I have to post about this because Friday night was the most fun night ever!
Stephanie and I went to a live show at the Orpheum of our favorite podcast, My Favorite Murder. If you like true crime (I mean, I guess I must) and cursing and laughing, you should definitely listen. If you don’t like all three of those things, maybe stick to This American Life.
Back in October, tickets went on sale. I was in London at the time and just finishing up a meeting when the time came for sales to start. I tried and tried and tried and just could not get tickets. Meanwhile, back in the States, Stephanie was also trying. Thank goodness she was able to get a pair for us. Not just any pair – second row, VIP!
VIP meant we’d get a few goodies but best of all, we’d get to meet the hosts, Karen and Georgia after the show! Eeek! For months, Steph and I planned what we were going to wear (I’d make shirts for sure, but what would they say?!?) and what we’d give them. (People often give them a little gift at the meet and greet.) Read More
Ooh, a whole week has gone by without a post. My bad!
Wasn’t the most exciting week, though. Well, let’s see. The boys went to their friend Ian’s house for a sleepover Saturday night, and everyone stayed all night and had a great time, so that was a relief. Also their house is full of IKEA so I felt right at home and now I want to build a loft-like space above their bedroom. And I had poke for dinner after I dropped them off.
The other great thing that came out of it was Ian’s recipe for cheesy popcorn, which we’ve made twice now. I hope he doesn’t mind if I post it here.
IAN’S CHEESY POPCORN
Put one tablespoon of olive oil in a pot big enough for popcorn, turn on medium to medium high heat.
Add 6 tablespoons of popcorn kernels (this is where Linus says, let’s just add a little bit more, so it’s usually more like 7.)
Wait until one of the kernels pop. This takes an eternity. I guess it’s true, watched popcorn never pops.
Put the lid on. If you’re lucky, your pot has a glass lid so you can watch all the popping action.
Shake the pot while it pops. Is it necessary? Maybe not, but it feels right.
When it’s all done, pour the popcorn into a big ol’ bowl.
Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil on the popcorn and mix it all up.
Shake 6 tablespoons of parmesan cheese on top and mix it all up.
Eat! And then look at all the parmesan cheese at the bottom of the bowl and decide next time to use a bit less.
I hope you enjoy this delicious treat as much as we do!
What else is exciting? Hmm. Well, Steph and I are going to see a live show of My Favorite Murder podcast tonight, which I am very excited about. Not a podcast for the kids, though. Probably obvious from the title. Oh, and Sunday morning, Linus and I will be on the local news for three minutes talking about this little coding robot toy thingy. I’m sure that won’t be completely awkward or anything.
Oooh, my new glittery sneakers got here! Love them.
Brrrrr, it’s gotten cold here! Everyone was excited when this showed up on the weather app:
And this is what we woke up to:
Okay, it wasn’t really snow, I don’t think. More like tiny ice crystals. But who cares? It looked like snow and it was white and it blanketed the ground, so good enough for us. (Though it would have been nice if it had stuck together for snowmen and snowballs. Alas.)
The boys had a blast, though, and that’s the main thing. School was out yesterday and today. The roads were too icy to drive on yesterday (because, people from the North, we aren’t used to it, and our infrastructure wasn’t designed to deal with it, so stop being snots about it) and I had some friends with burst pipes, which sucked for them. (Again, our houses aren’t built to withstand freezing temps for prolonged periods.)
Should warm up in the next couple of days which is a relief because I’m ready for the boys to go back to school!
Oh, and I threw together this post for NOMB the other night. My favorite (because it’s true.)
How is it already mid-January? Yeesh. At least we’ve actually had a winter here. Though freezing temperatures without snow are pointless. So if we could just have a flurry here while I’m home at the same time the boys are, that’d be great. Thanks.
We had a busy weekend – the boys had a sleepover Friday night for a friend’s birthday, then Saturday night one of their friends slept over, then Sunday we went to yet another birthday party. (Fortunately they had Monday to recover.)
Random pictures of kids stuck to a wall from the Sunday birthday party:
I also did some baking over the weekend. Make pizza dough for the boys’ dinner Saturday night, then made a king cake for breakfast the next day.
I used this recipe, but halved the yeast. (In the past, the king cakes I’ve made have tasted too yeasty.) It came out pretty well. I should have baked it at a lower temperature, I think. The outside was getting dark, but the inside was still possibly not cooked as much as I’d have liked (but not raw.) I could just hear Paul and Mary critiquing it. But everyone else liked it, so I’m going to stop pretending I’m on the Great British Bake Off. (I do have some other ideas on how to improve it for next time…)
In other news, I ordered two fun things from Amazon that I’m excited about.
Hair straightening brush. This is magic! My sister has one and I used it when she was in town, so I treated myself for my birthday.
CHECK THIS OUT!!! That’s before – I didn’t touch my hair this morning after washing it. No brushing or anything. That’s totally air dried. And the after is from six minutes of brushing with the magic brush! Insane.
Usually straight hair involves blow drying (pfft no way) and then flat ironing for 15 minutes while I curse the hard to reach hair at the back of my head. This was just brush, brush, brush, avoid ears because last time I burned the crap out of the back of my ear. I mean, this thing gets hot, but as long as you’re careful, it’s fine.
I read 90 books in 2016, so that means I read 38% more books in 2017! Want to see what I read?
(I think that’s only 125 covers, but I remembered another book later that I forgot to record, but it was really a novella so it’s okay. Maybe I should say I read 125.5 books this year?)
In any case, this year I’m going to be more organized and instead of just saving screenshots of the covers (since 99% of the books I read are on my phone) I’ll use Goodreads like I should have all along. (I used Goodreads to generate these graphics, btw.) (You can follow me here, if you like.)
The books are shown in the order I read them in so you can see that sometimes I’ll find an author that I enjoy, and then read the crap out of whatever the library has. Some authors I devoured everything I could get my hands on either because I loved their books (Tana French, Jenny Han) or because I couldn’t find anything better to read (Nancy Thayer, Sarah Morgan.)
I read a lot of YA this year (Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, Geekerella.) I was surprised at how much better The Nightingale was than most of Kristen Hannah‘s other books, though many of them were very enjoyable. But I mean, what, did she take a writing class before writing that?
I also read a surprising (to me, when I look back over the year) numberofmemoirs. Probably the first half of Shrill was my favorite. I spent most of Cat Marnell’s book on edge and feeling very nervous for her.
You can also see that I read a lot of fluff (unapologetically) which probably explains why I can read 126 books in 365 days. I’m also happy to say I think I purchased only one of these books, and it was the aforementioned novella, and the proceeds went to charity. Libraries FTW!
Cutting for Stone (super happy I picked this up again. It was one of the first Kindle books I ever bought, eons ago, and just couldn’t get into it at the time. This time, I adored it.)
All the books that I know I read but can’t recall at all.
The two Danielle Steel books that are the books I am ashamed of reading. They were just so terrible. I get these from the library when desperate. But they’re the only two books I’m embarrassed for you to see here. I should have stopped reading three pages in.
The latter of the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series that I read. I enjoyed the first one, but my enjoyment lessened the further I got into the series. They were kind of a slog to read, but I was desperate for more dark mysteries after I’d finished the Tana French books.
A book you won’t see listed – Into the Water. I just could not get into it. I hate not finishing books (see Danielle Steel, above), but life’s too short.
Overall, though, it was a good year for reading. On to 2018! I don’t have any quantity goals but I’d be happy to match 2017. I’m currently on book #8, so I’m on my way!
Yesterday was my birthday! (I thought about taking a monthly picture, but no one was home to take it when it was still light outside, but that’d have been funny, eh? Darn, missed opportunity there.)
Anyway, even though this year I was at home and not gallivanting around the world in, say, San Francisco or Barcelona, I had a great birthday. In fact, one of the better ones, I’d say. It wasn’t particularly eventful, but just overall a lovely day. Well, except for the weather. I’d appreciate a sunny birthday more often, but sadly, January is gray and yucky too often to hope for that.
It started out with waking up with the boys and bringing them to the bus stop so I could see Ann Frances (my birthday buddy, you know.) Then I went to Orangetheory and thought at one point in the workout that it might end up that I would last exactly 43 years on this planet, but alas, I survived the workout. Stopped at a neighborhood coffee shop for a hot beverage and a pastry (apple turnover) and then went home to chill for a bit. (I took the day off work.)
Kiki had sent me a pile of presents, and I wanted to spread them out throughout the day. So I opened one – a White House Christmas ornament. Earlier I’d opened one that had some face masks and cream in it.
I got on the ferry a little while later and met up with Heather and Steph for a fancy lunch at Antoine’s, one of those old traditional New Orleans restaurants in the French Quarter. (The oldest, in fact, having been around since 1840.) It was lovely, even if the service wasn’t the greatest. Then again, our waiter had been there for 50 years, and so what if he kept bringing me screwdrivers when I asked for martinis? (Part of the lunch special is 25 cent cocktails.) Anyway, I’d have been on the floor if I’d had three martinis, so perhaps he knew best.
After a delicious lunch of oysters, steak, and a meringue dessert, Heather drove me home, and I relaxed for a while until it was time to go get the boys. (I also opened another gift from Kiki – a copy of the Smitten Kitchen cookbook that I’ve been wanting. Yay!) I was going to let George pick them up, but I wanted to get a birthday cake. Kind of pathetic, having to buy my own birthday cake, but if I wanted one, I’d have to buy it. So I went to the grocery store and found a yellow cake/chocolate frosting number, and here’s where it gets even sadder.
I asked them to put “Happy Birthday” on it, but when she asked for a name, I just said, “no name, that’s fine.” I’m sure it seemed odd, but not as pathetic as it would have been if she’d realized Pam was me. What if I went to check out and the cashier noticed the name on the cake was the same as the name on my debit card? I know it’s a long shot, but I didn’t feel like risking it. Usually, that kind of thing doesn’t bother me, but I just couldn’t make myself do it. So my cake remained nameless.
When I went to pick up the boys, Miles informed me he’d made me a card!!! This is all I ever want from the boys, and I was thrilled. It was the sweetest card. Ack!
Oliver posted a Happy Birthday on Instagram that morning, which was indescribably sweet. It was a terrrrrrible picture of me, but that’s kind of okay, you know? Like, he doesn’t think it’s a terrible picture. He just sees Mom. So sweet.
(Yeah, nothing from Linus, but I did get plenty of hugs at least.)
When we got home, I opened my gifts from George (another lens for my phone – this one a telephoto) and a glow in the dark cockroach that I gave back to him. Thanks, dear. Ellie called me to say Happy Birthday, too.
Then we ordered dinner (pizza for the boys, pasta for me) and had cake. Later, I went to the pub for a birthday drink with Jenn and Terry and Steph, and came home way too late. So I’m tired today, but it was worth it – a nice day filled with friends and food and presents and love. What more could I ask for?
Yesterday the boys and I met up with my sister and her family at Cafe du Monde to say goodbye before they headed back to Virginia. The boys were sitting at a table with Emily, reading their library books that we’d just checked out. (They’re obsessed with manga books right now.)
The woman in line behind me pointed to them and asked, “are they yours?” I said, yes, the boys were. She said, “that’s something you never see.”
Yeah, yeah, triplets, blah blah blah.
She continued, “Boys with books! That’s wonderful!”
I have never been prouder than I was in that moment (not strictly true but you know.)
Of course, it’s not like they’re reading chapter books, but they’re reading.
As she walked out of the shop, the woman said, “keep up the great work.”
Years that end in 7s have typically been pretty eventful for me. Well, at least two of them have. I spent a good chunk of 1997 in London, which was life-changing for me. And 2007 brought a trio of little clones into our lives. So I expected 2017 to be equally eventful for me personally. I mean, hey, it was also the year I was 42, so expectations were high.
But it didn’t end up being particularly noteworthy, at least not for me. In fact, generally speaking, I’d say it was not a great year overall. But for our family, it was fine. Let’s recap. Read More
I can’t believe Christmas was two days ago already! Ain’t that how it goes. The post-holiday blues are settling in a bit, so I’m glad tomorrow we’ll be heading to Baton Rouge to spend time with my sister and her family.
Anyway, we had a nice Christmas. We had steak for dinner on Christmas eve, and then the boys and I read The Night Before Christmas together (cue heart melting) and I made them take pictures with their stockings, and then I sent them to bed so Santa could come. (Not that they believe, but they like to pretend anyway.)
I spent another hour wrapping a bazillion presents and drinking my traditional eggnog daiquiri that I had procured earlier in the day. And then I put together the eggnog French toast we were going to have for breakfast. (Yeah, I like eggnog.)
We were ready!
The next morning, the boys were up before 7, but I told them they weren’t allowed to wake us up until then. But at 7 on the dot, they dragged me out of bed to open their gifts.
We had quite the pile under the tree, and we all made pretty quick work of it. Their big present was my old laptop from work (I got my new one last week) so I wrapped up the old box to remind them why they didn’t get anything huge.
They got clothes and drawing supplies and lots of Pop figures (they’re obsessed) and books and new towels. (I know, towels don’t seem super exciting for 10 year old boys, but they have been complaining about the size of our bath towels so I got them each their own bath sheet.)
I also made out like a bandit. I got a lovely necklace that the boys picked out, a bracelet with a stamped piece (101010 on one side, 42 on the other – 42 is my lucky number, and 101010 is 42 in binary, and also this year the boys are 10 and I am 42.) I also got an electric wine opener and a Tile and a new skillet from Kiki. Oh! And a case for my new laptop. And a coloring book that is for grown-up eyes only. Oh! And a macro lens and case for my phone. (Would love the telephoto lens too, thank goodness my birthday is next week, eh?) Man, I got spoiled. The boys also got me cards and Oliver wrote I was the best mom on Earth, which made me cry. (Sorry, all other moms on Earth!)
Anyway, after that excitement was over, we had breakfast and I made a salad to bring to the pub later. Yep, George’s dream came true and we got to spend Christmas at the pub. There was a huge spread of food and a bunch of our friends and thankfully a friend of the boys’ as well. It was a lovely lunch, but we did miss having family around.
Later, I brought the boys home with their friend Ethan, and they played Just Dance, which was adorbs.
And after Ethan went home, Linus and Oliver and I played Ticket to Ride, which was fun and only resulted in a few fights and tears. I also made the bittersweet discovery that they like tamales, which is bittersweet because Terry makes them only at certain times of year, and now I have to share them. Ugh. (Fortunately, I found that Costco sells decent ones that they’ll eat.)