Saturday, June 29, 2013

Summer Sounds

Last Sunday, we made a return trip to Symphony Park for the Charlotte Symphony Summer Pops concert series. We came to our first one last summer, but it was a bit rainy. This year we were hoping for better weather and we got it! Yay! The night turned out to be perfect for an outdoor concert.

This year we also brought along another family - two of Allie's friends and their mom Christy (not pictured. How is it possible I didn't get a photo of her? Lol)
Sooo excited to be here. Allie loves this tradition we've started.
The opening act was a jazz ensemble that played a Dave Brubeck tribute. Swoon. Take Five is one of my favorite songs (and probably their most popular), but the band was great and it was the perfect soundtrack for our dinner and playtime before the symphony started.

Last year, we each took only a dessert to the concert- a dessert of our choice. Allie wanted chocolate chip pancakes so... we made chocolate chip pancakes. Ha! It's no surprise that she wanted to continue this part of the tradition as well, but also spread the love to her friends. She made each one of them a bag of cold chocolate chip pancakes. :)

Crazy fun girls

Symphony time! This week's concert was Scores from Movie Music and included songs from Pirates of the Caribbean, Disney, Gone With The Wind, The Patriot, Grease, Mission Impossible, Star Wars, Les Miserables, and more. SO FUN!

 Allie gettin' her hair did (braided) by Emma
 Enjoying the night!
I love this summer tradition and hope we can do it every year!

Friday, June 28, 2013

P Day Mash Up

So if you've been reading my blog for a while, you know about the P Days Allie and I have together. It's quality step-momma/step-daughter time that Allie and I really look forward to. Last year, I think we had 5 or 6 different P Days and they were all special and unique in their own way.  This past fall, I made Allie a P Day Mash Up jar to put a creative twist on our P Day concept. All the fun p words we could think of were put in the jar with the option of randomly choosing a crazy P Day combo instead of me just planning one. We used it for the first time last weekend and it was so fun!

 Allie made the rules and we ended up with this winning combination!
We decided that pizza didn't necessarily mean marinara and cheese type pizza, so we whipped up a tasty cinnamon strudel dessert pizza instead!

And we took our pillows and pizza picnic to the park. It was SUCH a nice day!

Lovin' her some cinnamon sugar.
Looking up at the trees.
Our view.
Seriously love lying here on a breezy summer day with this girl, talking about trees, God, and anything else that crosses our minds. Treasuring these moments because I know she is growing up way too fast!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Pirate Party

Even though I am still processing my sister's death, our life is moving forward whether I like it or not. I am still doing my best to treasure every second with my family even though my mind so often goes to Lindsay. There are a few things I need to catch up on here on the blog, starting with Father's Day. This year, Allie and I continued the tradition of a Father's Day party. The holiday came immediately following our vacation so we didn't have much prep time to pull off something spectacular, however.... Allie and I know how to throw a mean party (and it helps when you work in a place called the Exploratorium. :))

Last year was a Father's Day Facial Hair Celebration (aka mustache party) and this year was a Pirate Party!

Invitation Allie made Z
The pirate daughter and her father

She makes a very beautiful pirate. Haha!
Hey look! A photo of me! What a shocker! Lol My name was Princess of Port Royal
Zach went all in to pull off this very authentic looking pirate costume.
Kinda Captain Barbosa-ish...
His actual pirate name though was Captain Brown Beard and Allie's was Queen Anne Jamaica.
Our first game was a gold coin toss into treasure chests.

Zach won this game by a landslide.

Our next game was a knife throwing contest. Since we didn't have actual throwing knives, we substituted with markers so at least we could see where it hit the target. (Thanks for the suggestion Cap't Weiler.)

Apparently I am pretty good at this and I won by a landslide!

Allie did a lovely job setting up an eclectic dinner table for us

Pirate mugs

Our menu
"Tortuga Salmagundi", also known as the cassoulet, included a slow cooked stew of pork tenderloin, turkey sausage, Great Northern beans, diced tomatoes, bacon crumbles, parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, and more served over jasmine rice.
"Black Beard's Pie" also known as brownie pie :)

and "Dead Man Doubloons" (chocolate gold coins)
Gifts for the Daddy
A book he's always wanted
A pirate dinner party success!
Love me some cute paper straws
Our pirate trio

Allie and I are both so blessed to have Zach in our life. It brings me SO much joy to see such a strong, wise, kind, passionate, loving mentor/teacher/friend/father in Allie's life. For real. There's not enough hours in the day for me to write about all the ways he has loved her, served her, protected her, sacrificed for her, and cared for her, some of which she's never even known about. I love you Zachary Kale and you are an AWESOME DAD! I know you haven't been able to share this day with your own dad for many years now, but I know he is beaming with pride and joy to see the man, husband, and father you have become.