Saturday, June 18, 2011


Dinner for this Father's Day Eve was chili/lime/cilantro shrimp skewers, crab-filled clamshells, roasted asparagus, insalata caprese, and yellow tail. Yum. This is most likely our Father's Day meal since tomorrow Chris will be doing, well, father things like taking Reid to a week long camp. I would have taken a picture of the deliciousness, but we were hungry and I would have been taking pictures of empty plates.

As for me, I'm glad to be back to the planning of meals and my appetite is just about back to 100%. Hooray!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Chase and Graduation

Our oldest son, Chase, graduated from high school this past Friday. Although the school put us in a major dilemma, giving him only 10 tickets (Are they kidding?? We have 7 people in our immediate family!) the 10 of us who went enjoyed it very much. I must say, being an Arnold at graduation time is much different than being a Williamson. Chase was number 6 to walk across the stage, while I sat at the very back of the floor in the Carolina Coliseum at my graduation, where my fellow W-Zers contemplated ordering a pizza - certain that it would arrive before they called our names.

Saturday was Chase's graduation party. He wanted a 'party like Brianna's' and invited all of our family and some close friends from Maryland. It was a great time, we all worked hard getting this monster of a yard under control, cleaning the house, and preparing tons of food for Chase's guests. On the menu: BBQ from The Pompous Pig, pasta salad, black bean & corn salad, taboule, baked beans, chips & dip, tortilla chips & salsa, + blueberry salsa (yum! My favorite!) and trays of fresh fruit and veggies. A lemon pound cake I made from an old family recipe, cupcakes from Aunt Leanne, and a giant chocolate chip cookie with Class of 2011 on it from Elaine and Buddy.

I would like to thank everybody who took the time to come to Chase's party, especially those who had to travel to get here. Our good friend Storm drove 8.5 hours! And some of our family live a couple of hours away. Chase was so happy you were all here. Our entire family, but especially Chase, has had a tough couple of years. He had to live away from us last year, which was very difficult, and then he had to leave his good friends in Maryland to come to a new school 500 miles away for his Senior year - none of his grades transferred and he had some difficult (but good) teachers for his AP classes - he was at a disadvantage because the other students had these teachers in previous classes and he was brand new. I know how hard it is to be the new kid for your Senior year and now both Brianna and Chase have had to do that, too. If you don't think you know someone who has been affected by the crash of the housing market and the lack of jobs in this economy, reconsider: our family certainly has and it made Chris' retirement much more difficult. So THANK YOU for coming to help Chase celebrate making it through this time and going on to work for his dream at UAH, majoring in Aerospace Engineering with full scholarships for 4 years. Hooray Chase!!

Here are just a few pictures - taken by Reid.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Joys of Watermelon (or not)

Here we have my fourth child eating watermelon, a favorite summertime activity at my house. I'll admit, I really like the idea of watermelon. It looks like summer: a big variegated green ball of fruit growing on a squiggly vine. Pick it, manage to lug it out of the garden (or farmer's market), put it into the fridge until it's icy cold, slice it, and tada! The perfect snack for a hot Southern summer day, right? Except I just don't care for the way it tastes. I'm probably the only person on the planet who doesn't like watermelon. I do have fond childhood memories of hanging out at my grandparents' farm in the type of summer heat that only a GRITS (girl raised in the south) can truly appreciate, with all my Williamson cousins (me, and a bunch of boys that included my watermelon-loving brother). The grownups would be on the wraparound porch, we'd be playing under the humongous oak trees that surrounded the house, hoping to catch a little breeze. Somebody would haul a watermelon out of the coolness, slice it, my cousins and brother would go crazy with happiness, assume the watermelon-eating position, and zone out in summertime watermelon ecstasy, the juice rolling down their arms and dripping onto the ground from their elbows. Come to think of it, that's probably why we ate it out in the yard, it was way too messy for the porch. Everybody that is, but me. My watermelon happiness involved making elaborate watermelon teeth - the only time I was trusted with a knife - and attempting to spit the seeds, a talent I never quite developed. Every summer I would try, and every summer I would realize that I still didn't like the taste of the wonderful watermelon. It's my loss, I'm sure.