Bookends

Well, I’ve decided to make the past week and unofficial Rome week, for no other reason than the fact that it was kind of bookended with some great events.  Last Saturday we got together for Bethany’s bridal shower and then we finished off the week with the very last Rome dinner on Friday.  As the school year winds down the finality of all of these group events is really starting to sink in as a large group of us will be graduating, getting married (well, only one of us is getting married), and heading off into the big, beautiful, world.

We headed over to Kaitlyn’s house early Saturday morning to get everything in order for the bridal shower brunch.  Scones, muffins, fluffy egg dishes, and a magnificent fruit salad were on the table as the guests began to pour in.

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In addition to Bethany’s closest Rome girls, the most important women from all aspects of her life came to celebrate her upcoming marriage.  Bethany was absolutely glowing the entire morning.  Her happiness was contagious.

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The whole morning I was awestruck by the entire situation.  As we all sat there together it really hit me how my life was changed, and continues to be changed by Rome.  When I arrived in Italy I thought I might come away with a few friends and some acquaintances.  I never could have imagined that all of us would be sitting together celebrating one of our weddings!  I never stop feeling blessed by the experience and all that it brought into my life.

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ImageFriday night, the masses came together yet again for our final Rome dinner.  Mary and I spent the afternoon in the kitchen whipping up various kinds of pasta, including my all-time favorite, and super simple go-to meal, Giada de Laurentiis’ Farfalle with Broccoli.  Absolutely amazing, and such a crowd pleaser!

We were expecting a smaller than usual crowd of about 20 guests, but sadly in the end many people weren’t able to make it.  I was really hoping we could beat our all time best turn out of over 30 people for the final Rome dinner, but being the end of the year there were tons of events going on and we just couldn’t do it!

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Although the crowd was small, I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to spend my Friday evening with.  Leo even graced us with his presence and a poem he had written about our Italian home!   Our little Rome family never has a dull moment.  Perhaps one of my favorite things about these gatherings, and something that speaks volumes to the group, is the fact that our family is always growing as we constantly bring in honorary Rome Girls and Guys who instantly become a part of it all.  Friday was no different as we were joined by Haley, our unofficial fifth roommate and one of the most fabulous girls to walk the earth, Dan, Leo’s roommate, and Cynthia, Sophia’s mom.  All of them seamlessly became a part of our group and brought wonderful things to the table.

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It was the most wonderful and bittersweet evenings.  In honor of the last Rome dinner, and the whole group, here is a little trip down memory lane to our the first Rome dinner.  Baci ai miei cari amici di Roma!

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