Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Songs of Celebration

Allie officially moved here last Wednesday (WAHOOO!) and we've had a jam packed first few days. On Thursday she had orientation at her new school. The purpose of this was to help the freshman get familiar with the campus and know what to expect once the school year begins. Beforehand we met up with a new family from our church so Allie could meet some girls in her class- the class of 2019 that is. (I feel so old now...) The 9th grade student body has over 800 students so it's a big blessing for Allie to already be meeting people before the big day and know some familiar faces. We had a great time eating donuts and hanging out in the parking lot (aka tailgating haha) before the girls headed in for the orientation. They learned a lot about the school, took a tour, heard from upperclassmen, etc. She had a good time and is really looking forward to starting on the 10th. We go back this Thursday to get her schedule, meet her teachers, and get her comfortable with her daily routine to and from each class. Monday is the big day so say a prayer that she has a great first week of school! Eek! :)

On Friday, Allie had her first coffeehouse gig at the Rustic Couch singing with her friend Andrea. Andrea was a part of Zach's worship team at our previous church and she is so dear to our family. She is the most kind-hearted 16 year old I have ever known, not to mention incredibly talented. Over the summer Andrea asked Allie if she would sing with her this fall at a local coffeeshop, owned by some members of our previous church. Allie of course said YES!!! and spent a few weeks learning all the songs before the big event. They sang from 7:30 - 10:30 pm (which is a long time to play haha), but they did awesome! We were so proud.

 Here's a short compilation of a few rough clips from the night!

Andrea and Allie sing at the Rustic Couch for the first time, July 31, 2015.

As you can see, the girls have a pretty big fan club already!

 That's one proud daddy!
The girls are suppose to be singing there once a month so I will post the specific dates as they approach. If you live in the area you should totally come and hear them! It was so fun catching up with so many friends this past Friday. Thanks to everyone who came out. We hope to see you again at the next one!

On Saturday, the excitement continued as Zach and I hosted a welcome party for Allie to celebrate this new chapter in her life. In the spirit of Allie's favorite things, we decided to make it a dessert party and incorporate a time of worship for us to give thanks for who God is and all He has done/is doing in our all lives, but especially Allie's.
The subtle theme was 'peach' because Al's becoming a Georgia peach! :)

I spent most of Saturday baking, but honestly.. the beauty of a dessert party is you can do everything in advance. Nothing has to be timed perfectly like with a dinner party so it's much more stress-free.

Just a little decor in the dining room...
 I made fabric streamers out of some leftover fabric I had...
Peaches mixed in with the flowers..

and of course some party straws... :)
 in the cutest dairy bottles!

 I ended up making everything from scratch except for the fruit tarts (upper left) and the ice cream. Because this was such a special occasion, I had to make all of Allie's favorites including brownie pie, oreo ice cream sundae brownies, some GF/DF brownies in case someone wanted a "healthy" dessert, chocolate covered strawberries and oreos, jam-up oatmeal apple cinnamon cookies, and Martha Stewart's incredible cinnamon strudel coffee cake.
I know I have mentioned it before, but Ben & Jerry's Tonight Dough is the best ice cream every invented. You. Must. Try. It. #sogood
In my opinion, there's no point in eating chocolate if you can't wash it down with milk! 

I am sad to say I did not take any pictures during the party except for one of the guest of honor when we snuck down to the lower patio...
 admiring the pretty glow of the string bulb lights Zach and I hung the weekend prior. :)
BUT... I did take a very short video during our time of worship. It was so special. I hesitated to even take video because it was just such a sweet moment and I didn't wanna ruin it, but I couldn't help myself. :) A big thank you to Nathan and Jordan for being here for this and just making this candlelit living room worship experience so beautiful. My heart was overwhelmed with gratefulness. 

Celebrating Allie's move to Georgia with dessert, worship, and wonderful friends! This is just a short clip of the living room worship session led by Allie, Nathan Angelo, Zach, and Jordan Shaw. Such an incredibly special moment to share with those we love, giving thanks for all God has done and the year ahead!

In addition to spending time with our wonderful friends, I wanted to give everyone an opportunity to share some words of wisdom with Allie as she starts this new chapter of her life. So many aspects of her life are changing and I just want her to be surrounded by encouraging, supportive people who love her and continually point her to the truth of Christ. So, I found a 1929 absolutely LOVELY dictionary for everyone to write in. The instructions were simple - find a word in the dictionary that describes Allie, circle it, and then write your words of wisdom for her on that page of the book. (And no, I am not a genius for coming up with this idea. Ummm... Pinterest. #fullconfession)

 I also had them mark their page with a ribbon book mark so Allie could easily go back and find it later instead of having to flip through every page!
I seriously adore this idea and think that we will continue using it at future parties for her - birthdays, special events, whatever.  I want the people in her life to fill it's pages with words of truth and love spoken straight to her heart.

All in all it was a GREAT weekend full of so many special memories. It is really encouraging to see Allie so excited she can barely sleep at night! However, I can't recap the events from the past few days without saying a massive thank you to my MIL for all her hard work helping me prep. She helped me clean, ran errands for me, even saved the day with a last minute trip to the store when our lighter ran out of fluid (must have candles!!! haha). Thank you Cindy for serving all of us so well. We appreciate you and treasure you.

And thank you Jesus for a great first few days as a full-time family of 3. There is so much to celebrate and our hearts are filled with songs of joy, peace, and anticipation! This year is gonna be AMAZING!

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