Friday, December 06, 2013

Parents meeting Parents

So the next step after getting engaged was finally having our parents meet. I know, I know, how did we go NINE years without them meeting? 

We spent Saturday hanging out with Mike's family and then my parents arrived on Sunday. We went down to the monuments to see all the shutdown signs and then out to dinner.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Rosh Hashana 5774

While I hate being apart from Mike, I am so happy to have had the opportunity to come home to my parent's house for Rosh Hashana this year. There have been many years where I have been passed around on the phone or skype from various countries and it brings me such joy to be able to spend the holidays with my family and collective Winston-Salem families. My family always hosts the huge lunch after services for Rosh Hashana and it's one of those sure thing kind of meals where everyone has their special food that they bring.

This year services were one to remember. The Rabbi spoke about the Unetaneh Tokef, before beginning the prayer and reflecting on being written into the Book of Life and if we should take it literally and its meaning to us individually. He bean reading the prayer in English speaking of the ways we may die. As he spoke the words "who by fire" the fire alarm went off in the building and the entire congregation had to get up from their seats and make their way outside. Turns out they burnt something in the kitchen next door in the education building and set off the alarm but at the time it was hilarious.

After services we made our way home and were ready for our traditional meal. One family brings the brisket, another roasted vegetables, there's a vegetarian lasagna for the vegetarians as well as some sort of quinoa or couscous dish. My mother always makes honey chicken drumsticks. And of course enough challah, apples, and honey to fill you up until next Rosh Hashana. As we sip our wine and feed our bellies, we reminisce over the sermon from earlier in the day, comparing it to the previous night and previous sermons, joke about the fire alarm, and discuss all of our current news: how we like our jobs, what we are doing, and the general playing catchup- never skipping a beat, falling right back in as if we saw each other yesterday. 

At some moment in the afternoon, the china is cleared and small dessert plates are brought out. We move from the 'kids' table to the dinning room where we nosh on my mom's famous ruggelah, both the chocolate and cinnamon variety, brownies, cake, and my newest cupcake recipe- apple cinnamon with honey cream cheese frosting. This year's cupcake recipe comes from two websites- luckily someone else already tested both and determined these to be the winners. And they certainly were!

We continued our chatter, catching up on everyone's grandchildren, nephews, and big life events. When everyone left, we collapsed in a state of blissful exhaustion, happy to have had such a sweet day and great start to the new year.

We're Engaged!

After 9 years of dating, spanning 5 countries (Iraq, Cape Verde, Uganda, France, Rwanda), living in 3 cities together (State College, Columbia, and DC), Mike and I are engaged! 

The proposal followed a day's worth of some of our favorite fall activities- navigating a corn maze, picking pumpkins, and visiting the monuments. 

We started off at Summers Farm in Frederick, Maryland on a gorgeous, clear day.

The one pictures we have of the 4 of us. Our friends Jenny and Luke helped with the set up of the entire day.

 Getting lost in the maze.

 Mike was trying to get us to hurry up to get back to the monuments during daylight but I was completely clueless. Of course we needed to take the hay ride to go get pumpkins!

 Ring pop in the car on the ride back. Little did I know what was coming next!

 Mike wanted to create our first night together in DC when we walked around the monuments and ended up talking at the Einstein Memorial for hours. I showed him how you could whisper on one side and hear the person on the other. Unfortunately the government shutdown ruined this idea so we went straight to the Einstein. While I was whispering with Luke, Mike ducked behind the memorial and put on a tie and jacket and swapped places with Luke. I couldn't hear him and turned around and he was standing there with a box in his hand.

 And my tongue is still blue from the ring pop in the car...

It was such a fun day with a great ending. We went to Medium Rare for dinner after the proposal and have been giddy since!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Birthday/housewarming brunch

This weekend we hosted an overdue housewarming/birthday brunch and it was a lot of fun. By the end, 90% of the food was gone, pumpkins were carved, balloon animals were made and footballs were thrown. Of course I only took about 3 pictures of people the entire time and about half of the food but all of the recipes below are now tried and got big stamps of approval.

On the Menu:

Friday, September 06, 2013

Feb 24- March 2

Dinner @ Cheesecake factory
Saturday: Homemade Pizza (pepperoni and margarita)

Tilapia with saffron rice and mixed vegetables

Kraft Fresh Take Chicken with green beans and baked potato

Caramelized onion mac and cheese

Feb 17-23

This week was Super Doubles at Harris Teeter which meant going through all of our coupons and trying to find deals. 

Before coupons: $70.70
After coupons: $18.04

On the menu:
Saturday: Homemade pizza

Taco Salad

Tilapia with brussel sprouts

gnocchi with meatballs and broccoli

Visit to the botanical gardens 

Feb 10-16

Big shopping trip at Safeway this week. I felt slightly crazy buying 5 boxes of cereal but I'm still trying to get a handle on this whole couponing thing. We also bought special treats for Valentine's Day.

Before coupons: $204
After coupons: $89

Valentine's Day was nice. I came home to roses and a delicious surf and turf dinner. It was Mike's first time cooking lobster and it turned out fantastic! It was also a coworker's birthday so I made cupcakes which I brought into the office. 

We spent the weekend at my parent's house since Monday there was a 3 day weekend. Mom and Dad were still in Hawaii so we had the house to ourselves. Part of the visit included seeing some great friends in Charlotte and then hosting a friend from my IMBA program in Winston. Always fun to catch up with friends and celebrate life's important moments!

On the menu:
Thursday: Surf and turf (lobster tail and filet), asparagus risotto 
Friday: Dinner with friends- crockpot southwest chicken and skinny chipotle lime rice
Saturday: Mexican food from La Botana
Sunday: Lunch- Mexican food at La Carretta

Homemade hoagie rolls

balsamic roast beef french dips

Mango filled cupcakes

Surf and Turf with asparagus risotto

Mike made me this shirt 

Dessert: chocolate cheesecakes
Our weekend visit included a trip to the mall where we had to stop by the pet store and love on a puppy!