The Kamman’s annual Chanukah party has been an important staple of the holiday season for many years now. (2009, 2010) We take an untraditional approach to celebrate Sol’s background and the festival of lights complete with latkes and home-made apple sauce, a Chanukah bush, decorating Macabee cookies and driedel drinking games.
I actually have more Chanukah decorations now than Christmas decorations. This year I was really committed to the decor, so much so that I actually sewed! I cut and sewed the pennants with a little help from my mom and her ancient sewing machine- using FOUR, yes, FOUR awesome Chanukah fabrics from Joann. I also made some table squares (although I used hem tape for those!) (I don’t sew, this is a big deal)
Most of the time Sol and I bust our butts cooking ALL of the food, which is tricky because the latkes require most of our attention and kitchen space. This year we did a potluck, which was awesome because 1.) we could actually hang out and enjoy the party out of the kitchen and 2.) we got to taste everyone else’s awesome dishes!
Another new edition was the Chanukah “photo booth” I even made some silly props.
And what’s kind of Chanukah party is it until Santa shows up!?!?
Today is my bestie Amanda’s 28th birthday! Amanda is really the best girlfriend a girl could ask for. She’s sweet, thoughtful, generous, funny, intelligent, and soooo much fun to be with. In the decade we’ve been besties I’ve been lucky enough to have her as my roommate, confidant, classmate, friend and all-around-soulmate. She shares my levelheadedness, my adventurous spirit, my opinionated nature and my love for all things crafty and reality tv related! I am so blessed to have her as my friend and she has spent 10 years showing me what a true friendship is.
This is us back in our awesome, drunk 18-year-old days!
Even though we live far apart, I have been lucky enough to be able to celebrate Amanda’s birthday with her every year for the last, well, I’ve lost count…but it’s been a lot of years! Here’s 25:
It breaks my heart that I won’t be there to ring in 28 with her.. but I hope she knows how much she is in my thoughts every day and how I never feel any less close to her, even when we are far apart.
I have also recently managed to rope her in as official family by making her Lola’s godmother! She is the best godmother to Lola and loves her as if she were her own. Lola can’t talk yet, but if she could I know she would agree that LOLA is lucky to have Amanda in her life!
It’s no secret that Amanda loves pictures of LOLA….so for Amanda’s birthday I received a hint loud and clear (via blog!) that she wanted Lola pictures. We did a special Lola photo shoot just for Amanda, and Lola is even wearing a dress from her spoiling God-mommy in the photos. Her present isn’t ready yet, but here is a little preview just for the birthday girl:
Happy Birthday Amanda!! We love you!! xoxox
Lola’s new friend Marlie Olsen is delicious. Lola couldn’t resist taking a little taste of her new baby friend’s head. They were meant to be BFFs!
My god-mother Gretchen threw us a beautiful luncheon baby shower for our teacher friends at their beautiful house in Granite Bay overlooking the lake. We played fun games, enjoyed delicious food and had a fun time catching up with everyone. We also got a lot more wonderful goodies for our spoiled little fetus! Thanks Gretchen and Pat! We feel very honored and loved.
Every year the Windhams host a huge Mardi Gras bash. They go all out with festive, gawdy decorations and delicious southern faire, and everyone shows up in their most sparkley green, purple and gold gear. I love an excuse to celebrate a random holiday with fun friends! I also love themes, if you didn’t notice…
Happy Pardi Gras!
The hostess, Cathy with two of her kiddos
One of the traditional Mardi Gras elements is the Kings Cake. Kings Cake is a delicious cinnamon roll-esque pastry. A small figurine of baby Jesus is baked into the Kings Cake, and the person who finds the baby Jesus is guaranteed a year of good luck but ALSO has to bake the Kings Cake for the following years festivities. Last year Jennifer found Jesus, and she baked a beautiful cake for the party. It was so tempting and I needed to eat some. No one had cut into it yet, but I decided that it would be my duty to get it started. I spun it around a couple of times before deciding where to cut, I was purposefully trying to avoid the “lucky charm” because I knew that baking the Kings Cake is complicated and labor intensive, but sure enough, first cut of the cake I hit the lucky charm. So, I will have a very lucky year and a potentially frustrating baking experience before next year’s party. What are the odds, really?
Jennifer's beautiful Kings Cake!
The food is always amazing, everyone brings something to share and Cathy and John make authentic Southern gumbo, grits and jambalaya.
The dessert bar
Erin also made Jello shots this year…They were a big hit!
Even my mom had one!
There are lots of games set up: Rockband, Old school Nintendo, Air hockey…but the biggest hit is always karaoke.
And the night inevitably leads into a dance party…
The decorations, food and details are all great, but my favorite part of Mardi Gras is getting to have so many fun friends together in one place!
We were so blessed to have so many of our favorite people together in one place! We love you all! Thank you for the love, support and fond memories.