Our journey to the celebration wasn't without a few bumps. On Friday afternoon, Caroline spiked a 103.7 fever, throwing us all into a panic that had us considering canceling the party -- the party for which 50 or so invites had already gone out, the party for which most of the food had already been bought and some of it already prepped. In a leap of faith, we decided to forge ahead. Nana graciously offered to keep Caroline, which was a shame, but we didn't want to risk passing on germs. So I sent Spence and Dawit to Nashville early to minimize exposure, and I whisked C off to the doc. The doc said if she wasn't tons better in 24 hours, she had the flu (even though she tested negative). So for the next 24 hours, I waited on her hand and food and practiced hygiene that would make the most fastidious germaphobes beam with pride. And lo and behold, she was better. Much better by Saturday afternoon. Still, we decided not to let her go to the party -- just in case.
Sidebar: the restaurant is small, so we limited our guest list to family and friends in Nashville. We hope our out-of-town friends will forgive us!
Back to the party: Shemsia and Ahmed prepared a wonderful buffet of Ethiopian dishes. After dinner, Shemsia brought out a huge tray of bread (that looked like monkey bread). She said a birthday blessing for Dawit, then he and I sliced into the bread and shared with everyone. I haven't been able to find the history of this blessing, but Ahmed said it is akin to singing over a birthday cake, which we did next. CC (AKA Cindy) brought the cake with an Ethiopian flag design on the top. After the crowd slimmed a bit, we had a traditional coffee ceremony. I wanted everyone to experience the culture and tradition of Dawit's homeplace, and I think they did.
My friend Matt took some great pics at the party, which I will post very soon. In the meantime, take a look at our new photo album from our Ethiopia trip. You can quickly zip through a slideshow of the pages. We had all our party guests sign the back page of the album.
Thanks to everyone who celebrated with us. If you didn't get to sign the album, let me know and I'll get it to you.
Here's a teaser of the upcoming pics:
PS. I just realized that my lengthy, semi-witty posts on this blog are no longer possible. It was all I could do to get this typed with kids climbing on me, Caroline dumping a full glass of water on my bed, then bringing me ONE square of toilet paper to clean it up, and Dawit wanting to skid down the stairs head first. Thank goodness pics are worth...well, you know. Gotta go!