Wednesday, July 30, 2008

:: We Pulled It Off ::

In January my siblings started having a conversation about how much fun it would be to throw my parents a party for their 60th birthdays. Plus, my mom was graduating with her Masters degree and my dad was talking about retiring. We thought we could roll it all into one big shindig. Little did we know that when we put our five Sessions heads together we'd come up with such an elaborate plan.

We picked a date. We figured out how we would all get to Ogden on the same weekend (including my brother Tim who lives his summers in Alaska). We set a budget (and went over it). We made a guest list. Then, we decided to make it a surprise party, especially because my parents aren't big on having people dote on them.

My sister Lyn (with the help of Aunt Shantal) found this amazing pavilion that was FREE for use and shady and pretty and easy to find. It didn't need much decoration... just a leaf blower and my crafty touch.

(I have about 35 of these cans and globes. If you are in the SLC valley and need a quick decorating from something, these can be yours. Just email me.)

Lyndsey and her MIL, Brenda, put together an simple, yet not at all low budget, picnic spread and served our 100+ guests buffet style.

Mike designed invites and my brother Jeff hijacked my parents address book and sent out about 150 invites to old friends and family. My parents have lived in many cities so it was interesting to see who came from how far. There was at least one representative from almost every town that we've lived in. Because Tim was flying from Alaska for the weekend, we wanted to let him hang out with my parents for at least a full day, so we decided to surprise them in the morning rather than at the actual party.

We all met at the church parking lot down the road and started trickling into their house one by one. I went first (we used Cohen's birthday as an excuse to visit them that morning so they were expecting me) followed by all of the grandkids and then my siblings. I don't think my parents knew what was going on until Tim walked in holding a video camera and started explaining why we were all at their house. I don't know if they were more surprised or embarrassed, but the moment was priceless and lots of tears were shed (mostly by me and my dad... we have overactive tear ducts). It was fantastic and I hope it made up for all the years that we weren't the most wonderful (except Lyn... she's always been the good one) children.

This is my oldest brother Jeff, the master party planner behind it all. He is my oldest brother and lives in Boise, Idaho. AKA the address book hijacker and link to my parents last 34 years. He remembers EVERYBODY!

This is my older sister Jenny (and her chubby cheeked son Austin). She lives in Las Vegas, NV. I had to use this picture of her because I cannot believe how much she looks like my mom in this picture. Jenny was our accountant and time line keeper. Every time we'd slack a little, she'd cracker her bull whip and we'd be back on track.

This is the amazing Lyndsey, my younger sister, who lives in Ogden, Utah, and is sweeter than all of my siblings put together. She put together an amazing menu and booked and amazing venue and did it all with a smile on her face (at least in front of the curtain... she was probably a little frazzled behind the scenes).
And, my youngest brother Tim, who joined us from Skagway, Alaska. Having him there was the icing on the cake. My parents could not believe we got him home for 2 days. Being the youngest, of course he has to be the best at all things electronic. He put together a fantastic tribute to my parents that left the audience laughing and crying at the same time (0kay... again, it was only Pops and I that were really crying).

It was a success. My mom's outfit even matched the decorations. Everyone had a good time and it was so fun to see so many old faces. I could not believe the distance some of the guests drove. My parents are truly loved by most they come in contact with. It was an excellent time had by all.

This picture pretty much sums it up. We've been looking forward to this party all summer and now were are all so relieved that it is over. Thanks for the good time.


Jenny B said...

Have you posted all of your pictures on flicker yet? I really didn't take very many so I need to steal some yours. Great post-where are you? Didn't Mike take any of his lovely wife?

Tanya said...

Fun! You guys put together a great party and I'm so jealous of your crafty centerpieces.

If someone doesn't take them all, I'd love to have one for my pencils at work. I drive past your place on the way to my friend's house, so I can stop by and pick it up anytime.

Rusti said...

You did an amazing job! That had to take some serious planning. Just reading about it wore me out!

BTW- I'm loving those cans you made! :)

B&B Goldsberry said...

I love the cute centerpieces! Gosh.. I might have to steal the idea from you! I am attempting a surprise birthday party for Brandon's 30th birthday coming up soon! I doubt it will turn out as good as yours, but we will try! :)

Liz said...

What a cool idea!!You guys are great kiddos to plan such a fun party for your padres. Cute decorations you Crafty Lady You!!

Lauren Ricci said...

Looks like it was a great party. I am so sorry I missed it! Was thinking of you guys though.

Stephanie said...

Oh I am so glad it turned out well. That really does sound like a lot of fun. What lucky parents you have!!

The Summerhays Family said...

So great! It looked like such a fun party and I bet your parents are still talking about it. I love seeing pictures of your fam - I think Tim looks just like Jeff did when he was that age:)

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