Happy birthday, boys! Laying low today – they’ve had four soccer games in the past three days and Linus has a cold, so they need the rest. Their big gift is tickets to a Saints game next month, their first, so they’re excited for that.
I kept meaning to post this month, but couldn’t really make myself do it (aside from the quilt post.) But now I am feeling more up to it.
Starting with my birthday, which I was kind of not excited about (which is VERY SAD because I love birthdays so much) because the weather was supposed to be gross, and omicron was in full force so we couldn’t go anywhere and I couldn’t do anything and I was just sad. And I was supposed to go visit Kiki, but thanks to omicron, we decided it was best to postpone it.
But it ended up being a lovely day! I did a live Peloton class (alas, no birthday shout-out but lots of high fives), the boys gave me cards they made that made me cry, and Oliver made me scrambled eggs. Then my friends Jen and Aimee came over and the weather was lovely and Jen brought me a bananas foster king cake and half a gallon of frozen margarita and we sat outside and gave ourselves diabetes but it was just so nice to sit and chat with friends.
George gave me a vacuum sealer to go with my sous vide he gave me for Christmas, and while it may not sound like the most romantic gift ever, it was very appreciated. I mean, who hasn’t always wanted a vacuum sealer? It is very fun. And Kiki gave me a subscription to NYT cooking and some fun goodies to open.
And I spent the day making a cake from scratch, then ordering a ton of Chinese food for dinner, and all in all, it was a lovely birthday.
Cards and cake and vacuum-sealed king cake!
Other notable things in January…
I got an new sewing machine! I am in love. It’s fairly basic, feature-wise (just a straight-stitch machine) but it’s so powerful and FAST and sews through multiple layers of canvas and denim like it’s NOTHING. And it was so nice to use when quilting the quilt I made for Kiki.
Which brings me to the quilt I made for Kiki, that’s quilt number 3 if you’re counting. I wanted to send her comfort and coziness so I made it out of flannel. I wanted to do shades of blue, and kind of ombre, so I cut long strips and sewed them together into one big long roll, then cut them into roughly 70″ lengths, then sewed them together! Simple, but I like the way it turned out. Until I realized I really had to hand sew the binding because of the solid colors, and then I hated myself for making it so big, but you know what, Kiki’s worth it, and it only ended up taking a couple of evenings to finish up.
I just am not really into making clothes right now but I had fun making a few wristlets and a little pouch. It’s the Yarrow Wristlet pattern from Noodlehead. It was just challenging enough to be fun, but not, like, torturously hard.
Why yes, that is Schitt’s Creek fabric on the inside of the black and white one. As if I’d go a whole post without mentioning it! (Got it from Spoonflower.)
Oh, and the boys got their booster shots for the vaccine trial! Yay! That was a relief, because they also started back at soccer this week. Oh, and they took a test to maybe go to a different high school next year but I’m not quite ready to think about that just yet.
So yeah, that’s about it for January. I am supposedly going to visit Kiki in mid-March now. Next month I am going to a jeans-making workshop that I’m very excited about (despite what I said earlier about sewing clothes) and of course Mardi Gras is coming up, and the house float is going back up, and we might be adding to it, so hopefully everyone stays healthy and we can have a nice February! And March!
P.S. This is random but pork tenderloin cooked with a sous vide is revelatory.
Saturday was my birthday! I was kind of worried it would suck because, you know, the state of the world, but it was really lovely.
I woke up early to do a class on my Peloton. Back in November or so, I set a goal of getting to 500 rides by my birthday. When I made the goal, I was about 120 rides short of that. So it was very ambitious of me, but I made it!
Why did I care about this arbitrary goal? Because during live rides, you can get shout outs if it’s your birthday and/or if you hit a milestone. So I figured if I hit a milestone ON my birthday, my chances were good. But the class I was in had over 4000 participants. What were the chances the coach would call me out?
Quite good, as it happened! Yay!
I was in the shower after my ride when I heard Ziggy freaking out. George said someone he didn’t know was on the porch. It was my bread-baking frenemy Jimmy! He and his wife Julie were there dropping off a gift (also from Ren.) Very thoughtful of them. In a kind of passive-aggressive way.
The boys gave me cards (homemade cards is all I care about from them) which I can’t share because they’d kill me, but the general theme of them was this:
And George gave me some skincare that I wanted from a local company.
After all that, I went to run some errands (which is really just an excuse to talk to Kiki on the phone while I drive.) I had to pick up this framed print from a local artist:
And some other boring errands you don’t need to hear about.
Here are some presents Kiki gave me…are you sensing a theme? (The other ones are also Schitt’s Creek themed.)
After I put together dinner (lamb skewers that Kiki also sent and some sides I picked up from a restaurant), I went to Jenn’s house where we sat around her fire pit. (Safely of course.)
And they got me a cake! A tres leches king cake! Sooooo good. And beautiful!
Terry gave me this, continuing with the theme:
And then I went home, way too late and slept til 10 the next day, which was glorious.
They were very excited to get their gifts this morning. I promised not to post the whole video, but what we did (this was my friend Stephanie’s suggestion) was fill a box with boring things like socks and underwear and Axe deodorant (I couldn’t bring myself to get the body spray) and call it their “Teenager Survival Kit” or something, but hidden at the bottom was an iPhone.
Here’s a gif of Oliver’s reaction (LOM):
Obviously I’m sad we can’t celebrate like we normally would, but let’s face it, they just want to be on their new phones anyway.
Today I am 45 years old. I like sewing and pizza and sweet tarts. My best friend is Kristina.
It was a good birthday. We worked a lot but also went grocery shopping which is my favorite thing to do in foreign countries. We also ate yummy food. They sang Happy Birthday to me in Portuguese at dinner. It was nice.
One dozen years. A gross of monthly pictures. Number one hundred and forty-four. I guess we can stop now.
(HA HA HA YEAH RIGHT THEY WISH.)
On Thanksgiving, I made them let me take close up pictures of their faces because I love their eyes. Of course they all had to smirk.
Those freckles kill me. ❤
Anyway, they opened presents this morning, but this evening we have to go back to school because they have to present some living history stuff. They’re decidedly not thrilled about that, but we’ll have steak for dinner after, which should make up for some of it.
Last week (on Wednesday), I turned 44 and it was a great birthday week. I’ll try not to make this too wordy, but I mean, a lot of fun stuff happened, so I may fail.
We have to start on Tuesday when the washing machine broke. I know, this birthday week isn’t starting out too promisingly, is it? Particularly since it was the day the boys went back to school, and I had literally been counting down the minutes until I had some peace and quiet and solitude in the house. Instead, I had our friend Chris come over to try to fix the washer (he determined it wasn’t easily fixable, and we’d already fixed this thing a zillion times) so happy early birthday to me, I went to Home Depot and picked out a new washing machine.
I mean, exciting, except for the part where you have to pay for a new washing machine. (It wasn’t delivered until Saturday, but I’ll skip ahead and show you a picture of this beautiful giant that can wash enormous loads of laundry.)
Aw, our poor lil’ dryer is dwarfed by it.
Okay, so Tuesday night is when the excitement really started. Kiki flew in! I picked her up and we went to Mopho for dinner and had pho and these really delicious chicken wings.
And then Wednesday, it was my birthday! Yay!
I woke up bright ‘n’ early with the boys and got them off to the bus stop, and then Kristina and I went to Orangetheory, where, duh, we wore shirts that I made (kind of like the ones I made for our trip to Harry Potter World.)
I got so many birthday wishes! This was a great idea she had. Definitely do this on your birthday.
Next, we went home to shower, then hopped on the ferry (it was a gorgeous day) with mimosas and met Teresa for lunch at French Toast. (I’m friends with the owners, and I had been wanting to check it out since it’s pretty new.)
Next, we went in search of a king cake since I knew that it would make the boys happy, and it could also stand in for my birthday cake. After we found it, we got an Uber back to the house so we could meet the boys at the bus stop.
We hit up Ann Frances’s birthday party for a while and took our usual birthday pic together. ❤
We rested for a little while and then we went and had pizza for dinner at Tavolino, a restaurant in the neighborhood.
And after dinner, the boys gave me cards (Linus didn’t want me to share his, but here are the ones I got from Oliver and Miles, and of course I cried a bit.)
And then we had king cake!
And then Kiki and I went to have a nightcap at the pub. But we didn’t last too long, we were exhausted.
Thursday, Kristina spent the morning cleaning the crap out of my kitchen, which is basically her favorite thing to do. Meanwhile, I got a much-needed haircut.
Later, we went to a fabric store that I love so Kristina could pick out fabric for the skirt I was going to make her. Then we went to get 80 minute massages at a spa. Oh man, that was heavenly! That night, we made a pot of Italian sausage and kale and tortellini soup for the grown ups and sushi rolls for the kids. I also made a cucumber salad for the boys AND THEY ATE IT AND LIKED IT. So obviously the apocalypse is upon us.
Friday morning, we went back to Orangetheory, and then had a late lunch at Turkey and the Wolf. We split a bologna sandwich and a collard green melt. It was good, for sure, but we were both scratching our head a bit at how a hipster sandwich place got named “Best New Restaurant in America.” (The collard green melt was too spicy for me, sad sad sad.)
Kristina spent every spare moment organizing my pantry and the rest of the kitchen, and it’s pretty amazing right now. She loves to do that stuff. And then she was supposed to leave Saturday evening, but there was snow forecast where she lives for Saturday night, so she changed her flight to Saturday morning. SAD PAM.
I brought her to the airport while the new washer was being delivered, and then spent the rest of the day resting and getting ready for the CAMAN Ball that I was attending that night with friends. It was a speakeasy theme, and it was a lot of fun getting all glammed up. Jen was my date.
Oh wait, so now I have to tell you about the presents I got because it’s kind of funny how excited I am about them. Well, funny if you don’t sew. But George got me a cordless iron! And my mom got me nice scissors (now I really do feel bad for sneaking her nice scissors for cutting paper when I was little) and a new ironing board! I mean, not just ANY ironing board. This thing is TALL and WIDE and NOT WOBBLY and the base for my new iron sits on a holder on the end and it doesn’t squeak and it’s all very very exciting. If you sew, anyway. Also my lovely friends got me Joann gift cards and THE FUN NEVER STOPS.
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?
Inside because it rained all day. Hard to get this one because they were a tad tired after last night’s slumber party. (Finally went to sleep around 1, only to be up for the day by 6:30. When are they going to sleep like teenagers already?
But I had to use some hardcore emotional manipulation (and Minions on Netflix) to get them to “smile” for this picture. Whatever works.