a northern chicago wedding

Brett was the Best Man at the wedding of a college friend a few weekends ago.

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I basically knew some of the male members of the bridal party at this event and one other person…

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…who I elected as my date for most of the day of the wedding 🙂

In all seriousness though, the wedding was wonderful and it was such a great opportunity for me to get to know some of Brett’s close friends from his college days.  Brett, being the best man, was quite busy on Friday evening and most of Saturday so I was able to watch the beautiful event as a ‘fully supportive and ready to meet new people’ guest.  🙂

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The way the couple added such wonderful, fall accents to the wedding was really outstanding.  Brett and I were so focused on our summer wedding that I never even considered darker browns and oranges to our decorating.  This fall themed event was really spectacularly put on 🙂

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For the more wedding ceremony interested folks out there, each bridesmaid wore the same dress but in a different color.  Plus, the groomsmen each wore a boutonniere that matched their bridesmaid’s dress color.  So cute right?!  🙂  Brett gave such a great speech as the best man…people kept complimenting him about it later on in the evening and I think it took Brett a while to realize they were being serious and not teasing him 🙂  (Brett was a little nervous before hand)  🙂  Brett only did the ‘Data doing a comedy routine’ arms a little bit while giving the speech (any Star Trek fans out there know what I’m talking about?)  🙂

On each table was a small bag of caramel corn with a cute label stating the Bride and Groom’s names and the wedding date.  At the end of the night these bags were left everywhere….so I helped out in the cleaning a bit and made sure they didn’t go to waste  🙂

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We ate a bag on the way home 🙂  Such a fun weekend with such fun people.  I am so glad that we were a part of it!  🙂  Congratulations to Steve and Laurie!

a summer long search for mexican food

Over the summer, a friend and I decided to continue our search from the previous summer for the best Mexican food.  Last summer we even created a ranking system on a napkin.  🙂  Alabama’s fairly recent change in immigration laws has changed the Mexican food scene in Huntsville for the worse, so we decided to brave every nitty gritty Mexican food establishment that we could find 🙂  After an entire summer of eating at lots of different Mexican restaurants we finally found a real gem!  The parking lot wasn’t somewhere I would want to linger for very long after dark, but nonetheless, we walked in, discovered we could seat ourselves, and were then asked if we were ok with no english (in spanish)  🙂  Using our limited knowledge of the Spanish language, including my single semester of spanish that I took while living in France, we were able to navigate the entirely spanish menu and ordered two really fabulous meals.

The food was so good!  The salsa alone was made from green chilies and was so flavorful and delicious (and not too spicy haha).  Just goes to show that sometimes you just need to take a risk…and maybe bring along a dictionary 🙂

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The McDonald-Jones Mother-Son duo see Seattle!

Brett and his lovely mamacita, Patti, spent a weekend in Seattle recently!  (We all seem to love traveling to Seattle haha)  🙂  They visited downtown Seattle, Pike’s Market, the world-renowned Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibition, and the EMP Museum.  The next day they explored Microsoft Research and some of the great areas along the lake 🙂  I’ll let Patti tell the story though so here goes…a guest appearance 🙂 …

I had such a wonderful time – thanks to the awesome hospitality and tour guide talents of my son Brett.  He really went absolutely over the top to give me a sample of the Seattle experience – having never been there before.  His room-mate and co-conspirator in making “Cool-things” also provided a warm welcome and generous gift of time (they both definitely did not have) to give me the opportunity to sample local culinary delights, breath-taking sights and all around conversation and fun!  The place is beautiful and it was such a pleasure to spend a moment with these two absolutely amazing and grounded people.

It was a whirlwind week-end.  In on Friday eve and out on Monday Morning.  Brett picked me up around 5:00 in Raj’s car, then went to house to find Raj, and all went out for sushi – think it was called Oto Sushi – they ordered for us – way to much – gorgeous presentation – we ate all of it.  Then went for walk to Juanita Bay as the sun set over the water.  Back to house tried to watch TV picked Covert Affairs (I like it and so does Mallory) – Brett style – meaning projected on the entire wall – but alas too too tired – just went to sleep.

Slept forever the next am.  Finally out the door at noon headed to Pikes Market, (first he showed me the park filled with majestic pines just steps from the house) had famous Piroshky (pronunciation I am not sure of) after waiting in the famous line.  Then a walk through the very busy Pike’s Market.  Saw such fun things, fish being thrown, flowers more grand and cheaper than I have ever seen in my life (Kristin should get married there just for the flowers).  Bought some fun souveniers – Pikes Market Sign and jewelry.  We stopped to enjoy the little band – Tallboys, Brett bought their CD, despite the fact that they had not showered in sometime.  (we listened to the CD all weekend).  Then headed to have my first sample of coffee made with fresh roasted beans, that was so GOOD! Have picture of the coffee top.  Then walked , stopped at Patagonia, bought nothing, headed to a combo of Chihuly exhibit, Sci-Fi & Music Museum.   Bought a magnet from Chihuly – as I love love love stain glass and his art.  Also got some great pictures of Brett in the Chihuly Garden with the Space Needle in the background.  I kept with Brett’s help trying to figure out where Frasiers apartment and view would have to have been – even if it was imaginary – but alas after much observation and speculation and several Google searches came to the forgone conclusion – that it the view was made up – just like the show – as they only filmed there once.  Oh well, I immediately  returned to believing in my imagination that Frasier was real and happened in Seattle.

Then went back to water front, had a drink and great conversation about life and jobs and futures and such.  Headed to get Raj and had dinner together at a terrific water front restaurant.  Raj insisted on picking up the tab – so kind of him. Then back to house.

Sunday was off to a great and totally cool start.  Headed for a special “take your mom to work day” at Microsoft – he rented out the whole place for me, only a few stragglers were there.  He made me a Microsoft Latte – good – then to a personal presentation of IllumiRoom at a mom’s level of sophistication and pace – i.e., SLOW – I got an amazing demo and backdrop explanation.  Saw where everyone worked.  So much fun for me to be there and so meaningful!

Then out on a long hike – close by. It was so good for me!  Got great  pictures.  Then we were too late to hit the St. Michelle Winery – will have to go back – so went to festival in Kirkland (actually I am confused about where everything was- cause I never looked at a map).  Headed back to house, tried to figure out where to go to dinner, Raj could tell that Brett was super tired – and me too – so suggested we order pizza, get some wine and stay home.  So he ordered, we ran the grocery store to pick up the wine, got some great chocolate too – then had a leisurely dinner on the patio under the pines, in the still air – quiet music and conversation.  It was a truly memorable evening and wonderful way to celebrate my visit and life!

Then Monday, up at 5:00 off to airport and work – for everyone

~ Brett’s Mamacita

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blog_MJSeattle_27Pictures by Brett and Patti

 

Chicago and Michigan ladies weekend!

I spent a great weekend in Chicago and Michigan visiting with my old college roommate Melissa (and bridesmaid, eek!  LOVE weddings hehe) and my mother-in-law, Patti.  The pups and I drove up to the Chicago Suburbs and then I took the train downtown to meet up with my old roomie.  While the pups played together (and lounged on Brett’s childhood bed hehe) Melissa and I walked around Millenium Park, grabbed Chicago style hotdogs, walked along the river and up and down Michigan Avenue…getting some yummy popcorn along the way 🙂  The weather was a bit cloudy but the temperature was just perfect for a day spent strolling the city.  That night Patti and I had a lovely dinner and relaxed at home.  On Sunday, the two of us drove north to New Buffalo, Michigan and had a great day exploring.  We browsed our way around the small downtown area, had lunch at one of our favorite New Buffalo establishments, and spent some time relaxing on the beach before heading back home.  Patti was really brave and went completely out into the water..(the water was cold(ish) and rough!)…I stayed on the beach and talked with Brett on the phone hehe  🙂  It was such a lovely weekend!  🙂

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Patti and I think that the pin board of the dog silhouette would be a great DIY project.  I’ll have to see if I can formulate something like that in the coming weeks 🙂  Also, can anyone spot by crazy sandal tan in the last photo?  😉

Photos taken by Mallory and Patti

 

Mal & Brett visit Seattle…again!

Brett and I spent another gorgeous weekend in Seattle together.  We already divulged that our summer was spent long distance between Seattle and Huntsville so it was nice getting to have a few weekends together!  🙂  It may have taken a crazy long time to get there…including a 7 hour stay in the Huntsville, AL airport which I told you about here. (By the way, can you guess where I got stuck for the night?  (The waffle says it all!))  During this Seattle exploration weekend we tried lots of new things compared to our other visits this summer and last!  Brett and I walked around Ikea, buying things for one of his projects at work.  We spent some time working (we know…we’re obsessed).  🙂  We had a great evening with some of Brett’s co-workers, including a delicious sushi dinner and some frozen yogurt for dessert.  We went on the Boeing Future of Flight Tour and got to tour the factories where Boeing’s airplanes are put together.  We spent an afternoon on a high ropes course…Brett and I are still debating how high it was exactly haha!  🙂  We had a great Nepalese and Tibetan meal at a restaurant called Annapurna Cafe with Raj.  The restaurant had a very nondescript exterior but once you descended the main stairs, we felt very much like we were eating in an underground, secret oasis of wonderful food.  🙂  We had a great time exploring the Broadway area afterwards.   While on the hunt for a bar where we could have a drink we found this awesome coffee shop and stopped there instead.  We grabbed some coffee, tea, and dessert and had a great evening full of caffeine, sugar, and lots of laughs.  We had breakfast at OPH (I know…I’m obsessed!), went to the Museum of Flight, grabbed a drink and an appetizer at a fun lakeside restaurant, got ourselves ready for an early morning departure the next day, and relaxed at the homestead.

It was such a wonderful weekend filled with awesome weather, really yummy food, and a really delightful city.  Everytime I come to Seattle for a visit, I am reminded how great I feel the moment I step out of the airport.  There are a few cities so far where I have felt this way…it is definitely an important feeling to have for me when planning a permanent location for our future.  Who knows, Seattle.  You just might be a winner in a few years 🙂  I joked with Brett that I secretly wished the weather to be really horrid during our weekend visit…I wanted to know what rainy Seattle feels like!  😀

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