My mom's birthday

My mom's birthday was this past weekend so we decided to do dinner at our place.  The weather was perfect and we moved the massive harvest table Dave made out of old barn wood to the center of our back yard:

{sorry about the pics but something funny was going on}
It is insanely heavy and won't be moving anywhere for a good long while...  my back still feels it.

I added pumkins & gourds and eucalyptus & hydrangeas to give it a Fall vibe even though it was so warm:

I'd never gotten fresh eucalyptus before... Trader Joe's was selling it for $6 and I love how it looks just gathered simply in an urn:

I didn't notice any bugs so I think it definitely helped keep them away.

Here's the birthday girl with Christian and my little sister Morgan (13):

My mom's a special lady.  She's the kind of mom I could always tell anything to...  even my friends would confide in her in high school.  She was a single mom (until she & my stepdad, Tom, got married when I was in 8th grade) but still managed to be super-involved & spend a lot of quality time with me: Girl Scouts, festivals & musicals & plays & events...  She's amazing with advice and rarely judges. 

We've had our battles (oh my gosh would we yell!!) but I think mostly it's because battle alike:  get it out and get over it.  (No moping or stewing here!)  She's always coming through when I need her: babysitting, food, help at home, advice and also those "mom" hugs.  We're very alike but very different.   She's lower-key than me, yet supported me going into a creative field/ being self-employed even though it's not something she would ever do and scared her when I started because she understood me.  She had my sister late in life but still manages to be as involved in her life as she was in mine  (if not more so!! :)   I love her so much and she is one of the few people I actually lean upon.   

Here's my gorgeous cousin Jen who just got engaged & will be getting married in Puerto Rico next summer!!  (I'm her maid of honor ;) ;)

And my mom informed me it was time to pull up the carrots Christian & I planted back in March.  (Um yeah, I really know nothing about growing veggies -or anything for that matter- and thought that the time was right to pull them up when they were long like you see at the grocery store.)  So as we all enjoyed some cider (I'm a huge fan of woodchuck haha) and some hummus & pita chips, Christian and I pulled up the carrots:

And they really reminded me of those screaming baby-root things from Harry Potter (mandrakes)... especially the double ones:

(Justin enjoyed the food too as you can see from the bits on his face}

I didn't get any pictures of the food (besides that beautiful bag of pita chips) but we did grilled tilapia and shish kabobs with rice & salad.  We ate just as it got dark & there's something so awesome about eating outside with candlelight.

We finished up with s'mores by the fire where I proceeded to fall asleep. 

And that's a good night for me.  Most of our meals are "normal" and don't include special flowers or table settings and I know I couldn't handle this on a nightly basis, but I would like to do a pretty/ special table at least once a week.  It encourages lingering and laughing and talking on & on.  That's interesting to me...  that our environments really do affect our experiences.  Check out my friend Seleta's recent post to see the gorgeous table setting she created last week with her kids' help. 

xoxo, Lauren

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