Monday, December 14, 2009


On Saturday night, I hosted our annual Toewkernskins Christmas Party. Obviously, the name makes absolutely no sense, except to us, as it is the mashing together of our three last names, we three couples who are very close and dear friends. One day a few years ago we came up with that name as a joke, and, as with most things that begin as a joke, it stuck.

This was our third-ish annual Toewkernskins Christmas Party (I say "ish" because we took a baby break last year) and every time we get together we are sure to involve cheesy games, fun crafts, and even cheesier pictures. And, best of all, some really awesome memories.

I was going to originally make this post about putting on a memorable Christmas party, but the night wasn't exactly a picturesque evening of proper hosting etiquette. Observe:

Firstly, my husband thought it would be hilarious if he hand-wrote a sign that said "Please Enter Through Back Door" and stuck in on our front door, unbeknownst to me. So, as I heard voices by the door, I happily trotted to the entry way in my heeled boots and swung open the door ... to find an empty stoop and a piece of printer paper taped below my wreath. Very funny, hun. Sure enough, our friends were peeking in our back door, wondering why in the world they were told to go that way, and, most of all, wondering why they fell for it! 

(I removed the sign for our next guests.)

Then, my jalepeno poppers (that I found on Leslie's site! that our usually delicious!) that include jalapenos, cream cheese, and bacon, were just a tad HOT. HOTTER THAN USUAL. I removed the seeds, the meat, and then rinsed them under ice-cold water in a colander as I usually do, and they still had zing. I've made them before and they were crisp and mellow, but for some reason this batch had an extra snap. Which isn't exactly awesome when three of the six party goers (including myself) are with child and rather prone to heartburn. Thankfully, I had some extra cream cheese in the fridge, so I smeared some on a plate, blobbed on some raspberry preserves, and tossed some club crackers next them and Voila! A sweeter appetizer. 

Oh sigh.

THEN, yes there is another THEN, my delicious-looking stuffed pork tenderloin and flank florentine did not get done in time. As in, they were supposed to take thirty minutes and they ended up taking TWO HOURS. I purchased them at our local grocery store that I love, but I think the butcher who advised me as to the cooking procedure must really prefer his meat RARE. So, we sawed off the cooked chunks and tossed them back in the oven throughout the meal, making it more of a progressive dinner. Thankfully, there were sides to eat, plus delicious desserts that the girls brought. Oh my. 

Really, the best parties are the ones where your attendees don't judge your pork tenderloin.

So. You get the idea. The hosting wasn't exactly Martha Stewart caliber (Although, oh my gosh, would she be a good host? Really? Is she actually nice and personable in real life? I'm not sure. I think it would be better to be personable than to make a good pork tenderloin.) BUT, the party itself was a blast. This year was particularly special because we decided it would be the last party without kids. Two of the three couples have one baby (which we got sitters for), and all three families have one on the way. It was incredibly special and we all got excited when we pictured next year's chaos with FIVE little ones under the age of three.

And you know you've reached a new stage in life when that actually sounds exciting, rather than really, really scary.

And having the kind of friends who picture it as exciting, too, is priceless. 

And I can't wait.

So, of course, here are some pictures to document the event. Enjoy!

My table. A bad picture, really. I pictured a winteresque theme in my mind, complete with white plates and gold napkins and such, until I realized I didn't own white plates. Or a set of six napkins that matched. So, the table ended up as colorful. And I ended up loving it.

The cream cheese/raspberry preserves appetizer that saved the day!

The three preggos with their bellies. Ta-da!

My husband was in charge of the Christmas pictionary this year. He did great.

A good friend hard at work!

Decorating commemorative ornaments. We plan on doing this every year and involving the kiddos, too.

Nicely done.

We hung them on the baker's rack to dry and my eyes got teary when I saw them. Such sweet memories, really.

The whole group. Life has taken each of us through our own highs and lows, and we're so grateful to still have each other on the other side of it. And for the next stage of our journey that lies ahead.

A good party, indeed.


  1. So sad about the jalepenos! When I made them for Jonathan's birthday party I bought some of the peppers at the Farmer's Market and some at Target. Some ended up hotter than others, so a few guests got a random burn here and there! Oops... Looks like a lovely party with lovely friends! You are blessed!

  2. That actually sounds like a great party!! I love it when you can get together with friends and no one cares when nothing goes as planned! I agree completely about Martha's hostessing skills. As in, being able to cook does not equal a good hostess. And how cute that you are all pregnant at the same time! I love it :)

  3. Twas a great party, friend. Thank you for hosting! And I LOVE the 'look, our babies are hugging in utero' picture of the three of us!!!!

  4. how fun that you guys are all pregnant together!

  5. What a fun party! I love that you're going to incorporate the kiddos next year. My parents were the third set of grownups to Russell's parents and Whitney's parents. Speaking from experience, I know how fun it is to have that special bond. They're not just friends, they're family.