Sunday, December 9, 2012


Birthday week is always an eventful one around here, since we have 4 to celebrate!  Nate is December 5th, me the 6th, and Dave and Agnes are December 8th birthday twins!  So in addition to this week being the last in the semester, we had a plethora of birthday celebrations!

Dave and I started the week on Sunday with a trip to Smokey Bones for lunch with my parents!  Dave had never been, but my parents love the place, and I went once with the girls after a Twilight movie so I have excellent memories of it :)  haha - Team Renesmee!  We had some good times talking about politics (yes, even though the election is over) and plans for Christmas this year, and my mom hooked me up with some new miracle scrubbies!  These are the best sponges on the planet!  I first got one from Miller Farms Market, handmade by Jo, and my mom found these at a church bazaar...she even made sure JMU and UR were represented!

After an impromptu trip to Ikea to kill some time, we met all the Millers downtown at The Bavarian Chef for authentic German fare.

Nate has wanted to eat there for a special occasion for several years, and he finally got his wish. :)  When the server first greeted us, I thought we were part of an elaborate prank - his accent was so over the top I thought he was joking, but nope, he really does talk like Mary Poppins.  God save the queen.  He was excellent, though, and his stories were fascinating.  He's been around the block.

The food was fantastic, the portions HUGE, but the best part was the German chocolate cake:

Thursday night (my birthday), we had dinner with Dave's parents at Firebirds.  We had a reservation, and when Dave and I got there, the hostess said part of our party had already arrived, but didn't offer to show us where they were seated.  So Dave took a lap around the restaurant to find them, with no luck.  So they seated us and we waited...and waited...until Dave started to worry and called them at home to see if anything had happened.  They didn't answer, so I decided to take another lap around the place to see if Dave's eyes deceived him.  Sure enough, they were about 5 tables away, waiting for us!  Hahahahaha!  So we moved, had a good laugh, and enjoyed our dinner :)

Saturday was Dave's 40th birthday and Agnes' 1st birthday!  Sharon had us over to celebrate Agnes and we ordered enough Chinese food to feed an army!

Agnes had her first cupcake - it took her a minute to realize she was supposed to eat it, rather than just mash it around in her hands, but she loved it!

She opened her gifts - Joe and Sharon got her a farm set, but she was much more interested in the box:

Once she was finished with her smash cake and gifts, we enjoyed a funfetti cake Sharon made... some Star Wars cupcakes I brought for Dave - he's 40 and a Star Wars birthday is still age-appropriate right?  We went with it :)

Phew, I'm tired!  Today was our last celebration - the girls told me nothing about our adventure other than to be ready at 10am and to not wear jeans.  This freaked me out because I always wear jeans!  Even to work.  It took a while to find something appropriate - the shoes were the worst part because all I've worn recently are sneakers and flip-flops.  In a bit of a fashion rut, I suppose?

Anyway, Ashley picked me up this morning, and I tried not to over-analyze where we were going.  She asked a couple of times if I knew where I was or where she was driving, but I had no idea.  The only place in Richmond I know of that has a strict dress code for Sunday brunch is the Jefferson, but when she got on northbound 95 I knew that was out!

So I went with it until we reached the Hanover Courthouse area, and I figured it out - we've been talking about having lunch or brunch at Hanover Tavern for a long while, so I was so happy to see her turn in :)

When we sat down, the server brought me a birthday card, signed by the staff - how sweet is that?  Great customer service!

We sat upstairs on the enclosed veranda, and it felt like we were doing that front porch thing.

We had some fantastic brunch food, including grits from a local mill and the most delicious cinnamon butter that I can't wait to copy!

We spent most of the time grilling Melissa on the proper care of chickens - she is renovating a house in a rural area and has some chickens.  We just needed some information, like:

  • can the chickens fly?
  • do you need a rooster to get eggs?
  • how do you know if the eggs are good to eat?
  • how do you keep the hawks away?
  • are you sick of eggs yet?
  • are you going to get sheepies?
Haha - she was very patient with us as we threw questions at her from all angles.  We all want chickens for the eggs, but it sounds like quite the commitment, even though the chickens are pretty self-sufficient.  I'll stick to a cat for now, but when Dave and I move to the country (still working on him) we're getting a chicken. Done.

Once we finished our meal, we walked around the property and explored the Hanover Courthouse complex across the street.

At this point I think I was being lazy and was just holding the camera at random angles to take photos.  Artsy or lazy?  Let's go artsy!

On the way home, Ashley and I stopped at one of my favorite shops, Through the Garden Gate...

...and both of us got out of there without buying a thing - it's a birthday miracle!

Thanks girls for surprising me with a lovely brunch!


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