We held the party at the Atrium Inn, which is only a couple of miles from their house. About 50 people showed up, most friends of hers from church. Here's everyone gathered before she arrived.
To my absolute delight, no one spilled the beans! She was completely surprised. As it turns out, my father is a very sneaky man. He made a fake invitation to his secretary's husband's retirement party to get her there. Then, of course, complained all week about having to go for good measure.
She happily greeted everyone. Here she is saying hello to one of her best friends, Barbara. Isn't Barbara the cutest?
Smother had no idea that I was there. I had flown in on Friday and stayed with Lydia to get last minute preparations taken care of (and to eat chips and queso). When she came in, I was hidden in the back. As she made her way through the crowd, I hid behind their pastor. When she went to hug him, he stepped away to reveal me. Surprise again!
Joe, who is a really fabulous human, put together an amazing slide show filled with pictures of her throughout the years. Then there were speeches. My dad told the story of how they started dating on his 21st birthday when she was instructed by his mom to "keep him out of trouble". She's now been keeping him out of trouble for 30 years. The old softie teared up a bit telling her how much she means to him and how incredibly blessed he is to be her husband. Awww! Many other people stood up to tell her how much she meant to them. She really is a very special person to so many people. I felt so proud to be her daughter.
Her friend, Paul, deejayed. He was awesome. My mother listens exclusively to Christian music and Rod Stewart (weird combo, huh?), but Paul did a great job playing tunes that everyone likes. We bought the food and cake from HEB; the popcorn machine came from Dad's work.
She had some help with the candles. 50 is a lot to blow out!
Family shot, missing Nate. Unfortunately, he didn't get to come because of school. :(
Isn't she the most adorable birthday girl ever?
***All of the pictures above were taken by the amazing Sarah Brooke Lyons. She took our engagement and wedding photos also. As you can see, she is seriously so, so good. Also, she's a wonderful cook, an amazing bff to my sister, and a really great mom. And I'm totally in love with her blog: www.sarahbrookephotography.com****
Unfortunately, the weather prevented some out of town family from getting to the party. They were missed.
Here's a picture at the end of the party. Those balloons later ended up in their neighbor's car. Ha!
The birthdaying did not end with the party. I stayed in Schertz until Wednesday, so that I could be there for her actual birthday. On her birthday, Dad, Mom and I ate a very delicious breakfast, went flea market shopping and embarked on an African Adventure at the IMAX. Dad bought her a "Another year of Fabulous" sash to wear at her party. She wore it EVERYWHERE the whole week.
We then met up with Lydia, Trevor, and KC (Trev's sweetie) at Papa Dante's which makes delicious Italian food and looks like it could be a mobster hang-out. Emily, who has been a family friend for years, shares a birthday with Mom so she joined us for dinner. Mom even let her wear the sash for a couple of hours!
Here's to another 50 years!