Sunday, July 06, 2008

A birthday and the 4th, plus...recipe of the week

I'm just going to preface that this is a long post!

Jordan's Birthday

Jordan's birthday was a week ago and unfortunately every year his birthday falls at the wrong time of the year for me event wise. We are always full swing into our Convention planning and this year one of our 3 day events fell right on his birthday. His birthday planning got away from me in the midst of our training event and Convention planning.

I did get off a little early last Saturday so we met up and saw Wall-e and then were going to go out to eat for Jordan's birthday. Matthew LOVED Wall-e and did so great and was pretty much glued to the screen. Afterwards I wasn't feeling so great so we ended up going home and having a mellow night.

Sunday we tried to recreate a meal from Wagamama's and failed miserably. It wasn't really our fault, but it just didn't work out so great. We made some Chili Beef Ramen and some potstickers and the Ramen wasn't good at all (the meat was excellent). :( The potstickers turned out actually pretty well, but take forever to assemble so we won't be making them very much.

I didn't ever find time to go get Jordan a present and I was going to go on Saturday after the movie but since I was feeling so crappy I didn't even have a present for him...bad wife. I felt so bad that it was the worst birthday ever for Jordan. He even had to make his own cake since I was pretty exhausted from working the event and could hardly get out of bed during the day on Jordan's birthday. Long days and late nights just wear me out. He said he didn't care, but I felt horrible all night for the bad birthday.

On Monday I went into the office since it was going to be a short week because of the 4th. I left early and went and got Jordan presents and decided we were re-doing his birthday and birthday dinner and made Chicken Parmigiana. It was yummy as usual and the gifts went over well. Jordan was a bit surprised because he wasn't expecting any presents or a dinner that was pretty much almost done by the time he got home from work.

-Side note about this recipe. It is super yummy and really isn't all that complicated. The key is to get a good crust on the chicken so it doesn't get too soggy when you cook it in the oven with the sauce/cheese. This sauce beats any bottle sauces hands down. We hardly buy pasta sauce anymore as I'd much rather make homemade with fresh herbs and garlic. We've also made the herbed bread a fair amount of times that goes along with this recipe (see the links at the bottom of the recipe) and it is YUMMY! This is one of our Sunday staples as it does take some time to create.

4th of July
All of Jordan's family was going to his hometown for the 4th of July so we decided to head up there and join in the festivities. Jordan grew up in Beatty, NV which is about 1.5 hrs north of Vegas if you were going to Reno and has a population of less than 1,000. Our goal was to leave by noon, but with work things that had to get done and getting the car packed we didn't get out of Maricopa until almost 2 pm. As were were heading on the 10 North we narrowly missed an accident. It had happened so recently that the backup wasn't bad yet. A pick-up truck and trailer had overturned across the whole road. If we had been 5 min. earlier we could have been in the accident and if we had been 15 min. later we could have been stuck in hours of traffic. Now again if we had left on time we would have missed it all, but we felt blessed to have been in the right place at the right time.

The unknown when you are driving to Vegas is the Hoover Dam. You can easily spend 2 hrs trying to get through there or fly right through. The great thing about leaving late is that by the time we got to Hoover Dam no one was there anymore visiting it and we sailed right through. We also got to Vegas around 7 pm so it was after rush hour traffic.

Matthew did so great. He loves his Pixar movies and we have a portable DVD player (one of the best inventions EVER!) so he did great watching all of his movies. He's really into Bug's Life right now so that's always his #1 pick. He so takes after me in that manner. I will get stuck on a food, or a movie, or a hobby and that's all I want to do/watch/eat. I'm definitely a creature of habit and Matthew shows some of those same traits. He'll want to watch the same movie over and over or eat the same things or play with the same toys over and over. It cracks me up!

We got into Beatty after 10 pm and Matthew was asleep so we went and got settled into the motel across from where Jordan's parents live (they have a 2 bedroom house so all of us can't sleep there). Jordan's mom gave us an itinerary for the 4th when we picked up our keys.

9:30 am - Breakfast at the Church
11:00 am - Parade downtown
1:00 pm - Games in the Park
6:00 pm - Dinner
Dark - Fireworks

It was a really fun, hot, packed day. We pretty much followed the itinerary and did everything. We ate breakfast at the church, we all met at this corner "downtown" to watch the parade, and then the boys headed over to the park to stake out our spot with a canopy for the games and then we ate dinner and went and watched fireworks. It was a pretty hot day around 103 (no 115 that we've had in Phoenix) and we brought our kiddie pool so the little kids could cool off. Matthew was superman diving at one point into the pool so he had fun. We even got him to try the egg/spoon race but he took 3 steps and threw his egg and said yay and that was about it for him. I finally took him back to Jordan's parents so he could take a nap and I dozed while watching Wimbledon.

After dinner we headed out to the fireworks and I didn't know how Matthew was going to do. Jay had bought some small fireworks and Matthew was sitting in a little chair in front of me and climbed up that thing so fast and into my lap when the little fireworks went off. Once the main city fireworks started going off he was pretty scared and we sat in the back of his mom's car and watched them from in there. By the end of the night he wasn't as scared, but still wasn't loving the whole fireworks thing. He kept saying "over"? We finally left around 10:30 and he was so pooped he fell right asleep in his bed and didn't stir until 7 am.

Saturday we took it easy - we played in the motel pool (chiillllly) the kids played outside in the afternoon in the kiddie swimming pool and on the slip and slide and Jordan/Me made dinner for the family. Mexican shredded beef and Salsa chicken with homemade salsa, guacamole, cooked up tortillas from Costco, and Gallo Pinto (Costa Rican beans and rice). I thought it was a pretty yummy dinner if I say so myself!

Today we left at about 8 am and made a couple of stops for food along the way and made it home by 4 pm. We were nervous about the Dam, but it only took us about 30 min. to get through. Matthew did really great again and I got a little carsick so I rested up this afternoon. It was a great weekend, but it's always great to be back into the routine of things and to sleep in your own bed. We have a couple of full weeks work wise ahead of us and I'm less than 30 days from our Convention so we're in the homestretch and it's only going to get crazier the next few weeks.

Here are a few pics from our camera and we're hoping to get some more from Jordan's dad and brother Skylar.

This is the ONE shot I wanted for the whole weekend. Matthew was waiting for the parade to start. Jordan's brother Jay took this picture with our camera. Isn't it just too cute? Love it. Can't wait to scrap it.

Matthew is in the blue/white top and green/blue shorts in the far left. We were waiting to get started in the egg race. The rule for this age group (1-5 yr olds) is that the parents couldn't help them at all. What 2 yr. old knows how to pick up an egg and put it back on their spoon? Matthew came in dead last but still had fun.

Here is Matthew hiding behind me after the large fireworks were over and they started doing little fireworks that Jordan's brother had brought. I think the closeness of the fireworks and the flames freaked him out.

Saturday evening all the kids (except Drew) were watching a movie together in the back room. There are six kids under the age of 7 all together - and 3 - 2 yrs olds. Matthew loved Calvin (to his right) who is about 2 yrs older than him as they are 2 little mischievous boys that get twinkles in their eyes. Calvin kept talking about his cousin "Matthew" Jay & April told us. Matthew loves playing with his cousins and he doesn't have any that are exactly his age on my side of the family.