Sorry it’s taken me so long to post. I had gotten in a pretty good routine in writing, but with my birthday and all the football weekends in a row, I fell apart this week. My apologies.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that we didn’t do a menu this week. That was for a couple of reasons: 1) we ate at the Melting Pot last week and had a birthday dinner out this week as well for Lita and 2) we did a lot of grocery shopping for the tailgate. So this week, we tried not to shop and make do with what was in the house…though we were able to do that, our meals this week are embarrassing (though yummy) and not at all gourmet.
So to catch you up, here’s what things went down since my last post.
Thursday night, Tanner took me to dinner at the Melting Pot for my birthday. They were doing a fabulous “Big Night Out” menu so we ordered off that and had the yummy Yin Yang chocolate. I was so full by the time we left there, I thought I was absolutely going to burst. It was so worth it.
Friday, Tanner and I were both off. It was nice to have a long birthday weekend, but, honestly, by Sunday night…I was exhausted. Here’s why: Friday we had a few errands to run and some cooking to do. So we got up and took my car to have my oil changed, went grocery shopping, unloaded groceries, went to pick up my car, then we parted ways for a bit. Tanner went to finish some things for my birthday and I went to my aunt Becky’s house to fill out some paperwork for my retirement. After visiting with her for a little bit, I went to Target to get some things I needed for the weekend. When I got home, I started making Tanner’s mom’s buttermilk biscuits for the breakfast themed tailgate on Saturday. I made 40 biscuits. The first 20 or so, were pretty good, but had a funny taste to them…what I later learned was caused by the fact that the Crisco we used for that batch was probably 30 years old. When we switched over to the new batch, the biscuits turned out famously. So, so good. (If you’ll recall, Tanner said he wouldn’t marry someone who didn’t know how to make biscuits. Well now I know how to make two kinds!)
After all that cooking was done, we went to the Belcher’s house to see a bunch of our friends who had come into town for the weekend. It was nice for me because I finally got to meet all the people I had heard about, but never met. Like PJ and Adrian! We hung out there for a few hours and then went home (duh, it was almost my birthday!). When we got home, I opened my birthday presents from Tanner. I got a satellite radio for my car (to be installed on Sunday this weekend) and the complete series of Daria (from MTV) on DVD. Fun gifts! Then I passed out from Friday exhaustion.
Saturday, we did the tailgate. I got up early and cracked and scrambled 69 eggs and then helped Tanner pack the cooler. When we got to the tailgate that Louis and Shaun had set up, we started the morning off with Mimosas. After people started arriving (around 10am), Shaun and I manned the grill. He cooked the bacon and I cooked the eggs. We were quite a tag-team. People loved the eggs and bacon and biscuits. The only downfall, and I should have planned ahead for this, was all the bacon grease that got thrown out. As a true southern woman, I keep that in a Tupperware dish in my fridge all year and use it at Christmas. So that stunk, but that was the only thing that did. When Kristin showed up, she brought me a cake Shaun had picked up the night before for me. Crystal hung a Happy Birthday sign for me and tons of food showed up. By the time the day was done, there were three cakes, a ton of breakfasty things, and lots and lots of people. Tanner’s parents even showed up with their friends Rob and Debbie.
The ONLY disappointment of my birthday was that I was so prepared to do something funny. If you don’t know, Tanner’s mom teaches high school Spanish…and my Spanish is terrible! So I’ve been practicing a couple of lines (that Tanner gets a big kick out of and thought his mom would too). So he wrote them down for me and helped me practice them all week…this makes me sound stupid because once you see them, you’ll think…”So Easy!”
Basically, he was teaching me to say, “Oh my gosh! What a shame!” because he thought Silvia would appreciate it and because I am in the position to say those things a lot…because I’m clumsy. He thought it would be a perfect opportunity for me to say it at the tailgate…and in all the excitement…I forgot! 😦 So hopefully, the next time I see her, I will do something klutzy so I can say my phrase in perfect Spanish.
Tanner’s parents brought me a huge almond cake with orange and white icing and a new camera. The camera was so awesome! What was even more awesome about it was that I couldn’t find my old camera at the house on Saturday morning (even though I eventually found it in my purse later) so I was kind of bummed that I couldn’t take any pictures on my birthday. But when they brought me the camera, I was so excited because Eddie even took the time to charge it up for me so I could play with it right away. So sweet! Anyway, the camera is one of the new cameras with a screen on the front so that when you take pictures of yourself (and I do them a lot with my sister), you can see from the front of the camera how it’s going to look. It’s really neat. Debbie and Rob brought me some cute tailgating napkins and some fun stationary. Here are some pictures from the tailgate:
After we put things from the tailgate away, we headed to the game. Luckily (and because it was my birthday) we got the shade pretty quickly…after about 5 minutes into the first quarter, we were sitting in the shade and actually very comfortable. Though we didn’t win, it was a good game to watch (Note: I think that Tennessee fans need to start being a little more loyal and understanding to the guys on the field. Its been a tough few years and they’re doing pretty good despite all that. I think people could have put on a braver face and stuck around for a little while even though we were losing. I know it was hot, but we should support them! Rant over!).
Sunday, I had to work a shift for the Junior League at Families in the Kitchen in World’s Fair Park. It was only three hours and I worked an early shift, so it wasn’t too bad. After I got home from that I said I needed a nap, and I took one. Then we went to my mom’s to have dinner with her and my sister and Courtney. From Courtney, I got a gift card to Express (very nice!) and from my sister I got some Chanel Chance perfume. From my mom I got a Vera Bradley lunch bag with my name on it and a pink Timex IronMan watch for working out. After dinner was done, the Riley’s came down for a little bit to see me and hang out. Here’s a picture of me and my sister and our favorite neighbor Kendal:
After we got home from that, I could barely keep my eyes open. We decided (like I said) not to grocery shop this week. So we planned the menu on Sunday night before I went to bed. We did grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup on Monday. Tuesday, we ate out with the Belcher’s and Loher’s for Lita’s birthday at Oodles in Market Square.
Here’s a picture of the beautiful Belcher child, Eli, making funny faces at me during his mother’s birthday dinner:
Yesterday, I had to work late for the Chancellor’s Fall Faculty meeting, so Tanner cooked up some Mac and Cheese and since I snacked at the event, I only had a bowl of that for dinner last night (and a piece of cake). Tonight we’re suppose to have leftover Pinto Beans and cornbread. We don’t know what we’ll eat tomorrow, but probably more leftovers.
Though it was tiring, my birthday weekend was awesome and I felt so blessed to be surrounded by good friends and family that I love so much. Papa Jerry pointed out that this was my last birthday as a Taylor…and he’s right. How exciting is that? Very! I must say though, I am so grateful to everyone for making me feel so special on my birthday weekend. For those of you that don’t know, I was born on my grandfather’s birthday. I called him Pop and every year he took me out to one of Knoxville’s nicer restaurants for dinner, just the two of us. It was a nice tradition and one that I miss very much. I miss him all the time, but more so on my birthday, so it was nice to be surrounded by people who love and support me as much as he did. It just further solidified the fact that at this time in my life, I only need to have people around me who have a positive outlook on the love and life that Tanner and I share. I don’t need anymore drama, and as of this weekend, I am cleansed of that.
So, now you’re all caught up. Hopefully, I’ll have a yummy menu to report on Sunday! Thanks again to everyone who was a part of my special weekend!
To end this post, I wanted to post two pictures I came across while uploading my most recent pictures. The first is of Tanner and I from December of this year I think…though I didn’t upload it until April. I think it was when we were celebrating John Billing’s birthday…I just loved how happy and real this picture is. It truly illustrates what I feel for him and what I hope my life is like forever.
This picture is what happened later…on the night we got engaged. This is the only photo of us from the night we got engaged…and I am so sad it’s not that great. Our waiter, who we loved, was probably drunk because he sampled wine with us all night. But, this is the real-est picture that captured that moment…luckily, Katherine took us back to Regas for our engagement session and we got some really good, fun pictures. But this will always be the one that captures the real moment of our engagement.
I picked this dress because it was our Valentine’s Day dinner, and because I anticipated that Tanner might be popping the question at dinner…it was super fitted and so hot…I also picked it knowing that I’m going to have to fit back into that dress next year, and maybe every Valentine’s Day from here on out so that I can keep myself in check (and to let the hubs know that I still got it! :))