On August 20th my daughter Rachel turned 16. I wanted her to have a party, but she was trying a bit too hard to make it seem like it wasn't that big a deal - she wanted to keep it low key. Hah. So about a month before her birthday I called one of her friends and asked her for help in organizing a surprise party for her. Kids these days are so incredibly busy - and it being summer - it took weeks for them to find a date that everyone could attend, so September 7th was the decision. Our wedding anniversary, as luck would have it, but this turned out to be a perfect cover and Rachel never had a clue what was really going on.
The morning started with these (and a bar of dark chocolate)
and I went about turning our front yard into party central. Here is the
and this is "after" - more or less.
I really wanted to put lots and lots of streamers over the patio area but the wind had really kicked up and after struggling for an hour with paper streamers and industrial strength duct tape to try and hold them in place I gave up and decided to use the wind instead of fight it - the streamers were attached to the fence surrounding our property, where they blew and waved and looked quite festive. My husband left work at lunch to come home and help - he set up our old speakers and receiver for music, ran white twinkle lights over the patio and tried to wrap streamers around the lights. These lasted for a while, but you can see in the pictures that they eventually started to come down as well. Rachel plays in the school band and Friday there was a football game which is mandatory attendance for the band, so her friends that were not at the game came up and helped decorate too. I'd passed word to them to all try to come up with excuses for why they couldn't give her a ride home after the game - and when it was over she called for me to come fetch her. I told her we had to go to Trader Joe's before going home because her dad wanted a Key Lime pie for his anniversary dessert, and this delay getting home allowed all of her other friends (also band members) to get to our house and hide their cars. We live in the hills - narrow streets and very limited parking so this is really a challenge. We drove home and - Surprise!
(with apologies for the blurry photo). I wish I could have gotten a picture of her face when we drove up to the front of the house - she was totally astonished.
The kids all seemed to have a great time. We'd warned our neighbors about the impending noise (they were very very understanding, thank goodness). Five extra large pizzas, pounds of chips, gallons of various sodas, an entire 48 count flat of bottled water, lots of cake and ice cream, dancing and singing. Big fun with almost zero nutritional value. The party "theme" was The 70's and it was hilarious to see the costumes that some of them came up with. Including (I kid you not) a set of furry leopard print hot pants. Most of the outfits were abandoned pretty quickly after they found out that platform shoes and polyester pants were damned uncomfortable! It always amuses me about what gets them going - The Beach Boys and Michael Jackson's Thriller were the ticket this time.
So very little knitting was accomplished in the last few days but the time was well spent.
Happy birthday, kiddo.