The Family Zoo

Grammie and Pea came to town!

We didn’t see them at Christmastime, and it had been since early November since we’d gotten together to keep visits as minimal as possible.

The boys missed them so much, and they were jumping up and down when they heard Gus barking to announce their car was in the driveway! 

I think Gus was the most excited.

Grammie usually brings him a treat and he remembers!

Meet Barkley

Our family friend, Cheryl, crochets critters, and my mom had two made for the boys. Birch’s is birch tree colors and he came with the name Barkley! Mazen’s has long wild hair :mrgreen: 

If you’re interested in having her make one for your children, you can see her business here!

Llamas are trendy

Mom has been selling Llama paintings recently (very on trend). The bubble background on this one was made with the insulated wrapping in one of her Blue Apron boxes! 

Puzzles are too!

We did this Melissa and Doug puzzle set 100 times with Birch over the weekend. And mom and I had a competition to see who could build two the fastest! 

I used to love these boxes to take to restaurants with Mazen – they travel well!

Rainy Night Dinner

We had chicken thighs, and mom’s famous mac and cheese for dinner. Plus garlicky sautéed spinach and peppers and some Italian red dad brought.

And for dessert….cake!

Where there is mom, there is cake. I picked up a few cake flights from Sliced Cake Bar! Such fun!


Mazen got a fancy Lego from Grammie and Pea for Christmas and spent ALL DAY building it. Anything that occupies an 8 year old for 10 hours is worth its weight in gold : ) 

We had bagels and cream cheese and bacon and fruit for breakfast! Birch always gets half of my grapefruit in his bowl <3 

Day Date

Mom offered for us to go on a date, but since we’re not eating inside restaurants and the weather has been quite cold, there wasn’t really much for us to do after sunset. So we went on a day date instead. I had on two pairs of pants and all the cold weather accessories!

Our first stop was the Birdwood Golf Course (Thomas’s other home) where we had a mini putt-putt challenge.

I’m a Lefty!

Lunch on the patio

41* but we had heaters! We shared an IPA… because it was a date!

I had a pimento cheese grilled cheese with a little side salad.

Thomas enjoyed this smoked pulled pork. We traded bites!

Ragged Mountain Hike

Our next stop was a hike around the Ragged Mountain reservoir. Anything to keep moving and warm!

We encountered some nice turtles…

And bears!

Back home we found Grammie and Birch playing more puzzles!

Fancy Steak Dinner

We took hot showers and prepared a Blue Apron steak dinner for the fam. Blue Apron has premium recipes you can add to your box, and these NY Strip steaks with truffle butter seemed like a special meal to make for company. They were fabulous (we added some more of mom’s mac and cheese). The truffle butter totally made the meal! We also had plenty of food for 5 (including Mazen) so the portions were plentiful. 

Scout + Cellar cab on the side!


We spent a cozy Sunday playing with every toy in our house, and then Thomas and I headed to our weekly outdoor soccer pickup game, yet again bundled up. I can’t wait until we can enjoy indoor activities again – or the earth warms up for spring! 

On Sunday night we enjoyed pizza (a fan favorite) and the rest of the cake flight flavors. 

Here’s to a peaceful and respectful transition of power. And a better political future.