Tuesday, March 27, 2007

30: Blogging from the Other Side

So being 30 isn't so bad. In fact, there was something monumental about it. Something sort of liberating. I can't explain it really but I just feel like this is such a good age for me. It's like after I had my babies, I no longer held myself to an unrealistic physical standard. My body had changed because it was supposed to change and since I couldn't control that, I felt free from the need to come down on myself for it. I actually had been feeling kind of sad because I thought I was looking really old lately. Then I saw a picture of myself when I first met Erick and while I do look older now, I'm much thinner, my hair and skin look healthier, my teeth are straight, I'm taking better care of myself. Aging is perfectly ok if it means you're wiser about how you take care of yourself, right?

I had a lovely weekend. On Friday my sister came over with the boys and we somehow decided we were brave enough to take all 4 of the kids to the mall for Easter photos. The real challenge was that Mel is in a foot cast and pregnant so she really wasn't in any condition to be lugging kids around the mall. And in no way would a photo shoot with 4 kids under 4 be a cake walk. And we were right about that! LOL! The only one who really cooperated was McKenna. Kyla was scared, Lukey had a tummy ache which made him grumpy and Gavin wanted to play with everything. It was almost impossible to get them all to stay on the canvas much less to look in the same direction and definitely not to all smile at once! I am just plain shocked that the girl managed to get these photos at all but she did pretty good:

In this picture you can really see how much they all look alike!

Didn't those turn out cute? I already scrapped that last one and I love how the layout turned out:

Saturday my parents, sister, BIL and nephews came over with Chili's for lunch (yum! Buffalo Wings with Wasabi Ranch!). Erick had to work that day so it was nice to have my family around to spend my bday with. They gave me some fun gift certificates for shopping (woohoo!) and my Dad bought me a nice bottle of merlot because he reads my blog and he knows what I like. Isn't that sweet? My Dad knows my favorite wine and complimented my new shoes a couple weeks ago because he reads my blog. How many Dads do that? Moms maybe but most Dads don't. So anyway, it was nice to have them all over.

Then Sunday Erick and I went out to The Melting Pot for dinner. Oooooh lord that was a good meal. It was in a very dark, enclosed booth so it was really romantic and the entire meal takes several hours. When we got there, Erick had them put champagne and strawberries, balloons, a card and a picture frame at the table. Later they took our picture, printed it and had it ready to be framed before we left. So sweet! The food was just unbelievable. We had the Wisconsin Trio Cheese Fondue, a Mushroom Salad, the Lobster Indulgence entree and finished off with the White Chocolate Amaretto Fondue for dessert. They also brought me 3 chocolate covered strawberries for my birthday.

But after a long, full meal like that in a dark booth (not to mention a glass of chardonnay and a glass of champagne) I was way too tired to sit through a movie! We weren't ready to go home just yet but if we'd sat in the theater, I would've fallen asleep for sure. So we stopped by Borders because I was wanting a longer Pilates video. Of course, we couldn't resist their sale either so I picked up:

This one because I need to do cardio 3 times a week but sometimes I want something different then the bike:

This one because I was ready for a more intensive total-body Pilates workout:

The latest issue of Women's Health because I heard it's a great motivator to work out regularly. But so far I've found it discouraging because it sets a very high standard which I think encourages people to obsess about what they eat instead of having a sensible attitude about food and nutrition. But nonetheless, this issue has been educational. I wouldn't subscribe but I might occasionally pick it up for some motivation:

This book because it's my favorite type of story - mature fiction with a unique premise about the human condition:

This book because he may very well be our first black president and the fact that we may be on the brink of seeing that historical bridge in the near future just thrills me. I don't even know if I agree with all of his politics but I highly respect him for his speech on reconciling faith and politics. Well, most of it. He needs a little lesson in reading the Bible in context. Or maybe I just feel he misrepresented some mainstream Christian views by presenting parts of the Bible out of context. But nonetheless, I felt like his idea of how to interweave faith with politics was something I'd been feeling for a few years now and it was refreshing to hear someone in power finally say it! So I'm very interested to read more about his history:

So we had a great night. It was very romantic and fun. : )

Last thing before I go...we had such an amazing dinner tonight. I got the main recipe from Everyday Italian and threw the rest together myself. You HAVE to try it!!

Lamb with Chianti Vinaigrette

4 to 6 lamb rib or loin chops
2 cups Chianti (or other red wine)
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Grill until caramel-colored grill marks appear, and an instant-read meat thermometer registers 125 degrees F. for medium-rare, about 5 to 7 minutes per side, depending on thickness.

Meanwhile, place the wine in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil gently until reduced to 1 cup, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Whisk in the honey until dissolved. Add the extra-virgin olive oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine.

I served the lamb on a bed of Jasmine rice and drizzled it with the sauce. Then I made a salad with mixed baby greens, balsamic vinaigrette, fresh parmesan and chopped walnuts. The whole meal went together so well and it was DELICIOUS! If you make the Jasmine Rice in the microwave, grill the lamb on the George Foreman grill and use a pre-packaged bag of mixed baby greens, you can have the whole meal done in about 20 minutes. Try it. It's amazing!


Jen said...

cute pictures of the kids :) They are getting so big!
You will definitely have to put a review on when you are done with those books- both are ones I have thought of picking up.

Maegan said...

Oh my goodness, those Easter pictures are darling! Group photo shoots are exhausting aren't they? The bottom photo (that you scrapped) is my favorite. You girls are just so sweet!

Happy Birthday to you! It sounds like you had a wonderful time. I may just copy your idea and go to The Melting Pot for my birthday as well. Who doesn't love melted cheese? Mmmmm.

Your dad is SO sweet to read your blog. I don't think my dad has ever even looked at my blog, or our family blog for that matter. Yours is very special.

Britt(any) said...

The pics of the kids are gorgeous and I'll take your word on the lamb recipe. It freaks me out to cook meat....hamburger is about as adventurous as I get.


Melissa Ives said...

Those photos are darling! I'm glad you had a happy 30th birthday. I can't wait for mine!

Elaine said...

Sounds like you had a great birthday! You girls are brave for taking all the kiddies for an easter picture but it was so worth it! The pictures are so so cute!!

I'll pass on the lamb recipe to you know who!

30 isn't bad at all! Its the new 20 dontcha know? minus being a stupid 20 year old.