Birthday Re-Do

Hey friends! Our weekend was busy but fun. We kicked things off on Friday with a little beer garden happy hour with Riese… there’s a new-ish one walking distance from our place and we had been wanting to check it out. It was awesome – even had a kid play area!

Weather was great Friday evening, too. We grabbed dinner there – I had the BBQ chicken panini with a side salad, plus some beer of course! 

del ray beer garden dinner

On Saturday morning, Matt and I decided to do a run date – gotta make sure we are ready for the Marine Corps 10k in a month!

We drove over to Old Town Alexandria and parked on the waterfront so we could run on the nice trail there and then end with food in Old Town. Matt did the first mile of stroller pushing (which included a big hill – oof)!

And then I did the next 3 miles – Matt wasn’t feeling super energized after being sick for a lot of the week, and I was feeling okay so I took one for the team. ;) 

Stroller running is tough but I’m getting better at it now that I do it more frequently (on weekday mornings – usually once or twice a week). 

I’ve also mastered the art of handing snacks and/or water bottles to Riese without stopping running. ;) #momgamestrong

4 miles – done! Our longest stroller run yet!

Riese got out of the stroller when we were done and we all walked to Virtue Feed + Grain, our local fave, for lunch. 

Salad to start:

virtue feed and grain alexandria

And then I had their salmon with creamy quinoa, which is my absolute fave. Plus a bunch of Matt’s fries – Riese and I were both stealing them. ;)

virtue feed and grain alexandria lunch

Matt and I had back-to-back training sessions with Paul from Capital Energy Training during naptime – I hadn’t had a session with him in months so it felt great to work on some strength and mobility… need to do more of that!

capital energy training workout dc

We met some friends that have kids around Riese’s age out for happy hour on Saturday evening, and then brought Riese back home at 6 when my mom came over to babysit for my birthday re-do dinner date with Matt! We were supposed to do this on my birthday last weekend but Matt was sick, so we decided a re-do was in order. :)

We started with drinks at the “adults only” (18 years+) sushi bar in Del Ray – we love that most of the places in the area are kid-friendly, but figured it would be nice to go somewhere without kids on our night off. ;)

the sushi bar del ray

I had their take on a moscow mule – yummy!

And then for dinner, we had a late reservation at The Reserve, which is a cute and cozy one room restaurant that’s upstairs from Del Ray Pizzeria. We had no idea it was there until a friend told us about it – it’s kind of hidden!

Bubbles to start:

the reserve del ray

We shared the burrata salad (wrapped in melon – pretty!) and the quinoa salad to start. Both were delicious!

the reserve del ray

And then I had the crab stuffed salmon. Yummm.

the reserve del ray

Such a fun dinner and a nice treat! 

Sunday morning we had pancakes (made using the Simple Mills mix):

simple mills pancakes

And then we met our friends Shane, and Jackie & Aaron and their toddler, for a little walk in the woods.

Riese was into it. ;)

And Freyja was living her best life sitting in the water and then rolling around in the dirt. She definitely got a backyard bath when we got home!

We came home and had salads for lunch that I forgot to get a photo of, and then had a low key afternoon and evening.

We hit the grocery store, then came home and made tacos for dinner. Riese helped, and snacked on some peppers. :) She’s still in her obsessed with daddy phase – must be glued to him at all times and heaven forbid I try to play with her or pick her up if he’s around. It’s both super cute and super annoying…

These tacos hit. the. spot. Hard shells stuffed with ground beef cooked in Mexican spices, sauteed onions and peppers, cheese, chopped spinach, guac, and some fresh tomato. Plus chili garlic hot sauce, of course!

Matt will be out playing soccer tonight after work so Riese and I are going to have the leftovers for dinner… I think I’ll make some rice and have all the fillings atop salad this time to mix it up! 

And now, I will leave you with some life advice from Riese: always take time to stop and smell the flowers. :)

Have a great day!


  1. 1

    I wish my boys would be obsessed with their dad for just an hour or so. My youngest is almost three and requires mommy for EVERYTHING! Although I think I’d be sad if they only wanted their dad too!

    And stroller running is intense! I’ve pushed a double for 6 miles and it felt like way more than that. I don’t do it often but it certainly is a workout.

    • 2

      Double stroller for 6 miles?! WHOA.

      And yeah it’s nice she loves Matt so much but it’s hard because it kind of hurts my feelings… and it’s challenging when I need to take over from him and she’s just flipping out, running after him crying, etc. Nothing crushes your confidence/heart like your toddler wanting someone that’s not you, you know? But I get it, he’s super fun… and around less than I am. :)

  2. 3

    Happy Monday

    I cannot pass through here without make these remarks!
    So Reese is more and more beautiful and I can figure a strong personality!
    It’s understandable been glued with Matt because as you know the girls are with fathers but I assume they seen each other small amount of time that you and her together!
    They are making interesting cook activities she may be passionate with!

    Awesome 👏
    Thank you for shearing
    Riese made my day today 😀!

  3. 5

    How does she do in the kitchen helper? My son is 20 months and always wants to see what I am cooking so I think that might a good option because it’s really hard to cook when he wants to be picked up all of the time to see! Which one do you have? Thanks!!

    • 6

      She does okay in it – I was hoping she’d LOVE it but of course she prefers just being held… ha. She’ll hang out in it for like 15 minutes, though, which is still pretty helpful! We have this one and like that it can fold up easily when not in use so it’s not in the way!

  4. 7

    How cute does Riese look in the kitchen with her Dad😄 I live your honesty & humor- handing out snacks without having to stop running , lol. And when a child is stuck to dad- super cute & super annoying, lol. I have had the same feelings when my kids were younger.

  5. 9

    I was also curious about the kitchen helper so thanks for sharing the link. I think we might get one when we move into our new house. Our son is the opposite of Riese and wants to be with me ALL THE TIME. He’s such a mama’s boy. Must be something about mothers and son/fathers and daughters! It’s nice sometimes but sometimes I would like a little space! He’s good about playing with his ‘ kitchen toys’ which are 3 tupperware bowls and a wooden spoon. But sometimes he wants to be RIGHT next to me which is tough when I’m doing meal prep!

    I’m glad you got to have a proper birthday celebration! Your drinks + meal out sounded awesome! We really need to do a real date night. We haven’t had dinner out – just us 2 – since May. Yikes. We are moving in late November so maybe in December we will sneak in a date night.

    • 10

      Oh, that means you found a house – exciting! I remember you saying you were having a hard time finding a place, so congrats!! Get in an October date night if you can… moving is stressful and you will deserve it! :)

  6. 11

    Sounds like a fun weekend! You guys are impressively social with a little one! Handing snacks without stopping—amazing! I always use it as an excuse to stop—hah! I appreciate your honesty about Riese being in a phase where she prefers Matt. I know that would be super hard for me! Just remember you’re an awesome Mama!

    • 12

      It kind of crushes me to be honest. But I know rationally it’s just a phase/not like she doesn’t actually like me… just have to keep reminding myself that. :)

  7. 13

    What sunglasses are you wearing?

  8. 17
    Roadrunner says

    Glad you were able to get the redo dinner! And love the picture of smelling the flowers!

  9. 18

    My daughter is obsessed with me and won’t let her daddy do anything for her and it is SO HARD. It hurts his feelings too and I feel so bad. She’s almost 4 and has been like this since she was a baby. This morning he was so fed up with her he told me I had to take her to school and get her ready as he couldn’t even deal with her-she was refusing to let him dress her, brush her teeth, etc.

    • 19

      I’m sorry you’re dealing with this too! It’s tough being either parent in these situations… I know Matt loves that she is all about him but it’s annoying when he’s trying to do something else and I’m there idle and she won’t let me be involved. And I know how your husband feels – it’s tough to not just be like “fine, whatever, bye, I’m so over this.” Now I’m nervous Riese won’t grow out of this phase anytime soon… yikes!

  10. 20

    We recently had a lot of adjustments (sold our house, lived with in-laws for 6 weeks, I went back to work after having the summer off, moved into new house) and my daughter (turned 2 in August) is attached to me when I am around. It makes it soo hard to get anything done and she has been screaming when daddy tries to do anything (sometimes even when he is in the room). We are trying our best to let her adjust since we know she has been though so much change recently. It is definitely tough and I feel so bad for my husband and it definitely is hard on me. I’m hoping once she gets used to everything it will get better! Just know you guys are not alone… it is nice to hear other children are similar!

    • 21

      It sounds like this is a pretty common thing… so tough! Is it fine when your husband is with her alone? It’s totally fine if it’s just me and Riese… it’s just when Matt is around that she usually isn’t into me. And if someone else besides Matt is around, then often she’s like that with me where I’m The Chosen One and the only one allowed to pick her up etc. – they are so fickle!

      That’s interesting you guys had a very similar summer to us (sold our house, lived with my parents for about 2 months on and off, moved into new house)… here’s hoping both of us have things settle down soon. I know I’m glad to be done with all the back and forth and changes… I’m sure Riese is too! :)

      • 22

        Yes, she is completely fine when my husband is alone with her or with anyone else without me she is glued to him. Toddlers! I’m definitely glad to be done with all of the moving… now just to unpack everything!

        • 23

          Ha I know… it’s so hard to unpack with toddlers in the mix! We made a lot of progress the first weekend when we moved and then from then on it has been snails pace…

  11. 24

    Happy belated birthday! Looks like a fun weekend. What was the adult only place in Del Ray? I might need to put it on my list for date night. :)

    Riese is a super cute Daddy’s girl! But I get how it can be annoying… my oldest is a total Daddy’s girl too – completely obsessed. It used to really hurt my feelings to get rejected all the time. Then I had a boy and now someone is obsessed with me – ha! Probably not the best solution, but it worked. Oldest is still Daddy’s little princess but she’s slightly more interested in me because I bribe her with books, and when she pushes me away I have my mama’s boy to distract me from the rejection.

  12. 27

    Happy birthday Anne!!!🎊🎊🎂🎂. Stroller running is brutal!! I applaud you!!

  13. 28

    Happy belated birthday! Glad you had a great make-up weekend for it and enjoyed The Reserve; I’ve been wanting to try that place out for awhile now and will try to schedule a date night soon. Those tacos also look incredible, btw.

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