Category Archives: Party time

ACK!!

This seems to be a word that my keyboard chooses to utter every time I put together an email to anyone. I never thought that I’d be channeling ‘Cathy’ at any point in my life, but here I am.

cathy-2004-02-14

It’s been hard to keep up with the posts with our schedule getting tighter and tighter. I can’t thank you all enough for responding to the posts I do have up and for being so great with me if I’ve emailed you.

So, here’s where we are right now… the dress just needs a couple of finishing touches, we’ve been doing initial decorating planning (figuring out where chairs and tables go, getting a list together of what else to go and get, etc.), the cake is going to be made by a saint, Ian’s all set with what he’s wearing, the folks (Ian’s) came in last night after a cross-country journey by car, the house is virtually spotless and the weather is supposed to be ridiculously hot on Saturday…. of course.

I can feel the knots in my belly and back start to loosen just a bit. I think once the dress was finished and all the invites were out and about that I felt a huge weight lift from my shoulders. My poor sister keeps trying to get me to delegate, delagate, delagate but there’s only so much that other people can do for you. She’s sweet to worry. I think she realizes now that weddings are just naturally stressful. There are a lot of people to think about, there’s food, music, what to wear, etc., etc. and it juts gets out of control in your head. I can’t imagine having started this process months (or even years!) ago and dealing with what a lot of weddings contain that we don’t have. There won’t be a space to rent for the wedding or the reception, there won’t be tables to rent, a band to hire and don’t even get me started on what women can spend on their wedding dress alone! Going into debt didn’t seem like a good idea for us to start off our married life together…. and it’s just not our style, anyway.

I’ll continue to do this at the reception and in our thank you notes, but I really really can’t thank you all enough for contributing your talents to making this a wonderful celebration of how much Ian and I love each other. Our neighbors have been offering us tables and chairs and bringing us coolers and x-mas lights. Friends have helped clean up the yard and offered to decorate. The cake is being made by a friend’s mother who isn’t expecting anything for it, though that does not fly with us! (You will be thanked. Consider yourself warned!)

(If you’re feeling left out of the picture there are still plenty of spots where we could use someone to manage things like food, the fishing booth and such. But I don’t think that’ll be much aof a problem….)

I can’t wait until all the prep is over and we can really enjoy ourselves and our friends and family. We’re getting there…. and a new kind of nervous is setting in….

Lovely party

Main Entry: 1show·er
Pronunciation: \ˈshau(-ə)r\
Function: noun
1 a: a fall of rain of short duration b: a similar fall of sleet, hail, or snow
3: a party given by friends who bring gifts often of a particular kind <a bridal shower>
2: to give in abundance <showered her with honors>

Baby shower… bridal shower….. shower shower…. except for the last one I’d never had a “shower” before. What a strange and wonderful, wonderful thing.

My sister, Mara, good friend, Des, and multiple cohorts managed to completely surround me with love yesterday. Mara (the sis) planned and delegated in secrecy, at least from me, so much so that I didn’t even know what time the party began until the 11th hour. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m a bit of a slave to surprises! (Good surprises, mind you.)

I had friends visit from out of town as well as local folk. It was a mixed crowd, too! I really see no point to keeping the bride’s celebration and preparations restricted to just the female branch of my social life. Most of my oldest and closest friends are male.

Where's my plate!?!

Where's my plate!?!

There was food of all kinds: fruit, veg, cucumber sandwiches with a secret ingredient that made them perfect tea finger sandwiches, cake (with and without nuts, of course!), crackers and cheese that were cut into little dogs, hearts and duckies, all kinds of things to drink including some fresh mojitos, some pickled asparagus (which disappeared immediately), carrots and salami, devine deviled eggs, Lindt chocolates and an unusual and delicious potato salad. Everything looked so photo ready and beautiful that no one was picking up a spoon or plate! A perfect assortment that left me feeling pleasantly satiated and refreshed.

Cheese anyone?

Cheese anyone?

After getting plates and noshing a bit we moved on to bridal bingo. Mary had put together these fantastic little bingo cards with boxes that said things like: bride, groom, Mimi, Ian, lips, nightie, frying pan (my favorite because I’m thinking of some sort of cartoon where someone gets hit on the head, of course!), apron, honeymoon, etc. Prizes were given out and thanks to Joan playing an extra card for me and filling a line immediately I managed to get some PB M&Ms. Des also shared in her prize by giving me a Jell-O cookbook with some…uh… scrumptious looking treats from the 70s. Shrimp and Jell-O anyone?

We had the traditional ‘make-the-wedding-dress-out-of-toilet-paper’ good time where I edned up looking like a cross between the bride of Frankenstein, a 20s flapper girl and a mummy. If only it would have lasted and not disintegrated as the party went on…

Presents were doled out with a theme: vintage lingerie. I LOVED it! Perfect perfect…. My collection has doubled with some delightful items like an amazingly soft house jacket, a demure and feminine black nightie, some lovely slips, a peach cami, a handkerchief as well as a homemade tote for all my loot, some original Lucy Valderhaug earrings (from the woman herself) and an unusual Vera tube neck scarf. One of my ‘mixed’ guests, whom I’ve known since 1st grade or so, decided that I might do better finding something on my own than by him doing the shopping and graciously offered a bit o’ scratch. D., if it’s ok with you I’m planning on putting that toward my wedding day sandals… Well, unless I find a nice saucy piece of vintage that I must have.

I have to say I was sorry when it was over. I had a perfectly lovely time. It felt strange being the center of attention like that but it was wonderfully nice to have so many good and old friends around that had nothing but love (and some lingerie) to give. Their well wishes have made me feel swaddled in a true energy to be happy. All the hugs, all the smiles, all the private words that say you deserve every good thing that is happening right now… I’m a bit overwhelmed by it.

Thank you so much for the party. Thank you for any kinds words or wishes you’ve said or thought or written down. This is turning into exactly what we wanted – a celebration of love, a coming together of friends and family, a declaration of commitment. It’s hard to not feel like I’m just floating on it all right now. Thank you.

Father’s Day

My father used to live two blocks from us before we moved. Actually, less than that if you looked at the size of those blocks. Sometimes he’d walk over, sometimes we’d walk over. It was sweet and quaint. While we only moved 6 blocks away it feels farther, which is silly, but it does. Now we try to have my father over for dinner on a semi-regular basis. Because we don’t fool around when we have folks over it can be over whelming – gastronomically speaking!

Last night was no exception.

Happy Father's Day to US!

Happy Father's Day to US!

I got Ian a subscription to Cook’s Illustrated online and it was the best money I may have ever spent. Since then we’ve been eating like kings even though money’s tight. Last night Ian made chicken cutlets in a porcini mushroom sauce , mashed potatoes with root vegetables and fresh herbs (from our garden) and the most perfect salad dressing for our meager little salad. For dessert I managed to make an adorable cherry pie. Maybe too adorable since we couldn’t wait for it to cool and ended up with cherry cobbler on our plates. It still tasted wonderful… all of it.

cherry pie preview

cherry pie preview

cherry pie finale!

cherry pie finale!

We had a lovely meal, wonderful conversation about old cars and I’m happy to say that when a visitor came to join us my father was happy to see him. My father… liking a cat?!?! If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I would have never believed it.

The man who came to dinner... all the time! Ollie's the perpetual guest.

The man who came to dinner... every time!

Everything went beautifully. I can’t wait until Ian’s folks get here so they can experience what an amazing chef he has become. I have a feeling that it’ll knock their socks off! I live with him, I’m getting married to him and it still does that to me. What’s that they say about gaining weight after you get married… sheesh. Let’s hope I can wait that long!