Sometime last summer I told my sister that I thought we should have a surprise 40th wedding anniversary party for my parents, which would be on July 3rd, 2011. At Christmas time we talked again and we decided yes, we were going to do it. Or attempt to do it! We spent the last few months planning a surprise party for them and lying to them left and right. Not only did it take Amy and I lying to them, but it took quite a few of their friends lying to them to make this happen!
The weekend of the party finally arrived. My parents thought my sister was attending her husband’s family reunion and they thought we were going to the beach again this weekend for the 4th of July. My parents thought they were going out of town for the weekend with some of their best friends (who incidentally were allowing us to have the party at their house!)
In actuality, my sister and I (and our families) arrived in Ohio on Friday evening – within about 5 minutes of each other. Pretty good planning considering we were coming from North Carolina and she was coming from Missouri. We ate dinner with another one of my parents’ best friends and we stayed in a hotel Friday night. Saturday we got up and we went over to where the party was being held and we prepared all day. We went to Costco and got the rest of the food we needed. The boys set up the backyard with chairs and tables. We decorated and got ready!
One of the biggest issues of the weekend was my parents’ dog, Kate. When my parents travel out of town they take Kate to their vet and board her there. I knew they would do the same with her last weekend but because they weren’t really going out of town for the weekend, we didn’t want them to really pay to have her boarded. I called the vet early in the week to explain the situation to them. I know they thought it was the strangest request but they agreed to let my mom bring Kate in and they acted like they knew nothing. As soon as she dropped Kate off at the vet, the vet called me and I went to pick Kate back up!!! From there I took Kate to the house of one of my mom’s teacher friends and she watched Kate for us all afternoon. She brought Kate to the party and as soon my parents got to the party, we took Kate back to my parents’. We tried to think of everything! My mom was SO happy that we had gotten Kate!
Our first guests started arriving around 3pm. My parents thought they were picking up Charlyne and Earl at 4:30pm and heading out of town. We were all out on the back deck and Charlyne and Earl went out to meet my parents. Earl made up some story about what a raccoon did in his backyard and wanted my parents to come see. My Dad comes walking around the corner and sees Amy and me and our families and then all their friends up on the deck. Mom took what seemed like forever to get around the corner. She of course started crying when she saw us!
They honestly had NO clue that we had this party planned. Because my dad worked for Energizer Battery and got transferred all over the US, they have friends in many places. We invited their good friends from out of state and so many ended up coming. They had friends from Florida, North Carolina, Vermont, Missouri, Nebraska, and of course Ohio there. It turned out to be quite a large Energizer reunion!
When they got over their initial shock and amazement I think they enjoyed themselves. We picked the hottest day of the year in Ohio to have a party! Charlyne and Earl have a beautiful backyard and deck so it was the perfect location.
Because we had so many people coming in from out of town, we also planned a golf outing for my dad and the guys on Sunday morning. The wives came over to Mom and Dad’s and we just hung out and chatted most of the afternoon. Then we had all the out of town guests and a few local couples back over for another meal on Sunday evening. It was a weekend full of fun!
Most everyone took off for home on the 4th. I talked my parents’ friends from Vermont into staying an extra day so they stayed through the 4th. On the 4th all the guys went and played more golf and the ladies took the kids to the swimming pool. Lindy and Will had a blast in the water. We practiced some of their swimming lesson techniques and they did pretty good. Hayley and Rylee are serious fish and can swim so well. They go to the pool everyday and have taken years of lessons. I hope we can get there one day!
Last night we grilled out and hung out some more. We did a few small fireworks with the kids – most things are illegal in Ohio. Once it finally got dark my sister broke out all the glow in the dark stuff she had and the kids thought that was just the greatest. They were all decked out in glow-in-the-dark stuff. We were all so tired that we opted to not go find any fireworks. Especially since Rylee doesn’t like them.
Lindy and Will had fun with Hayley and Rylee. Hayley is a great cousin and seems to love playing with the ‘littles’, as I like to call them. She has fun making up games with them and helping ‘babysit’ them for us. Rylee is potty training as well and it worked to our advantage to have a bit of competition between Lindy and Rylee! The most fun they had was riding toys around the driveway. Unfortunately there were only three riding toys – which created a few issues, but they figured it out. My parents have a great flat and long driveway, perfect for riding tricycles and big wheels around.
We packed up and headed out this morning and got home around 6:45pm. Lindy fell asleep 10 minutes after we left my parents house and slept for 4.5 hours! She must have been absolutely exhausted. They stayed up very late every night and she really didn’t sleep in at all. I hope she goes to bed tonight! Enjoy some pictures of our fun 4th of July weekend in Ohio!
Traveling 8 hours while potty training makes for interesting pit stops!Will chillaxin on the way to Ohio.Trying to get a picture of one of their five red, white, and blue outfits didn’t go so well.The party! Dad walking around the corner wondering what in the world was happening (with Charlyne)Mom walking around the corner! (with Earl)Shocked!!Mom alternated between crying and laughing!Charlyne and Earl – who let us have the party at their house.We did an anniversary cake and a retirement cake for my dad.I made a tri-fold poster board of a bunch of old pictures of them. One side had pictures from high school (my mom asked my dad to the sadie hawkins dance her freshman year in high school – my dad was a sophomore), the wedding day, and then throughout the 40 years.We made them cut the cake together – ha ha!Posing for Lindy to take a pictureOur original family unit!Dad and his retirement cake.Yeah – we’re the bomb long distance party planners!Crazy picture of Lindy but the only one I had of Rylee.The whole gang!Amy’s best friend, Shelly, came with them to the party. Shelly was a huge help with everything – getting ready for the party and helping with the kids all weekend.Two potty training girls wearing their Ni Hao Ki Lan pantiesOur All American Sweetie and the Little Fire Cracker.4th of July outfits. My sweet girl! My rock-n-roll boy!The ‘Littles’. My sister saw this picture and said, “Look they are in order from small, medium, large!” You’d never know Rylee is 10 months younger!The cousins on the 4th.My nieces – love these girls to pieces! Lindy and her first sparkler. Papa never let go of it.Amy and I had the exact same outfits for the 4th!The Glow worms!