Sunday, March 09, 2008
I'm finally getting around to writing about the wonderful fun-filled family weekend we had mid-February. For months my sister and brothers and dad planned a surprise for Mom's 80th birthday. Surprising her is not easy, believe me. If she gets the slightest little inkling that something is up, she's got it all figured out in a heartbeat. It can be quite annoying when you're trying so hard to put together a surprise! We didn't know if or how we would pull it off, especially since she said to Diane when she was here for Christmas, "You know, I'm expecting a surprise party for my birthday". C'mon....who says that? Mom, that's who. LOL
Things had already been in the works LONG before she said that. Luckily the out-of-town siblings were all able to make it here for the big day, and this time Diane's daughter Melissa was also able to come. Yay!
Diane and Melissa came in early on Friday morning. I picked them up from the airport. We had tossed around the idea of heading to Lansing that day, since our brothers weren't arriving until later in the afternoon. Snow had been predicted, but that didn't happen. So we decided to go for it. I have been wanting to see Rae's new store, and I hoped to meet up with Lynn there that day, but Lynn was not feeling 100% and I thought it better to not bother her, and let her rest. We decided to head to Threadbear first, since Melissa had not been there. Unfortunately Matt and Rob were not coming in til later in the day, so we missed them, (and the dogs). From there we went to Rae's. She wasn't there either, but I did get to finally meet and talk to Sharon who was working instead. I've been reading Sharon's blog for a couple of years now and I don't think our paths had ever crossed before that day.
The only thing I bought at Rae's were some new magnets for the back of my car. Along with my "YARNBOX" license plate, and my yarn/needles magnet, my new "k2tog" and "ssk" magnets look right at home. I'm sure the non-knitters who drive behind me are often scratching their heads wondering what it all means, but I figure those who need to know, do!
When we were done at Rae's, we decided we'd better get on the road since we had another 2 hours until we got to Andy's house. Andy was picking up Dave and Brian from the airport, then we were all meeting to surprise Mom. The plan was for Andy and his family to go out to dinner with Mom and Dad, but we were all going to be at the restaurant waiting for them. We got to the restaurant where Andy had made reservations, only to find it under construction! We promptly called Andy to tell him, and made alternate plans. Luckily the restaurant we chose was able to quickly set up a table for 14 for us and we all chatted for a while, waiting for the birthday girl to arrive.
I think that was the real surprise...that we were all there, on Friday. I think Mom was expecting something to maybe happen on Sunday, and so she was a little flabbergasted to see us all sitting there at the restaurant.
We ordered WAY too much food, but had a good time catching up. Then we went back to Andy and Karen's house, played Wii for a while, then split up for some sleep before the big day. We had planned a party for Mom on Saturday (which we had to tell her about, so we could get ready for it in the morning!) We had about 30 friends/family members gather for lots of good food, laughter and fun.
Once all the guests left, the kids were hanging out in the family room in the back of the house. Mom, Dad, me and my siblings were in the living room in the front. We caught up on some family history, and then started pulling things from our own memories, and really had a very special time reliving some things from the past. Good times!
Dave and Brian were leaving early the next day, but Diane and Melissa stayed until Tuesday. So we had a few days of hanging out before they had to leave. On Tuesday we left the house in time to hit a few yarn stores on our way to the airport. We went to the new City Knits in Mt. Clemens, Knotted Needle on Mack in Grosse Pointe Woods, and The Wool and the Floss in Grosse Pointe. Diane, Mom and I had tried to go to all 3 of these the day after Christmas when Diane was here but they were all closed. We were happy to check them out this time. I had been to Wool and the Floss before but the others were new to me.
So that was our fun weekend. It was really great to have the whole family together again. Mom loved her alpaca "Odessa" hat that I knit her. I had Kaitlyn and Jacob write letters to her as their gift. She really doesn't need any more "stuff" and I knew that would be special. They wrote about why they thought she was a special grandma, and some special memories they shared with her. She really enjoyed reading those. Mom got lots of gift cards from her friends and family, so I'm sure she'll have fun spending all of those!
Mom and Dad left for a trip to Florida just a couple of days after the party. They stayed most of the time with Mom's cousin, but made a trip down to Boca Raton to see Dave and his family, and on the way home will stop at Brian and Lori's house in Savannah. Actually they should be there right now, and leaving for home tomorrow I think. It was kind of funny, Brian and Dave flying up here for a few days for the party, only to find out that they'd be seeing Mom and Dad in their own houses in just a week or so.
Kaitlyn's birthday is the same day as Mom's. She got a few gifts at Mom's party. Mom gave her a photo album that had pictures of the 2 of them taken on (or near) their shared birthday each year. Melissa had helped with this project, using her creative/crafty scrapbooking skills to embellish the pages. It was a very special gift. On Monday, we went to BD's Mongolian BBQ for dinner, where the waitress made her quite a "lovely" hat for her to wear during dinner.
Kaitlyn's camera bit the dust at Christmas and so we bought her a new one then as an early birthday present. She can't be without her camera! She definitely has her Grandpa's photographer genes, that's for sure. She takes some really great photos! Here are some pix that I took on her birthday: