Parties & Gatherings
Has it been two years since this crazy girl spun into our world? Wow, it has! Two years of nonstop feeding, bathing, burps, diapey changes, dress-up, plastic toys and Band-Aids. What did our life even look like before The Jas? Truthfully, I remember it well, but I dig this life too.
We don’t have slow mornings or back porch happy hours anymore, but as it turns out, AM cartoon spooning in bed and naked, post-bath, high-speed pursuits are just as fun. Jassy has an ocean of personality, strong likes (smoothies, pockets, streaking) and equal dislikes (filet mignon: “This is yucky. No like this”), and just about anything she says or does makes us heave with delirious love.
To ring in her 2nd birthday, we had our first kid party. That’s right: It was the first time we entertained more than two children in our house. So I went out and bought a garish slide, made munchkin-friendly snacks (artisan cheese plate, popcorn and fruit pouches) and a grilled cheese bar, set out a pumpkin-painting table, and put together favor bags. (I must’ve stood in the Party City aisle for an hour before deciding what to give seven one- to four-year-olds. I have zero idea how to entertain little kiddies, other than dunking them in a swimming pool.)
Halfway through the party my mom brought it to my attention that while we had enough beer and wine to intoxicate a platoon, the kids had nothing to drink. Whoops! I knew I bought apple cider and OJ for the monkeys. How the hell did I forget that??
It has been sooo long since I last posted! Life and Halloween and Turkey Day capers has swallowed all of my time and energy for weeks.
But I’m finally here to blog about happenings this past season.
Here’s a recap of Jassy’s super special first birthday back in October. She likes animals, so we celebrated with a pony party (and lots of beer and whiskey cocktails for the grown-ups).
Piglets would’ve been cute, too, but she’s such a rough lil’ lady, she’d probably end up maiming the poor piggies.
Jas went bananas for the ponies, and since then attempts to ride everything she can squeeze her legs around, like dogs, parents, UPS boxes, and laundry heaps…
It was co-ed, of course (boys shouldn’t be excluded from the fun), and was filled with cocktails, mind-blowing desserts, tasty appetizers, a super fun burger bar, garden-party-perfect flower arrangements, and a ton of other details that took our breath away…
Mishel, Emily and Amy, I am eternally grateful to have you as my galpals! Y’all put so much labor and love into Baby McG’s shower! Ames + Sis, your totally homemade baked confections blew everyone away! And Em, thanks for acquiring carpal tunnel while tending to all of the cutesy DIY party details.
The three of us feel so loved!
I am soooooooooo excited for our co-ed baby shower next weekend in California!
My amazing and sweet friends—Mishel, Emily and Amy—designed this gorgeous invitation and have been staying up late holding seriously funny Skype conference calls to plan the details of the soirée.
I told the ladies about my lifelong dream of having a boys-and-girls baby-que (think burgers-and-booze-meets-French-garden-party), and after scratching their heads for a few short minutes (trying to reconcile the two seemingly disparate ideas), they ran with it!
I love everything about this invitation, and I can’t wait to see what the girls have planned for Baby McG’s shower!
We had a small, last-minute gender reveal party in Austin, and that’s when my mom and our Austin pals found out that we’re having a little lady!
(For the record, my mom was convinced she’d see blue balloons fly out of the box—she was pretty shocked.)
We spilled the news to our SoCal loved ones in different ways—in person when we were in town by showing up with pink flowers, and then, a few weeks later, we surprised two close pals on vacay in Scottsdale with their very own gender reveal cake.
We’re so happy that McG is a she—although we’d love her just the same if she were a boy. Sammy really wanted to have a girl (he comes from a family of all boys), and he’s over the moon.
This goes down in the books as a top life moment for us: Finding out from the sonographer that we’re having a daughter!
We love throwing little parties.
Actually, it’s me who loves shindig-hosting. My hizzy is far more simple: He likes hanging with friends, eating good food, drinking good beer, and micromanaging a meat-stacked grill.
He likes these things so he happily agrees to host whatever, whenever… even if that means he has to help his fancy-loving, obsessive wife cork bottles of pretty prosecco, pick flowers for “necessary” centerpieces and scour the grocery store for hard-to-find ingredients (so that we can serve up a seriously cool appetizer torn from the latest issue of Bon Appetit magazine). It may be more work than he envisioned for a simple get-together with friends, but he’s game!
Of course, Memorial Day is a must-celebrate holiday, so we had to commandeer our pool deck and have some pals over for cocktails and grilling.
I was excited to make sweet-and-salty Plum and Cherry Bruschetta. I’ve been eating tons of fruit lately (totally out of character for me, but not uncommon for most people). I managed to squeeze fruit into nearly every vessel and plate on the app table.
The burgers, chicken, hot dogs, scalloped potatoes and different types of salad were strewn about on a center island. They weren’t too gorgeous to look at, so I didn’t bother snapping pics of them. Here’s a glimpse of our chums and chaotic food island…
I try to act cool with messy, spontaneous food tables, but I was itching to scoop up trash, strip the table, lay down a tablecloth, and reorganize food platters—especially the condiments!
Ahhhh! Food and plates everywhere! Mayonnaise and hummus baking in the sun!
For Derby Day, we boogied on over to an Austin field to watch a game of polo (croquet on horses, as I see it), sip mint juleps and watch the Kentucky Derby on a few big screens inside a big white tent.
(The next best thing to being at Churchill Downs, right?)
It was a festive, fluffy day…
This past Saturday, he turned the big 1-0.
In dog years he’s a senior citizen, but he’s a lively guy and you really can’t tell he’s a day past five.
Since toilet papering our home is his favorite hobby—and apparently his favorite afternoon snack, as evidenced by chomped up nuggets of TP—we gave him a “White Trash” themed birthday celebration. I hung a mobile made of TP and beer cans from the ceiling—yep, beer is another favorite snack of his—and dished him up a scoop of doggie ice cream and a few licks of Budweiser.
Purnie even got to play with the TP after the mobile came down! Only this time, he didn’t get in trouble for it.
Happy birthday, Purnie Ernie.
Want More of the Purnster?
Check out last year’s birthday party.
For my stellar manpartner’s 31st birthday, we had a few pals come over for wine, prohibition-y cocktails and ho-hum, garden-variety apps.
We laid out the usual suspects: cheese, crackers, veggies, curried deviled eggs. But we unleashed the addition of something a little more awesome-sounding—salmon profiteroles…
So back to these salmon profiteroles. It’s just a puff pastry filled with herby cream cheese, sandwiched with salmon. Pretty cheesy, I gotta say. Next time I’d add just a smear of cream cheese, not a gargantuan dollop.
Overall, it was a B- appetizer. I was dying to suck the salmon off of each one and discard the rest of the pouf, which tells me I should probably just serve sashimi or smoked salmon with toast rounds at a party. But maybe other people liked their uber-cheesiness? Not sure.
Curried deviled eggs… perfecto.
Afterward, we walked to a restaurant a block away and stuffed ourselves with horseradish-crusted salmon, chicken-fried steak, green chile cheddar grits and apple cobbler in a skillet, from what we remember, that is! (Note to self: After seven cocktails, just eat a Big Mac, since you won’t remember the meal anyway.)
Ahh, such fun!
Happy birthday, husband.
Oceans of love, always.