Sunday, July 21, 2013

Summer of Excitement: 40 years in the making! - [a case of the summer]

This week's Summer of Excitement event is the culmination of several months of planning.  And a celebration of a 40 year marriage.  In August, my parents will be married for 40 years, and to ring in the occasion, my siblings (and their spouses) and I threw them a surprise party this Saturday night.

Like I said, this was several months in the making.  And since I even work with my dad, it was extremely hard not to slip and say something.  The planning of this goes back to April or so, so that's a long time to keep things hidden and to sneak around for meetings with the siblings.  It was a lot of work, but thankfully everything went pretty much according to plan.

We had initially "stolen" my parents' address book, which was of course out of date, to get names and potential addresses of the people we wanted to invite.  We talked to my aunts and uncles to see who else my parents might want to be there.  And then we did some internet searches to make sure we had the right addresses.  My parents were away on vacation with my aunt the week before the party, which was a huge blessing because it gave us the opportunity to take care of a lot of things without worrying about them finding anything.  They got back the day of the party.

My parents believed they were going to a friend of my brother and sister-in-law's engagement party.  That was the excuse to get them to the restaurant.  I was convinced that they had no idea what was coming, but my uncle and sister-in-law, in particular, voiced their doubts and suspected they might know.  However, when they walked into the room and we all yelled "SURPRISE!" you could tell they had no idea.  They verified that when we asked later on.  They were truly, truly shocked.

It was really exciting, too.  My mom's close friends, who live in Florida, flew in for the occasion (which was a GREAT surprise for them).  And it was great for everybody to get together and catch up.  There were many instances in which people had heard of each other, but never actually met.  It was a rare opportunity for everybody to come together.

The overall atmosphere was great, too.  There were two TV's in the room, so we had a slideshow of new and old photos playing on both (which was a hit).  We also had some really nice flowers and candles at each table, and the napkins were embossed with a "B."  Then we had their wedding photo printed on a foam poster, which everybody signed with some well wishes.

That isn't to say we didn't hit some minor hurdles.  We had some last minute cancellations, we almost didn't get one of the TV's hooked up to our computer so that we could show a slideshow, the salad was served AFTER the main course, and the silver marker I got for people to sign a poster with my parents' wedding photo didn't show just as clearly as I had hoped.  But all things considered, it was a near perfect night!

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