The plans began forming in January. My parents were both turning 60 this year and that seemed to invite the need for a party. My sister and I, along with our husbands, discussed all sorts of possibilities. Should we do a small party here in Colorado or should we all get back "home" to California so that we can enjoy this celebration with our life long friends... the ideas would fly in and we'd play with each one. We finally decided to email some close friends and family in California to see if they'd be able to make the trip out here to help us celebrate. Almost all were able!
We wanted to keep the party on the smaller side. Close family and friends. Friends who they enjoy together, friends they do dinners with, vacation with... friends who have celebrated life with them.
Family, friends we've known for 25 plus years, and new friends here in Colorado...
Timing. Doing a party for two birthdays made it interesting. Mom's birthday was at the end of March and Dad's is in the middle of July so we wanted to find some common ground... the month of May. When we emailed our family and friends asking if they'd come out to Colorado, we also asked about timing. When would it work best for everyone. We finally decided on Memorial Day weekend, which ended up working out better than we could have imagined.
Once we knew we were doing the party in Colorado, it was time to work on the location. Should we do it at a local restaurant? Or, could we do it at our house? If we did it here, should we rent a big tent? Brent then asked the question, "What if we did the party in the shop?" It made me pause... the shop. It would take a lot of work, we'd have a lot to clean out, and a lot to do, but how fun it would be. I asked my sister, and she immediately loved the idea. The shop it was.
With the date, location, and guest list taken care of, it was now time to have fun. It was time to search for and gather ideas for the party. Google searches would find the typical "over the hill" themes and the corny party ideas, which was not what we were looking for. We dug a little deeper and quickly started to find the look we were going for... a simple, rustic look, with hopefully a touch of classic. And, all in a shop.
Our husbands were amazing... we'd come up with a project and they'd jump in. We made fence sections to go in the shop to hopefully hide some of the shelving that could not be moved, we made chalkboards and signs, they hung lights, and cleaned, cleaned, cleaned. We planted flower pots, had older pictures developed, and used mason jars for candles... it was starting to look like what we were picturing.
Four out of the nine kiddos knew about the party, we were hoping family and friends from California would not slip up, and I still panicked about sending my parents an email chalk full of details that was really suppose to go to my sister. Were they starting to wonder why they could not go in the shop and why we were so busy all of the sudden?
The question was out there....
Still we wondered...
Would it be a surprise?
(all pictures done by a dear friend, Brianne Totman)