Friday, May 27, 2016

The Birthday of the (Half) Century

Oh boy.

A big birthday happened around these parts.

 Last Friday night, it began when the oldest shrub and his beautiful girlfriend arrived in town.  The neighbors saw lights on and heard the opening of the Friday Night Whine/Wine and soon began checking in.  Supper was made and once again stretched to feed the that always happens, I have no clue,  yet it always does.

I was happy because there were pizzelle's to make and I had people to talk to while I made them...and they also served as quality control agents because hello, nothing tastes better than a freshly made, warm from the iron pizzelle.

BUT...I caved and while standing there for 3 hours because you can only make them 2 at a time, I got onto amazon and ordered another pizzelle maker so I can pop these babies out faster.

Not a help this time but it will be in the future.


 In the middle of the birthday weekend was the youngest shrubs senior prom.


See that kid in the middle?  The super cute one?

I sure do like him a whole heck of a lot.

I don't get it.  Seriously...where did the time go?  He's my BABY.

 We got Brian off and party prep began.  That guy that I like so much was a true saint and man oh man, do I like him.  

I have to say, thank you to my 17-year-old self for chasing him down and forcing him to date me.

See, I was smart!


 This, my friends, was my birthday cake.  Look at this piece of art!  The whole thing is edible - the box, the wine bottle, the grapes...the whole thing!!!

I have never seen anything like this before and I was absolutely speechless.  And here's the tasted better than it looked.  For reals.  The cake was an Irish car bomb cake with a milk chocolate ganache filling and the whole thing was iced in the most incredible frosting I have ever tasted.

It. Was. Incredible.

Look at the detail on this wine bottle!  My sweet sister/cousin had this made for me...her girlfirend is a true master.  If you live in SoCal, please check out Layers (on Facebook - in CA City)...tell them I sent you.


So...the party.

That guy that I like so much made a HUGE bowl of champagne punch and then grilled fresh pizza dough for everyone to eat with their antipasto.


champagne punch for 1,000
anti-pasto (salami's, proscuitto, cheeses, olives)
grilled foccacia with olive oil and fresh rosemary
shredded beef ragu with pasta
a huge salad with roasted asparagus, pine nuts, dried cranberries and feta
more wine
pizzelles with toppings (rasberry puree, fresh whipped cream, salted caramel, nutella)
whisky and sambuca and limoncello and whatever else came out that night


The most fun parts were the unplanned parts.  Cigars and bourbon in the garden for the big boys.  Girls gathered in the kitchen.  Children in and out.  Music - good music playing.

The table was long and pretty.

And filled with some of my favorite people.


And Tammy (with Chris and Kamryn in tow) flew in for less than 48 hours to be there.  They were our upstairs neighbors forever ago in family housing at CU Boulder.  We were babies in college having babies together and pretty much helped raise each other.  Our families are known as Team Wersch and while we prayed for a marriage between one of their 3 girls and one of my 3 boys we ended up with something much better...forever friendships.

I'll take it.

I will say, my mom taught me that well.  She always had girlfriends and she would say that girls need girlfriends...and I think that is very, very wise.  Us girls need that in our lives...especially me.  Not that I don't adore this houseful of boys, because I do...but I sure do love my friendships.


There was much laughter and many stories and lots of tears.

I am so thankful.  


And then the next morning we woke up to this.  The best part?  We all just sat down, pushed dirty dishes aside and drank our coffee in a dirty garden.  At one point I told Matthew that I would give him $100 to scramble every egg in the house (and someone upped it to $200...haha) - oh how I love that my boys can cook!  

Party #3 was beginning.


Here's my advice...surround yourself with a group of people that you don't have to clean your house for.  The dishwasher was running non-stop but I didn't want to waste a minute with us cleaning...I only had Joey and Michelle for a few hours before they had to head home and life is too short.

 Dishes could wait.  Memories couldn't.

 So then we did what grown-ups do...we avoided the mess and ran for the beach.  The kids and guys set up shop on the sand and Tammy and I had a few cocktails at the bar.

Have I mentioned how much I love my people????

 That whole 'if you don't have Turkish neighbors, you should' thing came into play again.  They came to the beach armed with a complete dinner that they cooked for us there.


And have you had Turkish Kefta's?  Think a fancy burger served on a pita.

So good!

 Some played games.

Some just hung out.

 Some cuties (the super cute tiny one is graduating from UCSB next week...we are so proud of her!) posed for me.

 And the sun set.

 I loved every single minute of this weekend and I am so thankful.  I remember spending an evening talking on the beach with that guy that I like so much many, many, many years ago...we were teenagers and had gone to watch the sunset.

I told him I had this dream about didn't involve fany cars or purses or travel.  I wanted to live in a little house.  I wanted it filled with children and friends and family.  I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom.  I wanted to cook pasta.  I wanted to hold hands with him when we were old. 

Fast forward 31 years.

I saw God in every moment this weekend.  When friends were talking and laughing at the kitchen counter.  When Matthew brought his new roomate over to meet us and he ended up staying.  When my older boys arrived with their girlfriends.  When Brian arrived safely home form prom (and the after party).  When that guy that I like so much, who has always looked at me through rose colored glasses, held my hand and prayed.  When I looked up and down that table and couldn't help but think how each person there had helped shape the wife and mom and friend that I am today.

My God is so big.  And I am so thankful.

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