Wednesday, May 30, 2012


No birthday plans were made this year. Gifts and birthday songs feel silly at this age. Despite not trying, the weekend was still filled with festivities. Sara made me a dessert cute enough to pop from the pages of Strawberry Shortcake. Gifts were given at a ridiculously early breakfast at Katalinas.

Mark and I burnt our faces off at Oakland Nursery, then again constructing a backyard garden. He got me a scratch off map of the United States that I love and would not have known to ask for. We treated friends to a grilled dinner and it ended up being the best birthday yet.

Jumping off buildings

There was no hesitation when the question was asked. The opportunity to rappel off the hotel where I work doesn't come that often. Once a year actually, it comes every spring as a fundraiser for The Special Olympics.

The decision may have been easy but I still spent the night prior tossing and turning with wind nightmares. My subconscious self worrying about it being windy, yet not a single dream about falling to my death.

The whole process is lengthy. You get the harnesses, and they talk to you, they take you to the top, and they talk to you, you do a practice run, and they talk to you. By the time I was standing on the edge I was already fond of the view and the height.

My coworker Carly went with me, we giggled and coached each other down. Every few feet I would look around enjoying the city I adore, then I would feel like fainting and would stare at my feet that were pretending to walk along the bricks.

Everyone asked me if I was scared. Of course! But fear has rarely stopped me and I've always regretted when it has.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mothers know best

My mom came to visit the Saturday before Mothers Day. I probably should have planned a relaxing day of pampering but instead I put her to work on my backyard garden. She always impresses me with her knowledge of plants and what should go where. And I suppose it's in our blood to prefer dirt under our nails to getting a manicure anyway.

Spring Flee

Each season's Flee is a hodge podge of crafters, food stations, and local shoppes clearance racks. And each time it is packed with an equally eclectic mix of our local population. The weather was ideal, the warmest day yet and we ate our lunch on the grass. I couldn't pass up the chevron coasters despite the fact that they are nicer than our scrap wood lopsided coffee table.

Afterwards Tasha introduced me to City Folks Farm Shop. This darling gardening shop features seedlings, burlap sacks of composted dirt for just $3, and the cutest little pooch, Olive. The customer service was so impressive that I've gone back three weeks in a row, also maybe because Olive is so cute.

We spent the rest of the afternoon watching the sun cross the sky in Tasha's backyard with Toby and Logan fighting over sticks.

Cinco de Derby

Today I will be catching up on some long overdue posts.

First up: Cinco de Derby

Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby all on one day! Is there a more perfect opportunity to throw a party? Of course I went a little overboard and decided to build my own pinata which basically turned into a four day project where I gave up on day two and Jesse finished the entire thing. Mark cooked a pork shoulder for five hours, filling the house with the most intoxicating smell. The margarita guru, Steph, taught me her not so secret recipe, spoiling me for life against the pre-made mix.

I was stringing lights in our living room when Mario Gutierrez riding I'll Have Another, won the Kentucky Derby. It was hard not to get misty eyed during his interview.

We stayed up late, really really late, eating tacos and watching the little kids run around with the past-your-bed-time giggles. I woke up to texts from their moms exclaiming that they finally slept in till 10 am.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Like mother like daughter

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Michigan Adventure

A quick adventure to the Detroit area left me impressed. Maybe I just had a really good tour guide but I'm ready to spend another weekend there.

Four Eyes

It was in third grade that I found out about my eyesight. I had unknowingly struggled through years of blurry faces and confusing chalk boards. The entire ride home with my first pair of glasses was spent pulling them on and off and exclaiming each time "Mom, I can see the leaves on the trees!" and "Everything looks so bright!". My eyesight was bad for a third grader and I thought my new frames were the bees knees. 

Each year I would get a new pair and beg to buy the small kids glasses with the cool paint splashed frames but my mom was convinced that my face was going to grow. And what was once my savior soon became a great source of shame. There were many reasons that I was never invited to the popular table but I put that resentment towards the coke bottles. I was determined to get rid of them.

In the seventh grade I was allowed to switch to contacts and although it didn't change my lunch table I did feel better about my face. This year I decided to finally drop a few bucks on glasses that I actually like. I can look back now at the photo with my huge glasses and awkward features and laugh. But it still gives me a lump in my throat to remember how painful the name calling and snickers were. Those years  built my resilient and empathetic character. I wish there was a way to tell my sixth grade self that everything would work out. That one day I would be completely content with my face and even enjoy the fashion of having four eyes.

Instituting Date Night

Mark is my best friend, lover, and life partner but recently I realized that we're barely ever alone. We adore our eclectic group of friends so much that it's hard not to throw a dinner party every evening that we're not busy with our other obligations. But institute a date night? Isn't that what you do after buying a house and having 2.5 kids?

It seemed like the only way to commit to saying no just one night a week to all the other invites. The first week Mark tested out three new courses:

1. Oysters with Cilantro and Roasted Garlic
2. Toast, Brie, and a Balsamic Vinaigrette glaze
3. Roulade of Pork Tenderloin with Pomme Puree, Shitake Mushrooms and Madeira reduction

The fourth course was a trip to Jeni's and I was sold on our weekly establishment.