Work with me, please.


I had a fantastic weekend. It started Friday evening with me coming home to a completed kitchen, finished on time and within budget. Phew! And, it looks and works even better than I imagined, especially considering we didn’t work with a designer. The ideas came from visiting a couple of showrooms, flipping through design books and magazines, and — mostly — listening to our contractor. His patience and guidance, including good shoppings tips, were treasures. I believe his honesty kept us from making some choices we would have regretted later. I wish for others who undertake such a project the type of experience we had. Lovely.

It was a Supper Club weekend. Thank goodness for forgiving friends. I was able to unpack and get the dust off of enough stuff to put together a simple meal of grilled shrimp, steamed broccoli and quinoa with sautéed green and red peppers. I broke the Club rule against paper and plastic ware, and they tolerated my temporary furniture of plastic folding tables and chairs. So, we gabbed and guffawed our way through the afternoon. It’s such a refreshing experience to sit with those four women and discuss and debate the latest political and celebrity news as well as the vagaries of parenting and household management and whatever else comes up. Fun, fun, fun.

Saturday was pleasant weatherwise and Hubby took charge of keeping the kids out of my way for Supper Club. To his great delight, Mae rode her bike a substantial distance for the first time without training wheels. Of course, it’s an awesome milestone in and of itself. Hubby sees it as a stepping stone to BMX. Moving on. Later in the day, he took Mae and Jay to the Natural History Museum and for a carousel ride on the National Mall. I was glad they enjoyed themselves.

I got Mae’s birthday cake baked on Sunday, major item off my to-do list. I almost gave up on it, and at one point I saw myself in line at the grocery store bakery counter, something I’ve vowed I’ll never do again. I baked a sour cream chocolate sheet cake and it looked too small for the number of guests expected. So, I decided to bake a second sheet cake and double the layers. I’d used almost all the sour cream, so I substituted blueberry yogurt. I pray none of the kids have a blueberry allergy. Then, due to some frosting curse someone put on me a while back, I didn’t have enough to cover the cake. I have so much trouble with frosting. I usually have too much or too little or the wrong consistency or color or something. Well, I didn’t have enough butter to make more and it was almost bath time by that point. Hubby was kind enough to go to the store for me. But, who knew you can’t buy white chocolate buttercreme frosting at the grocery store? So, I cheated — melted white chocolate and mixed it into a can of classic white. The party is next Saturday, and I’ll have no time during the week to fuss with a cake. I needed to get it ready to go in the freezer and off my list. I’m fully aware that I’m describing a first world problem. I’m just saying, can I get a break sometimes for trying to do something special for my kiddies?

My youngest sister did give me a break on Sunday afternoon. She took Mae to see The Lorax, which Mae enjoyed. Jay was invited too, but my little homebody wanted to stay home. So, he helped me make the second layer of the birthday cake. And, his help was actually helpful. He saved me some time by sifting cocoa and flour while I did other things. We talked while we worked, and he confided in me that he did not like his classmate’s birthday party last weekend. He told me that he’d never tell his friends something like that. Glad he knows that.

The weekend got even better when I spoke to a friend late in the evening who does our taxes. Refunds! Lovely.

Of course, there were some things this weekend that didn’t get done or done the way I wanted. I’m taking it all in stride. Not worried about a thing. This morning, I showed up for orientation for my new job with my mind in a good place. And, orientation actually has been interesting.

I’m expecting and claiming good things all week long!

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