Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Over the Hump and A Little Bit Under It

Hello and Happy Wednesday! I just introduced my children to the term "hump day," and even though things like "time" and "days" are nebulous concepts these days, they were all very taken with the phrase. And Wednesday does feel like getting over a hump. It's just one more day to Friday Pizza-and-Top-Chef Day, then Saturday Teach-Yoga-Day, then Sunday Teach-Barre-Day. And then it's back to the shapeless soup of work and school days for a while, but there will be another hump day and the pizza will rise again.

Quite literally, actually! I made that Chicago-style pizza I linked to the in the last post and readers, it was a crowning achievement of my life so far.

It took two rises, a full stick of butter, approximately 4 hours in and out of the kitchen, the lamination of pizza dough- a term I only know from my obsession with the Great British Baking Show, and the consumption of at least half a bottle of wine but it was done and it was perfect and I have never been more proud.

It was so, so good. Everything a Chicago-style pizza should be. Flaky and light, yet substantive. Cheesy, but not too much. Saucy, to better dip the extra crust. I ate half of one 9" pie and then spent the rest of the night wishing there were leftovers I could pick at until I was filled to the brim with pizza and regret. I craved it all day Saturday. I'm making it again Friday and this time I'm not sharing with the kids. You'll find me on the couch on Friday night, holding a half-filled pizza/cake pan to my chest and snarling at anyone who looks at it.

In other projects, we decided this would be a great time to repaint the interior of our house. Prior to Fort Worth, we had never lived anywhere longer than 3.5 years, so we had never really needed to touch up anything around the house. But now that we've been here eight (eight!!) years, I'm realizing that just because we painted something after we moved in, doesn't mean it's new anymore. Roots, we now have them. Along with some chipped paint.

And since I am someone who likes a good project, and James is someone who likes doing meticulous things, AND because we have significantly more time than money for the foreseeable future, we decided to paint! I sent James out with a mask and a list and imagined evenings filled with the calm and soothing brushing of walls, followed by mornings spent basking in the beauty of fresh paint and clean lines.

Turns out, I fucking hate painting. I hate it a lot and I now want to be soothed only by sitting on the couch and reading the next Throne of Glass book (I'm on the last one; sob).

But here is our hallway! Part of the original bungalow built in 1949, it was 5 shades of light cream that we never noticed because we're not in this hallway much (it connects the kids room, hall bath, and TV room add-on, all of which you can get to other ways) and most of the bulbs had been burned out. Now it is one shade of crisp bright white (BM Chantilly Lace)- including the ceiling which an interesting mix of 3 shades of light cream. We still need to do the trim, but it already looks so nice. We fixed the lights and I really feel like we've welcomed this hallway into our home now. Now I just need to find something fun and super colorful to put on the walls.

Next up was the hall/girls bath. The one we budet-renovated right after we moved here that we always planned to revisit one day. For now that just involved painting it the same light blue as the living room, kitchen, and foyer (the color I picked out in 2 minutes the first month we moved here and continue to absolutely adore), repainting all the trim, and touching up the cabinets. So far we've done the walls. And by "we" I mean James. They look great!

Our little local hardware store didn't have the paint we needed for our baseboards, so James is picking that up tomorrow. That's going to be a terrible project but is by far the most needed update. We had 3 toddlers in this house and the baseboards are super scuffed up. I'll be sure to offer him a lot of moral support from the couch while I guard my leftover pizza. I've also picked out new paint colors for our bedroom and look forward to finally finishing that project we've slowly been working on since we moved in. (First round when we moved in; 2019 decor update here; the last chapter (for now) will be a (gorgeous! teal!) accent wall in the back, a bright white ceiling, and dove white walls, plus new linens and some final decorating touches that are going to be GREAT as soon as the swim school reopens and I can buy them.)

All joking and paint-hating aside, I do love the evolution of our home. The roots we've planted here and the personal stamp we've put on the house. It was built 71 years ago, has had 7 previous owners, and everyone has added to it (many quite literally; originally a 1200 square foot little bungalow, it's now nearly 3,000 square feet). I've loved seeing my babies, then toddlers, and now big kids playing under the same giant oak tree out front, a tree that has been growing there since before the house was built around it. I love the settled feeling I get walking in the door. I love knowing it's ours, that it reflects us, that it is so personal to our preferences and our life. My mom always made our home beautiful growing up - even on a budget and in tight spaces, like our teeny little house in LA, I always thought our home was so beautiful and put-together. Our rooms were always decorated, everything was always organized- I was always very proud of it. It remains true in their home(s) today and it's one of those things that stuck with me. Everyone has different priorities, but a beautiful home is one of mine. And if I have to paint some baseboards, I will, even if my talents are CLEARLY better suited to online window shopping for the perfect beautiful master bedroom decor while James does the painting.

On a less positive note, applying for CARES Act self-employed unemployment benefits for James has been something of a nightmare and, as things look less hopeful for him to even reopen this summer, winning the battle to get them has grown increasingly important and simultaneously increasingly depressing. The frustration of calling 100+ times a day without getting through and repeatedly having to use the word "unemployment" in reference to something you built that was really successful and a source of such pride is hard. And we can pay our mortgage and feed our children! And then I get so overwhelmed thinking of those who can't and, well, that has been a hard aspect to this week.

New normal; I still smiled for the selfie

But things are good, really. The kids remain incredibly resilient and very content to play with one another.

Scooter gang

Maggie is fabulous and is working hard to keep up the sartorial standards of the family.

(When I took that picture it was mid-afternoon and I was still in my pajamas.)

We couldn't find her for a while on Sunday afternoon when we realized the garage door was open, so of course she was in her chariot, waiting patiently until someone found her and took her for a walk.

So of course we did.

I taught my yoga and barre classes, something I continue to truly love.

Maggie helps me practice. Many calories were burned.

Which was good because I continue to exercise not a lot outside of my teaching. I have the best of intentions, but though I have the time, the ability, and the knowledge- I am literally certified to teach classes, I just don't. Something has to give and apparently this is my thing that is giving. Or so my excuses go. I know I always feel better when I move, and god knows I'm terrified to step on the scale at this opint, but ugh. I work all day in my bedroom, help with the kids and make dinner and anything more just feels hard. I did manage a Zoom Sculpt class Tuesday night in the girls' room where no one knew I was hiding and never found me.

Fancy pink in-home studio

The kids continue to mostly live in forts, which cracks me up. Because when you're trapped in your home, what sounds better than hanging out in an even tinier home?

I love that they've taken the time to add some art and family photos to this one. Like my mom passed on to me, it's always nice to feather your nest.

And so that's where we've been and where we're at: perfect pizza, home improvement projects I will enjoy the results of if not the efforts, some stresses and sadness, not enough exercise, definitely too many cheez-its, and three kids and a bulldog who bring so much joy and who I hope look back on this time as something bright. And if you have any tips of painting baseboards and trim, let me know. James has started the sanding and I'm over here pretending it wouldn't go faster with the two of us.

Love and light to you all, I hope you are safe and well.

This week's food:

Sunday: Flank steak (coated with the TJ's coffee rub, then broiled for a few minutes each side in the oven, and sliced thin), Roasted Potato Wedges, Roasted Cauliflower, Side Salad (mixed greens, sliced beats, sliced apple, goat cheese, candied pecans, quick homemade balsamic dressing).

Monday: Greek Pasta Salad (Ina's Greek Salad, plus a pound of cold cooked whole wheat rotini pasta, with 2x the dressing), Gyro meat, Tzatziki, and Naan on the side (the latter 3 all from Trader Joe's).

Tuesday: Minestrone Soup
(I do the stove top version; farro instead of bulgur; double the beans), Crusty French Bread on the side. We were supposed to have this last week but it got bumped.

Wednesday: Rainbow Thai Farro Salad, Grilled Chicken, Naan. A new recipe that was tasty and felt bright and fresh.

Thursday: Vegetarian Chili Mac, sliced raw veg on the side. An old favorite, it's easy and filling and cheap.

Friday: Chicago-Style Pizza, again, because I literally can't stop thinking about it. This time I might not share.

Saturday: OUT. I cannot tell you how much I look forward to this Saturday tradition. We had cut down eating out to about 1x/month, so this weekly thing feels incredibly indulgent. I like cooking and truly don't mind it day-to-day, but Saturday night takeout has become a real highlight of the week for all of us.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Still Here! Now with more Meltdowns, Easter Bunnies, and Discoveries

Hello again. I was doing so well with the blogging for a while there - I wrote 11 posts in March! That's practically law school levels of blogging! But then our shelter-in-place life got busier and harder (so much harder) and I got sadder and I was reading a lot more (currently flying through Sarah J. Maas's Throne of Glass series) and I just couldn't bear to open my computer at night and write anything.

There is still so much good in our lives - our health, safety, and relative financial stability even in the wake of James's business temporarily closing - these are such good things and I'm so grateful for them. We have each other, our three kids that give each other built in companionship and entertainment, our home, our stocked pantry, and we continue to have and enjoy this extra time together. Not all of it, but a lot! It's time we never would have gotten in the every day and I have pauses every single day that make me smile and feel grateful I got to have/see/observe that moment I would have otherwise missed.

But fuck y'all, this is fucking hard.

I spent Friday-Wednesday in an off-and-on funk I just couldn't climb out of. I'd get close and then feel myself sliding back down. I cried- full on shoulder-shaking sobbed- on Monday because James didn't hug me when he walked by me in our room while I was working. Despite sharing the same space with four other people every day, I feel so so alone and have become needy as hell in an attempt to fill the void. It's a level of needy that turns to bitchy and makes me unpleasant and unhuggable. On the flip side, James is struggling with the NEVER being alone, like he normally is free from 9-2, Monday-Friday while he's working and we're all at school and work. So he's feeling strangled while I desperately need to be smothered. We've been together for nearly NINETEEN years and on Monday I was like, wait... are we incompatible?

So there was that. As usual, just recognizing the problem helps. I've now built two hour-long blocks into my work day calendar where I go work with the kids and James takes a break to do something else- run, work out, sit in another room, just anything, alone. I was always available to help, and popped in often to do so, but he felt like he should do the schooling since I was doing the working so he usually stayed in the room too and just never took a real break and I don't think either of us realized he needed one, until he really really did. As a bonus I've found that these blocks of time in the sun room with the kids help me feel less isolated and alone. The end result of which is that he is more interested in hugging me and I am less likely to climb on top of his head and drown him when he throws out an arm to do so.

So! Things are smooth again. We've identified needs and filled them and can better serve ourselves, each other, and our children for doing so! Our therapists would be so proud.

The kids continue to handle this significantly better than their adults. A little story to turn this into the Easter post I originally intended for this to be: Cora worked very hard on a card for the Easter bunny on Saturday. I'm not sure why exactly, but crafts are life right now and she felt strongly about this one.

The kids had built another huge fort and were all sleeping in it when Landon came out at 10 p.m., unable to sleep, because he wanted us to know that Cora had been talking before bed and was really hoping for a note back from the bunny and could we make her one? He didn't want her to be disappointed. We told him we were on it and he was very relieved and could finally sleep.

And on Sunday morning Cora was DELIGHTED to find her note.

He may be all bony angles and long limbs these days, but he remains truly the best big brother.

Our Easter festivities began on Saturday after I finished teaching my yoga class.

Quick aside, I am still LOVING the Zoom fitness teaching. The connection, the planning, the movement- all essential to me right now and a huge thank you to the blog readers who continue to take my classes, it's been a joy. My theme for class last Saturday was Grace. As I said when I opened class, I tried really hard to do a "rebirth" or "rejuvenated" type theme for Easter and Spring, but I just couldn't do it. I didn't FEEL renewed or refreshed or anything remotely similar to those words, and I just couldn't fake it, even through a Zoom teleconference screen. So I went with grace. Because I FEEL that- the strength and flexibility that come to mind when I think of that word- I need it, I want it, and I'm giving it when I can. I don't know what next week's theme will be, but I know that thinking on it, journaling around it, and talking about it to my students- this has been important for me and thank you again for those who are there with me.

But back to Saturday after class. I made a big breakfast of waffles, eggs, and turkey sausage, and then baked a magnificent carrot cake. It was a ton of work- from candying the pecan pieces to grating the carrots to making the batter and the icing. I think I spent about 7 hours in the kitchen.

The only way to stop eating leftover icing

But (1) what else did I have to do while the kids cleaned the house; and (2) my goodness was it gorgeous and DELICIOUS. Maybe the best thing I've ever baked? Definitely top 5.

We did takeout for dinner that night. It was a planned part of the week's menu, but would have been required regardless because after spending ALL day in the kitchen (brunch, cake, prepping Sunday food), I could not possibly have made food to eat that night. The kids went to bed in their fort, Landon came out to tell us Cora needed a reply from the Easter Bunny, and we filled and hid the kids' Easter baskets. Then everyone slept in until nearly 9.

The kids hunted their baskets. We used Landon's inability to find anything that might be behind or beneath another object against him and he took the longest to find his basket. (It was in the toy bin, UNDER another toy.) Normally we follow my mom's tradition of using the Easter baskets to get everyone stocked on swim suits and fun summer gear, but we did a lot of that before our trip, so this was simple- a few books, still a swimsuit or two, and something to play with outside- a basketball, four square ball, and chalk.

There was an egg hunt while my breakfast casserole baked. Again, Landon may have taken the longest to find his third, but they all really enjoyed it.

Brunch was amazing. I threw together a bacon, potato, egg, and cheese casserole and James made fluffy French toast out of the only loaf of bread left in the store on Friday. We topped the French toast slices with fresh strawberries and leftover candied pecans from my cake baking. It was so, so good. I had half a mimosa and then remembered I was teaching barre at 1:30, so I stuck it in the fridge to finish it after.

And finish it immediately after I did!

We went on a long family walk so Maggie could show off her Easter dress and then ate a delicious dinner and more cake.

It was a solidly good, if strange holiday. Happy Easter, from the Lag Liv junior crew:

My grandparents celebrated Easter in their retirement community with a streamed church service and the traditional hiding of my grandpa's Easter basket.

He found it. Also, my grandma turned 90 last week! We were supposed to be in San Antonio for her party and we all greatly look forward to the day when we can reschedule.

For my own metaphorical Easter basket I purchased this $25 hot beverage carafe from Target and it makes my work days so much better and more caffeinated. Each morning I heat up 1.25 Liters of water in my electric kettle, put 3 tea bags in the carafe, and then pour the boiling water into the carafe to let the tea steep while I feed Maggie and escort her outside. When I'm done, I pull out the bags, add my sugar, and then I have about 10 cups of hot tea to pour into my cute little mugs in my bedroom throughout the morning while I work.

As a non-coffee drinker I have always envied the mass produced coffee options that allow you to just refill a mug whereas tea required multiple steps each time. This has made me so happy. And so warm. I can't imagine why I never purchased one earlier.

Maggie wonders why her chariot was not purchased earlier too

In a final bit of news, Landon discovered my blog. I learned this when I got a rash of New Comment approval requests Monday night while sitting on the couch next to a tween giggling like a maniac over his school Chromebook.

You guys, I died. I was laughing so hard and have giggled at them throughout the week. "i am not Landon" is perhaps my greatest blog comment of all time.

After his flurry of comments he added, "but why does anyone read this mom? It's just you writing stuff."

Followed by, "Isn't this last post old? Why haven't you written a new one? You're behind mom."

Everyone's a critic. Except Maggie, because Maggie loves you.

And finally, Food!

Sunday: Maple-Ginger Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin, Mashed Potatoes (from a bag of dried flakes, purchased in desperation when potatoes were not to be found and darn it if they weren't delicious; I'm proud of those little flakes, they did stand-up work. We added fresh chopped chives on top though, because we're fancy), Roasted Carrots. THE Carrot Cake for dessert.

Monday: Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo. Amazing. Restaurant quality. Followed the recipe almost exactly, but added a few extra carrots, and extra 1/2 cup of orzo, and used 8 cups of broth.

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday! Traditional ground beef, crunchy tacos, all the toppings. Black beans, Mexican rice on the side.

Wednesday: OUT! As a special treat this week we gifted ourselves an additional curbside takeout night. We picked pizza- fancy pizza with fancy salads from our favorite date night place and it was so great.

Thursday: Bison Meatballs with Whole Wheat Penne. Salad.

Friday: Homemade pizza and a salad. I think I'm going to attempt this new recipe: Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza. I LOVE Chicago-style pizza and I'm equally scared that I'll mess up and it won't turn out AND that I'll do the recipe right and it will be delicious and then I can eat Chicago-style pizza whenever I want which I do not need the ability to do. On the salad front, I'll make James and my current fave which is mixed greens + diced steamed chilled beets + candied pecans + diced apple + goat cheese + balsamic vinegar and olive oil + fresh cracked pepper. Delish and super easy.

Saturday: Traditional Takeout Night. Always much anticipated and sorely needed. We've done fajitas a few times but maybe this week it will be hamburgers? Who knows, the culinary takeout world will be our oyster.

Sunday: Minestrone Soup. I've made this recipe before and it's GREAT. I do the stove top version, double the beans, and use farro instead of bulgur. The pesto addition is inspired. Served with crusty fresh bread.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

600 Days Later, April is Here

I know everyone has already said this, but March was absolutely 600 days long. On March 1st James was in College Station for a swim meet and we were preparing to leave the country, then we left the country for 9 days, then we were back and the whole world was different, and then we spent 457 days at home. I don't know how, but the numbers check out. And now it's April! April is one day shorter than March, so these next 593 days should really fly by.

Long bike ride with PE Coach James a few days/weeks ago

As an ancient poet once said, "April Showers Bring May Flowers" and so the showers have begun. It rained every day for the last half of last week and we've discovered a leak in our room and two in some mysterious place that make the framing of our doors wet (except the water is not coming through the doors). It says something about the ownership of an old home that we're like oh, huh, well let's see if that resolves itself on its own. This approach seems to work at least half the time (see all the giant cracks in our ceiling and walls, except no you can't, because they've disappeared again) and I'm pretty sure that same leak appeared in our sun room 3 years ago only to disappear until last Friday. I love our house, but she's 71 years old and she's quirky.

Speaking of houses that might leak in the rain, the kids built a big fort in the sun room on Saturday and asked to sleep in it that night. I told them no because James and I had a very important date to watch the finale of Ozark after they went to bed and they definitely can't overhear that, so they asked if they could remake it in the girls' room on Sunday night and sleep there. Figuring there was no way they'd actually last the night and shelter-in-place is the perfect opportunity to give it a try on a school night, we said sure.

And so they rebuilt it - bigger and better, with 3 bedrooms and toy nooks and who knows what all, and spent pretty much all of Sunday there.

And then all of Sunday night.

I was skeptical, but when I woke up at 7 Monday morning, all of the house was still silent and sleeping. And when I was making my tea at 8, I finally ran in to check on them, concerned they might have knocked themselves unconscious in the night and they sleepily emerged from their den. Looks like we don't need that third bedroom anymore, so while I'll miss all our blankets and chairs, I'm super excited to turn Landon's room into a home gym and yoga studio.

So remember last week when I was like everything is going pretty well and some things are even very good? And they were! And they are! Except I cried on Friday for no reason except that I was sad and lonely in my house where I live with four other people who never leave. I think my kids are more introverted than I thought. They're VERY social, they love people, and they live their lives with a zest and exuberance that brings me great joy, but they are fine, seemingly TOTALLY FINE, with our little family being their whole village right now. They miss their friends, but their cups are full. They have each other and they have James and me and though I'm keeping a close eye, they seem steady and happy and living a strange version of their very best lives. And James- my introverted introvert with occasionally crippling social anxiety- he is GREAT. He misses coaching, he has stresses and worries about his business, but his cup runneth over with peace, joy, and social distancing protocols. And then there's me. My inner battery is so low you'd have to plug me into a crowded happy hour for two hours just to get it to turn on. As I tried to explain to James, this is like him at a cocktail party for TWENTY-ONE STRAIGHT DAYS. I am a shriveled and hollow husk of myself and though my family can sustain me for a very long time, March was 600 days long and I need fresh connections.

Even Maggie needs me to get out more

Luckily, I had my two Urban Yoga Zoom classes over the weekend and that helped a lot. I think my body craves my old schedule and structure as much as my soul craves the social interaction. Having my weekend days anchored by teaching my 9:30 Saturday yoga and 1:30 Sunday barre is tremendously helpful. I have to prepare- building and practicing new yoga sequences, creating playlists, ensuring my family will be out of the living room for the designated time block. I get to connect as people log in, and I have to sweat and move and workout and it's so, so good for me. I've been joined by friends across the US (and world!), distant family members, blog readers (thank you!!), and more and I felt much more steady and centered after each one.

Maggie helps me practice and is a real value-add, as you can see.

I burned 600 calories reaching my barre class on Sunday which is probably exactly how many calories are in a single cookie in the batch that a very sweet blog reader and now yoga/barre participant sent me in a care package that made my whole Friday.

I do love the connections that are being forged while we all work through this together, apart.

Other things that have happened in the last 5 days as evidence by my phone's photo roll:

James has been doing yoga with me. He's significantly more flexible than I am, which is annoying, but I know more about the poses than he does, which helps the balance of power. Can you tell we normally don't can't work out together?

Our nanny dropped off the two booster seats she kept in her car to pick up the girls from school because (sob) she is now moved out of her TCU dorm for the semester. We miss both our nannies- and the reasons we used to need them- very much, but are glad they are safe at their homes across the US.

Maggie spotted the strange new dog bed in the foyer and spent some time trying to figure out how it worked.

We continue to pay our weekly housekeeper to stay home with her family, so the kids continue to get extra home cleaning education! In addition to their regular chores, we've mastered bathrooms, floors, and changing bed sheets, so this week it was baseboards and door frames! Something we haven't done in several years it appears, because whoah, did they need some attention.

Last Friday I had the opportunity to schedule a curbside pickup of my IT equipment and some print outs I needed from work. It was nice to be alone in my car for 15 minutes (who knew that was a luxury) and REALLY nice to upgrade my plastic party folding table home office set up.

I'm like a real lawyer now. I also ordered a smaller dog bed for Maggie that fits perfectly under my desk. It's important that my only colleague be comfortable during this time.

Speaking of Maggie, we've been going on a LOT of walks up and down our empty street.

Cora is becoming quite the confident roller skater and Maggie is exhausted and would like us all to leave her alone.

"Seriously. Stop involving me in this."

She hates her baths, but tolerates them only because she LOVES being wrapped in a towel at the end. If I don't wrap her tightly enough or long enough, she keeps trying to duck her head under a towel on the floor until I fix it.

Her other favorite part is when her bedding, which we wash every time we wash her, comes out of the dryer. She rolls herself up like a bulldog burrito and sleeps for HOURS until everything is cold again. Cracks us up.

This week's food:

Saturday: Garlic Herb Spaghetti with Chicken Meatballs. SO GOOD. We already love these meatballs (see Wednesday's recipe, which is one of our favorites) and then I saw this variation on Lindsay's amazing food blog and decided to give it a try. I doubled the recipe, used wine instead of water (added in after the butter, garlic, and lemon saute step, and allowed to cook down before the parsley and spinach step), and did everything else as described. We loved it and need more non-red-sauce pastas in our life.

Sunday: Chili (I add yellow and orange bell pepper and carrot) and Mac & Cheese. Somehow we keep not fitting this into our menu, but chili and mac & cheese is a magical combination and should always be cooked separately and then served in the same bowl. Tonight is the night!

Monday: Greek Gyro Plates (Gyro meat, tzatziki, and frozen naan from Trader Joe's), sliced tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, kalamata olives, and chunks of feta. Oven fries, from frozen.

Tuesday: Dorito Taco Salad. (We skip the Catalina, sub in a splash of Italian dressing, and use the Trader Joe's Nacho Cheese Chips. This is my kids' favorite salad; they don't even seem to notice it's still mostly lettuce.)

Wednesday: Chicken Meatballs with Pepper and Orzo. Family favorite. I doubled the meatballs Saturday night so we could make this on Wednesday. I use ricotta to mix with the orzo and then serve the sauce and meatballs on top. It's so good.

Thursday: Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Chili. A tried and true family favorite. Delicious and super easy and exactly what you need on a Thursday.

Friday: Homemade Pizza. Again. The kids have declared the "make your own pizza and watch a movie on Fridays" to be a sacred Shelter-in-Place tradition.

Saturday: Out. Curbside takeout from somewhere delicious with food I don't know how to make. This once weekly takeout treat is something I look forward to the moment our last takeout meal is over (which was last Thursday when we got Thai on a whim and it was very wonderful and also a long time ago).

Sunday: Easter! We were supposed to be in Houston! There will be brunch, probably, but I'm also teaching my barre class (1:30 central time! come join me!), so there will not be mimosas until after that. Which is for the best, really, as we have to parent all day. I might try this new carrot cake recipe (longtime favorite carrot cake recipe here), but I don't yet know what we're having for dinner. It's a weird holiday this year.