It’s no secret that I love my family. My parents are a huge part of the person I am today. My sisters make me laugh. My family gets me– quirks, weaknesses, faults and all. They are creative, and industrious. And they can keep a secret. Like really, really well. Because, truth be told, I am a little too perceptive. Which can be great in some situations, and really lousy in others. Trust me. So a year ago, when my mother teased me about a surprise for my 30th birthday, I told her that she wouldn’t be able to pull it off. I was wrong. Because who expects a party a full month before their birthday?
My oldest sister lives in Illinois, and a number of months ago, we got an email telling us they were planning to come home in June for a family vacation. Paul and I and the kids were thrilled, and we started planning get-togethers and photo sessions, and dinners with ‘just the adults.’ Great! ‘Couldn’t wait. I had no idea that Melinda’s family was coming out because of my birthday. So we designated Friday night June 4th for dinner at my sister Kara’s house. I skyped her and offered to bring shrimp cocktail and she was all about it– Kara: “Great! We’ll do apps first, and then have Hawaiian chicken, I think.” Me: “Yum! Hawaiian chicken is my favorite! Sounds good!” Mmmhmm. Unbeknownst to me, I was helping to plan my own party.
It was like something out of a magazine:
Kara made the paper lanterns, and the flowers were from Katie’s garden. They were all beautiful. Paper signs and decor from Colleen and Kara, I think. And the flourless chocolate cake from Melinda and cheesecake from Katie= delicious.
Here are some pictures that my sister got from our arrival. Um, I was surprised. And then emotional.
Thank you to Paul, my family and dear friends who were there that night. It was the best non-birthday ever, and makes the upcoming 3-0 look not so bad after all…
These are some of the most influential women in my life. My mom and 4 sisters. I didn’t ask them if it was okay to post this picture. But that’s the thing about family. They love you anyway.