Dad’s Surprise 60th: Part Deux

Saturday morning was a frenzied blur of ordering people around, arranging flowers and balloons and putting the final touches on the party. Even though I missed Samantha and Amelia, it was nice being able to focus on getting everything ready without worrying about them. Once the twins arrived with Jake and my mom, it was about 1.5 billion times harder to get anything done, so I ended up strapping Amelia in the baby carrier, allowing me to sprint around pulling appetizers out of the oven and arrange the buffet table. As an added bonus, Amelia seemed to thrive on all the excitement!
 The last hour before my dad’s arrival was pretty intense, but Allison, Sarah, Ben, Jake and family friend, Barb, went pedal to the metal to get all the food done and decor perfected. I couldn’t have done it without my little minions…I mean family and friends!
Finally, all the food was out and Dad’s arrival was
imminent. We gathered in the living room to shout surprise as he walked in, while Sarah set up a GoPro camera in the front entrance so we could film his reaction. We heard the car door slam, everyone went silent, Allison opened the door and said hi, my dad walked through and out everyone jumped out, yelling, “SURPRISE!”
Shockingly, he was indeed totally, completely surprised! I don’t think it all quite soaked in until after the party was over, actually. To pull off this surprise was an amazing feat considering my dad usually figures out everything! Great job to Uncle Steve and Aunt Lynn for getting him to the party on time and keeping him busy all morning. 
Finally, the party could really begin!
When I sent out the party invitations, I included a request for everyone to send in a story about my dad. I received so many stories and birthday messages from distant family, old friends and even neighbors and it was hilarious reading through some of the memories. I compiled all the submissions and had them laminated and bound into a little book. 
Later, everyone gathered around to watch the slideshow Sarah made with dad’s photos and do some toasts. Some chose to read the story they had submitted about my dad aloud. Zack and Allison’s recounting of my dad planning their trip to Yellowstone was hilarious. Let’s just say one of my dad’s recommendations involved a sketchy hot spring and a really sketchy motel room with a bat in it (apparently my dad had recommended a few establishments which might have been nice circa 1980, but were no longer in working order). 

My adorable twin cousins, Eleri and Rhys. 

Time to blow out the candles. 

I was too chicken to slice the cake myself, so I made my dad make the first cut. I thereafter completely destroyed the rest. My cake cutting skills really need work.  
Friends and family brought some trip-down-memory-lane-type gifts, but the coolest gift consisted of a few boxes of memorabilia from my dad’s childhood that my mom dug up in the basement. It included old report cards, letters, comics and more. Some of the comics looked like they might be worth something, but as my mom informed us, she had already checked out Ebay and didn’t think they were worth selling!

Group photo with almost everyone who came to the party. 

While Sarah was setting up the camera, we all turned around because the twins had popped up in the window after waking up from their nap (you can see them at the top right). Jake had lifted one of them up to wave to us, but she all of a sudden fell down and all of us were gasping/laughing. The next second, another twin popped up! Wack-a-mole, anyone?

Dad with Uncle Johnny, Aunt Annie, Jack, Eleri, Rhys, Mom, Aunt Linda and Uncle David. 

Dad with Grandpa and Aunt Lynn. 

The Arnoff-Kagel-Whitehead-Gerin clan. We managed to placate Samantha and Amelia (who were getting REALLY tired of all the photos) by giving them one of the tissue pom poms to play with (i.e. rip to shreds). 

I was happy with the party’s turnout and I think everyone had a great time! Most of all, I’m glad it’s over so I can focus on the twins’ first birthday coming up in three weeks! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Lots of love,


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