Jun 27 2012
Maybe you know this already, but planning a party (a surprise party, nonetheless) is a lot of work. And I mean A LOT of work!! I've planned parties before- we host parties and events at the stores regularly throughout the year- but there's something about planning a party for a personal cause that is nothing like planning parties at the store!
I guess I should tell you why I was planning a party in the first place. As most of you know, my mother was involved in an accident on her farm last December. She spent 6 nerve-racking weeks at The MED where she went into cardiac arrest, underwent 2 major surgeries, received more than 26 pints of blood, and then finally came home. It was a stressful, eye-opening experience to say the least. After all of that I knew that 2012 was going to be our year (it had to be!!), and I knew I had to celebrate her upcoming 60th birthday in a big way. Not only was she here to actually celebrate her 60th birthday with us, she had made an surprisingly quick recovery and was pretty much back to her workaholic self. (Hmm...maybe that's where I get it from?!)
Mom's favorite chef (and son of our good friend) came to cater the entire night. I can't even describe how delicious everything was! Not one of the 50 people there left hungry!
Brent and my dad may have gotten a bit carried away with the drink selections :)
Pulling a surprise on my mom is not easy, especially when you see and talk to her everyday. My dad, my husband Brent, and countless others came together to help me pull it off and I'm happy to say she never suspected a thing, even when we flew her best friend in from California for the big weekend!
The party favors for the night. Having a big display of the plants really added a lot of life and color to my living room- the main gathering place for everyone who attended.
I set up small conversation areas throughout the main living space and back patio. Even though everyone walked around and mingled, it was nice to have areas to sit and chat here and there. Holliday's even left me some loose cut flowers so I could add them around the house as needed. They were perfect for the mason jars.
Despite all of the work involved, I had such a great time selecting the color scheme. I wanted something bright and funky to match mom's personality. And given the darkness and gloom we had just been through, it seemed only fitting. This was more a "celebration of life" than it was a 60th birthday party, so I stayed away from traditional 60th birthday themes and decor. The only truly birthday themed accessory I used was her birthday hat- a burlap party had with a big "60" monogrammed in the center. She's not usually one to enjoy silly props and lots of attention, but she gladly pranced around in her hat all night! It was so fun to see!!
The guest of honor! Dad and I were lucky enough to get a quick shot with mom. She was a popular lady chatting and laughing all night long!!
Next time you have the chance to do something fun and out of the ordinary for someone you love- do it!! It's lots of work but totally worth it. You never know when (or if) the chance will come again.
If I could offer you one piece of advice though...don't wait until the last minute to get your butt in gear!!