Tomorrow Willow and I leave to visit my some of my family who live in North Carolina. My mother and older sister’s family live in the same subdivision and my brother’s family is just a few miles away. Due to various life situations, I haven’t seen my siblings for a while and can’t wait to spend time with them, though I wish my younger sister could be there, too.
My sister, Michelle, emailed and invited us to participate in a game while we are there. The game is called “Favorite Things” and each participant selects something that is a favorite thing to them and brings two of these “things” to the party. The items should be inexpensive, costing no more than $5 each. The favorite thing can be a favorite treat, gadget, book, or product; anything you enjoy.
When the players gather, they put their names in a container two times. Each person takes a turn and shares what their favorite thing is and why they like it. When that person is finished, two names are drawn and those two people receive that favorite thing. In the end, everyone gets to hear what everyone else loves and everyone goes home with two items.
This sounds like fun, so off course we’re in. Now comes the tricky part: What is a favorite thing that we can give to someone? Willow noted that her favorite things are her cat and her phone (in that order) and not possible to give as gifts. Finally she selected her favorite brand of lip balm (eos) in her favorite flavor which happens to come in a container which is also her favorite color.
Now it was my turn. Like Willow, my favorite things aren’t something I can share in this manner. Family, friends, my kindle, etc. are all things I love but not conducive to the game. I have lots of favorite books but I’ve already shared many of these and it didn’t feel quite right.
What has kept coming to mind is my Mom’s Night Out group. All of us have daughters the same age and in the same grade, and the group started as an extension of the girls’ summer book club. The MNO group and book club had been active for a few years before we were invited to join. Willow is not an avid reader so I was delighted when they let me stay in the MNO group even though my daughter doesn’t participate in book club.
One of the reasons this group is dear to me is that I don’t make friends easily, acquaintances yes, friends not so much. I cherish the few true friends I have in my life but am generally uncomfortable in social gatherings, often feeling like I don’t belong. While I have twinges of this with my MNO group, I genuinely like and enjoy each woman and trust they feel the same about me. Although I don’t spend a lot of time with these amazing ladies outside of our monthly gatherings, the connection is still strong.
Another reason I love this group is that we share our lives, give each other guidance, support, or suggestions, but we rarely gossip. When we share personal information, it is our own. When we discuss what is going on at our daughters’ school, it is about how it impacts our daughters or ourselves. We gather as friends and treat ourselves, each other, and those in our community with respect. This group dynamic is rare and one I highly value.
So how do I share this treasure with my family as part of the game? Obviously I can’t, not directly, but I think I’ve found a way to do it in spirit. A few months ago we had our second Mom’s Weekend Out, sharing a house in the north Georgia mountains for a weekend. Everyone arrived Friday night, bringing two appetizers to serve as our dinner. While I would normally bake something from scratch, my kitchen was still less than functional so I had to do something different. In the end I brought the ingredients to make a simple, but tasty brie bites from a recipe that I had recently found in a magazine. They turned out great and whenever I make them I remember that wonderful weekend with those amazing women.
So, my “favorite thing” I will bring to the game is the recipe and the ingredients for the appetizer, along with the story of my MNO group, for that is what I am really “sharing.”
What are the favorite things in your life?
Raspberry Brie Cups:
1 Box Filo Cups
8 oz Brie cheese – rind removed
Raspberry Jam (I prefer Smucker’s Natural Fruit Spread)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the cups on a baking sheet. Cut the brie into equal pieces and place in the filo cups. Bake 5 to 10 minutes or until brie has melted. Remove from oven and add 1 teaspoon jam on top of the cheese. Serve warm.
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