My mom-in-law is the ultimate hostess. When she plans a party or family gathering then you need to come hungry - and bring a camera. If you tend to lean a little on the "it's freezing in here" side then bring a jacket, also.
She is a great cook. Mom doesn't experimate with a lot of new recipes. More our fault than hers, I think. We have our favorites and she knows them. They are tried and true. From Shelby's favorite lasagna to Delia's, "Is Nana cooking roast tonight?" None of us can figure out how her steaks are always juicy and her baked potatoes are always perfect. Who needs a steakhouse?
If there was a Smithsonian for good food hers would be in there, behind thick plateglass, close enough to make you drool but just out of sensory reach. Like's Fonzie's jacket or the original Kermit the Frog (I just revealed too much of myself).
Back to the camera. But, don't worry if you don't have one. Mom has had one surgically attached to her right hand. You'll need one to capture all of her beautiful "tablescapes". Was that a word before Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade? It's not in the dictionary. Ummm . . . I need to invent a word.
Back in 2006 Mom decided that she'd do "themes" for our birthdays. Birthdays are a big deal at her house. It's not up to you if you want to let your birthday quietly come and go without a lot of hoop-la. It's up to her. Like when I got all of the "Over the Hill" dead black stuff and my sister-in-law got the "30" theme - we won't talk much about that one, it's touchy.
We've done these.
The Pirate Theme.
Complete with costumes.
The Movie Theme.
Complete with an embarrassing photo of us at the theatre, with STRANGERS standing around watching.
There has been the Blue Theme, High School Musical Theme, Softball Theme, Fishing Theme, Bowling Theme, Baby Shower Theme, Hawaiian Theme, Hunting Theme, Garden Theme ... the list goes on and on.
Starting in January of this year she dropped the theme celebrations. Most themes were already used up. It's been a hard addiction for her to break - and for us. We still get beautiful tablescapes accompanied by "my mama cooked it" food. That's the best kind. The greatest theme of all - family time - that we still have.
We love our Mom and our Nana. She was sick a few weeks ago and many prayers were lifted up on her behalf. She brings us joy.
My birthday is tomorrow. Jealous?
Her children rise up and bless her. . . Proverbs 31:28