Basically, today is a pretty big deal.
So although he claims to not be one for big hooplas, I threw him a mini-birthday party anyway. And it all focused on a single theme.
Can you guess it?
(If you guessed oranges, the color red, or eccentric dish ware, you're a close second.)
We had eggs (of course) wrapped in turkey (!) bacon, oatmeal with berries, English Muffin toast (courtesy Pastor and Janet Kumm) and fruit, all washed down with pomegranate plum juice.
We talked about chickens and how Chris has always wanted to raise some of his own. We discussed whether he'd like to get the kind that lay eggs or the kind that go best fried on a salad with some hard-boiled eggs, bacon bits, and some honey mustard dressing.
Then, since I raised chickens as a child and am pretty much a pro at . . . running away from them screaming.
I mean, no.
I mean, since I'm pretty much a pro at raising them myself, I got him a little something to kickstart his aspiring dreams of being both a dairy herd manager AND a chicken . . . um . . . flock manager?
A gift card to Murray McMurray hatchery in Iowa!
When my sisters and I were little, we would spend hours looking at the Murray McMurray catalog, reading about chickens like the Buff Laced Polish ("These very rare birds are a rich golden buff, each feather neatly laced with creamy white, and with slate blue shanks and toes. The flowing crests and sprightly carriage make them one of the most prized varieties anyone interested in beauty and usual poultry can own.")
We were never exactly sure what that meant, but the birds looked glamorous. (We were never much for practicality at that age either. Ok, or now.)
Working on the dishes after lunch, I started thinking about the fact that my grandpa had his own hatchery back in the day. I even have fond memories of taking care of tiny baby chicks when I was little girl.
(Who am I kidding? My sister pushed me into wet chicken poo once. I stopped remembering everything after that.)
In keeping with the all-things-poultry theme, I had even donned a pretty chicken-and-egg apron, a gift from my dear friend Hannah who knows my style better than I do myself.
That got me to thinking about more than just childhoods of raising chickens. I started pondering all the different dishes and linens I pulled out for Chris' birthday and why I love setting pretty tables. Each piece has meaning; they all come from friends or family that we love and care about.
Our silverware is from our dear (hilarious) friends the Seifferleins, the placemats came from my BFF Jeni, the chicken mugs were a thrift store find from Mom and the chicken napkin rings were hers when she first got married, not to mention the paper bird Kel made me and the turkey candle holder from Chris' mom.
And THAT got me to thinking about and being thankful for my St. Louis besties Kim Vieker and Pam Nielsen, who graced us with even more to add to the collection: Pyrex dishes!
I spotted these beauties months ago in a thrift store in St. Louis but couldn't quite justify them with a wedding coming up.
But those two, who made the trek all the way to Higginsville yesterday to drink tea, laugh, and gab, nabbed them for me and brought them along as the cheeriest housewarming gift a girl could ask to receive.
And then I realized that as long as I'd totally detoured from chickens and had now moved on to dishes and aprons, I had to include a shot of just a few more. Aprons, that is. (Not chickens.) And of the vintage kind, of course.
I sorted through all my aprons (of which there are many, each with its own story) and pulled out the all the red ones. I love their color and spunk and quaintness.
The one on the top left is from Hannah in preparation for my move back to the country. The top right and bottom left are the same apron, handmade by my mom from a Dorr Feed Mill flour sack. (It's too special to use, but I love the Dorr logo.) And the bottom right is an apron hand-embroidered by my mom's grandma.
And thinking on grandparents brought me back to my family, and to our faith, and to farming--all of which make us who we are.
And they are what makes Chris who he is too.
And that's why I love him.
And why he deserved, if nothing else, a most egg-cellent birthday.