What a weekend! For years, Marcus and I have dreamt of hosting "The Lane Formal." It would be a fabulous holiday gathering for our co-workers and/or students, inspired by the Guinn Formal, a party one of our professors hosted each year while we were in college. We always looked forward to the Formal. It was a chance to ditch your backstage blacks or funky paint clothes and wear something dressy or quirky, show off your best dip recipe and spend some time with your fellow students and teachers outside the classroom. Once it was evident that Marcus and I were going to be a family forever, we started daydreaming about the day when one or both of us would land at a University and we could throw a lovely holiday bash of our own. And last night, it finally became a reality.
We decided to start out small this year. Until after the first of the year when Uncle Sam gives us money back for having a baby, buying a house and having lots of taxes deducted from our paychecks each month, the money tree is not in full bloom, so the house is still not quite where we'd want it to be to throw an all-out bash. Just for this year, Marcus and I only invited the 11 students from his advanced classes. All are upper-classmen and were allowed to bring one guest. What resulted was about 20 very well-behaved, dressed-up, delightful party guests! And they ate EVERY MORSEL of food we made! Yay for easy cleanup.
What's that? You want to see pictures? Well, ok!
Here is our Christmas tree. I LOVE our Christmas tree! Even though we left all those ornaments at my mom and dad's house, our tree ended up being pretty full! Auntie M made us some adorable ornaments that I was thrilled to add to our collection and we picked up some "filler" ornaments at the 50% off sale at Lowe's.
Please don't judge our ugly curtains. We bought them at Big Lots just to have something over the window before we figured out the color scheme of the room which, thankfully, does not include that shade of green (they are really much uglier in person. They have a paisley pattern, too.). See above comment about the money tree to find out why we haven't bought new ones yet!
Here is our fireplace, which hosted its first fire of the season last night. Marcus was in charge of the mantle and I think he did a fantastic job. The garland and wreath are new, the candles, Santa and snowman were my grandma's. She gave them to us when we were in Oxford for Thanksgiving, along with her cake plate.
Here's the buffet. I have no idea why the picture wants to lay on its side. Please tilt your head to the left to view it properly. Tiiiiiiilt. Ok, see? It's cute, right? There was a ton more food on our dining room table. Our menu included the Cheeseball of Happiness, crostini with pesto and sundried tomato (a HUGE hit), mulled cider (another hit), marinated cheese, Texas sheet cake, corn dip, artichoke dip and the usual drinks. Oh, and BBQ cocktail weenies served straight out of the crockpot. Because I'm southern and that is what we do.
Ok, ok, enough with the house. I know what you REALLY want to see.
Dean was rockin' the green velvet. And the knee socks. One of his shoes even stayed on ALL NIGHT! He was, needless to say, the life of the party.
The students came dressed in a variety of "theatre formalwear." We had an elf, a gingerbread man, lots of girls in cocktail dresses, a few young men in suits, and a group who dressed up like each member of the theatre faculty! (Made me glad I'm not officially on staff yet!) Here's Zach, who we refer to as our oldest son, as Marcus.
In case you can't fully see it, his shirt says "You sure do got a purty mouth."
Marcus teaches movement classes, so he has to wear sweatpants and t-shirts. To keep things fun, he wears goofy PJ pants and t-shirts with funny sayings a lot. And, naturally, his Alabama hat.
Marcus had planned to wear a suit, but decided to go the funny route instead. He wore chaps (yes, he owns chaps. Help me, Jesus. Notice they do not appear in the picture. I had to "free" him from said chaps about an hour into the party.), his cowboy shirt and some sneakers because his boots dry-rotted and I made him leave them in NYC. I bought a gorgeous purple dress, but got overly paranoid about showing too much cleavage and not being able to eat enough cocktail weenies and gave myself such buyer's remorse that I returned it. I'm glad, though, because it gave me the courage to "just see" if I could fit into the dress I wore to my 30th birthday party. And whaddya know? I haven't talked about it on here, but I've lost 17 pounds since we moved to Montevallo. HAPPY JEN. Just a few more pounds and the pesky pregnancy weight PLUS the pesky summer weight will be a thing of the past. I'm in my skinny jeans full-time now.
So, a nice night with good times had by all. We look forward to this becoming an annual event, something the rest of the faculty joins in on, the alumni return for, the students get excited about and that we look forward to hosting each year.