Progress in the Neighborhood

It's funny how things turn out sometimes.  Despite worry and planning and dreaming and logistics, it seems that everything typically turns out...I think it actually has more to do with prayer and God's plan!!  When I was pregnant with Jakob, I remember visiting the question of "what if I can't go back to work after 7 weeks of maternity leave?"  "What if I want to be a stay-at-home mom?"  Up until I asked myself that question late in my pregnancy, I was always sure that I wanted to be a career woman.  My kids would go to daycare while I furthered my practice and potentially built my very own private practice.  I was going places people!!

I went back to work--4 ten hour days, a few weekends and a day off in the middle.  Jakob went to the best "grandma" type in home babysitter ever and everything seemed to work out.   Late in my pregnancy with Joshua, a cyst was discovered on my ovary that continued to grow, so at approximately 28 weeks, it was surgically removed via a C-section type incision and I returned home on modified bed rest for 6 weeks.  During that time at home and the couple of months to follow when I returned to work, I prayed fervently about what to do, because I knew I wanted to stay at home when baby #2 arrived.  Driving home I would always listen to Focus on the Family, and for a whole week, the topic was "women leaving the workplace".  After continued prayer and conversation, we decided to list our "in-between-two-towns" home and move closer to Tim's job.  Our house sold in two days--we had two offers for the asking price.

We scrambled to find another house to call ours and after looking at many, bought a house in St. Teresa's parish.  That wasn't on purpose by us, but in hind sight, all of the houses we looked at were in St. Teresa's, so it was someone's plan!!  I think I've written about this from there, every decision that we made always showed us later that God was taking care of us.  Fast-forward 15 years, and after weekly drives through the neighborhood in which we now live, fantasizing about living in it someday, and after my crushed dreams of owning the delapidated "Hamilton House", and the long sale-process of our acreage and the constant and compulsive planning for a potential addition onto our J Street house, here we are, in a house that we weren't looking for, in a neighborhood that we've long admired, still in St. Teresa's parish...hmmm...God is still taking care of us!!

With that very long introduction, I get to the title of this post:  "progress in the neighborhood".  In January, four families whom are all friends, organized a progressive dinner.  The plan is that it is the first of many!  We began at one home for the first course of cheese and wines.

The kids' first course

Off to the next house for the second course of soup and salad...
Four families...23 kids...and our beloved Monsignor house-hopped and filled our bellies with food and drink and our souls with so much fun and friendship!!
 Every bit of the evening was beautiful organized chaos!

A masterful assembly line for prepping the bread bowls and serving the soup.  


Maybe bigger trouble!  This was the big boys table...I'm not sure which of the three had more fun!!
(Disclaimer:  alcoholic drinks were only offered and consumed by those 21 years of age and older--even though they were seated at the "bar"!!)   :)
By the time the second course had been consumed, we were all stuffed, but we continued on, some of the party walking, others driving to the destination of the main course...

Each course and each home as beautiful as the last one...

Photo bomb...his place setting was at a different table!

Perhaps one of the best parts of the evening...two teenagers who thought the evening would be a drag because there was no one their age.  They don't look bored do they???

We even had entertainment!
The evening didn't go entirely as planned.  We lingered much longer at each home than we originally anticipated.  There was more than enough food, and while we knew it would be fun, I'm not sure that we planned on as much fun as was actually had!!
The evening ended as every good meal should...with all things sweet!

It was truly a marvelous way to ring in the new year, and you can bet that this was the first of MANY!

I don't think we successfully rounded up everyone for this picture.  It will be such fun to watch this photo progress through the years!!