Category Archives: Day to Day

It goes both ways

Some good things, in no particular order.

  1. Though sleep has been difficult the last two weeks, it didn’t slow me down today; I played hide and seek with my kids in the woods.  And trust me, two hours a night is a lot worse than the status quo.
  2. I didn’t yell at my husband when he wandered off in Costco yesterday.  Now I did yell at him when we were trying to order photos, but I still consider this an accomplishment.
  3. My wonderful, dear children.
  4. My in-laws, who I really like and who have been an immense help to me and good company many days as Jason works long hours.
  5. A restful Mother’s Day. Jason served us an amazing meal which he mostly prepared the day before so he wasn’t hermiting in the kitchen all afternoon (this was upon my request).
  6. I’m making jewelry, which I haven’t done since childhood.  I like giving it away and I have really enjoyed Jessica and I’s evening jewelry-making sessions.  My mom, Becky, and Linda have given me lots of old jewelry to work with but of course that doesn’t keep me from building my own collection of material to work with.
  7. I’m taking more photos and enjoying my camera, which was a wonderful gift from my dad a few years ago.
  8. Hanging out with other ladies at Jane’s clothing swap and finding some great things to take home.
  9. Finding a Vietnam-era military locker at Value Village.  Becky says her kids used Bill’s dad’s locker as a toy box when they were young. I like having meaningful things around my home, things with stories attached to them.
  10. Having some other creative projects I’m inspired to do.  In fact, being inspired is something I’ve needed for a long time and it’s coming back to me.
  11. Meeka’s post.
  12. The mornings are sometimes hard, but things usually get better as the day goes on.
  13. My psychiatric NP said I’m doing a lot better and when I actually thought about it, I agreed with her.
  14. I’m celebrating six years of writing on this blog.  For me, doing anything for six years is pretty amazing.
  15. Goodwill Hunting and Silver Lining Playbook.
  16. Reading a book on Bonhoeffer and how it has given me insight into my family’s German Lutheran heritage.  I want to learn more.
  17. The trail gator we just got for Ian.  More family bike rides are in our future.
  18. Ian’s preschool Mother’s Day party and how he showed me his classroom and told me I’m the best mom.
  19. The bags of girls clothes Adelle sent home with me and the box with filled with goodies from my Mom.  It felt like Christmas!
  20. Ecclesiastes.

Some hard things.

  1. The sleep thing.  I laid awake for two hours last night, filled with anxiety. When will this end?  What will it take?
  2. There’s a good chance Bill & Becky will leave in June.  Their renters in Georgia fell through and we don’t have a place for them to live here long-term.  Like I said, I really like them.  Even if I didn’t have the struggles I have at the moment, I would still be sad to see them go.
  3. Struggling with the idea of living elsewhere (in the Seattle area, not out-of-state).  I am intrigued by this and yet the uncertainty, the cost and the stress of moving makes me anxious.  I keep coming back to the fact that I love living where we are and that is a blessing.  And Jason and I are working pretty well together as we talk through this topic (maybe he would disagree on that?).
  4. I think you’re sensing a theme here — anxiety.
  5. A day last week when I felt discouraged and didn’t want to get out of bed.  The dark cloud was hanging, but I just had to sit up and put my feet on the floor.
  6. I’m having trouble eating regularly and being interested in eating in general.  Food is a passion for me so it’s hard, but I did get two enjoyable meals in with Dad & Linda at Ballard Pizza Co. and The Whale Wins.  If you go to Ballard Pizza Co., which you should, get The Big Moses.
  7. My children are watching way too much TV and I’m not really monitoring the content they are absorbing.  Don’t worry, it’s all of the kid persuasion, but still.
  8. The temptation to lean on other things, which is strong. But, God brings me back when I wander.
  9. I felt convicted the other day that I frequently call myself a depressed person.  But, I’m not depressed a lot of the time.  Besides, that is not who I am.
  10. I’m sad BSF is ending.  I really enjoyed my small group and I will miss our stimulating conversations.  This has been one of the most impressionable years of BSF for me.
  11. The fights I pick with Jason.
  12. My efforts to try impress people; I want them to notice me (how does this work, since I’m an introvert?). It’s tiring, and really a person struggling with mental illness doesn’t need the pressure.
  13. Jason’s working and he can’t help but keep his mind on that a lot.  But, at least he has a job.

I feel like ending with my hard things obliges me to say I’m not hanging off a cliff here and I’m not trying to be hard on myself. I just can’t help being an honest person.  I think that’s a good thing.

In fact, I am glad God uses me to say things others can’t or won’t.  I know some can relate in some way.

“Let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him” (1 Cor 7:17).

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Somebody else’s poop

The last few weeks have been a bit out of routine for the Haggard family.  Rebecca, my mother-in-law, had plans to visit her mom and sister in California mid-March and since I still need a babysitter for both myself and my children I decided to take the kids to my mom’s.  Jason would stay at home and decompress and then we would return and he and Ian would head off to New York to see the Franci.

I was on an upward swing mood and energy-wise, and so I felt pretty confident I could handle the day’s drive to my mom’s alone with the kids and the preparation it would take to pull it off.  Rebecca would be around to help me and watch the kids so I could pack the day before.

And really, once you’ve got the car packed and the children restrained, they can’t do much damage.  I can deal with intermittent crying.  And, as my friend endearingly calls all minivans “rolling studio apartments,” I would be driving in relative ease, with cruise control.

For merely my own entertainment, I would like to go off on a rabbit trail to explain how I view “drives.” There is the leisurely Sunday afternoon scenic type.  There’s the epic road trip, the usual high school “I’m bored, let’s just go drive around” and the unfortunate ambulatory type.  There’s the classic “let’s just keep driving until we resolve this fight and then we’ll go to our scheduled social function” kind.  I understand that all these kinds of “drives” can be necessary for both sound mind and/or body.

But, if you’re driving across the state of Washington, you just want to get there.  Let me rephrase that–I just want to get there.  That’s the “drive” you’re taking (with me). I’m with children, people.  This could take all day (and in my mind it should not).  We must NOT stop unless absolutely necessary.

Yes, I have strong opinions about this.  Ask my mom, who drove back to Seattle with me and made the mistake of having both a coffee and a Coke which caused her to have to pee more frequently that I thought a human being ought to.

(Note: Nursing or potty training children also throws this expectation all off for me.  I know they have to eat and pee, but in my opinion you might as well just not leave your house at all, which is what I, and some other moms tend to do.  Heck, if people love you enough they’ll come visit you.)

Anyway, back to the start of our trip.  Packing went very smoothly the day before.  I got to bed early, and loading the van in the morning by myself was a cinch (I prefer to do this alone anyway, because I am very particular about how it’s done–I think you see the theme that’s developing here).  We were out of our driveway at 9am (that’s a PR for me) and heading out toward 1-90.

We breezed past the outlet mall in North Bend (stopping there is one hypocritical exception I will make, but I figured we’d go there on our way back to Seattle).  We then reached Ellensburg, and then the halfway mark at the Gorge.  This was major progress!

Somewhere past George I started talking to Elysia. Our conversation lasted about an hour and as we got to the end of it, I was hearing Imogen moaning in the back.  We were close to Moses Lake and I had promised Ian we would stop there for lunch.  We pulled up to a Subway/gas station combo and I said goodbye to Elysia.

Feeling extremely good about how things were going and that it was only around noon, I opened up the van doors to free my children.  Unfortunately, what I found was Imogen covered in wet, runny poo.  It had soaked through her clothes and down into the car seat.

This incident only slightly threw me off.  Moms, we’ve been here before; it’s known territory.  You just go with the “flow” so to speak and pun intended.  I got Imogen out, wiped her and her seat down with a million wipes, did my best to contain the poo in all the places it had ended up while keeping her from wiggling out of the van, put fresh clothes on her, and put the changing pad in the car seat to cover the wet areas.

This was, I might add, witnessed by everyone walking in and out of the store since I had parked right in front of the door (for our convenience, of course).

I was hand-sanitized and with children, onto the next potty stop for Ian and myself.  I decided to take with me only what was absolutely necessary, which was my keys and the little wallet that is attached to my key chain which contains my credit cards and driver’s license.

The gas station bathroom was very tolerable and included a handicap stall, which is a must for not only the handicapped, but also those of us with munchkins.

When we entered the stall, it was hard not to notice there were quite large skid marks in the toilet (I warned you with my title this post was going to contain foreign poop, so don’t blame me now for your own imagination).  The term skid marks almost seems to understate the amount of poop that was actually in the toilet, but that is indeed what was in there.

I flushed the toilet, but it was to no avail. We would deal with it–I was not giving up the space this handicap stall afforded me.

Now I will say I also get kinda OCD about public restrooms.  My basic motto with my kids is “Put your hands in your pockets and DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING!!!”  I have developed a system with Ian where he can pee and still obey this rule.

With Imogen, I’m just going to have to discuss this with my counselor.  I don’t know how I will emotionally manage seeing her bottom and hands on a public toilet seat.  Shall we move on, please?

Ian had peed, Imogen was remaining mainly in one location and keeping her hands to herself, and so I took a very quick moment to go pee myself.

I completed my deed, thankful the children were not moving from their locations.  But as I pulled my pants up I heard a dreaded “Ker plunk!”

I knew what it was before I turned around–my keys and key chain wallet were in the toilet–WITH SOMEONE ELSE’S POOP.  I had stuck them in my back pocket since I didn’t have my coat on.

In moments like this you do not think; instead you act (I reached in and grabbed my keys)–and, admittedly, you say a cuss word or two.  At least this is what I do.

But once that’s over, and this is really only a matter of seconds, you start thinking–there’s a small pause–you say another cuss word just to set in stone how you’re feeling in the moment, and then you assess.  You wonder what you should do with the keys dangling from your finger and dripping onto the floor and the poop you can see on the side of your wallet.

And what about the children?!  My solution was to just start yelling “Nobody move! NOBODY MOVE!”

And I still hadn’t pulled my pants up all the way.  Agghh.

With a bit more yelling and frantic toilet paper grabbing I managed to set the keys down on a wad of TP (why I thought I needed to keep them “clean” from the floor germs I do not know).  I tried not to think about how much my nasty hands were touching my undies and pants as I pulled them up.  Any time the kids moved anywhere near the toilet I yelled “DON’T GO OVER THERE! STAY WHERE YOU ARE!”

Did I mention there was someone in the stall next to us?  I bet if she had a button in her purse that said “Mom of the Year” she would have handed it over the stall wall and I would’ve proudly pinned it to the front of my shirt.  But how I would have done this with poop germs on my hands I do not know.

We got ourselves out of the stall and I started frantically dousing the keys, wallet and everything in my wallet with water and soap, while trying to keep one eye on my children, particularly the smaller one who would want to wander back into a stall. My other child was just giving me the evil eye for yelling at him and all kinds of back talk was flying back and forth between he and I.

At a certain point I realized that dousing my key fab in water was probably not a good idea so I stopped that.  And then the lady in the stall came out and I sheepishly looked at her and said “Why don’t you go ahead, we’re going to be a while.”

She turned out to be really nice and told me this long story about how she dropped her iPhone in the toilet once and how she was able to save it.  She didn’t mention any poop was involved.  And then she left.  Sadly, no button, but also no condemnation.

At that point I decided we just needed to get out of Dodge.  We were in a serious danger zone of germs and at least I could take the nasty germs I had with me, leave the rest in there, go out to the van, put a haz mat suit on, and get down to business.

“NO, we will not be stopping for a sandwich at this moment, Ian,” I said as we walked by a wide array of tempting Subway toppings.  The response: more evil eye.

I put the kids in the back of the van and went to work.  No, I didn’t really have a haz mat suit, but now I’m seriously considering getting one.  What I did have were lots of baby wipes, Clorox disinfecting wipes and antibacterial hand stuff, all within hand’s reach.  These are the kind of moments when having OCD tendencies comes quite in handy.

All my cards and wallet (still trying not to think about that wallet) ended up Cloroxed.  My keys were scrubbed down as well and I doused myself and the kids with antibacterial rub.

And now we were going to go back in the store and eat?  Yuck. But, I had promised Ian Subway, which is his all-time favorite.  Plus, it is kinda negligent to not feed your children if they are hungry and if you have the ability to do so.  So, we went inside and got our food to go.  We were getting out of Dodge, remember?

As we got down the road Ian happily sat in the back and ate an entire 6-inch.  I forced myself to eat because I figured part of my emotional state was because I was hangry in the first place.  Imogen was just happy to not be sitting in her own poop.

It took me about ten miles or so down the road to stop being angry.  And then I felt relieved it was over and all I could do was laugh at how disgusting it all was. I figured it was a milestone for me; there would’ve been times in the past where I would’ve stayed mad a lot longer and in the moment of drama acted a lot worse to my children or those around me.

I will say, I was glad Jason was not there.  I don’t think I’m mature enough at this point to not have thrown my wrath on him, for no unexplainable reason or fault of his own.

I will confess that the first thing I did when I got to my mom’s house was to gruffly say to her “I don’t want to talk about it right now,” wipe down the car with more Clorox wipes, put my children in the bath, wash my clothes, and take a shower.

I threw the wallet away.  No amount of soaking it in bleach would erase the memory of seeing someone else’s poop on it.  And it was a nice wallet, too, and kind of sentimental to me.  But now I use my cheap Fred Meyer one because why have nice things if they’re just going to end up in the toilet?  (I acknowledge the irony and/or hypocrisy of this statement since I had left my new iPhone in the van before entering this traumatic scene).

There’s really no good way to end this story except to say that though awful, I’m growing up a bit.  Even in the craziness that is my current emotional troubles, on a good day, we did okay with something unexpected.  I did not curl up into a ball, burst into tears and let my children wander aimlessly through a gas station convenience store (or play in a public toilet).  In fact, everything else about the drive was enjoyable both before and after the incident–and we made record time, too!

This just proves in a small way that God gives you what you need exactly when you need it. For me right now this isn’t a picture perfect response in a troubling situation.  I’m just asking for a sound mind–and that’s what He gave me.

This season’s bucket list

Lately I’ve been thinking of things I want to accomplish. Maybe it’s me having this fanciful idea that I am more in control of my life than I actually am (not uncommon for me) or maybe it’s just me feeling better and looking forward to the future.

Actually, it’s probably both.  I do have this sort of Jekyll/Hyde thing going on in my personality (ask my husband).  And life is rarely black and white anyway.

This list is not really for when I’m better, but more things I want to accomplish on my journey. I don’t have a lot of expectations or a time frame. Well wait, that’s probably not true.  Somewhere in the far corners of my mind I almost always have expectations and deadlines for myself, but that is what therapy is for.

But, I digress.  Here is my list:

  1. Go blonder.  It really does a help a girl.
  2. Train and do an olympic duathlon.  I imagine myself crossing the finish line and having an emotional breakdown (the good kind) because LOOK AT ME I’VE COME SO FAR!!! (and I will mean in the figurative sense, not the literal one).
  3. Paint that blue wall in my kitchen that I don’t like. Well, I’m not totally committed to this.  I just know I’ve been staring at it for four years and I don’t like the color, but I don’t know what color to paint it.  I think one day a burst of energy will collide with a burst of creativity and my husband will come home to crabby children who’ve been neglected all afternoon because “TAH DAH!!!” the wall is now a different color and Mommy was the culprit.
  4. Start a collection of children’s books (and not for my children).  Actually, I’m already starting to do this with my own childhood books.  Some of them are on my shelf, some exist only on a Pinterest board for now.  What copies I do have I will guard with my life because my youngest is currently an obsessive compulsive page-ripper.
  5. Mat, frame, and hang our marriage vows in our bedroom.  Oh, how flowery and hopeful we were when we wrote those words!  But at least I can look over at them when we’re fighting in bed and they’ll remind me to shut up and dang it,  just say I’m sorry and MEAN IT.
  6. Have a “redo” on my marriage.  Ugh, that sounds so doomsday, but I don’t know how else to put it.  There was enough drama before we got to the altar, but since then we’ve had two miscarriages, four pregnancies, two children, and gone back to school and changed career courses.  We’ve had lots of fights and not as much laughter as we’d like.  Oh yes, and I’ve turned crazy for a while (well, more crazy, that is).  It’s time to slow down the drama and get to know each other and just heal and have fun.
  7. Can I say go to Kauai?  I just want to go there, PPD or not.
  8. Play the piano.  I’m not playing right now and God’s gently reminding me my soul needs it, but it’s scary to step into that creative realm with what little knowledge I have.
  9. Stop racking up medical bills.  I’m going to love the day when that line item on our excel spreadsheet has a black number in it instead of a red.  It’s not just about the money; it just seems that at the end of the month that number (whether black or red) correlates emotionally to the state of my health. It says something about progress.
  10. Make a PPD scrapbook.  This sounds so weird.  I wish I wasn’t using the word “scrapbook” but I’m not sure what else to call it.  I was reading this article, and it got me thinking it would be cool to document in tidbits the things that happen (good or bad) during this process and include some pictures, words of encouragement, etc.   I am an avid journaler so I guess I’m already putting this season into words for myself and for God, but to me this documentation would be more public.  It would be for my kids when they are older and for my 40 or 50 or 60 year-old self to read.  Or, maybe my daughter or daughter-in-law will find it useful someday.  Or maybe I’m just being redundant because I’m already doing that on this blog, I don’t know.

After this season, I have thoughts of also becoming a mushroom forager, learning how to play the banjo and cello at least relatively well, singing publicly, making jewelry, living on a farm, collecting doll houses, taking good pictures, and writing a book people would want to read. And I’d like Jason to walk me through Europe. Some of these just exist as dreams (because I’m afraid maybe I can’t accomplish them), others are more real to me.

I would also like to buy a house that I can spend years filling with antiques, books, photos, gifts from friends, family heirlooms and things I find on the side of the road or in little shops or in attics somewhere.  Actually, sometimes I imagine this house is my childhood home, but I’m not sure how that would ever become a reality.

But, these things are for later or for heaven or for never.  Some of them require me to be brave, others require money, time, energy or maturity.  For the sake of my sanity, I will just stick to my current bucket list.

Or maybe I won’t stick to it, only God knows.  No expectations, remember?

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

Enough about me, here’s my cute kids

You all tell me on a regular basis how stinkin’ cute my kids are, and I agree.  So here’s a bit of a photo recap of the last few months.

At the zoo on Ian’s birthday back in December.

Our first family gingerbread house.  It was very easy and fun.  And, as you can tell it’s a traditional German Hexen Haus (going back to our roots).  Also, my youngest has crazy, wild hair all the time.  Which leads us to the next picture . . .

Imogen’s first haircut.  Here hair’s still pretty wild, though.

My children aren’t all that into actually brushing their teeth, they just play with their toothbrushes, which I find lying in random places around the house (the brushes, not the children).

Just even more proof of which of my children is photogenic and which isn’t.

I’m thankful both of my children are in a snuggling phase.

We got out the antique kitchen again (I watch it like a hawk and if Ian is in any way rough with it goes into the basement cave).  And of course there’s the girl with the wild hair again.

Typical Ian dance/ninja/Spiderman move.  The facial expression can also, at times, express his “I’m being a pill” mood, although that is not what was happening in this artistic moment.

Imogen’s moves.  The bed is her typical dance floor.

Totally unscripted, but so sweet.

Many of you have seen this one on facebook, but it’s worth sharing again – Ian’s first day of preschool.

And because of preschool, Ian’s getting way more into arts and crafts.  Here’s one of his creations.  I also think it’s kinda cute and fitting that the t-shirt he was wearing at the time says “Explore.”

Dress up time.  I promise she was smiling two seconds before this picture was taken.

That’s all, folks.  I will try to keep up on our flickr photostream.

Not much to say

I really do love this blog and I really love writing.  But, as I still deal with health difficulties I’m finding I just don’t have anything very profound to say about it at the moment.  And I’m just too tired and out of the groove to provide some written updates on what we’ve been doing as a family.

Hopefully sometime soon.

But, I have taken some photos and I just updated my flickr photostream for your viewing pleasure.

  • September – camping at Middle Fork, a visit to Remlinger Farms
  • October – dining room table chairs Jason redid, biking in Victoria, making apple pie, and Halloween costumes

A good day

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psa 118:24).

Today was one of those days when it was easy for me to rejoice and be glad.  I felt more like myself than not (the self of about two years ago), which is really saying something.

Because it was one of my good days, I want to memorialize it with the hopes that I can look back on it on one of my hard days and be encouraged that one of the good days will indeed come again.

1. I slept in until 8:30am.  I got ten hours of sleep!  This is monumental for me and it hasn’t happened in a long time.  I woke up feeling pretty refreshed, not so frazzled and anxious.  And I went throughout my day having a good amount of energy.

2. It was a beautiful Indian summer day.  I am really loving the weather here right now.  The warm has sort of a cold, fall feeling to it, if that makes any sense.  The sky was bright blue, no clouds.

3. Ian and I spent some time out on the deck painting with watercolors.  In all the art classes I’ve taken, I never really liked painting with watercolors.  But today I changed my mind about that.  I have a nice set and the pigments are so deep in color.  It was fun playing with them.

4. In order to bless Jason I battled Home Depot.  I use the word battled because when I walkin there I feel like there is no rhyme or reason to it and I can never find someone to help me.  But Jason suggested I go and get a few things we’ve needed and I felt I had the emotional reserves in case things went south.

So, I took the kids and you know what, it wasn’t bad at all.  There were people in orange aprons left and right to help me.  One guy even said “You look confused, can I help you?” and I don’t even think he worked there!

They didn’t have one item I needed but a nice man directed me to an appliance store that was right on the way home.  They had the utensil holder we’ve been needing for months.  Now utensils won’t fall through and jam the bottom rack when I’m trying to close the dishwasher door.

5. I thought about exercising.  I didn’t actually do it, but I thought about it in the way that I used to think about it when I considered myself an athlete–if that makes any sense.  Like it was real, like I could do it.

6. I only needed a short rest in the afternoon  and I spent that time reading a bit, which was lovely.

7. I got all the laundry done.  This is probably my favorite chore.  It produce immediate tangible results and it’s one thing in life (and there really are few) that can get neatly put away in its place.

8. I found Ian’s Sally car (no, we didn’t pay $37 as Amazon now offers it).  She disappeared right after Imogen was born.  I knew she had to be in the house but it seemed she had vanished.  14 months later I found her underneath a heat register (albeit one I was replacing via Home Depot) in the ductwork.  I pulled her out and was in total shock.  Ian carried her around the rest of the day (part of the time in the broken dishwasher utensil holder I replaced).

9. I got a surprise email from my neighbor who told me she had boxes of organic tomatoes she was selling out of her yard.  She helps run an urban co-op and the last tomato order I wasn’t able to get in on.  But she unexpectedly received another one (and they were cheaper) . We ran down and got ourselves 60 lbs. (I know I’m crazy but look at these beauties!)

10. Jason came home as Imogen was going to bed and we got to pray and sing with her before laying her down.  It’s not often we can coordinate that.  Imogen just loves her dad–she wanted him to hold her and kept giving him kisses.  It puts such joy in my heart to see how much Jason loves being the favorite.

Off to bed now.  Jason is behind my shoulder say “You are going to regret this . . .”

30th birthday celebration

June has been the month of parties.  And of course we have good reason to celebrate with two Haggard birthdays five days apart in the first part of June.

The party for Imogen was sort of inevitable, but even I was surprised I was thinking about having a party for my birthday, being the introvert I am and how the last year has gone.  The thought of organizing anything seemed a bit daunting back in April when I was thinking about it.  But it’s the big 3-0; I felt like I had to do something memorable.

Around that time I was talking with some friends about all this and my hostess-with-the-mostess friend, Blythe, piped right up and said “I’ll throw a party for you!”

I thought about it for a while and then settled on it.  I will admit, Pinterest had something to do with it.  Yes, it can take over your life, but dang it has good ideas. It just makes you want to have a party (or two, in my case).

I will say that Blythe is really good at throwing parties.  She talked with me about the party beforehand and we landed on a small evening event, just ladies, with mango mojitos and Mexican appetizers.

Once that was settled I went to, you guessed it, Pinterest for some ideas to throw Jason’s way, since without his consent I had volunteered him to do some of the cooking (he did happily accept the challenge when notified).

The menu included chicken flautas with avocado cream sauce, shrimp ceviche, a smorgasboard of chips and various dips, and dessert (I’ll get to that later).  And of course, the mango mojitos.

As the date of the party approached, I was really looking forward to seeing how Blythe was going to set-up and decorate.  Her hospitality seems fancy and luxurious to me, without feeling stuffy at all.

But I really wasn’t expecting the surprise in store for me at this party–there was a theme and it was called “30 Things We Love About Elisabeth at 30.”

Blythe had collected feedback from ladies at our church on what they appreciated about me and had a graphic designer put together a beautiful collage.  She had it printed on large pieces of paper which served as the tablecloths and gave me a smaller framed version of it to have as a keepsake.

I was a bit overwhelmed when Blythe explained the whole theme to me.  Kind of like I was overwhelmed when she volunteered to throw me a party in the first place.  I am in shock that God has given me such thoughtful, talented, caring, sacrificial friends.  People that love me – many people of whom I didn’t even know just a few short years ago.

The rest of the night entailed chatting, eating, drinking, opening presents, a few rounds of catchphrase, some prayer and more chatting.  It was a great night.  Sometimes I get stressed during parties, wanting to make sure that everyone is mingling and feeling included.  I really didn’t worry at all during this party, it all flowed so smoothly.

And of course there was the birthday dessert – chocolate flourless cake a la Jason, with whip cream and raspberries (pictured on the back of the table below).  Because nothing Jason makes can be simple or unsophisticated, this dessert was made with Belgian chocolate and French butter (yes, I also didn’t know French butter existed, but I suppose if anybody should have a butter named after them it should be the French).

I will say there was one really sad moment to the night (besides my pre-party meltdown, but that is typical for me and was alleviated by an SOS phone call to my good friend, Jessica (who reminded me of reality) and of course some food).

Anyway, my other sad moment was when I got out my camera to take pictures of all the beautiful-ness at the party and the battery was dead!  I am still greatly annoyed about that.  Thankfully, Blythe also served as an impromptu photographer so you can get a good sense of the whole affair.  I just wish I would’ve thought to have a group photo taken.

Thanks again to Blythe who blessed my socks off with all her party-throwing skills, and my friends and of course my husband the chef.  You all made this so fun and meaningful for me.

And I thank God for 30 years of life.  I wish I had something profound to say about my past or my future at this particular juncture, but I don’t.

On a more superficial note I will say that I hope the next 30 include more fun parties likes this and more of Jason’s desserts.

Next up, Imogen’s 1st birthday. 🙂