Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Birthday Weekend!

"Birthday Weekend!" is by far the most apt title for this post, as I excitedly squealed that phrase approximately 25,000 times per day in the two weeks leading up to the actual weekend.

You see, I was so excited about what I had in store for The Boy.

Seeing that he had not been home in 10 months and that he desperately missed his family and friends, I knew exactly what to get him for his birthday: I would fly out his best friend from California to Iowa.

I harassed The Boy's BFF about three months ago by text, voice mail, Facebook, email, messenger pigeon, smoke signals, and the like before finally reaching him to set up his travel plans.  Just like The Boy is likely tired of me screaming "Birthday Weekend!" every two seconds, I'm sure that The Boy's BFF is thankful the weekend is over so that he'll stop receiving "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" texts from me.

(Apparently I show way too much emotion via text message.  I didn't know there was such a thing.)

But I digress.

The Boy's BFF flew out on Friday.  He was supposed to get in at 6:13 p.m., but due to some incompetent airline employees bad luck in the airport, he did not arrive until 10:45 p.m.  This caused me all sorts of stress: how was I supposed to find an excuse for The Boy and I to leave the house that late at night?

But, it all worked out in the end.  The Boy and I hit up an Iowa Cubs game and stayed for the post-game fireworks, which took us to about 10:15.

Then, as The Boy was talking to his mama on the phone, I started driving to our "next destination."  Instead of going to a fun bar, good live music, karaoke night, or a friend's house, I drove to the airport.  The look on The Boy's face was priceless: "Mom, I'm going to have to call you back."

At first he thought we were going somewhere, but when I pointed out our lack of luggage, he realized that we were probably at the airport to pick someone up.  When we got inside, he was white as a ghost with nerves and anxiety, so excited about who was going to come down the stairs.  When he finally realized who it was, he was absolutely thrilled, giving his BFF (and me) huge, huge hugs.

Just that moment alone made the whole weekend worth it.

We headed outside and straight to a late-night bar/restaurant for some grub prior to heading home.  My BFF joined us, and the four of us had a blast sitting, talking, relaxing, schmoozing.

The following day (Saturday) was the only day I had planned for us. I woke up early to start Day One of Farrell's coaching and was gone for most of the morning.  When I got back, I immediately started throwing together everything for the party.  My sister and I had accomplished most of it the day before, but I still had quite a bit to get done myself.
Check out this load of groceries!  Wowza!

We worked so hard!  And then relaxed with some homemade sangria and salsa.  :)
I prepped all of the food, sent the boys on some errands for last-minute goods, and made myself pretty while the boys loaded the car.

(Side note: you may be wondering why we loaded the car.  After all, the party was supposed to be in our front yard.  However, it was the one day all week that decided to involve torrential downpours.  So, our amazing friends A&C offered to let us host the party at their house.  We are oh, so thankful for them and that generous offer.)

Check out the spread:
And this is only some of what we had!
For recipes, please see the links in my previous post.

In the top left-hand corner, we have pretty much the best baked beans ever.  I am not a fan of baked beans at all, but I could not get enough of this dish.  I made two tins of it, and boy, am I glad I did!  Yum!

In the top right corner, we have Mediterranean orzo salad with a lemon vinaigrette.  The Boy and I decided that we would be more than happy having this as an entire meal!

The middle row is the Mexican meat that The Boy and his BFF picked up from the Mexican market: chorizo with tortillas and limes on the left, and melt-in-your-mouth carne asada on the right.  Both of these were quite the hit with the party guests.

The bottom left is a stack of burgers that we whipped together.  The Boy was in charge of seasoning, and while I know it included soy sauce and balsamic vinaigrette and probably loads of salt, I'm not quite sure what else.  Regardless of what was in there, it was awesome.

The final picture is homemade salsa, courtesy of The Pioneer Woman.  This was seriously the easiest recipe ever and by far the best salsa I've ever had.  The Boy thinks it could've used an additional 2-3 jalapenos, though.

Everyone else brought awesome food as well: strawberry-marshmallow-blueberry skewers, bacon-wrapped pickled watermelon rinds, taco dip, fruit salad, indoor s'mores, cheesecake, Oh, Sweet Jesus bars, and more.

We are so, so thankful to have the absolute best friends in the entire world and had a freakin' blast celebrating with them Saturday night.

The rest of the weekend (and through Tuesday) was kind of a blur: we headed to different patios around Des Moines (we Iowans love a good patio!), hung out with my BFF, cooked lots of delicious (and unhealthy) food, and just enjoyed each other's company.

The Boy's BFF left yesterday evening, and I know The Boy is super sad.  He absolutely loved having his BFF in town, and I am so thankful that we were able to make it happen.  Thankfully, The Boy will see him (and the rest of his friends/family) in July, and his BFF already has plans on returning to the Midwest, hopefully in August in time for the Iowa State Fair.

Now that would be an eye-opening experience for both of the California boys.

Tomorrow, I will be back with my regularly-scheduled healthy posts.  Hopefully this will also force me to get back to my regular healthy-eating.  These last few days have wreaked havoc on my nutrition plan.

Good thing it was all worth it.  :)

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