Monday, September 14

Lust List: September

Lust List September

I have a small confession. I'm not a huge online shopper. I guess it's the countless hours I spent in high school, college and even after graduation, working in retail stores—but I just prefer to browse the racks, be able to touch merchandise before I buy it.

But there is something really convenient about shopping from my couch while I'm watching Criminal Minds at the end of the day. While I usually try to restrain myself, I've got my eye on a really big way to spend New Year's Eve this year, I can't help but want these to show up at my doorstep. Maybe my sweet husband will get the hint?

After visiting my GMa in late July, I've started seeing ladybugs everywhere. They were her absolute favorite, and I always seem to spot them at just the right time… this watch from Kate Spade brought a huge smile to my face.

With my barre addiction, this LLL seems like a no brainer—it's on sale too.

After a trip to IKEA over Labor Day, I'm convinced I want this secretary for my dining room. I've been looking for a secretary for about two years, and have yet to pull the trigger. This might be the push I need.

I've gotten back into tennis, and it's getting really annoying having to wash every few days so I have a clean skirt to wear to matches or practice. This dress would be perfect for Wednesdays when I have matches. It's got a built in bra and a built in ball pocket. One piece covers everything I need. That justifies the price tag, obviously.

The weather is starting to cool down, and I loved dressing the boys in tiny bro outfits like this last winter. I'm excited that it is almost petite flannel and baby jeans time!

Tuesday, September 8

Nine, Ten, Eleven Months

I thought about going back and postdating your ninth and tenth month updates this morning before penning your eleventh month one, if only so looking back on this I could fool myself and think I had our lives a semblance of put together, but I decided against it.

Here's the deal babies: I love you so much; you're quickly becoming people though. You are eating table food and you don't take naps like newborns. Hell, you barely take naps like babies. You only get two bottles a day. You're on the road to becoming kids.

And we're busy. Not just because you're little people that keep me on my toes every single Saturday—but I've stayed committed to Junior League and Pure Barre and I joined a tennis team. And sometimes I just have too much fun playing with you to remember to write down what you weigh. I know, this makes me sound like a bad mom, but it's the truth. I love you so much, and you amaze me every day. But in the process of becoming your mother, I didn't lose myself.

So I'm just busy. I promise I won't disappoint you on the big stuff, because reading your mother's blog posts from when you were infants won't disappoint you, right?, but if I want to let this online journal slip a bit, it's no biggie.

I'm going to do an abbreviated update on these three months of your life. Really, the big one comes in a few short weeks, I already have a lot of emotions surrounding it.

At NINE MONTHS, we started weaning y'all off the bottle. It's been touch and go. Alex really took to it at first; but like always where one of you is, the other isn't far off. Fitz has found his groove and loves his milk. At your doctor's appointment, Fitzy was weighing in at 17 lbs. 14 oz. and Alex was a solid 16 lbs. 8 oz. Alex was shorter by only a half inch.

At TEN MONTHS, you turned our entire world upside down and started crawling. I baby proofed the house, or I thought I baby proofed the house. You've quickly shown me that really, it's y'all's world, I just provide the food.

At ELEVEN MONTHS, I can tell you both want to walk so bad. In fact, you both take wobbly steps every now and then, but as far as full on walking, we've got a ways to go. We've moved y'all to the big bathtub and that has become a full on disaster. It's starting to get better, but we're nowhere near it not being a full contact sport.
You've been on an airplane, you've visited your grandparents, you've eat macaroni and cheese and you've shown that you are, in fact, my children and took to ice cream and made me proud. You've both got a mess of curly hair and enjoy waking up at 5:45am every morning to watch the news.

Next month is "the big one" and I don't know if I am even remotely ready for it. You've changed our lives so much, but in a big way, it feels like you were just what had been missing.

Friday, September 4

Seriously The Best Flank Steak Marinade

I'm a true believer in following the lead of a master. So when some super cheap flank steak found its way to my house earlier this week, and I really had no idea what to do with it, I turned to my reliable friend Iron Chef Michael Symon. Okay, so maybe he's not my actual friend.

I took his Grilled Skirt Steak recipe and tweaked it a little bit, following some advice I got from one of my favorite shops in Atlanta, Oli+Ve. My recipe calls for pineapple balsamic vinegar, which Oli+Ve currently does not have available online. For a similar flavor, you could try the mango balsamic or tangerine. Or you could just go with a regular, high quality balsamic from your local grocery store—it just won't have the same fruity, complex flavor. It's definitely worth the splurge for the flavored balsamics! I use them every single time I make a salad.

I put the marinade on the steak and let it marry in the fridge for about 36 hours. Mark grilled it over a charcoal grill and I swear I've never had meat that was that tender and that delicious. Ever. The meat had an absolutely incredible flavor. The marinade caramelized on the meat and it had the perfect amount of sweet, salty and heat.

Try it, you won't be disappointed.
Pineapple Balsamic Flank Steak
  • 1 cup Pineapple Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Soy Sauce 
  • 1/3 cup Brown Sugar 
  • 2 Garlic cloves (smashed) 
  • 2 tablespoons Thyme 
  • 2 tablespoons Crushed Red Pepper 
Whisk everything together in a bowl. Place the flank steak in a ziplock bag and pour marinade over it. Place in the fridge overnight, at least, preferably about 36 hours. Take the steak out 30 minutes prior to grilling. Grill for about 8-10 minutes on each side. Let meat rest for about 10 minutes before slicing across the grain. 

Thursday, September 3

September 3rd.

Happy birthday!

I feel like today is the most perfect day to reflect on our last visit. As soon as I found out I would be going to San Diego at the end of July for work, I knew I wanted to come see you. No, not wanted, would be going to see you. I called the PR company organizing the junket and said "Hey, I’ll be finding my own ride to the resort—I have an incredibly important stop to make first."

In the cab on the way, I was looking at the window, already crying and emotional because when I walked outside there wasn't a white Chevy Corsica with a red MADD ribbon waiting at the curb. You weren't there to pick me up like you had been for the 16 years I came to see you—including all those summers I flew solo, feeling like the most grown up grown up ever. I remember looking out the window once we got close to Bonita trying to remember what looked familiar. Was the Longs still there we went to the day after Christmas every year to buy cheap wrapping paper and hard candies? How about that Carl's Junior's where I begged for chicken stars every single day. Some of the places we passed seemed familiar, but I’m not sure. None of it mattered though, because we weren’t going to 3129 Calle Abajo.

When we finally got to the cemetery, the office was closed, so I wasn't exactly sure where you were. Then all of a sudden, as I was ready to give up, I just had this feeling I needed to look at one more section. And there you were.
I think I actually crumbled to the ground in sobs. I miss you. I miss you everyday—especially now, even more now, that I am a mother.
Things have been screwed up a little and I so could have used a big hug and some Carl's Junior's. Have you help me talk it out a little. I really have no idea what I am doing. None.

I spent a few minutes hanging out with you and PopPop before I had to go fix my makeup and mingle with our biggest advertiser.

It wasn't enough time.

I don't think I’ll ever have enough time. I miss you.

Happy birthday! I hope Heaven is throwing you one hell of a party. I can't wait to join you. We can watch Deal or No Deal and I'll get you Taco Bell, no I still won't eat that crap!, and you can tell me about how exactly you juggled being a working mom—I should have asked you those kinds of questions because I don’t know if I am doing it right. I hope you're proud. I miss you. I love you.

Tuesday, September 1

15 for 2015 Update: August

Okay, I know I've said every month that I'm dropping the ball on this, but I think I was quietly making progress on this while I just told myself I wasn't.

Update on 15 for 2015 during the month of August, which I cannot even remember happening—at all.

15 for 2015 
Hit the Pure Barre Montgomery 250 Tuck Club (Accomplished in January) 
Spend another long weekend in Curacao 
 Show Fitz and Alex the beach 
Read 15 books 1: Mending Fences 2: Tonight and Always 3: A Matter of Choice 4: Endings and Beginnings 4: Vegas Rich 5: A Perfect Life
Take an entire month and not buy a single piece of clothing (or accessory) for myself (Accomplished in May) 
Finally re-decorate our living room (Accomplished in April) 
Update my phone software (Not that it helped anything) 
Visit Kimber, Gentry and Saylor at the farm in Pennsylvania (Accomplished in July!)
Go home for Alabama Homecoming 
Write my Nanny once a month January: yes, sort of. February: yes! March: yes! April: No. May: No. June: yes! July: I think so, but I can't remember, honestly. August: Mailed it on Aug 31st, but yes!
Try 15 new recipes 1: Creamy Italian Chicken Crockpot Bake 2: Cajun Cake recipe from Southern Living Annual Recipes 1987 edition 3: Basil Chicken Pizza 4: Fiesta Chicken Rice Bowls 5: Carla Hall’s Confetti Blondies 6: Cheeseburger Pie 7: Sun-Dried Tomato and Herb Crusted Salmon 8: Bursting Blueberry-Chocolate Bundt Cake 9: Cheesy Stuffed Meatloaf 10: Rosemary, Thyme Oven Roast 
Completely clean out my closet Accomplished in August! It was such a refreshing feeling! I now know exactly how many outfits I need to buy for the winter, haha.
Take about a zillion more pictures Bath time "fun"
Clean out the storage unit and sell the furniture we are never going to use (Accomplished in March) 
Show Mark Philadelphia and the Porecca family

I'm pretty proud of myself, though I need to step up my reading game.

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