March 11, 2014

Just a weekend

Phew. Nice to take some time off from writing after that cumbersome week of daily posts! Oh, I'm just kidding. Whining about "being forced" by some invisible iron hand to write every day... I actually enjoyed the exercise. It was challenging. Very challenging. To come up with a topic, then to write something at least slightly coherent that others might find interesting. So much [self-imposed] pressure!!

Anyway, since I last wrote we began the season of Lent in this little household. More self discipline. More focus on our relationships with Jesus. More reminders of what it means to be grateful. Hopeful. Joyful. I was raised with the teachings that Lent is a time of penance. And don't get me wrong--I'm not saying Lent is not a time of penance. But for me, Lent has become more of a time for gratitude and hope, not so much sorrow. What I am saying is that David and I focus on how this time of penance, this time of acknowledging our faults will bring us a greater sense of gratitude for Jesus and His mercy, greater gratitude for the blessings God gives us in spite of our faults, greater gratitude for the love of God. Throughout our Lenten penance, we come to know Jesus and His sacrifice for us more deeply. And through that we can gain a greater sense of hope, and therefore greater joy. So here's to a happy Lent!

Speaking of happy, my mom and I took a little trip across the state to my grandparents' farm last weekend. We were celebrating the upcoming wedding of her youngest brother and his fiance with a little bridal shower. It was also a chance to get to know my soon-to-be-aunt. As I've mentioned before, I love all my aunties. One is only a month younger than me. Another is only five years older. The next oldest is nine years older. And so on. I love having aunts so close to my age. They are more like cousins--or even sisters--than aunts. So to welcome another aunt into the family, especially one who is so down to earth, such a hard worker, an avid learner and observer, and has pretty tough skin to handle the crazy that is our ginormous family, is pretty exciting.

My mom hosted the lovely little shower.

A couple of delicious salads, some pesto pinwheels (cream cheese, pesto, Parmesan cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and shredded chicken--YUM!), zucchini bites and fruit. Just a sweet, lovely little luncheon.

can't forget the cake!

We were entertained by several games, my favorite being one where we were asked to guess my future-aunt's age by looking at her childhood pictures. She is David's age and only two years older than me--also tall and lanky, like me--so I figured I had an advantage to guessing her age...that is if I could remember what I looked like at five years old. :)

Words of wisdom, date night ideas and family traditions for the happy couple

I love the socializing aspect of showers most of all, especially having the chance to chat with the aunts I haven't visited with in months. This weekend I had the chance to finally catch up with Lisa--the one five years older than me. She and her husband lived in my college town when they were first married. She had her first baby my freshman year, so naturally I grew very attached to this particular cousin as I watched her grow into a toddler, then preschooler and now little girl. This baby was my flower girl four years ago, and now is the big sister to three other beautiful little girls! Needless to say it is a rare treat to have a focused conversation with my dear aunt Lisa. A welcomed and very much appreciated treat, too!

With most showers I will usually default to the standard kitchen gadget gift. All have appreciated this, but I felt the urge to do something a little outside the box. I so wanted my future-aunt to feel welcomed by something more sentimental--still functional, but sentimental. A few Pinterest searches later, I concluded a wine basket for the couple's first year would be perfect!

After all, what better way to celebrate and highlight the firsts of a new marriage than with wine? (well...I suppose I would typically say beer, but not in this case!).

Open on wedding night: Lady in White from Kestrel

Upon your first fight: Mad Housewife Cab Sav

At (or after!) your first gathering at home: House Wine!

On your first anniversary: Cupcake Red Velvet Cake

When that first baby comes into the picture...
dad can enjoy a glass of Barefoot Crisp White! :)

I attached a clever little poem that I adapted from ones I found on various other blogs to each bottle, hopefully explaining when and why my future-aunt and uncle should drink them. We'll see if they follow the rules. Regardless of how they enjoy the gift, I wish them the very best in all their "firsts"!  

Happy shower, soon-to-be-aunt Liz!  

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