They are here!

Hi friends!

Happy Friday! It’s a good one around here :)

Despite still not having internet/wifi at home and writing this from my phone, I am a decidedly happy camper.

Why?

Because some of my favorite people on earth are here for the holiday weekend!

Lydia and her daughter Amani arrived yesterday afternoon, and shortly thereafter Kristi, Evan, and their daughter Rowan rolled in.

Fun fact: Kristi and Evan went to the same college as Joel and me! We go way back :)

Another fun fact: Kristi, Lydia, and I went to the same boarding school in Kenya! We grew up together.

We have more friends arriving today which we are all crazy excited about. I can’t wait for the house to be packed to the gills with awesome people.

More photos to come whenever Comcast gets our internet back up and running. For now, I hope you’re having an awesome Friday wherever you are!

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Life after tornado

Hi friends!

We made it to Wednesday! By the way, I’m typing from my phone again – thanks for sticking with me! :)

Thank you guys for your comments, messages, thoughts, and support — you are the best!

I finally uploaded a photo of what our back yard looked like after the tornado:

There were around 10 enormous trees lying all over the place. We are talking 50 foot tall oak trees.

I’m trying not to be stressed or worry too much about all that needs to be done. Joel has been working hard to chop up the trees that fell directly on the lawn (the ones father back will be dealt with later, not sure how just yet). We have had some help from friends, which we really and truly appreciate.

While there’s been a lot of progress, things are not totally back to normal yet. We still don’t have internet/wifi or cable. However, we DO have electricity and hot water, and that is quite a big deal to this pregnant gal. :)

We feel super thankful that we were not hurt, and the baby is just fine. I found out yesterday that a couple people were killed in our town during the tornado. So sad and scary. It definitely puts everything into perspective.

That’s all for now! Thanks for bearing with me guys!

I am hoping our internet will be restored soon so that I can do a proper update.

I hope you are having an amazing day with lots of sunny skies where you are!

Tornado

Hi friends!

Just checking in to update you on the past week!

Remember that tornado warning I talked about in my last post, when we were down in Hershey? Turns out the tornado headed north and hit our town in Connecticut. :(

Our neighbor told us that many trees had fallen, so even before we headed home we knew we didn’t have a great situation waiting for us.

When we got home, we were pretty shocked to see all the damage in the town. So many trees all over the place, and so many homes destroyed. Our neighbor had a huge tree come down on his roof, and since it was also raining (it rained for a couple days afterward), he has a lot of water damage inside his home.

Thankfully we did not have damage to our house at all, which is pretty incredible. However we had one large tree come down in the front yard and several big trees down in the back yard. A couple of them hit our shed and destroyed our playset, which is sad but not the end of the world by any means!

We’re so thankful that everyone we know is safe. I’m also pretty glad that we were out of town when the tornado struck — it would have been terrifying to be here.

The tornado took out power and phone lines so we didn’t have electricity for about a week. That was fun hah.

We finally got electricity restored last night (yay!) Which is a great relief. However we still do not have internet which has made updating the ol’ blog slightly challenging. Photos and more of an update to come soon when I’m not typing on my phone :)

We’ve got a lot of work ahead to deal with the fallen trees on our property. I’m thankful that Joel knows what he’s doing — he’s been working hard! Also thankful for friends who are helping. There’s a long way to go, but progress is underway! :)

That’s it for now! Thanks for understanding!

The sweetest place on earth

Hi friends!

Hello hello hello from the sweetest place on earth, Hershey Pennsylvania!

We’re here on our last pre-baby trip – it’s hard to believe that the next time we take a trip we’ll have another little person in tow :)

The drive down to Hershey was quite pleasant – the weather was perfect and we didn’t hit any major traffic issues over the 4 ish hour drive. Being the engineer that he is, Joel’s favorite part was seeing the progress that has been made on the new Tappan Zee Bridge. The new bridge is the taller white section (the old bridge is shorter and on the left). It is constructed in the same style as a bridge in southeast Houston that Joel would drive over every day on his way to work.

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The town of Hershey really lives up to its name! The roads bear names like Cocoa Avenue, Goodbar Court, Chocolate Ave, and Sweetbay Way. Even the street lamps were in the shape of chocolate kisses — this really is the sweetest place on earth :) The hotel gave us Hershey chocolate bars when we checked in, which made for a lovely welcome. Check out this gorgeous 4-way fireplace in the lobby. There’s nothing like a cackling fire to bump up the cozy level a few notches.

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We explored the area a little bit and hung out for a couple hours before grabbing dinner at the Hershey Grill. They brought out a some chocolate-flavored butter to go with our bread, which we thought it was very “Hershey” hah! Although the chocolate butter tasted good, we agreed that we prefer regular butter for bread.

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I went with chicken, cranberry rice, and mixed vegetables for my meal. When the food first came out I thought there were potatoes in the mix, but they turned out to be parsnips. I can’t remember the last time I had parsnips — they were yummy!

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After dinner we roamed around a bit and found a cute little gift shop. These chocolatey-flavored honey jars looked rather intriguing. We didn’t end up buying any but I am sure any of these flavors would be delicious on a piece of toast or drizzled over granola and yogurt!

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The fire looked seriously inviting so we parked ourselves in a couple comfortable armchairs to enjoy it. This was a gas fireplace, which I appreciated. While for outside nothing beats a wood fire, I love a gas fire for indoors. You get all of the warm cozy ambiance without any of that stale campfire smell seeping into your furniture/carpet. Win win. :)

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We picked up a pack of Hershey cards at the gift shop and put them to good use playing a few rounds of blackjack. One of our annual traditions is to get a new game every Christmas, something we did not do last Christmas, so these cards count towards our yearly tradition :)

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The following day dawned bright and early with watermelon for breakfast for yours truly. Side note: Joel cut up an entire watermelon for me before we left Connecticut, and we brought with us in a cooler –> what a guy! Our hotel fridge is stuffed with juicy watermelon and I am extremely happy that my pregnancy craving will be satisfied :)

Joel had a meeting to go to, so while he was out I caught up on work for a bit. The day was way too beautiful to spend all of it indoors so I found a spot outside to sit and get some quality reading in. I made it halfway through The German Girl (here!) — I’m thoroughly enjoying the writing style and find myself genuinely intrigued by the characters and the story.

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While I was sitting outside, the sky suddenly went from clear to dark, and a Severe Weather Alert beeped on my phone –> TORNADO warning! The beautiful day abruptly turned into a pretty crazy situation and sent everyone scurrying back indoors. The wind and rain that pummeled the area was nuts!

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Joel was still in his meeting when the tornado warning happened, and he texted me to go inside and stay away from windows. Eek! He suggested hanging out in the lobby, which sounded good to me, so I headed over to continue reading my book by the fire while the wind howled outside.

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While hanging out by the fire, I grabbed a hot chocolate. In the process, I discovered something pretty major…

I have officially reached a very important pregnancy milestone –> TABLE BELLY! :) I may or may not have sent this photo to my family and friends :)

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Later that evening, we decided to get dinner at The Forebay, quite the fancy lil spot. Everything looked decidedly lux and the atmosphere felt nice and relaxed.

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Our server brought some salted breadsticks and a mustardy dip to our table to start out. Joel also opted for their soup of the day, which was a red pepper bisque topped with duck confit.

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He also got the mussels appetizer. I thought about trying one but couldn’t quite “get there”. Are you a mussels fan? Joel loves them but I just can’t get on board…

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He got a pork chop with creamed spinach for his meal, and I went with salmon for mine. I enjoyed the salmon, asparagus, and turnips but was not impressed by the orangey sauce underneath. I also didn’t particularly love the very odd mashed potatoes (they seemed strangely translucent and plasticky?). I ate pretty much everything except the mashed potatoes but I gotta say I was slightly disappointed, especially considering how pricey everything was –> overall I give this dish a 3/10.

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Joel closed out his meal with a coffee and a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream. I don’t know how he can drink coffee at dinner time, I would be awake all night. I was way too full to indulge in dessert, but if I could fit anything else in my stomach I would have gone with something chocolatey (we are in Chocolate Town, after all!) like the molten lava cake… :)

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We hung out playing Rummy for a while before calling it a night. The last time I played Rummy was my birthday weekend back in January. I sure do love a good game of Rummy. :)

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Have you ever visited Hershey? Are you a fan of mussels? Do you get tornadoes where you live?

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Grill Life + Connecticut’s Best Tacos

Hi friends!

Happy Monday! We’ve had a busy past several days… let’s jump right in!

On Thursday we went on a tour of the hospital’s labor/delivery unit, and also their maternity unit. It was super helpful and makes us feel comfortable with the entire process. If you are having a baby at some point in the future, you should definitely sign up for a tour!

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We also assembled and test-drove our stroller! My parents got the Chicco Bravo Trio travel system for us as a shower gift (find it here!) –> Kristi suggested that I make sure I can steer the stroller one-handed to make sure it’s easy to maneuver, and that’s what I did. We also installed the carseat and made sure we knew how to get it from the car to stroller and vice versa.

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The weather was perfect, so we ate on the patio. As you can see, my water bottle rarely leaves my side.

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Joel made this rock wall and path next to our shed :) He also put some grass on there which is now starting to grow. This used to be just shrubs but it looks so much nicer now.

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Our college friends (they are married and have a toddler and a baby) were driving through Connecticut on their way to Boston, so they stopped in for dinner. It was the perfect opportunity to get the grill going for the first time this season. This was my first corn on the cob of the year and it was g.o.o.d. It was lovely catching up with our friends and hearing all about their new endeavors.

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Later that night, our smallgroup came over and we collectively decided to sit outside in order to soak in the beautiful day.

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It was Ro’s birthday so Jamie brought over a cake :)

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Lee brought a gorgeous fruit salad –> strawberries, pineapple, blueberries, and watermelon (you can guess what was my fave part hah). It felt pretty stellar to eat my number 1 food in front of a fire, surrounded by some super amazing people.

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The exact moment we wrapped up our discussion for the night it started raining, so everyone said their goodbyes and scampered back to their cars.

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Friday morning dawned bright and early with a bowl of leftover fruit salad. The blueberries were perfection and made my entire day.

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While getting ready for the day, I dropped this blush and it crashed onto the bathroom floor. I thought FOR SURE it was broken… but it somehow survived the fall. Phew! I got this trial size a over a year ago and am happy that it is still going strong.

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I left work early to head to the grocery store to pick up more grill stuff (we had my nephew Peter over for dinner) and a few random essentials. While perusing the produce section, I got all excited when I saw the below box thinking it was clementines. It was not. Just a friendly PSA: mandarins are not clementines.

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I also spotted this “baby pineapple” –> anyone tried this? Does it taste like regular pineapple? It sure was cute! :)

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My grocery store finally restocked these frozen Greek yogurt bars so I grabbed a box. These things are so darn good.

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It was really good to see Peter :) I still can’t believe how old he is… he just finished his freshman year of college –> I still remember when he was born!

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He gave us some Kenyan tea. This stuff is amazing. If you get a chance, you should try it – you will not be disappointed.

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We grilled up some burgers and caught up on life. It was nice to hear updates on everything Peter is working on at school, and his plans for the summer. :)

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Next came smores –> I like my marshmallows slightly brown on the outside and nice and gooey on the inside. When they are perfectly toasted like that, they are pretty delicious on their own without the chocolate or graham cracker :)

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Joel and Peter then played a couple rounds of ping pong. Peter is quite good and came close to beating Joel. I wonder when Joel will experience losing a game of ping pong hah.

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Saturday breakfast involved (surprise) watermelon. Joel knows how to pick the perfect watermelon. He needs to teach me his ways because I always pick ones that aren’t ripe yet.

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We ran a few errands including picking up some Scotchgard for our patio cushions. I don’t normally apply scotchgard to our indoor furniture but I am sure it would help to prevent stains.

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After errands, Joel did some yard work and I caught up on some research. Before we knew it, it was time to head over to Senor Panchos for Ro’s birthday dinner! We all got to sing happy birthday and the servers brought out a big fancy sombrero for her to wear :)

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My meal consisted of mix-and-match street tacos: tilapia (center), chicken (left), and steak (right). I ate the tilapia and steak tacos for dinner and then polished off the chicken taco for lunch the next day. The mango salsa on the tilapia was way too incredible and I had to order another side of it to put on my other 2 tacos. These have got to be the best tacos I have had in Connecticut, and I can’t wait to go back for more :)

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Sunday was Mothers Day! It started off with church in the morning, followed by a panera lunch with a few friends. Somehow Mike, Natasha, Bridgette and Garrett did not make it into the photo!??

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I stuck with my tried and true Panera favorite: the chicken frontega sandwich. This sandwich is the bomb dot com. Joel opted for his regular steak and arugula sandwich and some broccoli cheddar soup.

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After lunch, more errands were run. A few blooms were spotted outside the grocery store –> I love this time of year and all the colors of life.

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Our Mother’s Day celebration continued with a dinner date at Zaroka. Such a super cute Indian restaurant!

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I can confirm their food is the tastiest! Their portions are also rather generous, which meant we had plenty left over for later. It was a nice little date night and a great first mother’s day for me! Can’t wait until our little guy is here and can participate in the celebration too :)

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That’s it from me! I hope your week is off to an INCREDIBLE start, and that you have some sunny skies where you are. :D

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What did you do over the weekend? What’s your favorite way to celebrate the moms in your life? When you grill corn on the cob, do you boil it first?

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Kicking the doctor + fire!

Hi friends!

The other night Joel offered to slice up a watermelon for me. What a guy! He certainly knows the key to my heart. You guys know watermelon is my number 1 right now. Yes please!

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He then set up a mini office in the dining room where he got to work burning that midnight oil. While he was in there being super productive, I hung out in the living room watching The Letdown on Netflix. :) Speaking of Netflix, I am all ears if you have binge-worthy recommendations! Now that my beloved This is Us is on a hiatus, I need to fill the void…

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Joel’s dinner (massaman curry with beef).

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Is there anything tastier than this? My pregnant brain says an emphatic NO.

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The babe and I just bumpin along, heading to our doctor checkup.

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While waiting for our doc, I spotted this hole in my leggings. It’s not a new hole by any means, it actually happened last summer during one of our backyard fires (fires might be our favorite summer night activity) –> a spark popped out of the fire and landed on my leg. I didn’t see or feel it until after it burned a small hole right through my leggings. I should probably get new leggings at some point but these are just so darn comfortable. :) This isn’t the only item of clothing that shows wear and tear due to our fires… I also have a sock that sports a similar spark-related hole. Worth it. :)

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The checkup went really well! Our little guy is doing great and measuring right on track — he gave the doctor a big kick when she was listening to his heartbeat, which I found rather amusing indeed. :)  While there, I also got my tdap vaccine, which protects the baby from pertussis –> the shot was painless but the nurse told me to prepare for my arm being sore for a couple days.

Man oh man, it was an absolutely gorrrrgeous spring day! I took my time getting to and from my checkup –> those extra moments of sunshine made my day. It seemed like everyone had the same idea, there were so many people out and about, enjoying the amazing weather and sitting outside at all the local restaurants. I’m pretty sure that outdoor seating was invented for days like this.

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Spring and summer might be my 2 favorite seasons in Connecticut. It’s hard to concentrate on anything work-related when it’s so beautiful outside, especially in those first few weeks of proper spring when all you want to do is be out there soaking it all in.

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I am on top of my hydration game right now. I sure do love getting those liquids, whether they be in water, crystal light, seltzer, or watermelon form. I’m getting good use out of all my water bottles, not the least of which is my 48 oz (1.5 liter) bottle that I got a few years ago. It’s quite a beast of a bottle and is probably too huge to carry around on the go, but it surely makes for a stellar companion when I’m in full-on couch-potato mode hah (find it here!).

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Sometimes the thought of a refreshing bowl of delicious watermelon is what gets me out of bed in the morning. Although honestly, there are days when the last thing I want to do is manhandle and slice up a big heavy watermelon –> those are the days when I wish my pregnancy craving was something easy like apples lol. I definitely miss how easy the grape phase was hah! But I suppose it’s all worth it in the end, especially when you get that one *perfectly* ripe watermelon, yum! :)

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Joel is working on fixing our old leaf blower. It’s looking a little worse for wear at the moment but it will be up and running like a gem in no time :)

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A snack of a pineapple bun occurred –> these are definitely best when they are hot, crispy, and fresh from a China Town bakery… but defrosted from my freezer is the next best thing :)

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When Joel got home from a late meeting, we tucked into some salmon, veggies, and rice for dinner. I topped it with a Ginger Thai sauce that took it all to the next level. I could eat this several times a week and not get sick of it.

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Just a trusty bag of crackers I keep on my bedside table in the event that heartburn strikes. I would use tums, but since getting pregnant I haven’t been the hugest fan of the taste/texture of tums. These crackers get the job done. Thankfully, heartburn has not been too much of a problem of late (it was more of an issue in the 1st trimester). Fingers crossed it stays that way!

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Leftover salmon and veggies made another appearance for lunch, along with some pad thai noodles. I could have eaten a second (and third) bowl, but this was the last of it, so I contented myself with some yogurt and flan. :)

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Guess what, we had our FIRST fire of the season last night! Boy oh boy was it an absolutely perfect evening for it.

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How I have missed sitting by the fire in this chair. We have cushions for all our patio chairs, and we are planning to scotch-guard all of them this weekend.

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White pizza with plenty of red pepper flakes on top, plus a cackling warm fire makes for a very good night.

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Joel set the mood by strumming a few songs on his guitar. And at some point we saw Benjamin the Bat flying around –> we first saw this cute little bat last summer and decided to name him Benjamin… his favorite spot to nap is in a safe little corner outside our chimney, and we appreciate that he snacks on all those pesky mosquitos and bugs. We also heard some coyotes howling up on the mountain, a first for me. I’m cool with the coyotes staying up there and not coming over to our house. Oh, and I saw my first shooting star of 2018 :)

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Ever heard coyotes howling in the great outdoors? Do you keep clothes due to their comfort even if they have holes? What’s your favorite outdoor spring/summer thing/activity? 

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A movie and a rule breaker

Hi friends!

Did you have a good weekend? Ours was very low key and relaxing — exactly the kind of weekend that leaves you feeling recharged for the week. We have a busy week up ahead so it felt good to have a couple chill days.

Some of our smallgroup pals went up to Hartford for “Worship Night in America”. Joel and I couldn’t make it but it sure was fun seeing all the photos in our group chat.

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Looks like there was quite the turnout! The last time we were at a similar event was when we saw Hillsong United at the Lakewood arena in Houston. It was fun living vicariously through the photos! :)

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Meanwhile, Joel and I headed to the movies –> we wanted to see the new Avengers movie, but the seats were sold out, so we saw Amy Schumer’s movie instead (I Feel Pretty). It provided a good amount of humor to fuel our weekend. She is hilarious!

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My movie snack consisted of Nothing Added organic dried mangoes. I am very thrilled to see these back in stock at Target. I can’t recommend these enough. If they weren’t on the pricier side I would keep large quantities in our pantry at all times.

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Dinner happened at home after the movie. I was still full from the dried mangoes so I was content with just a couple pieces of watermelon for my dinner. Joel didn’t have a movie snack and had worked up quite the appetite from yard work, so he was happy with his burger, topped with avocado, bacon, lettuce, and tomato, and a side of fries.

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The best way to start a Saturday morning is with a nice big bowl of watermelon. When did we as a society make the transition over to seedless watermelon? I don’t think our grocery store even carries the kind with seeds. I remember as a kid having to spit out the seeds with every bite — ah memories haha.

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We stopped in at Home Depot to pick up another can of teak oil so that Joel could oil up the remaining 2 patio chairs. I always feel drawn to the house plants, is it just me? I love having plants of all kinds at home. My very first plant was a bamboo which I purchased for our tiny Houston apartment at a local Asian market. The kind that sits in water, no soil. I still remember how excited I was about that little ol’ bamboo –> I wish I could remember what happened to it.

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A mid-morning snack involved a bowl of granola and almond milk, always a winning combination in my book.

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I grabbed a new pair of earbuds (similar ones here). My other ones randomly died, which shouldn’t be too surprising as they were maaany years old. I love in-ear earbuds because they don’t fall off, and are comfortable to wear even while working out. I like to tuck the cord behind my ear so it doesn’t hit me in the face.

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Have you guys seen these little container tub things? I picked up a couple packs of large ones (here) and small ones (here). I use them for everything! They snap securely shut, and you just give the sides a little squeeze to pop them open. I like to store my earbuds in one while they are in my bag so they don’t get all tangled up. I also use the tubs when I travel since they are so easy to clean and are great for storing random things like vitamins, mints, jewelry, or toiletries.

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We dropped Joel’s car off at the shop for a new tire (he had a flat last week). I need new tires on my car too, something I have not been looking forward to due to the cost… tires are so darn expensive.

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While waiting for Joel’s car, we grabbed a late (ehh 4pm) lunch at Panera. Joel’s favorite sandwich from there is the steak and arugula. My favorite is the chicken frontega. He also got a small bowl of broccoli cheddar soup. This soup and I go way back –> I remember getting it in college when my friends and I would decide to get a meal off campus. We would sometimes go read magazines or study at the Barnes and Noble that was right next to the Panera, or stop in at the nearby mall.

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After picking up Joel’s car from the shop and spending a few hours getting chores done around the house, we went back to the movies (thank you MoviePass!) and managed to get seats for the Avengers. Yay! We also decided to actually buy concessions hah and grabbed some plain popcorn and a coke.

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You guys, the movie was so good! I love all the Marvel movies so I knew I’d enjoy it. There was QUITE the shocker of an ending –> I won’t spoil it for you but if you haven’t seen it yet (and you like Marvel movies), you really should!

Sunday was a little cooler (60) and very overcast –> all day long it looked like it was going to rain any second. It ended up drizzling in the evening.

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We put the cushions on the chairs so that we could have lunch out there. Patio life is the best life.

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We then got the teak table and chairs set up for the season. I am getting more and more excited for all the meals that will be happening out here.

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The rest of Sunday afternoon was quite uneventful –> we both spent a few hours getting caught up on work. Not the most exciting of afternoons, but we felt very productive. When dinner time rolled around we opted for salad and some lasagna. It was more like lasagna soup because it didn’t hold together in the slightest, but it tasted good. :)

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Why use a napkin when you have a convenient belly to catch falling food?

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And finally, dessert was had while watching a Clint Eastwood movie. Instead of a bowl and spoon, Joel went with a plate and fork for his ice cream. What a rule-breaker :)

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What did you do over the weekend? Have you seen the new Avengers movie? How do you feel about house plants?     

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A very exciting purchase + this place does not disappoint!

Hi friends!

We’ve had a toasty couple of days here in the northeast! Temps have been in the 80’s and 90’s, with a good bit of humidity. This Kenyan/Singaporean girl who spent 8 years Texas always welcomes summer temps! I’ve been pretty happy with this long-awaited turn of events. :)

When the inside of the house got up to 80 degrees (phew!), we knew it was time to get those air conditioning units up and running. Feels great to actually need AC for the first time this year! I know this is probably a short-lived heat wave (temps are going back down to the 60’s next week) but we’re enjoying it while it lasts.

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Lunch involved Chipotle leftovers –> It was undeniably yummy, but ya know, I wouldn’t have complained if someone added a big dollop of guacamole right on top. You guys know I am a mega guac fan and firmly believe that guac makes everything better :)

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It was my turn to do snacks for smallgroup last night, so I decided to grab a few muffins from our freezer. These muffins are one of the multiple outcomes of my baking streak a while back. I love that freezer foods make life so much easier. I melted some nutella and a bit of peanut butter mixed in for the icing because I didn’t feel like going to the store to get icing. Nutella has a special place in my heart –> during marathon training I used to eat a piece of bread with nutella as my post-run snack. I suppose nutella is universally delicious because everyone seemed to enjoy the muffins. :)

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After our smallgroup pals left, I indulged in some Indian food leftovers. It was a very late dinner (11pm ish) but also a very tasty one. :) The perfect meal to go along with watching episodes of The Letdown on Netflix. If you haven’t already seen this show, you really must! There is only one season but I really hope they come out with a second season. :)

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Look what arrived in the mail –> my supremely cool diaper bag! My friend Kristi who is also pregnant is getting the exact same diaper bag, and I am excited to sport our matching bellies and bags (she’s coming to visit in just a couple weeks!). The bag is made from vegan leather, feels like awesome quality, has plenty of super useful pockets, comes with a changing pad, and has lots and lots of space for all the bits and bobs that moms need to cart around.

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Since it looks like a regular backpack rather than an obvious diaper bag, I have already started using it to carry around my stuff. :) I can see myself using this for years to come, even when I don’t need the actual diaper function hah. I had added this diaper bag to my registry but wasn’t planning to buy it for myself. However, when the price dropped by 30% I had to seize the opportunity to get it. :) It also comes in a light caramel color and black, but the one that is for sale is the Dusty Rose color which I got (find it HERE)!!

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There’s nothing like a meal with a friend to brighten your day right up! Natasha and I met up at the State Street Cafe – one of our favorite spots due to their inexpensive (and extensive) menu. This place does not disappoint.

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We both ordered the Greek Gyro. Natasha got hers with a side of coleslaw –> are you a coleslaw fan? To be frank, I have never understood the appeal, but perhaps I should have more of an open mind?

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My gyro looked a little weird without lettuce –> I had them hold the lettuce on account of the recent romaine lettuce recalls. They used iceberg rather than romaine, but I really did not feel like going near any kind of lettuce at the moment. Even without lettuce, the gyro was tasty! Half of this bad boy came home with me for leftovers.

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Natasha and I split a dessert of lava cake with berries. We got it in a to go container since we didn’t think we’d be able to finish the whole thing (spoiler: we did). This dessert gets an A+ in my book. Who was the first person ever to combine chocolate and berries? That person should 100% receive an award for discovering the very best food combination.

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Natasha gifted me this Vitamin C moisturizer. She’s the sweetest! She swears by it and says she started seeing a huge difference in her skin when she started using it. Check it out HERE! Speaking of Vitamin C, the Andalou Naturals SPF 30 that I use daily on my face also contains Vitamin C and I absolutely lluurrve it. It works well by itself or under makeup, doesn’t break me out (I have the most sensitive skin on the planet), and has a high rating on the EWG website so I know the ingredients are top notch. You can find it HERE! :)

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My pregnancy craving seems to have said goodbye to grapes and hello to WATERMELON. It’s a good thing we are approaching watermelon season because I am foreseeing piles of this stuff for breakfast on a daily basis. Joel cut one up for me last week and it was gone in 3 days. Preggo cravings are real.

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I stopped in at the store on my way home to pick up 2 of these beauties. As I was loading up my cart, I had the thought that my tum might be getting close to the size of a watermelon hah!

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I cut one right up as soon as I got home. Truth be told, it was not the most perfectly ripe (apparently I am not the best at picking out watermelon), but ya know, it was still pretty darn delicious. It filled up several of these pyrex dishes which I promptly stuck in the fridge. I’m excited for some chilled watermelon first thing tomorrow morning!

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We received this free Welcome Box from Amazon for setting up our baby registry with them. Look at all these awesome goodies :) I am pretty thrilled about it all and know that we will put everything to good use.

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Got any tips on how to pick out the perfect watermelon? Do you use SPF on your face/body every day? Are you a fan of guacamole too?     

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When hunger strikes at 11pm

Hi friends!

Happy May! I hope your May is off to a nice start.

What do you do when you’re hungry at 11pm? I’ll tell you what I did… I made myself some scrambled eggs with salt and pepper! :) This was definitely one of my more satisfying night-time snack choices. Eggs should make more of an appearance at times other than just breakfast.

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Video-calling my dad the other day –> sometimes he puts the phone to his ear and then this is my view. :) He and my step-mom are coming to help out with the baby this summer. Since we didn’t travel back to Kenya for the past couple Christmases, we haven’t seen them since they came to visit a couple years ago. I can’t believe that it has already been 2 years — it is crazy how time flies!

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These little caramel flan cups make for a very delicious snack. I’ve always really liked flan, but I have never tried my hand at making it myself – anyone have an easy recipe to share? I sure do appreciate this sweet little treat.

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For pretty much the entire pregnancy I have been taking calcium as well as prenatals. When you’re pregnant, you should get about 1000mg-1300mg of calcium daily (depending on age). I have been taking a pill with breakfast and another one with dinner to get my daily dose. I get these Nature Made supplements from Amazon, which is the same place that I get my prenatal vitamins. I like the Nature Made prenatals because they are easy to find (my grocery store carries them too) and they have DHA. Something I learned a while back was to look for the USP logo on any vitamins or supplements to make sure they are safe. You can find the calcium supplements HERE and the prenatals HERE :)

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Indian food for dinner and then again as leftovers for lunch the next day. Chicken korma, saag (spinach), and lamb curry with rice. It’s a good thing both Joel and I share a love for Indian food. I don’t know what life would be like if we didn’t enjoy the same cuisines. There are definitely some foods that I like that he doesn’t (ie, cauliflower) and some foods that he likes that I don’t (ie, olives), but in general we appreciate the same kinds of cuisine. :)

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We spent a little time on the patio before Joel headed off on a quick little work trip. It was one of those warm, sunny days that felt more like summer than spring. All the birds and squirrels were out and about, and it felt like perfection just soaking it all in. One of the birds had a very lovely chirp/call (it’s what he’s looking at) and we were trying to figure out what kind of bird it is.

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This is the little bird with the pretty little chirp. Anyone know what kind of bird this is? It hopped right up and let loose a few warbly notes that were quite lovely indeed. The bird was quite bold and curious, and didn’t seem too afraid of us… until it decided that we got too close for comfort, then it flew away hah.

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A snack of homemade bread happened at some point. Now that my baking streak seems to have worn off, it is very nice to be able to enjoy some of the fruits of that labor :)

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Current state of the bump –> I am rapidly approaching Basketball Smuggler status :) We can see this little boy’s movements from the outside now! I gotta say, I still haven’t gotten used to seeing my belly jumping when he kicks. It’s still pretty weird to me. But I’m sure it will only get more pronounced as the baby gets bigger in the coming weeks –> today I saw the bump move slightly with each of the baby’s hiccups!

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Check out that beautifully oiled teak table –> I’m excited for another summer of bbq’s, lunches, and hangouts around this table on the patio. Yay for all the memories that will be made :)

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While Joel was away on his work trip, a Chipotle dinner happened at home. Chicken, brown rice, green peppers, onions, pico, medium salsa, corn, and guacamole! I never used to get the guac at Chipotle since you have to pay extra, but I have since come to the realization that guac makes everything better and is sometimes worth the splurge. :)

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I added these cushions from our couch to the fireplace to accompany the new hearth cushion. It seems more cozy this way but I am undecided on whether they’ll stay there.

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I love these weeks of Spring when the trees are in full bloom. I used to pass these trees every single morning on my way to and from the gym. I would get up at 4am and be on the treadmill by 5am, and I’d run 6 or 7 miles before leaving the gym at 6:30am. I remember that refreshing sense of accomplishment and the endorphin high after each run. Boy do I miss that. It’s weird that I genuinely do not know when my next run or race will be… if all goes well with delivery, recovery, breastfeeding, and getting used to our new little family member, I am hoping to get back to easy running sometime this fall. #fingerscrossed.

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Kristi’s daughter Rowan has decided that she simply cannot go to Target without that little purse of hers. :) Just like her mom, this lil gal has such a personality, and I love it! In my opinion, the very best part of this photo is the adorable little toes in those flipflops. Why are little feet just so darn cute?

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And across the pond, waaay over in Holland, my niece Imara is looking right at home behind the wheel! I feel like it was just yesterday that she entered the world. It will probably feel like 5 minutes from now that she is actually driving for real. It’s true what they say about kiddos growing up so fast.

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Any idea what kind of bird that is? Do you take any supplements or vitamins? Got an easy flan recipe to share?     

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The winning combo + T minus 2 months!

Hi friends!

I cannot believe May begins tomorrow. The months are flying by faster and faster it seems. What did you guys do over the weekend? We caught up on a few errands and things around the house, did some relaxing, and had a nice little date night.

Our Friday night involved Longhorn Steakhouse –> we had one of these restaurants near us in Houston but we never went. This was actually our first time eating there together (my friend Bernice had a lunch here last month, so I went for that, but Joel missed out because he was out of town).

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The margharitas on that drink menu looked pretty darn incredible. Can’t wait to sip a margharita on the patio after the baby comes. :)

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Soft, delicious bread, warm and fresh from the oven. They know how to do it right at Longhorn.

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Salads to start. Joel’s dressing of choice was olive oil. My favorite dressing of all time is THIS ONE <– you have gotta try it.

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I went with chicken and asparagus for my meal, and Joel opted for steak. There were chopped jalapenos in the pico on top of the chicken, which I was not aware of until I bit right into a big one and set my mouth on fire. Phew!

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Our date night continued with a movie! I am pretty sure MoviePass is one of my favorite things. We tried to see the new Avengers movie but it was sold out, so we went with Rampage instead. I have to admit I had my doubts on whether I’d like it, but I ended up really enjoying it. I suppose the best way to ensure liking a movie is going in with zero expectations haha :)

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Our date didn’t end there… we then grabbed ice cream at Wentworth :) Chocolate with salted caramel and oreos for me (yess), and rum raisin for Joel. He’s always been a big rum raisin fan, and I gotta say, I just don’t get it..?

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Saturday afternoon bump. T minus 2 months till this little guy makes an appearance! I’m feeling big for sure, but surprisingly good still. No issues to speak of, just happily pregnant over here :)

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My book club book has finally arrived. The German Girl (find it here!) looks like it’ll be an interesting read. I’ve heard good things so I’m looking forward to diving in :)

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We finally had a day that was warm and dry enough to oil up our teak furniture –> the oil works best above 50 degrees –> something about the pores in the wood opening up…

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I love Spring! It feels so good to sit outside. I am pretty sure that the amazing Connecticut Spring is our consolation prize for surviving the winter hah.

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Berks + socks on the patio once again –> probably one of my more stylish moments to date :)

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This very cool guy took care of the entire furniture set himself. That’s right — the big table plus 8 chairs. And not only that, he also spent some time trimming our rose bushes and getting all the plants around the property nice and ready for the season. He’s the best.

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After a long day of strenuous yard work (Joel), cheerleading of said yard work (me), and some couch surfing (also me) we were ready for some Thai dinner. Joel opted for a papaya salad with pineapple rice and chicken.

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I went with garlicky salmon, veggies, and some of that very delicious pineapple rice –> it all made for quite the awesome experience for my taste buds. 10 out of 10. This will definitely be a repeat dinner.

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Sunday morning involved church –> we arrived late and ran into a friend in the lobby so chatted out there for a bit. There were a few paramedics around tending to a young woman who had passed out during the service. She was sitting up, talking, and seemed fine by the time we saw her so I hope everything was ok. Since we were super late by the time we made it inside, we headed up to the balcony where we found Jeff, Jessica, and Mike. Yay for having friends to sit with :)

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Post-church lunch happened at Tandoor with Jessica and Bernice :) It feels like forever since the last time we saw them, so it was nice to catch up.

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The Tandoor buffet lunch is pretty stellar, and the place was super busy this time around, the busiest I have ever seen it! There was a big line for the buffet, which I suppose should not be a surprise, judging by how good the food is. This week the goat curry and tandoori chicken were the stars of the show. :)

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I also very much appreciated the gulab jamun dessert –> they also had rice pudding, but man oh man, the gulab jamun simply cannot be beat. It’s probably my favorite Indian dessert that I have tried.

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We stopped in at the store to pick up a few food essentials, and while we were there, we also picked up our first watermelon of the season :) Last year we planted watermelon seeds in our garden, but they didn’t do too well –> we think there may have been too much clay in the soil, or maybe too many rocks? Maybe we will try again this year since we have some nice rich soil from our compost…

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I picked up some Crystal Light in the pink lemonade flavor (here!). It tastes very similar to the regular lemonade flavor which I love, so of course I am a fan. The only difference as far as I can tell is the color :)

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Leftover Thai food for Sunday dinner hit the spot. There’s nothing better than having yummy leftovers waiting for you when dinnertime rolls around.

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The very best way to start a Monday is with a big bowl of perfectly ripe watermelon for breakfast. This is a fact.

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When I got home from work, I found Joel cleaning out the grill in preparation for having Joseph and his wife over next week. Joseph and Joel have been friends since freshman year of college –> they were in the same engineering program and had most of their classes together. They went to Burkina Faso on a mission trip during one of the summers, which was a really amazing time for them (I missed him very much while he was gone but it was very cool to hear all about the experience when they got back!). Joseph and his wife currently serve as missionaries in Burkina Faso –> they are temporarily back in the USA and driving through Connecticut on their way to Boston, which is a perfect opportunity to for us to have them over for dinner!

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An early dinner happened –> white pizza with the winning combo of toppings: extra pineapple, extra ham, and light cheese. I also added a good amount of red pepper flakes for an extra kick. Yum!

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Are you a rum raisin ice cream fan? Do you add red pepper flakes to your pizza? What’s your favorite type of cuisine?    

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