I have a friend who calls her mother-in-law by the name of "mother-in-love" and I think that is such a neat name. Those of us who have good mother-in-laws know how true that title can be. I've certainly heard my share of many "demon" mother-in-laws . . .and "not so good" mother-in-laws (there are more than two categories that I could list but I decided that you could fill in the blanks from really, really bad . .. to just sort of bad). I was blessed with a good one and she is getting older and I know we need to enjoy every moment with her (of course, I'm the one who skipped out on lunch yesterday). Speaking of lunch, she still cooks lunch for the family EVERY SINGLE Sunday. She is in ____ years old. I can't tell you because she would kill me if I posted it on the internet. She got mad at Mark and George when they were little boys and they told everyone in the neighborhood that she was 30 so I can't even imagine how mad she would be at me if I told everyone in the world just how old she is. I also can't tell you because I don't know FOR SURE. I think I know but I'm not sure. Hope you are chuckling by this point. Let me just tell you that it is amazing that she is cooking lunch for us every week at this point. Most people are sitting back giving orders to someone else . . .waiting on someone else to take care of them . . .at this point in life. Not my mother-in-love.
So, it was a honor to cook lunch for her for her birthday in July. She loves flowers so I used roses for the centerpiece. We gave all our vases to the Salvation Army when we moved but Hunter (one of our Tuesday night guys) brought flowers to me on the first Tuesday night in our new house!! So . ..I had his colorful mason jar and was thankful to have it!! I'm not a flower arranger but I kept cutting stems (under water just like my mother-in-love taught me to do) and I think I made a nice centerpiece.
We had birthday balloons for the birthday girl and "happy birthday" napkins. Everyone - no matter their age - should feel special on their birthday!
My MIL is also one of the best cake bakers around. Anytime there is a bake sale at the church, her cakes are pre-sold long before they arrive at the church. The problem with that is that none of us feel up to the challenge of attempting to bake a cake for her. Thank God (and I mean that!) for the ladies from other parts of Alabama who make caramel cakes and sell them at the Piggly Wiggly (local grocery store -- fondly called "the Pig" . . .as in, "I'm going to the Pig to pick up a loaf of bread). She loves caramel cake and I bought THE VERY LAST ONE at my Pig. I keep pecans in the freezer (doesn't every southern woman? we can't cook without them!!) so I decorated the top and sides with big pretty pecan halves (she also LOVES pecans).
I have no idea whether or not I still own a cake stand . . .it may be at the Salvation Army also (at the end of packing . . . a lot of things went to Salvation Army . . .we couldn't get everything on one truck and it had to stay overnight and both cars were fully packed . . .soooooo a few things went bye bye and I know I'll have to replace them . . .BUT there are also things still in "the unit" (Mark calls the storage unit - "the unit"). For all I know, that cake stand may reappear. This cake is perched gingerly on the top of a Steuben glass compote dish (which we found when we were packing - we evidently inherited it from Aunt Nelle and it has been packed away for 20 years!!). Susie (no . . .I never call her Susie to her face - Grandmother, perhaps . . .but never Susie!) started to tilt the cake to blow out the candles and you can see that hand shooting out from one of the guys to steady it! That would have been bad. Bad daughter-in-law!!
I think she looks quite pleased, don't you? We tried hard to make her day special. We served shrimp and grits and feta slaw and some other veggies along with caramel cake and butter pecan ice cream.
She deserves to feel special - she works hard to make all of us feel special!!