With my Mom here to see some babies, and without me getting called to work, we both found excuses for me to pick her up for a day out on the town! She wanted to give Joe and T'liese some alone time with their son, Evan, and I wanted to show her the good eats we have in this Valley! I was at their house in south Phoenix around 10:00 AM. After watching Mom finish baking a batch of sugar cookies, per T'liese's request, Mom and I loaded up in my trusty ol' Taurus and headed east. We went closer to my neighborhood, mostly to visit a kitchen supply store T'liese had told us about. We began our trip by stopping at TJ Maxx (no surprise there, huh?) My Mom has had only bad experiences with TJ Maxx, since the store closest to them is rather ghetto and not nearly like my store. Mine is new, clean, and HUGE! We spent an hour in there looking at furniture, paintings, women's shoes, socks and even laptop cases. She has been searching for a carrying case to hold her new laptop, and we finally found a beautiful red leather bag that is padded and holds her electronic buddy perfectly. I totally lucked out by not having to ship her Mother's Day present to her! I think I converted her, too. She said she finally understands why I like that store so much! It's not like I talk about it a lot, or anything...
After TJ Maxx, our stomachs told us it was time to get some lunch. So we backtracked a few miles to Baseline and Country Club to eat at one of the most wonderful cafes I have ever experienced! T'liese actually introduced me to Crackers Cafe a few months ago, and I knew it would be the perfect lunch location for me and my Mommy. She loved it as much as me! We both started out with a delicious soup, Mom having the Creamy Spinach and Artichoke and me preferring the Baked Potato. They were both delicious and scrumptious...obviously made from scratch! Then the good stuff came, and I love how we spent the first three minutes with our food by simply taking pictures! She laughed and said people we going to think we were food critics! (Just for the record, I rarely criticize food. I am usually on its side). Mom ordered the Reuben Melt, which looked wonderful and melty. Were it not for the corned beef, sauerkraut, and marble rye bread, it may very well be something I would enjoy, too. I had the French Chick, which just means they put their delicious chicken salad onto a croissant. It's really the only way to eat chicken salad. Our food was so good, and we even got to save half our sandwiches for later since we got so full! What a great cafe! She wants to take Merrill, my step-dad, there when they come down in April for some baby blessings. Done!
After lunch and a successful photo shoot with sandwiches, we continued our day of fun by heading to Shar's Kitchen Supply in Gilbert. T'liese had ranted and raved about how wonderful this place was, and it sounded like something my Mom and I needed to see in person. We spent over an hour in there and looked at every row in the store! It was fun to see so many contraptions for so many uses in the kitchen. I, for one, am rather proud that I don't need an avocado masher to feel like a real woman. I can use one of those "fork" things any day and still feel like my guacamole is a hit! It was fun to be there with my Mommy and talk about every single thing in that store. Another hour flew by.
Then it was Happy Hour! At Culver's, that is! If you buy one concrete mixer ice cream shake, you get a second for free! I am all about taking advantage of delicious deals, and my Mom had never been to Culver's. Known most for its Butter Burger, I discovered Culver's when they appeared in my college town of Grand Forks, North Dakota. When I saw one being built on Country Club and Baseline last year, my heart skipped a beat. It was difficult to get it under control because I kept thinking about their Mint Oreo Concrete Mixer (which is exactly what we both got). What a fun burger joint. And straight from the Midwest, too, so it just feels so wholesome! And we were the skinniest patrons there! I am making a mental note of that and deciding to only enjoy Happy Hour when an out-of-towner is in town!
After our ice cream afternoon snack, we headed north towards my house to Deseret Book. My Mom loves the series by Hugh Nibley, and we BOTH love walking around book stores. We finished there just about the time John was done with work one block away, so we drove him to our house so I could show my Mom the new painting. I didn't realize she hadn't been to my house since my wedding, so it was fun to show her what we've done with the place (and with eight beds). We didn't stay long, as I didn't want to fight rush hour traffic getting her back to the Friends. So we got on the freeway and made it back to south Phoenix around 5:00 PM.
Mom frosted some sugar cookies while we enjoyed looking at how stinkin' cute Evan is! I don't have an photographic proof from yesterday's cuteness, but he only gets better with age. Jeff, Megan, and Mayla arrived, bearing dinner of Creamy Slow Cooker Chicken. Being that John had meetings all night, I stayed to eat dinner with the family. Then we just enjoyed an evening together, talking and cooing over two adorable babies. I really enjoy time with my family. We all get along and have great conversations. It's a rare treat when just my Mom is in town, so I wanted to maximize the enjoyment by staying until after 9:00 PM, until they finally kicked us out of their home! None of those people are any fun now that they "have babies and need to get to bed early." Priorities!
It was a great day with my Mama, whom I love dearly. She is full of wit, gratitude, desire to serve, humility, beauty, charm, and compassion. I knew I had to get my wonderful characteristics from someone!