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Coffee Talk 06.13.21

Well, this bizarre school year is officially one for the books! Caroline’s high school graduation party last Sunday was a success, and Becca’s last day of school was Friday.

Unfortunately, we did not get our typical warm and sunny last-day-of-school weather, which seems ironically appropriate for this unconventional school year. At least the rain stopped in time for the high school graduation ceremony to happen in the football stadium. Becca attended to play in the band. I think it’s really cool for her to get to experience the event a few times before she is actually walking the stage. (She will be a sophomore next year.)

It’s been gloomy and cool here ever since, which was a bummer for our out-of-town guests… although we did get a nice pool day on Thursday, so there’s that.

Since it was raining, we went to see Cruella at the movie theater on Friday afternoon. It’s dark, but it’s really good. I loved the music and the fashion, and I thought Emma Stone and Emma Thompson were both spectacular.

We don’t go to the movies very often, so at first I didn’t even think about how significant it was to be actually in a movie theater again, but then it sort of hit me when I was sitting there with my big tub of popcorn watching the previews rolling across the screen. It culminated with a big Welcome back to the movies! montage, and I might have gotten a little teary-eyed — one more hurdle crossed as we come out of this Covid fog!

It wasn’t crowded at all; I’m not sure how they’ve stayed in business, to be honest, but it was really nice to be in a theater again, and this movie is definitely one worth seeing on the big screen.

So, I guess summer is officially here. With my three kids all on such staggered schedules, it’s hard to believe summer vacation has actually begun. I feel like I’ve announced the last day of school 25 times already! Speaking of which, I believe I promised some pictures of Caroline’s graduation party…

We didn’t do a ton of decorating, but Becca and Paul got the Class Of 2021 balloons blown up and hung on the back deck, and I put some signs in the front yard and some helium-filled balloons on the mailbox.

I wanted to set up the bar cart so it looked nice, but it was so hot that we had to move the drinks inside.

We don’t have table seating on the deck, so I usually put most of the food on the kitchen table, and people come in to grab plates when they want. I used my Appetizers On Ice tray for the first time, and it worked out pretty well for the charcuterie meats and cheeses.

I also served chips and salsa in this melamine chip and dip chip-and-dip tray that I picked up at Kohl’s last year, Fritos with french onion dip (the old Lipton Onion Soup Mix and sour cream trick), a bowl of mixed fruit, and a two-tiered tray with cookies and grapes. I usually load up those trays with cookies and sweets, but I forgot to pick up my usual assortment of Pepperidge Farm cookies. Those frozen Belgian mini cream puffs also work well on there, and are always a hit.

That white platter ended up holding the shrimp cocktail round I purchased at the grocery store, which I waited to put out until people started arriving, and I put out Brie and Mary’s Gone Crackers on the oblong melamine serving plate. I can’t find that plate anywhere, but it’s part of this TarHong collection. I just pick up random serving plates and bowls when I see them, so nothing really matches.

Eventually I moved a few of the snacks out to the coffee table on the deck as well. It was 90 degrees the day of her party, so I could only put things that weren’t heat sensitive out there, like bowls of chips and fruit. And we always put drinks out on the deck in coolers, to help cut down on the foot traffic inside.

We usually do two, one for adult beverages and one for sodas and juices. We also did a third one for water last weekend. Becca came up with the idea of printing out pictures of what was inside, which I thought was brilliant.

We snacked for a few hours, while some of us swam and others visited on the deck, and then I ordered pizza for dinner once everyone arrived. After we plowed through that, I brought out the cake and fruit tart I had for dessert.

I wish I had a big group photo, but we are never that organized. I rarely think to take pictures during a party, but I did get a couple of Caroline hanging out with her friends, so at least we have that for our family album.

This summer is going to fly, I’m sure. We only have a few weeks before we go to Maine for family vacation, and then after that it will be all about getting Caroline ready to go to college. In the midst of all that, I’ll have the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale madness to contend with to cover.

So yeah, I sort of feel like I’m taking a deep breath and getting ready to jump off a cliff. It’s hard to believe that we moved houses the summer that David graduated. He stayed local, though, so that helped.

Anyway, I need to get off the computer and get ready for church. I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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22 thoughts on “Coffee Talk 06.13.21

  1. That is such a good picture of Caroline and Savannah! Everything looked so nice for her party, and that was a brilliant idea on how to let everyone know the contents of each cooler. I agree that your summer is going to fly by, with all that you and your family have going on. Have a blessed and fantastic day!

  2. Jo-Lynne, enjoyed seeing the celebration for Caroline’s big day. So glad you made her feel so special. There is only one high school graduation, even with her virtual school.
    Question: On the cake, was that an actual picture of Caroline or was it made with food materials that could be eaten? Looked great.

  3. Looks wonderful…how fun to be able to have a party!
    Had to laugh pics on coolers…
    We now hv show pics on airplane..
    for drink choices. No one seems to
    Remember what we serve and we can’t hear people with mask on!
    Crazy times!!
    Hv a great Sunny Sunday!

  4. Lipton French Onion dip! A ‘70s variation my mother would make was one part sour cream, one part large cottage cheese and one part Hellman’s Mayo. Season with Lipton dry French onion soup and park in fridge for at least a few hours. I sometimes tweak one or two ingredients to get it right but guests just gobble that dip!

  5. So glad that you had a great time at Caroline’s home grad party. What a great idea to print off the cooler contents and place on the cooler lid! Love Lipton’s French onion dip….. brings back good childhood memories. Don’t think to make it nowadays but its a goodie 🙂 Movie theaters have opened up here as of Thursday so will have to check it out on a rainy day. Yes, it is surreal to think of what we have missed over the past 15 months. Have a blessed Sunday.

  6. Looks like y’all had a fun party! That fruit tart looks great, would love to know your recipe! Also I bought the same bar cart for my patio but have been hesitant to leave it outside for fear it’ll rust when it rains. Have you had any issues leaving it outside?

  7. What a fun celebration for your daughter’s graduation. Is she excited about going away for college? Is she going to try and meet her roommates before starting? I remember my older son having an opportunity to do that before moving into the dorm his freshman year. After 5 years, and changing his major 3 times, I’m thrilled that he has just finally finished and has decided what he “wants to be when he grows up” ….he’s getting ready to start the teaching credential program in the fall to teach high school….another year of school but at least there’s a finish line in sight. Parenting is a crazy journey that seems to get bumpier as they get older in some ways. They still depend on us a lot but in different ways.
    Sounds like Spring weather quickly turned to Summer for you guys. Thank goodness you have your pool, right! Here in So Cal I am truly enjoying our Spring days in the high 70s with nice breezes. It’s my favorite time of year. But come mid-August and September I’ll be complaining (as my husband says 😆) as temps creep up into the 90s and it’s hot and dry….every day.
    Anyway, hope you have a wonderful Sunday!

    1. She is very nervous and worried about leaving her dog. She just got her roommate assignment so hopefully they’ll make a connection. Parenting definitely gets bumpier as they get older. So glad your som finally has a plan.

  8. Great idea foe the coolers! I’m laughing at the pic of Caroline with the dog checking out the cake!

  9. Hats off to Caroline! I know she’ll have a bright future ahead of her, lovely young lady. Becca did a good job with preparations as well.

  10. I’ve followed you for so long, I feel like I’ve watched your kids grow up! Congratulations to Caroline and I hope you all enjoy your summer☀️

  11. What a perfect celebration for you daughter! I loved the idea of putting pictures of the beverages on the coolers – genius!

  12. You had a Fantastic celebration for Caroline! I know she was so happy! Loved the picture of her and Savannah. Everything looked so nice. The colors were so Pretty! Really liked the cooler idea. Kudos for Becca. I will use that idea. Congratulations to Caroline!!🎓💐 Have a Great Week!!💛💙

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