I seriously don’t know where the last two weeks have gone! It has been a WHIRLWIND and I have been TERRIBLE at blogging and even more terrible at taking pictures of the meals that I am making and writing recipes. The whirlwind seems to slow down in about a week- so, lets make a deal- hang in there with me and I will have some super yummy stuff coming next week :)
So, to fill you all in- here is a snap shot of the past two weeks- the good, the exhausting, and the yummy! The day after we got home from New York, we knew that they next few weeks were about to be crazy- so we started our Saturday morning with a trip to one of our very favorite brunch spots. We enjoyed an amazing, relaxing brunch date and enjoyed savored moment! Mimosas, greek yogurt parfait with homemade granola and fresh fruit, truffled cheese grits, incredible biscotti and Land of a Thousand Hills coffee!
From brunch, we headed to celebrate one of my oldest friends (I met her in 6th grade) birthday! So fun :)
From Decatur- we drove across Atlanta to the Dogwood Festival!! Gavin took me to a concert at the festival 5 YEARS ago on our first date- so the festival is always a fun reminder for us. I CAN NOT believe that it has already been 5 years! This festival was extra special because our friend Matt Vaughan was playing in one of the pavillions. Matt has been a dear friend for years- and he is releasing his first CD on May 18 (he’s having a release party at Smith’s Olde Bar- if you want happy ears- buy a ticket now)!!
Sunday morning, we woke up excited for one of our favorite outdoor bashes of the year. A dear friend, Corrine and her husband David (and adorable son William) host a giant crawfish boil every spring. David is a master crawfish boiler (I don’t know if that’s a thing, but if it is, he is one)- and Corrine and David make sure to pull out all of the stops for this annual sioree! Loads of crawfish, sweet corn, tender potatoes, spicy onions, smokey sausage…pimento cheese sandwiches, caramel cupcakes…and most importantly- great friends!
Monday we were able to go and bid farewell to another super special lady! I have been friends with Tricia Andrews for quite a while- we became close in college and have stayed close since. She is one of the most brilliant, loving and FULL-OF-GRACE people that I have ever met. Last week, she left for a trip around the world- so we met at a Mexican restaurant so that she could have her last (Americanized) Mexican food of the year. Can’t wait to hear all about her incredible adventures!
The next morning, Gavin and I headed over to the U-Haul store, rented a trailer and loaded up for Orange Conference. Orange is a conference for family ministry leaders- it is our biggest event for LUO, or non-profit each year. We set up a booth at the conference and then spend the week sharing the stories of the children that we work with in South Africa. We bring 200 canvases that we hand paint with the children and then sell them for $250- the cost of the canvas supports a child for A YEAR! It provides nutrition, medical care, education and an awesome Bible Curriculum. The Conference is fast paced, super busy and very fun (complete with a large selection of Atlanta’s best food trucks)!
When the conference ended on Friday, we literally sprinted for the door and headed to Athens (one of the best food towns in the South) to celebrate my brother’s girlfriend, Katie’s birthday. Katie is so much more than my brother’s girlfriend- she is family and we were so excited to ring in her 21st year with a yummy Thai meal, homemade margaritas and great conversation. She is one special chic!
The morning after Athens, we got up BRIGHT and EARLY and headed BACK to the U-Haul store, to FINALLY move into the home the we have been renovating for what feels like FOREVER! A REAL, beautiful kitchen motivated me as I carried load after load of our things out to the truck. Moving is exhausting and exiting- but settling in a “nesting” is so fun (tho we haven’t been home to do that yet!)
Right as the dust (in this case saw dust from all of the renovations) started to settle, we packed our suit cases and headed for the airport to fly to West Palm Beach for another LUO art show. Our friends in Palm Beach recently relocated from the DC area and wanted to introduce their new community to LUO. They own a really beautiful art gallery (specializing in glass- each item is like $100,000.00) and a coffee shop (that literally serves my favorite coffee in America and therefore started my slight obsession with finding the perfect cup in Atlanta)- so we were really excited to visit, drink coffee, and raise money for our beautiful children at Ithemba! It was SO amazing to see their artwork hanging in a gorgeous gallery next to some of the more acclaimed artists of our time. I am always amazed by how incredible their canvases are when they are stretched and hung. Each one is different, and beautiful, and truly shows the personality of the child that painted it.
From Palm Beach, we headed to Ft. Lauderdale to visit some friends for a day…and oh my goodness, we were so spoiled! Our friend Mike connected us with a lovely family in the area to stay with (when we travel we really like to stay with local families and get to see the city from their perspective)- but this was over the top amazing! Their home was located right on the beach- and our room was situated in the perfect position- it opened out to the pool and then overlooked the water. It was an amazing time of rest and rejuvination. Our hosts spoiled us- we woke up to steaming coffee on the porch- followed by a beautiful plate of quiche and bowl of fresh fruit.
We ate- we soaked in the view- and then we headed down to the beach because this family had a PADDLE BOARD!! As you know, Gavin is a surfer, and like a fish, he feels like he can’t breathe as well when he is out of the water :) Paddle boarding is one of our favorite things to do together- it is great excercise, and such a fun way to get out in the water! We spent the morning paddling around and trying to catch some of the super small waves.
From there- we drove back to Palm Beach to get one last cup of coffee- its our favorite, can you blame us?? and the headed for the airport!
Tomorrow, I leave for New York (YAY!!) and then, when I get home, I will get cooking- I promise!