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Weekend: Preparing for Visitors

Oh man, I’m in for a crazy (fun!) week!

These two cuties rolled into Charlotte on Sunday afternoon to spend the week with me and I’m so happy to have them here! I had been texting back and forth with their mom for a few weeks trying to find a date that would work since they go back to school on July 31 (so insanely early!). I had also been chatting back and forth with my mom about her visiting Charlotte and somehow the two visits ended up happening at the same time so I have a houseful this week but it’s fun to have everyone together.

Rewinding to the weekend before they arrived…

Not technically the weekend but close enough…on Thursday I received a gigantic shipment of cherries from the Northwest Cherry Growers. I dropped a few bags by to our chef at Namastay Kitchen to get creative with but I have tons left to use. We’ve been snacking on them and I also plan on making a cherry peach crisp tonight. I’m open to hearing any of your favorite cherry recipes. 🙂

Per usual, I wrapped up Friday by teaching hot yoga at 4:30 and then taking the girls on a walk that was just shy of an hour. It was hot but a great walk. It’s such a great way to wind down from the week.

Tanner brought home a rack of lamb on the Fourth of July when he also picked up steaks. I decided I’d best use it ASAP so on Friday night I did a garlic and herb crusted rack of lamb. It was my first time cooking it and I was surprised by how easy it was and how well it turned out.

Plated up with roasted potatoes and asparagus.

On Saturday morning I had a peach, some cherries and a zucchini carrot muffin with a little butter. Then I decided to head out on a long run. For some reason I got 8 miles in my head. It was equal parts absolutely terrible and amazing. Terrible mostly for the intense humidity (80+ %) but amazing to actually get the miles in. I sweated buckets and then had to quickly rinse and go teach hot yoga where I sweated even more. The rest of the day I felt like I couldn’t get caught up on hydration. I feel like it’s such an electrolyte game this time of year in addition to just water.

Saturday afternoon brought an acupuncture appointment followed by errands to get ready for my visitors. I  have the girls on the pull-out couch in the den and hit up Target for some fun surprises.

We had an evening thunder storm that cooled the temps all the way down to 70 degrees so I leashed up the girls around 8 for a late walk. It was so peaceful.

Back at home I whipped up a quick pasta dish of spaghetti with sautéed zucchini, artichoke hearts, chicken sausage and tomato basil sauce.

Sunday was a bit of a waiting game since I wasn’t sure whether my family would arrive around noon or later in the afternoon. I put my final touches on cleaning and then did an hour long home practice/meditation session outside because I wasn’t sure on timing a class at the studio. It was lovely and reminded me how much I love home practices, especially outside.

I made the most random salad/bowl thing for lunch. It was even a stretch for me. I was trying to use up what we had in the fridge before a big grocery restock for the week ahead. Mission accomplished!

When I learned my family wasn’t going to arrive until 2:30 or so, I realized I had just enough time to squeeze in a grocery trip. I made a quick menu for the week and then proceeded to roam the aisles somewhat bewildered wondering what type of breakfast, lunch, snacks the girls would eat. I think I went a little overboard! 😛

It’s been all girl, all fun since they arrived. I have learned in just 24 hours that everything takes twice as long with kids and there is no privacy. I can’t even go upstairs to pee without, “aunt Jen…..what are you doing???” I absolutely adore it. 🙂

I’m going to try to stick to a normal teaching and posting schedule but if you don’t hear from me for a day or so, you know what I’m doing.

Favorite cherry recipes? 

Best workout of the weekend? 

Favorite way to entertain family when they visit? 

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Katherine July 10, 2017, 3:01 pm

    How special to have your nieces with you for the week! I loved staying with my aunt when I was younger. It can be such a great relationship. Enjoy it!!!

  • Laura @ Laura Likes Design July 10, 2017, 3:05 pm

    Aww! I love that you laid out little surprises for the girls–I bet they loved them! Enjoy your special week with family visiting!

  • Mary July 10, 2017, 4:41 pm

    Enjoy your time with those cute nieces! We always make Martha Stewart’s Cherry Clafouti recipe. It’s great on its own or with ice cream.

  • Nicki July 10, 2017, 5:09 pm

    Enjoy!! That is a blast to have special visitors, including your Mom 🙂

    Also… as a former Washingtonian who has an OBSESSION with Rainier cherries, how the heck to do I get shipment from NW Cherry Growers?! (I also lived in NYC where Rainier cherries are grown as well and paid $5 for 2 lbs there…I can’t find them for less than $7.99/lb here in Colorado! Womp.)

  • Ally July 10, 2017, 7:30 pm

    They are too sweet! Have fun 🙂

  • Lauren C July 10, 2017, 8:33 pm

    What a kind, fun aunt you are! I’m sure y’all will have a wonderful visit, and will make some great memories. 🙂

    As for things to do with kids, Charlotte has a great parks system, with tons of splash pads that are open to the public (splash pads usually come on around 10 am). Some worth checking out are Romare Bearden Park, First Ward Park, Latta Park, Cordelia Park, and one down in Stallings that is supposed to be great.

    Other ideas: a Knights game (actually very kid friendly and you can sit on the grass for $8), Discovery Place (Uptown or DP Kids in Huntersville), the Nature Museum, Lazy 5 Ranch, a brewery (lots are actually super kid friendly), the Whitewater Center, or even Queen Park Social. Also, check out Charlotte Agenda for events and other ideas.

    Have a great week with your family!

  • Sharon July 10, 2017, 11:04 pm

    I love to make smoothies with cherries, spinach, chocolate protein powder, and milk. I call it a chocolate cherry bomb. To make life easier I make up smoothie bags with the spinach and cherries and stick them in the freezer. If you do not have a cherry\olive pitter, I highly recommend one. You definitely need to take the pits out before you freeze them…. And they freeze really well!

  • Laura July 11, 2017, 10:56 am

    Oh my goodness! This looks SO fun! You are such a good aunt! Are these both your brother’s daughters? Do you all get along well with their mom? I know you rarely talk about this family on your blog… so feel free to not answer if you’d wish! Is this something you did in years past or just something new ever since your brother’s passing? I absolutely LOVE that they get a special week with you! And awesome they get to see Grandma, too! Kids love aquariums and indoor Discovery centers–and it’s nice because it’s not so hot! Kids are easily entertained… take them to Toys R Us and let them pick out a toy! That’s so precious you got them goodies from Target. I want to come to Camp Jen!!

  • Alicia July 11, 2017, 11:11 am

    As a mom of 2 girls, I appreciate your observation that everything takes so long with kids! 40 min just to get out the door. The hardest things about parenting are timing and logistics!

    • Lauren C July 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

      Amen, Alicia! Mom of two boys, aged 4 and 2.5. Forget your own timeframe; they have their own, right?

  • Christina July 11, 2017, 1:22 pm

    So sweet! Being an aunt to nieces is so special – they are going to remember that visit for a long time. Remember when you traveled as a kid and how every little thing seemed so big and new and exciting? You’re inspiring me to send my own nieces a gift package…

  • Erinn July 12, 2017, 1:54 pm

    Your goldens are SO CUTE! I love golden retrievers and will always have a special place in my heart for my girl Sadie who passed away a few years ago 🙁
    Unfortunately I’m allergic to cherries so I can’t eat them a lot (only fresh ones though…the maraschino cherries don’t bother me) but I love to eat chocolate covered cherries! We actually bought a cherry-pitter a few years ago and it is a game changer! Cherries dipped in dark chocolate….my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

  • Kate Nightlinger July 12, 2017, 6:51 pm

    You’re an amazing aunt! I second the cherry calflouti!

    Yes– everything takes longer with kids! As mom of a 10 &7 year old I sometimes feel I am attached to a ball and chain. And my most cringe worthy phrase–“mom, can you come here!” If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a 10000000X!

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