this past weekend was busy and fun and sunny and warm and full of great things.
i spent a cozy friday night in my room with my book and gin while matt had some dudes over for tacos and tequila. it was so entertaining listening to the guys talk while playing games and sampling hot sauce. the din of male voices having a great time is a really sweet sound.
this weekend was also the 41st annual dogwood festival. it’s a small town ‘arts and crafts’ show with booths and food trucks littering our downtown parks. tons of people roll into siloam springs for this shindig every year. it’s crazy and kinda lame but sorta fun. this time it felt more exciting, maybe because for once the weather was super nice. i volunteered with a friend to be the handicap parking czar, making sure the festival’s disabled patrons had proper access to all the fun. well, at least in my two hour time slot on saturday afternoon. but as a family we walked around and bought tie-dye t-shirts and chocolate and a samurai sword.
saturday night i went to a birthday house party. i expected to only go for an hour or so but stayed late into the night dancing and laughing. that was good for my soul. i have some really beautiful friends, by the way.
sunday was a lovely church service then a visit from my dad. and we made burgers for dinner and realized that grilled pineapple is my new favorite thing.
this weekend was wonderful.
last friday was the annual main event, a fundraising dinner for our main street organization. it’s like the most fun thing. we get all dressed up, eat yummy food, drink tasty cocktails and spend lots of money to benefit our downtown. matt and i always bid on the same item: one night stay, dinner and limo ride to the cherokee casino. yes. three years running. this time around, it was a live auction item, and boy howdy did matt have ever so much fun outbidding everyone else. of course that means we also spent about $100 more on it than previous years but what the hey, it’s for a good cause. and that limo ride is worth it, man. of course, the ride is only about 10 minutes long because the casino is really close by, but WHO CARES I’M IN A BLEEPING LIMOUSINE!! plus the steak house there is off the churt. so good.
but the whole event is awesome and it always raises a ton of money. i think it accounts for about a quarter to one half the total yearly budget for the organization. and our main street is kinda the cutest.
the photo booth was a nice new touch this year. you can tell this was at the end of the night and we were feeling loose and happy. and i rocked the shit outta this pantsuit. dancing like a crazy person out on the floor. yep, it was a fun night.
this weekend was a kinda busy one. i feel like i did a lot of eating and hanging out on the couch. really just matt was busy and i stayed mostly at home.
friday night, while matt was at a social engagement, i made myself some tasty roasted parsnips and purple carrots and piled them on top of sautéed kale and leftover chicken. then heard the fire trucks rumble down the street. see about once a quarter, the fire alarms needlessly go off in the building the next block over from our place. it lasts about half an hour, and everyone has to evacuate and the trucks block all the traffic. so i figured i’d take a picture of it. the excitement in small town living is hard to come by so i take what i can get.
saturday i had some gal pal time with some of my very favorite ladies. we had sushi and talked and shopped and laughed and cried and spoke amazing truth. i’m so lucky to have them in my life. seriously, i don’t know what i’d do without them. but as soon as i got home from galavanting around town, matt headed out for another social engagement. it was just me and the little man again. i made myself another tasty dinner and hung out with kiddo and we talked and talked. it was so great. these are precious moments for me.
sunday the weather turned bitter cold and i wore my sweater of many colors and made isaiah take my photo just because i liked my outfit. after church, i put on my leggings and didn’t leave the comfort of my blanket the whole rest of the day. i watched the oscars and live tweeted to pretty much nobody and was sad that ‘boyhood’ didn’t win best picture.
and now it’s monday and it’s still dreary and cold and spring feels so far away.
this past weekend the weather was glorious. sunny and warm. saturday, we started the day with a run in the sun before matt headed over to ash & ember, a gentleman’s shop that sells pipes, cigars, beard and mustache paraphernalia and vintage toys and comics. it’s super awesome. such a great hangout. but it was the inaugural beard and mustache competition and matt was the celebrity judge (his beard deemed too wonderful to be a contestant). but dudes from far and wide came to have their facial hair scrutinized and criticized. 18 guys entered and many left with cool prizes consisting of t-shirts and and combs and oils and fresh lotions. snacks were available as well as live entertainment. it was such a fun atmosphere and a really great turn out.
i also had some much needed girl time over drinks with my bestest. it had been too long. seriously, i don’t know how i’d get through this life without her.
then sunday was even more lovely than the day before. after church we went on a wee family run around downtown. the kiddo is starting to take an interest in fitness and we are all about encouraging him towards healthier habits. i’ve always thought he’d love running as a sport, but it works so much better if he thinks it’s his idea. when we got done with our exercise, we headed out to the deck to enjoy the 70 degree february afternoon. my chocolate melted a bit outside. that’s how you know it was a great day.
ps sorry for all you north easterners. i hear the weather is a bitch right now.
two years ago yesterday, i lost my mom. it’s something that you never quite get over. there’s always something that reminds you of her or some really great news you just can’t wait to tell her. and the void can’t ever be filled.
but this year, instead of mourning the loss of her i wanted to celebrate her life and love. she was such a beautiful woman with a big heart, soft hands, and so much grace. she was always the first one to give an encouraging word or a hug or a helping hand. she was a prayer warrior and a solid foundation for our family. my mom was the greatest. she taught me how to be a wife and mother. she also taught me to protect the things i hold most dear, to make faith, family and friends the highest priority.
matt sent me flowers. hydrangeas, my favorite. that meant the world to me. i got to spend the evening having dinner with two of my dearest girlfriends. and that fed my soul. i was surrounded by life and love yesterday. and it made me realize that sometimes beauty is born from death. just like spring is more glorious because of the harshness of winter, we understand how precious life’s moments are when we lose someone we love. we grasp it much tighter. celebrate it with more joy. and that’s what i want for this year. i want to live 2015 to its fullest measure. not in doing crazy things, but in being present in every minute of every day. not striving for the next thing, but being content with what i’ve been given. and then i want to give more of myself back to the people i love. because i have been given so much and i am the most blessed.
in lieu of going to a wild party to ring in the new year, we decided to stay at home and cook. for christmas, i got matt a new cookbook so we perused and found an amazing recipe for honey-bourbon marinated pork chops. this was one of our favorite dishes. the flavors were all so beautifully mingled. the pork sat atop parsnips that we first roasted then mashed. and topped everything with arugula tossed with a freshly made ginger-shallot dressing. yes. so so so good. and it paired delightfully well with the sparkling wine we picked up for the occasion.
even though it was a little anticlimactic spending the evening in my leggings and not out with friends dancing 2014 away, it was actually quite lovely to be warm and cozy in my home with my two favorite people in all the world. that’s how you truly want to begin a new year, with the ones you love the most. and it was nice that i got to cheers to my BFF who is out in denver and my sister who lives in oklahoma. so through the wonders of technology and an app called voxer, i really did spend NYE with all my most favorites in the world.
and of course, what brand new year doesn’t get a proper start without black eyed peas? my friend cindy cooked up a big pot of beans and ham hocks and invited us over to toast to health and happiness for 2015. i may have had seconds.