Friday, January 29, 2010

Endless hugs, 7 varieties of cheesy potatoes, and BFFs

I had been delaying any major cooking activities (grocery trips, etc.) over the last weekend as I waited by the phone for the news that was a long time coming. In my glorious, fun, loud, and wonderful family (I speak of them often, hi aunts!) we lost our Matriach to cancer this week. A lady who never smoked and was otherwise a picture of health got lung cancer. Go figure. My Grandma was pretty amazing for a multitude of reasons including but not limited to: raising 11 children (much of the time as a single parent), having more stamps in her passport from interesting places (the middle east, asia, you name it) than anyone I've ever known, being totally mellow/zen/yoda-esque, and finding a wonderful balance between strong faith and liberalism (what woman in her eighties is that delicate combo?). She was awesome.
A few months back my dad urged my siblings and I to write about my Grandma, as a gift to my mother. As it turned out, we read what we had written at the services. Kudos to my brother and sister for both being funny and sentimental, and prompting many more hugs. My Aunts and Uncles did a great job making everything so meaningful and personal (special shout out to my own mama!). The church ladies did an excellent job in providing the world's largest varieties of casseroles. No kidding, there had to be 7 types of cheesy potatoes... how could you stay bummed?
Sister was happy about all of the dessert varieties

Our family tree..... leaves = grandma's descendents including great-grandkids. Holy big family.

How great do they look? Beauteous and vintage. Little did they know at the time the impact they would have on so many lives.

Love you Grandma! In addition to the church food, we had plenty of other unhealthy comfort food at our disposal. Oh that's right. We tri-ed some. With AE dip... life changing.
After 2938749832749872398947239874 hugs later (although you can never, ever have too many), I drove the SIX HOURS home and got in around 10pm last night. Weary traveler that I was, I was a hot mess getting up to my apartment. Someone in the elevator even had to help me with all of my saddlebags. So you can imagine my delight when I opened the door and saw this waiting for me:
With a wonderful note (I knew giving her a key to my place was a smart move) I checked my fridge:
And as I blissfully munched on a dark chocolate covered strawberry, I couldn't help but notice all of the little notes around the place:

She is correct, my new table IS sweet. Pictures to come. Hey, even Bubba got in on the action (like that is a surprise):

and an Animaniacs quote that had me smiling while I brushed my teeth this morning :)

Thanks Emily, way to turn this frown upside down! In related news, my college roommie and BFF Nickie will be arriving for the weekend in just a few short hours. Quality time with friends makes EVERYTHING better, I'm convinced. Plus we'll be doing some cooking this weekend :) stay tuned!