Mar 10, 2014

BROOKE'S 23!







Brooke turned twenty three on Saturday, but had to be in DC because she was on call. 
Luckily she had three days off during the week and was able to come home.  
 I got to spend three wonderful days with my all three of my girls!  
Lucky me!

We celebrated Brooke's birthday on Thursday. 




No birthday would be complete without our family's obligatory notebook paper sign!





Barrett and Brittany baked Brooke her cake, a chocolate chip angel food cake.  
I made the chocolate ganache and decorated it. 








We went out to eat on Thursday night and then came home for dessert and presents. 











What a good looking group of people! 





There was a lot of discussion and pondering of the birthday wish….
















Lola and Charlie love having Brooke home too! 




 Bubbles was so disappointed that there were no new boxes…



he was determined to fit into a rather small gift bag . 






On Friday night, Brooke, Brittany and BF1 hoped on a flight to DC and BFE picked them up.
(Gotta love the perks of Brooke working for an airline!)




On Saturday, Brooke's official b'day, they went out for brunch. 






BF1 had never been to DC before so they spent the afternoon walking around the mall
and showing him the sites. 






The girls somehow got the guys to go ice skating…









Sunday morning Brittany and BF1 took an early morning flight back home. 

I am so glad that they spent time with Brooke on her actual birthday and got to spend some time in DC.
Brooke loves the area and I know she loves showing it off even more.  

Happy Birthday Brooke!  

My girls are getting way too old! 



Feb 26, 2014






First she had to get into UNC's School of Nursing. 
It was not an easy feat.
(UNC's nursing school is small and is consistently ranked in the top ten in the US.)
She was elated when she was accepted. 
We were proud.






In December (13), we celebrated her graduation!





Since then she has been at home doing this…..



studying…



AND 
messing up the office
AND
collecting cups and plates upstairs
AND
living in sweats
AND 
shuffling around the house in slippers. 


But, all of the hard work paid off.  

Monday morning she went to take the state boards 
and today she found out that she passed!  

She is officially an RN!

We are so proud of her! 

Let job offers begin!









Feb 20, 2014

DINNER TONIGHT







Oh my goodness!

 I started this post and planned it to be very simple and more about the pictures. The first draft ended up being about nutrition and Italian family dinners and me peeping into windows during my trip to Italy.  

Scratch that.

Tonight I had a produce drawer full of things I needed to use, thawed chicken breast and thirty minutes. 


So here is what we ended up with for dinner:

I cut up some tomatoes and tossed them in olive oil. 
I put them onto a baking sheet and salt and peppered them. 
I added fresh basil leaves, some garlic powder and roasted them in the oven. 
Ten minutes before taking them out I crumbled blue cheese on top.  




While the tomatoes were roasting, I browned cut chicken breast, onions and garlic.





After the chicken was almost cooked through I added this ready made sauce and two large cans of sliced mushrooms.  










I reduced the heat and covered.




While the chicken was doing it's thing, I sautéed two big bags of spinach and a half bag of kale.  
I added salt, pepper and squeezed the juice of one lemon while cooking. 
(Sometimes I drizzle balsamic vinegar)
I used my cast iron frying pan. 
If you do not have at least one cast iron skillet, go get you one.  
They are wonderful to cook in and actually add minerals to your food. 
(I have had low iron and using cast iron has helped. ) 





I always struggle to get all of my  greens into the skillet at first, but in the end they reduce so far down
I end up wishing I had another bag.  



 I forgot to take a picture of everything together on a plate, but dinner was delicious
and 
quick and easy!  



Feb 19, 2014

MARSHMALLOW MAN



It was over seventy degrees today and it was wonderful! 
I sat out side on the front porch steps and read for a few minutes 
while waiting for Barrett to get home from soccer practice. 
Sooo nice!

It is hard to believe that last week this is what we were dealing with in Raleigh…..



This is the actual picture except, of course, the Marshmallow Man was photoshopped in.
I thought it was so funny when I saw it on Instagram. 
 Raleigh made the national news…..
gridlock, cars on fire or abandoned, hours to get home, people having to sleep in the malls…..
It was a mess!  










 (this is close to where we live and the road I would have been stuck on if I was trying to get home)


While all of that was going on,
Barrett, Brittany and I were all hunkered down at home. 
(Art was still playing/working in Hawaii.)






Lola and Charlie were beyond excited about the snow.







But after a day of heavy snow, we got ice on top of it.  
















The dogs had a totally different opinion on the conditions after it sleeted all night. 
They were so afraid of moving. 
They looked like little ice skaters out there. 




Potty breaks took forever
and 
a lot of coaxing!




It was beautiful though!












Skeeter our pool greeter is so ready for summer!








so is this guy!





Art made it home from Hawaii on Friday evening….after all of the excitement was over and the roads were clear, of course! 
He took Barrett and I out to eat for Valentine's Day even after a long day of traveling.

Brooke and BFE (boyfriend E) were supposed to fly from DC on Friday to spend the weekend here in Raleigh, but the storm left the flights all cancelled or overbooked and so they decided to drive. 




We had a great weekend all together. 
The "kids" went to the UNC Chapel Hill basketball game.
BFE graduated from UNC so he was excited to go.  
We went out to eat Saturday to Brooke's favorite restaurant
and then came home and watched a movie. 

On Sunday, 
I mad my "famous" braised short ribs, mashed potatoes and a salad. 
Barrett made a wonderful dessert from one of the Barefoot Contessa's cookbooks….frozen fresh berries covered with melted white chocolate.
 We sat around the table and ate too much again.
Brooke and BFE left around 6PM to head back to DC
and
our weekend was over.