Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Valentine's Day Party 2012

This year's Vday Party post is less about cupcakes and party displays, and more about love.

Everything was different this year. We had to change it from Saturday afternoon to Friday evening, which meant instead of an entire morning, with my husband's help, to decorate, pipe frosting, etc., I had Friday to do it. Alone.

Or so I thought.

I woke up Friday morning feeling grumpy, lethargic, a little sick, and apathetic. My house was a wreck and Carter was a grumpy disaster. I'm pretty sure I snarled something nasty as Taylor left for work, which left me feeling even worse.

It took a shower and an apology text to Taylor to start feeling more like myself. I had a party to put on. Now was not the time to loaf!

I got to work rolling out heart shaped sugar cookies, setting butter out to soften, arranging cake plates. But with a grumpy babe, it was slow going and discouraging.

Then, without a word from me--nary an emergency flare nor a smoke signal--the rescue artillery started rolling in.

First it was my friends, who are also my visiting teachers, Jessie and Melanie. They stopped by with a smoothie. Lemon Bliss--my favorite.

Next it was a text from Emily, who I knew wasn't going to make it that night.

'How are you feeling about tonight?'
'oh fine,' I replied.
'I'm going to get H in a few mins, want me to come out there and help ya get ready?'
'I'd love that if you really could.'
'We'll be there there at 3:00.'

Em swept in at 3:00, as promised, and made everything seem possible. She washed dishes, swept my floor, frosted cookies, held the baby, and chatted with me like only an old friend could. (We covered all topics--from politics to babies to 'would you ever get a boob job?' It was awesome.) When she loaded her children up to leave, I felt so happy. So much more than the physical support of sweeping up the crumbs from my kitchen floor, her visit was such a boon to me emotionally. It left me energized and excited, for the first time all day.

And the love kept pouring in. My friend, Stacey, swung by to pick up the chocolate chip cookie dough to bake at her house. Taylor arrived home from work an hour and a half early to help me! He came bearing dozens of cupcakes--all of which my sil, Melissa, had baked for me. And then Jessie called. "How about I come over and pick up your kids? I'll feed them so you can get everything set up without the mess or worry of dinner."

Can you feel the love?

I mean, it wasn't like I was on my sick bed or had a real emergency. It was a party. But these acts of service came from my beloveds who know how important this this tradition is to me. Valentine's Day was seriously living up to its meaning.

By the time the guests arrived at 6:30, everything was clean, set up, and perfect. I felt more calm than I ever have at the start of a party. We had a great time. The children gobbled up treats, than headed upstairs to make mayhem of the toy room. The adults relaxed in the living room. It was mellow and festive and lovely.

Unlike most years, I didn't take many photos. With the party in the evening, the lighting for photos was obviously terrible, so I was unmotivated. The menu was similar to last year. We had:

*Chocolate chippers with milk shots
*Mini lemon cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting and raspberries atop
*Taylor's homemade Ding Dongs (so much better than Hostess!)
*Heart shaped sugar cookies in every color of the rainbow (holy smokes, these were the hit!!)

You know, I think about Cookie every day. On Valentine's Day I was in tears because our mailbox is in a large lock-box with everyone else in the neighborhood, so I had nowhere to leave some chocolates for the mailman.

Cookie's mother, Rose ('Old Nana') passed away yesterday. She was about to turn 100 in March. I felt sad that she didn't quite make it to the centurion mark, but I'm certain she's thrilled right now. And I know Cookie is, too. Love to my 'family' in Ohio. Life without Old Nana will not be the same.



Alicia said...

Sounds delightful! Miss you, friend.

Sally said...

Your party looks so pretty and yummy! And YES, YES, YES, I totally would!

Joan said...

Aren't you loved?! :)
Reading this makes me happy--You are blessed with SO many wonderful people who love you, Anne (me included).

Joan said...

haha. I just re-read my comment and I'm laughing that I called myself a "wonderful person."
I am cutting myself a break though: It's 5:54AM and I'm supposed to be working on my poetry class but I had to sneak away and see if you posted about your party :) tee hee.

rae said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rae said...

I love your Valentine's Party. Funny sidenote, when I saw the first picture and the Hostess Cupcakes I thought, "Oh good for her, she simplified and just bought some treats to set out...way to go."

Only later to read that those are HOMEMADE FLIPPING PERFECT just like the real deal hostess cupcakes?!! I love it! haha. I also love your raw honesty about your day mixed with your obvious talent and excellent party/culinary skills: don't give up on this annual party tradition. It's eye candy for the rest of us during a bleak winter!


Emily Anne said...

that was so fun :)
this was a sweet post.
sounds like a great party - sorry we missed it!


lori said...

lovely party and very sweet post, friend. Glad you're keeping that tradition alive and full of love.