9.30.2013

Miscellany Monday

I did not plan on being all quiet on the western bloggy front for so long but one thing apparently led to another, one day bled into the next and there you have it.

The fall soccer season is getting back into full swing.

Annelise has moved up to the next age group, the 10-12 year olds, and is feeling a bit intimidated seeing as how the majority of her team is 11 or 12. Maybe it will end up being a good thing by making her push herself more, be aggressive and hone her skills. 
Saturday was their first game which they lost something like 5-2. But whatever.

Annelise took a ball to the face but was all NBD. She's tough, that girl of mine.

I do miss her former coach and am keeping my fingers firmly crossed that he will move up to the next age group (once his son turns 10) in the spring. Her current coach, while positive and encouraging, is more of a sideline yeller and that makes me cringe.

In other news, we have a new addition to our family.

Meet Snowball.

And we're starting to think it's Mister Snowball. If you know what I mean.
Two weeks ago I went away with The Girls (more on that to come) and came home with a rabbit.

As you do.

Annelise was beyond thrilled.
After an embarrassingly long hiatus (like since the spring) I finally started working on James (one of Beth Moore's studies) again. Last week I did my lessons right after taking Annelise to school and felt like my days went so much better.

Duh.

Of course I haven't started the next week's lessons yet and we're meeting tomorrow to watch the video.

I really suck. Sometimes.
I'm also starting T25 again.

Yeah. That.

I did the first week, and LOVED it, before we went to New York and have been highly hit or miss, mostly miss, ever since.

But here's to getting back on track!
I recently wore booties with shorts, in an effort to embrace, albeit terribly late,  the cool trend and just ended up feeling weird.

Sassy, yes, but still weird.

I think I'll stick with jeans or skirts with my new ankle boots.
Dear Chick-Fil-A Asian salad,
You are my new favorite and I just can't quit you.
Love,
MB
This is my favorite too.

How much do I love the fact she's not too big to hold her daddy's hand?

Yeah, that.

Happy Monday, y'all!

lowercase letters
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9.18.2013

That Time We Went To Mumford And Sons

Y'all.

I can't even.

Contrary to how it might vaguely seem (and really, it doesn't), Scott and I are not very cool. I mean, we have occasional moments of coolness, few and far between, but overall? Nope.

However, somewhere in the ballpark of three or four years ago I discovered (not literally) Mumford and Sons and fell madly in love with their folk slash rock slash I don't know music. Crazy talented. Is what they are.

I never in a million years thought I'd ever get to see them live in concert, because 01.) we never go to concerts because we aren't cool and b.) their shows are always sold out. Well. Last month a friendly blog reader commented that she and her husband had tickets to see M&S in The Woodlands and they wouldn't be able to go (the concert was originally scheduled for June but Ted, the bass player, had to have emergency brain surgery and had to recuperate, as one does, so it was rescheduled for September 17th) and would I like to buy the tickets?

??

Um, YES!

So that is how Scott and I came to find ourselves sitting on beach towels on a hill, sweating, among hundreds (thousands?) of others (mostly all younger and much more hipster-y than we) last night.
But the neither heat nor the the crowds could diminish my enthusiasm and general giddiness for getting to see Mumford and Sons live. Scott was excited too, but more in a curious way since he didn't know their songs like I did (he is now a believer, trust me). Annelise begged to go in his place (she loves them--we skip the two songs with the frog bomb, but not only was it a school night, we didn't think a ten year old--at least our ten year old-- belonged there (although there were two younger kids with their parents right beside us, so...hmmm.)

We actually had pretty good seats, I mean patches of grass, with a nice view of the left side of the stage without many obstructions. We briefly pondered renting chairs but decided to let our bottoms brave it.
There were two folk/rock opening acts, a band called Mystery Band (I think), they were good and then Johnny Flynn, which was also very good.
By the time Mumford and Sons hit the stage at 9:00 the Pavilion was packed (more than seen here) and we were ready.

From the opening song of Lover's Eyes (I actually got a little teary, what?) to the encore of The Cave these guys played their hands off and sang their hearts out. Their energy was AMAZING!!
I really liked how the lights and special effects complemented their performance, nothing was too over the top or showy, so nothing distracted from the music and their talent. I also liked how the big screens showed close ups of them performing with a sepia or black and white hue, it really suited their style. My favorite was when the lights were down and the *patio lights* were on, like they were singing in my back yard. As if.
I loved every moment.

And I woke up this morning still singing along with them in my head.

As you do.
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9.13.2013

New York 2013: Day Two

I can't bury the lead.

I have to straight up tell you that this was my favorite day in New York. Don't get me wrong, I adored each and every single one of them for different reasons, but this one particular day was practically perfect in every way.

We started with an insane breakfast here, which is inside the Le Parker Meridien hotel. It's not something you could do on a regular basis, not only because of expense and calories, but because then it wouldn't be so special.
Annelise ordered the blueberry pancakes, which were delicious, but she could only eat 1/4 of them because they took up almost the entire circumference of her plate. Scott got eggs and bacon and I ordered their light and healthy omelet (egg whites with sautéed veggies hidden inside) but added Swiss cheese on principle. They also had fresh squeezed orange juice and I had my own carafe of coffee, so we were quite happy little clams.

Oh Sweet Mary.

I'm still dreaming about that breakfast.

We had to pose for a selfie to document our morning. As you do.
Sidenote: Annelise got two early birthday gifts, a new Vera Bradley hipster in Cocoa Moss from Pappo and Grandma Peggy, which was PERFECT for our trip and sparkly silver Sperry topsiders from us (seen above).

After breakfast we roamed around 5th Avenue briefly. As you do.
(Of course we did it wrong by having breakfast before Tiffany's, oh well.)
The Plaza must be undergoing some sort of renovation because it was almost completely covered in a painted tarp.
Of course, we had to go to FAO Schwarz. How could we not?
Annelise had no earthly idea why we were so excited to *force* her to play on the Big Piano, although we tried to explain it was from a movie, she wasn't as impressed as we were. Someday she'll see Big and *get it*.
We had fun going throughout the whole store, thankfully it wasn't very crowded that morning. Annelise decided to buy a small stuffed animal, a red panda, immediately named Ripley, that supported the Central Park Zoo. It was a win win (plus he's really cute). You'll see him in almost all future photos, most likely stuffed under her arm.

Next up, culture.
Brace yourselves for an obnoxious amount of photos, I may have gone a wee bit overboard. Sometimes I can't help myself. I liked it all! (Mostly.) Also? These aren't all of them, I refrained from posting ones that showed body parts we don't normally see publicly, yet are referred to as art. You're welcome.

After touring the second level we decided to go all the way up to the top floor (6th) and work our way down. We didn't see everything on every floor, like the architecture (sorry), but still managed to see most everything else. At least I think so, and my feet agreed with me.
Annelise started out all gung-ho with her headphones and iPod audio thingie, but soon lost interest. Sigh.
Eventually, there was a lot of this. Even Ripley lost interest.
We all loved the gift shop, even though it was crowded. Annelise hoped they'd have duct tape, but alas, they did not.
All you need is love, love is all you need.
Of course, Annelise thinks she needs One Direction too.

Next up, a late lunch in Madison Square Park. I loved this area! The Flatiron is one of my favorites, I adore quirky things.
This was our first Shake Shack experience and we are now believers.
There are several locations around the city but the one in Madison Square is the original, I'm glad that was the one we went to. However, I wish we'd gotten the cheese sauce for our fries. We did get custard (their version of soft serve) after our burgers, which was the perfect ending to our afternoon in the park.

A few more gratuitous Flatiron shots before we left.
Since we still had plenty of time we decided to head over to Washington Square Park so I could have a When Harry Met Sally moment (I love that movie, and I adored Nora Ephron) (the arch is where Sally dropped Harry off after their drive across country and they told each other to have a nice life).
Annelise was entranced by a performer singing Maroon 5, so much so she coughed up a dollar to drop in her guitar case.

We bought waters and found a place in the shade to relax and get our people watch on. This was a GREAT park for that!
Later, we trudged through Times Square (gag!) to get back to our hotel to freshen up and rest a bit before heading out...
for this. 

(!!)
This was my third time (and Scott's second, he's a good egg) to see Wicked, but it was Annelise's first and after listening to the music off and on over the past few years and knowing tidbits of the story she was beyond excited to finally see Elphaba and Glenda (the Ga is silent). 

I can't even tell you how thrilled I was to watch her watch the stage, see her face splitting grins, hear her laugh and *get it*.

This was the best night ever!

How could it get better? Well, cheesecake of course!
Junior's was probably the best cheesecake I've had, just the right amount of cheesiness to sweetness ratio (don't get me wrong, I love Cheesecake Factory, but sometimes they're over the top). Annelise abstained from cheesecake, as she is wont to do, and had an enormous chocolate chip cookie instead.

As we walked back to our hotel I noticed this on the street.
A perfect ending to a perfect New York day!

More stories and photos coming soon to a computer near you. Stay thirsty, my friends.

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