Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Surprise... it was a surprise!

After so many hours, days, weeks and months of planning, the day finally arrived and my sister and I were on pins and needles to say the least.  There were butterflies in our stomach and the question constantly floated around in our head...  Do they already know?  What if they notice all of the cars across the street?  What if they get here and just say, "so, what's going on?"

The hour came and all guests were waiting in the shop.  Dad and Mom walked up to the front door and we were quick to create distractions, quick to great them, and quick to start the walk to the shop.  

We told them the kids had been working on a surprise for them in the shop and they were anxious to show it to them.  And, because they were both turning 60 this year, it was going to be for both of them... and they needed to cover their eyes.  My sister and I helped them walk over and as we were going slow, she asked them if they had any idea what might be in the shop.

They said they had a couple of ideas but that they couldn't wait to see what it was.   Well, those ideas were not even close.  They were thinking Adirondack chairs.... 

It was a complete surprise.  

Even with the kids knowing... and not being aloud in the shop for weeks beforehand... even with family coming into town to "visit"...  and with their friend's cars parked across the street... 
they just had no idea.  And, we were thrilled!

I don't know if I can say the evening went fast.   We worked hard, running between the house and the shop, making sure everything was taken care of.  We tried to visit with the guests in those calm moments when the food did not need attention.  It seemed as if our feet were in constant motion. 
It was worth it though.

The air was filled with music that they grew up listening to and songs from their wedding. There was good food on the table and pictures around the room from their lives.  There were the friends and family that came to celebrate with us.   There were tears and laughter.  
Sweet memories were made.

We are so thankful for our parents.  We are so thankful for the way they raised us, for the way they love us, and they way they love our families.  We are so thankful that we were able to enjoy their 60th birthday's in such a fashion.  

We are thankful that the party is over...
that we can look back on that evening with such fondness...
and that now we can enjoy the summer days! 

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Surprise... all in the details

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)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

May Days...

The days have been full and beautiful.  
Our month started with a little trip up to Mt. Rushmore... 

and we were able to see Crazy Horse, which is an amazing story to see in progress.  
We also drove around Bear Country and spent hours swimming.

We discovered a Killdeer nest....

and got all dressed up for a costume party.
Let's see...  John and Benjamin Star Wars Jedi
Faith - a cowgirl
Olivia - "Princess Olivia, a flower girl"
Alaina - a monkey
and Brent and I with Alaina - Monkey Business

Thankfully, we were outside, just as the killdeer had hatched and were 
able to watch them run around for a minute.  Oh, such fun!

We finished our school days and started our garden.
Oh, and there was this one other big thing that happened in May...