August 31, 2011

3 Turning 30...

Two years ago, Elizabeth and I decided to start a book club.  After talking about it for months, we finally called some girls in town, picked a book, set a place and time, and had our first meeting.  Most of the girls I already knew, and some were just “friends-of-friends.”  But after that first meeting, I was hooked.  These ladies were smart, fun, witty, loving, and hilarious.  Women I had barely known before, quickly became some of my best friends and within a few months “book-club” grew into an excuse to eat tons of great food, get away from the boys, spill our guts, cry, share embarrassing moments, pontificate about all things needing pontification, and oh yeah, talk about books.

This summer 3 of the girls turned 30!  We decided to have one night of glory and celebrate all 3 together.  After studying our calendars we finally found a day when ALL ladies would be in town.  (This is nothing short of a miracle as 3 of the gals are musicians on the road, I travel with Sean some, and Elizabeth’s baby girl could arrive any second.) 

So, this Saturday, we told the birthday girls to meet us at Megan’s house at 3:00, dress comfortably but nice, and to plan on being out late.  Elizabeth was the last to arrive and when she walked in we all ooohed-and-awwed over the quickly growing size of her belly:

After everyone gathered in the kitchen, we told the ladies that the day would be split into three parts.  And part 1 would start with The Help.

Part 1

The first book we ever read as a group was The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  We all fell in love with the novel and when news came out that a movie was being made, email chains started flying into everyone’s inboxes, with one basic rule.  “We see this movie TOGETHER.”  Unbelievably thrilled to go as a group, we all filed into the movie theater, spent 20 minutes debating what artery-clogging snacks we would partake in, and reserved an entire row for ourselves.  Elizabeth and I went a little crazy in the snack department...

Sidenote:  That trough of popcorn was gone before the previews were even over. Are you as impressed as I am?

The theater was packed, the movie was fantastic, and the crowd even applauded at the end.  Soo good.  I really wanted to get a pic of us all crying (and Megan laughing hysterically at a man in the front row who had a persistent and poorly timed grunt/cough issue) but I figured taking pictures in a movie theater makes you an immediate creeper.

When the movie was over, we all looked at each other and did the “that’s so good we can’t even talk about it” head nod, and then rushed to Part 2.

Part 2
There is a fantastic restaurant on the East side of town that has the most charming outdoor seating.  It reminds you of a secret garden, with lights strung above you, different levels of seating, beautiful pergolas, sweet swings and even Adirondack chairs in the back. Most of us had never been there (but always wanted to) so it was a great place to have a “special” dinner. When we arrived we had a beautiful table under the pergola with our name on it.  We ordered fried green tomatoes, fancy pizza, drinks, salads, cheese plates, grouper and anything else that tickled our fancy.  There were 3 people to celebrate, which means 3 times more food to eat in my opinion.

Once we ordered, we gave the girls their gifts: 30 Things We Love About You scrapbooks.  Each of the non-birthday-girls had made each b-day queen 2 scrapbook pages with a list of thirty things they loved about them. We compiled all the pages and put them into a scrapbook for each birthday lady. We had character traits, funny memories, memorable pictures, and embarrassing/awesome stories spread throughout the pages. It was great talking, laughing and reading through the pages together…

After dinner, we piled into our cars and headed to Part 3.

Part 3
For Part 3, we headed to Melissa’s house.  Melissa is unbelievably crafty, capable of all things domestic, a wonderful wife and mother and an engineer.  She is so good at everything it is frustrating… and we tell her how mad it makes us all the time. When I was starting a pottery class Elizabeth told me she felt sorry for anyone who had to make anything beside Melissa.  Sure enough, the rest of us left the class with cute vases and coasters, and Melissa left with a beautiful bird-house that can survive an F-5 tornado.  Geez.

Anyhow, we sat on her patio and ate the amazing cake she had worked on for 2 days.  It was beautiful, delicious, and a true labor of love (she made two more before she decided this one was perfect.)

After another few hours of laughing, eating, and waking the neighbors we all headed home.  Props to Elizabeth for making it through 9 hours of festivities 8 months pregnant.

Cheers to good friends, good food, and a new decade!  Happy 30th Liz, Malia, and Kristin! We love you!!

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