Joe showed up a few minutes later with most of the food. He and Susan cooked all day and did a fantastic job. Also, my mom's sister Annette and her husband Robert were kind enough to show up early as well. Thank goodness they did because I don't think we'd have been ready for the guests without the extra hands. So, we scurried around and were ready when the guests started arriving.
That's when things got a bit hairy. This was the part I was worried about the whole time. We'd (ok, I did the invitations) put instructions on the invitation to drive to the end of the street and we'd shuttle them back up to the house. We wanted to make sure that when the folks got back from dinner they wouldn't see any extra cars and get suspicious. Well, in hind sight, this was not the best plan. I should have told them to pull in the driveway so we'd know they were there and then we'd take the cars down. At about 6:35 the phone rings and it's Ms. Mauney, one of the guests. She said "Myra?" Nope, it was me and they were at the end of the street waiting for their ride. Don't know how long they were down there...oops!!! Luckily my parents friends are very good natured. They laughed it off and I told them that we had no clue what we were doing and they agreed.
So, everyone was at the house safely and we were awaiting the next text from Susan. It came not too much later that they were paying the bill. The house guests planned the attack (where to stand) and what to say. In the mean time we entertained ourselves watching a slide show of old photos that Susan and Joe put together. I'd never seen a lot of those pictures and it was very cool to see my parents so young.
We got the final two texts that they were in the neighborhood and finally 'here'. We turned off all the lights and were 'shhhing' everyone. While in the garage my mom heard 'something' inside the house and was worried that they were being robbed (as if). So, my Dad heroically told them to stay inside and he went in first (I'm sure we was just pandering to my mom). I'd say they were sufficiently surprised. We knew they had no inkling that anything was going on. Except for Mom hearing something, it was almost perfect!!
This is the arrival. My sister took a good video of it and posted it on her blog. If you watch it you can really see that they were truly surprised!!
Shot of all the guests. Just about everyone we invited came. Mom and Dad have such a great group of friends. They've been friends for I don't know...20+ years. I hope I'm half as lucky as they are and am blessed with true lifelong friends!!
It took both of them to blow out all those candles!!!
Mr. Mauney in the floor playing with the grandkids. He got down in the floor a few times to play. He married all three of us. I think that is so special. I loved that a close family friend was able to marry Mike and I. He is such a genuinely sweet man. I hadn't seen him in years and he just has a way of making you feel like we see each other every day.