Sunday, January 11, 2015

That Was Awesome! Weekending.

Weekends around here are purposely slow and uncommitted. With Noah's long school weeks and Jon's busy work days, I've found that we all seem happier, more relaxed and more well-rested when the weekends don't include too much. The recharging of batteries on Saturday and Sunday is such a gift. It's a time to do things as a family that the hectic weekdays don't provide, and it's a great opportunity to work together with Jon playing catch-up on little projects and "to dos" here and there. It's essential and rewarding! 

This weekend was just one of those times. I love nothing more than seeing blank spaces on my calendar for a Friday, Saturday and Sunday in a row. Something that hasn't happened for a little while due to the holidays.

Here's a little bit from our weekend........

Friday was such a nice day. I did a lot of this and that while Noah was at school. My favorite part was shoveling! Have I ever told you how much I enjoy shoveling snow? I know it sounds a little odd, but I just LOVE shoveling new fallen snow! Especially in the quiet of the morning, it's just BEAUTIFUL!!!!

Over night, from Thursday into Friday morning, we finally had some snow. We woke up early as usual, and I excitedly volunteered to shovel so our cars could get out of the driveway. Jon always wants to help me shovel, and he usually does, but I TRY to convince him of how much I love and don't mind doing the shoveling on my own. Its just fun AND it's exercise, so any chance I can get to move and have fun at the same time is a win-win for me! But even more so, I think the snow is so pretty and the morning time still and beautiful. It's meditative for me to go out and shovel. I truly enjoy that solitude and stillness. I could shovel every single day! And guess what? More snow coming tonight! I'll be up at 6:00am! :)

** Just a disclaimer: I know sometimes I write about very mundane minutia, but Jon and I were talking tonight, and we agree that it's worth writing about because one day, we can look back when Noah is grown, and see what life was like. It's like having an online scrapbook with words and pictures. Anyway, thanks for bearing with some of the more boring stuff. ** 

On Friday morning Josie went for a quick trip to the vet. She was having a pre-op blood draw as she's being spayed in about a week. :( 
I feel nervous about her spay and sorry that she has to go through it, but it's just something we have to do. Thankfully, I know and love her veterinarian who is going to preform her operation, and she called to say that everything looks good. So, if you remember, please say a prayer for Josie a week from Monday. It won't be easy, but I'll be glad for her when it's all a said and done. And, after that, we're going to sign-up for our local fenced in dog park and start puppy classes! So, fun things for Josie to come.

In addition to those things, I also did a bunch of laundry and folding and putting away of laundry. A bit of cleaning around the house and some blogging. I took a short dog walk or two (it was just so cold!) and I even found time before school pick-up to bake a............

Blueberry and Peach Cobbler!

It was from my "Cooking With Trader Joe's" cookbook.

Friday was a day that the animals amused me. They do everyday, but on this day they were extra cute and I took an extra amount of photos. This is Josie resting on a towel and trying to dry off from her walk and Hector laying near by. They're still good friends, but Josie just gets too enthusiastic with her play. She's always grabbing Hector and licking him. It's pretty cute. He tolerates it for a while and then walks away.

And Willow. Willow is just so sweet. I feel badly for her because since Josie arrived, she's spent more time upstairs where Josie can't go. Willow does comes downstairs several times a day, she isn't afraid to, but she now seems to just prefer our bedroom upstairs. Although, it could be because our room is by far the sunniest and warmest room in the house, and she loves sleeping on the wicker laundry basket in our bathroom, so maybe the cold weather months are nicer in the sunny, warm part of the house. Maybe I'm over-thinking it. I try to go upstairs throughout the day and give Willow a "Hello" and a pet.

When Jon came home from work we had dinner. A veggie and harvest soup, an arugula, Parmesan and pine nut salad with lemon juice and olive oil, and truffled brie grilled cheese sandwiches! I was kind of tired from cooking all week. Then I served the blueberry and peach cobbler, but right when I did, Josie barked and crawled up onto Jon's lap and started to go to sleep! She loves Jon and gets so excited when he comes home from work. We all do.

She was moving around, trying to get comfortable, and eventually started sleeping like this! :)

After dinner we made a fire in the fireplace and the three of us sat around watching " Outrageous Acts of Science" on the Science Channel. It's a pretty entertaining show. I wish I could say more about it, but I feel asleep after ten minutes. I know it's pretty dorky to basically go to sleep at 7:30 on a Friday night, but it your wake up at 6:00am and shovel and run around all day, maybe it's ok? Maybe? Well, maybe at the end of the week. 

Saturday was nice too! We had a slow morning where Noah just played. Jon and I both exercised a little at home and got some cleaning done upstairs while Noah sat with Josie. I took Josie for a walk, we made lunch, and then we ran to my parents house so Josie could play with their dogs.

Because it was brutally cold this past week (the windchill got to -20!) Josie really had a case of cabin fever. I would take her out often, but it was so cold, I think the longest that she wanted to stay out was ten minutes. So, when Saturday was a bit warmer and sunny, we brought her to my Mom's to play with her dogs Lucy and Buddy inside the house, and outside in their large yard. Noah decided to stay there with Josie while Jon and I ran to Target for some toiletries and home goods that we needed. It sounds kind of silly, but even just getting out with Jon alone to go buy paper towel, it's nice. We don't get alone time often.

After that we picked up Noah and Josie and then went home. She was very tired from playing, so we took the opportunity to put her in her playpen (which is where she stays when we run out now) and we decided to go for a coffee and snack at the delicious Pinwheel Bakery and Red Hook Coffee Shop in Ferndale!

(Ferndale is a wonderfully creative, friendly, FUN little city that is just about ten minutes south of us. It's between our city and Detroit. I really like Ferndale so much. There are a lot of independently owned shops and eateries and everything feels progressive, liberal and artistic. It's a great place to be!)

Jon and I ordered ourselves each a house coffee, and Noah a hot chocolate.


And this is the part that I'm embarrassed to tell you about, but then we proceeded to order three desserts so that we could have a taste-test. I know it might seem like a lot of dessert, but it's not often that we find ourselves down at Pinwheel, and besides, how could you choose just one treat from their many!?

So, we tried a Sea-Salt Chocolate Chip Cookie, which was Noah and my favorite. We also had an Oatmeal Cookie Whoopie Pie. That was great. And, there was a truly amazing Sticky Toffee Pudding, that was Jon's favorite and my close second. Everything was perfect!

I kind of felt badly eating all of this, but for the record, I did extra exercise this day. The truth is, we're foodies, and I just couldn't imagine not trying new and delicious things sometimes. It's a real treat and a joy experiencing local, artisan bakes goods or trying out new, little restaurants. I'm thankful.

After the coffee shop-bakery trip, Jon, Noah and I headed home. We played with Josie, took her on a mini-walk and then later on, speaking of food, got ready for dinner. (But not before making Josie a scrambled egg to top her kibble!)

We were going to one of my new FAVORITE restaurants. I am OBSESSED with Da Nang Restaurant in Clawson. Obsessed I tell you! It is a Vietnamese restaurant, and the reasons that I love it is because the food is so so so super fresh and amazing, and the entire staff is just the nicest. I can not get the flavors out of my head!

Jon and Noah usually go for a the very traditional Vietnamese soup and noodle dish, Pho. I on the other hand, greatly appreciate their extensive vegetarian menu, and often can not resist their tofu spring rolls for dinner. Do you even KNOW how great these spring rolls are!? They take cold vermicelli rice noodles, add in some veggies, a bit of herbs like refreshing MINT, then twist a long, piece of tofu in a spiral around it. Next they take a very thin rice paper wrapper and wrap that around everything. The rolls are served with a sweet and slightly spicy house made Hoisin sauce. We usually share an appetizer of Crispy Garlic Tofu. Those are small cubes of fried garlic tofu that you sprinkle with soy source. It's so good that even Noah loves them!

After dinner we came home, and like most nights, just hung out with Josie and relaxed until bedtime. Nothing too major. It was just a great day! 

Sunday followed mostly the same. A leisurely morning. Noah played, Jon and I each exercised, we cleaned around the house, I watered my plants. 

Today I counted. I have 15 plants now. A Bonsai Tree (thanks Mom and Dad S.!), Bamboo that I've had for over three years, a housewarming gift from my mother and father-in-law, two Orchids, one is at least five years old, a cactus, a palm tree, you know, Dustin Hoffman the palm tree? The one we found laying in the garbage? A tiny evergreen tree and four different succulent plants. I love my plants!

Mid-day we decided to try something new. It's true what they say about dog ownership, it really gets you out there! Dogs make you active, make you try new things! We decided, since it was a balmy 30 degrees out today, to try for the first time a little nature tail walk with Josie! There is a nearby 18 acre nature preserve that I've heard was great for dogs. There's a trail that runs through the woods and along a stream. It was ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!!!!!

First though, we all geared up in snow pants and coats and hats and gloves. Even Josie put on the winter hat that I crochet for her. (Well, she only wore it for the picture, but still.)

She did wear her winter coat on the trail though.

The hike was just beautiful and the nature preserve is literally a five minute drive from our house. I can't believe we haven't gone before! Now I want to go everyday!

The scenery was perfect. The stream, the trees, the peacefulness. Josie loved it too. So did Noah!

We took a Noah and Mom selfie.

After our hike we went home and defrosted. Josie had some snowballs in her fur, but they were pretty easy to melt and take off. Noah wasn't thrilled but we still needed to run to the grocery store for dinner supplies and a few staples for the week. Luckily it was a quick trip and Noah ended up with his new favorite, fried chicken from the new prepared food counter in our newly re-designed market. They have this big, fancy, chicken counter and Mac N' Cheese counter. It's kind of crazy. Looks good! I've still yet to try.

Then we came home and made dinner and now I'm blogging and guess what...... IT'S SNOWING!!!!!
WOO HOO!!!!! \(^-^)/

What do you guys think? Should I go out and start shoveling now??? I don't know if I can wait until tomorrow morning! LOL.

And that's the scoop! Until next time, stay warm and have a fantastic week!!!!


Pam said...

Sounds like a fun weekend. I LOVE the snow, but not sure about the shovelling! :) The cobbler looked amazing. I didn't know you added Josie to your family....she is so cute! And I agree with you....I think Da Nang Restaurant is fantastic! Always enjoy your "reporting". Hi to the Family. Pam Payne

Lauren said...

Awww Pam, Thank you!!!! \(^-^)/
Oh yes, Da Nang is just so delicious ins't it? :)
Thanks for reading along Pam, it's so nice of you.

Happy New Year!!!!


Fifi said...

Hi Lauren, just enjoying a catchup on your blogs, they're great don't spare the details it's the flavour of how bourgeois. Tasty sounding food, and yes I share the thrill of a social obligation free weekend. I'm planning some jam making and baking then catching up on a TV show I like about wildlife in the UK during winter. Welcome to middle age I guess. :)
Glad you're still enjoying Josie and getting more sleep now she's upped her bedtime privileges. Willow looks so cute, she's probably just enjoying her own space. Has Josie recovered from her operation?

Oh and thanks for reminding us silver transition istas that the journey to grey may be hard but the destination is worth it. You look wonderful now, but er yes the growing out stage that's me now. Not sure if I'm going to look as good as you at the end but never mind. Keep shovelling!

Lauren said...

Hi Fifi!!!!! \(^-^)/

Awww, so good to hear from you! What a nice , nice comment. Thank you for writing and sharing!

I think your weekend plans sound FABULOUS. May I come over and make jam and bake with you!? ;)
That sounds perfect. I hope your television program is great too!

Yes, thank you so so much for asking, Josie is doing fantastic. I thought she wouldn't be feeling too well, but thankfully, she's as if nothing happened! I am glad that she's ok. I was really worried. Thanks for checking in on her.

Oh! And gray hair. Thank you for the nice things you said about my hair, but I only post pics on better hair days. Sometimes I look a mess! :)
As you go along on this journey the biggest thing I can say, is that you will find it pretty surprising how much your "look" will change month to month. As your gray grows in, it's difficult to picture what you'll look like in the end. If you can, hang in there! It only gets better and better and easier and easier. I promise! \(^-^)/

Enjoy that weekend Fifi! Sending a (>'-')>your way!
Lauren :)

Kristina said...

I'm with you on the slow and uncommitted weekends. No weekend warrioring here! My daughter does have 2 dance classes on Saturday but that's usually the extent of our commitments and during the time she is dancing, I can read or knit or do random errands, so it's still relaxful (my new word). Today, we'd thought about heading into Los Angeles for a day trip, but the idea of large crowds makes me cringe. So here I sit (with my gray hair growing out as well), contemplating what interesting things I could do around the house.

Lauren said...

Hiya Kristina! \(^-^)/

Relaxful !!!!! That is FANTASTICAL!!!! ;)

I LOVE your word! I think "relaxful" needs to be a 2015 buzzword, don't you?

I'm glad that you're having a relaxful weekend. I too don't like crowds.

I hope you had a lovely couple of days! Thank you so much for stopping by to say "hello!" :)