30 June 2013

Surfin bird.

If you drove by our house this week and didn't look closely, you may have thought there was a rabid monkey on the loose in our house.... Welcome to our house "renovation."

Luckily, we only have two more days of this part of the process (two down). Then the paint part of the paint job starts - half a week down, only three and a half left to go! Probably should pick our color here pretty soon....

In case you are concerned, the guys took great care to protect the babies. They've been chirping away all weekend, growing more every day.

In other house news, we had visitors this weekend - my family. Their first summer visit since we've lived here, actually, and the highlight by far was swimming in the huge waves with Jordan Saturday. It wasn't very warm out (maybe 70?) but, to our surprise, the water was actually super warm, despite the very cool spring we've had. The three of us spent a good hour out there bopping around, getting our butts kicked by the surf. Loved this time alone with our little man.

I don't think I've ever seen him smile quite so much. Love it.

24 June 2013


This happened...

We went to Chicago and discovered Mezcal. And the beauty of spicy salt with margaritas.

And discovered some more drinks (at RM Champagne).

And some more drinks. (At Girl and the Goat)

This is happening....


And MORE babies.

This is about to happen....

The official BEFORE pictures.
House Renovation '13 begins TOMORROW!

18 June 2013

Birdhouse in your soul.

In the ongoing Church Birdhouse Story, we've relocated the bird feeder - the tree (aka giant weed) it was hanging from was starting to get overgrown and hide the feeder. AND the birds were using our entire patio as a porta potty. So, I bought a giant stick and voila!

We moved the poop machines just in time because we got new patio furniture this weekend. I introduce you to... the SUMMERVILLE table (really! no kidding! [and yes, it kills me to misspell my own name like that!]). Obviously, the deal was sealed when we saw the name (and visually, it is PERFECT).

Just in time ALSO because Sunday was Father's Day and it was high time we have a backyard barbecue.

At Brad's request, and with Bob's approval, I made shrimp salad with honey lime dressing and my mock spicy creamed corn. Yum.

Does shrimp served in a Huge Ass Beer cup taste better? Of course!

In general, there was a lot of love floating around this weekend. What ended with my in-laws started with my parents back east, with a little bit of girlfriend love in the middle. First, checkers with my mom, Larry, and Jordan...

Can't believe our little man turns EIGHT, TOMORROW!

Saturday morning I headed into Ann Arbor, where I took my dad out for a celebratory Father's Day/recovery-from-multiple-surgeries/ready-for-at-home-dialysis breakfast - he's been through A LOT since I saw him in March and I'm happy to report he's still smiling. From there, it was off to my hometown for a surprise shower for one of my oldest friends. Her reaction to seeing her best friend in from Chicago, then catching sight of me, was beyond totally worth the trip. So great to see her and celebrate her growing family. And extra love her way for having a sense of humor and knowing me so well. The knife was 100% her idea. <3 p="">

Hi! I'm Chucky. Wanna play?

12 June 2013

Run Forrest run.

I'm sitting on the porch, hanging out with the bird families, waiting for the Donna D'Ericho storm (Rachel gets it) of the century to roll in. It's super muggy out, so Brad turned on the air. Which makes it TOO cold inside, so I'm milking the porch as late as I can tonight. There's been a strange hour-long low thunder rumble and some sprinkles, but so far, nothing too wild.

What's this about bird families, you ask? I currently have two house finch families living in two of my three ferns, and I kind of love it. They've gotten used to me, so they'll come back to their homes after I've sat here for a while, and it's fun to watch them flit around and cheep and chirp. I think one may have two papas - we run a very progressive front porch here, you know. Anyway, pre-New Orleans, we had one egg-full nest. Post-New Orleans, we've got two sets of babies on the way. I wish they'd hurry up and hatch and grow up and be along their merry way, though, as much as I enjoy them. The house painters will be starting this weekend, and I'm super nervous. If those babies get bothered and any of them don't make it, those fools aren't getting paid!

Mama and Papa watch from a distance.

Back at the nest, Papa keeps a close eye on me.

Progressive nest Papa says, "f this!"

In non-birding news, I met my goal last weekend and ran 3.1 miles, outside, with Hillary (they were all essential components to my goal). Hillary even mapped out a surprise loop for us to run together and, despite being a little sluggish, her energy and encouragement (and her super sweet work-in of the prettiest road in town) got me to the finish line, where Miss Maren awarded me a rainbow certificate.

This run and goal setting and training experience has taught me that I'm stronger than I usually give myself credit for - running is, at least for me, 75% mental. I have a million excuses for talking myself out of running, or running faster, or running farther.... but if I can get out of my head, I actually do ok, I think. AND outside, no less. I've never been a runner before, and the running I did last year when I first did Couch to 5k was on on the treadmill. Running outside is HARD. It is a totally different experience. But I'm so glad I finally tried it and, on some level, conquered it (at least my fear of it). I'm still self-conscious, and avoid unfamiliar roads (lest I run into more people I work with) and wear sunglasses or hats because I feel less exposed--and hills--but I'm to the point where 2 miles? Easy peasy. Three miles is still hard, but I'll get there. I'm sure of it. With all my ladies' encouragement, and my man, too, I know you won't let me give up. Besides, I feel like too much of a badass when I finish a really good run.

And hey, there's the real rain. Whoa, and big scary lightning. See you on the other side of this storm (and back inside!)!

05 June 2013

Groovy kind of love.

So I kind of still really like my New Orleans post from last year - it sums up our sentiments on returning to our favorite city in the world quite well.... I don't know that I have anything too earth shattering to add this year, but my love for this city continues to grow. There really is no other place like this in the world. And it is totally worth the trip for the food alone. Although, of course, the city is so much more. But the food is just oh so pretty. And delicious. And truly an experience.

Crawfish croquettes at Borgne. 

Oysters (and fried crab claws - a revelation!) at Felix.
(An awesome lunch; we were turned off by Acme across the street last year - Felix
is the clear winner!)

Two life-changing snappers at GW Fins.

Oh glorious Jazz Brunch at Commander's Palace. Hello lemon ricotta pancakes.

Snack spread at Red Fish Grille. Yes, those are crawfish-stuffed deviled eggs. And...

Award-winning bbq fried oysters. With blue cheese.

Our final meal: po boy's from no 1. rated shop Johnny's.

And beer. Lots and lots of beer.

And then there were the matching outfits. And beer.

It's noisy, dirty, sometimes smelly. But it's full of life, music, food, and happiness. And I love our New Orleans for everything that makes her her.*

*If it looks like we didn't do anything but eat and drink, well, you'd be right. Mostly right. We also exercised, on vacation, which I think makes us kind of New Orleans pros. Eat, drink, nap, run, drink, eat, drink, sleep. What more do you need?