Hey, friends! Happy gray, cold, and rainy Sunday to you! It was a busier-than-usual week in our house -- full of business travel, birthday parties, and food -- of course. Let's play catch-up in today's Weekend Recap and rewind to last weekend...
Keith left town on Sunday for a week-long business trip, which means that I was on my own with the three little guys all week. We had quite the adventures!
On Sunday morning I did a little bit of food prep for the week, including hard-boiling some of my neighbor's fresh eggs,
and making a batch of these Cherry Java Overnight Oats (using the wide-mouth pint jars works perfectly because it leaves some room at the top for added toppings like fresh fruit and yogurt just before serving).
While Gibbs was watching Star Wars, I did my 20-Minute Living Room Workout (jumping jacks action shot taken by the 6-year-old)! Love that workout!
Then we headed up to Culpeper to run some errands and stop for lunch at Tropical Smoothie Cafe (⬅️ did you see that post? It's a great cause!).
We couldn't miss an opportunity to pop into Sweet Frog for dessert next door (Spencer has been requesting this for AGES)!
Since the boys have energy that never quits, we went for a walk in the woods late afternoon,
and we had a super-easy dinner that night. Not much cooking happening here when Keith is gone! Casey requested macaroni and cheese, so I served that with broccoli and applesauce. I had leftover Margarita Chicken Kabobs and salad from the night before!
Monday was another crazy-busy day! We made a stop at the dollar store in between school drop-offs to grab some party supplies for Casey's birthday,
and once Casey was settled at preschool I joined my friends Mollie and Gabrielle for a coffee date at Gabrielle's house. No filter or editing on this photo -- it was a GORGEOUS spring morning on their farm!
Our mission that morning was to pull together our summer calendars and plan a camp co-op for our three boys. There aren't many structured camps near us, but we know that the kids will be bored and missing their friends during the school break, so starting in July we will each take turns hosting a day of camp at our house during the week. Should be interesting, and you know I'll share all of the details on here when the time comes!
We took an afternoon walk later that day,
and I had to snap a photo of Spence's latest "big boy" stance: hands on his hips! Here he was intently watching a school bus...
Gibbs had his final soccer game of the season that evening,
and when we got home I quickly fed 3 tired and very hungry kids their dinner before dunking them in the bath tub. Again, Dad was out of town so this was an easy one: pesto pasta (that I had actually prepped on Sunday evening so I just reheated it), along with veggies and hummus on the side.
On Tuesday we woke up to rainy and cool weather, so the younger boys and I took advantage of a day inside to do some birthday party set-up. In between splashing in mud puddles in the rain, we built a six-foot high tower for his Minecraft-themed party (which Spencer later smashed, by the way):
filled a pinata with candy,
stuffed treasure boxes with snacks, gems, water guns, and other goodies for his friends to take home,
and decorated the lemon cupcakes for his school class. I showed Casey three different types of sprinkles and asked him which ones he would like to use. Not surprisingly, he wanted to use ALL THE SPRINKLES (and he did). Needless to say, there wasn't an undecorated inch of frosting anywhere in that batch!
Later that afternoon, Hannah arrived to entertain the boys so that I could sneak out for a workout. Mark was full of "creative" ideas and introduced me to all sorts of new exercises...like these horizontal pull-ups (don't I just look like I'm in pain?!)...
I swear I enjoy this!
and by the time we dropped Hannah off and got dinner on the table, we were all tired and cranky. The boys devoured their chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, while I pulled together the quickest filling food I could find -- in this case, avocado toast + eggs. Not fancy, but it did the job!
Casey officially turned 5 on Wednesday, so we started the day with his all-time favorite breakfast: a glazed donut with some sprinkles that I added, along with a candle (of course)!
The most popular gift of all was the box of "gems" that Keith sent in the mail!
My mom arrived in the morning, so we took a walk with Spence and the dogs before picking Casey up from school at lunchtime.
We headed into Charlottesville for Casey's birthday lunch at his requested spot: Hibachi Grill,
and a 2 ½-year-old well check at the pediatrician for Spencer.
After my mom left that evening, I made a quick (but tasty) quesadilla dinner for all of us. It's always a crowd-pleaser in this house!
Spencer's Plate: Quesadilla on whole wheat tortilla; taco sauce; guacamole; corn
This new cookbook arrived in the mail that day and I could not WAIT to read it. My best friend from college, Erica (who knows me SO WELL), sent me a text on Monday to tell me that she really liked the book and thought that I would too. Of course, 5 minutes later I ordered it! Best kind of recommendation, and this book truly is beautiful. After putting the boys to bed, I spent the evening with my nose engrossed in photos of salads, veggies, and gorgeous baked goods...meanwhile dog-earing a zillion pages. Trust me -- this book will inspire you to head to the Farmer's Market and buy all of the veggies!
The sun finally returned on Thursday, and we took full advantage. I think that Casey and Spencer were outside for almost the entire day! Keith's mom came to visit that day and took Casey out for a special birthday lunch and shopping trip. I'm not sure that there was any lunch-eating that actually took place, though I never heard the full story. Casey just told me that he and Chi-Chi just snacked on a lot of junk and Gatorade while they were in Charlottesville! ? Hah! Just the way he likes it!
She also brought him a new cowboy hat to match his favorite cowboy boots (that he refuses to take off of his feet), so that was a BIG hit!
While Casey and Carole were partying in Charlottesville, Spence and I made a run to the grocery store (not nearly as exciting for him, although he did get a bag of Cheetos during the trip which was definitely an adequate consolation prize)...
Later that afternoon, our beloved original babysitter Rebekah arrived for a visit.
She has just finished her first year of teaching, so she came by to entertain the boys (with Carole) while I squeezed in a quick workout. Mark kept me busy with these reverse crunches, which are a great way to work the core. We did 3 sets of 10, and holy moly...
After our guests left for the evening, we had a quick dinner of chicken nuggets, homemade applesauce that I pulled from the freezer, my favorite Alexia sweet potato fries,
and a salad that I made to use up some produce in the fridge. I dressed the salad with olive oil, salt and pepper, and this Blueberry Balsamic Vinegar...which was delicious! I added fresh blueberries to the salad as well, but that vinegar is sweet enough that I didn't even need honey, maple syrup, or any other sweetener for the dressing.
Gift from Mom!
It was such a pretty evening, the boys inhaled their dinner and headed back outside until I dragged them in for bed. That's the perfect Spring weather we had been longing for!
I spy two little boys on a porch swing!
Friday was such a fun day! It was Field Day at the elementary school, so Gibbs's teacher sent me these pictures of him getting wet and wild!
Meanwhile, I picked up Casey and his two best buddies from preschool at noon so that they could come home with us for a little birthday party. Casey's chosen theme was Lego Minecraft, and the menu included pizza, Goldfish, fruit, carrots, and CAKE.
The boys played Legos, ran around outside with weapons, and smashed open the pinata!
Dinner was party leftovers, and by the time Keith walked in the door late that evening from his trip, we were ALL very happy to see him!
Saturday was a complete wash-out with nothing but RAIN. I made a wet stop at the Farmer's Market, where I picked up a pork loin, two different kinds of cookies, cinnamon raisin bread, kale, radishes, pea shoots, and two quarts of strawberries! It was a good haul!
I made the Creamy Mustard Dressing from my new cookbook (which was amazing), but used almond butter instead of cashew butter since that's what I had on hand. I used the dressing on a kale salad and stuck the rest in the refrigerator to enjoy throughout the week.
Later that afternoon we headed to Sallie and Mark's farm for a Preakness horse race party. I brought along a Southwestern Chicken Ramen Salad (recipe coming soon), as well as some cookies from the market. There was also a definite "Maryland" theme to the food/beer (since the race is in Baltimore), and the Crab Balls were ah-mazing!
It was such a fun time, and the boys had a blast playing with their friends and exploring the farm equipment (as usual)! Fortunately the rain stopped late afternoon so that they could get outside...
This little guy was in John Deere HEAVEN!
And now we're looking at another rainy Sunday without too many plans on the calendar. I'll be back next weekend with another full report! Have a great week!