Spring Fever

There are always a handful of times throughout the year when I'm homesick for my Texas, my home, my state.  Yes, I do claim ownership and I guarantee that nearly every Texan you meet will claim the great Lone Star State as their own.  We love it individually as one independent, united "country" of dedicated people.  Dedicated to our home, of course.

Missing "home" is separate from missing my family-- a piece of my heart is always missing my people, and always will.  When I miss my Texas I miss certain, particular things about the state: the generosity of people, "y'all" scattered throughout conversations, going to the HEB or the Walmart, the thrill of high school Friday night football, and my foods: Chick-fil-a, Whataburger, and OH! the taquerias... But very rarely do I miss the weather.  A big plus about living in the northeast is actually having four seasons  to enjoy throughout the year-- the changing leaves in the fall, warm summers that cool down in the evenings, all of the snow that I would sit up and wait and pray for as a kiddo on Glenwood Drive.  Texas is pretty much two seasons: scorching heat and "winters" in the 60s, so when I moved to Boston I was pumped for all of the seasons.

However, when the snow is still wanting to play and it's mid-March in Boston, I'm missing the weather at home.  The sunsets of absolute perfections.  Warm spring mornings when you can hear the owls outside, and the warm spring evenings when the crickets arrive and settle in for the summer.  The way the clouds move across the fields when a Blue Norther blows into town.  The hot, sweltering summers when a dip in the pool and a jar of sweet tea makes it tolerable.

The fever is for spring, and I have it big time.  My pale, pale legs are needing to see the sun so very badly.  I want to throw open the windows and air the apartment out without freezing Brian to death (I still turn off the heat and open the windows when I clean, 30 degree temps outside or not).  As much as I love scarves and tights and riding boots, I am d-o-n-e DONE for this winter, thankyouverymuch.

Saturday was busybusy and the weather was getting there but still super chilly and windy.  I babysat that evening for my 3 fav boys and they were pumped for their flagfootball kickoff the next morning because there's still snow on the ground.  Since I got there around bedtime, we stayed in the basement and played a rousing game of "Doodle Dice."  

About 30 seconds after I announced it was bedtime, the boys went batshit crazy and were running around tackling each other, screaming, hysterically laughing.  Tough babysitter had to come out for a moment there, and after I'd settled them down and tucked them in, I parked myself on the couch where I noticed this glorious, humorous scene:

I hope that my future mama days reflect this exactly-- a nearly full wine rack, accessorized by a Lego truck, because mama needs the wine when she's built Lego vehicles all day long.

Sunday was gorgeous here and the first little glimpse we've had at spring.  After a workout and breakfast, courtesy of Brian, I took the afternoon for a bit of "me time" and headed out to shop for a bit and get a fresh mani and pedi.  

Driving down the highway (with the sunroof open and Mumford and Sons as my soundtrack), I couldn't help but smile and feel this overwhelming feeling of contentment.  It was one of those absolutely perfect post-winter days where the sky is so blue and cloudless and clean, the sun is shining bright and warming your skin, and everything just felt right and whole in my heart.

After browsing around Loft for an hour or so, I made my way to the checkout line with an armful of new work clothes (how unfun is THAT?) but couldn't help but see all of the perfectly springy colors around me.  It took all that I had to not add a pair of these babies to my pile:

I mean really-- the cute brightness is almost too much to handle.

I convinced myself to wait until warmer weather to buy anything that I can't immediately wear, but watch out shorts-- I'll be back for you.  

My next stop was the nail spot and I couldn't have left any happier-- my nails are Essie "Come Here" and the toes are Essie "Wife Goes On," which are basically spring perfection.  Our evening ended with a homemade chicken pot pie, requested by Brian (he starts his new job today, whoop!), wine, and a little light reading, courtesy of Ina.

After flipping through this cookbook, I want to pull a Julie and cook my way through every recipe, though I fear that would counteract my weight loss efforts pretty significantly.  Nonetheless, I bookmarked at least every other page for a recipe and CANNOT WAIT to start trying them out.

March Madness: the novel

Busy doesn't quite describe my life lately-- there legitimately are NOT enough hours in the day!  We've had something to do every weekend for the past month, and the next few days are no exception.  At least it's been a fun kind of busy, and I've been better at remembering to take pictures!

1. We spent the first weekend in March driving down to Baltimore to visit Brian's sister and brother-in-law, and of course our nephew...

Little Man
(seriously, this makes my heart so full)

and our brand new niece, Little Miss!
meet Meredith Kate, born 2/19 (one week after big brother turned 2!)

Serious baby love going on for Aunt Katie

Holy sweetness, little girl.

We had an absolute blast-- Colin is at such a fun age right now.  He has the funniest little personality and he KNOWS it, and boy will he milk that humor for all it's worth.  With little sister now in the mix, he's also testing mom and dad and pulling the whole "I'll throw a fit and then check them out from the corner of my eye to see if they're reacting."  I have to keep telling Brian he can't laugh and encourage the little guy but it's so hard, even when he's acting awful (I wonder what that says about our future parenting skills...).  

One evening Colin would not touch his dinner, so his mama said "No treats if you don't eat your supper."  We tried every trick in the book, from the airplane (after which he immediately stuck out his tongue and everything else in his mouth), firmness (he legitimately swung his arms around and, I swear, cast a spell on me.  Or swore at me in toddlerese), and reasoning (this was Brian: "Colin, here's what we're going to do.  You're going to take three bites, and then we're going to _____.  Ok?" And then a spoon was thrown.)  

Aside from the crazy toddler rage, there are moments that just melt me and remind me how much I love this little one.  One morning he was sitting on Brian's lap and I was on the floor tying his shoe.  As I was finishing, Brian subtly tapped my shoulder so I looked up and our Little Man was staring straight at me with the most content little baby smile and said "Daku Kakie" (toddlerese for: Thank you, Katie.)

And then my ovaries fluttered.

Somewhere in between fluttering ovaries and now, more frigging snow found Massachusetts.  We went to bed last Thursday evening expecting to get a few inches of the fluffy white stuff, which is fine-- I can deal with that.  Friday morning I woke up at 4:45 and got dressed to head to the gym.  When I opened the downstairs door to leave, shock occurred in two stages:

1. Fudge, that's a lot of snow!
2. Why are the fucking roads not. plowed. at. all.

The fudge was the excitement that this Texan still feels when it snows.  The fuck was the realization that nary a single plow had made its way through the streets and there was no way we could get out of our apartment complex to go to work if the roads weren't plowed.  This was not an amount of snow you could easily drive over.  When I tried to walk across the street to the gym that morning, the snow was higher than my mid-calf snow boots and it was not slowing down a bit.  Needless to say, the gym didn't happen at that moment.  I made my way back inside to email my office to let them know I would be working from home, and woke Brian up to make sure I wasn't overexaggerating how much snow seemed to be coming down.  When he blearily looked out of the window and mumbled that he would also be working from home, back into bed I climbed (remember, this was 5 mother-lovin' AM).  

When we woke up around 7:30 to log-in to our computers, the storm was still in full-force.

By the time noon rolled around, I was going snowcrazy (and needed a little breathing room from Brian), so I decided since the roads weren't plowed for me to make my way to the gym, I'd just shovel the car out for my workout.  

Holy. Hell.

This was AFTER digging the right side and back out, plus wiping down the top of the car.

And then I turned the corner to see this.  And yes-- that would be snow up to the side-view mirror on the drivers side.

After a full 45 minutes of shoveling (while the snow continued to pummel me), I sent Brian an SOS text with these pictures attached.  He came to help but still-- ENOUGH WITH THE SNOW.

The second weekend in March (as in last weekend) had me back on the road.  A cousin (on my dad's side, in Connecticut) is expecting her first baby in mid-April, and her baby shower was last Saturday.  So after driving the 7 hours to Baltimore the previous weekend, I was in the car and on the road by 9:30 Saturday morning to go back in the same general direction.  

I did not want to go.  Well, I wanted to go to the shower.  I did NOT want the drive (6 hours roundtrip) and that morning EVERYTHING went wrong.  I let myself sleep half an hour later than I'd planned and hit roadblock after roadblock from the moment my feet hit the floor AT 7AM... GOOD GRACIOUS, I should cut myself some more slack on the weekends but no... No, I was up frantically plucking my eyebrows and curling my hair and searching for tights.  

On top of that, Brian needed his car for the day so I'd rented a car, and we realized that not only was I late to pick up the car but that we'd left the cord to our GPS in Maryland. Do you know what's not helpful in Massachusetts at 9am on the day you need to go on a road trip three hours away?  A frigging cord in MARYLAND.  Cue the tears.  Macgyver Brian managed to sort through our bag o' cords (you know you have one too) and found a substitute to connect the damn Garmin to the power outlet in the car.  Once tears were shed, dried and I had a large iced tea from Dunkins, I was on my way.

And really, as much as I was dreading the time alone on the drive, I had the best. time.  BY MYSELF.  You know what you kind of treasure on occasion when you live with someone?  Time BY YOURSELF.

I memorized every word to "Suit and Tie."  Kelly and I belted how our lives would suck without you/him.  My abs got a serious in-seat workout from all of my waist-up dancing.  'Twas magical.

Gorgeous, perfect day.

I so obviously should have taken the "COOOL BUS" to Connecticut.

As long of a day as it was, it was so nice to be around the ladies in my family for an afternoon. 

my gorgeous cousin lida

The lunch and company were wonderful, I was there just long enough to justify a glass of wine before driving back, and the mama-to-be made out like a bandit with her new baby stuff.  Unfortunately I didn't get a picture with my cousin, but she's feeling great and is well on her way to adding the new little addition to their family!

Somehow the drive home flew by SO much faster and I had the fabulous boyfriend waiting to take me out to dinner, and with a quick outfit change, fresh curls, and a large glass of post-mini road trip wine, we were off to our favorite little local place.  

Now, I'd asked him earlier in the day to call and make a reservation, since we'd be getting to the restaurant around 8pm on a Saturday-- peak date night time, right?  He insisted it wouldn't be needed, so he didn't do it.  Needless to say, when we walked in and saw the wall of people, he was regretting the decision immensely.  We/I called our three dinner back-ups and they all said there was a 45 minute-1 hour wait, and boyfriend was not having it.  I personally am just fine to have a drink at the bar while waiting for a table, but he is quite insistent that when he's hungry, he's hungry and we should eat soon.  I told him I wasn't eating McDonald's for supper so he could just choose his place to batten down the hatches and deal with a wait.  We ended up at The Fours, where, upon the first sip of a Guinness, he happily settled down at the bar to chat with his arm candy (psh, right) and follow the various games.  We may not have eaten until close to 9:30, but a date night with my man is a good night in my book, period.

love him.

The THIRD weekend in March, our Littles made the trip to Boston with their mama and daddy-- yes friends, that's an 8 hour car ride with an active toddler and a two week old newborn.  We ended up staying at Brian's parents house all weekend so we could spend as much time with the babes as possible, and it worked out... pretty well.  The crib is in the room that M&R sleep in, so they put Colin's pack-n-play in our room.  This was fine and dandy until Colin threw up right before bedtime on Friday night and Meg told me to listen for "a very distinct wet cough" which would almost positively be immediately followed by more sickness.

Y'all.  I don't think I slept a solid hour that night (a peek into my future with babies, perhaps?)-- every single rustle, whine, dream-cry, and anything resembling a cough had me perched at the end of the bed, peering into the dang pack-n-play to see if he was okay.  When he woke up bright-eyed and cheerful at 7am, I pulled him into bed with us, found Thomas on YouTube, handed my phone over to Brian to monitor him and headed to the shower.  Repeat again Saturday night and Sunday night.  In all honesty, I love this little man so much, I didn't mind it at all.  

yep, he's my favorite.
Ryan (Brian's BIL) and I are the cooks of the family and decided to have a corned beef and cabbage cook-off on Saturday night.  While he made a traditional boiled dinner, I roasted my corned beef and made garlic mashed red potatoes.  At the end we forgot it was a challenge and ate a little of everything, but the verdict from all was that the boiled dinner is definitely more traditional, but the roasted corned beef definitely makes for a better next day sandwich.  

The wine came out (may I just mention that I love Brian's grandmother, DeeDee, with all of my heart.  She will sip her wine with the best of us, and is the baby whisperer.  She has spunk and it just adds to the perfection that is DeeDee.  She's about the next best thing I can think of to my own MaMaw) and Brian's mom had happened to record Justin Timberlake on Jimmy Fallon all week, and his SNL.  Because NSYNC was the prime time for me, Meghan and Bridget, we proceeded to sing and dance through the living room song after song.  I feel like I may have revealed embarrassing information about my past life when NSYNC rocked my world, but I can't be sure.  However, I can absolutely confirm that you may not hear a teenybopper song for years, but the minute that you do, every frigging dance move comes right back to you (DDDDirrrty Pop, y'all!).  Brian finally called my night and we headed to bed.

Sunday was St. Patricks Day!!  It is honestly one of my favorite holidays, and I have the best memories growing up and celebrating with my Daddy (and Mama and brother of course, but Daddy takes the cake with his celebratory moves for The Day of The Irish).  The Quiet Man was always on TV, corned beef and cabbage on the stove, and his obnoxious, knitted pompom hat (green with pompoms the color of the Irish flag) was on his head.  

We woke up that morning, made huge cups of Irish coffee, and I threw together corned beef hash for everyone.  Scituate is called "The Irish Riviera" and you can't throw a stone without hitting a McCarthy, Donnelly, or a boy named Sean/Shawn/Shaun.  Since there's such a big population of my fellow lads and lassies, there's an annual St. Patrick's parade through the town!  Brian's parents live on a culdesac right on the parade routes, so tons of friends and family meet at the house, we pregame a bit, then walk 30 seconds to the end of the street to watch.  

katie and katie!

It is sublime.

Brian's dad had Colin on his shoulders for most of the parade so I stayed back and rolled Meredith in her stroller for the entire time so Meg and Ryan could take pictures of Colin and have fun with him.  I may have pretended (in my head, not outloud) that she was mine and played Mommy for an hour.  I may have also had had 1 or 3 adult beverages by that point (no worries, baby girl snoozed away in her tomb-like covered stroller through the fire truck sirens and bagpipes).  

Post-parade we all headed back to the house for snacks, more beverages, and my Irish carbomb cupcakes.  Guinness in the cupcake batter, Jameson in the chocolate ganache filling, Baileys in the whipped icing.  These were a mother of an effort, but so. tasty.

We spent the rest of the afternoon doing a whole lotta nothing.  Well, everyone else did.  I spent my time doing this:

girlfriend knocked out like this for over two hours.

absolutely love this picture.  he's still not all that sure what to do with a newborn... but he's learning.

So that's been our March in a nutshell.  It takes me forever to blog because the thought of uploading all of the pictures is overwhelming, but I'd really like to get back to having my blog as a way for my family and friends at home to keep up with me.  It may be the venti Skinny Cinn. Dolce Latte that I just inhaled, but I'm feeling pumped to be back in the blogging world!