A Buzztastic Shower

Since we were multitasking the family reunion at Lake LBJ with handing out Team Sherry t-shirts, I figured why not also throw in a baby shower on the same weekend for good measure? We do, after all, have Griffin and Lauren’s new baby girl to celebrate! So, Saturday night was all about Baby Dayton. Well, Baby Dayton and bees. I’ve always wanted to throw a bee themed baby shower, and this seemed like a great time to give it a try!

I made my own fuzzy bees for the flower arrangement. They look…special. And I’m pretty sure my bees would never survive in the wild, seeing as how I couldn’t figure out how to attach antennae. But they’re fun and festive!

Pretty yellow chevron plates, cups, and napkins with matching school bus yellow plasticware.

A bee decorated picture frame of the happy couple and all natural beeswax candles for party favors.

Now the food! Which of course, I had to stick to the bee theme when coming up with ideas! I LOVE a good theme. I will not let you leave a party without making sure that theme is beat into every aspect of your consciousness. After all, the fun is often in the details.

Honey Vinaigrette Orzo Salad from Everyday Italian with Giada. (I don’t love mint in my food, so I substituted with more basil)

Bee Bee Q chicken drumsticks, from Down Home with the Neelys. and what emphasizes the word “bee” better than cute clip art bees? (the actual sauce was served separately)

Honey Glazed Baby Carrots from Sunny Anderson’s Cooking for Real. This is now one of my favorite ways to prepare carrots!. Super easy and pretty tasty!

Stingingly Spicy Shrimp from Food Network, for all the spicy shrimp lovers in the group.

And the best part of the meal? Dessert, decorated in a few more disabled fuzzy bees!! Sopapilla cheezzzecake from Allrecipes.com. Honestly, this is the easiest dessert ever and everybody loves it! I feel like quite an accomplished baker as everybody oohs and ahhs as I pull this out of the oven.

And no party is complete without a few beverages! I made fresh honey limeade mocktails and bee’s knees cocktails. Plus, we brought a case of Revolver’s Blood and Honey beer. Here’s me and Debra cheers-ing to a buzzingly lovely baby shower!

Plus, how about this beautiful basket of goodies from Burt’s Bees Baby? (I didn’t actually get a picture, so thanks also to Burt’s Bees for the photo)

So, we took a bunch of photos of Griffin and Lauren opening Dayton’s gifts. However, it really takes a very special photographer to get good present opening pictures. Andy and I are not said special photographers. I always find it hard because people are usually looking down, talking amongst themselves, and awkwardly gesturing.  So, I thought it would be best if I didn’t post those pictures. How about a cute one of Hudson as his parents open his new sister’s gifts instead?

Hudson entertaining himself with crumpled wrapping and tissue paper.

And because that one was a little dark and grainy, how about this one?

Look at that face! Look at those beautiful blue eyes!! We love our little nephew, we really really do! (And yes, he has smeared strawberries on his face, like a one year old is prone to do.)

We are so excited for Griffin, Lauren, and Hudson. They will soon have one more darling member to add to their family. And we are even more excited to meet our baby niece!!

And there you have it, one action packed family weekend at Lake LBJ. You can check out some more of the pictures we took by clicking here.

Everything’s Coming Up Roses

Cancer is a big scary unhappy topic. Though it may sound macabre, it is also what keeps me employed. Being in the research department, it means I scan through a lot of patients everyday looking for matches to the clinical trials that we currently have available. Often from the background, I get the chance to mourn with the sad stories, rejoice with the survivors, and cheer on the fighters that are still in the midst of their battles.

My view on cancer took a sudden twist last January when we learned that Andy’s mom has been diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. The last few months have been rough and the next several months may be tougher yet as they pursue more treatments and options.

I truly believe that a good attitude can make a difference in so many things, even when it comes to fighting a frightening beast like cancer. So, Andy and I wanted to help his mom remember how many people are out there cheering for her, wishing her luck, and hoping for the best for her.

With that said, Cathy and I started brainstorming ideas for a “Team Sherry” t-shirt. We decided to focus on something to do with roses, since Sherry’s maiden name was Rose and the entire family has had an affinity for roses for…well, close to forever. Eventually, we came across the phrase, “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” from the musical, Gypsy, by Stephen Sondheim. The idea was distributed amongst family and friends, t-shirts were printed, and photos were sent back to me of everybody in their t-shirts.

The first big chance we got to show off our shirts was at the family reunion lake trip (as you may have seen from previous pictures). But the idea was to collect as many photos as possible and place them in a picture frame for Sherry to see whenever she’s feeling discouraged or weak. Since the picture frame was successfully delivered to Sherry last weekend, I thought I’d post the pictures here for everybody else to see too.

Family reunion 2014 at Lake LBJ with everybody sporting their Team Sherry t-shirts. This was our nice photo, things quickly disintegrated into mayhem afterwards…

This was our somewhat silly picture, still a pretty nice shot of the family.

But then it was decided that we should show off the back of the t-shirts, but weren’t sure how to do so without a picture of a bunch of butts. This is better, no?

Which quickly led to this picture being taken…It looks a little like we’re performing Baby Got Back in front of the pool. Whatevs. It’s a fun picture nevertheless.

In case you wanted to see the back. Cathy did an amazing job, as per usual. I think the t-shirts came out wonderfully! (thanks Debra for taking this picture!)

Here’s Aunt Susan blowing kisses from Kansas City.

Molly and her family sending happy thoughts from South Carolina.

Jolene sending love from Alabama

Another bit of good luck being sent from Alabama via Ronnie (Jolene’s husband)

Charlotte, Walt, and Kaitlyn sending a little iron from Topeka. (In the picture frame, I had to cut out everybody but Walt. So here’s the picture in its full glory)

The Trommer side with Uncle Gary, Grandma & Grandpa, and Michele’s family standing behind Sherry (literally and figuratively).

Adorable Aunt Ilda sending some of her spunk from Emporia.

Our dear friends, Ethan and Bethany, sending one beautiful smile and one really questionable look from Houston.

My mom sending her “V for victory” fingers from California.

And of course, Cathy and me, the co-conspirators. We took this photo late one night during one of our less than 24 hour trips to Austin in order to pick up/quality check all the t-shirts. Andy had already gone to sleep. So, we precariously propped the camera up on a stack of books and used the self timer option. This is the best shot we could get…but it works!

There you have it. Love, support, and happy thoughts from all around the country. I’m not sure how to end a post like this, so I’ll leave you with a few lyrics from Everything’s Coming Up Roses and a performance from the great Angela Lansbury.

You’ll be swell! You’ll be great!
Gonna have the whole world on the plate!
Starting here, starting now,
Honey, everything’s coming up roses!

Family Reunion 2014

For several years, Andy and I had talked about trying to get his family together for a non-Christmas/non-Thanksgiving outing. But life always seemed to get in the way of actually planning such a trip. About a month ago, Andy and I finally organized a weekend lake trip for his family. We searched a few different lakes in the area, but decided on Log Country Cove at Lake LBJ right outside Georgetown, TX. Several of our friends stayed there previously and raved about their experience. (Thanks Adam and Jenny for the suggestion!) So, we decided to give it a try!

The beautiful rental house slept 14 with a giant kitchen and a lovely pool in the backyard. It was perfect for a family filled weekend, full of eating, drinking, talking, lounging, napping, swimming, sunbathing, and just having what I hope was a great time!

Andy, me, Sherry, and Rick enjoying a weekend at Lake LBJ.

We always look forward to spending time with family! And as a side note, I can’t believe our baby nephew is getting so big!

Bodie, Noah, Griffin, and Hudson sharing an early morning moment (over plenty of coffee/juice).

Griffin and Debra, BCF (Best Cousins Forever? Yeah, it’s getting late. My captions aren’t coming out so very clever at this point. But at least I’m finally getting these photos posted!)

Andrew and Noah having fun in the pool!

One of the best spots at the lake house, around the kitchen table in front of our snacks. And oh did we have snacks! I think we had enough food to last for several weeks, let alone a few days! Thanks to everybody for chipping in to our massive food stash!

Noah, Caitlin, and Andrew getting ready for an afternoon hanging by the pool. (Thanks to Uncle Bodie for taking this picture!)

So, in total we had twelve adults, two babies, and seven dogs. It was a rowdy house filled with laughter and happy memories. And I hope it’s the first of many family outings in the years to come! And yes, I’ve got more pictures and descriptions to post in the next few days, but this will have to do for tonight!

Mother’s Day 2014

With all the hectic traveling in May, I completely forgot to post the pictures we took for Mother’s Day 2014. It was a crazy weekend with Andy in class Friday night and all day Saturday. But we filled ourselves with coffee, packed up the puppies, and drove down to Austin in time to celebrate on Sunday!

The Trommers posing for a family picture after a lovely Mother’s Day brunch at Main Street Grill in downtown Round Rock.

And we certainly couldn’t celebrate Mother’s Day in Austin without stopping to see Grandma Trommer too!

Grandma Trommer showing off her room and her fantastic bright pink sweater.

Catching up with the grandparents!

So, there you go! I may be late in posting the pictures, but I am still hoping that all the moms in our lives know that they’re loved, respected, and cherished all year round not only on Mother’s Day!

In Need of a Little KC

I love Kansas, and I always will. With that said we, unfortunately, usually only make it up to Kansas City once a year. It’s just not a very entertaining drive! But this year, we saved up our pennies (and miles) and just took a flight to MCI instead. Problem solved! So many things to do, so many dear people to see, and plenty of food to eat! Picture it, Memorial Day Weekend 2014…

We arrived late in the afternoon. So of course, dinner with the Martíns was the perfect first Kansas stop! They chose this excellent Argentinian restaurant called Piropos for us to try. Everything was absolutely delicious and I highly recommend it! 

Usually, we mooch off of family members or friends for lodging in Kansas. But for this trip, Andy had enough hotel points that we were able to stay in the Crown Center Westin. It was a fancy treat with a fantastic view of downtown!

Check out that view!!

And they were setting up all night for the big Celebration at the Station Memorial Day event (at Union Station with the Kansas City Symphony). How pretty!!

The next day was packed to the brim with amazing memories and fun times! Looking at all the photos now makes me so happy but also just a little bit tired! :)

A busy day requires a good cup of coffee to start it out correctly! We were excited to be able to meet up with Aunt Susan at Rye for a lovely brunch. Man, Kansas City sure has plenty of fun new places to eat! At Rye, I would definitely get the homemade cinnamon rolls or doughnuts!

Next off? We managed to get tickets to the Boulevard Brewery tour. Andy has always had a fondness for Boulevard and we’ve never been able to go on the tour! So, how thrilled were we when we FINALLY fit it in our KC schedule? Really Very Thrilled!! **Hint: If you also want to check out the Boulevard tour, get there EARLY. There is definitely a line and they definitely run out of tickets quickly. We got lucky because they added extra tours for Memorial Day weekend.

All Kansas City natives are very proud of Boulevard beer. It’s a true Kansas City staple.

I got the golden ticket! I got the Boulevard brewery tour ticket!

And of course, the highlight of the tour, the tasting room! Even though I bravely took sips of everything, I’m afraid that beer is still not my drink of choice. But that just means everybody else has extra samples to try!

After many tiny beers, it was time for the big event! It doesn’t seem to matter how much time we’re in Kansas, it never seems to be enough! We have so many wonderful friends that we want to see that I’ve started just inviting everybody to one big event. This year? A fun evening at the T-Bones minor league baseball game, tailgate included!

Scott and Kristina! They recently moved back to the KC area and we’re so glad they could join us!! Hopefully that also means we’ll get to see them more frequently!

Our buds, Cryssie and Pat, soon to move back to their native home in Nebraska. We’re so glad we were able to catch up with them before their big move! Side note: I’m ALWAYS thankful for Cryssie and Pat’s amazing planning skills. Thanks for the use of your folding table, the tailgate wouldn’t have been nearly as successful without it!

A special surprise! April and Greg also recently moved back to KC with their babies. It’s been several years since we last met up, so what good luck that we got to see them again!!

Wow, it’s not until this picture that I realized how much people are shifting around, either moving to or from Kansas. Erin is a Trommer Family favorite friend and she’s also soon to move to Chicago. We’ll miss her during our Kansas City adventures, but it just means Chicago adventures instead!

And more pictures! (There’s still plenty more to come) Cindy, Mike, and me hamming it up for the camera. This is our second annual Memorial Day T-Bones game!

And of course, a Kansas trip wouldn’t be the same without Chris, Sarah, and their kiddos! I can never believe how much the kids have grown since the last time I saw them. It’s kind of a cliche, but oh so true!

I wasn’t happy with any of the photos that we took of Katie & CC’s family. (The pictures either had random blurry people running through them, people chewing, or people looking startled. You’re welcome for not posting such silly photos) But it meant I didn’t have any pictures of Katie and CC! So I totally stole, I mean, borrowed these pictures that Katie took during the baseball game. Thanks Katie!! This one is of CC and Reese.

Sully and Katie take a T-Bones game selfie!

Just hanging out with my buddy Atti.

What a fantastic evening, one that I’ll always remember. We are so lucky to have such loving friends and I truly feel blessed. I only wish we could see everybody more often!

And of course, a trip to Kansas City is never complete without a visit with my Grandma Peggy and Grandpa Bob. We got to catch up with them and see their new apartment. Also as a side note, I’m totally loving my new KC top from Boulevard. :)

And on our way back to the airport, I’ve always wanted to see this library in downtown Kansas City. How cool is that facade??

There you have it! Another fantastic trip to Kansas City come and gone. We already miss everybody tremendously and we’re thinking about the next visit! I have a few more pictures posted in our gallery, if you’d like to take a look!

 

We’ll Be Back Seattle!

The last installment of our Seattle trip! Hey, it’s not my fault Seattle is so awesome it warranted three different posts and over one hundred pictures. (Not everything was worth posting, but that’s still a lot of  photos to comb through!)

Let’s start with one of my favorite oddities that we saw during Seattle trip, the cat man. We were just meandering around downtown Seattle when we saw this fellow, dressed in an amazing ensemble of leather vest, coon skin cap…and some furry animal perched on his shoulder. Andy was convinced it had to be a stuffed animal. But no, cat man is much too awesome to use a fake prop!!

As if the cat knew we were pondering his existence, he turned around and glared at us, as only a cat can. Love it and love that we saw the Seattle Cat Man.

In the slightly more normal universe, I also got the opportunity to meet up with an old high school friend that now lives in Seattle. It’s been over ten years, but it’s always nice to catch up with friends! Glad to see that Kristin’s doing well and enjoying Seattle (and yes, I’m supremely jealous that she gets to call Seattle her home.)

Kristin and me at the Caffe Senso Unico, a little coffee shop around the corner from our hotel. Lovely espresso and fantastic breakfast pastries!

This is absolutely not in chronological order, but we also went to Golden Gardens Park north of downtown Seattle in the Ballard district. It is an absolutely fantastic park! Perfect walking trails through lush forests AND a beautiful beach. It’s a very strange but wonderful mix of environments. It definitely made us wish for a lazy afternoon with our dogs and a fun picnic lunch!

Out enjoying the scenery and watching the sailboats at Golden Gardens Park.

After all this wandering around everyday, we obviously had to find some tasty lunch spots! One of our many favorites was Capitol Cider, a real cider bar!

Since we found a cider bar, I decided on a small smattering of cider samples. All very tasty and refreshing! No, I really can’t ever explain my face. It is what it is…

I do look much happier about our cheese tray though! This does not in any way, shape, or form, symbolize how I feel about cider. But I will admit, cheese is generally going to make me happier in any situation.

Andy, however, is a perpetually happy beer drinker, even at a cider bar.

We were also lucky enough to get a patch of sunshine so we could venture to the Olympic Sculpture Park. It was perfect for our last afternoon stroll in Seattle. We loved spending time enjoying the art and the scenery before heading home.

Pretty flowers (mountain lupine?) at the sculpture park, I couldn’t resist getting a picture!

Hey look! It’s a sculpture-like thing!

And another sculpture thing!

And this was our favorite piece, named Love & Loss. It took us a second to find all the pieces…but here it is with a couple additions.

L in the bench

O in the fire pit

V in the tree

E in the picnic table

& floating high in the sky, which I wanted a picture with the ampersand before I actually knew what the sculpture was. I have a weird affection for ampersands that I can’t always explain.

Then take the same “L” and “O” and add a couple of “S“es in a bench and a sidewalk, and there you have it! Love & Loss plus a couple of Trommers.

There you have it. Three days in Seattle. And there’s still so much left to explore! I have a long list of places that I’d like to return to someday and Seattle is definitely high on that list! Even though I’m still working to blog back up to the present, fun stuff just keeps right on happening. That’s certainly nothing to complain about, but I do promise to catch up someday! In the mean time, you can peruse the rest of the Seattle pictures that I’ve posted by clicking here.

So Much Seattle, So Little Time!

So, I’ve covered the magical place called Pike Place Market. And though, there is plenty to do and see in Pike Place Market alone, we have barely even scratched Seattle’s surface yet! Even with our itinerary packed full for three days, we still have so much more left to experience! Rather than overload you with everything we did for the rest of the trip, I’m going to break it down into two additional parts. Let’s talk ferries, markets, and trolls today!

We took a 30 minute ferry ride out to Bainbridge Island for some light sightseeing, wandering, shopping, and of course, eating!

Views from the ferry dock of downtown Seattle.

Andy took several pictures of this boat-crane set up, so I feel obligated to post at least one of them. There you go, it’s a fascinating boat with fascinating cranes performing fascinating acts of shipping.

For dinner we went to the Harbour Public House, a very charming and casual little place right on the bay. It has a beautiful view of the ocean and rows of bobbing sailboats. Andy got the special seafood curry, full of squid, shrimp, cod, salmon, and mussels. Yum! (I got a grilled salmon sandwich, not as exciting perhaps, but equally tasty!)

More amazing was this farro salad that Andy and I shared as an appetizer. It’s farro with an assortment of fresh veggies topped with deliciously creamy goat cheese. This was fabulous! So amazing in fact, that I took this picture solely to help document the ingredients so I could try to recreate it at home.

Didn’t I say we had a view of bobbing sailboats? There be the sailboats!! I now feel an obligatory pirate “yarg” should be uttered after that last sentence.

The next morning it was time to hit up some street markets! Who doesn’t love a good local street market? And in Seattle, there are so many to choose from!!

We chose Ballard Farmers Market to ogle all the beautiful fresh produce, tasty local treats, and again with the gorgeous Seattle floral selections.

Beautiful looking produce and so much to choose from! Makes me wish I had extra room in my suitcase or tummy!

How about some giant leeks?!? I’m not sure what I’d do with giant leeks, but I want some!

And check out these teeny tiny succulent plants! Andy wouldn’t let me take one home, despite my reassurances that I’m sure it would be just fine in my carry on suitcase!

Being around all that lovely produce in the farmers’ market made us hungry, so we stopped for brunch at the Hi-Life with our friend Lacretia and her boyfriend Casey. Lacretia moved back to Seattle from DFW several years ago, and we’ve been jealous of her relocation ever since! We’ve always meant to make the trip to visit her, and now that we have, she’s moving again! Guess we’ll just have to keep leap frogging around the country!

Lacretia and I enjoying a beautiful Sunday in Seattle.

The Hi-Life Restaurant is located in an old fire house, very cool!

And because we take more pictures of food than of people, here’s my brunch selection! It’s a beet and root vegetable hash. I don’t love beets because I don’t think they have much flavor. They just have a strange bland sweetness. Nothing to hate, just nothing to love either. But this dish made use of the perfect spices and seasonings to make this a great beet dish! (if such a thing exists)

With our energy restored, off to the Fremont Sunday Market. This was more of a street fair than a farmers’ market. Lots of fun local vendors selling everything from plastic dinosaurs to antique clothing to made to order planter boxes. Fun!

I found these cool old typewriter key cufflinks. Now if only I knew somebody that wears cufflinks…

How about some old typeset pieces?

And everybody needs a bird stamp, right?

Or how about a nifty locally produced t-shirt from E-1 north?

Or maybe this even tinier succulent arrangement planted on a wine cork and stuck to a magnet? Despite my pleadings, Andy was still dubious that this little fella could survive the trip home. Thus, I come home succulent-less.

And if you get hungry from all your wanderings, you could always get a spot to eat from the pig shaped food truck. You know they must mean business when they’ve fashioned their truck to look like food! (yes, I feel similarly about the Oscar Meyer wienermobile.)

And since we were in Fremont, we had to see about a troll that lives under a certain bridge…

It’s him! The Fremont troll that lives under the bridge!! I’m not sure you can see it very well in this picture, but he’s holding a VW bug in his left hand. He’s a pretty nice size for a troll! And while we walked back to our car, I said somebody should really sculpt three billy goats to complete the story. (I then had to remind Andy about the story of the three billy goats gruff, lest he thinks that I was randomly requesting goats again.)

Lo and behold, in front of some random little apartment complex was three sculptures of the billy goat brothers! I’m happy to have found validation…

There you have it another chunk of our Seattle trip. I know that I’m woefully behind, but I promise to return soon for the last segment!