Thursday, May 15, 2008

Surprise! Sixty-Five!

On Wednesday we packed the whole puppy-pile into the car (Along with one cooler, one playpen, one stroller, one suitcase, one knapsack, baby blankets, food, snacks, books, pen and paper, water, my camera and possibly a few of the remaining contents of our house. Minus the cats and plants. What I'm saying is that the car was full.) and drove off (Six hours!) on a secret mission: to Grammy's house to join in on the Surprise Party.
Pit stop on the way to Grammy's house.

I was charged with making the cake
Grammy has lots of help blowing out the candles. She is "ancient and glacial" after all!

and bringing the family photo that was shot secretly during a recent visit with my sister-in-law and my nephews. A shot of Grammy's babies and grandbabies, all in one place.
Two generations, as a present to the third.

A daunting task, but I just barely managed it.

Was she surprised?

Her first words upon entering her house and seeing the big sign on the wall ("Happy Birthday!" Not very secret at that point.) was as eloquent, as usual:

"Oh shit!"
The "Oh shit!" moment.

It took her a few moments to finish climbing up the stairs

amidst all of the screaming and yelling of Surprise! by the 30 or so folks (Plus 4 children capable of screaming words. The other two were just busy screaming. ) laying in wait. When she finally made it to the top, she was verklempt.
This is what verklempt looks like. What you can't see: hand over heart in standard verklempt position.

Swarmed by grandchildren.

They had their own sign, too.

I was verklempt as well, but busying photographing the moment, as is my wont.
Taking a breather before the next round of hugs.

Jenni, Emma and Linda. Verklempting together. Emma, not verklempt, considers eating the bouquet.

Birthday cakes and photography. And plants. And babies. Oh my!

(It really never stops around here, does it?)

Was she actually surprised? Appears so. She had been hoping for a surprise party and had felt pretty certain that one was in the offing, but it never materialized where she expected it. So I'd say that it was a successful surprise party, since we didn't do what she expected us to do.
Me, cutting cake for the waiting hordes.

A small portion of said horde.

To my mother-in-law, Linda, who is one of my most faithful (And silent!) readers: happy birthday! Thank you so much for having such a great son and for welcoming me into the family and for being such a fabulous grandmother.



Jennifer H said...

What a great surprise! It's wonderful that you were able to pull it off.

I loved your babies' outfits!

kristi said...

Very sweet........beautiful people and a beautiful house!

alessa said...

I loved the "Oh, shit!" moment where you can only see the top of her head on the stairs...

cousin Janet from NY said...

Oh that's so wonderful - I'm so proud of you all! It's not easy to surprise my beloved Aunt Linda!
What great photos (bien sur) and I can only hope that my children will
do something equally as wonderful for me in a few years. (Just giving me grandchildren like Grammy has will suffice!) Great work! Love to all! Love, Janet

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Thanks Jennifer! The outfits from the party are hand-me-downs from when Caitlin was the same age (Emma's) and cousin Max's (Logan's). Reuse rocks!

Thanks Kristi! She had the house built a few years back. We got to walk through the walls - my favorite part!

Alessa: I tried to get the first reaction shot, but couldn't get a better angle unless I was right in front of the stairs. If the sign hadn't given it all away...I might have had a better shot! Ah well. It worked out!

Janet: start telling the family now. Realistically, it's the spouse's job to run any surprise parties. Everyone else helps, but your SO has to be on the ball for planning and such. Start poking Joe about it.

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