PSSSST...I'm no longer blogging here!
You can now find me at
My kids are freaking awesome. Most of the time. This is one of those times.
My daughter Maddie with the help of all the sibs and my dear friend Clara put together a 'Jane Austen' inspired evening for Chris and I.
Here's what went down:
"Cocktails of light wines and waters"
Everyone mixed and mingled and enjoyed the ambience.....me with daughter Maddie and my friend Cheryl.
Chris and daughter Kristen
Daughters Grace and Maddie, dear friend and hostess Clara, and 'butler' Aaron (Cheryl's son)
Maddie set up a corner with our wedding memorabilia, complete with a photo collage by Clara,
and balloons to fill my wedding gown in the appropriate places *wink*
Dinner followed. My girls had met with Clara to choose dinnerware, menu, etc. earlier in the week. Remember, Clara is a PRO at dinner parties. Everything was perfectly in it's place.
I'm told it took 2 hours to perfect this table setting, and I don't doubt it.
Everything perfectly lined up.....
Maddie designed the placecards and menu card.
Preparing for the feast!
All the kids pitched in to make the meal....first was a FANTABULOUS cream of garlic soup garnished with rosemary sprigs (no picture, wah!) made by my wonderful daughter in law Andrea.
It *will* be going in the Online Harvey Girls are Cookin' recipe site.
Next came the main course of Kristen's tossed salad and Clara's Crepes Manicotti with Italian Sauce:
Lastly came the fruit course: Oranges in lime syryp. Oh. My. Goodness.
Words fail me.
After stuffing ourselves, the women retired to the den to enjoy "coffee and liqueurs", Ghiardelli chocolates,
and laughter....the silver service belonged to Clara's mother. Gorgeous!
I might have had a bit too much Amaretto in my coffee. Not sure.
Here's my posse: Clara, me, Sheila, and Cheryl. Dang, we look fine. We're a bunch of hotties.
And with my gorgeous girls: Andrea, Kristen, me, Gracie, Maddie.
And when did they outgrow Barbies again?
In the meantime, Aaron served the men their after dinner brandy and cigars:
My son C.Ray enjoying his stogie.
You basically couldn't see or breath in the dining room (drawing room?)
I'm told my hubs blew some mean smoke rings. But I can't be sure.
I think this is something that's supposed to impress people.
Eventually we moved into the kitchen to prepare for the Raspberry Cordial Cheescake
made by my son-in-law Josh.
Too bad 'puter screens aren't scratch and sniff.
But first, Chris and I exchanged our new rings we got for each other...Looks painful, eh?
And played a *leeetle* kissy-face.
Then each of my kids toasted us, and I was blown away.
Just when I thought I was a complete failure as a parent, my kids swoop in and bless me with the most honest, heartfelt thanks (and tears) I have ever heard. *sniff sniff*
I will cherish those moments forever......
We opened cards and gifts (the kids pitched in and got us a new set of Nautica luggage with engraved '25th anniversary' tags!) as we enjoyed our divine cheesecake,
then several of us sat down for some good old fashioned poker with Clara's vintage chips.
Others of the party went to enjoy the football game.
Son in law Josh....cheesecake-maker extraordinaire. BTW, Josh's younger bro (and my student) stayed with my two boys at home that night to entertain them with pizza and video games :)
Learning Texas Hold 'em. Still don't get it.
We were a bunch of drinkin', smokin', gamblin', (and a wee bit o'cussin') middle age goofballs.
Way fun. Way.
Now then, before I let you go, let me show you some behind the scenes shots of how Clara, Maddie and the crew carried this off.
Here's Clara's pantry room (I've shown you before here) which worked
as a holding area for all the courses.
Here's the manicotti....Clara made 60 individual homemade crepes the day before,
then my girls came to help stuff and roll them up the day of the party:
Carafes of wine ready to be served with dinner.
Plates stacked and ready for Aaron to pile on the goods.
Clara prepares the 'cocktails and waters':
Butler Aaron, who did a magnificent job serving everyone thru-out the evening
spent a day at Clara's learning the art of butler-ing. What a trooper! Thank you Master Aaron :)
Everyone worked so hard to make it a perfect evening (except for the Colts, but we won't talk about that).
Thanks Clara and Herb for opening your home and helping my kids throw us an amazing 25th party.
We love you.
And of course, thanks C.Ray & Andrea, Maddie & Josh, Kristen, and Gracie for throwing yourselves into this undertaking and blessing us with your gifts, talents, your words of love, and your lives.
We are blessed.
(All pictures 'cept for the last one in this post were taken by Maddie, Andrea, C.Ray and Kristen)