I am very thankful that my camera battery charger arrived in the mail before this weekend, because it was BIG one.  Jeremiah and his Mom have the same birthday–March 10th–which means that Mrs. Linda’s birthday is usually spent doing something that involves horses, cookouts (that she helps prepare), and camper trailers.  While she is always a good sport and acts as though she is happy with these testostoron-ific celebrations, it was high time she had a more feminine birthday celebration.


I told Jeremiah to plan a weekend with his Dad and brother, Josh, of camping and horseback riding.  When Ashley heard that the guys really were going to be gone for the weekend, she called me and said, “Have you seen the Ladies’ Lunch in the back of Southern Living this month?”

“No, I don’t know when I’ve been able to look at a magazine.” 🙂

“Well, you need to pull it out, because that’s what I want to do for Mom’s birthday.  But I don’t want it to be one of those ladies’ lunches where nobody has enough food. You want to do it with me??”

I’ve learned that when Ashley starts to dream about a party, I’d be a fool to question it or miss out on one minute.  She has such a gift!  So, here are the pictures of Linda’s birthday lunch.  And you’ll see that when Ashley said she wanted there to be enough food…well…


I said I didn’t argue with Ashley about her party ideas, but I actually did argue this point–the congealed salad.  “Ashley, only old ladies like congealed salad,” I said.  She laughed and agreed…but did it anyway.  {MOST of these recipes come from the March issue of Southern Living  pages 114-119.  I’ll tell you if otherwise}  In the above picture you can see our salad course–“Cranberry-Strawberry Salad” (Ashley substituted rhubarb, cooked down a little bit with sugar, for the cranberries) and fresh mixed greens tossed in the “Fast Flourish Lemon Vinaigrette” (pg 115).  I’m telling you right now, this was my favorite course of the whole day–the course I made fun of but Ashley’s gut told her to make anyway.  Something about that soft sweet salad, paired with the tangy greens, was just perfect.  And when you ate it all with these Neiman Marcus Cheddar Cheese Biscuits.  Oh my!!!


Ashley and Alex decided to add the fresh rosemary and Asiago cheese to these. They also skipped the rolling them out and using a cookie cutter step. Who needs that extra work?!

Then the soup course… “Tomato Basil Bisque,” it calls for the yummy surprise of buttermilk.


These are not in Southern Living, but they are a party staple of mine.  Mini, open-face BLTs.  You mix mayo (Duke’s) and softened cream cheese with salt, pepper, and diced green onions. Spread it on bread and top with a roma tomato slice and crumbled bacon (You really can’t sub bacon bits here. You’ll have to go ahead and stink up your kitchen and fry the bacon yourself).


There’s the birthday girl at the head of her table!


Those tea sandwiches in the middle of the table are egg salad (made by Alex), chicken salad (my old standard recipe), and "Cucumber Strawberry" that I was a little nervous about making but you MUST TRY them!! So different and so delicious.


Along with the sandwiches in our main course, Ashley made two quiches. This one is a ham, swiss and spinach (not in Southern Living).


This one is the "Carmelized Onion Quiche" recipe that is in the magazine. We loved both, but Ashley said that next time she would do less onions than they call for.


Our beautiful party planner, bringing out coffee to our birthday guests.

And with that coffee, we must have DESSERT!


At our Book Club in Birmingham, I used to request that my sweet friend Stephanie make this Strawberry Tart at every event we had.  I actually signed her up for it on the sign-up sheet once, without even asking her 🙂  I L.o.v.e it.  And when I moved from Birmingham, I got her recipe so that I would not have to go without for the rest of my life 🙂  I took her recipe and made it in a mini version for our Ladies’ lunch.  This blog is too long for me to write out the recipe now, but if yall will remind me, I really will write it out for you.


Ashley made “Chocolate Expresso Pots de Creme,” served them in tea cups and topped it with homemade whipping cream and fresh rasberries.  And, since a birthday is not a birthday without birthday cake, there’s a slice from our local restaurant, River Nile.  They put this crunchy sugar on top of the icing, and the cake is a moist pound cake…if you’re local, you’re gonna need to try it!

We had a wonderful time, and I think the birthday girl felt how much we all LOVE her.  It’s fun to do something special for a person who is always serving everybody else.

And I’m going to end this post with some shots from the rest of our weekend, because this blog is my children’s only scrapbook.  The birthday lunch was Friday, and I decided to get up Saturday morning and meet my sister Kendall at the beach.  Why yes, it was her college Spring Break, and YES I brought all three of my children.  SPRING BREAK 2012, BABY!!  I just didn’t want to sit in the house all weekend, wishing I were with Jeremiah on his birthday.  It was a major effort, but I find I’m always thankful I made a trip to the beach…even if it rains the entire time.  There is something wonderfully healing about the site of white sand and endless ocean.

It was Jay Paul’s first time, and for the first 45 minutes or so he could not bring himself to open his eyes and face the Florida sun.


But once he finally did we had some fun.  He has recently discovered that he has a tongue, and he doesn’t mind showing it you.


And he is still melting hearts far and wide with this grin and giggle.


His sisters were up to some she-nanigans in the sand.  This is just after Pace buried Mary Aplin–crucifix style and just before she added sea-shells over her boobies.


Jay Paul wanted none of that action.  He preferred the lull of the waves.


He did not appreciate the sun coming out from behind the clouds, like we did.


But pajama cuddling is always a favorite past-time.


The birthday boy left the Sipsey Wilderness in North Alabama and drove all the way down to us on Sunday afternoon.  The guys cut their trip short…I think it was because they missed we ladies…even though they didn’t say that, that’s how I have decided to interpret it 🙂


It was cloudy and a little chilly, but we had fun anyway…didn’t we Buddy Man?

10 Responses to “Birthday Weekend”

  1. Melody says:

    Oh my goodness, the food looks wonderful and how sweet of y’all to have such a special lunch for such a special lady. I thinnk I will be calling Ashley before my next party :). Jay Paul is precious. Love those cheeks.

  2. Oooh…. a girls luncheon. Looks like it was a wonderful time. And I’m so impressed with y’alls culinary skills.

    Can’t wait for you to post Steph’s recipe. Everything that she makes is delicious.

  3. Kellie says:

    How wonderful! We should all strive to make all birthdays so special – y’all do an especially fabulous job!!!! WE all have lots to celebrate! Jay Paul is adorable, I think he looks like Pace!!!! 🙂

  4. andi says:

    Cheese rolls, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE, PASS THE CHEESE ROLLS! Little rounds of herb wonder how you made my mouth smile! SO do those pictures at the beach! My favorite is the one of all three together looking so snugly. 🙂

  5. Natalie says:

    If I didn’t already love this post I do now…thanks to your use of “buddy man.” I call both my boys that 🙂 sweet sweet sweet Abby!!

  6. Konie says:

    Oh what a beautiful birthday celebration for sweet Linda!! I’m sorry I was out of town……… 🙁 maybe our next family get together we can do that menu again??????!!:) and of course I love any pics of the children :)) jay Paul is constantly changing!!!! Since I’m STILL out of town I feel
    like he’ll be walking by the time I get back!!:)))) Hope to see YOU ALL next week….. In person!:) XOXO

  7. Gina says:

    Thta looks like a be wonderful party. How special for your mother-in-law. 🙂 The food looks fabulous and I will be anxiously awaiting the recipe for the strawberry tartlettes. 😉 I have made a tartlette simular but am always looking for new recipes. 🙂 My sister-in-law is going to Disney next week and told me she was taking her grand daughter to Bippity Boppity Boutique and I said, “oh, I saw pictures from someone’s blog.” Now I am looking forward to her pictures. 🙂 Love the pictures of Buddy Man. 🙂

  8. mary beth says:

    Oh my word! That party looks exquisite! Make sure you post the strawberry recipe…consider that my official reminder. 🙂 And babies at the beach? The CUTEST. Especially Jay Paul. We’re about to take our kids in a couple weeks and I literally can’t wait!

  9. linda pace maddox says:

    It really was a spectacular event, that I certainly dont deserve, but I thoroughly enjoyed. I specifically asked Ashley not to make a fuss over my birthday, because it is Jeremiahs birthday too, and that is the one we should celebrate. Of course, I was so surprised. I love all my girls, and I cant say thank you in enough or adequate ways.

  10. Nancy says:

    This is the prettiest food/decor post! I just posted some food & mine should be on Sesame Street compared to this! So beautiful! I think your baby boy is PRECIOUS!!

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