Thursday, March 17, 2016

Missionary Mom's Lunch

When Savannah left for the MTC in October, the thought occurred to me that I had just been indoctrinated into a new sisterhood with about 12 other women in my ward who also had missionaries serving somewhere in the world, and I should probably invite them all over for lunch or something.  

But I didn't do anything about that thought.

A few weeks before Spring Break, that thought came again, only this time there were specific instructions, like the people I should invite, and exactly what it was supposed to look like, and when I was supposed to have it.  Sometimes that happens...clear visions of stuff I'm supposed to do.  That kind of clarity makes it a lot harder to ignore.  

So I wrote down a few notes and then we left a few days later on our epic Spring Break trip, and I didn't think about it again until we were halfway home.  And honestly, with everything else I had to do this week, planning a luncheon for 10+ women in less than a week felt a little bit overwhelming.  But I fought the urge to make things more complicated than they needed to be, and by Sunday night I had sent out 14 cute little evites without spending a dime or even moving from my couch.  Oh, how I love technology

I used some black and white plates that I have had for years, but they're pretty, and they weren't paper plates, and I specifically got "use pretty plates and make a fuss about the table" in that little vision earlier this month.  

Side Note:  I only had 8 of those black and white plates, so I had to scramble a tiny bit to find a few more coordinating plates to fill in, but Target is a complete lifesaver for that sort of thing!  That little predicament was also a good opportunity to teach my girls that they should ALWAYS ALWAYS buy dishes in sets of 12!  I can't even tell you (or them) how many times I have tried to set a table for a thing and wished I had had more than 6 or 8 or even 10 dishes.  I know that seems like a lot of dishes when you're newly marrieds or empty nesters or you only have two kids, but I'm telling you, when you want to have Thanksgiving or Christmas or a dinner at your house with more than two friends or family members and their kids, you'll be grateful you have 12 dishes, I promise. 

I was going to buy chocolate bunnies to put on everyone's plates, but then I thought not everyone likes chocolate bunnies ( me) and also, I would have had to take each bunny out of the package to tie a bow on it and that's kind of gross to touch someone else's chocolate bunny before putting it on their plate.  So I just got them all little flowers which was a less expensive and slightly more practical option anyway.  And I found those little mini chicks in my box of Easter stuff, so I put one in each little pot and everyone took a flower home with them.  I think everyone liked the flowers more than they would have liked a giant chocolate bunny with a bow tied around his neck...and fingerprints all over him.  :)  

So for the actual lunch, I made two ham and broccoli quiches, and a bacon zuchini quiche with a hash brown crust (gluten free for one of the moms,) a giant fruit salad, spinach salad with strawberries and toasted almonds, monkey bread, and one of the moms brought homemade rolls.  There was more on my original menu, but as time ran out I realized I needed to eliminate a few things, and guess what! they weren't even missed.  

So, even though I lost that whole day of grocery shopping and cooking because of that dumb wreck on Wednesday, I put on some good uplifting music and said a really long prayer that everything would come together and I wasn't even worried or frazzled all morning.  And it all came together.  

So here's the part of this lunch that was the most important reason for us all to get together, I think.  One of those moms in that group is named Cathey (she's the one with the long pretty braids sitting at the head of the table) and her son is serving as a missionary in Mongolia.  Cathey is not a member of the Church and Aelias has only been a member for a couple of years.  When he joined the Church, Cathey said she was fine with it as long as he wouldn't be going on "one of those mission things."  A year later, he called her from SLC to let her know he had sent in his mission papers and that he would be serving the people of Ulaanbaatar Mongolia for two years.  Can you even imagine?  There's so much more that is amazing about both Cathey and Aelias, I could seriously fill an entire blog with just stories about them.  I really just wanted her to meet all these other women, and I wanted all those other women to meet her!  I'm really not sure who was more uplifted by whom.

I had hoped to have everyone actually go around the table and tell spiritually uplifting stories about their missionaries, but it was much more casual than that, mostly just conversations between a few people at a time.  But what I mostly kept thinking all day long, especially before everyone got here, was that I was so extremely grateful for all of these women who have prepared and shopped and sent packages and waited for emails and quietly supported from home as their missionaries have done hard things.  I have called every one of these women at some point in the last five months and asked for some kind of support or advice.  It's not an easy thing to let your babies go off to other parts of the world to serve missions for 18 months or 2 years, and I had NO idea what that even meant until last October.  Some of these moms have done this two or three times now!  Some of them with multiple kids serving concurrently!  And Cathey with no testimony of her own that this is actually the Lord's work that Aelias is doing...just a trust in her son and a hope that he will be ok.  And that is an amazing group to be surrounded by.  So it was a total joy and a privilege to have thought about them all week and to have spent the day making food for them and setting a pretty table for them and to have had them all in my home for two whole hours.  

Even with the dumb interruptions this week has brought, I would not have even considered for one minute postponing this lunch.


  1. What a lovely idea! Would you mind sharing the bacon zucchini quiche with a hashbrown crust recipe, please? It sounds amazing.

    1. Hi Cali! Um...well, while I was running out of time on Thursday morning, I sort of combined two Pinterest recipes into that one bacon zucchini hash brown thing, so let me figure out exactly what I improvised and I'll write it down and give it you. :)