Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Do you get hair-brained ideas? I do, then I draft friends to join me.

I've been known for going and getting some crazy ideas. And most of the time, I'm too shy to share them with anyone. I lock them away and let them wither. Then, I hope to goodness I don't remember them at a later date. Because usually that remembering process turns into a conviction to go for it. Whatever it might be.

This is one of those remembered, withered-up things. It went like this:

I like books. I like friends. People who like books and friends get together sometimes and do book clubs. Then blog about the books, friends, and clubs. They love the women they meet with and the authors they get to share with one another. This makes my heart pang with jealousy. I should incorporate a book, friends, club thing in my own life. 

See, fun. Right? Right... Until Self-Conscious Part of My Brain chimes in saying, "No. Don't do it chick. That's dumb and boring and no one will think you have good ideas. In fact, they'll think you're insane."
Me: "Really? Well, that was nice to pretend about book club. Go hide in a deep, dark cave of my brain and get all pasty-pale and then whither like a raisin. (And I won't miss you because I don't love raisins)"
Self-Conscious Part of My Brain: "Damn right. Why eat the sun-dried morsel when you can have the real thing?

(This isn't really about grapes.)

Enter Shauna Niequist's Bread & Wine. Hi darling, we're happy to have you. 

Mom and I are running one morning, like always, and talking about the impending arrival of Bread & Wine from our dear love, Amazon. And that wither-y thought gains new life. I word-vomit something like: "What if we had a Bread & Wine book club?" 

She loves it. We brainstorm members. And it's obvious. We know just the people. 

Meet the Mo-Da Book Club. 
Mo-Da as in Mother-Daughter. 

My mom and I were beyond thrilled to host such a group of lovelies. And the best part: we got to pick roses from the yard and put out a tablecloth -both of which would be more than appreciated. And they were.
(Yes, I stand on chairs in front of guests to try for a good picture. Next time I may have to hop on the tabletop... I might be lying about the table top. Or I might not.)

Mom and I were in charge of the appetizers and main protein. My tomatoes have grown in spectacularly after having to make a homemade pesticide to ward off a major hornworm infestation. Highly fertile tomato plants and a bush of basil asked for caprese skewers (Thanks Pinterest!).

Mom rocked some Mini Mac & Cheese Cups (from the book- AWESOME) and these wondrous Goat Cheese, Peach Crostinis (they won't disappoint). Then came time for the meat.

I was a bit gun shy because I decided to rock the steak course. Yep, the girl who's husband grills any and all meat. So I had to take it on with much bravery. I trimmed my own meat into card-deck size pieces. And then followed Shauna's instructions to a tee. 

A glass of wine and eight steaks later. I was a happy cook. And can I take a moment to share... They turned out damn good! 

I look much more comfortable than I was. But the challenge was fun to take on and the company was nothing but encouraging! 

Debi rocked the risotto. Seriously, lovely. Shauna's recipe is pure comfort food. It tastes like Italy and home all in a single bite. But you might eat a whole pan, so be warned. 

We dipped plates. Dished salad. And brought our wine glasses from the counter to the table. Reds to fill where the whites left off. And then it's time. 

Time for culinary divine. Desert was amazing too... So much so no pictures were snapped. Damn it. I hate when my enjoyment of life overwhelms my blog-ability. (Or maybe I actually am too busy loving it!) 

Every morsel was perfect. Light, but flavor-filled. Savory, but not overwhelming. Just as Shauna would enjoy. 

The food was amazing. Truly culinary. But, the company...Indescribable. I truly believed we were meeting to talk about a book. But this isn't just a book club. It's a let's-do-life-as-friends-who-were-reunited-by-a-book-club club. And we all fell so naturally into it. We talked dogs, husbands, families, food, wine, memories (since we have all known each other pushing 15 years), traveling, wishes and dreams, and high school cheer. I couldn't have imagined the ease, the fun, the sweetness of the evening turned late night. 

We were captivated by one another. Six hours in we realized we were pushing midnight and yet, it felt like we'd just started. We all walked away from the table fuller in both our tummies and our hearts. 

 In fact, this picture captures us: 
Thank you to the women of the Mo-Da Book Club for jumping into an unknown and foreign adventure. We risked the possibility of an awkward night and were rewarded with renewed friendship, countless laughs, and a new take on the cheer team. Who would have guessed? 

Thank you to Shauna for a book that brought six of us around the table. Who encouraged us to be authentic, beautiful, and encouraging to one another regardless of the baggage we carry... And boy do we carry?!? 

And, thank you to you, my reader. Thank you because you know you're thinking this would be fun. You'd like to do this with someone or more than one. And my advice: do it. Who the hell cares of it flops? In fact, if you hate it... You feel failure, email me. I'll meet with you. Really, truly I will. 

And you know when an author is a good one? When you post this on Instagram:

And she does this:

I adored you before Shauna. Now, I feel your authenticity. I know your heart is in those words. And I just can't seem to get enough of them. Thank you. 

P.S. Is this what fame feels like? I ended up on a cherished author's radar! Even if just for five seconds... 


  1. I love this. All of it. How fun!

  2. What an exciting journey you girls have embarked on - such a great group of ladies and a special bond between mothers and daughters add an even more unique feel to your group. Wishing you many years of happy reading and gathering x

  3. How fun--what a great idea. Found your blog through Chatting at the Sky Linkup.

    I got to pick Shauna up last December, as she was the speaker for an event we hosted, and you are so right. She is just a lovely person, inside and out. Her books are ones I return to over and over again!


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