May 7, 2017

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Ladies & Gents – It’s Derby Day here in Lilongwe! This is no small deal, as I’ve been waiting my whole life to go to a Kentucky Derby Party. So of course we had to go all out. :)

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Nia and I had matching dresses made out of local fabric (chitenge). Then of course there was the hat, which I special ordered on Amazon and was totally delighted with. The finishing touches were my Manila pearls (7 years old), my wedding shoes (8 years old) and my prom gloves (19 years old). It was a perfect combination of new and old, if I do say so myself…

We were fortunate to have a legit Kentuckian running the event. She nailed every last detail – mint juleps, pecan pie, roses for the winners and so much more. It was beautifully organized, right down to the commemorative glasses. And the best part – I wasn’t in charge, so I got to relax and enjoy myself!

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The party started out with the kids making their horses. They each colored the two different sides, stapled them together and then slid their horse head on to a stick. Each ‘jockey’ then got a number, so that the adults could bet of them, of course! :) No money changed hands, because gambling is prohibited at mission functions, but there were still some awesome prizes given out to the best betters (official 2017 Derby cups!).

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The races were broken up by ages. The 1-2 year olds barely made it to the finish line, while the 4-6 year old race ended up being quite competitive, along with the 7-9 year old race. Nia placed second in the 4-6 year old category which honestly shocked both Nick and I. We had no idea she was so fast! Turns out she has her parents competitive tendency though, as she spent the rest of the party lamenting her second place victory.  :(

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Michelle ended up winning her age bracket by default (she was the only 10-12 year old there) so Nia was somewhat consoled by the fact that a trophy was going home with our group.

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It was Evelyn’s birthday today, so we decided to take the whole crew (Schorasticah included) to participate in the fun. Here’s a sweet picture of the whole clan together.

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As if the party itself wasn’t enough fun, we then went home and had birthday cake. Couldn’t pass up the chance to celebrate Evelyn turning 5 years old! Nia had a very hard time letting Evelyn be the special person of the day. She kept stomping off and pouting, which I found very amusing. It’s hard being Nia….

I’ll close this post with a very amusing story from last weekend. We were at an Embassy social and the movie Moana was being played. Several Marines were at the party, and unbeknownst to me, at one point she went over to them and said, “I need one of you to come over and protect me from the lava monster.”

I mean, I guess it makes sense. She knows that they protect the Embassy from bad guys, so if she needs to be protected from the lava monster, then they’re the most logical choice. I just couldn’t believe she did it. And I also couldn’t believe that one sweet Marine said yes and let her snuggle into his side for the rest of the movie! Yet another reason that I adore our Marines!!

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