Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Emails from Maughi

I was just cleaning out my gmail account and came across a typical email from my grandmother, Maughi. It made me chuckle. This is what she sent in response to my invitation to Thanksgiving at our new house (while still under construction) in Atlanta.

"Sounds great to me but don't be too sure the house will be ready.  I am reminded of the quail dinner I invited the family to BEFORE Bud had shot the quail yet.  The morning of the dinner, he still didn't have enough.  Fortunately a covey flew into one of those plate glass windows and I rushed out and had more than enough picked and cleaned by the time Bud got back empty handed from his quest.  I'm not sure how you would do this with a house, but if it's possible, I know just the one who could pull it off.  It will make nice thinking about."

Didn't she have a way with words? 

In my other favorite email from her, she runs through a family tree, concluding that the name "Casteria Neljte Van" has a great ring to it for our little girl. Ha!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday Decorating

It's starting to look like Christmas around here! I've always enjoyed decorating for the holidays, but this year has been even more fun. We got our tree up this weekend. It's a little cockeyed but it can't be too perfect, right? Now I cannot decide how to decorate the outside of the house!

Found this adorable bow at Lucy's Market. Right now it's hanging on my staircase, but Mom, Rae and I plan on making wreaths this weekend so I see it on that on my front door.

Mom helped me with tackled some house projects over the Thanksgiving break...I have the simple task of finishing up some trim (hello liquid stitch!) and then I'll post our finished product. So far, so good!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

First Baby Shower

Last weekend, some of my dearest friends threw a fabulous baby shower. They thought of every last detail from the amazing food to delicious cocktails and mocktails to the adorable, girly decor. It was such a happy celebration with so many women I love! We missed Maughi, but I know she was looking down on us.

The lovely hostesses!
 The Evans/Van women. We are working on outnumbering the guys.

The food was incredible and I loved that they used Kakhi's beautiful china and silver. How great is this centerpiece?!

The candy table was so cute! The girls went to the trouble to get baby pictures of Josh and me. That was such a nice personal touch, and actually, I hadn't seen either of the ones of Josh!

JBurd and my sister
Three of us are pregnant, I'm due in January, Shauna is due in February and Kakhi is due in March. Our babies are going to have so much fun together - Shauna and I are taking mad notes from mother-extraordinaire Kakhi, who has adorable 2 year old twin girls.

Angela, Jessica & Christin - love these sweet girls!

Mary - due in January too!
Melissa - Josh's college friend who has quickly become one of my favorite ladies!

Pam - always keeps me laughing and stylish.

Tyler & Lynn - lucky I get to work with them every day.
And, I can't wait to see Josh in this! This is from Mom and Maughi...Maughi had the idea that we should put Oliver in it so Josh could try it out. That hasn't happened yet. Maybe I can talk him into it!

What a fun day! Josh loved all the pink we brought home...thanks to my wonderful friends and family for such a special occasion!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mary Jane Brooks Evans

Today was Maughi's funeral service. It seems so strange to type those words. As the pastor mentioned during his homily, if anyone were ever to discover the fountain of youth, it surely would have been our Maughi. She passed early in the morning on Thursday, November 8, at the age of 93 years young. She was comfortable, clean and thanked her nurses for taking such great care of her just moments before her passing. She drove herself around our mountain hometown up until a week before, couldn't wait to celebrate Thanksgiving in our new house in Atlanta and looked forward to holding her first great grandchild in January. Maughi had an email account she regularly used, could carry on a conversation with Josh about Cam Newton and loved a party...just make sure her scotch didn't have too much water in it. 

The service was beautiful and perfect. Maughi would have loved it. It was held at St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Brevard, NC, where Maughi was heavily involved right up until the end. There must have been a hundred and fifty people there. Maughi had just recently told my dad that everyone she loved was dead (we were all thinking, well thanks a lot...we are very much alive!). There sure were a lot of people at the service that loved HER...and she loved them too, this was just Maughi-talk. It was so touching to see so many people gathered to celebrate the life of this amazing woman. Some of them I knew well, some of them we were all meeting for the very first time. All of them were touched by my grandmother in different ways, all of them so sure that they had never, ever met anyone like her. I would have to agree.

Saturday, November 3, 2012
The pastor did something today he had never done at a funeral. He told a joke. It was a joke that Maughi shared with him when she met with him in June (unbeknownst to us) to discuss her service arrangements...or lack there of. She didn't want a typical service, didn't even want a eulogy, but simply wanted a party at our local favorite restaurant called Falls Landing (like we did for her 90th birthday). She wanted everyone to get together and tell their favorite jokes. If someone told one of her 3 favorite jokes, they were to be awarded $500, which had been sealed up in an envelope, along with her favorite jokes and a heartfelt letter to our family. This is so Maughi.

The joke-telling party will have to happen at a later date. Today was about celebrating her full life as a woman of such strong faith, independence and will. A wonderful eulogy was delivered against her wishes, but Maughi would have approved. I am so blessed to have had her in my life for almost 29 years. She has shaped me in countless ways and I hope that I can be more like her in my faith, concern for others and zest for life.

This is exactly how I will always remember Maughi. She lived life to its fullest and always loved a party.
And timing is a funny thing...Josh and I got a day-of appointment for a 3D ultrasound last Tuesday. Maughi got to see our baby girl's face on Wednesday, the day before she passed. She was so excited about the baby, her first great-grandchild. So excited that she had already bought 2 shower gifts, and had an outfit made for her. That outfit chokes me up and I can't wait to see EB in it.

Maughi told us in her letter that she had no idea why God had chosen her for such a joyous life. I can't imagine anyone more deserving of one. It is comforting to imagine Maughi partying upstairs with all of her loved ones...her late "love affair" husband (as she called him) who passed 28 years ago, the brother she lost at the age of 7, and so, so many dear friends. What a life she led here on Earth!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Baby Girl Van

At 30 weeks, we have an idea of what the baby girl looks like! Technology is just wildly amazing to me. Can't. Get. Over. It.

I think she has Josh's nice lips and I'm glad to see some chubby cheeks! She is head down, bottom up. The technician confirmed that the hard little thing I've been feeling to the right of my belly button is her bottom. I was thinking that's what it was but couldn't tell for sure. She moved all over the place during the ultra sound and even opened her eyes and mouth for us! 

I asked if she had any hair because I just know the poor thing will be bald until she's 2 like I was. Plus, I have some really cute (small) barrettes that she just NEEDS to wear! They pointed out some fuzz so maybe she will look more like a girl than I did. My mom was always dressing me in pink and still people would say, "Oh! He is so cute!" 

Can't wait to meet the little one, but I am one of those crazies who will miss being pregnant. It's fun to feel her move throughout the day...it really puts life into perspective!