Life is just insane sometimes. We had our dinner party a couple weeks ago & the weather cooperated beautifully. No rain until after midnight that night. It was great getting to know people from church that I might not usually work with or consider my "buds", but after spending some time with these people and having them in my home, we saw how interesting and fun it is to break out of your regular circle. Some people came that I wasn't even sure if I knew what they looked like or who they were and now I'd definitely consider having them over for dinner again.
Two days after our dinner party, the Young Women presidency in our ward was released and a new presidency was called. I was one of the few lucky ones that got to stay in YW with all the changes, so I am still a Laurel advisor. But we realized at church that Sunday that we were supposed to be having a special mother-daughter activity 2 days later and there was no location reserved, no food planned, no decorations bought, etc. Because I had just had a dinner party in my backyard and they were looking for an outdoor location for the get-together, I volunteered my yard & house. More details for come....
As for my personal life, I'm consumed by rental-house problems ... again. I tell ya ... renting has not been a good/fun experience for us. But this most recent experience has kinda forced us to start considering buying a house. We spent about 12 hours this weekend house-hunting. We almost put an offer on a house. We got pre-approved, had the offer all written up, but at the last minute decided to not go through with it. The house was amazing. The current owners are probably $1mill in debt on it & they are trying to short-sale the home. They bought a home (probably when the market was high) and then gutted it. The owner is a professional interior designer, so it was absolutely beautiful ... there wasn't one paint color or anything that I'd change and we even considered buying some of the furniture that she had in the home. The yard was very family friendly, too ... a sports court (great spot to ride bikes in the backyard), sand & large swingset, firepit & gas fireplace, outdoor kitchen/built in BBQ, and all this was on about 3/4 of an acre. It seemed to be everything we were looking for, but I just didn't love the floor plan or feel like it was as functional as I'd like for our family's needs. There is another house we are considering, but it needs to be gutted ... not sure if it's had any updates or changes in nearly 30 years ... and we're still shopping around.
Last night we took our whole Young Women group (all the girls 12-18 years old who attend church with me) to see the Easter Pageant. I snuck my hubby & kids in with the group cause if they didn't go last night, we wouldn't have been able to attend this year. After saying no to putting an offer on the house, I needed to do something a little more fun, so I decided to bake some cookies to take & share with our young women group. I have my favorite chocolate-chip cookie recipe, but I was in the mood to try Alice Medrich's "My Chocolate Chip Cookies" from her new cookie cookbook. The recipe said I'd get about 60 cookies from one batch ... I must've made big cookies cause I got about 1/2 that many. Realizing that we'd run out of treats very quickly with only 30 cookies, we whipped up a baking sheet of brownies. Alice's recipe was pretty quick and easy & it's always nice to have a recipe that you don't have to shop or plan ahead for. I thought her cookies were a little on the chewy side (which isn't necessarily a bad thing), but the leftovers (I kept a few cookies at home for us to munch on today) have stayed much more fresh than my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe.