It’s My Birthday!

Today is, as Moose put it, my 5th 39th birthday. We started the day by taking a peek at the rapidly-growing mourning dove squabs in our tree:

We were out early due to the excessive heat warning I was gifted for my birthday. There was only one thing I really wanted to do out of the house…visit a spray park. We ended up driving up to a really nice one in Edwardsville because it was open early, and had fun playing in the water before it got too hot!

When we got home, I opened my presents…I received some very nice things from my family!

Of course I played Animal Crossing New Horizons, and for the second year in a row, Roald came to my party!

The rest of the day was pretty chill…we watched some of my favorite movies (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, A League of Their Own, and White Christmas), had my favorite frozen pizza for dinner (Home Run Inn), and enjoyed the beautiful birthday cake (with 43 candles) the girls made for me:

In spite of the heat, I had a fantastic birthday…and that’s just the start of the fun this week!

The Two Best Things About June

My two favorite things about the month of June, whether we’re talking real life or Animal Crossing, are fireflies and hydrangeas.

Happy World Penguin Day!

Today is World Penguin Day…here’s a look at all of my favorite penguin pals!

And a glimpse at a special World Penguin Day visit to the St. Louis Zoo this morning:

Happy World Penguin Day!

Easter 2022

Time for a look back at another Markel Family Easter, which started, as it does every year, on Maundy Thursday:

On Friday, I made hot cross buns (again), but this year, I tried a new recipe:

The Good Friday service was, as always, lovely and moving:

On Saturday morning, while we watched Rick Steves’ European Easter, we made our Paschal Candle for the year…I think this may be the nicest job we’ve ever done!

While I did have work to do on Saturday to prepare for our Easter dinner, most of the day was really spent waiting until it was finally time for my favorite service of the church year, the Great Vigil of Easter:

After church, we stopped at Wendy’s for Frostys and fries:

We’re still getting used to the fact that we don’t have to get up for a sunrise Easter service, so we felt a little more leisurely about getting ready. We were still at church early enough to take pictures outside:

And some indoors, including our traditional by-the-baptismal-font Easter pictures:

The church looked especially beautiful!

Ladybug even got to acolyte:

And we got a nice family picture after the service:

When we got home, I made Easter breakfast, which included Kaiserschmarrn (the Kaiser’s torn pancakes) with Rhabarberkompott (rhubarb compote), hard-boiled eggs (this is really the first time we’ve ever dyed eggs…you’ll see why in a minute), and pomegranate juice:

While we watched Easter Parade and My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding, I found time to play a little Animal Crossing: New Horizons so I could visit with Zipper T. Bunny. I also caught up with Roald, who was wearing an egg suit…I wonder if that’s what he looked like when he hatched?

I spent most of the rest of the day working on dinner and setting the table:

I chose an Italian theme for this year’s dinner. I served the same lamb in the slow cooker we had last year (technically Greek, but more generically Mediterranean, so close enough), lemon parmesan risotto, insalata caprese, roasted cauliflower, panzanella, breaded artichokes, capers, olives, Italian Easter bread, and lemon Italian soda.

I stuck with the Italian theme for dessert…we had cannoli and Italian sprinkle cookies:

This was an especially nice Easter. Maybe it’s because things felt more “normal” (I actually shook hands for the first time in over two years!), maybe it was because the church services were so meaningful, maybe it was because this may be the nicest Easter dinner I’ve ever made. Whatever the reason, I’m thankful we had such a wonderful celebration of Christ’s resurrection!

St. Patrick’s Day 2022

Yesterday was one of my favorite days of the whole year (and one of the most delicious!)…St. Patrick’s Day!

We set our leprechaun trap:

We still didn’t manage to catch Lucky, though he did leave us a treat:

I wore green, glitter, and rainbows on a St. Patrick’s Day trip to the Missouri Botanical Garden. We didn’t find any shamrocks, but we did read a few of our favorite St. Patrick’s Day books while we were there.

I also had fun choosing just the right outfit in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I have a full-on leprechaun suit and a clover dress, but in the end, I decided to go with fusion fashion…a green dirndl!

We had our traditional dinner of corned beef and cabbage, roast carrots and potatoes, and soda bread with Irish butter. This year, I picked Ski soda to go with the meal, mostly because the bottle is green (and it’s nice to support local businesses).

And our favorite Guinness cake for dessert. I don’t know if it was just because I decorated it with chocolate sprinkles, but it looked even more like a donut to me than it usually does!

Up next…a two-day celebration of Turkey’s 19th birthday!