I'm not sure what happened today, but I crossed every single thing off my work to-do list. [Unprecedented] The risk was ambitious, especially given that I had to leave work at 3:00 to pick up the girls and return in time for a 4:15 meeting. Wild.
I left work at 5:00 and brought the girls home. M2 had her last basketball practice at 7:00. Before we left the house at 6:30, I quickly went through some coupons and mapped out a quick trip to a market where I rarely go to "save" money. I go there because they have meat and produce I trust and wonderful other things. I realized the other day that they double coupons to a dollar--didn't realize that. Tonight with my Club Card and manufacturer's coupons, I saved 21%. That's hot.
I dropped M2 at her practice site and went to Kohl's before heading to the market. My sister had given me a Kohl's gift card for my birthday (in addition to coming to my surprise birthday dinner...did I tell you about that?! Oh, jeeze! I will in a sec) and I used it to take 50% off a sweet programmable slow cooker from Hamilton Beach.
I can't wait to try it!
I'm especially fired up because there is a probe on the slow cooker for meat recipes. When the meat reaches the proper temperature according to the probe, the slow cooker turns itself to the warming temperature rather than continuing to actively cook the meat.
I liked the idea also that it can be manual if I want--like when I'm home or we're making stuff on game day--it doesn't have to be programmable for that. We can keep an eye on things to keep it from boiling itself to pieces. I just found a recipe for macaroni and cheese in the crockpot, so I may give that a whirl. I think my husband would like that. I'm also super excited to try oatmeal overnight in the slow cooker. It could open up a whole new morning routine for me.
Anyway, did awesome at the store, came home, unloaded the groceries and enjoyed some quiet. This was a nice way to kick off the week.
Back to my birthday!
On the Saturday after my birthday, I was hanging out, doing some computer work, waiting to go to M2's basketball game when my Facebook chat window popped open. My friend, Mo, was messaging me to tell me that I was being kidnapped at 5:30 to go to dinner and then out. My husband had planned this huge surprise for me. I couldn't believe it!
My sister drove down and met me, Mo and my friend from law school, Brandy, for dinner at my very favorite restaurant. Once other tables celebrating birthdays were treated to the wait staff signing in Spanish, it became something that was going to happen at our table.
I supposed that whatever would make my table mates happy was fine with me.
I was still so gobsmacked that my husband was able to do this in secret. I was also so thankful that some carefully placed comments from my friends made him realize that I, who often don't appreciate being surprised, would appreciate this so much more if I had some fair warning so I could shower and dress appropriately before being abducted into the minivan of my dear friend. It was an awesome dinner. I have never been disappointed at the restaurant! It was fun to be there when my sister ate there for the first time too. I am enjoying spending more time with my sister--I think as we get older, we appreciate each other so much more than we did as kids.
We snapped one of the very best photos while we waited for the second part of the evening to begin.
There were some photos later--my hair was frizzier later from all the humidity generated by all the dancing.
We had a magnificent night. I fared pretty well the next day which was amazing considering all the drinks of mixed varieties that people purchased for me in honor of my 40th year. I closed out the evening with gin and tonic, though. And, as we all know, gin and tonic is clean burning fuel. That and a couple of sips of a new friend's Maker's Mark and it all worked out just fine. This was such a good night and a super way to close out what had been such a sad week.
My husband is a keeper. And, my friends, including my sister, definitely are.