you're invited

I love throwing parties.  The bad part is that they tend to get so expensive and you have to clean house before and you have to clean house afterwards.  But if it was easier to throw a party, I would invite you all over next Sunday for the Super Bowl.  It may be sad that I am planning a virtual party, but I don't feel embarrassed about it, because I'll just file it under "one day I'll actually do this."

To start things off, I would definitely have the infamous Snack Stadium.

(This particular version came from pinterest a long time ago.  I'm sorry, I couldn't find the original link.)

 Instead of queso in one endzone, I would either do hummus or spinach dip.  Then I could replace some of the chips with carrots and celery.  The rice krispies on the outside would be traded for some sub sandwiches.  The first Snack Stadium I ever saw had twinkies around the outside which pretty much grossed me out.  Nacho cheese doritos and twinkies?  I don't think so.  (But a dessert snack stadium would be pretty awesome.... chocolate on one endzone and marshmallow cream dip on the other with various fruits and poundcake surrounding it maybe?)

But I digress.

I would also make a veggie tray that looked like a football field.  Surprisingly, I google imaged that and it doesn't appear that anyone has uploaded anything like that.  Maybe I should do it.  Broccoli for the field with jicama for the stripes.  Cherry tomatoes for one endzone and carrots for the other.  Sidelines of celery, snap peas and cucumbers.  I'm pretty sure it could be cute.

To add a little protein, I would throw together some  Mini Football Subs.  (meatballs, marinara and cheese on a sub)
 I would serve gatorade jello shots and "Even Ladies Get the Red, White and Blues" cocktails in honor of the New York Giants. 

Gatorade jello shots

Even Ladies Get the Red, White and Blues
For those with a sweet tooth, I would have Mini Football brownies, except I would totally frost those suckers with a layer of chocolate before I put the white laces on.

That's all I've come up with so far.  I need one more snacky food and one more dessert for this party that doesn't exist, but I'm sure I'll figure it out by next week.


aaaaargh matey

I noticed the other day that one of the items I "pinned" has been repinned over 3700 times.  (and that is just from my board - who knows how many times it really showed up!) 
Smore martinis, cake vodka, dirty pirate pops and candy cane vodka, as seen on my "frosty beverages"  Pinterest board.

 The "Dirty Pirate" popsicles, which consist of Coke, Captain Morgan and Kahlua were posted online by Bakers Royale here and obviously appeal to a lot of people.  I haven't actually made them yet, and I'm quite sad about it.  As soon as I finish this post, I am going to log into amazon and order some popsicle molds. 


a highly functioning dysfunctional unit

My sister wrote a facebook note awhile back that captures our family perfectly.  She doesn't blog anymore, so I'm stealing it for a blog post of my own. 

The Behnkes - by Jessica Behnke Kelly

(This picture is not even a year old and it already missing people.  Larry, of course, followed by Adeline and Baby #6 for Adam/April... who is (past) due any minute!)

We talk too loud, and too much. We disagree, argue, and agree to disagree. We do not like to be wrong, and, though we would prefer to be proven wrong if we are, we WILL fight until there is, in fact, proof. We can come off as arrogant, long-winded, or just plain annoying. We are educated and smart (because we've chosen to be), and do not apologize for being so. Sometimes we can be grumpy, proud, belligerent, or just have too much to drink and say things that are probably better left unsaid.

Yet, we tell you the truth. You are welcome in our homes at any hour, under any circumstance, where you will be fed and given drink, and even a place to sleep. We will leave your kitchen clean, or clean up after you in ours. We will watch and care for your children, clean your refrigerator, listen to your stories until the sun is up (even if we have to be up in the morning), cook for you, build for you, sing for you, DJ for you, drive long distances for you, plan for you, promote for you, preach for you, teach for you, create for you. We will loan you a car, or give you one if we can. We will keep your secret in confidence, and we will listen, and advise, and pray with you. We will give you money with no expectation of repayment. We will pull your car out of a snow drift, then take you to eat (and drink) and pick up the tab. We will stock your refrigerator, fix your toilet, or bring you a smile at your grandfather's funeral or in the midst of your sibling's divorce. We will volunteer for things that no one else will take on, and we will invest ourselves into causes we know to be noble and righteous. We are not oblivious to the fact that we are sinners; rather, we KNOW we are, and we try to be better. We will plan your entire event, and spend money we do not have to make it special. We will give time and energy until we have none left to give. And then, we will give more. We will pray a novena for you, without your ever knowing. We will put money in your purse without telling you just because we know you need it. We will hire you when we could hire someone else. We go to Mass, every Sunday, where we teach Sunday School, sing in the choir, preach from the altar, prepare to enter ordained ministry, or care for crying children in the back, knowing it is our job to bring them and teach them and raise them to be righteous. We will stay calm when you freak out, listen when you cry, get angry when you need fire, and bring laughter when you've lost your smile.

We are a highly functioning dysfunctional unit. We will fight with each other, pick at each other, gripe at each other, correct each other, and occasionally drive each other absolutely crazy. But we are a unit. In the storm, we will rise, with each other.

My blood, my lifeline... a beautiful story of love, righteousness, strength, forgiveness... a story that begins with a young couple's cross-country mission, leads to a VW bus filled with a singing family of seven, and results in conquering such trials as spina bifida, breast cancer, a back brace, drug addiction, long-distance relationships, child illness, adoption, wrecks, alcoholism, an international move, scrutiny, temptation, child pre-wedlock, hate mail, debt, arrests, divorce, miscarriage, condemnation, death, Dementia, poverty, eviction, heartbreak, thyroid cancer, obesity, unemployment.

We are a family which thrives amidst trials that would break most. We conquer with grace and strength, led by a brilliant, God-fearing man and an angelic, pillar of a woman who have touched and changed the lives of thousands of heartbroken and lost individuals and families, and who have held ours together with a peace that most could never comprehend. And we're just doing the best we can, and trying to do better when we slack. God's grace carries us. And we do our best to invoke His mercy and compassion and strength and guidance.

Laugh at us. Call us names. Pick on our weaknesses and shortcomings. Doubt us. Slander us. Gossip about us.

We've come through worse.

Your words are hurtful, but, in reality, non-consequential. It is not your judgement we fear, but that of a much higher power.

And at the end of the day, you will go home to your families, who perhaps have secrets and grudges and lies and deceit and unforgiveness and affairs and guilt and longing, and talk about how annoying and hypocritical we are (and, often times, you'll do the exact thing you've ridiculed us for doing, but you can get away with it, because your last name is not ours).

And we will sit together, around the table, with our glass of wine, talking and laughing, learning and loving, creating, playing instruments that we've taught ourselves to play, singing songs we've written or taught ourselves to sing, calling those who are not present just to laugh and say hello, cooking, eating, giving, growing. We will love together, and pray together. And no matter what storm life brings, we will come out of it... together.

Just a'travelin' along, singin' a song, side by side.


pardon my tackiness

....but you might get mismatched plastic-ware the next time you visit my house for a gathering.  I cleaned the "entertaining" cabinet today and consolidated all of the plastic knives, forks, and spoons I had in various places. 

In case you can't tell from the picture, those are the big ziplocs, and the colors include clear, white, gold, green, red, blue and orange.  Oh, and yellow. 

PS - is "tackiness" a word?


the best of

The girl at this blog wrote this list and I loved it. I figured it was a good way to start out the year. (The post, not the habit of stealing other people's ideas.)

Best product of 2011: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion. A friend gave it to me as a graduation present and I've worn it every day since.

Best weekend away: Tie between New Orleans and Milwaukee. I had never been to either place, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time in each city.

Best discoveries on my weekend getaways: The Chart Room in New Orleans - you can keep your $12 hurricanes... I'll go to this dive (where the door doesn't even close) and revel in the crazy locals and cheap drinks. On the other side of the coin, I will choose the tourist destination The Safe House in Milwaukee. What a treasure! You have to know the password to get in, get to watch a fascinating illusionist and can get trapped in a phone booth. Too fun.

Best new shopping addiction: Haute Look. I have spent entirely too much money on things that I really don't need.

Best new-to-me blog: One Good Thing by Jillie - I found this site through pinterest (of course) and really like it. She also does a "Sweet Deals by Jillie" site that has helped me get some actual sweet deals. (A coat for Larry for $30, regularly $160 and Cranium board game for $11 and $14 bras!)

Best concert: This is a tough call. I think I saw more music this year than I ever have before. Since I don't really want to choose, I will break it up into categories:

- Best acoustic music in a small venue: Citizen Cope.

- Best "It's a million degrees outside but I don't care because this is so much fun and I'm too busy dancing to worry about it" concert: The Railroad Revival Festival with Mumford and Sons, Edward Sharpe and OCMS.

- Best Pop Group Reunion concert: NKOTB.

- Most Memorable Night that included a Concert: The Avett Brothers

Overall best memory of 2011: Walking up my driveway, seeing balloons tied to the hanging plants and suddenly realizing that there was a surprise party going on and it was for me!