weekend wrap up

Thanksgiving/Anniversary weekend wrap up in photos

This past weekend was a much needed weekend filled with a few of my favorite things.  Family, food, and wine.  I couldn’t honestly have asked for a better 4 days off.  I didn’t run a single mile last week, and I am totally cool with that.  My priorities have shifted greatly, and with this shift I have learned so much about myself, and the realness of the relationships I hold dear to my heart.

So.  Thanksgiving went down a little like this.  Wednesday night we spent the evening decorating the house and getting everything ready for Thanksgiving day.  We even were welcomed over at our good friend’s house next door for a few cocktails.  #Winning.

xmas

I woke up super early, and prepped the turkey.  Yup.  That’s bacon you see…it makes everything better, right?!?  I swear this was the best turkey I’ve made yet, and I’ve been roasting turkeys for years.

Before...
Before…
AFTER!!
AFTER!!
The entire spread!
The entire spread!
These breasts were as big as the platter itself!
These breasts were as big as the platter itself!

DELISH. My sister loved the turkey so much it just made me smile. THAT is why I love cooking so much: Seeing the joy my food brings to others is priceless.  Plus I loved having my sister’s family over for the day to help eat all the yummy food!  That’s the best part!  I truly love Thanksgiving and the meaning of the day.  ❤

Black Friday was a quiet day filled with housework and movie watching.  This was our actual anniversary, but we were celebrating Saturday.  My hubby surprised me with an overnight stay at The Herrington Hotel, with dinner at our favorite restaurant located inside the hotel, Atwaters.  We started the day by taking the kids and my niece who is also 16 years old to a local craft fair (I totally forgot to take any pics) which was a total blast.  My neighbors were kind enough to keep a close eye on the house/kids, so we headed off to our mini getaway, just 15 minutes from our house.

We started out by having lunch at The Preservation Wine company, in Geneva.  We’d never been there but had heard great reviews.  Everything we heard was spot on, and our wine, food, and service was on point.  We will definitely go back.

Meat and Cheese plates
Meat and Cheese plates
Just us!
Just us!
Italian wine makes me happy!
Italian wine makes me happy!

We headed out to the shops of 3rd street for some Christmas shopping and just good quality time with each other.  I can’t remember the last time we were just “us” for more than an hour or so, and I could feel us recharging with every minute.  My hubby spoiled me with some beautiful clothes from one of my favorite local shops (I LOVE shopping local.  It’s always been important to me to support local businesses), of which I forgot to take pics of, LOL.  I’ll save that for another post.

It was time to head to our hotel, so after checking in we were pleasantly surprised by a beautiful bottle of champagne.  I gave my hubby the gift I had made for him, and he got a little choked up.  I had a pocket watched engraved with “See you in my dreams,” which is what we said to each other in ever communication we had while he was deployed to Afghanistan.  He’s going to set it to “home time” while he is away. #sobs

Champagne!
Champagne!
View of the Fox River from our room
View of the Fox River from our room

We got ready for dinner, and headed down to the lobby for a pre-dinner drink.  We sorta clean up nicely I like to think…;-)

Can you tell I like him just a little?
Can you tell I like him just a little?
Old dress, but new memories :-)
Old dress, but new memories 🙂

And then there was dinner…Words can’t even describe it, so here it is in pics…

a little "bite" compliments of the Chef
a little “bite” compliments of the Chef
braised pork belly
braised pork belly
grilled peach salad
grilled peach salad
crab cakes
crab cakes
Butternut squash soup
Butternut squash soup
Delmonico steak
Delmonico steak
Chilean Sea bass
Chilean Sea bass

As you can venture to guess, we were stuffed afterwards, but WOW, what an amazing meal.  We each had a starter, soup/salad, and entrée and  both shared dishes.  AH. MA. ZING.  We had reservations about going back, as our favorite Chef no longer works at this restaurant but I can honestly say we were pleasantly surprised that the staff and food hadn’t missed a beat.

It was an amazing weekend, one I won’t forget and I am truly thankful and blessed to be married to the love of my life.  Despite struggle, tough times and bumps in the road we always end up back in each others arms, literally.  People say, “Oh, you are so lucky.” But really, we just work our tails off to keep our marriage strong.  Are we perfect?  Heck no…but we do our best to focus on US even when times are tough.  At the end of the day, we know we have each other.

How was your Thanksgiving?  Do you cook, or go to family/friend’s homes?

Have a great week, y’all!

❤ Michelle

 

dedication, food, goals, moving forward, Uncategorized

Hubby, hills, and hellha-smiles

Wednesday went a little like this:
Today was a busy day…we’ve got turnover in staff, stress, and work piling on…and I LOVE IT.
I nearly broke under pressure, but regrouped quickly…and was even told what I good job I did presenting an issue to one of our VP’s. #lifeisgood

But in all the chaos, running errands after work, and getting things settled my amazing husband said, “We are running.”
I am so proud of his dedication to our pre-half marathon training.
I had a terrible headache. I was tired.
I ran 4 miles with my amazing husband who has embraced my craziness.

4 miles with Brian on Wednesday!
4 miles with Brian on Wednesday!

But most of all, I shared my passion with the person who knows me best. He looked at my around mile two, and had a smile from ear to ear and my heart sang. He realized where my running joy stemmed from…
We ran hills, and on the downward stretch I found myself “WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEING” all the way down.
I love to run. Even more so, with my people…my persons. My HOME of all homes.

Fast. Slow. Steady. Stopping.

There is something to be said about the constants we have in life. And I. Have many…Family, friends, food, fitness, fotos….my constant passions and reminders that I have a greater purpose in this crazy world…

Tonight we went out to dinner not for a special occasion really, but more so to celebrate how far we’ve come in life, in our marriage, and in being able to tackle so many struggles.

Check it out…

Our amazing menu tonight!
Our amazing menu tonight!

Did someone say, wine??
Did someone say, wine??
Lamb loin with fiddleheads?  Yes please...
Lamb loin with fiddleheads? Yes please…

We spent the evening (our rest day) surrounded by what some would call strangers. But we talked, laughed, and conversed with members of our local community we had not yet met before, yet became fast friends.

The owner of the vineyard remembered us from a previous wine dinner nearly two years ago. She welcomed us passionately, and I was reminded why I fell in love with Fiddlehead Cellar winery. It’s premise is passion…and you can see it in the owners eyes. We were blessed to sit with her at the head table during a wine dinner two years ago along with her Mother, and the memory will forever be engrained in my heart and mind.

And at the end of the day I realize life is all about passion, constants, and moving forward.

Find your passion, and run with it like the wind…

What’s your passion?