A Very Merry Un-Bridal Shower

Several months ago, I was asked to host my sister’s bridal shower.  (She’s getting married in August.)  I agreed.  A date was set.  All I had to do then was everything else.

Here’s my confession: Generally speaking, I hate “showers” (the party, not the method of cleaning oneself…just to clarify).  Baby showers. Bridal showers.  Not sure if it’s the cheesy games or the social obligation or just the fact that I’m a raging introvert, and I find such parties (populated largely with people I don’t know) completely exhausting, but I just don’t enjoy them.  I attend them willingly and fairly often, knowing that attendance at such events and the gifts we bring do mean something, but I have never been the sort of person who gets excited about them.

Anyway, when faced with hosting such a party myself, I decided that I wanted it to be different from “normal” bridal showers.  Mostly, I decided, hosting a normal bridal shower would make me want to stab myself in the eye with a fork, and that seemed unpleasant. So, like any good millennial, I went straight to Pinterest. And I typed “bridal shower” into the search bar. And it came back with a million and one possibilities, most of which seemed to involve making “wedding gowns” out of toliet paper…because that’s totally a thing. There were wine tasting bridal showers and coffee shop bridal showers and strawberry field bridal showers…the list of possibilities is endless really.  But none of them seems quite right.  And while it was tempting to throw a bunch of wine at a commonly boring party and see what happened, it also seemed a little dangerous.

“No wine.” I thought, sadly, clicking on yet another list of themes. And so it was that I found our theme, a blip on the radar. Hmmmmm…Alice in Wonderland.  And it all sort of came flooding back.  The trip to Florida where my sister played “Alice” over and over and over in the van’s VCR.  Nothing else allowed.  (As younger sister I didn’t really have a say.)  The “Alice” dress she cherished with the white rabbit on the apron. It was decided.  For better or for worse, my sister’s bridal shower would be “Alice in Wonderland” themed.

Continue reading “A Very Merry Un-Bridal Shower”

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Our humble bonfire

Let’s just start here, shall we?

The Alpacalypse is coming
The Alpacalypse is coming

The above might just be the greatest picture ever taken…In the history of all of ever.

The 25th marked our first (hopefully annual) bonfire party at the ranch.  The week leading up to it marked 7 days of complete insanity trying to prepare for our first (hopefully annual) bonfire party at the ranch.

I will admit that I sort of scheduled the party as a shove; I knew that we would work harder to finish things if we had some sort of deadline.  And we did.  I was under the (incorrect) impression that we would work harder over the course of 6 weeks or so.  No.  That is not how we roll around here.  Mostly, we let things roll into major crunch time.

Guys, four hours before the party starting, I was painting baseboards.  The morning of the party, I was still hanging and glazing cabinet doors. The night before all of this went down?  This is what my kitchen  looked like.

2014-10-24 19.35.37 2014-10-24 19.35.42 (And then Jeremiah photo-bombed things.) 2014-10-24 19.35.45 (I would like to point out that we don’t live like this; we still don’t live here at all, and about every corner of the house is undergoing renovations.)

Miscellaneous boxes were still piled high in the living room.  Any and all dusting that I had done days before had been rendered pointless as Jeremiah had drilled through drywall and installed new light fixtures since then.  (Drywall dust…everywhere…)

I spent Saturday morning working on the house.  When I left at 2:00pm (to go back to the other house, fix food, and shower), the house was still a mess.  However, as I was the one in charge of feeding all the people, I couldn’t stick around.  So, I took a deep breath in, explained to Jeremiah what was still left to be done, and prayed for a miracle as I walked out the door.

When I got back, carrying large quantities of food and fearing that I would be met with chaos, I found my miracle wiping down the counters of a mostly spotless kitchen.  Jeremiah’s mama to the rescue!

There is no way to tell this story without mentioning that my mother-in-law completely, totally saved my butt.  Seriously.  Unequivocally.  She showed up early and finished all the cleaning…without even being asked, by the way.  (I think I hugged her about ten times over the course of a half an hour…I honestly could have cried.)

Anyhow, thanks to her (and a lot of help the day before from siblings, cousins, parents, etc), we had a very presentable home when most of our guests began showing up.

Our tiniest guest showed up with his mama and dad early in the evening.  He and his parents were treated to a private tour, complete with pony introductions! 2014-10-25 18.08.49 2014-10-25 18.08.58 2014-10-25 18.09.06

Isn’t this the cutest! Violet and Slash love ALL tiny humans, but they seemed to take an extra liking to this little guy.  He loved them right back with grins and pats and giggles.  It was adorable.  Jeremiah and I gave a lot of farm tours over the course of the evening, but this one was probably my favorite.  It was definitely my bitty babies’ favorite.

Of course, farm tours notwithstanding, the main event of the day was the bonfire itself…and holy cow was it a fire.

Have I ever mentioned that Jeremiah used to be a professional fire officer?

Did you know that basically all firefighters are pyromaniacs who have managed to productively channel their “interest”?

Fire
That tiny looking person standing in the lower left is my husband. He stands just a little bit under 6 feet tall.

Well, now you do. There were no fewer than five firefighters present at the bonfire.  I was briefly afraid that we would need all of them involved in some sort of professional capacity. still fire still aflame Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire fire 2 everything burns aflame The guy walking around in bunker gear is my dear, sweet husband/personal pyromaniac.

My hero...
My hero…

At one point, he brought out the big guns to push the fire around.

This should probably be on an advertisement for Caterpillar.
This should probably be on an advertisement for Caterpillar.

(We actually had to build a secondary, smaller fire to roast marshmallows and hotdogs.  The actual bonfire was way too big and way too hot.)

Around 30 people came by over the course of the evening.  Friends from college came down and stayed the weekend.  My grandparents even took the time to travel down several hours to check things out.  (Grandma, I know you read this, so I thought I’d let you know that your pumpkin bars were a major hit!)

Good food.  Great company.  A fire that will probably live in infamy.   For a bonfire, that equals success.

I am so glad we had this party.  (I am also so glad that it’s over and the pressure is officially off.)

(By the way, the watermarked photos of the fire were taken by an incredibly talented friend of mine, Bob, who actually takes photos semi-professionally.  Big shout out to Bob for letting me use these photos on my humble little blog!  Also, if any of you are into web design and would like to trade for pictures, he’s your guy!)

(Second by the way, all of the animals were way out of the way of the fire.  Even though it looks from the photos that the flames were rolling towards the pastures, I assure you that everyone was perfectly safe.  The llamas weren’t even that interested.)