G is for Graduation

I can’t believe I forgot to do my last post from Super Friday a few weeks ago! Well, I can because I’m predispositioned to have the attention span of a toddler. Combine that with preparing for a friend’s wedding, and yeah, it almost slipped through the cracks…

Super Friday was a few weeks ago when I had 3 events in one day, all between noon and 9 pm. And I still managed to do all of this around my full-time gig because I couldn’t take off work…the boss would have been suspicious and we weren’t having any of that…

By the time that I made it to the third event, I was so incredibly thankful that my involvement was minimal! This event was a surprise high school graduation party for the son of a new acquaintance. He had no idea that all of his friends and family had come out to celebrate with him and commend him on his accomplishment; he was just happy to grab some dinner after all of the excitement of the night!

For this event, mom asked me to do a candy bar and make sure that everything was set up for the big arrival. I had a great friend and her daughter there helping out, so we were able to come in and get everything done just in time.  Mom did all of the leg work, making sure that everything was where it needed to be for us to set it all up and that in itself was a blessing; I have to give credit where it’s due!

So the big reveal! Son is in shock, mom is almost in tears, I was so busy herding and hiding people that I didn’t get to take pictures of everything…but alas, they were happy, and that’s all that matters at the end of the day.

We were treated to a completely over-filling dinner at Southern Hands (I was eating leftovers for two days) and words of encouragement from the family to the graduate and vice versa; the astounding graduate is so close with his family and mom that when he thanked his parents for their support and encouragement, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. Or maybe it was just me…I wuss out and get all emotional when other people tear up *shrugs*

There was a strawberry tree included in the dessert table and this is an actual size photo of the strawberry. I don’t know where they came from, but I need so many more in my life. 

There was also a 4-flavor graduation cake. This picture was the closest that I got to it before it disappeared.

The candy went just as quickly. I made the chocolate-covered pretezels as a request from mom so that there would be enough for everyone. Those things can get expensive! I have to remember to make some for my girls at church before I get taken out at the knees…  Speaking of expensive, you don’t have to pay $40 for apothecary jars…the DIY containers in the picture cost $5.

 

All in all, we had a wonderful time! Mom was happy, son was happy, planner could sit down…and that made me happy. I was reminded through a very painful life lesson that you DO NOT wear flats or otherwise unsupportive shoes when you’re going to be on your feet that long! Stupid brain trumped practical brain with the “cute” card…

The youngest son gathered all the balloons at the end of the night with the hope that he would float off. He reminded me of Up! which I have yet to see…

Congrats to you Quintshon and we wish you the absolute best in life and your future endeavors (despite you going to Ole Miss)!!

Make It Awesome!

 

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Surprise! It’s a Baby!

Ok, so the baby wasn’t actually a surprise…they’d been trying for a while. And then they got pregnant! YAY! So when my friend told me that she was pregnant, I was over the moon! I’m at the age myself where babies are awesome and I just want to love them and kiss them and squeeze them and hug them and then I will call them George. I guess it’s a good thing that my husband wants a family because I’ve apparently broken the snooze button on my biological clock and any baby within reach is subject to random amounts of mushy, babbling nonsense. From me.

But moving along…

My friend is having a baby!! We know how these things go…mom wants a girl, dad wants a boy. I talked to my friend about the possibility of doing a baby gender reveal. The premise for this sort of event is that you basically find a fun and creative way to announce if you’re expecting a boy or a girl. Most parents find out with the rest of their family and friends and get to be surprised with everyone else. My friend and her husband are not most parents. But I really couldn’t blame them…they’d already waited so long to get the baby in the belly that they wanted to know right away! They played along anyway and I’m so proud of mom that she didn’t let the secret slip; I saw from subsequent posts that she had to avoid certain phone calls to keep it to herself… *high five* to you lady!

Most gender reveal parties have a theme or other special meaning to the couple. I saw one where the couple did theirs via painting the baby’s room with the color corresponding to the baby (pink=girl, blue=boy). The theme for this party came after musing over a conversation with mom:

Mom: I think I want to do it with the ladies in my Bible study class. I want it to be small and intimate and this would be the perfect setting since the ladies will already be there.

Me: Ok cool! Well, let’s schedule it and I’ll come over before Bible study to set everything up. I’ll leave and let you ladies do your study and then I’ll return when it’s time for the party…

Mom: You can stay for the Bible study *smiles* we would love to have you!

Me: Nah, that’s cool…I wouldn’t want to interrupt *smiles*

Mom: Well aren’t you a Christian?

Me: Yes ma’am I am!

Mom: Well, one more Bible study in the week won’t kill you then *big grin*

Me: *laughs* Yes ma’am, I’ll come to Bible study…

We ended up not doing with the Bible study group, but that conversation got me to thinking and literally out of left field, EUREKA! The theme for the party!

Adding a Prince or Princess to the Kingdom of God!

I was so excited! I couldn’t wait to plan this party! First, the color scheme…purple and gold are the symbolic colors for royalty, so that’s what I chose. I made a royal mobile/chandelier to go over the table, but there was already a chandelier over the table, so that was out of the question… Never thee worry, we hung it over the crafts station!

For the table set up, we had purple and yellow chocolate covered pretzels and some more of the awesome jello cookies, similar to the ones in the birthday post…these were made lemon and grape to stick with the color scheme.

For the actual reveal, cupcakes were made with icing the appropriate color corresponding to the baby’s gender, and put into individual boxes that had Bible verses pertaining to child rearing attached to them. I know from being a kid, having nieces and a nephew and from being around other people’s kids, the most commonly heard phrases usually included petitioning God at some point for just a portion of help/strength/mercy/restraint…

Before we did the reveal, we had the activity, which involved trying to figure out if there was a prince or princess on the way. Only the parents and I knew the gender of the baby, but we all played along. To make your decision/guess, you had to make a crown corresponding to your estimation. If you thought the baby was a boy, you were asked to make a purple, blue or green crown. If you thought they were having a girl, you were asked to make a gold or red crown.

Everyone got involved, but I think the kids really had more fun than the adults…

Once we got everyone in the crowns, it was time for the big reveal! I passed out individual boxes to everyone and had them open them together. One lady had hers open LITERALLY a split second after I said “GO!” and within 2 seconds she was off the couch dancing around with excitement because she was right in her guess…

They’re adding a Prince to the Kingdom!

Dad was re-esctatic about it! (I don’t know if that’s a real word, but we’re going with it!) A son! All of their friends and family were so happy! I think everyone kind of knew, but they were still surprised and overjoyed. I tried to comfort mom and tell her that it was good to have a big brother to protect his little sister when she gets here. She said girls can look out for themselves… She’s absolutely right about that, but the future little sister will have a big brother to dote over her, protect her and keep the other boys away when mom and dad aren’t around!

So congrats to you on your son-to-be…Malachi, your family can’t wait to meet you! They are absolutely some of the most fantastic people that I’ve met in quite some time and you couldn’t be joining a more gracious bunch!

Make It Awesome!

Piecing It Together

Friday was a really busy day…3 parties between noon and 9pm…

First up, my boss. He turned 60 this year, so we decided that we should throw him a surprise birthday party. And by “we,” I mean “me.” Also, because I’d forgotten his birthday the past two years, he kind of deserved it and had it coming. I can’t remember dates for jack, which is also a contributing factor to why I didn’t pursue a childhood dream to become an historian/archaeologist/Indiana Jones.

We are a small outfit and fortunately my coworkers played along and helped out. I had a blast planning and pulling off the whole operation. And because of the whole surprise element, I had to recruit other people to basically fib to my boss to 1) keep it a secret and 2) make sure he came back to work on a beautiful Friday afternoon. I enlisted his wife and a few other employees to help out (think hiding from him on lunch breaks and scheduling fake meetings.)

The theme of his party was “You’re An Important Piece of the Puzzle.” My boss really enjoys puzzles and figuring things out. It’s too close to math for me, but that’s of no consequence… His Mrs. was a big help in providing information on his favorites: carrot cake, chocolate cake, Kit Kats.

The back story was that I’d just left for lunch and someone needed help. So the boss came downstairs to offer his assistance, because he’s a generous fellow, only to see me yelling “SURPRIIIIISE!!” which I’m sure confused him because I was “out to lunch.” That is most likely the explanation as to why he looked like this:

There was a small speech letting him know just how important he is to us and how he is the piece of the puzzle that makes everything come together and work together. Once he came in and mingled with his wife, friends and colleagues, we all partook in an amazing array of potluck dishes and the guests promptly went for the dessert table:

In keeping with the theme, the birthday banner had puzzles on it, as did the puzzle-themed water bottles, and the cupcake toppers were handmade puzzle pieces topping one of his favorites, chocolate cupcakes:

I also couldn’t resist making jello cookies in the shape of puzzle pieces! They are basically sweet sugar cookies on the front end and then BLAM! tangy jello at the end! It was the first batch I made and they were awesome! I had a few that got a little broken in the baking process, but the hubby didn’t seem to mind “rescuing them.” Nor did my mom. I’m surprised that any made it to the party…

All in all, we had a great time…food, fun and laughs…and the boss managed to be surprised. His Mrs. said that no one’s ever been able to surprise him. Which he didn’t mind…he’s still munching on the Kit Kats that he’s stashed in one of his desk drawers and playing with the decision maker that we got for him…

Happy Birthday Al!!

Make It Awesome!

Things I’m (Not) Afraid To Tell You

I’ve stumbled upon a blogosphere movement of sorts, called Things I’m Afraid To Tell You where bloggers share just that. I thought it would be fun to participate. I consider myself to be a pretty open and honest person, so I tend to share a lot. My hopes are that the things I share can be a blessing to others and help them in life. There are some things that I’d like to get off my chest as well, so I figured why not play along…

1. I decided to try a new soup today. Chunky chicken, broccoli cheese and potatoes. It smelled like cat food when I opened it and tastes about one notch better, but I will eat it because I paid $1.37 for the can. My husband will laugh at me when he reads this.

2. I just recently started a DIY (do-it-yourself) Event Planning business. It came from a lot of people telling me that I should start a business when they saw the things that I made for our wedding 6 months ago. So I said sure why not? I love to help people, enjoy helping them to save money and I think that some companies who sell party/wedding items rip people off on a daily basis. That’s not cool. If you think I’m joshin’ you, tell someone you need something for a wedding, then switch it to something for a birthday and note the price difference… Not all do that by any means, but enough do to bother me.

3. I’ve encountered quite a few people who aren’t so supportive of my new venture and I know that there has been some negativity associated with my name/business put out there because of some of the reactions I’ve received with this venture. It has been incredibly discouraging and painful, but I read somewhere that when you start a business, you also have to develop a thick skin.

4. I’m a devout Christian. Not in the “Bible-thumping, verse slinging, condemnation of everything and everyone who is different from me” sort of way. I have my beliefs and strong foundation of what is right and wrong, but the most important thing I have is the desire to emulate Christ and love people in spite of their short-comings or how they treat me. There is nothing I can say or do in expectation of being heard/seen without doing it in love; 1 Corinthians 13 is what I try to live by, because I certainly must love people that I don’t necessarily like.

5. In contrast to #3, I have some incredibly fantabulous friends who absolutely love and support me and have given me the opportunity to stretch my creative wings. Without them, I wouldn’t have the courage to dust myself off and keep trying. This company was just started at the end of February and I’ve already been blessed to plan for a book release, some birthday parties, a baby gender reveal and have 4 weddings coming up between now and November…possibly a 5th, as well as a special party for one of my dearest friends. I’m overwhelmed…with extreme gratitude for the opportunities 🙂

6. My husband has unequivocally been my biggest supporter. He is my inspiration and my motivation. Whenever I get down or overwhelmed, he is right there to keep me going and to help me up. He carries my boxes, picks up last minute items when I’m rushing and something ends up broken and puts up with my crafts projects strewn all over the living room because they’ve somehow made it out of my crafting room. To say that I love, adore and appreciate him doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of how much of a blessing he is to me.

7. I’m/we’re severely overdue for a vacation. Not a couple known for sitting still (we had a travel-themed wedding,) we haven’t been anywhere since our honeymoon…our last exotic vacation was the March prior to the wedding. Which means we haven’t been out of the region/country in over a year and I’m going nuts with the worst case of cabin fever EVER.

8. I’m afraid of failure. I don’t like to start anything that I don’t feel like I will finish successfully. And because of the negativity I’ve encountered, I didn’t feel like I would succeed. But failure with this business is not an option; its success will have lasting implications and direct opportunities where my family is involved.

9. I’m afraid of death. That is in direct contradiction to being a Christian, I know, but I don’t like the idea not being here anymore or losing someone. I don’t like to lose people and I get visibly upset of the thought of losing my husband. But in spite of all of that, I know that God has a divine plan for our lives and I have no choice but to live it out as best as I can while I can…I also don’t want to miss any new movies that come out. I’ve told my husband that if I go before him that he should put my ashes in the wall of a movie theater so that I never have to miss a new release.

I guess that’s all for now. Maybe I’ll do it again after some time has passed and things have developed. Thanks for listening 🙂

2-4-6-8, Who Do We Appreciate?!? GO TEACHERS!!

I’m full as a tick.

So on my lunch break, I went over to Germanshire Elementary to say hello and support the members of South Germantown Road Church of Christ (Souf G!!) for our annual Teachers’ Appreciation Luncheon. And by support, I meant show my face…and that lasted all of 10 seconds.

So on my lunch break, I ended up serving lunch to the teachers.

I didn’t mind. Who in their right mind would mind standing over fried chicken, spaghetti, chicken tetrazzini, spinach lasagna, beef lasagna, green beans and homemade rolls? Did I get a plate, you ask? “Get a plate” does not begin to describe what happened. Saying that my church family can cook is a gross understatement. I honestly forgot that everyone who was serving made the dishes. When one of the teachers asked if we cooked the food, I said no and the minister said yes. My bad, it looked like it had been professionally catered!! And then there was the sock-it-to-me cake…

Teachers…what they do is beyond parallel or comparison. They have such a precious burden on their shoulders and they take it all in stride and with much grace. They instruct, guide, counsel and take confidence with our children…whether we realize it or not, we (I say “we” proactively, as I have no mini-me’s of my own at the moment) partner with teachers to make sure that everything is done to ensure our chidren strive to become productive and prosperous members of society. Any person who thinks that teachers don’t do much should take a day to keep 30 alert, curious and active balls of sugar and adrenaline and see what happens.

I was given the opportunity to make the table decorations for the luncheon. Nothing complicated, just a little something pretty for a bit of ambiance as they ate. 

There was both apple and peach cobbler, so yeah, the centerpieces were nice for a few minutes prior to the food being served.

This was my first year working at the luncheon. I’m not sure if I’d still be called a volunteer since the upon-arrival conversation was basically as follows:

Me: Hi everybody! I just came by to say hi and see how it’s going!

Them: Hi! Come on the other side of the table. You’ll be serving the lasagna. The gloves are over there.

I love my church family. I love the teachers at Germanshire too. Being that I’d only met two of them prior to the luncheon, literally a week ago, they are the most welcoming group of people that I’ve met in quite some time. If I’m around for the next one, I’m definitely going to be on hand to help out. They were so thankful and appreciative of us being there. But we just brought the food and a willing spirit. So to the teachers, from the bottom of my/our heart(s), I say a very sincere THANK YOU for all that you do!

 

I mean, really, how can you not be grateful for those smiles??

Make It Awesome!

Reading is Fundamental…and I Like Books.

I love to read. As long as I can remember, I’ve read books, magazines, intructional booklets, the ingredients on anything in the kitchen…if there were words, I was all over it. So much so, that my mother relayed a story from my kindergarten days where my teacher told her to stop me from reading so much and to play outside more. That explains a lot that even as an adult, I’m a bit of an introvert, belong to a plethora of book clubs and have been known to read 3 books at a time. That’s not an exaggeration. I’m also a bit of a grammar cop, so when I see simple grammar and punctuation executed incorrectly, I spaz a little bit…

That’s neither here nor there.

I had the pleasure of hosting a book release for Ms. Jae Henderson. She is the author of the Someday Trilogy, a series about life, love and the things we go through in real relationshps, written from the perspectives of how things go right and wrong, dependent upon if we choose to engage in them from a spiritual base. I met up with her at the release of Someday, Too. To try and gather inspiration for planning the event, I jumped immediately into the book, sadly skipping Part I.

I loved it! The characters are so real…I spent most of the time trying to figure out who she was really writing about. I can’t wait until I have a moment to jump into the first book and for Jae to come out with the third book, *hint, hint.* It’s like reading Young and the Restless. But better.

As an aside, I am currently suppressing the urge to write in the form of High English and keep this reader friendly…

I really enjoyed planning this event and setting everything up.  Very simple, but still encompassing the elements of her book…

My favorite part of the set-up was the “love notes” that the guests were given. They were placed in mailboxes next to the cupcakes…something sweet to go with something sweet! The notes were comprised of funny relationship anecdotes and Bible verses on love…not totally mushy, but a lot about the Agape love that we should have for one another and that Christ has for us. Not pushing my beliefs on anyone, but I think that we can all agree that just being nicer to one another and loving “in spite of” might go a long way these days…

One lady took one and loved it. Then she took another because she didn’t want to open the first one; she loved that one too. So, I encouraged her to take a bunch of them. She took the entire mailbox full and said she would pass it out to people that needed a kind word. That made me smile, on both the inside and out!

We were also treated to participating in a Book Chat with Ms. Loretta McNary! I’ve never been part of a studio audience and it was actually really cool. Studio laughter, studio clapping, the whole nine! I’m all “I know a celebrity!” Please go to her site and check her out…she is doing some incredible things to help build the self-esteem of girls in the community and I think it’s fantabulous!

So another successful event…meeting new people, making new friends, encouraging positivity in our world. Just awesome! Be sure to check out the book(s), as well as the author’s motivational and inspirational website, I’m A Good Woman.

Make it Awesome!

Spring is Here!

Or if you’re in Memphis, we should just refer to it as “pre-summer…”

I had the pleasure of working with my friend Toni, who is the owner of Shoenista’s, a fabulous boutique offering the latest styles in shoes, jewelry and handbags…all things which my husband tries to keep me from acquiring, but this is an exercise in futility on his part. Sorry hon. I love you!

 Shoenista’s is located in the Cooper-Young District, and as part of the Cooper-Young Night Out, the store hosts a First Thursday’s event where customers can come in and browse the fashion and get a little snack and beverage to enjoy, as part of their “customer party.” And if you’re curious, yes, it’s the adult Kool-Aid that we enjoy…

The First Thursday event in April had a “spring” theme. The flowers were blooming, the butterflies were fluttering and the shoes were out!

This event was simple in design, but we got to play with some shoe-specific tastes…

The mini cupcakes were Strawberry Candy, Cherry Double Vanilla and Peppermint Fudge, topped with a pink chocolate heel. I lost track of how many I ate.

 We also had chicken salad on cucumber crackers with grapes and chocolate-drizzled pretzels. I’m finding as I get older that I’m starting to enjoy the salty/sweet combination of snacks. As a bag of kettle corn once repulsed me, I nearly inhaled a bag a few nights ago. I won’t guess what that means.

Anywho, head on over to Shoenista’s! She’s located at 2294 Young Avenue and her motto is “Inexpensive, but never cheap!” She means that. She would have to in order for me to justify the number of shoes that are in my closet. If you’re still debating, these are my latest acquisition…

Make It Awesome!