Saturday, January 09, 2010

book club Christmas/birthday edition

I hosted book club on Thursday night -- I hadn't seen anyone in book club except for Jill since before we left for Paris, so I was really excited for this get-together. In addition, it was a joint celebration of Jenn's birthday and our traditional Christmas book/gift exchange. SO fun!

I left my Christmas tree up so we could put all the gifts underneath. It's always so fun to see this many gifts and know that they are all for us!

But first, dinner. {photo by Jill}

Amy made beef and carrot stew, Jill made fabulous sage and rosemary mashed potatoes, I made bread, Jana made salad, and Collette brought crackers with cream cheese and jalapeno pepper jelly and chocolate truffles. Oh, and we had homemade grape juice. It was quite a feast!

We got caught up with each other during dinner, and then Collette announced that her gift to us was a getaway! We picked a date (which happens to be her birthday weekend) and we will be going to stay at a hotel together -- ooh la la, what a luxury!

Jill took this picture of us all opening gifts.

Here, they are opening mine: a stack of books ornament that I have been saving since just after Christmas last year (!) and a scarf from Paris, each one different. I hope I chose well for everyone. I love giving gifts!

The motherlode: Jenn sewed us all monogrammed book club bags with notebooks inside for taking book club minutes (i.e. a record of all the hilarious things that are said, mostly by Jana). Jana gave us fancy hair products that smell wonderful. Jill gave us a framed book club self-portrait with a great quote. Oops! I forgot to include in the picture the cute container of homemade divinity and caramels from Jenn, yum.

Jill gave to me for the book exchange this year and she gave me Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris, a book by an author I enjoy and one I have not yet read! She also made a darling "we were in Paris!" bookmark, 2nd edition. (I am still using the first one.)

Close-up of Jill's gift -- I was SO relieved to see that it wasn't the group photo taken at my baby shower when I was oh-so-great with child!

Jenn was doing a little final stitching on our bags while we discussed The Hunger Games. (Her scarf was the only one I knew without a doubt was the right choice! And her reaction was gratifying indeed.)

We all really enjoyed the book, although I think I loved it slightly less than the others, only because I had seen the Japanese movie Battle Royale, which has essentially the same premise. Because the idea was not fresh to me, it wasn't as exciting. Still, it was a page-turner and I read it in two days easily.

I made my grandma's Best Fudge Cake (a.k.a. Ding Dong cake). Man, I had forgotten how delicious that cake is -- it is SO good. Eva helped me to assemble it and was crushed that she couldn't have a piece on Thursday afternoon. I assuaged her devastation by promising she could have a slice for breakfast on Friday. Ha! Cake for breakfast, a pretty good piece of bribery, eh?

We chose books for the first half of 2010 as well. I seriously did not think we could get through Jenn's birthday dinner, our book exchange, our Christmas exchange, book discussion and book selection all in one night, but we did it! And a very fun night it was.


crystal said...

I am ashamed to admit that I want to climb into that photo of Jenn's new scarf, SNATCH it off her neck, and run like hell! Like a cartoon-version of myself!

It's so gorgeous! It's makes-my-eyes-squint gorgeous. Good job!

Barb said...

You know the resolution you don't want to make because you don't think you can do it or you have secretly made it and failed so many times that it hurts to think about? Mine would be to develop a group of friends like this.
What a night/year/years of book club. You are all amazing to invest in friendships this way.

jt said...

I LOVE Battle Royale! Thanks to Mark... What was the book? I am intrigued. I am yearning for grandma's ding dong cake. I love that you left up the tree- it feels so warm and cozy since the holidays are over. *Sigh* for a group like this...

lelly said...

can i just repeat what barb and jesse have said.


cake for breakfast is always a fun treat!

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Ditto to Barb, Jesse and Lelly. You guys have made a great investment.

I love how artful you are. It doesn't matter if it's your table, your packaging, leaving your tree up for aesthetic bring beauty wherever you go. Thanks for the example to do a little more.

TX Girl said...

Love your little comment blurb.

It does look like a really lovely little group. Woman need other woman. Period. I'm glad y'all have found one another and compliment each other so well.

Susan said...

I just love living vicariously through your posts!

I guess I need to get a personal life....I love my work, but some personal time and relationships other than Dad would be nice too!

Looks like all had a great time and loved the scarves! But then, who wouldn't?!

Miranda said...

Wow. You're not kidding when you say you belong to a fabulous book group! Am covetous.

Kelly said...

Yes, ditto ditto ditto to everyone else. You really do have a charmed book club. I always love reading about it.

I wish we had photos of everyone in the scarves you picked. Jenn's is gorgeous!

Hannah said...

Yeah...this has me oozing with jealousy. It all looks just lovely. You girls are classy and so right for eachother! That cake- oh man. I fear making it for the amount of working out I would have to do to justify how much of it I would eat.

Denise said...

Covetous, indeed. Your table looks beautiful, by the way!

patsy said...

The food! the Gifts!!


jenn said...

I was worried too- that we would get everything in, but we did. It was a perfect night. Dinner was beautiful and delicious- Kelly may smack me if I keep raving about the stew with MASHED potatoes. The gifts were thoughtful and generous- EVERYONE loves my scarf but not as much as I love it. And I'm SO excited to spend my birthday gift- no guilt from Kelly about buying books! The book was fantastic. (The second is even better.) I'm excited for our get-away and the books we picked...

Thank you for hosting and all that included (banishing kids, setting the table, leaving up your beautiful tree, doing the dishes...) I loved being back in your home WITH YOU, my sweet friend. A perfect night.

amy m said...

I wondered if you guys would like the book, I enjoyed it so much and was afraid maybe you wouldn't. I was relieved to hear you Jill did, but sorry you didn't enjoy it as much.

Everything looks amazing and delicious. Now I can see why you are glad you had left over cake for creative Friday.

rebekah said...

I defy anyone to show me a better book club. I'm being serious. I just don't even know where to start in my praise and jealousy.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...