Only five more weeks until Alice decides to join the world and it was time for Joy to have her baby shower. It was a super fun afternoon at Liberty Park but of course with 100 adults and kids it was hard to really spend time with everyone. I’m just glad i was able to see some friends who i haven’t seen in a while.
My mom helped out getting the rest of the picnic area setup. Joy’s friends did a great job of setting up the dessert table, while Joy and I baked cupcakes and cococnut macarons.
To keep the kids entertained i asked Shane to do one of his Brain Builders Education Lego Engineering class. I’ll definitely have to ask him to bring his Legos at all my parties from here on out because none of the kids left the lego table which made keeping an eye on all of them a lot easier. Of course it wouldn’t be Shane if he didn’t bring one of his crazy inventions, and his air canon was definitely crazy.
Having Alice’s Baby Shower on September 28th wasn’t so much to ignore my own birthday, but actually give my sister two reasons to come back down to Los Angeles for the weekend. What better way to celebrate both our birthdays than dinner at Lawry’s once again. Looking back this is the third time we celebrated our birthdays at Lawry’s but the party will continue to get bigger with Kaylee joining the festivities this year.
(I’ve just been really busy at work and home to get to writing any blog postings but i’m going to catch up this week, i swear)
On our official first date i took Joy to AOC in Mid-City West Los Angeles. Coincidentally thinking back it may have been the beginning of both of our culinary adventure together, as it was the first time either of us had been to a restaurant in that stature. The bacon-wrapped dates was the most memorable dish and thankfully its a menu staple that can get it every time we go back.
For our maternity date night last week we went back to AOC in their new location near Cedar Sinai which is a much bigger space from their original location that includes a large patio where the main dining area is now. Its a very nice setting that really takes you out of being in Los Angeles, and into a courtyard that could be anywhere in Europe.
We did our best to not to over order like we did the first time, but we did it again and probably ordered one too many dishes.
I started off with a glass of wine to ease the work week off, and started our meal with some mt. tam cheese, and bacon-wrapped dates. For the first courses we ordered the clams in sherry and garlic, soft-shell crab with green romesco, and to finish it off we got the farro & black rice, and half a roasted chicken, with panznella, fennel, and green olives.
Last weekend was Joy’s quarterly dinner with her friends. With Joy being a bit incapacitated with the belly and all we kept our cooking to a minimum. I thought making deviled eggs would be easy and fun to make since i’ve never done it before.
I went with a basic recipe and thought i would spice it up with a little bacon, but too bad i forgot the bacon but they still turned out delicious. I tried to reduce the amount of mayo in the recipe, but found that it really did need the full amount to make the egg creamier. The main course was hotpot soup with lot of other finger foods to snack on as well.
The group welcomed another offspring to the group, and another couple announced their impending arrival as well at the party. The group is multiplying faster than i can count at this point.
Here are all the kids names at the point:
With only six or so more weeks until baby Alice arrives into the world its was time to start enjoying our free nights out as much as possible. For our first Friday Night date we went to Son of Gun of Two Dudes, One Pan fame. Son of a Gun is a small plate seafood restaurant in the Beverly Hills locale which is supposedly really busy, but i scored a 6:30 reservation the day of.
We got some recommendations from our twitter/instagram friend Remil and settled on getting the Lobster Roll, Shrimp Toast, Soft-Shell Crab, and the Fried Chicken Sandwich. The lobster roll was pretty good, but was tiny and is barely big enough to share, so we each got our own. Joy didn’t care for the shrimp toast because it reminded her too much of Thai shrimp toast, but not. The soft-shell crab was tempura fried and served with pork belly which was of course delicious, and the chicken sandwich was a nice was to fill up at the end of the light meal, which made us second guess going for a second dinner (Bakesale Betty’s is still better). We ended up spending around a $100 for our meal with a single glass of wine.
We did end up getting dessert at Son of a Gun, but when we stopped by next door to Joan’s on Third we saw that they were serving Portland’s very own Salt & Straw ice cream, so had to get a second dessert. It was a nice night so we ate it while walking down towards the Beverly Connection.
This time around for LVI my parents wanted to watch some basketball as well so we had some extra cheering on our side of the gym. Thursday morning Joy and I picked up my parents from Cerritos and got to Vegas in a quick four hours. It wouldn’t be a trip to Vegas without a little wining and dining.
After checking into the California Hotel we headed for lunch at Ocha Cuisine where my parents had some friends hanging out playing cards. We had to keep it light as we had a big dinner planned with some of my team mates.
For our super fancy dinner CJ planned on a group event at SW Steakhouse at the Wynn Hotel. It was quite a fun dinner even if not everyone enjoyed their meal. We had a table of eight at 7pm which was the perfect time and we had a good view of the show on the lake.
Some of the steaks were over cooked, and some of the side dishes were as reviews mentioned, unimpressive. On the positive side all my dishes turned out great. I split a ribeye with my mom, and it came out perfectly medium rare, and the pureed potatoes were nice and buttery. Joy ordered the scallops with a pea risotto which was also delicious.
Saturday night we skipped out on going to the Fremont Buffet for our team dinner and headed west for some Sura Korean BBQ. It was so nice end our weekend with lots of good friends and grilled meats instead of bad steak and bad buffet food.
This past weekend Team Mixed Plate for another year gathered in Sin City to fight to be kings of the Dirt Division. Sadly this year was a repeat of last year’s 5th finish, and it was especially hard on me this year because for once we really tried to win. We actually spent time this summer meeting up and practicing at the Artesia High gym, working on our offense, and defense and had a pretty good game plan going into the weekend.
Friday night’s game versus Wheelchair Bound went exactly according to plan. Our bigs were playing big, CJ was hitting his shot from outside and we built a small lead going into the second half. In the second half i got hot and blew open the game hitting my shots and pushing the lead to over 15 points.
We were feeling good going into Saturday’s morning game, but unfortunately old habits die hard. Our second opponent was versus Rebels and was a hard fought battle until the last second. We had to overcome our poor shooting in the first half to get back within 2 points with 30 seconds left in the game, but my poor game management left us without even getting a shot off, and that basically deflated the entire game.
For the battle for 3rd place we were just outmatched by LGN Busy Bees, with their quicker big guys blowing by our big guys, and their guards getting hot from the outside. By the end it wasn’t even close and we left with another white shirt. (First place gets a black shirt, 2nd and 3rd get a colored shirt).
It was another fun weekend for basketball but what really hurts the most is that we have to wait another year to try again.
I signed up for the Disneyland 5k back in the winter time and knew it was a long ways away but kept up all summer going for 2 and 3 mile runs even during the weekdays. I couldn’t seem to get past running a 9:30 mile, and really tried to get it closer to a nine minute mile to beat my personal record (PR). Going into race day i was faced with a dilemma of racing by myself or walking with Joy since she’s pregnant, and my sister still sore from her minor surgery the week before. I planned on walking part of the race with them and running the last two miles.
Race morning I woke up at 3:30am to get ready and drive to Cerritos to pick up my sister, and get to Disneyland by 5:00am for our lineup. While waiting for our corral to be released i was still figuring out what to do, but once we were off, i said screw it and decided to walk the course too. I didn’t want to be left out of all the pictures i knew were going to be taken, but it was really hard not to just start jogging with so many other people really running. The other thing that made me feel better was that we weren’t given a timing chip so everything was basically off the record since it was just a “fun run.”
The course layout was entirely inside the ground of Disneyland, California Adventures, and Downtown Disney, and the first time we ran through, Joy was going as fast as possible, but this year we took our time and even back tracked a few times to get another picture. The course started off by going down Disney way that led to the back of DCA and we entered right next to Cars Land.
We stopped along with a bunch of other people to snap a shot in front of Radiator Springs Racers.
Then a stop in front of the the World of Color fountains. Where we almost didn’t get this shot because we had a cast member try 4 times and didn’t even take one picture. Thankfully we checked and got another runner to take an actual picture.
Then it was off to Disneyland where we circled the castle through Fantasyland, and Frontierland where we found Chip and Dale. Finally the home stretch had us run through Critter Country and out the back to head back towards Downtown Disney.
I had plenty of energy so i did a lot of slow motion running next to Joy, and some running forward and circling back to Joy to get my kicks in, but when we finally crossed the finish line my overall time for the 3.1 miles was slower than what it took me to run my 10k (6.2 miles) back in February with a time of 1:04:11.
Here we are with our Alice and Wonderland medals.
Six years ago when i first met Joy, i somehow convinced her to run a half marathon with me even though neither one of us had run more than a 5k before. It was early on in our dating timeline and i had some reservation about asking a girl i basically had just met to a date seven months into the future, but something inside told me just go for it. Looking back I think training together for the half-marathon was something that we really bonded over time with and got us to where we are now.
This year knowing that we were trying to get pregnant we only signed up to do the 5k instead of the halfathon, and it worked out well since of course Joy did get knocked up and wouldn’t have been able to do it. My sister joined us as well as she missed out on our half marathon for reasons i forget now.
Friday we went to the Health & Fitness Expo to pick up our bibs and t-shirts. I was disappointed that the 5k only got a hanes t-shirt, while all the other ones got an annual tech shirt, because this weekend ended up being so humid even in the morning. The cool thing about this year’s race was that it was Alice and Wonderland themed so it seemed so appropriate since we’re naming our daughter Alice as well.
I was hoping to pick up a new hat but unfortunately i’m not a fan of most running caps because they’re always so flimsy and thats all they had. After we picked up everything we headed out to Downtown Disney to have dinner with the cousins who drove up to meet up with us.