The weekend we just finished could be defined as "jam packed", but that might be a bit of a muted description.
Saturday started off with our trip to the passport office. Eric, Annika, and I needed to renew our passports and Conor needed to get his first passport. We were so smart getting ready for this adventure. We had pictures taken 3 weeks ago (right after the kids got haircuts), filled out and printed the required paperwork, grabbed Conor's birth certificate, had photocopies of our IDs, and had it all tucked away in a big envelope.... or so we thought. We arrived at the passport office about 10 minutes before it arrived, knowing two kids in a long line wouldn't be our definition of "fun". We were third in line and silently laughing at the suckers forming the line behind us. After about 10 minutes, it was our turn. We smugly handed the lady our packet of paperwork and as she sorted through everything, I saw the little square on the forms that identifies where the pictures need to go. My stomach sank. I turned to Eric and asked, "Did you grab the pictures? Please tell me you grabbed the pictures." His face sank. The lady smiled, returned our paperwork to us, and said, "we're open until 2." Fortunately, there was a drug store across the street that takes passport photos, so we just had new ones taken. (A small miracle for the photo snafu: Conor and I wound up with much better photos this time around.) We got back in line and made our way through to the desk. The lady sifted through our paperwork, looked at the kids to make sure they matched the photos, looked at our IDs, confirmed the forms were correct (Eric and I even had to take an oath!), and then asked where Annika's certified birth certificate was. Wha?? We knew we needed Conor's because his was a new passport application, but Annika's was a renewal so we didn't think it was needed. The lady very kindly said, "It isn't clear on the website." Followed by, "Do you have it at home because we're open until 2." ARG!!! We scurried back home, I grabbed the birth certificate, and then headed back to Ballard. Fortunately, I was able to make the trek solo because the lady had seen the kids and Eric, as well as all of the required information, so I just needed to hand her the certificate. Oy!!!
Saturday night, we had a wonderful evening out with Troy and Staci. We decided to treat ourselves to an experience instead of exchanging Christmas presents, and this weekend was the designated date. We originally hoped to get tickets to "The Book of Mormon" when it was in town, but getting tickets that weren't insanely expensive wasn't in the cards. Instead, we had a marvelous dinner at Daniels Broiler in Bellevue. We laughed ourselves silly and ate wonderful food until we were ready to burst. We even had a celebrity spotting... Troy discovered that Brock Huard (former UW and NFL football player) and his family were sitting diagonally from us. I'm sure the Huards were tired of hearing us laugh all night long, but oh well! We were having fun and are a loud family. :)
On Sunday, Conor and I went to mass, followed by a quick trip to the grocery store. Annika had been invited to a friend's house for brunch and a play date at 11, which she was beyond excited about. I took Conor to swim lessons while Eric took Annika to her friend's house; unfortunately, we didn't realize it was "everyone please stay" not just "Annika please stay" situation, so we had to scramble a bit to make that work around Conor's nap and us needing to prep for our little dinner party that night. I also needed to finish my Daring Baker's challenge (due on Sunday), so had to work in baking gevulde speculaas, too; fortunately, it worked as the dessert for our dinner party! Eric cleaned up the house while I took Annika to her swim lesson, and then I tackled the lasagna when I got home. We figured it all out and got everything done on time ... thank goodness for teamwork (and Conor taking a nap)!
Sunday evening, our friends the Hoglunds came over for dinner. Awhie ago, they gave us hand-me-down pasta machine, and I promised to pay them back with a homemade pasta dinner. I wound up making a lasagna recipe that I found on the Smitten Kitchen blog and it was fabulous! I made the meat sauce on Saturday and the rest on Sunday. It was really good and Eric liked that it isn't overly tomato-y. I'd definitely make it again, that's for sure.
As we sat in a heap on the couch finishing the episode of Downton Abbey that we'd been trying to finish for over 24 hours, I had the realization that I was looking forward to going back to work the next day... not only because I love my new job, but because the pace HAS to be slower than what we experienced this weekend!!