The last few days have been a whirlwind of activity! In fact, I took two days off work to deal with it all. Yesterday was our last opportunity to prepare for our open house coming up on Saturday night, so we worked like mad to accomplish as many things on our list as possible. First, the food:
My friend Crystal is helping out with the food, and in fact is making us two sheetcakes, with whipped cream frosting and raspberry filling (mmmm), among other goodies. When I told her I planned to have bowls of peanut M&Ms (my favorite snack) and bowls of nuts (Ed's favorite snack) at the guest tables, she suggested an M&M theme with each table having a different M&M color. I loved it! So yesterday morning, as soon as we completed family scripture study and sent Dylan off to the school bus, I started sorting M&Ms.
Not small bags, no! These were 42 oz. party bags, six of them! It took a little over an hour to sort them all, and I'm still not sure we'll have enough to last the entire two hours. (Those are gallon bags of M&Ms.)
We also boiled 6 dozen eggs and made a gallon-bag full of egg yolk mixture for deviled eggs; Ed sliced up 10 pounds of cheeses for the cheese-and-cracker tray; Sarah and our friend Gwen baked 6 family-sized pans of brownies; and we all stuffed, rolled, toothpicked, sliced, and stowed away 8 pounds of ham and turkey roll-ups (with cream cheese, diced chilies, and green onion fillings).
Meanwhile, in another location, Crystal was busy with several other delish dishes to be served up to our guests tomorrow night!
Gwen and Sarah hard at work on the roll-ups!
And then there were the flowers:
I don't have much experience with arranging flowers, but I have a creative and artistic nature, so I had fun learning on the job!
I tied bows on 10 vases and filled them with flowers to match the colors of the M&Ms: blue, orange, green, yellow, red, and brown.
And even though I'm not a new bride, I chose my "colors" for the open house: light blue and peach. I filled vases and made an arrangement (it was still under construction in the above picture; hence the bare spots) to go on the cake table and guest book table. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out, plus it's good experience for when we make Sarah's wedding bouquets in July!
Our busy day ended at 8:00 last night when we drove here to this Holiday Inn in Phoenix. As luck would have it, Ed was called to Grand Jury duty today, here in Phoenix. I dropped him off at the courthouse an hour ago.
It really was good luck, though. Just a few days before Ed got his jury duty notice, we had made a reservation for this very same day for his mom, Caryl, to fly here from Fort Collins, Colorado, to the Mesa Gateway airport. As it turned out, the court paid for this nice hotel room and will reimburse our gas mileage, so the timing was right!
I've seen hotel towels made into some cute shapes before, but I'd never seen them arranged as a white shirt and tie before now!
We'll be back home sometime this evening, and then in the morning the real rush will begin to tie up the loose ends and complete every dangling task before we leave for the temple at noon. Sarah will be going through the temple for her very first time during the 2:00 session. Then she'll be able to attend Ed's and my sealing, which is very special to me.
For now, I need to end this and get checked out out of the hotel in the next half-hour. I have a mother-in-law in the air somewhere over Arizona, even as we speak, and she'll soon need picking up!