Weekend of Crazy

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This weekend was Joshua’s first birthday, plus we had an engagement party for my sister and her fiance! So in the spirit of old-school blogging, here’s a bunch of random pictures and stuff about our weekend.

It really started Thursday afternoon. My in-laws were at our apartment when I got home with the kids from picking Libbie up from pre-school. They quickly whisked Libbie and David away to their hotel for swimming, dinner, and to stay the night. Mr. V and I ONLY HAD JOSHUA. ALL NIGHT. IT WAS SO QUIET.

Friday my MIL and I entertained the wee ones and I started cooking for the engagement party. (OK, mostly my MIL played with them. I cooked a little and took a long nap.)

Friday afternoon my parents and my aunt and uncle came in. My in-laws baby-sat so Mr. V and I could go out for a nice (CHILDLESS!!) dinner with my parents, my aunt and uncle, and my sister and her fiance. We went to Elemental on Chattanooga North Shore.


The ladies felt they must, of course, pose with this giant tractor inside the restaurant.


My chicken with chow chow and roasted veggies.

Saturday was spent prepping for the big Engagement Party, where my parents met my sister’s fiance’s parents and some of his extended family. I pretty much went insane prepping but enjoyed it immensely once it was ready! (I wish I knew how to entertain without going cuckoo. Some of the issue was that we had it in a room in the next building with no oven or fridge. But I always get stressed when entertaining.)

Oh, did I mention that my sister eats gluten free? So everything I made I had to carefully watch ingredients.


Appetizer: pickles, black olives, tortilla chips with Whole Foods guacamole, salsa, and pimiento cheese dip

  • Salad with shredded carrots, bell peppers, and tomatoes
  • Pioneer Woman beef brisket (made with LaChoy soy sauce, which is GF) – a HUGE hit!
  • Mashed potato bar with cheese, bacon, green onions, and sour cream – Aunt Jennie (foodie and also photographer of the iPhone here!) made the mashed potatoes super delicious, with tons of butter and heavy cream. Perfect!
  • Carla Hall’s Broccoli Gratin – I don’t think anyone really liked these. I think it might have been due to my rather enthusiastic gruyere (from Whole Foods). If I made this again, I would just mix cheddar cheese in with the cream sauce, then sprinkle just a little cheese and bread crumbs on top and bake. I used Glutino All-Purpose flour and breadcrumbs.
  • Jalapeno Creamed Corn – I need to make this about five times as often. It is incredibly good. Used the Glutino flour here, also.
  • Crustless Mixed Berry Custard Pie – I wasn’t crazy about this (Glutino flour here, too), but it was nice for a gluten-free dessert, I think! The flour felt a little grainy for me, but maybe a different GF flour would work better, like a tiny bit of coconut. The custard set nicely.

Happy couple! (from Friday night)

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And then, after all that, Joshua’s first birthday was Sunday!!

Our family went to our church on Sunday morning, then to a Mexican restaurant with everyone for lunch. After naps, we celebrated with presents and this monkey cake!


Mud Pie Birthday Boy Shortalls

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monkey cake with cocoa krispies monkey face cake

Joshua dug right in, of course. I don’t think his sweet tooth is as bad as David’s, but he does enjoy sweets and loved his cake. I didn’t take a picture of him covered in chocolate, but rest assured, he was!

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And then after all that, I went with my parents and aunt and uncle to have very late tapas at Terra Nostra, which was fantastic!

It was a wonderful, insane weekend. But we’re always glad to be surrounded by loving family and to have things to celebrate!

8 thoughts on “Weekend of Crazy

  1. That brisket is to die for, isn’t it? And really, except for the time involved, simple to make. Everything looks wonderful!

    At long last I have the supplies to mail the little sir’s quilt. I’m hoping to actually get it in the mail at the 2/7 post office on Sunday; I’ll let you know exactly when it goes out and when to expect it. It’s really more of a one-year-old kind of quilt, anyway, which you will understand when you see it.

    • Yes, we LOVED the brisket!! I’ve made it once before but I didn’t remember how good it was.

      Thank you so much for the quilt, sweet one! I know we will treasure it.

  2. WOW…insane Jessie!! & i too get all stressed out over parties that i am hosting…in charge of food, just about EVERYTHING..including the times i open my mouth and say “I’LL DO IT”..ugh!! anyway..it looked like a fab-o time so kuddos!! cant believe Joshua is 1!!! it has been a yr yet…SERIOUSLY!!!

    • I love to host and yet hosting makes me insane. I think I need to read Shauna Niequist’s Bread and Wine again … and work on keeping my house in better shape. (Always, always.) No, I can’t believe he’s 1 either!!

  3. Hi, Jessie! I’m one of Jennie’s fans, so I popped over after reading your guest post at her blog. I enjoyed reading your account (and hers) of the whole tablescaping for dummies and also your blog post about the entire weekend. I enjoyed your tablescape and your menu. It sounds like y’all had a wonderful time! Love the tractor picture, too. 😉 I’m following you on twitter now (Kim @ Curtain Queen). Maybe tomorrow will begin a calmer weekend for your family.

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