Monday, September 29, 2014

Early Autumn Arrangements

I adore autumn arrangements; in fact, so much that I usually do September arrangements, then different ones for October, and still others for November. Here are a sample of my early fall displays.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Blessing a Baby

This weekend my sister, Zan, hosted a baby shower for my daughter, Anna, who is expecting her first baby in a few short weeks. Aided by Pintrest and creativity, we planned a very happy celebration to bless this little boy.

Zan and I started with the color scheme. Baby blue and white were obvious choices. However, flowers aren't usually in those hues in September. What to do? The dilemma was solved by seeing a darling orange and navy newborn onesie.

We printed the invitations on light blue, polka-dotted paper, adding a bow tie to symbolize the little boy joining the clan. We slipped the registry information into waxed tiny favor bags.

Yesterday dawned calm, clear, and not-too-warm--perfect for an garden party! We decorated from the road,

up the drive,
to the front door.

Inside, hanging baby clothes left no doubt who was the party's guest-of-honor.

Arriving guests sipped orange-peach punch from baby-blue striped straws.
Then, we all went out-of-doors for lunch.

Tablecloths, placemats, and glasses were various shades of blue while orange Kalanchoe brightened the scene.

Notice the napkins tied as bow ties.

 Guests were treated to a trio of appetizers including honey teriyaki meatballs, apricots stuffed with goat cheese, and asparagus phyllo puffs,

The main course was served as a buffet with guests helping themselves to:

croissants and chicken salad,
tomato/mozzarella skewers, and wild rice/citrus salad.

Finally, carrot cake cupcakes, mango sorbet, and chocolate mints provided a sweet ending.

Anna felt very loved

 by her parents,

her life-long girl friend,

women who had prayed for her,

a mother and daughter who have been good friends since elementary school days in Haiti,

 and family, including aunts and grandmothers.
Thank you, Zan, for all you did to make a wonderful party!

After lunch, we came inside to open presents. The first-time parents were so thankful for the gifts since before the shower they hardly had anything for the expected arrival!

As guests left the shower, they took home a bottle of nail polish as a reminder of the Saturday they blessed a certain little boy with their love, gifts, and best wishes. 

We trust their prayers will follow him, as they have followed his mother.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Always Room for One More

Less than two weeks ago, our youngest daughter had her fourth baby, a little boy.

Now they are a family of six with three little men
and a darling sister.
Deciding where to set up the nursery for baby boy was a challenge. Ideally, this little guy could have roomed with one of his brothers. However, considering space and sleep patterns of the two older boys, it was decided that he would join his sister--at least until the middle son is falling asleep more easily.

Actually, it works out quite well. There is plenty of room, and by adding blue crib bumpers and mobile, the room was gender-neutralized a bit.
The most pressing quandary was where to put all the baby clothes. The walk-in closet was divided: male on one side,
female on the other.
I had forgotten how many wardrobe changes a child needs until they are two years old. The seasons change, and they outgrow sizes every three months!

Baby blankets, sheets, and sleepers replaced his sister's folded clothes.
To hold her displaced clothing, we purchased a cute antique-looking dresser from a used furniture store. Unfortunately, it was painted green. So, I spent a hot Saturday in over 100 degree weather painting it a high gloss white. While I was at it, I also repainted a bookcase and a toy box. (What a mother won't do for a daughter who was nine months pregnant. Oh, to-be-honest, what a mother won't do for any of her children at any age and in any condition.)

Looking ahead, when baby boy is old enough to protest a pink rug and Roman shade, he can join one of his brothers.
For now, the baby beds look at home together. I like the solution. After all, what would you choose: your own room or having a sibling? It's a no-brainer; I think we'd all take the forever-friend.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Hotel on Lake George

Leaving Canada's Quebec City,

we drove south about three hours to our country's northern border and proceeded on another few hours

to our second destination, the premier hotel on Lake George: The Sagamore.
This lovely historic hotel was purchased a few years back by a hotelier who invested millions in bringing it back to its former glory. Now it is one of the Opal Collection's crown jewels. No detail has been overlooked--from decor to flowers.
Easterners splurge on a get-away to this cool spot in the heat of the summer. This August it was uncommonly cool, even for the mountain lake. We dined alfresco, but under heaters and wearing sweaters.

On sunny days, there are many activities to choose from: hiking,

swimming indoors or outdoors in lovely pools, or water-skiing.
For the truly brave-at-heart, there is parasailing.

For the more sane, a cruise takes passengers to see the inlets of pristine Lake George.

We watched families play croquet on the front lawn

and golfers tee off from the manicured green beside the clubhouse.

Each of the hotel's several restaurants is superb, especially when dining with someone you love.

We saved our vacation until the end of the summer, so we could savor the anticipation. I must say, the days away in August were like a rich dessert at the end of a five-star meal.