our friendswhoarelikefamily potluck on friday went off perfectly. it was the 4th year (wow!) we have done it and i would say this the best year. even though we were sad to be missing some BFF's and perennial favorites (jacksons, tisons, fortunatos, bryans, arrowoods, brazells, dukes') we had great food and perfect fall weather. i think the house was more packed out than ever before, maybe 40-50 people in our teenie house. what really made it great for me though was finally answering "yes" when people asked if they could help me. i was still running around stupidly busy but i wasn't secretly hating everyone else for having so much fun while i was; i was actually having fun too. next year i will try to actually eat a whole plate. this time i had a square of fried turkey skin (heaven) and a few casserolie morsels before realizing i had missed my true hunger window and wasn't even into the deliciousness laid out before me. so i pretty much just had wine all night. i did have enough foresight to greedily ravage the leftovers and sock away everything the mob had left behind into our tupperware so i got to enjoy the meal again on saturday and sunday.

2 things i would like a redo of are: 1) judah knew something weird was going on and didn't want to sleep in the bathtub like we had planned so i would have put him in his crib like always and not have bothered with the alternate setup. he decided to wake up and cry just as jesse was getting everyone quiet to pray. so judah made a dramatic appearance. if i was one of the guests i would have said, "oh, they totally planned it like that to show off their baby...after telling everyone else not to bring theirs. what jerks." but it wasn't too bad. we put him in his room and gave him an extra bottle and he went back without a peep. even when half the males at the party decided to simultaneously scream as loud as they could at the conclusion to the hawks game. i was horrified to see jesse yelling with the rest of them. i went pretty nuts and may have spewed some invective. i think my quote was, "jesse david dukes, you have a tiny baby sleeping down the hall! these guys all have ignorance as an excuse, you have none!" and violently hurled a pillow at his face from across the room. ah, the holidays.
and the 2nd redo would be that sweet lesley finch couldn't come to the party but still sent her sweet potato casserole. (above and beyond!) well, it came refrigerated because she cooked it way before so i popped it in the microwave to get it nice and warm. the entire party i thought i heard something beeping and i finally realized it was the microwave so i hit cancel without even opening the door or wondering why that might be happening. later that night, during the cleanup i happened to open it and find the yummy casserole sitting there untouched! that was what the beeping had been, the reminder that i had cooked something! luckily we have 2 more potluck events to attend so i am putting lesley's efforts to good use. promise that wasn't my plan all along.
distance winners: the kiesshauers who came from acworth via motorcar and the fuhmans who came from miami on a plane (though not just for the potluck like the kiess's).
veteran awards: we are pretty sure these are the only people to come every year-elliot hunt, jason tatum and kristen schloegel.
food favorite (voted on by the panel of "just me"): schloegel's pumpkin orgasmo. it is AMAZING! kudos to her starving boyfriend for making the trip from atlanta while starving and having to hold it in his lap and smell its deliciousness without scooping out a single bite with his hands as i would have done.
blog favorite, lena, was (wo)manning the camera for the evening and she was, shall we say, thorough. so i am just posting a teaser collage and you can see the rest of the pics here

(click to enlarge)

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