Thursday, February 11, 2010

life resumes


It's been a hectic last few days as I've been helping with the plans and then throwing a surprise birthday party for my sister. The "surprise" part was, of course, what caused most of the stress.

I spent some hours on Sunday
finding photos, photocopying 
them and putting this collage together. 
(Click on any photo to enlarge)

We were late getting started on this and when we got down to business there were a few hurdles, like the fact that sis was scheduled to work on the night of her birthday, and midweek is not the best time for a party. But I invited her and her daughter for a birthday dinner anyway, she managed to juggle her work schedule, and the midweek date meant I had no problem reserving our complex's party room.

The plan was to have her at my house for dinner, and then bring her over to the party room where her friends would all be assembled for the surprise. The challenge was to figure out a believable reason to take her there without having her suspect she was going to her own celebration.

I noticed that the 10th, the day of her birthday, was also Chinese New Year. So this was the scenario we cooked up.

- Her friend who was my companion in crime would arrive around 6:30 (guests were coming at 7:00). She would phone our house and we would tell B. that hubby had to unlock the party room building for the guests of this Chinese New Year's party.

- When most of the guests had arrived, hubby would phone the house to tell us that the partiers wanted to share their Chinese treats with us; would we like to come over - at which point we would escort her to her party.


I even went so far as to put up a Chinese New Year sign in the window along with balloons on the tree, so sis would see them when she drove into the complex for her dinner with us and believe the story all the more.


Here's how it worked out.

B. accompanying ipod tunes on the mandolin.

1. B. and her daughter came for dinner. It all went swimmingly. She even brought her mandolin - which I had requested.  (It's something she's lately taken up. She loves to jam, and we had invited some of her friends who play instruments to bring theirs to give the evening a musical theme.)

2. After the meal, though, B's friend was late. 6:30... 6:40... still no phone call.

2. Meantime, the phone rang with birthday greetings for sis from a brother in Sask. (So now the phone was busy.) While she was talking, hubby left to let in any guests. It turned out he was just in time to greet the first arrivals.

3. After her conversation, B. decided to phone and wish her twin brother, also in Sask., a happy birthday (using her cell phone this time - and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU TOO BRIAN!!). While she was working on making a connection with him, E. called from the party saying they were ready for us to arrive.

4. But now she was talking to our brother. A good 20 minutes later (and another impatient phone call from the party - hubby couldn't understand why we weren't coming) we finally left the house, supposedly to sample treats at this Chinese New Year party.

5. When we got there everyone jumped up from behind couches yelled "SURPRISE!" and sang Happy Birthday. She had no clue, was completely taken in - so it truly was a surprise.

After that the evening was a pleasant blur of meeting her friends and colleagues, replenishing the punch, organizing a little bit of a program...


Our cousins from Abbotsford sang a song. 


Someone had a violin, someone else brought a whistle and of course B. had her mandolin (which I fetched from the house) so she could pick out the tunes to all the music that was happening.


There was a cake too, 


and gifts.



The "icing on the cake" so to speak, was the late arrival of two of B's friends who had been playing at McBurney's Coffee house a few blocks away that very evening and who dropped in and serenaded us with Beatle tunes etc. on guitar and washboard.

 The birthday girl and (below) her pretty daughter 
who helped put the party together.
                          



Altogether we counted it a great success!

2 comments:

Sonia Spooner said...

Yay!!!
Cute baby. Who is that?

violet said...

Hi Sonia - I think it's one of Deborah's (Bea's friend) grandkids.

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