Monday, April 18, 2011

Memorable in every sense

Matthew is nearly one year old! Hard to imagine, right? His birthday is on Wednesday of this week. We had a small party for him this past weekend... just family and close friends. We just moved into the house, so I set the tone with an appropriate invitation... low expectations!

So we didn't stress over decorations, food, cake, or any of that. It was really more about getting together and celebrating one year of our youngest boy. I was asked several times towards the end of the week what people could bring, and I honestly couldn't answer because I hadn't had a chance to think about it. See, low expectations can be a good thing!

Plans finally came together on Saturday morning. So did the perfect storm, unfortunately. We realized early on Saturday that the National Weather Service was predicting dangerous weather for party time. No way to plan the weather, so we prepped all the food that we could in case the power went out. The only thing we would have to do during the party was heat up the macaroni and cheese...

Matthew was in a festive mood as people began arriving. He's hitting a stage wherein he doesn't like strangers, so it took a while for him to warm up. But eventually he did, so we passed him around. Everyone who attends a kid's first birthday wants a little loving before the toddler years hit.

We had a fun time chatting and playing before the sky turned dark. We turned on the Weather Channel and saw that we had a tornado warning. We kept an eye on the TV as we munched on appetizers. We started to heat up the oven for that yummy mac and cheese.

Then they reported that a tornado had touched down in downtown Raleigh. My thoughts went immediately to friends who lived in that vicinity. The path looked like it was headed our way in Wake Forest, so we split the kids in the master closet and the adults in the laundry room. We took toys with us, so it wasn't too bad for a while.

The power went out. Outside, the wind howled and the rain just poured. Our little trees got a workout. Inside, Luke got upset that the lights went out. We sang the Wheels on the Bus to pass the time.

Eventually the sky lightened. We desperately sought information on our Androids. The threat had passed, so we emerged from our closet hideaways. The mac and cheese hadn't gotten a chance to heat up. But then Nate remembered that we had lots of propane for the grill. So we experimented with grilled macaroni and cheese...

We decided to have cake while we waited. Thankfully Matthew liked cake more than Luke and Will did on their first birthday (when they threw it up!). It took him a while to get into it, and we never really got the icing covering the face, but he very deliberately ate cake and avoided icing.

The grilled macaroni and cheese was actually a hit! Everyone was in good spirits as we all called loved ones to let them know we were all ok. It was certainly a party that we will remember forever...

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