Monday, May 11, 2009
Last Thursday was our one-year mark in our new house, and it's hard to believe a whole year has gone by already. We loved the house when we bought it, but we've fallen even deeper in love since that day we signed the papers and breathed a huge sigh of relief that our days (and months) of dealing with real estate agents, interest rates, and lenders were over. This house has been so good to us and for us, and we owe a lot of our love for this place to our neighbors, who are the best in the world. I never expected to live on such a wonderful little street, let alone on a street full of friends.
Funny story. When we moved in, Travis decided that the gate on the south side of our house was going to be like a slice of cake from our wedding. It's tradition to save a slice of cake and eat it on your first anniversary, which we did, and it was freezer burned and not nearly as good as we remembered. So, the gate. Trav made an unwritten rule that no one was allowed to open or pass through the gate until our first anniversary in this house, and since that was last Thursday, we invited our pals Wendy and Troy over to celebrate with us. A couple of months ago, Travis mentioned it to our next door neighbors, who we had a nice chat with over the fence Saturday afternoon before dinner, as we dug out Bishop's Weed.
Wendy and Troy came over a bit later, and we ate an amazing meal that I'm very proud of (even though all I did was roughly follow a few recipes). I made gaucho steak with four herb chimichurri, jicama slaw, and garlic and herb grilled sweet potato fries. My mouth is watering just typing it. We used a 2 lb. flank steak instead of the skirt steak; I had no basil so I left that out of the chimichurri, and I used dried oregano; I couldn't find rice wine vinegar so I used white wine vinegar in the slaw; and I used half regular potatoes, half sweet potatoes. It was all absolutely amazing, and I can't wait to make it all again. I'm actually making more jicama slaw for a picnic dinner tonight.
After dinner, we went to the park around the corner and played whiffle-ball baseball, frisbee, and soccer with one of those giant balls from the metal bins at Target, the $3 swirled white-and-blue ones. We had so much fun running around, cheering, hollering like kids, getting grass stains and "sports" injuries. Afterward, we lit a fire in the pit in the backyard for the first time since we bought the house, and as we roasted marshmallows in the almost-dark, Trav pointed at the gate. Our next door neighbors had tied festive balloons to the latch to make it special for us. I got a tear in my eye. It made my heart so happy. Like I said, we have amazing neighbors! We ate s'mores and Travis and Troy lit the ends of two sticks on fire and we walked through the gate with our torches, cheered and walked backward back through our newly christened gate. We made it!
Trav ran through the gate yesterday just because he could. I've left the balloons there, swaying and bobbing in the breeze because they make me so happy. What a wonderful year it's been, and what a perfect way to celebrate it.