Life Smörgåsbord

TGIF!

It feels like eons since I last posted (and exercised) due to work, but I gotta pay the bills somehow… I guess. Honestly, though, the question of whether it’s all worth it has been crossing my mind at an increasing frequency lately. I feel like I haven’t been maximizing life lately, and I’m not sure how to inject the joy that I used to feel towards life back into it. Job change? Entire career change? Maybe even in a field that doesn’t require a fancy degree and just allows me to be active? Something for me to chew on in the coming weeks and months.

Anyhow, I figure that there is no better way to bounce back from a slightly solemn start to a blog post than by recapping my celebration of Belgian Independence Day with a house full of Belgians! As I’ve mentioned in the past, Denis and his family are from Belgium so we all got together to celebrate the holiday with some Belgian and not-so-Belgian eats. The people, however, were 100% authentic (as evidenced by the fact that they all spoke French, which I can’t understand a word of!).

I arrived a bit late to find Denis, as always, dutifully prepping the french fries. That boy knows his way around a deep fryer.

I must have been so excited to see food on the table, that I somehow managed to not even take a picture of the spread! Blogger fail. At least I got a good shot of my plate. BBQ chicken, grilled pineapple, grilled asparagus and some kind of cantaloupe-like melon that I forget the name of. FYI – it was 10x better than cantaloupe, which I’m not a huge fan of, and I proceeded to help myself to about 3x of what you see on the plate here.

Good Belgian parenting dictates that impressionable youngsters become accustomed to beer at an early age :). Just kidding, we rescued the cup from Denis’ nephew right after this shot, but he would have drank it AND loved it if allowed.

The dessert spread consisted of a Belgian cookie assortment (including Biscoff!) and homemade plum pie with an apricot preserve glaze. I tried 3/4 cookie types and had a slice of pie without the crust.

Despite having no idea what was being said most of the time, it was still a pretty good night. Not knowing French at these types of gatherings used to bother me a lot, but now I’m just used to going into my happy place and enjoying my food when English is altogether abandoned. Maybe one day I’ll try to learn French, although I’m not sure if my mouth is physiologically designed to make those sounds.

The BBQing did not stop there. On Thursday at lunch, we had a free BBQ at work (say what? free? at work?) that came as a total surprise to me. Even more surprising? They had veggie burgers!! I topped a veggie patty with ketchup and skipped out on the bun, because my heart was hung up on one little word: cornbread. I also got a salad trifecta composed of a side green salad, a big ol’ helping of fruit salad and some potato salad.

That cornbread was the king of all cornbreads; it was literally the best I think I’ve ever tasted. It was the one shining light in an otherwise crazed and exhausting workday. When I finally got home, I shoveled leftover fried rice in my mouth and nestled into the couch with some salt & pepper Pop Chips and the new US Weekly. Honestly, how much longer can tabloids cover the Brangelina-Jennifer Anniston situation? Didn’t that happen half a decade ago? For the record, I don’t cling onto every word in US Weekly. It was a gift and I just look at the pictures, I swear!

My zombie-like state continued throughout the night as I noshed on some other unpictured snackaroos in an unsuccessful attempt to sooth my soul. Fortunately, I woke up today with a renewed sense of energy. Not only was it Friday, but I also was going to cut the day short due to a doctor’s appointment. Normal women hate pap smears, but I don’t mind them at all. Woohoo early day!

The only downside of coming out of a funk is that you realize your formerly funk self did not stock the fridge with yogurt to make overnight oats. Instead I had a bowl of cereal that was too boring to earn a picture. I did, however, find more exciting things around the kitchen area to photograph. And by this, I basically mean I took plant porn :).

For lunch I had a deliciously unhealthy Whole Foods sandwich that was provided for a meeting. I got chicken and olive tapenade on ciabatta and traded half with a coworker that had a bacon, turkey, avocado and sun dried tomato aioli sandwich. Like always, I was too awkward feeling to take a picture in the middle of the meeting, especially given that the president of our larger organization was one of the 10 people in the room. I didn’t expect her to remember my name afterward, so I definitely didn’t want to go down in history as that strange girl who laid down on the conference table to get a good shot of some bread and deli meat.

Then it was pap time. The only interesting part of the whole appointment was that when I laid down, I saw this one ceiling panel that had a backlight and was decorated with Hawaiian flowers and some sort of cheesy scenic landscape. I laughed out loud when I saw it. According to my new favorite obgyn, they installed them to make the women that get REALLY nervous about speculums being in close proximity to their beings more comfortable on the cheap. Hmm…

When I got home, Denis and I decided to go see Inception after our failed attempt last week. We grabbed a slice at Pizza My Heart next to the theater.

Hawaiian with a special topping…

The SPICE BOMB!!! (Don’t ask me what’s in it. But I did consume copious amounts of it.)

I really wanted a treat for the theater, so we stocked up at a nearby grocery store before heading in. As always, when faced with choice, I chose all and ended up walking out of there with multiple snacks.

The loot that I hid in my bag. Sneaky sneaky.

Denis happily digging into his one purchase – some sort of spicy Cheetos.

All of mine. Muahaha.

I ended up going for the giant Kashi bar, which I demolished during the previews. This turned out to be a good thing as I needed 100% of my attention focused on the movie to understand what the heck was going on. Definitely worth the Costco movie 2 pack if you haven’t seen it yet!

Tomorrow we’re going camping with another couple. I can’t wait to get away, even if it’s just for one night. Get ready for some pictures of s’mores!

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