The Peacemaker

A few weeks ago, I saw a post on Facebook from one of our favorite bands, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers. It was advertising a small show and tequila tasting at an awesome restaurant called Blanco Tacos and Tequila. I called Peter who quickly called and reserved our place for the pre fixe dinner, tequila tasting and show.

I wasn’t quite sure how it all was going to work, but it turned out awesome. We were sent to the downstairs private room where we were greeted with Snakeskin Boot margaritas. They had Roger’s Mexican Moonshine tequila and a chili liquor, garnished with a jalapeno. I’ve now decided I will only drink margs when they have some heat to them because it was fantastic. There were large tables only so we quickly had to make friends with a group of people who had space left at their table. Roger came out shortly after to greet everyone and began the story of why and how he branded his own tequila. With each part of the story, we were treated to the silver, reposado and anejo versions of Mexican Moonshine with a food paring. It was delicious! I am a big tequila fan so it was fun to drink the good stuff that is made for sipping, not shooting.

After that, dinner was served. And holy moly does Blanco know how to make good food. We started with shrimp ceviche and short rib street tacos that were to die for. That was quickly followed by chicken mole served over rice. And lastly, caramel and blackberry flan that was perfect. And aside from our table mates complaining about the texture, that there was corn in the mole and that they really “just can’t eat shrimp” before deciding not to eat at all, it was amazing. (side note – when we watched the two wives pick at their ceviche and shutter, we decided we couldn’t be friends and talked exclusively to each other. After the corn comment, we decided we made the right decision).

Then. Then! The show started. Roger came out with a guitar and a microphone to answer questions about his life, his music and his tequila. He then took requests and belted out some of his greatest songs. It was heavenly to be 10 feet from one of my favorite singers and get to just yell out “Tell Yer Mama!” and have him respond “that’s a great one!” and then sing it. I’m dying thinking about it.

And trying not to be super annoying, I didn’t snap any pictures (and the one I did get came out dark so I quit). BUT, after a lot of pleading with Peter, we hung out for 20 minutes after the hour long concert to try to get a picture with Roger. PW was pleasantly surprised when Roger strolled back out and happily chatted and snapped pictures with what was left of the crowd.

And then I did get a picture. And it was awesome.

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So many good times and sad times have been punctuated with Roger Clyne songs. Singing Banditos in the car with my sister, Ali, driving across town to high school in our sweet green Volvo sedan. Sadly sipping beer at 2am with Peter and our friends while Mekong played loudly, knowing that college graduation was imminent and our fun times were about to end as the real world lay before us. Singing to Americano on the last cross country drive home with Peter when we moved home from DC. Listening to every. single. RCPM song we owned when we remolded our old house as we painted the ceilings and walls. Trying to make it through the day after Mame died listening to Leave an Open Door. Watching my lovely friend, Stephanie, and her new husband dance their first dance to Green and Dumb. Just about every song holds a memory of a time in our lives, even the bitter memories are sweeter with time and put a smile on our faces.

So Roger, if you happen to read this – thank you! Thank you for the amazing music, for the fantastic story telling and for the delicious tequila. To many more years of great music and good drinks. Salud!

I got a chance to ask what his favorite song to play is – he said that it changes all the time, but his current favorite is Today Belongs to the Light. Watch and enjoy!

Breakfast Rush

Peter and I were so conflicted about weather to start Baylor in kindergarten last year or this year. We decided she would only benefit from being a year older in kindergarten so we decided to wait. And boy am I glad we did. Not only have I seen her school skills take off in the last year, I’m now so grateful for that we had one more year of 3 day a week preschool.

Because kindergarten? Is no joke. It’s 5 days a week of early mornings of a slow moving, slightly crabby kiddo.  And bedtime. Sheesh. Trying to convince a six year old that she is indeed tired and in need of an on time bedtime is a struggle in itself.

One of the things that makes our mornings go a lot smoother is prepping the night before. Lunches, uniforms, backpacks, water bottles, dog food, coffee…the list seems never ending. But if the morning starts with simply pushing START on the life line (I mean coffee maker), putting down a bowl of dog food and grabbing eggs from the fridge, it gives us a precious 10 minutes that can save our morning.

The other thing I’ve started to prep is breakfast. It’s a huge time saver for Peter and I, and it keeps us eating healthy too. Here is one of my new favorites:

Breakfast Creme Brulee

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1 tbs chia seeds

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 packet Truvia sweetener

3 tbl greek yogurt

Berries, bananas, and or sliced almonds

Combine all ingredients except fruit and almonds. Let sit in the refrigerator over night and top with fruit and or nuts before serving. Make it in a disposable cup and it’s a quick car breakfast.

I also buy an extra dozen eggs and hard boil them (place all dozen in cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from water and place in the refrigerator. The shell will peel easily and they won’t be hot when you eat them). It’s a quick way to get everyone some protein and there’s no prep time. Lastly, I always keep my favorite green smoothies in disposable cups for easy grab and go.

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Book Nook

When we were dreaming of what we wanted in a new house, one of the things on my long list was enough space to make a reading nook for each kiddo. A little spot that they could snuggle up and enjoy their books.

In the long list of projects for this house, I had kind of forgotten about it. In our ongoing effort of adding to and then checking off a house to do list, Peter built and put up amazing book shelves in the kids’ room. And then I remembered – book nook! A few Ikea lamps later and relocating the PB Kids chairs and voila!

The best part? B LOVED it. She said over and over as I was hanging their lights “this is so cool. I just love this space!!”. Music to a momma’s ears. A few days later, our house was unusually quiet. I frantically searched for the animals as nothing good is happening when it’s quiet- only to find them snuggled up in Baylor’s chair. She was “reading” (she’s memorized a few of his board books) and he was happily hung on every word.


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Fish Points

Our lovely friends, the D family, joined us for the first few days of Montana time. And just like last year, it was awesome! They are make your own fun kind of people, which are the perfect friends to vacation with.

We decided to do a parent fishing day and left poor Noni with all three animals for the whole day. She looked like she’d aged 10 years when we picked them up…but she swore they were angels. I think they may have threatened her…

Leading up to the big fishing day, we decided to make it a men v women contest. Details were discussed, handicaps given out in the form of “fish points” and wagers made. The end result was that trout were worth 3 points, white fish 1 point and the losers had to feed, bathe and put the kids to bed.

After a quick refresher and lesson, Stephanie and I were off with Red Beard, our guide. It was a cloudy and chilly day on the Yellowstone River, perfect for fishing.

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With in a few minutes, she had the first fish. A rainbow trout! 3 points on the board. IMG_8566

We listened and watched for activity from the men’s boat, trying to judge how they were doing. We were informed later that they didn’t “squeal” every time they caught a fish. Lame.

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After a few trout, we became reallly good at catching white fish and decided we would rack up points one little fish at a time.

IMG_8569At the end of day, about 6.5 hours of fishing total, the ladies were the winners with 53 points! Which is a lot of freaking whities!

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God Bless America

I’m behind, way behind on blogging. I don’t really have a good excuse…writers block? Too many kids with too little to do on hot days? Too many house projects? I don’t know. I do know that Stephanie D says that when you finish your house, you die. And judging by the looks of things around here, I’m going to live for evah. Might as well carve out some creative time to write in between bossing around contractors and fighting with the HOA. Mac Attach is sleeping on my foot, the air conditioning is blowing and the house is quiet. Time to get to work.

We are so lucky to get to spend part of July in Montana. It was a big goal for Peter and I to be able to do this, so heading up for our second extended vacation was amazing. Nothing feels as patriotic as a small town Fourth of July. The parades, the fireworks, a rodeo and lots of roast pig. What more could you ask for?

The view from our rental house did not disappoint. This was the perfect way to end a full day of 2 flights (complete with vomit bags…), an hour long grocery trip with the kids, then a two hour drive. Phew.

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The parade in Livingston is serious business. Every “float” throws candy. Nasty, leftover Halloween, been-on-the-street candy, and yet it’s like gold.

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Auggie’s sweet waves to all firetrucks, tractors and any other kind of service vehicle melted my heart!

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Baylor is always our designated wrangler for pictures. She takes her job very seriously.

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Rides in Noni’s Gater are legendary. She lets them all take turns driving. It’s terrifying.

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Wildfires are terrible…and yet make for some amazing sunsets

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This guy. He fears nothing. But he is absolutely convinced that he hates fireworks. We bribed him with a set of shooting “ears” to get him to stay out side for fireworks (the pink ones were half the price, sorry kiddo. buck up and then you won’t have to wear them!). And thankfully it worked! He loved the sparklers and he made it through the big fireworks show after a bit of protesting. Progress!

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