Friday, August 9, 2013

50th Anniversary Party Projects

I am one of those lucky people who has a family of friends who are basically my second family.  I have long considered Barb and Don as my second parents and their kids, Pat and Annlyn, are some of my best friends-really bordering on siblings.  I have known them my entire life and in fact my dad was the best man in Barb and Don's wedding and Don was in my parent's wedding.  Our families have a long and strong history of being there for each other.
Barb asked me to help "stage" the party and I was thrilled to do so.  Of course I heard "stage" to mean "make a bunch of cool things" even though that wasn't at all what was said.  I did it anyway.  While I was putting things up outside, I heard the story of how Don and Barb met.  My parents and Don grew up together but Barb came from another city.  Both men and Barb attended college at Central Michigan University and they met in the Union early in their freshmen year.  Barb met a girl in her dorm who knew Don and they went looking for him one day.  They found Don and my dad in the Union and the rest is history I guess.  It is heartwarming to consider that the seemingly innocuous decision to "go find Don" turned into a life together that includes a marriage of 50 years and going, 2 wonderful children (who married 2 great people), and 3 fabulous grandchildren.  Oh, and a GOB of dogs.  They live a rich and full life full of love and family and an extreme, nut-so, fanatic,  zealot love for Michigan State University.

Through an odd set of circumstances my parents and Barb & Don, lived in the same neighborhood for several years in their "starter" homes and then built new houses right next door to each other in another neighborhood.  My mom (my father passed away 6 years ago) and Barb and Don still live in those houses.  Since my dad died they have been very good to my mom and it has certainly made it easier on me knowing they are there for whatever and everything.  Four years ago, my husband and I bought a cottage on the beautiful Higgins Lake that just so happens to be only a mile or two from their cottage.  Now I get to spend more time with their family than I have in many years.  Their daughter Annlyn, who is several years younger than me, is an educator so she sends most of the summer at the cottage with her parents.  Their son Pat, who is only a year younger than me, comes and goes with his family.

All of this to explain that when they asked me to be at their 50th Anniversary party to represent my father, I was very touched and just had to be there. My mom would have gladly represented but she had already made plans to be out of state.
It turned out to be a beautiful day- a tad chilly for August- but the sun was gorgeous and it didn't rain.  Barb and Don have lakefront property and have remodeled the cottage to update it and to accommodate their children and grandchildren when they are visiting.
The party started out as their annual family reunion with Barb's family.  They decided to invite a few other people and celebrate the milestone of 50 years together.  Don comes from a small family and has only a few cousins- 3 of them surprised him and it was very heart warming to see them together.

What was so fantastic for me was that I grew up with Barb's relatives- aunts, uncles and cousins- but hadn't seen them since probably high school.  That means it has been over 25 years since I had seen them.  They all have kids and it was so funny to see their children because they looked so much like their parents did at that same age.
It's always amazing when you see people that you haven't seen in 2 decades but have sorta followed their major life happenings.  You know them and yet you don't.
One cousin works for UPS and his brother works for FedEx.  Yes, that drew jokes and chuckles and ideas for Christmas card photos.  But best of all, my husband-who flies for FedEx- enjoyed speaking to Jeremy about FedEx and the fact they both were in the military.  My sister came as well as my niece and nephew and we enjoyed our time together as did our kids who are very close.  After the aunts and uncles  and cousins left and we had sent the kids to our cottage, we sat in a big circle around a fire with the neighbors and talked about high school and silly stories about growing up together.  I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.
I had to do a few things at the last minute and actually this is my glue gun and yes it was hot when I took this photo.  The things I do to get the best results!
You might recognize the gold poms from Brandin's wedding.  The gold tissue is stiffer than the other tissues I used and actually held up to be used again.  The other poms were all throw away.
I had some tissue left over from the wedding so I made a few poms.  But again they have to be opened on site- especially this particular tan tissue as it is SO FREAKIN' FRAGILE it would be a mess to transport.
 It was such  gorgeous sunny day that we didn't need a lot of decor.  Just a few things to set the mood.
 I made all the poms into flowers by adding centers with contrasting tissue cut with Fringing Sheers and hot glued in place.
 Barb found her gorgeous dress and had it cleaned.  They said there were stains on it but it is hard to believe as it looked amazing.  Had she found it sooner I would have hunted for a dress form but it was a last minute addition to the decor.

I made a few things which I will post tomorrow.  Notice the colors?
Central Michigan University Flag
That is Central Michigan University's colors.  She wanted to use those since the wedding was held there.  I am still patting myself on the back for making a college mascot colors actually fit in at an anniversary party :D
Come back tomorrow for post about this banner and a few other projects I made for the party. 

Hope your days are filled with Sunshine and GLITTER.
This post was linked to the following Linky Parties:
A Little Clarification
30 Handmade Days

1 comment:

  1. I think your new career as an event planner has started.


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