This is scary, huh?
That is me using my new nebulizer for breathing treatments. I nabbed one of those gadgets after my second ER visit last week for asthma. I normally have pretty tame asthma a few times a year, but allergy testing plus whatever is in the Houston air gave us a scare last week. However, everyone at Christus St. Catherine hospital was very nice and helpful, not to mention all of the Hotze center doctors and nurses. My doctor is confident that this is a temporary flare-up, soon to pass. Godspeed because the nebulizer is obnoxious, loud, and I hate the mask. Yet I'm thankful to use the machine in my comfy house versus the ER.
So that is why my wonderful in-laws dived in to prepare for Johnny's birthday bash. They made me sit down that whole day and breathe in medicinal fumes while they cooked and decorated with impressive speed. I really, really wanted to help and participate, but I guess breathing is a higher priority.
My Mother-in-law made her famous chocolate pie just for Johnny:
She also whipped up two carrot cakes (my aunt's recipe) - here is one:
Drink station #1:
Drink station #2:
Johnny's sister and nephew hung festive decorations:
These spiral 40's scared Milo senseless for some odd reason:
Since we partied with 40-ish people, we took precautions for our house cats:
Some of our best friends guarding the desserts (L to R): Kim and Frank Hart, and my beautifully-pregnant friend Amy and her husband Ryan:
Our friend Charity (Kemper's daughter) holding her best friend Allie's baby boy, Corbin:
Some men congregating in the kitchen: (L to R) Thadd, Jonas, Omar, Jonathan, Dave (Jonathan's Dad), and our across-the-street neighbor, Charles:
Conversation 'round the breakfast nook table/fruit-veggie-chip-dip station (L to R): my sister-in-law Beckye, my Mom-in-law Lola, our friend Nicole, and my nephew Jonathan (Beckye's son):
(L to R) Thadd and Pam's daughter Maddie, and Jonas and Allie's daughters Caiya and Charis:
Frank and Kim's daughter, Von, sitting on our bed. We put a TV in our bedroom for the kids:
Cute, happy Johnny with one of my gifts to him - Liquid Lunch:
Another gift from me to Johnny - a wire drummer sculpture that reminds me of Giacometti's work:
More gifts to Johnny... A Miracle Eyes Jesus* from his sister's family and a 2008 calendar full of adorable Johnny-pictures compiled by his Mama. I believe Johnny was five years old in this picture. Please God, give me a son that looks just like him! We'll call him Calvin:
Johnny's family took way more pictures than I did and they promised to share copies. All in all, Johnny's 40th birthday party was a huge success and marked some firsts for us. It was the first time to break in our new house with a party - each room bustled with good friends, family, neighbors, laughter, talking, and childhood chaos. It was also our first Sabbath feast - the first of many we plan to have on Saturday nights. I must also say that Johnny deserved this party. In our marriage, he is selfless, kind, patient, and extra helpful, especially as of late - running countless errands because I'm too dizzy to drive and helping me with the nebulizer. I can't seem to figure out a simple syringe.
I could not eat any chocolate pie, carrot cake, Lola's queso, or drink a drop of wine because part of my health treatment is a 30 day yeast-free diet. There are things I do love on the diet such as black olives, Pappasito's beef fajita meat, taro chips, guacamole, hummus, macadamia nuts, celery, green bell peppers, turkey sausage, eggplant, and the like, but I have missed sweet treats. After Church on Sunday we took Johnny's family to Yia Yia Mary's and my grilled salmon cooked with olive oil, lemon, garlic, and oregano was AMAZING, but as they ate pistachio ice cream in a filo dough bowl, I had to look away while I sipped Greek coffee (which was delicious).
So finally, Johnny and I tried a yeast-free brownie recipe** today because I couldn't take it anymore. I swear to you that the brownies are great! They are cake-like, rich, and dark chocolatey. Johnny even approved and he knows chocolate. I cut a warm brownie, sipped Sweet Thai Delight tea, and thanked God for my husband and our health:
* Other hilarious gifts from Beckye's family were Holy Toast, Jesus Bandages, and a Jesus Nodder. The bandages are my personal favorite.
** Here is the yeast-free brownie recipe for the adventurous:
1 cup Sweet-n-Natural
3/4 cup unflavored coconut oil (maybe a little more)
2 Tbs. water (you need a lot more water - add as needed to mix easily - 1/4 to 1/2 cup)
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract (no sugar)
1 cup oat flour
3/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt
3/4 cup chopped nuts (if desired - no nuts for me today)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the Sweet-n-Natural and coconut oil in a large mixing bowl. Add water, eggs, and vanilla extract and blend well. In a separate medium-size mixing bowl, mix flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt together. Pour into the other mixture and blend well. The batter will be pretty thick. Add nuts if desired. Pour batter into an 8x8 or 9x9 baking pan and bake for 18-25 minutes. Brownies will be done when a toothpick inserted in the middle of the pan comes out clean.