Thursday, May 31, 2012


This past weekend (on the 26th to be exact) we celebrated our 11th anniversary!

Brent's parents came to visit over the long weekend and so Brent planned a mini-trip as a surprise for me. I love surprises.  I pretend that I want to know, but I really don't. 

As we were driving away, Brent gave me a few details of our weekend. We were on the road to Old Town Alexandria.

We checked into the Morrison House (in the midst of wedding festivities for a few couples!) and then decided to walk around before our dinner.

Cupcakes at Alexandria Cupcake were yummy...I chose Vanilla Bean...and the flavor is by far the best vanilla I've tasted in a cupcake.  (I love how you can see Brent's reflection in the table as he's eating his Guinness cupcake.  And I love that he wasn't going to have a cupcake until he heard the word "Guinness"!)

After exploring several more shops and "window-planning" future meals in the historic city, we went to a discovery Brent made a few weeks ago and wanted to share with me.

Society Fair.  It's gorgeous.  One side features a wine & tapas bar while the other is home to a bakery and other market delicacies you can take home with you.

The view from our table overlooking the restaurant...I'm thinking a girls night out here would be so much fun!

After our hors d'oeuvres, we returned to the Morrison House for dinner at The Grille which was amazing.  Seven courses.

And it deserves its own post. Stay tuned for that.

The next morning, we asked for a coffee recommendation and went to Misha's where my cafe au lait did not disappoint.

We walked the brick sidewalks down the street to the Old Town Farmers Market.  We walked through quickly, as it was already a hot morning...and we were hungry. :) But we loved seeing all the beautiful produce, gorgeous flowers (especially these peonies), and some beautiful handcrafted wooden bowls, platters, and amazing cutting boards.

We ended our visit to Old Town with a delicious brunch at  Le Pain Quotidien.  Their bakery display is as delicious as it is beautiful.  My second cafe au lait of the morning was an excellent accompaniment to the yummy chocolate croissant...and I thoroughly enjoyed my banana pecan steel cut oatmeal.

I am already looking forward to visiting again!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Simply Lovely, no. 13

Whether a simple fistful of dandelions or a lovely bouquet from the florist,
I will always love the flowers given me by my husband & children.
In this year's mothers day bouquet, I see pink, blue, & purple...their favorites. And mine.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

12 on the twelfth

May edition in Fredericksburg, VA

As a mother's day gift, Brent gave me Saturday to myself...and so I decided to travel to Fredericksburg and get acquainted with the historic city.  It was such a lovely day...I loved getting to explore at my own pace...and appreciated the break from unpacking!  I am definitely looking forward to exploring it as a family next!

  1.  Beautiful blooms on our back porch in my daughters favorite colors. :)
  2.  Yummy oatmeal and hazelnut coffee at Panera.
  3.  After some shopping, a lunch stop at Eileens, which lives in a beautiful old church building.
  4.  Curried chicken salad sandwich and a great salad.
  5.  Violet Italian Soda...refreshing, unique, and the prettiest shad of lavender!
  6.  So many terrific used bookstores! This one was my favorite.
  7.  Loved the surprise of this courtyard at the back of a garden shop...
  8.  ...especially, the collection of blue window shutters with these tiny flowers!
  9.  Home again, and my oldest, inspecting our patio garden...
10.  ...and its first strawberry fruits!
11.  Another gorgeous Virginia sunset...just look at the clouds!
12.  I came home to a gourmet meal from Brent, topped off by these Strawberry Mousse parfaits.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

The absence explained

First things first, an apology.  I am sorry that I've been gone with no explanation.  I had intended to schedule posts and blog along the way when I could...but as any of you who have moved know, the process of packing, moving, and unpacking is never quite so easy as you think it will be, no matter how organized or ready for it you are.  

But we made it.  

We are "home" to a state that is new to us and oh-so-beautiful.  I can't stop looking outside the window at all the trees.

As you can see, we started there in Enid, OK...

...and our route took us through Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio (where we had the pleasant surprise of seeing Brent's brother who was in the area for meetings), West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and then finally Virginia.  And yes, as you can see from her picture, we were all ready to put our feet up and relax after the drive east.

We are 40-ish minutes to three hours away from Washington DC (depending on traffic!)...and very excited about all the area has to offer.  The kids invited everyone we knew/saw in OK to come visit before we left, so we're looking forward to having our guest room occupied, as well as being much closer to family.

And as we continue to settle in, I should be here more regularly again.  Thanks for sticking with me!

And just in case you're curious:

Unpacking Update

Completed: Kitchen, children's bedrooms, master bed & bath
Remaining: Everything else. Ugh.

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