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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Birthday Bash Post Mortem

I know you've all been dying to know how the birthday bash went last Saturday. Well, we should have known that with the Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade scheduled for that day, we were destined to have rainy weather. It started raining just before parade time, and rained pretty steadily all day, growing harder in the afternoon. Fortunately, we had put up the main party tent on Friday evening, so the ground underneath it was dry, and it provided shelter during Saturday's rains to put up decorations. By the time of the party, the rain was letting up, and it only sprinkled sporadically throughout the evening. The overcast skies helped keep the temperatures warmer, too--I hedged my bets by wearing socks and shoes and a lightweight wool cardigan under my shawl, and even with temperatures in the low 60s I was comfortable all evening.

One of the best parts of the whole birthday weekend happened on Friday just before dinner. I was at J&J's (my brother and sister-in-law, who hosted the party in their enormous backyard) in the kitchen, and was surprised to see a car drive up that looked like my dad's Trooper. And then my dad got out! My parents and youngest sister drove all day Friday to come for my party, and left Monday morning first thing. I was so happy to see them! It really meant a lot to me that they went to such a great effort to be there. And their help in the final party preparations was invaluable.

Another good thing happened on Wednesday, when I mentioned at Enrichment that I wasn't sure if the tent I had ordered would arrive on time. A woman sitting at my table had purchased a party tent for her daughter's wedding several years prior, and offered to let us use it. With the way the weather turned out, having that second tent ended up being crucial--I don't know what we would have done without it.

With a few last-minute cancellations due to illness, everyone who said they'd come did, and brought marvelous food to share. The band, Mariachi Viva México, was amazing.

Here's the erection of the main party tent on Friday night, just after the arrival of my parents and sister:

A bird's nest, perilously close to the party setup. I hope the bird didn't abandon her eggs as a result!

My sister and nephew hanging pompoms in the party tent:

The finished effect. I found the instructions for the pompoms via someone's blog, who found them on Martha Stewart. Very cheap materials, but quite expensive in terms of labor. These will all be hung in a basement for future re-use. The heap of brush containing the bird's nest can be seen at right just behind a table.

My brother feeding the fire. The fire pit was another loaner from someone in my ward.

The dinner/music tent. The woman in the band had an amazing voice that could carry over all the instruments without amplification.

Cutting the birthday cake. You can't really see it, but the icing on top says, "Feliz Cumpleaños." The cake, filling and icing were all chocolate (of course!).

Whacking the birthday piñata. When was the last time you went to a party where they had a piñata for grownups? This one was filled with about six different flavors of Lindor balls.

People actually brought me presents! There were quite a bit of chocolate, no fewer than three copies of the new Pink Martini CD, the 80s Trivial Pursuit edition (thanks to my best friend from HS--all of us children of the 80s did fine, but my parents felt completely lost), and (my favorites) original art from MWR (a framed photo) and my sister (a batik).

Thanks to all who made my birthday bash a smashing success! Especially J&J who hosted, arranged for the band and made marvelous chalupa (both beef and pork) to anchor the food table, plus tons of cookies. And my parents and sister who traveled the farthest (beating out MWR who drove down from Seattle), then slaved for hours helping assemble the decor. And the nice people in my ward who loaned the items that took the party from good to just perfect. Now I just have to start thinking what I want at 50! High on my list is figuring out some way to get all the Scary Feminists there--start planning now, gals!



Blogger ME said...

It sounds like a smashing good time! The food and entertainments sounded amazing--and what a great surprise for your folks to make the trek.

It's not the same as being there, but thanks for sharing the pics and synopsis!

We'll work on the arrangements for a big Scary-inclusive 50th.

Mary Ellen

June 13, 2007 at 10:03 PM  
Blogger Swizzies said...

Wow, looks like a great party!! I wish I could have been there... Happy 40th, JA!! :-)


June 14, 2007 at 4:06 AM  
Blogger MWR said...

It was a fun time, and much more distinctive in the mist than it would have been in perfect weather. The lovely smoky smell from the fire pit was the real icing on the cake. Thanks again to J&J for their efforts.

I will have some photos from the event back later today, to be shared with JA for posting as she sees fit.

June 14, 2007 at 12:22 PM  
Blogger Janet M Kincaid said...

Yeah! Happy Birthday, JaneAnne! Your party looks like it was an absolute ball and the cake.... Oh, the humanity! The cake. Like, yum???? And here's to a SFFH gathering in 10 years! Woo hoo!!

June 14, 2007 at 4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, goody--I can hardly wait to see MWR's pictures. Hopefully some of them with have actual people other than me. The pictures I posted make it look like the event was rather spottily attended.

Yes, the cake was good. There was enough left over for me to freeze a 6x8 section, and put a three-piece size section in the fridge. Plus J&J kept some. I had a piece today after lunch!

June 14, 2007 at 8:49 PM  
Blogger Hevansrich said...

Happy 40th fellow '67 birthday girl!

June 14, 2007 at 9:03 PM  

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