Some roses my husband brought home to me last week. Sorry for the dropped petal... they are starting to get a tiny bit tired.
Flowers on the other hand, flowers I can picture. The bouquet above was brought my one of our entrants. I had a "Creative Presentation" category and that's what she entered. The flowers doubled as a hostess gift for me. YAY for me!!! :)
If there was anyone who didn't have fun, well... he was a bit of a cranky-pants that day anyway so his opinion can't count. At least thirty-six people had an "awesome" time and already it have it on their calendars for next year.
The flowers do help mitigate that a bit, though. It's as if Spring entered through my front door and spread itself around my house. Can't help but smile about that!
I'll start with the invitations and a deep thank you to the incredibly talented Tricia-Rennea. She designed this paper and I've been holding onto it, waiting just for this luncheon to use it's most wonderfulness.
Then... there was the food prep. One suggestion? When you're cooking for thirty people and you don't know the food you've decided to serve? Make it first. The dishes I chose turned out yummy but one of them should have been labeled "this is a main course, not a side dish" because when I had the recipe computed for 30 people and then made it, it made enough for about 200 people when it was going to be used as a side... Yesterday I started making this dish at 11:45 AM. It was finished at 8:00 PM. Thank goodness it tasted yummy! It would have been oh so sad for it to have been a total flop. I didn't make it myself first because it was a 5 star dish per the site, with 178 reviews. I figured it had to be pretty good....
That, though, was the only negative in the entire day. Everything else was just plain perfect. A great time was had by all and I can't wait to start thinking about next year! February 14, 2011 falls on a Monday so it'll might be a bit tougher to find folks to volunteer to help but...I hope to figure something out! Maybe our high school kids (in the church) will help. Ah, well. I have a year to think it through!
It takes a lot of dishes to serve 30 people:
But they set a beautiful table...or two...or five...
I don't know if you can read the menu. It was fun coming up with yummy food to serve. I'm starting earlier on that decision for next year, though. Like... tomorrow.... Need a few great dishes that only contain a couple of ingredients! My index finger is still cramped from all of the cutting/chopping dicing I did Saturday!
We plated a lot of food...
But the most important thing? Everyone who was able to join us seemed to have a great time!
And a gigantic, incredible thank you to the couple from our church who opened their home and entrusted it to me, allowing me to do this in the most incredibly beautiful setting. I'm almost sorry we've grown to so many people that we have to find a new location for next year.
In addition to the sadness over the sheer number of people who were lost in the recent earthquake, I was hit by this quote in the article:
“Angie was a nobody, she died a nobody, she will never have a funeral, she will never have a tombstone,” Ms. Dupoux said. “She is just one of the nameless, faceless victims, and I hate that.”
The Angie Ms. Dupoux is referring to is her 17 year old cousin. A young woman who died of fright after surviving the earthquake.
God knows every hair on Angie's head. He knows her face intimately. He knows her name - He chose it for her.
I know - she meant in human terms and her grief is right now, this present, this reality. I understand that but there is just no hope in that quote. None. And it breaks my heart that the God of all Hope is a breath away and she doesn't know Him. Not intimately. Not the way it would take for that quote to have never been said...
How well do we profess the God of all Hope and Comfort? Why do we not know Him amidst such grief? How do I share Him better? Why does this love I feel not make my words sing, why do I stay quiet? The Hope I know - who have I told?
The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
It's food for 30 people. T.H.I.R.T.Y. Have I ever prepared food for that many people before?
Ummm... no. Nope. and NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Thank God I have help!! My Lifegroup is stepping in to help me cook, serve and clean up. They are the best people on the planet.
It's not the brunch or preparing the food or making sure I have all the supplies we need. I feel like I'm moving into a friend's parents' house. They have so graciously opened their doors but what I have to bring... I think my van might need new shocks when this is over. That's just a matter of lists, lists and more lists.
No. It's the fear that the food won't be super-yummy and people will think "ho hummmm...I should have gone to Jack in the Box." It's wondering if my devotion will sound like another stupid Valentine's Day cliche - said with the best of intentions but coming across sounding like pity.
Yup. Brunch is for single folks. Single folks ranging in age from 35 to 49. Some of them never-been-married folks. Valentine's Day simply stinks for them. Personally, I think the day stinks for everyone which is what I usually remind the singles. The pressure, the hype. Ugh. I've never been a fan of Valentine's Day which is why I chose to do this rather than sit at home complaining about the massive card companies who have consummerized love and turned romance into a guilt trip.
I think love is something we do 365 days a year. Every year of our life. I think wives should always speak words of love and encouragement to their husbands and I think husbands should bring their wives flowers at least once a month. If I respect my husband and he loves me, our marriage is going to be better. If you are dating someone and behave the same way toward your significant other as you would your spouse, you'll someday make a great spouse.
We don't need red roses and pink heart-shaped doilies to say "I love you." Take out the trash, scratch her back, write a note and slip it in a coat pocket. That can be done on February 15th as well (and by that well I mean "good") as it can be done on February 14th. I will admit - it's a bit fun if you go the kids route with things. Sweet, funny little sentiments...
Now...if we used February 14th to remind ourselves that love is the most important thing we do in our lives, that would be different. I probably wouldn't be so anti-Valentine's Day. Instead we've had to candy, rose and heart the living daylights out of it and so people usually forget that love is a tangible, not just a "feeling." It's NOT all about that rush you feel with someone special. It's the day in and day out, the choice to "for good or bad, no matter what I'm sticking with you."
Love is something we do even when she's not wearing a pretty dress or he's not bringing the biggest, most beautiful bouquet of roses. It's life.
So - pardon my rant. Sunday. Brunch for the singles in my church. I'm praying my ham bakes beautifully and the quinoa tabulleh tastes as yummy as it looks. I'll post pictures after it's over.