Sunday, July 1, 2012

Being Family: A Wedding, A Baby, and So Much More

Front Porch Farms: A Wedding
Yesterday I went to a gorgeous wedding for my cousin and his beautiful Bride.  We are so blessed to have her join our family. She is so sweet and gorgeous and, as Grandma says, “Those two will make pretty great grandbabies”.

 The Bride and Groom

 The Cousins

The wedding was at Front Porch Farms about an hour northwest of Nashville.  It was such a great locale! I am really into the country chic look right now, so this was right up my alley.

At one point during the reception my grandmother, who I thought was the most conservative person that I have ever known, began a conversation with me that I knew would not end well.

“Emily, don’t you ever date?”
“What? Oh, Grandma…” (voice trailing off and breaking eye contact to avoid another “Neither of us are getting any younger” speech)
“Well, why don’t you get up on this table, cross your legs, and strike a pose?  That will draw some attention.”
Oh. My. Gosh. Not what I was expecting to hear from her. Bless her heart, that one made my sister and I laugh for hours.

Me, Ally, Grandpa, and Grandma

In other news, it was really hot yesterday. 106 to be exact.

I was so hot for so long that I came straight home, took two bottles of water into the shower with me, turned the water as far to the cold side that it would go, and sat on the floor of my shower. Yep.  I drank bottled water on the floor of my shower. I’m sure that is really weird on some level, but you know what? So am I.  But it is good that I wore my purple dress to the wedding. You know, because I always like to match. And yesterday my face matched my dress.

Pink Picnic: A Baby
It’s pretty awesome when two of your best friends in high school start dating each other.  It’s even more awesome when they get married and have the most adorable little girl.  And now? They are adding another baby girl to their sweet family.  (And she is due on my birthday!)

The Best of Friends

To celebrate the baby’s upcoming arrival, the mom’s sister and I hosted a Pink Picnic – a co-ed, casual, outdoor baby celebration. We had cornhole, croquet, and bocci ball set up outside and lots of food and gifts inside. It was so hot again that day that we didn’t exactly “picnic” outside very much, but we still had a lot of fun hanging out. Here are a few pics from the day:

We had a menu of chicken salad in phyllo cups, turkey on rolls, a veggie tray, tortilla chip cups with black bean dip, strawberry salad, fruit kabobs, pink lemonade cookie sandwiches, and strawberry cupcakes. We also served pink lemonade and sweet tea in mason jars, topped with pink picnic paper.

My gift to the new baby: A Rocking Horse.

Let's all notice the creepy face and the bear catching butterflies on the front legs.

A little Sweet Cream and English Rose paint can go a long way. Much better without the bear!

 Me, The Mom-To-Be, and The Sister (And Co-Host)

Family Tree:  A Reunion
My mom’s family recently had a family reunion. I got to visit with tons of cousins and aunts and uncles that I haven’t seen in a really long time.  I just adore stuff like that. I wish I had a picture of all of the people that attended. Maybe I’ll get my hands on one soon. But I do have a picture of my sweet little cousin that chilled under the shade tree with me. She is too precious.

I also got a text recently from my mother with this picture...

And a text that read “Your nephew wanted me to ask you if you would come play dress up and scare him while he is visiting.”  Um, yes! That is my favorite thing ever!

Speaking of my mother, my friend snapped this picture of my mom and I at the Pink Picnic. I mean, seriously? Can we be any more alike in this picture? Our arms, our hands, our expression, our stance, our hair. It's crazy! 

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Reaching Out: A Family of Friends
Our Thurch small group has done a lot of reaching up. A lot of Bible study, a lot of theology talk, a lot of questions asked, and a lot of lives shared. But we recently decided that we needed to do more reaching out, too.  We decided to begin spending our Sunday afternoons with the families and children in an apartment complex in South Nashville where two of our Thurch girls live. The families in the complex represent various countries from literally all over the globe. So how do you reach out and create a community with people that you seemingly have very little in common with – including a common language? You love their children. So every week we go to the center lawn of the complex with soccer balls, footballs, jump ropes, hula hoops, a croquet set, and a cooler full of popsicles. We didn’t know how our idea would work.  Would the children even respond to us? Would anyone come join in? We all started playing the games ourselves, and – quicker than I expected – back gates started swinging open. Children ran from all ends of the complex to come hang out with us.  Last week was the first week that Thurch did Game Day. And this Sunday? The children were waiting on us.  And as we played with the children, the parents slowly started warming up to us as well.  Some joined in on the games, some relaxed in the shade with a popsicle, and several even videoed us playing games with their children.

After our Game Day we always go back into the apartment for dinner and a Bible study.  We had just sat down to eat dinner together and were discussing how great Game Days were going and how God could really build a community in this place when we heard a knock at the door. Nine children stood at the door, wondering when we would be back to play with them again and – of course – to get one last popsicle.  One little girl peeked her head in and saw ten of us eating dinner around the table together and said “Oh, wow! Are you a family?” We said, “Yes.”

We are.

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