Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hosts with the Most

Over the past week, we have had several "events" at our house that have kept us on our toes! I actually planned it that way so we really would only have to do one major cleaning and then we would just maintain everything during the week. Even though I was really stressed out, it worked out pretty well. I am glad to have everything put back in order though! Last weekend we hosted the Young Marrieds group from church. Then on Tuesday night, Farrah and I co-hosted book club at our house. Farrah's sister Holly made all the food so I just had wine and drinks and made sure the house was straight. I was SO glad to have a co-host, and when Farrah hosts her first book club in August, I will be right there helping her! Have I mentioned that she and Justin bought the house across the street from me!!!?? I am SO excited to have my best friend as a neighbor. I never really grew up with "neighbors" that you could just walk to their house and play or anything like that. I keep thinking about how fun it will be to walk to each others houses to pick out outfits or watch girly tv together! I know the guys are glad that they can ship us off to one house so they don't have to watch Dancing With the Stars ever again!!! Hooray for neighbors!!
Ok, so I digress from book club. Everyone loved the food and I think they all had a great time! Forrest was home doing homework and afterwards he said that it didn't sound like we were talking much about books, but rather giggling and laughing!! That is true! While we do talk about the book, we usually spend the whole night laughing and telling stories! I was really glad to get to have everyone over again. I love my book club girls!!
On Friday, I went with my mom to Tuscaloosa to my sister's honors day. She got into the Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) honor society and was tapped on the "mound" on the quad. This is a great tradition at UA and I was so glad to be there for my sister.

She is the one in the bright dress
It made me think of when Forrest and I had our own honors days, so many years ago!!! It was a nice ceremony but it was ridiculously HOT! I had forgotten how humid it is in Ttown. I guess I need to get used to it for the fall! Since we were so hot and tired after the ceremony, we all went to 15th Street Diner for lunch. My friend Amy and I used to go to 15th street all the time in college and it made me miss her so much! I was disappointed that their menu has changed and they no longer serve my favorite sides--hashbrown casserole and broccoli rice casserole--or my favorite entree--chicken and dressing--nor did they bring us some of their yummy mini rolls! Devastation!!! I did have a pretty good veggie plate, but it really was not the same without my favorite standards!!
I was EXHAUSTED when I got home so I napped until Forrest came home. We had a date night planned!! How much fun! We've been so busy with everything else lately we really hadn't had a nigth to ourselves, so I was really looking forward to Friday night all week! We didn't do anything fancy or incredibly special, but it was just nice to be with each other! We ate dinner at the Fishmarket and then went to see The Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules. We had seen the first DoaWK while we were in San Francisco and LOVED it so when we saw that the sequel was out, we knew we had to see it too! It is such a sweet little story about a little boy in middle school and it makes us laugh every time! The sequel was no exception and so I HIGHLY recommend it if you are looking for some light hearted fun!
On Saturday I woke up in "hostess" mode. We were hosting our supper club and I was making stuffed shells, so not only did I have to get the house ready, but the food too! Also, we had invited ALL of the Bailey's to lunch at our house on Sunday, since they all have not seen our house yet, and since I knew I couldn't get everything ready and go to church, I decided to get the food for Sunday ready on Saturday as well. For supper club, I made stuffed shells--delish! Denise can't eat dairy and Sarah Kathryn had given up cheese for Lent, so I made the first few before I added in the copius amounts of cheese required. I think they all turned out great! I also made an extra batch for Amy and Jared Gladden, who just welcomed their 2nd precious baby boy, Thomas, on Friday. Congrats Gladdens!! He is so beautiful! (I just dropped off the shells today and got to meet baby Thomas. What a sweetie pie!) After the shells, it was time for a mini-break: a pedicure with Farrah! She must have known how badly I had been neglecting my poor toes! It was nice to be able to get out of the kitchen for a bit and relaxing for a while. But alas, not too much rest for the weary! After getting my toes done, it was time to head right back into the kitchen to start on my lunch for Sunday: Mrs. Bailey's lasagna. I had never made lasagna before and I was actually itching to try my hand at it. Luckily, Mrs. Bailey had a recipe she really enjoyed and she so graciously shared it with me. I was so nervous that I wouldn't make it as well as her! Looking at the recipe, it seemed really simple. Cook, boil, chop, layer. Nothing too it, right? Well, not so right. I decided to double the recipe and so I ended up chopping 2 green peppers, 2 green onions, 2 packages of mushrooms, 2 cans of black olives, and 2 jars of artichoke hearts, not to mention all of the cooking and boiling and everything else. I literally had 4 out of 5 burners going at once. This was really because I didn't have pans large enough to cook the double recipe, so I actually was cooking 2 separate lasagnas! Forrest is usually my go to chopper, but he was outside pressure washing the house, driveway, carport, and deck (which looks great, btw) so I was on my own! It took me a good 3 hours to get the lasagna made and in the pans. I was most worried about the layering of all the different ingredients, but after all that chopping, the layering was a breeze! I was so proud at how it turned out and got the greatest compliment from Forrest "It smells like Pizza Hut in here!". :)
After my marathon of cooking, I had just enough time to clean up the kitchen, set the table, straighten up the house, and get myself together before everyone arrived! Farrah and Justin brought their signature appetizer, pigs in a blanket, Jonathan and Denise brought a fruit crisp, and Sarah Kathryn and Mark brought a beautiful spinach salad with the most delicious homemade dressing. I have got to get her recipe! As usual, we had a great dinner and time together. I was so proud that everyone loved my shells, even though the guys gave Forrest a hard time for not grilling!! :)
On Sunday morning we went to Mass and then headed quickly home to get the last few things ready before the Baileys all came over. I had loaded and unloaded the dishwasher twice on Saturday and had another load to go on Sunday. (Now I think I'm up to 6 unloads!) I have used every plate and glass as well as every butter knife and large sized fork that we have. At least I know they are good and clean now! Since we had cleaned up after supper club left, all I really had to do was unload the dishwasher and reset the tables before everyone arrived, not to mention putting in the lasagnas to cook. Mmm mmm mmm did they ever make my house smell great!! The Baileys luckily had agreed to bring the rest of the meal, so I didn't have anything else to worry about. Leslie and Kevin brought some yummy bread, Aunt Debbie brough a lovely salad, Aunt Susan brought several desserts, and Mrs. Bailey brought some fresh asparagus. What a great lunch! It was so nice to hang out with the whole Bailey tribe! Everyone left right before 3, all except Davis, who stayed to go bike riding with Forrest. What did I do? Well I cleaned up and did dishes, of course! I also got some shopping done and even made a stop at the Belk Registry completion event. We have been shopping at Belk using our wedding credit for nearly 2 years and I ended up wiping it out on Sunday! I got some REALLY great finds, including a rolling suitcase for Forrest, a plastic pitcher, 2 frames, and 3 hurricane vases, which I cannot wait to use! I was so proud of all of my purchases. Everything was 50% off and then I got an extra 20% off from the completion sale. Since I used the rest of my credit, I barely spent any real money at all!

A terrible picture, yes I know. But I got some bubbles at CVS (for free) and thought Sonny might like to chase them. Instead, they just confused him. Notice the bubble floating over his head!
 For dinner, we went to my parents' house for one of our favorites--bbq chicken with white bbq sauce! I have to admit that it was WONDERFUL to have someone else cooking for a change! :) I really really REALLY enjoy hosting and cooking but I think I have had my fill for a while!! Have a great week!

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