Tuesday, January 17, 2012

On My Own

After the craziness that was last Monday (just in case you have already forgotten, Alabama won the National Championship AGAIN that day!!), I had to get ready to be on my own for nearly a week. Forrest had a dental conference and I wasn't going with his since it was going to mean several days off of work for me. I didn't have time to be lonely because my sweet family and friends kept me busy the whole week! On Tuesday my parents took me out to dinner and on Wednesday Aunt Sue and Uncle John had me to dinner at their house. Thursday my parents left for their annual MLK weekend trip to Jamaica. I was really jealous, especially since it was FREEZING here! Since they were going I was in charge of Buddy, our family dog. I am sure I have told you all this before, but Buddy is a little cranky in his old age (he is 11, I think) and is VERY particular. For example, he does NOT like to walk on hardwood floor, and since my entire house but 1 room is hardwood, this presents a problem. I can let him in and out the den door, but at bed time, I have to carry him down the hall to my room and put him on his bed, surrounded by an "island" of blankets. This time he was a very good boy and even climbed up on to the couch by himself (I didn't think he could jump that high--he is very arthritic!).
This pic is from my phone so it isn't very good.
However, Dad told me that they found Buddy on their couch this morning. Oops. They didn't find it as cute as I did.

Aside from hanging with FIVE furry creatures all weekend, I had plenty of things with which to occupy myself. Claire invited Farrah and I over for dinner on Thursday. She made a delicious pasta, but I think my favorite part of the night was that she insisted that we come over in our sweatpants--nothing fancy!! We had a great girls night, and as an added plus, it was snowing outside! It didn't snow much or last very long, but it was very pretty and made a freezing winter's night much more bearable! On Friday I stayed in and caught up on my dvr shows and even made the Pioneer Woman's Chicken Tortilla Soup! This was the first recipe I attempted for cooking club so I'll be doing a post on it next. It was a lovely way to relax and have a little "me" time, and who doesn't need that every now and then??
On Saturday I headed to Birmingham to have lunch with Randi for my birthday. Randi and I try to meet up once a month in the spring and summer (in the fall I see her in Tuscaloosa for football games) to catch up. I had some errands to run first so I got up and on the road "early" for a Saturday. I was returning something first, and in exchange, I picked up a little National Championship ring for myself!! It is a cute elephant ring that I can't wait to wear to a game next season!
Next I had to run into Whole Foods to pick up a few ingredients for an Indian recipe I am going to attempt tonight, and of course, we don't have the ingredients in Gadsden. Can I just give Whole Foods a shout out please? The store itself is lovely, the staff so very friendly and knowledgeable (I had NO idea where anything was and so basically a little stock guy did my shopping for me), and let's face it, it is just a better shopping experience over all. I usually don't let myself linger in there too long for fear of spending our mortgage payment on quality groceries, but I always leave that store happy and wish we had one closer. (Or maybe not---who knows what I would find to buy if it was my regular store!!) Wish me luck as I attempt my chicken tikka masala tonight! I'll have a full report ready for you to enjoy, probably at my expense, later this week!
I met Randi at Flip Burger at the Summit. Have you ever been there? OMG--if not, you need to GO NOW! I ate there a little under a year ago with Aunt Fran and have been anxious to have a reason to go back. I got the Butcher's Cut Burger, with caramelized onions, red wine jam, blue cheese, need I go on? They also have great fries and onion rings, and let us not forget the shakes!! Last time I went it was during Lent and I had given up sweets so I couldn't indulge with a burnt marshmallow and Nutella milkshake, but since we were celebrating my birthday, I was determined to try it. The coolest part it that it has liquid nitrogen so it comes out smoking! How clever! I was so anxious to get into it that I didn't even take a picture, but omg, it was $5 well spent!!
I snagged this from their website. Oh it is even more delicious looking in person!!

I feel kind of jealous that I have had one and Forrest hasn't, so maybe a road trip for dinner (or just a snack) is in order?? :) I had the most wonderful time catching up with Randi. She is such a sweet friend and she means so much to me!
After lunch I swung by my grandparents' house before heading back to Gadsden for Mass. Then it was time to go to Denise's surprise 30th birthday party! Wasn't Jonathan sweet to do that for her??? She was SO surprised when she opened the door to the Tavern to see all of her family and friends!! Happy Birthday D!! (Note to self: find out the recipe for the "Mississippi Sin Dip" that they served--Amazing!)
I thought the cake was SO pretty!

Me and Farrah with the birthday girl!! The big 3-0!

I sadly didn't get to stay too too long at the party because I had a date with Sara to watch the Miss America pageant. We are trying to get ourselves into pageant mode so we are ready for Mary Margaret's pageant in less than 2 weeks! I LOVE watching pageants with Sara so I definitely didn't want to miss this one! We were pulling of course for Miss Alabama (who got top 12-hooray) but also for Miss Iowa, who my sister became friends with during the Princess America Pageant in Orlando this summer (she got in top 10!).
Forrest came home on Sunday--hooray!! I was SO happy to see him back home and safe and was glad to hear he had a very productive time at his conference!! Right after he got home, though, I  had to run out to Ellen's shower! She got so many sweet gifts from Nelson's parents' church friends, but the sweetest was her "file" from her grandmother. Grandmother Cornutt had saved all of Ellen's little drawings, pictures, programs from events, and articles from the newspaper in a file that she presented to her upon her wedding. It was the sweetest thing and made me want to do that for my kids one day! The whole afternoon was filled with love and celebration for Ellen and Nelson! That is exactly why I love a shower--you get to see the people that mean the most to the bride and groom--their support system--showering them with hope and love.
Forrest and I spent the rest of the evening eating my soup (which he loved) catching up about his trip, and watching the Golden Globes (ok, really that part was just me--Forrest acted pleasantly interested while he worked on his computer). This is going to be hopefully a fairly low key week for us as we gear up for a fun weekend in town!

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