We've been up to some exciting things this past week and are getting ready for some exciting things to come!
First, we are planning for a couple of trips this year. As you already know, we are going to Talladega again, but as of Monday, we are going to take a trip to New York at the beginning of June to see my brother and.... Nine Inch Nails! We are going to be seeing them from the third row at Starlight in May, but Brian also scored us two eighth row tickets to see them at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey (about an hour from Manhattan).
We are going to rent a car for a day and do a little sight seeing in NJ and elsewhere and then end up at the concert. I think it's going to be a blast. Neither of us have seen any of NJ, so it should be fun, as well as the whole driving downtown in NYC.
Secondly, Brian celebrated another birthday this past week. I made him a dinner last Friday of shrimp, tenderloin fillets with roasted red pepper and black olive sauce, roasted asparagus and twice baked potatoes. All excellent. And remember this cheesecake I tried to make? Well, it was a success! Sort of.
It really tasted amazing, but I don't think I will make it again. I don't think the recipe is written well for somebody who doesn't really know how to make a cheesecake (I think you need to use bigger than a 9" springform pan, and you cannot take the ring off the pan after 10 minutes, but more like after 10 hours, and the chocolate for the topping becomes rock hard, which makes the cake impossible to cut after the fact, so presentation ends up being a pile of mush). But anyways, it tasted awesome, and still does!
The birthday celebration continued with a good dinner at Lidia's (and I say good, because it wasn't excellent for many reasons that I don't feel like going into, but overall I wouldn't recommend this restaurant for what you have to pay) with Brian's mom, sister and niece. They also brought him awesome presents- this camping chair from Cabela's, a bluetooth headset to wear in the car, and a fancy bottle of Cabernet.
And last but not least, our household projects have made some progress. I spent many, many hours prepping, taping, and painting the the rest of the walls on our main floor.
Before (ugly peach/tan walls):
After (warm, brown/grey/green inviting walls):
This is going to allow us to trim out the doorways and put up crown molding in the next month or two. And to help us bring home the crown molding, Brian bought an attachment for his truck so we can haul 16 foot boards (it was this or a trailer, I picked the cheaper option).
Brian stayed busy in the garage putting up more shelves and rearranging in the never ending fight to make a two car garage feel like a three car garage.
Brian also built us a side table to use when we are on the deck relaxing in our lounge chairs. It works perfectly!
And we haven't left Monkey out of all the fun. He had a blast playing with Brian's mom in the backyard.
He's also been learning a new trick- "bow". It's a tough one, so he's defiant and only does it when he really feels like it or when there's really good treats around. And on Sunday he got to go to the Shawnee Mission dog park and play with the millions of other dogs that were there. His favorite thing is to swim in the water and try to steal balls from other dogs after they have fetched them for their owner. Next time we need to bring our own ball so he is not ruining other dogs' fun.
I guess that's it for now. We will keep you updated on the progress of our current home projects as well as future projects. Stay tuned!