A gathering of friends

My husband has this group of friends. They go back to their high school days. And when I married him, well, they became my friends, too. In 2003, we started having New Years together, every year. Personally, I’ve been to about 5 out of the 8 parties. People have traveled from North Carolina. From Delaware. From Louisianna. And probably from other places that I can’t remember! And we converge at this party.

Some of these folks I get to see throughout the year . . .

. . . but some I only see at this event.

Hi Brad! I’ve only met you twice in my life. But I love you, man!

And Laura–I hadn’t seen her for years! She’s probably going to end up being one of the high-powered people of our nation. She’s got the smarts, she’s (almost) got the law degree, and she makes a beautiful party mask. Here she is admiring Steph’s freshly pressed engagement ring.

Last year we hosted the party at our apartment in Chicago, and it was the first time I truly realized how much work goes into preparing food, drink, and bedding for a dozen people. So this year, I want to thank Dave and Katie, our marvellous hosts, for doing all the actual work.

It was great to just show up, decorate some cupcakes, party, and leave. Heck yeah.

The cupcake decorating was a blast. Katie has all these fun tools, and had different batches of icing done up in blue, purple, red, and black. I piped little flowery shapes all over those cupcakes, and called it ‘art.’

My husband also piped some icing on some cupcakes. I like to call his weird-shaped amorphous piles of frosting ‘abstract art.’

Katie had also prepared a mask-decorating table, where we decked out our masks in sequins and feathers.

Everyone got really into it.

Hello husband of mine! Wait . . . where is your face? And why is it all covered in hair???

Brad’s Batman mask may just take the cake.

One cake for you, coming up.

Here’s my almost finished mask . . .

Let’s put it on and check out those cupackes again.

Wow, they look even more amazing through these little eyeholes.

The guys were all over things this year. First of all, Alex and my husband salvaged the roast when the roasting bag split.

Good job guys! You enabled us all to get our protein fix for the evening.

And I love this picture below–each guy is so focused on whatever his task is. And where are the girls? I honestly have no idea. Probably in the other room mixing up a juicy drink.

Way to be men! Way to get things done! Way to carry that table outta there! Each one is in his own little task-shaped world, and yet they are working in harmony to some kind of unifying man-rhythm. I should probably say something deep about manhood and gender as it’s revealed in this moment. But I can’t think of a single deep thing. I’m too distracted by thoughts of a roast.

With each year that passes, the celebration gets sweeter and sweeter for me. Because each added year of friendship with this group also adds a layer of love.

I like my love how I like my frosting: no skimping allowed!

Soon I’ll be telling you all about the amazing game we played–it’s great for large groups of people, and is guaranteed to have you splitting your sides with laughter.

In the meantime, a toast to friendship! A toast to stickin’ together through the hard times and fun times alike! And this party was definitely in the ‘fun’ category.

The only individual who wasn’t amused was Tom Brady, who napped on the bed, completely unimpressed.

You missed out big time, cat.

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12 Responses to A gathering of friends

  1. Great post!! I love hearing about traditions like this. I move around a lot, I think maybe 15 times until I settled in Chicago @ the age of 22. So these seems like great times, I loved that you shared it with us. Thanks.

    P.S. I love those cupcake holders!!!

  2. I lve the picture of the fire on the tv screen in the backround :) and those cupcake holders were awesome! x

  3. One thing is for certain: I am going to be using the phrase “unifying man rhythm” in my life.

    AND the mask decorating was a fabulous idea!

    And the cupcake decorating station was inspired!

    And…and….I think it might’ve been better than ringing in the new year watching Pawn Stars. But only slightly.

  4. Erica says:

    Love it! Hi to all those cool friends! Only some of whom i’ve actually met….hehehe….but whatevs.

  5. Sarah says:

    looks like a fun group of friends :)

  6. Wow! Fun is work, and work is fun, when the company is right. What a great group and a great party! Blessings to you, Jenna…

  7. vesselina says:

    A toast indeed to friends that see you through thick and thin. And thank you for including your purty face in a couple of those pix! I miss it lately :)

  8. LauraLouise says:

    Oh the group photo is just perfect! I’m going to look back on this night with such fond memories and I’m happy that you were able to capture so many great moments.

  9. I love your red cupcake holders! How whimsical!!!

  10. Thank you so much for your kind comment on my blog. What a wonderful party you all had as well. The cupcake decorating and mask making looks like so much fun too. What a great way to start the New Year!

    I think it is wonderful to have groups of friends like that who are with you through the years – You all change and grow as the years go on, but you still have this amazing connection to celebrate.

  11. Veronica says:

    Tom Brady the cat is sooo cute! Just want to snuggle and kiss him. This party sounds so fun–can’t wait to hear about the game.

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