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nikohannah

Hannah Jayne
born November 24th at 6:04am
7 pounds, 7 ounces; 20 inches

And yes, I’ll post a birth story. It was a long, three-day process, but she’s here now and perfectly healthy. We’re so blessed to have this beautiful little rainbow in our lives.

This year, my best friend Heather and I hosted our 9th Birthday Fiesta o’ Fun. Our first BFoF was held in 2003, and it was nothing like the all-out smorgasbords we do now. We started simply by wanting to make a few things we found in Heather’s various cookbooks. We settled on about a half-dozen dishes and found that they fit into one of two categories: Appetizer or Dessert. And because it was just us, we went ahead and did them all anyway.

The next year, it was Seafood & Chocolate. Then Fondue. Then Tarts. Yes, just tarts. All tarts. That one got a little out of control in the execution. It was the first year we actually invited guests, and by the time they all arrived, we only had one tart ready. It was chaos.

After that, we decided to pick a single ingredient, Iron Chef style, and make all the dishes in accordance with that ingredient. The first time, we chose Strawberry. A success! Since then, we’ve done Sweet Potato, Mint, and Apple. This year, we chose Zucchini.

The Birthday Fiesta o’ Fun is a two-day process, but the first day generally just involves planning, shopping, and prep work. The next day, we cook and bake. All day long. We stop briefly to greet guests and serve appetizers, but then it’s back to getting the main course ready to go. We don’t stop until the main meal is served, and then we get to sit down with our guests and enjoy what we’ve created.

It’s possibly my favorite day of the year.

In the past, we’ve done gift exchanges, but that was mostly when we did the BFoF on our actual birthdays. Since I left Florida in 2008, we’ve held the BFoF in July, which is when I’m in the state for family gatherings and such. Also, our birthdays fall just before school starts in Florida, which meant it was always a crazy week for Heather anyway, seeing as how she has two girls to get ready for school. And, back when she was teaching, she had herself to get ready too. So July has just been more convenient.

But, if we were following true birthday tradition, then this weekend would be the big BFoF celebration. I turn 32 today. Heather’s birthday is tomorrow. I figured today was a good day to share all the wonderful dishes we made for this year’s BFoF. It was an incredibly successful dinner, possibly our best BFoF to date.

Party Favor: Mini Zucchini Loaves

Party Favor: Mini Zucchini Loaves

Appetizer: Zucchini Disks with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

Appetizer: Zucchini Disks with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

Appetizer: Oven-Fried Zucchini with Ranch Dip

Appetizer: Oven-Fried Zucchini with Ranch Dip

Soup: Creamy Zucchini & Potato Soup

Soup: Creamy Zucchini & Potato Soup

Main Course: Sausage-Stuffed Zucchini with Homemade Marinara

Main Course: Sausage-Stuffed Zucchini with Homemade Marinara

Salad: Zucchini, Corn, & Tomato Salad

Salad: Zucchini, Corn, & Tomato Salad

Side Dish: Zucchini Barley Risotto

Side Dish: Zucchini Barley Risotto

Desserts: Zucchini Cake and Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

Desserts: Zucchini Cake and Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

So, I took a break for a week while Geordie’s parents were visiting. I’m not much into doing the internet stuff when I’ve got guests. Also, it was Geordie’s vacation, so we had him at home too. We did lots of touristy stuff and took lots of pictures and ate out way too much, and we all had a good time!

Last week, I also had my first prenatal appointment and first ultrasound! The appointment with the midwives was pretty standard – a lot of talking, a lot of making sure all is healthy and good, a lot of blood-taking. The ultrasound appointment was shorter but perhaps more exciting. I can’t begin to express the relief we felt at seeing that little heartbeat. Baby is developing nicely at the moment, right on schedule. The official Estimated Due Date is December 8, which is about what I figured.

Other than that, I haven’t got much else to post at the moment. I have a couple posts from last week (namely the FFwD post for Friday) that I want to get written and posted. But that’s about it. I am starting to feel a little less yucky, but my appetite is still a bit wonked out, so I’ve been trying to stick to simple foods. And easy meals! This week’s meals don’t involve much in the way of recipes, and most of them are simple techniques I’ve done lots of times before and aren’t overly complicated. We’ll see how that works out.

Mostly, for now, I’m just trying to get back in the groove of writing. Taking a week off might be nice, but it’s not always easy getting back on track. I figure writing a little bit is better than continuing to write nothing at all! I actually have quite a few things I want to write about, it’s just getting my thoughts organized and written that’s the hard part. My stomach may be feeling better, but I still feel a little discombobulated in the head. Also, tired. Napping is pretty much a daily thing for me right now.

Anyway. That’s all for today!

Nine weeks down, thirty-one weeks to go!

Sara

I am a daughter and a sister, a wife and a friend. I am a reader and a writer, a dreamer and a realist, a teacher and a learner. I am the mother of a baby born sleeping. I am on a journey of healing, walking a path paved with tears and grief and hope.

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