Friday, August 21, 2009

Goodbye, summer

Though it is just starting to really feel like summer (we've actually had to turn on our AC!), it is back to work for me tomorrow. Despite working summer school for the month of July, I feel like I've had a nice break and gotten lots done around the house. We really enjoyed our second summer in CT. Here's a taste of how we spent our time...

Home improvement. We made quite a few changes around the house this summer, the last being a makeover to the guest bathroom (pics to follow in a later post!). It's true that the work of a homeowner is never done, but it's something that enjoy we doing together.
Bar-b-ques. Dinner on the deck was one of our favorite ways to spend our summer evenings, and even a few breakfasts. Since the temperature was below average for so much of the summer, the weather was perfect for dining al fresco. We have yet to purchase deck furniture, but our old TV trays and folding chairs are perfect until we find some!
Enjoying our beautiful backyard. I think Christopher got a lot of use out of his new binoculars. In addition to birds, we saw plenty of deer, woodchucks, and chipmunks this summer...and even one wolf.
Rain, rain go away. It felt like it rained for the entire month of June. Over the 4th of July, we only had one day of sunny weather. We went for a bike ride, but it started raining just as we were making it back home. (This was when we were up at Bretton Woods, NH for the 4th.)
Ice cream. Synonymous with summer in my book. Ferris Acres Creamery is only two miles down the road from where we live and it is without a doubt the best ice cream I've ever had. They serve pup cups, a scoop of soft-serve vanilla with a few doggie treats on top, and one day I took Bailey to get one. He didn't even come up for air.

NYC. We love living so close to the city and went several times this summer. This pic was taken looking across the reservoir in Central Park.
Being outdoors. Chris and I love taking Bailey to the park, but we didn't get to do much hiking this summer thanks to all the rain. I did get one hike in, on Bear Mountain here in CT with my friend Amy. Luckily we did not see any actual bears, although there were lots of signs to tell us what to do if we did! Chris and I spent quite a few lazy days at Sherwood Island State Park, a beach in Westport, about 45 minutes from us. We never did get any pics of the beach- we must have been too relaxed to pull out the camera!

Fajita heaven

According to Gone with the Wind, the only necessary quality for a husband is that he be a Southerner. Obviously I can't agree with that because if Christopher had grown up any further north he'd be Canadian! :) But I love our differences and have enjoyed getting to explore New England and experience what it was like for him to grow up here. And, though he might be the last to admit it, I know there are things about the South that he loves too.

Luckily, Chris shares my love of Mexican food. When I lived in Houston there's a good chance I ate it at least once a week. Fajitas, quesadillas, chimichangas- you name it, I love it. And since moving away from the South I have had less than mediocre experiences at the Mexican restaurants we've tried. Finally I decided to give up on restaurants and make fajitas at home. And as God is my witness, they were...fantastic!

I took one very thick chicken breast and and sliced through it lengthwise to get two thinner pieces. I marinated the chicken all day in Stonewall Kitchen's Tequila Lime Grille Sauce (thanks Mary Pat!), which unfortunately I think they might have discontinued. While Chris grilled the chicken outside, I caramelized slices of green bell peppers and onions seasoned with black pepper and cumin. Once the chicken was off the grill and had rested, we sliced it and added it to the pan with the peppers and onions for a few extra minutes. Served inside tortillas with cheese and sour cream, it made the best fajitas I've had since moving away from the Lone Star State.

There was no time to take pictures. They were that good.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Our newest (and littlest) friend

This past week we finally got to meet Andy and Cari's little daughter, Alexis Lynn! She was so sweet and cuddly! It was great to see all of them and congratulate them on their beautiful baby in person. Of course I couldn't wait to hold her, but I think Chris discovered he liked holding a two-month old more than he thought he would!

This was taken a few moments before Chris whisked little Lexi out of my arms. :)

I was nervous how Bailey would behave around the baby but he was totally fine! If she was at all within his reach he would just sniff her hand or lick her little foot, but he never jumped near her or growled or barked or anything. He just seemed very curious about her. And it was really cute to watch Lexi stare at Bailey.

Doesn't Cari look terrific? Motherhood suits her!

Wednesday night the four of us and Andy's dad went to the Dave Matthews Band concert in Bethel, NY, better known as the site where Woodstock took place years ago. We had a great time tailgating in the parking lot (best cheeseburger I've had in a long time!) and the venue itself was incredible. It was Cari and Andy's first night away from Lexi (Andy's mom babysat) but parents and baby both did great!

I don't think Alexis was in the mood for picture taking!

So much work for a picture! from Jessica Hasty on Vimeo.