Sunday, August 6, 2017

Provecho + birthdays

I've always had this grown up/future-family dream that I'll have families from my neighborhood over every Sunday for dinner. I really enjoy playing hostess and I like feeling like I'm a part of a community. But, to be honest, this activity seemed like something reserved for a future I was not yet able to receive. During my second semester in the MPA program one of my professors mentioned that a lot of students have future charity goals,  e.g. ,"when I have more money, I'll do ______." The thing is, my professor explained, if you don't practice your large scale goals in some small manner right now, then you'll never actually do the things you've set out to do.

This thought stayed with me, so I decided to combine my love of celebrating birthdays + my need to actually start making the recipes I've pinned on Pinterest to invite people over for Sunday dinner as often as I could.
Sometime during the last week of December 2016, I spent a significant amount of time writing (almost) all of my Facebook Friends' birthday's down in my planner. I decided that I'd try to make birthdays more special for my friends. When doing my weekly planning for the upcoming week, I'd look at whose birthday was coming up within that week, and choose someone to invite over for dinner. Everybody deserves to feel like a somebody on their birthday! I also made sure we had ice cream for every meal and bought little candles to stick on top of a scoop.

This was an incredible way to rekindle friendships and see old friends. Plus, it left me with a lot of delicious leftovers for the week. It's been a true labor of love and a way I've been able to serve with my limited-crazy schedule. Plus, as you'll see below I got excited every month at decorating my beloved chalkboard wall with a birthday themed design.
Angela (my former roommate) & her husband came over in January.
^I had made these ring dishes to give as Christmas presents, but when I missed the Christmas gift deadline, I decided to use them as birthday presents instead. 
Me + Michael from my freshman ward!
Amber Richardson, a dear friend who I love!
^Melinda Fox, an hermana from my mission who I always hoped I'd be companions with.
Me, Melinda, & Carly
Cristina & I get to be Audrey's visiting teachers, and her birthday landed on a Sunday, so we invited her roommates and had a birthday lunch!
^Marissa Getts, I'm slightly embarrassed that I only had Halloween napkins on hand that day. 🙈

My family came into town at the end of July. Me, Ezra, Pay, and my Mom's birthday all take place within a month and a half of each other, so I decided we'd have a combined birthday celebration. Our combined age total—151! We also sang a chorus of "happy birthday to us!"
This César Chávez quote embodies the whole reason I love having people over to share meals with me. I want this quote painted on my kitchen wall someday. Also, last chalkboard wall before I move!