Today my parents celebrate 35 years of marriage! My sister and I really wanted to do something for their 35th anniversary, but our plans kept getting thwarted. Finally, running on pure determination and excellent teamwork, we threw together a surprise anniversary party in about a week. It wasn't as elaborate as it would have been if I'd had a month to plan, but I think it actually worked out better that way!
Debra came to Memphis on Friday night and helped me with last-minute preparations. Our parents didn't know she was in town. I had told them I'd be picking them up for a surprise around noon, but Debra was the one who pulled up in their driveway! She blindfolded them and took a meandering drive back to my house, where a bunch of their friends were waiting. They were VERY surprised!
Debra brought her wedding veil for my mom to wear at the party, and I made a felt-rose boutonniere for my dad. (One circle of felt and a glue gun. Couldn't be easier.)
We had a light soup and salad lunch. I made Ina Garten's Italian Wedding Soup (get it?), which was enjoyed by all - I'll definitely make it again. After lunch we played a round of the Not-So-Newlywed Game. :) Although both of my parents forgot some things about their marriage, they both correctly answered "What is the first thing your spouse does when he/she wakes up in the morning?" even though my mom never gets up before my dad leaves for work. That's oneness right there.
Of course, we had cake and champagne! I felt too overwhelmed to bake a cake from scratch, so Debra brought a delicious Publix bakery cake from Nashville. If you see the "Lemon Infusion" cake at Publix, I highly recommend it. (We almost had a Cake Wreck, though - the bakery worker had to be reminded how to spell "Anniversary.")
Since Kevin and Lance (my brother and brother-in-law) couldn't be there, we printed out photos of their heads so they could appear to be participating. LOL!
My dad's friend volunteered to take a group picture, then snapped away like a paparazzo even though no one was ready. Things got pretty crazy, but we ended up with a couple of good shots.
All in all, the party was a success and my parents had a great time! I'm very thankful for their strong relationship. If not for their great example, I'm honestly not sure if I could keep believing in marriage. I don't take it for granted.