Monday, September 19, 2011

hospitality sunday: papa's 76th birthday and we welcome mariana from portugal

It's fun to have people over. Hospitality is something I enjoy and am striving for. Weekends, especially Sundays, seem to work best for this. I was so excited that Jane wanted to invite her new best friend from college over for dinner last night. She met Mariana, a young woman from Portugal, in her Chinese class and they instantly bonded. I remember her father from the time I lived there. Jane says she feels such a closeness to her. Because of our family ties and love of Portugal (I lived there as a girl with my family for three years, Keith served a church mission there, and we took the kids on a dream vacation 4 years ago...) I couldn't be happier to see this now second generation connection come into Jane's life. I know their meeting was not a coincidence.

I could see the happiness in Mariana's eyes as she was with us. To have people who understand and appreciate her country and culture; I know that means the world to her. I think she really felt at home with us. I told her she was welcome to come every Sunday. She told me how much she loved it when I kissed her on the cheeks, as is her custom. That made me happy.

I fixed bruschetta (always a hit) and a pasta with pesto from the garden tomatoes and basil. Mariana was glad we had fish, too, and a traditional Portuguese  salada mista.

I invited my mom and dad, brothers, and my sister Felicia and her family to join us for dessert later. It was my dad's birthday. (Do you see the tears in his eyes? He's a bawl baby and always gets emotional when we sing to him. I love that about him and I think I've taken after him in this aspect.) Oh, and we always sing the Happy Birthday song in both English and Portuguese. Always. Tonight, we'll celebrate again (there's a ton of family birthdays this month) at Brick Oven. It's a tradition.

Of course, there were lots of good desserts. Mom brought a sponge cake that we topped with fresh peaches. Felicia made Dad's favorite coconut cream pie, and I made a mixed berry and plum crumble.

My family is loud. We laugh a lot. We tell funny stories. We eat good food. Our sisters and their families are sure missed at times like these.

'Till we meet again....


  1. oh, I love this. all of it.

  2. Love the photo of your Dad with his eyes shinning! Happy time!