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    A Southern Sunday Gathering

    Wednesday, August 3, 2011

    In the South, Sundays are reserved for several things: Mass, brunch, outdoor gatherings, and intimate get-together's with friends before the new week kicks off. It's a day filled with a healthy smattering of spiritual guidance and spirited libations.

    And I have missed Southern Sundays dearly.

    We hosted quite a few dinners and brunches while in Tokyo, but the feel was very different. Sunday didn't quite feel like the Sunday I grew up with. Attending Mass was difficult at best, and there was something missing in Brunch when it was hosted in a high-rise apartment.

    I'm not saying it wasn't fun, because we always had a marvelous time! But there's something about opening your front door and letting the warmth of the outside in. There's an excitement you feel when you see friends and family pull up in their cars, fresh from Mass in their Sunday best, ready to have a rollicking good time. And taking in the scents of various flora as your guests enter your home is quite different than the slightly stale, recycled air from shared apartment corridors.

    In short, Sundays at home in the South are my favorite days~bar none.

    This past Sunday my parents hosted a late afternoon dessert party with friends we've known for years. It's a lovely group of people that we always have the best time with...

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    In case you can't tell from this picture!

    As we planned to indulge in both good company and sweet treats, we changed from our Sunday best into slightly more forgiving outfits.

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    While changing, Mother artfully set dining room table for the actual desserts. Out came the china, prized silver, colorful glasses, and her most favored pieces of Waterford crystal.

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    Afterwards, she swept into the kitchen to assemble the coffee bar, then to the living area to dress up a marble-topped table for her strawberry-lemonade margarita punch. I promise to share the recipe this week as it is one you'll use time and time again for entertaining during the warmer months. It is incredibly delicious, and such a pretty color~especially in a Waterford punch bowl.

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    Of course, once our friends began to arrive, the aesthetics of the gathering were almost overlooked. We were all just so happy to see one another! These are families I had the privilege of growing up with, and it makes my heart happy that they and my parents are still so close.

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    It was also a real treat to catch up with their children as well! Through networking sites, email, and phone calls, I've been able to keep in touch over the years. On Sunday, however, only one was able to make it. It was so nice to see that she is doing well and very happy. Emily is pretty as a picture don't you think?

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    We spent the better part of the afternoon taking trips down memory lane, catching up with one another, and sharing stories that had us in stitches~because no party of my parents would be complete without laughter filling the rooms of our home. And true to form, it rang from the proverbial rafters. I don't think it would surprise any of you that the scallywag was the source of merriment at times. It's almost second nature...I can only wonder where he got that from!

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    laughter!

    Aside from my son, though, these group pictures pretty much sum up the fun-loving group dynamic!

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    I love each and every person in these pictures more than I can tell you. They've been the best of friends to my parents, and great forces in my life as well.

    It took me a while to write this entry~to put it together. Not that it was particularly deep or insightful, but much of my time was spent just looking at the faces that helped shape my childhood and certain stages of my life.

    I couldn't help but look at one person and think back to younger years and times spent with them and their children. There were many. And happily, I would spend any day of the week with them~they are just that wonderful a people. But since it's not within the realm of reality, Sunday was good enough. It was a delight to the mind and heart to see everyone, and to share such delicious dishes with them.

    Hopefully it won't be so long before we see each other again! Until then, we'll keep ourselves busy as we always do.

    On our schedule for tomorrow? A trip to the Audubon Zoo! It should be an all day affair, but one we're all excited about.

    We'll see you all after!

    Enjoy your summer days and nights with family and friends, and as always, thank you for stopping by!

    5 Responses to “
    A Southern Sunday Gathering

    Ally Garner said...

    Such sweet, beautiful pictures. The expressions on everyone's faces tell the story. And it so great to see your babies so deliriously happy with their Grandparents!

    I lived in Nigeria almost 8 years - i remember how tough it ws to be away from family and everyone i'd ever loved. I lived for furlough most times. Those overjoyed faces are familiar to me ;) God bless - so happy y'all are on the same continent again. And i can't wait for that punch recipe!!

    JMW said...

    Looks like a fun and loving group! Yes, Sundays conjur up similar memories for me, especially when my grandmother on my dad's side was still living. Enjoy your time with your family!

    Your Southern Peach said...

    What an absolutely divine and wonderfully Southern Sunday!!!

    Gorgeous photos and a lovely family you have indeed :)

    Ruth said...

    Looks like a wonderful afternoon! And there is no way you can have time no laughter with your dad there.

    Royar said...

    What beautiful pictures of a beautiful family! So wonderful to have you back in the States!