Last week, after offering my house to be used this week for our "Thursday Night Ladies", I got word from Kaela that she had it all taken care of, just be prepared to show up at Christi's parents house at 6:30 (with Mikayla in tow as the boys would be at the "Sons of Thunder" Father/Son Retreat weekend). John 'fessed up that he'd received some texts verifying my food/dessert preferences etc. He never told me what they decided to prepare, but it was so honoring to feel like such an effort was being made to have an evening that would make me happy in recognition of my recent birthday. As a result, I found myself excited for the night to come, knowing there were not "big surprises" to brace for, but instead just girls I LOVE to spend time with.
When I arrived, Tyler, Christi's husband, was finishing up on the main dish entree. It smelled SO GOOD!
Elaina was caught by Kaela's camera signing the card I would later receive.
This is the deck of their backyard. It is gorgeous and it was the perfect blue-sky, warm-but-not-stifling evening to dine al fresco.
Special effects thrown into the mix for my benefit. =)
When Stephie arrived, we gathered around to see the latest pics of Whitley. Unbelievable, that if all goes according to the plan, she'll be induced in just over two weeks!
We didn't have to wait long to dine...and it was so delicious! I'm going to admit right now that I'm kind of a picky eater. Actually, I'm really picky. I like what I'm used to, and often get disappointed with things that are new, suspecting they'll involve too sophisticated or gourmet tastes than my palette prefers. But, the smell was so enticing and I was so hungry - I dove right in - and if this tells you anything, have already begged for and received the recipes to recreate this meal. IT WAS SOOOOO GOOD!! To the left is a Honey-Rosemary Chicken Breast...omigosh, so moist and tasty. And to the right is a Parmesan Risotto - it tasted like the best mac and cheese ever. And, corn on the cob...oh yeah, my favorite vegetable of all time. If the meal was meant to honor me....they nailed it!!!
Conversation was fun, light, and easy. We caught up on current events, celebrity gossip, Stephie's pregnancy, books we're reading and those we aren't, and the announcement of Amanda getting a new job - which is HUGE and has been a key prayer request for months!! YEAH!!
This picture turned out so pretty - just wish the other three gals could have been there too....oh, and maybe Whitley in front of Stephie instead of inside! =)
Later, Kaela and Christi went into the house to retrieve dessert. Homemade Peach Cobbler - a recipe passed down from Christi's great-grandma.
Kaela got made that I found her camera before the evening was over and erased the actual pictures of me blowing out the candles. I'm not kidding you, I looked like one of those bullfrogs that blow up their whole neck....or what a movie crew would do to make me look at 400 pounds. Sorry Kaela...actually, no I'm not sorry. =)
Unbelievably delicious. It was such a shame that Mikayla left some for me in her plate too...
This hammock called to me...I couldn't resist. It reminded me of laying in the hammock with Mikayla in Maui. Sigh....
We went inside and hung out for a while.
That look Susie is giving?
It is in awe responding to the sounds coming from this - Amanda - blessing us all with her extraordinary talents on the piano.
Kaela can't be too mad at me as I'm the one that caught these images of her and Amanda playing a duet of "Heart and Soul". It was a kick!
Beyond a very happy, satiated and too-full belly, and memories of the ideal summer evening with "my girls", this is also the "booty" I took home. I am one blessed 40-year-old!