I had a few rather crazy weekends home at my mama’s house in Northern Virginia. Crazy pleasant, but crazy in that seemingly every time I go home I seem to be doing roughly 14,000 things in a single weekend.
Fortunately there is always time for snuggles with Sheila. She makes sure of that. When I get up in the morning…
Working from home…
Trying to leave the house to go to the gym…
Also blessedly there was time for reading. My mom loaned me this book after reading it for her book club and I ADORED IT. Ugh it was wonderful. Immediately gave it to my sister and told her to read it too. Told my aunt to read it and she announced she already had and loved it too. Seriously, this book!
Okay so this first weekend at home (in April) that I’m chronicling I got to see my BESSSSTTTIIIIEEE! For her BABY SHOWER!
Her mom really went all out planning things. I really enjoyed the “It’s a boy!” stickers and put them on everything I could think of. Including the mother-to-be 😀
We got to take a few minutes to do our Northern Virginia ritual of a visit to the Korean bakery. That was really nice!
But then we had to zoom home to do our own baking- this SCRUMPTIOUS lemon cake for the baby shower. Some of the fussier aspects of the recipe we skipped but we followed the lemon curd recipe to the tee and it was SO SO AMAZING.
And then we had leftover egg whites and that of course compelled us to make meringues. Which Lydia’s mom made even more adorable than they already were with the addition of little blue peeps!
Which also adorned the brownies
And the savory department, a cheese plate (again, It’s a Boy!)
Yummy deviled eggs
And “Name that Baby Food” tastings! Hahahaha. Baby shower games are so weird.
There was also the cloth diaper activity (Lydia’s mom is real sassy with the description and I LOVE IT)
And the “blend old pictures of Lydia and Brian to create their baby’s face” game. TERRIFYING!
Fortunately, baby Simon has safely arrived and is obviously much, much cuter than the creation above. (And doesn’t Lydia look like a freaking angel?!) Again, I am SO JAZZED to watch my bestie become a mom!
But lest you think the baby shower was the weekend’s only activity, it was, in fact, Greek Easter! So along with bonding with bestie, I was also going to church for approximately 14 hours in one weekend! (<< You think that’s exaggerating but the upper level clergy who showed up at the midnight service meant that, after arriving at 10pm for choir practice, we then weren’t leaving the church til 3am. It was hardcore. And it was not the first service of the week by a LONG SHOT.)
The Easter service is always deeply lovely though.
The next morning (er, noon) my mom’s boyf did us a real solid and showed up with an absolute FEAST. We were all wiped and delighted not to cook and then he shows up with various delicacies from a Balkan bakery where several of his clients work (he’s an immigration lawyer<< DOING THE LORDS WORK, amirite?!) He said the bakery as well as the sausage factory are staffed by a beautifully multicultural, multireligous group of Serbs, Bosnians, Croats, etc. We could all learn from them. Also, their food is DELICIOUS.
And then we were off to the Easter feast at my aunt Kathy’s! This was my first plate. It was all SO GOOD.
I invited my grad school pals in the DC area and was pleased when a lot of them came. That’s Nate, Colton, Sam, Colton’s boyf James, and me. I look a little derpy but oh well it’s a really nice day to remember.
Then I put in an appearance at my dad’s and even though I’d already eaten All The Food that day, he presented me with this, which I ate immediately:
More awesome clients! My dad is working as a realtor and one of his clients (in search of warehouse space) is Iranian and went ahead and gave him THE YUMMIEST DATES OF ALL TIME. Man what a delicious day.
Was I done with the festivities? No! No I was not!
Because the day AFTER Greek Easter (the day after the day after my bestie’s baby shower!) was the day we celebrated my mama’s birthday!
I read about Tupelo Honey Cafe in Fannetastic Food (<< fun fact, she and I went to the same nutrition program at UNC) and I thought it’d be fun to take my mom out for a little taste of NC.
I knew we were in good hands when I tasted this killer biscuit.
I got the breakfast shakshuka which was delicious and HUGE.
And my mom got an equally magnificent burger.
And then I drove back to NC.
But a few short weeks later, following an an-usual insane Friday at the clinic, I spent another four hours listening to podcasts (current favorites: Small Town Dicks, Slow Burn) and making my way to Northern Virginia for…
My sister’s wedding?!
No, despite the above cake clearly being a totally legit WEDDING CAKE, and despite the EIGHTY PEOPLE present in my aunt and uncle’s beautiful home it was, in fact, just an engagement party. Good grief!
My aunt and uncle’s house looked beautiful and their garden was RIDICULOUS- growing beautiful flowers is a passion of my uncle’s and it was heavenly out there.
As for the people at the party… freaking Governor McAuliffe was there! (With our cute neighbor George)
Eric (my sister’s fiance) was an INTERN in the McAuliffe campaign (he literally spent most of the time driving Terry’s wife Dorothy to events) and yet the governor and his wife showed up to their lil intern’s engagement party! That is really quite classy of them. Terry seemed nice and freakishly social, but honestly I loved talking to Dorothy the most. She’s one of the national chairs of No Kid Hungry and we talked food and public health and all the things I care about ❤
In general it was a sweet night. The mama of the groom (left) and my mama (right) did some real cute toasts together.
Lots of friends and family showed up to celebrate the happy couple.
The appetizer portion of the evening was, per the typical standards of my family, ridiculously abundant (love your dress, Betty! << she’s my most faithful blog reader 😀 )
Also Eric’s brother and his wife have the cutest kiddos of all time.
Once the appetizers wound down and the non family guests started to trickle out we sat down for dinner (because 70 pounds of appetizers clearly was not enough hahahaha).
My uncle decorated the most AMAZING salmon.
Dinner was lit. Then there was dessert too!
Along with the (wedding!) cake, I decided the party was a good justification for making this Smitten Kitchen recipe for coconut cream pie I’d been eyeing. It was OUTRAGEOUS. I had to make two of them since I’d been warned my uncle Tim was perfectly capable of taking an entire one down singlehandedly.
But again, was one big occasion in one weekend enough? No!
Because the next day was in fact Mother’s Day. I had to take out my top caliber mom to celebrate! (<< Malindi and Eric had to depart Sunday morning- they planned to stop in NC to drop her off to go back to her internship Monday morning, and then Eric was going to continue driving to move to Louisiana (?!) to start a new job Tuesday (?!?!?!?) so they would’ve celebrated but they were real busy)
My mom and I came up with a very satisfactory plan to get Ethiopian food. Because I was heckin exhausted following the workweek and the buttload of driving and baking and distinct lack of sleeping, I began with reliably delicious Ethiopian coffee (a cappuccino in this case)
And we split our usual vegetarian sampler as well as the lamb tibs. Ethiopian food is so so so so good. I was also pleased with myself because literally for the first time ever I did not overeat it to the point of feeling ILL. (Usually I struggle and fail to control myself because it is just. so. good.)
Here’s the pic of my adorable mom I posted to Instagram. She’s a winner.
And then I again put in an appearance at my dad’s (which I seriously cannot even remember, I think my sleep deprivation had hit such a level), hit up the Ikea on I-95 South (roommate moving out= need to buy things I’d always counted on her having such as doormats, toilet brushes, etc.), and then drove to NC and basically collapsed.
These visits at home have been wonderful but I think sometime I’ll go see my family and have literally NO PLANS