I can't believe that it's June, that Father's Day is behind us, that my Bachelorette party is this upcoming weekend, or that I get married in like 6 and a half weeks. Life is flying, and I'm trying to appreciate it.
My mom's birthday was last week, and we do birthdays for real in my family (meaning we like to make a big deal of it). On Friday, when I was finished at work, I hopped on the train to take it up to my parents' house.
|I missed your stories, Rick Riordan, but your writing is terribly edited.|
I tend to actually really enjoy my longer train rides because I get some quality time with my Kindle. I am an avid reader of two subjects: Spiritual books and Young Adult Fiction. It's what I love (and, when it comes to Young Adult fiction, I suppose it's what I write, too, so there's that). After a touch less than an hour of reading, I was there.
|Why is the only family member not present the birthday girl herself? #WRONG|
Step one was crafting the birthday girl's favorite cocktail. I made the best version of "The Butterfly" that I could. It's my mom's favorite "martini" from our favorite Memphis bar, and includes fresh grapefruit juice, fresh basil, soda water, and vodka. I added a tiny bit of Maple Syrup to combat some of the grapefruit's bitterness.
|Soy and Lemon Grilled Salmon, Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Parmesan and Pine Nuts, and Olive Oil Grilled Asparagus|
The Birthday Girl had also requested a healthy dinner. She is a big fan of salmon, so my brother, dad, and I made grilled salmon and asparagus, while my mom whipped some sweet potatoes (it got a little hectic and she had to lend a hand). I topped the Sweet Potatoes with some shaved parmesan and pine nuts. Yum.
|Many hours were put in for this cake. WORTH IT.|
For dessert, my sister pulled out all the stops. She made a flourless chocolate espresso cake that was so delicate and creamy that it felt like it was melting in your mouth.
|Yes, I'm wearing a hat. I'm still not sure how I feel about it.|
After dinner, my brother started a fire in my parents' fire pit in the back yard, and we all cuddled up with blankets (wimps) and chatted a bit before finally hitting the hay. We tried to make it an early night because we had a fun event in the morning...
Saturday morning, I was signed up for the Run for Boston 5k with my mom and sister. We rallied the troops and drove over to the race site, which is legitimately across the street, but it was really gross out and, despite being across the street, the only paved entrance is kind of far away, so we decided to drive it.
|Sisters running together!|
My mom was unable to run it because she's recovering from what we think is heel spurs and is forcing herself to lay off of running or even excessive walking for a while. So, she was our official race photographer.
|Soaked with rain... and victory!|
My official time was 23:23, which is a PR for me (and is also hilarious because my fiance and I met Michael Jordan just a few days before). My sister and I ran together for the first 1 or 1.5 miles (not sure). It was our first time running a race together, so I loved it and was so grateful for the moment that I was just desperate to soak it in (which I did!).
When we split up, I continued to increase my pace. It wasn't a long run, but I focused the entire time on being grateful - grateful for my run with my sister, grateful for the fact that I can run, grateful for the classes I took at The Mercury Method to help increase my pace... grateful for my feet, my ankles, my shins, my calves... and so on. My mom said that when she saw me, I had a huge grin plastered on my face. That's a pretty accurate reflection of how happy I was!
|Here a blogger, there a blogger, everywhere a blogger blogger!|
After the race, they called all of the bloggers to the start/finish line for a picture. There were so many of us at such a small race! Crazy.
|My mom thought this figurine looked like my puppy.|
After showering and getting ready at my parents' house, my mom and I made a quick run to Hobby Lobby and Dollar Store to pick up a few random tid bits for the wedding (some guest room bags, frames, etc). I can't get over how happy Hobby Lobby makes me. I could seriously spend hours in there. It's worse than IKEA.
After the shopping frenzy, we drove down to Chicago and hit up the Taste of Randolph Street Festival. It was super crowded, and the streets are narrow, so we were all pretty close together!
|Oh hey tiny feet.|
The Western entrance to the event had a basketball station set up, where you could measure your height, hand size, and foot size. Obviously, I am no comparison for the true pros. Michael Jordan, do you hear me?
|I CANNOT WAIT TO EAT YOU.|
Because this festival is food themed, there were countless delicious looking dishes to choose from. I ended up going with some tacos from Belly Q, which were just as yummy as I expected them to be. Fun fact: Michael Jordan is part owner of Belly Q. Apparently MJ and I are now besties.
Sunday morning, I slept in (meaning I slept till 8) while my morning bird fiance had time to wake up, go to breakfast by himself, and drink 3 cups of coffee. Seriously, 8am is not that late!
I went to Bodypump and CXWorx at the gym while my fiance studied, then came home to run some errands. We went on a long walk and hit up Macy's, where we checked out the dishes for our wedding registry, and lululemon, where I exchanged some pants for my mom and bought a glass water bottle.
|You get a water bottle? I get a beer. #compromise|
We also stopped at Twisted Spoke for a "snack." My fiance had steak tacos and I had a pretty boring garden salad. Oh, and a vodka soda with extra lemon. Twist my arm, why don't ya...
|Look, Dad! I'm drinking your root beer!|
A bit later, we walked to church, where they celebrated Father's Day by giving out bottles of Dad's Root Beer. I'm not a soda fan, but snatched one for my fiance, who was apparently too shy to grab his own (if you know him, this is VERY out of character).
|Ghosts are real.|
At home, I prepped quiches, lunch salads, chicken, and watermelon for the week. I also checked up on the vodka I've been infusing. Check out my ghost strawberries. Can't wait to taste test this!
What about you?
- Have you ever met anyone famous? Did you feel like they rubbed any good energy off on you? After seeing Michael Jordan, my fiance and I both felt like some of his "energy" rubbed off on us for at least a few days.
- Have you ever infused alcohol? I've currently got some Lemoncello brewing, as well as some strawberry ginger vodka. If it works, I'll share the "recipes."
- What do you think about during races? I spent the whole time doing mental gratitude exercises, and it was amazing. It didn't hurt that the race site was incredibly beautiful!