Thursday, May 31, 2018

May 2018

You've already gotten a glimpse of the main event of May (Ladies Tea) and once it was over I slipped into a blissful fog of "do-nothingness" that I need to snap out of soon because folks are starting to get sick of cold cereal for supper (not me, though. Cold cereal is the best!). So, here's a few other things we got done (also, very out of order for unknown reasons...)

Gram came for a visit on Memorial Day Weekend and we celebrated at Crane Beach and Woodman's for lunch 

David came too :)

Despite the air temps the water was actually pretty cold. Shocking, it being May in New England and all, but legit forgot and went swimming anyway. Once you're numb it's all the same.

Ok, back to the beginning of May. Went for a "hike" with friends and it was conveniently close to Kimballs

While solid in our choice to keep Hudson out of school one more year, next fall is going to be rough as all his friends start. I wasn't into playdates with Henri, but Hudson has a fantastic group of boys I'm really going to miss (and their caregivers/moms).

A little preview of coming camping attractions

Kentucky Derby! I dropped the ball on making hats and getting a correct menu together, so instead we sipped mint tea and cheered on our favorites. Who all came in close to last. 

Esme's first bumper sticker. From the hysterical show "Galavant" that, though they won't be allowed to watch until they're 18, I have the kids quoting.

Scootering has become a passionate pastime around here

Family date at Yogurt Beach

Friends brought me yellow flowers to inspire me during the long nights of sewing for the Tea

Handstand progress. Very slooooow handstand progress....

Mother's Day! A handmade vase and flower from Henri, a vase from Hudson, and sweet cards. And chocolate!

Battle Road Trail

She's getting pretty good on the two wheels

We seem to have eaten a large amount of ice cream this month. Went back to Kimball's for mothers day. 

The card Hudson made me; The big blob is me (huge vertical lines are his versions of eyes) and then the little rectangle with a smile and two arms is him when he was inside me. I'm loving how he got my belly shape right :D

How I spent most nights. Plugging along and catching up on almost every episode of "Stuff You Missed In History Class", my latest favorite podcast

Huge deal; Hudson is showering. I know, not earth-shaking, but after him being terrified of water on his head for two years, the sudden change to showers is awesome. Also very freeing.

Ironically the year I decide to ignore my garden and not plant a single thing is the year everything is doing fantastic. Even all my hens and chicks have doubled in size, and check out the rhubarb!

Pastor's wife's dad Klaus turned 80 and was over from Germany so we all got to celebrate and surprise him. He's an amazing and sweet man and I'm so glad we were able to participate in it. To throw off any suspicion he might harbor I baked a bunch of cakes and brownies and threw him a mini party after church on Wednesday (which made him tear up) so he was really thrown when we all jumped out at him the next night.  

So after a late night on Weds AND Thurs Hudson crawled back into bed with me on Friday and slept until 0930. Love that he likes to snuggle still.

Back to Crane Beach

Sunday after church we piled into Esme and headed to Alton Bay, NH. Exactly 100 miles. We expected disaster (or at least the entire frame falling apart) at any moment but she held together! And maintained a respectable 60mph.

Kids loved how much space they have back there, and how high we feel

We arrived....and then she died and wouldn't restart.

Steve bought a remote controlled speed boat which was very popular

Pinterest s'more idea; extra dark chocolate and marshmallow inside of an Oreo. Highly recommend.

Late night "ghost" stories

My view when I woke up. Definitely need to do something along the lines of a sleeping pad since the back of the seat (where I sleep) is super hard and bumpy, but everyone else has a nice foam mattress and slept well (in fact, Hudson slept until 9, totally unheard of at home). I love having all of us snuggled up so cozy and close.

The dandelions were impressive

Yet more ice cream....

Sabah has returned from Egypt and she brought me cups and Turkish coffee. Unfortunately the thrift stores let me down, so Amazon is sending me a cezve to enable proper preparation. The kids both love it and I see this becoming our summer afternoon ritual, though I'll have to go to Ikea and get the kids their own demitasse glasses so they don't ruin mine. 
And I think that's really it. Hudson and I made a quick trip to VT to meet up with Papa and retrieve our yearly order of maple syrup, Henri has just one week of school left, Steve is extending his runs to 5 miles/night, and the weather is currently perfect. June has a few big things scheduled, so looking forward to that!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Ladies Tea 2018

Every year I promise myself I'll get pictures. Every year I don't. This year maintained tradition, but friends got a few. I've been prepping for months (sewing lots of bunting, recipe testing). Our usual caterer pulled out for another obligation so in addition to the usual planning and decorating I also cooked for a planned 60 attendees. The biggest endeavor was the croissants, I started them a month ago and freezing as I went since it takes a looong time to make. I worked with a great team who helped me set up and cooked some of the cakes and the frittatas (which were probably my favorite). Everything went well, despite my help showing up 40 minutes late this morning and having to scramble, and we have leftovers for supper tonight!
In case you wondered:
Theme: Joy/yellow
Menu: Croissants with all the toppings (dandelion jelly, strawberry jam, nutella, lemon curd, ham and cheese, butter), Shrimp, feta and orzo salad, Mediterranean vegetable frittata, veggies with spinach dip, citrus salad with ruby red dressing, lemon yogurt cake, chocolate dipped orange sticks, key lime shortbread cookies, and chocolate mousse shooters with raspberries. It was yum.

About 36 hours after they were started, croissants ready to hit the oven

Soaking dandelions to make jelly

Yet again, canning on the hottest day of the year we've had so far...

Croissants out of the oven. Flakey and buttery and delicious

Trader Joe's for all my flower and lemon needs

You can order whatever you want, and then just pay for what you decide to take the day of. Incredibly inexpensive, no fuss, I love TJ's!

....except I stink at flower arranging. Agonizing, looks like they're flopping....hours later it was just going to have to be as good as it was.

There was cloth bunting everywhere (this is after everyone ate and the reserves brought out so people could take plates of food home)

Lemon and mint centerpieces

Favors were different yellow candies and homemade lemon lip balm

Going to take this week to recuperate and clean my house, and then we'll start thinking about next year. Went simple this time, so I think it'll be over-the-top next :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

April 2018

A very full and fun month! We had Easter, got together with the family in Maine to celebrate mom's birthday, had lots of friends over for playdates/babysitting (including my adorable 6mo neighbor who's total chub), started Ladies Tea prep in earnest, and celebrated Henri's seventh birthday. A few glimpses:

We twinned for Easter

Annual family photo

Saying "hi" to the geese with the twins

Library event; African storytelling and paper bead making (and cookie eating).

Perfect weekend in Maine. It snowed hard on the drive up on Friday, but Saturday was gorgeous.

....a bit chilly, but still perfect

Mom worked her magic again and found a sand dollar

Meghan did not. But she found some great shells

Baby A was a love the whole time

Love birds

Nate's grand find: a cannonball!

Researching the treasure

One of the best parts of the weekend: the boys took over the kitchen and created a seafood feast that boggled the mind. And tasted scrumptious!

Our house was right on the ocean so we just sat on the seawall and soaked in the salt air

I had steamers for the first time. Delicious but definitely something to eat in dim lighting. 

Tranquil sunset

Trying to feed the gulls the leftover dinner. They weren't interested

Had the beach almost to ourselves

It was a weekend of great food. Had a huge selection of Congdon Donuts on Sunday morning

Papa looking dapper

Some of the Sunday walkers. It was pretty cold.

Meghan and Nate organized the whole thing and did a fantastic job. Would love if this became a yearly event!

Making lemon lip balm for Tea favors

Walked Broadmoor with friends

The first steps in a very long process (so. much. measuring!)

...and the final results. Pretty tasty if I do say so myself. Making 6 dozen for the Tea and freezing them ahead of time. As it's a 48 hour process, the timing of making croissants is consuming a lot of my schedule. 

Then Mom came to Boston to visit us! And we went to the circus! (My first time. So good!)

Kept Henri home on Monday since the weather was glorious and we went downtown to explore. Historical field trip if you will. 

We walked almost nine miles and the kids didn't make a peep (or slow us down once). It's nice having older kids!

One of my favorite spots in the city, the Holocaust Memorial. 

Long Wharf still makes me nervous with the kids (that's a pretty sheer drop and no protection from it!) but the north side of it is fun to hang out on. 

And of course I can't go into town without stopping by Modern. They never disappoint.

Monday was National Picnic Day so we ate supper outside and then took another walk.

She's 7!!!!!!

Lemon cake for dessert

The boxes are still as much fun as the actual gifts

She got her 1/2 guitar. We're still vetting teachers but anticipate starting lessons this month. She's pretty excited.

And what would be a Henri birthday without at least one meal at Mr. Sushi?

They were pretending this box was a coffin. Sigh. Too much time exploring cemeteries I guess. 
We are in to May, and it looks like the adage has held true; all the April showers are bringing an abundance of May flowers! My daffodils bloomed, my alliums have survived an initial assault by the groundhog/rabbits/squirrels and 4 have buds, the rhubarb exploded, all the peonies have pushed up, and the Solomon Seal that the kids killed last year right after I planted it has sent up TWO shoots. Very thrilling. I have remained steadfast in my resolution to not buy plants this year, but I did put in some bean seeds we had lying about so we'll see if anything comes up. This month is another busy one with every weekend accounted for, so hopefully there'll be some variety to show you.