Laura's Broccoli Salad

Laura's Broccoli Salad

Salad Ingredients:
1 bunch broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 small red onion, chopped

Dressing Ingredients:
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar

Stir together the salad ingredients in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix the sugar and mayo until the sugar is dissolved.  Whisk in vinegar until thoroughly combined.  Pour dressing over salad mixture and mix well.  Chill before serving.

Disclaimer: Because this is my mom's recipe, I don't know which Laura it originates from.  But it's appropriate for today because I get to have lunch with a sweet Laura friend, and I've been in touch with other Lauras who have good news to share ... and it's a delicious salad.  It tastes even better the second day, when the dressing has had a chance to really settle in.


Today's Smile

I got to skype today with this lovely face (and her mommy in the background) ... and see new baby sister for the first time (not in the picture)!  It's amazing to connect with friends I love ... and for a second I forgot that I wasn't in the same room, sitting on the couch, listening to this sweetheart sing the ABC's and tell me about her new room.

I'm already scheming about when we can make this happen again ... and if we can have a 10-way skype date on a Friday morning with cups of coffee in our hands, catching up on the week's news with a sweet group of friends ...


A new place

Here's a picture of the house we found to rent in Connecticut ...

Thank God for Google Maps and screenshots.  I forgot to take a picture of the place when we went to look at it (of course).  We're renting to start out with - so we can get to know the area as we're figuring out where we want to buy.  It was REALLY HARD to find a place that met all of our criteria ... and even though I'm not charmed by the outside of this house, it was the one and only that had 3 bedrooms, was a stand-alone house, fit our budget (kinda), and was relatively close to the Mr's new job.

Bonus: 2.5 baths!  I won't know what to do with myself.  I'm so excited!  Also, a yard, a garage, AND neighbors.  I saw evidence of kids ... here's hoping for mommies with babies who are looking for new friends!

And for those of us who like to know these kinds of things, our landlord's last name closely resembles a recently favorite word: "donut."


The Family Wedding Event, Part 2

Since I posted part one of the family wedding event, I had to follow-up with part two.  I stole all these pictures from the Hawaiian Sister-In-Law, since I was in the wedding party and camera-less for most of the rehearsal, wedding, and reception.

Here's the picture that I was DYING to get at some point during the wedding festivities.  Do you know the last time this happened ... the entire family of siblings, spouses/significant others, and baby girl, plus Mom and Dad?  
Never.  This has never before happened!  Last time we were all together (2009), the two youngest brothers were sadly unattached, we had no kid, and as a whole we were much less good-looking.  Adding two more wonderful ladies and a precious kid has definitely upped our collective beauty factor by at least 4,358%.

Middle Brother was SO HAPPY.  I kept my eyes on him the entire ceremony.  Watching him take such joy in marrying his wife was a sweet, beautiful, and precious moment that I am honored to have shared with them ... and 400 of their closest friends and family.

Middle brother (far left), Dan the Best Man,
Oldest Brother, Youngest Brother,  Bride's Brother
I'm running out of the right words to convey how absolutely special it was to share in this day.  The wedding was beautiful, the couple was stunning, and the setting was dreamy.  
The company wasn't that bad, either ...
Best wishes to those I love ... I'm so thankful for family!

Happy 10 day anniversary to the happy couple!


The Family Wedding Event, part 1

Recipe for Family Wedding Fun - Part 1 (The Rehearsal)
Serves 10+, with leftover memories

Start by being offered a lovely "river cottage"to stay in for a week ... complete with bedrooms for each couple, a well-stocked kitchen, and a couple of canoes and kayaks.  Whip up some time to spend on the dock, and bask in the beautiful sunshine of a temperate, non-humid 70 degree morning.  Watch dolphins swim by; admire painted toenails.

View from the "river cottage" ... in quotes because that
is quite an understatement!  It was amazing!

It's a big deal that I painted them pink.  Thank Local Townie for that.
After multiple successful relaxation attempts, carefully attend each bridesmaid's/family event, accompanied by (a) a dressy-casual outfit (b) a gift (c) a story of the bride-to-be or groom-to-be or (d) any combination of the above.  Commit to eating every bite of delicious food offered.  Blame the pregnancy for the expanding waistline; ignore popping buttons and innie-turned-outie belly buttons.

In case you were wondering, the answer is yes: this plate was just as delicious as it looks.
Bridesmaids' Luncheon
Give a couple of "Yippidee Doo Dah" shout-outs to the gathering of the entire family for the first time in three years.
Look!  I have three sisters!
Me, the Bride (est. 2012), Mother Dear, Hawaiian Sister (est. 2011), and Kentucky Sister (est. 2004)
Congratulate middle-brother on marrying way above himself, then participate whole-heartedly in the wedding rehearsal.
Look!  I have three brothers!
Oldest Brother/Kentucky Brother (est. 1980), Middle Brother/Groom (est. 1985), me and Baby RWS,  Youngest Brother/Hawaiian Brother (est. 1988)
Place Baby Girl Rhymeswithsmile in her wedding wagon and watch her being pulled down the aisle.  Choke back a few tears watching her debut as co-flower girl, and admire a very cute wagon escort.
Ignore signs that she's exhausted and slightly over-socialized; pass Baby Girl RWS off to Kentucky Brother for a nap and a drool stain on his collared shirt during the rehearsal.
I don't have a follow-up picture, but she did THE EXACT SAME THING during the wedding ceremony.  We put her down for a quick nap half an hour before the ceremony ... and she didn't.  wake.  up.  My sweet husband carried her down the aisle, fully asleep ... and pulled the other flower girl in the wagon.  Priceless, and special, and memorable!
Mix all ingredient events and savor the memories.  Take in the joy of family time.

Part 2 of recipe coming soon ...