Thursday, July 5, 2012


So the weekend of June 22-25 was a weekend of many celebrations and boy, was it exhausting!

My Dad turned 50 back on the 13th but we threw him a surprise party on the 22nd when his sister and her family were in town from Tennessee.

Sidebar: Shout out to the Dibbs! You should come back to Cali more often...or just move back. We all know you want to. I LOVE when they are around. Mine and my sister's relationship with our cousin's Andrew and Morgan can best be summed up like this:

Graphic via here
Anyway, the theme of the party was MarioKart and my mom really went all out and managed to pull it off...he was totally surprised. Had no idea.

We made him "break through" the "finish line".
We had an awesome cake made by a local bakery:

We had cupcakes too with little MarioKart figures on top.
And my mom made cookies to look like the invincibility stars:

Mr. Ford ate a lot of these.
We ordered cakepops to look like the "one-up" mushrooms from Mr. Ford's awesome cousin's cakepop business, Sallyface Cakepops:

CUTE. And yummy.
B-T-Dubs, they ship anywhere in the country. Got your back, Chy. ;)

My Uncle Kirk grilled and smoked so much of his famous Tri-Tip, I don't think he left any for the rest of the state of California. The man is a Tri-Tip wizard. So yum.

And my Dad got to play MarioKart with a lot of his favorite people.

By which I mean his nieces and nephews.
Mostly, it was just a wonderful time spent celebrating an incredible man who has done so much for so many in his 50 years with family and friends who are family.

The next day we spent just chilling at the Miller homestead in Yuba City with family, which is so rare but so lovely. Relaxing, refreshing, and fun. So much fun. The Millers love to laugh and know how to make each other laugh (however inappropriate it may be at times...oops ;) and that's how we spent Saturday. I wish we could have more time like more often.

Cousin Andrew wearing G-pa's hat.

Mr. Ford and I

6 1/2 year old Gilly teaching cousin Andrew how to play a game on her Kindle.
Then Sunday it was time for Ford family celebrations! It was not only Mr. Ford's sister's birthday but also our niece, Giulia's first birthday! So we headed over to Ben and Gina's to celebrate our sweet, sweet, full of personality and life Giulia. 

WIth our niece/Mr. Ford's Goddaughter.
That girl LOVED her cake and is not afraid to get messy...while still looking gorgeous. My kind of girl.

Mr. Ford's sister, Elizabeth, and her son, Logan, as well as my wonderful, Mother-in-Love, Colleen drove up from down south to be with everybody for Weekend 'o' Celebrations, which was a real treat. I love having them around and I got to bond a little more with Logan, which was a major plus. Sunday night we had a quiet dinner at Chevy's to celebrate Elizabeth. Mr. Ford got her a sombrero and she retaliated and got him one too, since his birthday was on Monday! (I told you there were lots of people to celebrate!)

Mr. Ford can be such a goober...but he's my goober. :)
And Monday was my Mr. Ford's birthday. Oh my, do I love that man. We had a nice quiet morning, drinking coffee and I read all of his Facebook birthday wishes out loud to him, emphasizing when there were all caps and the number of exclamation points used. He really loved that. ;)

Then Mr. Ford got cooking. What he wanted most to do for his birthday was to cook a fabulous meal for some of the people he loved (which turned out to be, as he put it, "the women in his life"). He has always loved to cook and to be adventurous in the kitchen, but since starting back to school full-time while working full-time, he hasn't been able to cook much of anything at all, much less get adventurous. So that's what he wanted to do. And boy was it phenomenal! It reminded me of why I fell in love with him and married him.

He made a 3 course meal, plus an aperitif course and a dessert course. For the aperitif he made what were basically gruyere cheese-its...holy cow. They were so good! They were gobbled up so fast. OMG, yum.

Then he made a chilled melon soup that was so refreshing and perfect for summer.

Then there was a FABULOUS roasted, chopped beet and red onion salad. You cannot go wrong with roasted beets. Just ask me.

THEN. Oh, then...he made duck confit. MY man made duck confit. I have died and gone to heaven. Duck confit is the food of the gods...and also the French. Oh, my word. I love duck confit...probably one of my favorite foods and the singular reason I go to France. ;) Just kidding...kind of. And my man NAILED IT. It was unbelievable. No words. I may go so far as to say it was the best of my life. Sorry, Frenchies. But it was really that good. Woo! Cloud nine.

It doesn't look like much, but TRUST ME.
 And then we had a tart tatin, which is basically on upside-down, open-faced apple pie and also very French. Yum, yum. Even though it made a GIANT mess in my oven. But whatever. I'm over it.

I was very proud of my table setting too. :)
And other than oohing and ahhing over my husband's chops in the kitchen, we just had a lovely evening chatting and being together. And watching Logan run back and forth and play with toys. Man, do I love that kid.

Love this kid. Also our Godson. We collect them, apparently. :)
My husband is truly my best friend and equal and perfect yin to my yang in every way. I love him forever and am so grateful to have been able to celebrate another year of his life, because his life has changed mine in radical and unexpected ways. If you've ever met him, count yourself blessed and enriched. The fact that he chose to cook for others on HIS birthday speaks volumes of his character and his servant heart. I love you to the moon and back, Mr. Ford.

And Tuesday I got to spend a quiet day at home with my sister-in-love, Elizabeth, chatting on the couch for hours on end. That was a true blessing. I am so grateful to have her and her precious son in my life as well.

It was a crazy, busy, long, exhausting weekend but a weekend we'll always remember. Full of celebrations of the ones we love. That is always a joy.

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