Wednesday, April 4, 2012

a birthday visit!

I love birthdays.

Even when they're not my own, I still really, really enjoy them.

My mom came to visit me!!! And she came to visit during her birthday, which was a real treat.
There was a lot going on around here, and we took many naps, ate yummy food and got to do some really great things! Including seeing Dusty in his Moot Court Tournament (WOOT!) and going to the Hunger Games premier with a bunch of our friends.

What a stud!
Dusty had his first moot court experiences that week, starting on Tuesday and Thursday, and going until Friday because he was just TOO GOOD.
He kept making it through to the next round!
Mom and I got to sit in and watch him...not gonna lie, my palms were sweating on his behalf! He did an incredible job. The girl he was going against was also stellar (she ended up making it to the final round!)
I was so impressed, despite a lot of the language going right over my head. Such an intimidating scenario!
Out of the 90 people in his class, Dusty made it to the top 8. I seriously could NOT be more proud!
He had been sure his round on Friday that he would be done; he was disappointed that he had stumbled on one of the questions, and knew that he wouldn't proceed.
I think he was genuinely surprised when his name was called and slotted into the top 8...but I wasn't. :)

His last moot court session was set to end JUST before our showing of the Hunger Games. So while he and our other friend Chris stayed back at the law school to prepare for the next round, the rest of us headed over for a pre-Hunger Games feast!

"Peeta" Bread (pun intended)
Mellark Family Cupcakes
(with goat cheese frosting!)

Nightlock, Berry Salad
Rue's Harvest, broccoli salad
The Hob counter, coleslaw and baked beans
The Sponsors/Cornucopia cheese platter
The Capitol Spuds:
 filling baked potatoes with fresh sour cream, bacon and cheese
The Katniss Kill...pulled pork!
We set up all the food at Chris and Heather's house, and had a blast eating and talking excitedly about the movie. Most of us had read the books (including mom, as I had given her the assignment of reading them before she came). 
After dinner, half of us split up to head to the theatre and get in line, while a few of us went to the law school to leave a car there for our boys that were hard at work! They met us there right on time, and we got to all enjoy the movie together.

P is for PEETA!
(this Peeta letter necklace is now hanging on my lamp in our room)
Such a fun night! We went to Bloop (our favorite frozen yogurt spot) afterwards, and then headed home for a good night's sleep.

Saturday was farmer's market day in downtown Lynchburg, so the three of us headed down there to shop for some fresh fruit and veggies for our new juicer!! That's right. We are now the juicing kind. :)
Mom and Dusty had never been down to the farmer's market (they have it every Saturday) so it was really fun showing them around. We got a lot of great stuff, including some fresh homemade butter and some chocolate covered strawberries, which were absolutely delicious! I would highly recommend them, for any of you local folks.

We also tried an all-new (to us) Mexican food restaurant downtown that ended up being pretty delicious!
El Mariachi offered a very nice waiter, and some MUCH better salsa than the first place we tried. Bottom line, is that every time I eat Mexican food here, it's like...drinking decaf coffee when you need a caffeine fix. BUT, at least I feel somewhat better after eating it.
El Mariachi is the best we've tried so far.

That night we got to go to another birthday party for some Lynchburg friends that we actually knew from Arizona! Mom hadn't seen Susan in a long while, since her move to it was a blast to see them hang out together, and be just as silly as always.

While we were at the party, there were some storm clouds blooming on the horizon. It ended up including a tornado watch! We saw the storm slowly building up, and before long, the pouring rain began.

We had a very rainy, thundery night!

By the next morning, things were fairly calmed down. No tornado, thank goodness! Although we had planned to all crouch into the downstairs bathroom with Luna, we were much happier with no major weather catastrophes.

Monday was BIRTHDAY!
I woke mom up with some coffee and breakfast, and we had a relaxing day planned. Dusty had class, so we had some girl time!
We did a little shopping at the J. Crew outlet in Wyndhurst, then arrived at our nail appointment.

Red and Mint toes!
I just love getting my nails done. It had been way too long! It's even more fun with mom.
We headed to one of my favorite places for lunch, called Milan. It's where we go out to eat with my boss and coworkers, whenever there's a birthday or any other reason to celebrate. I would have never found it by myself (it's in a somewhat sketchy strip mall), but now I find myself craving it!

Dusty was a really good sport.
I've been trying to get him to try this place for weeks, but he was really turned off by the idea of Indian food. Their lunch is full buffet style, so I convinced him that there would be at least one thing that he could manage to eat.
My personal favorites:

Legit Chai Tea. YUM. I drink gallons of this stuff.

Mango Pudding. Seriously good; real Mango flavor. Delish.

He managed to try pretty much everything :)
That's a face of pure enjoyment. (and fortitude).

It was such a nice lunch! It's a nice and quiet restaurant, and I always find myself extremely relaxed after eating there. It's probably the belly full of Chai that does the trick.

That night, we had reservations at Main St. Eatery.
We had never been before, but had heard it was a charming local place with extremely good, quality food. A little on the pricier side, but perfect for a birthday dinner!
They also had their "March Madness" going on, which offered a buy one, get one free entree! Which was pretty perfect. (and allowed us to all get dessert!)

Super cute downtown, yes?
 Everyone at the restaurant was so nice.
Everyone seemed to know it was mom's birthday! Word spread, and she got many happy birthday wishes from waiters and even from the owner herself.

Bruschetta/Warm Goat Cheese dip

Mom and Dusty both got this mouth-watering entree.

This was the "Steak Frites" (steak with fries) with Rosemary butter. Oh, my my my.

We made sure to save room for dessert, so mom got this little birthday doggie bag!

They wheel out this gargantuan cart full of delectables, and pretty much dare you to say no.

Happy Birthday to mom!!

We enjoyed the delicious dessert, Dusty with his chocolate (of course) me with my hazelnut pie, and mom with her pecan. I got my typical cappuccino to seal the deal, and the evening ended on happy thoughts and full bellies.

It also ended with these weird sugar-coated citrus rinds, which I wouldn't necessarily recommend.
But eh, to each his own.

I'm so glad mom got to come with the beautiful Spring weather, and to see all of the gorgeous blooms!! The trees were sprouted their green before our eyes, and the blossoms came and went in the few days that she was here. It was perfect timing!

We also finished a really cool project in our living room (mom did most all the prep and sewing and...well, she did everything, since I was at work).



I'll be posting more reformed living room pictures soon, because we also just got a new chair to go in that space between the newly curtained book/dvd shelf, and the couch! Dusty is in love with it. 
It will soon be slip-covered, and our apartment will look more put together than it ever has before :)
I'm lovin' it!

Quick story about the chair...

We found the chair for $20 on a Lynchburg yard sale site, through Facebook. I had been looking for both a comfy chair and a coffee table, so when I spotted the chair (an ugly pink, with some spots on it, but still fluffy, comfy and in great condition! A La-Z-Boy!) I couldn't resist. 
We drove about 15 minutes away to meet the guy, and he was incredibly nice. He helped us try to fit the chair into our car (to no avail), and it was a surprisingly warm day. We then tried to fit it in the trunk, but that also wasn't working. 
He then pulled some old rags from his truck and put them between the chair legs and the bumper so it wouldn't get scratched, and grabbed one of his own bungee cords to secure it. I started feeling really sad that he had done so much work, for only $20. Their original asking price had been $25, so I told him I was going to write him a new check for $25. 

Once we got in the car, Dusty slammed the door, "Caitlin, you just gave that guy $45 bucks!" I stared. "What? Whadya mean?" Dusty sighed. "You had already given him the first one; why didn't you just write the second one for $5??"
It was probably one of the stupidest things I have ever done. I didn't even say, "Go ahead and tear up the first one" or "Let me have the first one back", I just gave him two checks. So, long story short, I was an a panic the rest of the day, hoping the goodness of the man's heart would overlook my incredibly stupidity.

And it did :)

He only cashed the $25 one. Sweet man. 

Happy times!
In love,