One of my best friends attended the funeral of another one of her good friends recently... on her birthday. So it wasn't a "Happy birthday" this year, as I'm sure you can imagine.
To do what little I could do to cheer her up, I had a girl party at my house... and we had.
My friend, henceforth known as Karon, since her name is, well, Karon, received a lovely gift on her birthday. A split-glass beverage dispenser. I was instantly jealous, but have since found one on the net, and will be placing my order very soon. That is, of course, unless one of you decides you would like to gift me with one. I will gladly offer you many thanks, should you be so generous.
Anyhoo, I made raspberry lemonade and sweet tea, and served them in the beautiful jar. I used my gorgeous ice bucket (in its very own stand) and some pretty glasses. Just the sight of everything all prettyful made my heart sing.
I prepared chicken spaghetti, green beans (cooked the traditional Southern way in lots of bacon and onion, and long enough that there's absolutely no trace of nutrition in them so that they can scarcely be classified as vegetables), garlic bread, and salad. It was... beyond words.
Nobody was shy, so as soon as we thanked the Lord for all the food, we dug in.
And continued digging.
And then we gathered 'round the table and ate until we couldn't eat no more!
But then we ate some more, because it was delicious, and because I also made this:
It's a strawberry-lemonade cake, and it was DEE-VINE. I made fresh strawberry jam and fresh lemon curd the night before the party, and spread them both between the layers of cake. Then I piped some homemade strawberry buttercream all over it and slapped some strawberries and lemon curls on top and called it a day.
I wanted the house to be festive, so I made tens and tens of tissue paper balls and suspended them from the ceiling in the entry hall. The ceiling is high enough that you couldn't reach them, even on your tippy-toes. Each time the air conditioner was running, the balls would spin lazily in the breeze. It was lovely.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KARON!
If I am remembering correctly, I haven't posted a picture of the hallway, yet, so after the ladies left I got a few. The hallway is about seven feet wide, and 30 feet long. Which is probably another reason all those paper balls don't make it feel cluttered.
On either side of the hall, nearest the dining room, are little niches. In one we have a mirror, which currently reflects two of my favorite faces in the whole wide world. I like that the mirror is arched at the top, like the front door and the windows next to it.
In the other niche, directly above two of my favorite faces in the whole wide world, are pictures of three of my favorite faces in the whole wide world. Cavan has feeber, so he's eating popsicles. Cullen is showing the love for his brother by eating sympathy popsicles.
Don't let the blue eyes fool you. This kid knows how to work adults.
I made a wreath for the front door. And it's still there. A week after the party. But it's okay because Cavan's birthday was five days ago. And I'm not ready to acknowledge the fact that I've run out of babies. Again.
Cullen wanted me to take his picture, so I did.
But then he wanted me to let "them" see him going "RAAAAAAAWWWWWRRRRRRR!" So I did.
Here are the boys, at the other end of the hall, desperately trying to open the french doors, despite the fact that I told them they could not go outside, and throwing a screaming hissy fit, despite the fact that I told them to cut. it. the heck. out.
I don't know why I took a picture of the bookcase that I use as a hall table. Maybe I just felt the need to torture you a little more before you left my little corner of the world.
It's days like this that you realize who your true friends are, not that I had any doubt. And it's days like this that you just can't stop smiling, and thanking the Lord for placing them into your life.
As I had the pleasure of sitting around my own dining table, and listening to beautiful women talk about heavy (and not-so-heavy) topics, I just couldn't stop thinking that I am so unbelievably blessed. It felt like Sunday dinners at my aunt's house, when all the ladies in my family would sit around and talk for hours about everything and nothing at all. It just felt... right.
We sat there so long that eventually plates were filled again... and my chicken spaghetti was no more.
Miserable, we went to the town square to adorable little antique shops, before we went back to my house, where Karon fixed us iced coffees.
I can't remember a more perfect day.
I hope you enjoyed it, Karon. I love you from the bottom of my heart, and wish you many more.