Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Soup Swap 2016

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Erica and I hosted our fourth annual Soup Swap earlier this month. The original post that I linked to has a lot of the details of how we set it up, some yummy snacks and photos of my old house. It's crazy that we have had two soup swaps at the house in Roeland Park and two soup swaps since I married Kip! We've kept the same format with delicious small bites, a draft for soup picking and this year added some champagne. Because, why not?
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This year's soup swap was outstanding! Several of the years we have hosted it in February, but we had it pretty early so it could fall between the arrival of Erica's second baby and my first baby. But everyone, not just new moms, loves the soup swap. Our guests and friends showed up with four quart sized containers filled with hearty soups. Whether you are eating the soup by yourself for lunch or sharing it with family or an always starving husband (Kip), the soups fit the bill for long winter months perfectly. We often eat soup with grilled cheese, and I like to joke that Kip makes the very best grilled cheese. (I think I tend to over-cheese the sandwich, and he thinks I just like an excuse to have him do it.) We had a tasty beef and vegetable last week, and I know we will keep reaching for the soup as it seems like winter has just barely started for those of us in the midwest.

I had major snow envy over the weekend, fondly remembering the year we had ten snow days when I lived in Virginia. We got 54 inches of snow that winter and Finley was a baby still - now he's almost seven! Snow days are a bit of a gamble for me this year. I would love an extra day off to rest as we wait for baby Lynch, or if they cancel school while I am on maternity leave it won't count against my precious sick leave. But my district doesn't build in any snow days, so we might have to make them up in May/June, and I will probably be ready to stay home for summer vacation with baby Lynch again at that point! And we can't forget we already had our "blue snow day" when we celebrated the Royals in November. Nothing is showing up in the ten day forecast for KC...but maybe a baby will! Who am I kidding? I'm predicting she waits at least until her due date on February 13.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Two Books of December.

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Two books to round out the year...

We read For the Love for our December book club book. It's a collection of essays, and while it is sold as an appeal to give up comparing yourself to everyone on Pinterest, it ends up being more than that in execution. She has a couple of good essays along that line, but Jen Hatmaker also writes about raising children, the church today, and the importance of gathering around the table together. She is a very popular Christian writer, and I've heard wonderful things about her book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess (there is a study related to it at our church right now!). It's unfair, but it was hard not to compare her writing to Shauna Niequest whose style I adore! There were several great essays, and we did talk about it a bit when we met in December for the ornament exchange.

I Kill the Mockingbird was part of the stack of books laying around the house that I've been reading before baby arrives. This one is a YA fictional story about three 8th graders who decide to make Harper Lee's classic novel popular again (not unlike Go Set a Watchman). They hide all the copies of the book around town to make it a conversation topic, but it never really flushed out for me. Probably because I read most YA lit critically with the one of two lenses: 1. Would this be compelling for the diverse population I work with? (No) 2. Is this extremely well written and holds it's own as a quality writing for all ages? (No, again). I still haven't read Harper Lee's other book, but I think I'm done with To Kill a Mockingbird for a bit longer again.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A New Year's Eve Wedding for Matt and Amy.

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Happy 2016! We welcomed the new year, the year of Baby Lynch, with a bang at our friends' wedding. Amy and Matt were married on the Plaza and had a lovely reception at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, and we have been looking forward to it for months! They planned a black tie celebration, and I did some research to find the perfect dress for my almost 33 week belly.

I ended up renting a dress from Rent the Runway, and it's actually the same dress I wore to BOTAR in the fall of 2014, but in gold instead of black. You may recognize it from some maternity photos that Rachel had done too (hers was the short version). They don't have maternity dresses on the website, but they do have many labeled as "bump friendly." I read all the reviews for this dress where women swore they wore it up to 35/36 weeks pregnant, but I was pretty much at the max for the zipper. It had enough stretch that it was actually surprisingly comfortable, and people were generous with the compliments about the dress and my growing belly. With my gold flats from our wedding, it really didn't look too short which was my biggest fear. I even rented the sparkly earrings to go with it and felt fairly glamorous all night.

And a note about Kip's tuxedo...after much debate and a little research, we ended up renting him a tuxedo for the night. Several people told us that buying can actually be a better deal than renting and after doing more research we found this to be both true and false. Kip doesn't have a great need for a tuxedo, but he will need to wear one again later this year because Lauren is on BOTAR exec. If you rented the most basic of tuxedos, you could actually rent it for pretty cheap and a couple of rentals would still be less than buying the most basic of tuxedos. And why would you want to own a not very nice tuxedo? Of course when we went to Jos. A. Banks, we got a bit tricked and didn't end up renting the cheapest of tuxedos, so maybe we should have bought? Who really knows? I just know that Kip looked dashing, it fit even better than his wedding tuxedo, and I totally approved of his winter break beard.
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The museum is a fun place for a wedding because you can enjoy all the art at the same time as cake, champagne and a great band. We sat in one of the galleries close to the delicious buffet with a group of Amy's other friends from BOTAR, including my sixth grade math teacher, Kim and her husband. We had a blast visiting with them all night! The cake was amazing and delicious - we each had two slices. We couldn't let it go to waste!
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Amy and Matt planned for a reception that would last all night long and well into the new year! Minsky's pizzas were delivered to help sustain all the dancing to the band Lost Wax, there was a photo booth with a gold glitter background that matched my dress, and we loved picking out fun hats and noisemakers for the countdown. I think Kip would have left a bit earlier, but since we can't predict the next time we'll have a good excuse to get dressed up on New Year's Eve, I insisted we stay to ring it in proper. The start of the new year is a good reminder that each year keeps getting better for the Lynches, and we are totally blessed. 
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As we were getting ready to go into the wedding reception, I asked Kip if we should take the real camera. He wisely said to leave it in the car, and while I would have loved the quality the Canon Rebel provides, I felt pretty free to move around and dance with only my iPhone tucked in my clutch. I think we captured the fun we had even without the big camera, and I love all these snapshots of the night. Happy new year friends!