both will grow, but the raspberries especially should fill in that area.

The yellow rectangles indicate where the raised beds will go. One bed will be committed to strawberries and bush beans which you can apparently co-plant. The other will be for herbs and then possibly some lettuces. The chives will move from the ground into that bed next spring.

Last but not least yes I know I literally planted all of this stuff straight into grass and nothing that at all resembles a garden. Basically all of this was an experiment at the beginning of the summer and I wanted to see where it would go before I started actively destroying large areas of our lawn.

A (belated) Friday Food Round-Up!

It’s Saturday, I know but this is just the best we are going to be able to do today.

Even with Rosh Hashanah (I made roasted asparagus) we cooked just a ton. I am trying to get us back into a routine this week of one easy meal per week (like sandwiches) and another from the freezer.

Saturday – Salmon, Roasted Carrots, Corn, Salad

Tuesday – Grilled Teriyaki Chicken, Sweet and Salty Coconut Rice from Cravings, Steamed Broccoli, a Fried Egg

Wednesday – Grilled Turkey, Avocado and Cheese Sandwiches, Salad

Thursday – Baked Sweet Potatoes with Chili, Salad

Miscellaneous – Lazy Turtle Cake

I made this for a co-worker’s VERY belated birthday treats.

Miscellaneous – Any Fresh Fruit Cobbler from Farmhouse Rules

I made this for a wine night I was hosting and it will definitely be a new go-to dessert.