Sunday, April 14, 2013

Eating our way through Atlanta

The last few weekends have been FULL of killer Atlanta restaurants. Our good friend Daniel came in town a few weeks ago, and we knew we had to nail the food. Which unfortunately got us on a new restaurant rampage, as we started to feel embarrassed at how few of Atlanta's restaurants we had actually tried. So here is a glimpse of some of the great food (and Spring happenings) that we've had in the last 3 weeks!

First up with Daniel was Barcelona Wine Bar, where we had chorizo with sweet and sour figs, sauteed shrimp, hanger steak with truffle sauce, churros and wine. Tapas restaurants are hard to beat, but you wouldn't hate yourself if you had a snack before hitting Barcelona Wine Bar. The food was out of control good, just not as plentiful as you'd hope.

Next up was Heirloom Market BBQ for lunch Saturday, sushi at Zest for dinner, and a burger at Farmburger on Sunday for lunch. I seriously thought I would explode after all of that food. We did all go on a run that afternoon, so all was not lost.  

The following weekend we found the King of Pops while running the Atlanta Beltline. Then we had Moderna tacos with our sweet friends Daniel and Liz, and enjoyed lattes at Octane. Sunday we had Korean tacos at the Atlanta Food Truck Park, and another King of Pops. Because you can't beat a blueberry ginger popsicle EVER.

Since the weather has been amazing, I've been trying to take Lucy on a run every day. Yes I hate running, but I've gotten some good tips lately that make it a tiny bit more bearable. Sometimes we'll take Lucy to the park or the river to let her swim, which she thinks is greatest thing ever. She gulps the water, gallops up and down the banks, lays down on the bottom of creek, rolls in the mud, and eats all the leaves she can find. She's also been known to dig up an old hairbrush or tennis ball out of the mud. Those are special moments.

This past Friday we tried Baci in Brookhaven, then went to Noche for mojitos and a caramel corn sundae. Baci had great food, but it wasn't quite the experience we were hoping for...which is why we ended up at Noche for dessert and drinks. I'm convinced all of Atlanta was there taking shots.

Last night I had my 10 year high school reunion at Sweetwater Brewery, which was a combination of painfully awkward and incredible. I was so nervous I made Patrick give me a pep talk in the car, which consisted of "Well, at least you can always focus on drinking beer if things get too weird." But the thing is, I hate beer. So the encouragement kind of sucked. 

I will say that it was fun to catch up with old friends, and even continue the party at Marlow's Tavern with a couple that we found to be our 'home base' throughout the night. At these awkward events, a home base is imperative. So cheers to Kassandra and Sean for making it a great night!

This morning we had brunch at Sun in my Belly and this was the absolute WINNER of all the restaurants we visited in the last few weeks. Great atmosphere, coffee, decor and food. I was in instagram heaven. 

And last but not least, my favorite picture from the weekend:

Love love.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Defining Oneself with The Alchemist and a Poet

According to Clifton’s StrengthsFinder, I would be labeled as someone who collects. For some that means collecting artifacts or business cards, but for me it means I collect stories. I collect information and experiences and always crave to know more.

Clifton would also tell me that I collect friends. The official term here is WOO – winning others over. I collect anything related to people which most naturally translates to an obsession with reading and investing in relationships.

Both of these strengths have the potential to be used in wildly powerful and successful ways, and I know that I’ve seen some of these synergies played out in my life. But recently I’ve started to see the other side of those strengths.

Because I value other people and relationships so heavily, I find that it is easier to define myself based on them rather than me. And that sounds silly, and I admit that it is. But for so long, I’ve read story after story of people’s lives, and have found ways to convince myself that I need to be doing what they’re doing. I need to be learning what they’re learning, seeing what they’re seeing, and growing how they’re growing. The beauty of books is that you feel like you do go through the process with the characters. But if you aren’t careful (and I am not), then you start to mistake their growth and deeper understandings as your own. 

I’m grateful for the day Marcy told me, “You know, Mary, you keep bringing in books and stories of people’s lives that you are trying to find yourself in. But they aren’t you. And you have your own journey and story and process and dreams that only you can find.” 

Kisses from Katie was the last book I read with that mindset.

So my reading has changed a little bit, and the two most recent books I read were almost maddening because there was no room for anyone but me in the stories. The Alchemist is about discovering your ‘Personal Legend’ and Letters to a YoungPoet is about finding solitude in yourself, and learning to create and be out of the depths of you. Never have I read a book that gave me such great peace in myself than Letters to a Young Poet.

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart 
and to try to love the questions themselves like 
locked rooms and like books that are written 
in a foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, 
which cannot be given you because you would 
not be able to live them. And the point is, to live 
everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will 
then gradually, without noticing it, live along 
some distant day into the answer. - Rilke

 So cheers to all of us embarking on the greatest journey of all: the process of discovering us, and re-defining us based on who we were created to be (not be like).