So, I know you're wondering where I've been for the last week and wondering what I've been doing . You've probably been crying, sobbing and sucking your thumbs in the fetal position because my internet silence was too much to take. Because my life is so interesting, even a few days of not knowing what Karenpie is up to can send you over the edge, man. Over the edge.
Well, not to worry. You can cancel that prescription for antidepressants because I'm ba-ack!
Sheesh. Somebody needs a reality check, huh?
See, I was . . . then I did . . . and then my friends all . . . not to mention how Duane completely and totally . . . . I guess I need to start at the beginning, huh?
So . . last week. Many things happening. Many things on the calendar. All fun things because they were mostly about ME. Since it was my birthday and all. But starting it all off . . .
The first day of school. There were yawns and complaints about the earliness of the hour but I was OK with it because it was my birthday. And since the kids were in school I got the whole day to myself.
After dropping them off at school there was a massage, and Starbucks and the mall. The day could have ended after that but there was more. Oh baby, was there more.
Duane and the kids took me out to Olive Garden. Which is a handy place to go if you:
a) love pasta and
b) have kids whose favorite food group is bread.
Can anyone say, "unlimited bread sticks?"
I don't get why they aren't excited about the unlimited salad. Just one of those mysteries, I guess.
So there we were, sitting in Olive Garden and who should join us but . . . .
My mom and sister! They flew in from Kansas to surprise me. All coordinated by Duane and Patti, who provided airport shuttle service.
I immediately started crying into my napkin. For about 5 minutes. I didn't even get up and hug them. I just lost it. It wasn't exactly a meltdown - more like overwhelming, emotional . . . uh, yeah, I guess it was a meltdown. A really good meltdown! Everybody should have one of those.
It was a blast having them here! We did the usual stuff - puzzles, games, eating lunch with the kids at school and . . .
High tea. No, that isn't one of the usual things we do but Dawn and Patti planned a fun time for us on Saturday. We all went to the Lavender Tea House in Sherwood, OR. This place even supplied the hats! I love Patti's hat - the big red one on the left. It was covered in floaty, red feathers.
(Sorry about the fuzzy picture - we all forgot our cameras and had to use Patti's phone. Once again, a real blogger - which I am not - would never have forgotten her camera.)
So we had tea and shopped a little then returned to Patti's house for . . . another surprise.
Duane, Glenn and Steve greeted us at the door wearing these aprons.
Then they handed us our aprons. Dawn made them. Did you hear that? Dawn made them. She even made the guys' aprons - bow ties and all. She sewed them with her own hands. They were gorgeous! But I doubt if she'll do it again. Don't get any ideas about placing any orders with her or anything. Just sayin'.
See how cute they are? Built in necklaces and fluffy netting. We're all proud owners of High-Maintenance aprons. Everybody should have one.
So, why did we need aprons, you ask? Well, see that lady in the white coat? That's Muffin Batiste. She is owner and executive chef of Le Sous Chef in Vancouver. And - ooh-la-la - she studied in Paris at Cordon Bleu. My sweet husband arranged for her to come give a cooking class for the eight of us!
While we were shopping and drinking tea, the guys had been busy - setting up tables, cleaning the house and helping Muffin prepare for our group. We had an Italian menu to work with and she brought all the ingredients. Once we got there, we all went to work, preparing different parts of the menu.
There was chopping and sauteing. Crushing and slicing. And drinking. There was much drinking of the wine. Lots of wine. Many wine bottles. Many much wine bottles for the drinking. Of it. Yes. And many shenanigans because of the drinking of the wine.
Mom is merely holding someone's glass for them. I think. Either that or she couldn't decide which wine she liked best. I think we had 3 bottles open at once. You should always have a variety, you know.
Some people got tired of all the chopping. They needed more wine on board.
Some people were concerned with the bow ties staying straight. Or something.
So, we made Saffron Risotto, Eggplant Involtino, Beef Carpaccio, Chicken Cacciatori, Polenta and Shrimp Scampi. It was fabulous.
And there was also cake. Oh my word was there cake. Patti got it from Je T'aime Bakery in Vancouver. Triple chocolate layer cake with French Buttercream filling. Fabulous doesn't even begin to cover it. Even the fondant was good. I've been eating it for breakfast because cake = brain food.
And all of this was made possible by my sweet husband - the king and mastermind of sneakiness, clandestine meetings and secret phone calls.
What a week - my family and unforgettable surprises, sweet friends and good food and to top it all off, an amazing husband who doesn't miss a thing.
I'm the most blessed woman alive.