Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oktoberfest 2011

We started this tradition FIVE years ago when were newly married and it has become one of our favorite fall events.  To be honest, we almost didn't do it this year - what, with a baby and all - but it is important to both of us that we maintain friendships and things that are important to us - like hospitality - even with Sam.  So... Chapman Oktoberfest FIVE went on. (See past years here and here.)

We had a slightly smaller crowd than usual; but, we figured out that we still had at least 35 different kinds of beer there for tasting.  As usual, we asked our guests to bring a six-pack of the most original beer they could find, sample what they wanted, and then place their vote for the BEST and WORST.  This year, Seth (you may recognize him) won with Stegmeier Pumpkin Ale and Kathryn won worst with Mad Bishop. This is her THIRD year in a row being the "loser."  She's quite proud of the title.

Sam attended about the first hour of the party, then he spent the night with his Gigi (did I ever announce that that's the name my mom decided on?) and Bear.  I admit that Jeff and I were both a little hesitant (more for our own sake, we knew he'd be in good hands); but it seemed like as good a time as any to give him his first overnight without the 'rents.  He did AWESOME and was probably glad to escape our crowded house.  Mom and Dad survived too and even slept uninterrupted until 9AM.

Overall, the party was a success; BUT, Jeff and I agreed that it had a different feel this year.  We're older - all of us.  And, if we're really being honest, our relationships are different than they were five years ago, or even one.  I can't really explain it, because it isn't an obvious change really, but it is there.  In some ways it felt like were "catching up" with people that we used to know everything about.  Does that make sense?

That change is hard for me sometimes; but, when we talked about it; we realized that there really is no other choice. We are in a new season now.  I'm SO thankful for the seasons that have come before it - the ones where we were out with friends every.single.night etc. - but they couldn't have stayed the same.  If they did, we wouldn't have Sam.  We wouldn't know the joy of lazy Friday nights at home eating chili and watching movies.  We couldn't sustain both lifestyles forever. 

None of this is to say we don't value our friends - I'm a HUGE advocate for not giving them up just because your life changes - but I think there is something to be said for accepting change as it comes.  I've tried, and it's too hard to fight it.  I'm grateful that our community of friends and family have really loved us where we are and gone on this journey WITH us over the past years.  It's neat to have friends that know you in many different stages - but again, change is always hard.

What do you think about this?  How have you all balanced having a baby with having friends in different seasons of life?

Anyway, I'm getting a bit too deep for a post on a beer party. You get the idea.

Until #6...


  1. Once again, I can so relate... I have a group of girlfriends that have been my besties for 15+ years. Last week my MIL was visiting and asked how they're all doing and what they've been up to, when I realized I haven't talked to any of them in 2 months! They're all stay at home moms or part-time working moms and I'm the only one working full time therefore, I feel like I miss out on everything. And my weekend time with my little one is so short and precious that I refuse to spend it rushing around trying to go here or there with a million people. Things have definitely changed and it's bitter sweet but I would never change any of it. Being a Mom is such a blessing. I'm sure you feel the same. Thanks for always sharing your heart. There are so many of us that are hearing you loud and clear. :)

  2. What a fun tradition! I don't have any kids, so I can't really relate to that aspect of your post. But I do find that there are seasons in my friendships. The way I related to my friends in college, compared to after graduation, is quite different. How I related to friends during law school was different than college. How I manage my relationships is different now 6 months post graduation than it was during law school. You get the picture. I think that's normal. There are aspects of prior seasons I kind of nostalgically wish had continued, but I'm of the "enjoy today" camp so try not to feel bad about things changing.

  3. Sorry we missed it! We didn't have a baby sitter for baby P and she was in bed at 7pm. Let me know if you need anything.... I'm so excited to see your pictures from this upcoming weekend. Jen

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  5. I love this post! I have found that my relationships have gone through a lot of changes over the last couple years more because there are changes in me and the in the things I want out of my days and weeks than specifically because we have had a baby, etc (we're getting there though). It's a bit of a struggle. I feel like I'm probably less fun and do less exciting things now. And I've also felt resistance from people who aren't on board with the changes in me or that I'll "allow" my relationships to change. That makes it even harder. Life and all the things about it are dynamic. I think accepting that and looking at the new things that changes bring for you to look forward too rather than mourning (too much) the things you are "missing out on" makes it easier.

  6. What a fun party idea! I have found myself at a loss for friends, or so I feel, after having Luke. Being one of the first of my close friends to have a baby, I'm left out of a lot of the "newlywed" sort of activities. Nobody knows what it's like to have a newborn and how desperately I craved (and still would love) some adult conversation with friends! I agree, it's a season, but it's hard to go through it alone without the company of like-minded friends...
    Hooray for blog buddies!

  7. I too was the first one to have a baby out of my closet friends and had many of the same feelings! But little did I know...what a sweet time of "advice giving" and "been there done that and totally understand" moments were lying ahead of me! Someone has to go first and then disclose all of motherhood's "dirty little secrets"! Last June at church during "senior Sunday" when all us moms were tearing up thinking of our babies graduating my sweet friend who had just had a baby leaned over and whispered, "I'm so glad you have to do everything first, especially sending Sam to Kindergarten...don't hold out on me when it's my time"! Enjoy being the "go-to" for many years to come!

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  9. Oktoberfest sounds like fun- I can't wait to have the drinks I have missed after having this baby!


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