Tea party etiquette: What you really need to know

Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending a very fancy, very special tea party, hosted by this yummy girl:

She gave me quite the schooling on tea party etiquette and I thought I would share with you what I learned, in case you ever find yourself the recipient of a hand scrawled invitation for afternoon tea. These are just some of the things that you will need to know.

First, the drink of choice will always be lemon water. You will not be allowed to help slice the lemons, however, so spend this time praying and cringing as the stubborn strong willed hostess does the cutting.

[Note: Miraculously, no fingers were harmed in the making of this lemon water.]

Lemon water/tea is best consumed with the fancy umbrellas in the cups. Should you attempt to remove the fancy umbrella before consumption, you will be severely reprimanded.

Even if it is poking you in the face.

Best jewels are not only encouraged, but highly recommended. Most preferable are multi-colored, homemade necklaces. The gaudier the better at this type of social event.

Be prepared also for a delicious concoction of melted crushed chocolate popsicles covered in caramel sauce and whipped cream.

A delicacy rarely seen in western society, but tasty nonetheless.

Nilla wafers are the tea cookie of choice. You will only be allowed to eat one or two of these, however, as little fingers are much faster than yours.

Be sure to open your heart and be willing to make new friends. Welcome and converse with the short blond girl next to you in spite of her seemingly stoic silence.

Complimenting her fine ballet attire will also bring great joy to your hostess.

Under no circumstances, however, will your hostess allow big brothers of any sort to attend. Doing so would violate the strict, time-honored rule of No Boys Allowed.

They will not be welcomed even if they just so happen to be hanging out in the next room.

Much to their chagrin.

Last, but not least, when you think no one is looking, go ahead and give that plate a little lick.

And smile sheepishly if you happen to get caught.

Any questions?

loving her is the easiest thing in the world

Dang, I love this girl something fierce.

We were driving in the car together yesterday, and her chatter floated up from the backseat - her words filling the air around me like a warm blanket. She's happy, this girl, and it's contagious to be around her. She is relatively unconcerned with the realities of life, floating through her girlhood on a cloud of innocence and laughter.

Just the way I want it.

She's social, yet loving. Spirited, yet tender. Sweet and spicy, all rolled into one. A contradiction that makes perfect sense wrapped up in her tiny 47-pound package.

Sometimes she leaves me breathless as I stare in wonder at the sage-like wisdom she articulates so well. Other times, I take a deep breath and count to ten, searching for that last ounce of patience while silently wondering why I have to explain myself to a seven-year-old child. But then I step back and realize that she wants and needs detailed information about everything in her life. She will not be dismissed, this one. She wants to understand reason, logic, and emotion.

I think maybe she wants to understand me. So that she can understand her own heart, too.

She brings a sparkle to our family that is all her own. She has the men in this family wrapped around her little pinkie finger, even though some of them don't know it. As a baby, she even knew how to charm the men. She'd leap out of my arms in the hallway at church, reaching for her favorites. She'd bury herself in their embrace and reward them with her crooked smile. They were like butter in her hands.

(Drove the wives of these men crazy who were trying to buy her baby love with goldfish crackers. Right, Cindy?)

She keeps me in line, and calls me on it when I don't do what I should. She is automatically my teammate and likes what I like because she wants to be like me (at least for now). I know she is watching every move I make, and that helps me walk a little taller and try a little harder. I want to be a better mom so she can be a better one herself someday.

I love you, Chica.

Just thought I'd tell you that today.

A weekend so full of estrogen it will be scary

The boys are leaving this weekend to go and watch themselves a little college football game. Live and in-person, in the great state of Texas. (Which hopefully won't leave them too disappointed when if the Cougs lose.)

Ha. I say that as if I know what I'm talking about. Implying that I honestly care about college football.

I slay myself.

Anyhoo, the little Princess and I are on our own for the next few days, and, boy, has she ever got plans. She brought up a large stack of DVDs last night, informing me that THIS is what we'd be watching. I smiled as I noticed that my all-time favorite was at the top of the pile. Though she's tried many times to make it the whole five hours, she has never yet managed to stay awake long enough to meet the entertaining Mr. Collins, let alone see the love story through to the end. Something tells me this could be the time. FINALLY she will see Pemberly and understand why I swoon at the thought of Mr. Darcy jumping all sweaty and such into the water.

Her wanting to watch it also tells me that I am absolutely raising that girl right.

She also made a lengthy list of things she and I are to do while the boys are gone. Top of her list is shopping for clothes at the mall, shopping at the scrapbook store, actual scrapbooking, manicures & pedicures, and watching a lot of "girl movies."

I am pretty sure this will be the best weekend. EVER. Hope yours is, too.

P.S. Did you know a while back my brother Dan created a blog whose sole purpose is mocking me? Please pay him a visit and tell him how much you love me. That would tick him off something awful. While you're there, you can have a good laugh at what I looked like in sixth grade.

Yes, I know. Some things are just that frightening.