Having no urge to sit through a 5 hour meeting, I ended up leaving after our first 1 1/2 hr working committee session and decided to leave Chris there to suffer (but in the good "i wanna give back to the community" type of suffering).
So I headed home, threw a load of laundry in the washer, a load of dishes in the dishwasher, and took out three loads of garbage to the community compactors. We had two messages on the machine, one being Fred, who asked if I could go to the cemetery today to help him lay a wreath on Colleen's grave. I called Fred and he asked if I would be available around 12:45 to head down the street and I told him I would be more than happy to go with him to visit Colleen and help him lay the holiday wreath down. He then said that because of the winter weather, he's been stuck in the house for the past several days and would love to go out to lunch at our restaurant, and that he was craving stuffed pork chops - and after he mentioned them I too started craving them.
So, at 12:45 I showed up at Fred's house and we headed down the road. We were at the site less than 5 minutes and then headed back to the community and he suggested that we just ride to restaurant together instead of me picking up the truck and driving separately. Once we got to the Top Of The World, I headed straight to the bathroom to wash up (The pins that I used to hold the wreath down to the ground had been sitting in the back of the truck's cab and were rusted and I had that yellow-orangish crap all over me). After washing up, I headed around the corner into the dining room to see approx 30 ladies (and their husbands along the side) sitting in the back yelling "surprise!!!". I guess it's the pregnancy hormones (or the fact that I'm fabulously gay) but I started to choke up and cry. There were gifts, food, cake, balloons, and pink-crap galore and I received more hugs that I knew what to do with.
Chris, 30 seconds later, walks in to another round of "Surprise"[we were supposed to walk in together, but they didn't plan on me leaving the board meeting early and when I did, Kathi called up Fred and he called to get "plan B" in motion]. The ladies had tons of games planned as well as tons of food (and wine) and I couldn't believe the amazing support system that we had in place. These wonderful women - mothers/aunts/grandmothers, etc - got together before their own "Women's Club" holiday party to help us celebrate the little ones arrival.
I can not tell you the amount of items we received - and not only did we show off every item, but we also had to announce the items to help the ladies in their baby shower "Gift BINGO" game that they were playing. The little one has a new outfit for every day of her first 365 days she's here. In addition to the clothing, we received a car seat and the additional cradle for the car, a high chair, hand-made crocheted blankets, scrapbooks and frames, musical mobiles, boopies, dolls, playpen, garden gyms, diapers and wipes, laundry hampers and gift cards... the list really does go on and on. Currently, Duncan (dog) and Gossip (cat) have no place to walk in the living room as we have 8 huge boxes of items taking up floor space (come on people, I'm too tired to carry this stuff to the nursery). In addition to the amazing items our community gave us today, FedEx and UPS delivered our diaper bad and changing pads (Thanks Melanie and Pete!) , additional wipes (no name on the packing slip), a cute sleeper, sleep sacks and onesies (Thanks Cupcake-Bill).
The one thing we continue to tell our NJ and TX friends is the love we have for our community and the friends we have made here. Never in a hundred years would we expect the amount of love and support for the people here when we first selected to build our home in PA. We are truly, truly blessed to have the friends and the relationships that we have!
The only complaint of the day... no stuffed pork chops (thanks for getting my hopes and my appetite up, Fred!) hahahaha.