When I signed up to travel to Tanzania with GIVE, I didn't know what to expect. I had always envisioned traveling to Africa for a volunteer opportunity, but what I found when I arrived was even more amazing than I anticipated.
After arriving on the island of Zanzibar, we settled into our hotel, Baby Bush Lodge, and then were off to see the school which we would be help building for the next ten days. During orientation, I was hooked on a few things that our leads told us stuck with me for the duration of the trip (by way of my journal).
As I write this, my mama is coming in hot, on a tear from Houston to Montreal (insanity -- we'll get to that*) with a weekend stopover visit in StL.
She's got my youngest sister, Grace, in tow and I've got a PACKED weekend planned to show them my new life in the Midwest. I spent some serious time at the drawing board, so I thought I'd share my method for showing my family the best of St. Louis City.
On Saturday, I had the great pleasure of hosting a few dozen sorority sisters at my house along with their precious little procreations. (That was weird. I'm gonna leave it, though.)
It was a get-together that had been in the work for months. There had long been talk among the Texas-based contingent of a road trip to meet the babies born into our pledge class, who all reside across the Midwest. When I moved to St. Louis, I decided to host, instead. We set a date, flew the rest of the Texas girls in and decided to have everyone over for the first annual KKG Sip & See.
We've already talked a bit about anniversaries on the blog. And although there's not a gift prescribed for the 31 year mark (they go from five-year intervals to decades between gifts as you get further into marriage, sort of backwards if you ask me) we think 31 years is worth making a fuss over.
So to Mr. and Mrs. David and Carol May... Mom and Dad...
Congratulations! 31 YEARS TOGETHER. We don't know how you've made it, exactly, but we couldn't imagine you apart.
How to spend just a few pennies to transform a modern day home back into a retro time-machine? The answer is simple, raid your grandmother's cupboards to make use of things that are free! Add some flowers, great internet finds, and voila! Your mood is set for a fantastic bridal shower with family and friends.
A personal favorite in planning the event of Caroline’s Bridal Shower to become Mrs. May was creating the décor.My concept was simple – retro.How hard could it be?But, the challenge was to find out how to turn a modern day home into a beautiful retro home on a small budget.Because, let’s face it, we sure aren’t going to keep most of this around the house for day-to-day use.
In my penny-pinching mentality, why waste a few dollars buying new items that I already knew my grandmothers had tucked away in their cupboards?So step one became raiding my grandmother’s cupboards, particularly the back or highest shelves to find unique items that they’ve had forever.I counted on anything that you could no longer buy at a common store to add some retro style.
From time to time on the blog, we'll offer unexpected alternatives for traditional gift-giving situations: Engagement trinkets that aren't all about the bling; rogue wedding gifts that inspire awe instead of "aw, you should NOT have;" things your parents won't only keep out of obligation, etcetera, etcetera.
Giving a truly thoughtful and well-executed gift is one of the most rewarding feelings ever -- like that time I found a set of dessert plates for a friend graduating PA school in a seemingly abstract pattern that was ACTUALLY super-magnified human tissue samples. (Eternally self-fiving that one.)
So, we try to replicate that feeling as often as possible around these parts. Good gifting is a gift, I think is a saying.
Every year around this time I struggle to put into words how much my mom has meant to me. She’s kept me safe and kept me reasonable. She’s always insisted that we be kind and also useful. She raised us to be compassionate but not sweet (an important distinction), and taught us early on that “of course, bourbon is always an asset.”
I know, also, that my affection for words comes from my mom, who strings them together with SUCH effect both when she’s heaping praise and reviewing expectations.
So this year, I’ve decided to re-write the sappy store-bought cards -- whose lines she would absolutely detest -- in favor of something more true.