Thursday, June 30, 2011

Baby Hastings

After my very busy week the first thing on our agenda was to get to DC as fast as we could to meet Hastings. We brought Marge, Scott and Ms. Lynda dinner and had a wonderful visit with the baby girl. Isn't she just a lamb?

She is perfect and was wearing the dress Lynda brought Mary Margaret home from the hospital in over thirty years ago.

We became fast friends.

Eric was next to hold her. I love how she is checking him out. It makes me swoon seeing Uncle Charlie with a tiny baby in his ginormous hands. 

 Marge looked amazing after having the baby only nine days earlier.

When Hastings dozed off I got a tour of the nursery. I spy the Kalamazoo book and a few of our other gifts!

Marge's inspiration for the room started with this precious mobile.

She had this same style crib when she was a babe.

Her glider has blue and white stripes and the green rug is from Pottery Barn. All the neutrals work so well together in this room.

Lynda added the hand made skirt and preppy yellow ribbons.

Marge was so thankful to have her mother's help these last few weeks. They have the best system where the baby sleeps in this narrow Moses basket and is delivered to Marge in the middle of the night when she is hungry. Lynda, you are a rock star!!!

We had fun looking at Hastings' first few outfits she's worn already. Is there nothing more precious than a tiny smocked dress?

This bassinet was her daddy George's. 

Scott is adorable with her. He was whispering sweet nothings about tilling the fields with her Daddy when she grows up so she too can have great vegetables.

It is clear that Scotty was so appreciative of Marge during this whole pregnancy and delivery. They are too cute for words!

Lynda it was wonderful seeing you. Hope to see you more and more while visiting your first grandchild.

The guys can't wait to teach her how to play soccer and Marge, Lynda and I were just tickled pink the baby turned out to be a girl.  

We love you guys. See you in a few weeks with another dinner in trade for holding the baby.

I didn't take a photo of the Chicken Broccoli casserole but here is the easy, easy recipe:

Chicken Broccoli Casserole

Breast meat from a rotisserie chicken, skin removed and cut into big chunks
3-4 cups pre-cooked brown rice
2 cups steamed, fresh broccoli
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
Juice of 4 lemons
Zest of 2 lemons
1 cup of mayonnaise
1 small bag of shredded organic white cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add chicken, rice, broccoli, soup, lemon juice/zest, and mayonnaise to a large shallow tin foil cooking pan (easy clean up). Toss together until completely coated. Feel free to add more lemon juice or a little more mayo if it isn't wet enough. Toss in the cheese and mix again. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until bubbly. You don't need salt due to the sodium in the soup but feel free to add pepper and lemon pepper if your heart desires.

Marge sent this photo (my fault it needs to be rotated) after dinner. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Busiest week in Baltimore

Last week was awesome but I'm too tired to talk about it. So enjoy it in photos.

Saw Duff play with his band.

Viewed this Baltimore themed Charm City Cake.

Arranged for the fire boat to circle the Inner Harbor. One of my favorite touches. 

Saw Florence and the Machine.

Watched the best concert of my life with 75,000 friends.

Got to say hi to John Waters again.

Enjoyed a gorgeous sunset at Silo Point.

I couldn't have gotten through last week without the laughter, support, and friendship of my great work colleagues. You know who you are. It was the most fun I've had while working since my WashingtonInc days.

Take a peek at Meg's, EAS, and Bethany's U2 posts. They do a great job detailing the show. I've truly never seen a better concert in all my life. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Lemon Garlic Hummos

Hummos is the easiest thing in the world to make. I don't even use a recipe. Start with good tahini. I use about a 1/4 of a cup.

Juice two lemons.

Juice your lemons into a strainer. So much easier than getting the seeds out afterwards.

Use three or four raw cloves of garlic.

Zest one lemon, add about three cups of chick peas to a Cuisinart with your garlic and lemon juice.

Then add olive oil until your hummos starts to look like hummos. Start with a cup and see how it tastes. Add a tablespoon of Celtic salt.

Add a dash of olive oil to you hummos and enjoy.

Having healthy snacks to eat this past week was imperative to my survival. I even brought my own hummos to a meeting last Monday. It was easy to stay on my whole foods way of eating. I have so many photos to share from the last few weeks. Bare with me. I'm needing some extra time to recover and sitting in front of a computer is not tempting me at all. The events did go so well. I've never been more satisfied from such hard work.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day Scotty!

Remember my precious Mary Margaret and Baby Plum's Shower? Scott and Marge welcomed their baby girl Mae Hastings on Friday, June 17! We can't wait to meet this precious child and hug the parents. Scott, so happy you got to celebrate Father's Day up right this year.

The next few days I will be swarming with back to back events welcoming our Customer Advisory Board, a few thousand people for #AIBTM and Bono! I'm so excited for this week to finally be here. All I want to do is run to DC and smother this little one with kisses. Mae Mae, I can't wait to see you after all of these fun events are completed. We are going to be BEST FRIENDS. I love you already, Aunt Nellie.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Stone Hill Corn

We moved to Stone Hill over three and a half years ago. We won the lottery, as I've said before, with our amazing neighbors. I sometimes hear the neighbors who share our wall sing to each other in the evenings. I mean...seriously? How cute and precious is that?  On one of my early morning photo shoots I ran into our wall-sharing neighbor Guy. He was tending to his "Stone Hill Farm" out in his garden. 

He planted two varieties of corn so the crops would come up at different times in the summer. I believe the taller of the two will be as high as my eye on the Fourth of July.

Guy. What can you say about Guy? First story is that when we were considering buying the house, E. Googled Stone Hill and found that the man who lived next door to our potential new home wrote the history of our little mill village. It is published in a spiral bound book and we received one as a gift when we moved in. Guy was also on the board of Tai Sophia, the school where E. got his masters degree. They had MET before we moved here. Isn't that the most cosmically cool coincidence? When I met Guy and his wife Pam for the first time, I burst into tears. They are just that kind of couple. They move you to tears with their depth and vast goodness. 

Pam is a great follower of this blog and I mentioned to her in passing that I have a very big week coming up. We have over 4,000 guests coming to Baltimore for an important conference. I'm planning many of the events and have been consumed with work for the past year. Guy and I spoke for a moment this glorious morning and he asked me, "When you are finished with your events I want to get together with you and ask you what you learned." I don't remember the last time someone asked me what I learned from an experience. Makes me think of "work" in a whole different light.

Knowing that I help promote Baltimore to the world Guy spread out his arms and said, "Show them this about Baltimore!" We are lucky beyond words to have such abundant soil, great souls, wise men and women and corn in our future from the most local farm in Baltimore! To all the guests coming from all over the world, we welcome you from Stone Hill to the Inner Harbor. I've never been so tired, so exhausted or so excited for these events. The anticipation is exhilarating and I look forward to seeing the city bursting at the seems.

Guy, I look forward to our visit after next week. Thank you for your interest and helping me to stay present with this whole experience. Pam, thanks always for reading. I love you guys very much! We both do.