Do y’all remember July?  Do y’all even remember me?  I’m not sure I remember myself at this very moment.  July was a whirlwind of births and weddings.  October has been a whirlwind of birthdays and celebrations.  Jeremiah keeps telling me I’ve got to stop living life this way and learn to take it like a continual ride instead of SPRINT, collapse, SPRINT, col llllaap se.  But it’s hard to re-train a lifetimes’ worth of practice.

As I sit here in collapse mode, editing all the pictures and lingering over all the memories, it all seems worth it.  I’m not ready to do it all again ;), but I am so glad I did it.

Weekend 1: Mary Aplin turns five and has a gymnastic birthday party.  I copied my friend Melissa’s idea to have a Saturday morning party with doughnuts, coffee, chicken biscuits and fruit.

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Dapples wanted chocolate covered, sprinkle, Krispy Kreme doughnuts instead of birthday cake (she’s her Momma’s girl!), and our party favors were going to be pumpkins with paint.  I felt pretty good about it all… …except for the fact that on the day before the party I only knew of ONE child who was coming. One.  That’s what happens when you accidentally plan a birthday party on the Saturday of Fall Break, and everybody but you seems to have a life where they go out of town and things like that.  I began to frantically email people we’d invited to see if anybody was actually coming.  And I prayed.  Specifically for five people.  I thought I could make it feel like a party for her with five people, but one was going to be a stretch.

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I told Konie to bring her leotard, because she might have to get out there and do some cartwheels ;)  But fortunately, God answered with seven friends, and Mary Aplin didn’t seem to notice the other 15 who couldn’t make it.
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Weekend 2:  Tommy and Sarah.
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Tommy has been Jeremiah’s best friend since high school and Sarah is Kendall’s (my sister) best friend from high school.  You might can imagine there was a little bit of Emma Woodhouse action that went on around here–and don’t think that all matchmakers are girls!  Fortunately, Tommy and Sarah’s relationship survived and flourished despite all our (Kendall, Jeremiah, and my) love-filled, excited, we-knew-they-were-perfect-for-each-other-before-they-did meddling.  They are two dear people to us on many levels and we (along with several other couples!) enjoyed celebrating them as they anticipate their new beginning.
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Lindsey and Steven, thank you for bringing all the tables and surprising me by showing up to clean up when we weren’t even home :) I’m sorry for the way I worked you without realizing your entire family had pneumonia AND a stomach virus :)

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Oh Kendall. I love this picture of you. How can I say thank you for coming down 2 days before the party and doing every little grunt task I could ask of you. From picking sunflowers in your high-heel clogs, to dropping my children off at school, to planting pansies in pumpkins, to swatting flies away from the food while we waited for the guests to arrive, and doing it all with this attitude. I love you sister.

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Thank you Tommy, for coming over to tackle the terrifying lantern job, even though it was your own party. And even more for showing back up to take them down.

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Thank you Darby, for letting me run 2,435 details by you day in and day out and giving me confidence to make final calls. And for rocking all those table decorations!!!

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This is exactly what I was hoping for. These friends, just doing together what they love doing most.

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Are they a beautiful couple or what?!

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Ashley, Dapples managed to block you in the one shot I got you in. Thank you for all the help with details, for helping Jeremiah with his boards when you had an unimaginable amount of things going on too, for letting me run the same details Darby had to listen to, by you as well, and for bringing Keith over to clean horse stalls on your one morning off–the morning of the party.

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Can you see who snuck in on the late night band action?

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I don’t know for sure, but I think he may have a love of stringed instruments in his future. He sure does love his Popon!

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I just BARELY missed a shot of them whispering nose to nose. But this one is still pretty sweet :)

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Thank you Kendall and Watson, Darby and Justin, Steven and Lindsey, Jay and Linda, Ashley, Clay and Allyson, Nick and Laurie, Chris and Kara, Brannon and Ann, and George and Amanda for ALL you did to make this night happen!!!  You cooked, you set up tables, you cleaned, you funded :)  I hope y’all had as much fun as we did.  And I hope Tommy and Sarah felt how much we love them.

Weekend 3: Jay Paul’s baby dedication.  This one never happened.  My baby is still not dedicated and we have not had our family over for lunch after church because Jay Paul has been fighting one sickness after the other for the past month.  We’ve flip-flopped back and forth between a cold with a sore throat so bad that he refused to swallow his own spit and a stomach bug that delighted us all from BOTH ends.

Mid-Week: Halloween.  I already did a post on our Charlotte’s web family theme, but those pictures were from our church’s fall festival.  Here are a few shots I got from the actual night.
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Weekend 4: Pace turns 7 and we have a birthday party at the movie theatre.  It was the opening night of Disney’s “Wreck it Ralph”.  We had pizza and cake before the movie, and I actually thought the movie itself was great.  Pace’s friends came and she had a blast and felt very loved.  That should be the end of the story.  Those are the most important things… …but let me just tell you before you run out and plan your own party at the movies, that I WAAAYYY underestimated the sense of responsibility and need for adult coverage if you plan to take 19 six and seven year-olds to a very crowded movie theatre.  Especially if you cram them full of pizza, cake, popcorn, and coke.  Ok?!  I was just so terrified I was going to lose somebody!!!
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So, parties at the movie theatre are a lot of fun, but just don’t listen to the people who work there when they reassure you that you and your husband will be plenty of supervision because there will be an attendant there assigned to help you.

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7 Responses to “My Life Blows Up By the Month”

  1. Melissa says:

    Oh Abby! These pictures of your babies are breaking my heart…especially Big Girl Dapples and Jay Paul’s little red-i-feel-horrible-cheeks. I just want to eat him up!

    The Tommy & Sarah celebration is so lovely…I miss your shindigs ;)

    Started Charlotte’s Web with Vale yesterday. She’s begging for more, but I’m already holding my breath for her reaction at the end. She’s a tenderhearted little munchkin and I’m worried it’s going to be too much for her. I was amazed at how many memories the first few chapters brought to mind. I think I must have read that book 25 times.

  2. Nancy says:

    LOVE this post! All of the decor, the party ideas (love the breakfast party idea) & what wonderful pictures. Since I’m a licensed massage therapist, I vote you get a spa day & bring all of your friends that helped you to your closest spa for a massage :)

  3. Darby says:

    I’m not quite sure how you lived through all of this and still managed to blog about it! Completely impressed by both! Sorry everyone’s been so sick… especially little man!! We will be home next weekend and I sure I hope I get to see you and those sweet children! You did an amazing job on Tommy & Sarah’s party… AMAZING! Thanks for all your hard work! I speak for everyone… what we did to contribute paled in comparison! xoxo

  4. Emily says:

    I love the recap with beautiful illustrations to match; what a whirlwind of being a hostess with the most-est, phew! I look forward to catching up soon!

  5. I loved this post and recap of life. Jeremiah and Michael sound a lot alike on this matter. I keep saying ‘when life calms down’ and Michael keeps reminding me- THIS IS LIFE!

  6. Sarah says:

    Abby you are too wonderful! How do you do all these things in one month? Teach me somehow. Please. I loved seeing the pictures from the shower and reading your captions- I also appreciate all the match-making skills you dynamic Clark sisters (and Jeremiah) used to make Tommy see the light!! ;) I love and appreciate yall so much!

    Also- the Halloween costumes are perfect. I couldn’t stop laughing at Wilbur!! Too cute.

  7. Melissab1274 says:

    Wow! What a whirlwind! Everything looks like so much fun, but what struck me the most about this post was your statement at the beginning about living in “sprint, collapse” mode. I do that, too. If you learn any tricks for managing to just go with the flow of life, please share! This “sprint, collapse” thing gets exhausting! Thankful to know that I’m not the only one!

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