WOW! What a day!!!! Mom’s 90th birthday celebration could NOT have gone any better!!!! Everything went just has we had planned, and even had a surprise thrown in for US!!! Although I want to share the day with everyone, this posting is also so the I can have a record for myself. After all, how many people have the opportunity to celebrate their parent’s 90 birthday. Although we were able to celebrate Dad’s 90th birthday, we were in the midst of our “long goodbye”, so it was quite different. Mom is in great health, so other than getting a little tired during the day she was able to keep up with us just fine! So on with the details and pictures!!!
This celebration has been in the works for months by us girls. (BTW, Mom has four daughters, 12 grandchildren, soon to be 20 great grandchildren!!) Since two of the daughters are out of town, it was left up to Cheryl and I to work out all the details. We both took the day off of work in order to carry out all the plans, so the two of us, along with our hubbies were kept quite busy all day long.
Cheryl and I had written some poems that would give her clues about what would be happening throughout the day. "THE PLAN"... Start her day at 9:00 AM, and do something every 90 minutes throughout the day. The night before Mom's birthday I went to Cheryl's house so we could get everything organized for the "BIG" day.
- Signs made up... CHECK!
- Gift bags/boxes put together... CHECK!
- 90+ cards/messages received for Mom... CHECK!
- Poems written and placed with each package... CHECK!
- Balloons blown up... CHECK!
- Flowers purchased and ready for delivery... CHECK!
- Cake picked up... CHECK!
- EXCITED for the BIG DAY... CHECK!!!!!! (I think Cheryl and I were as excited about pulling this off as Mom would be when everything started happening!!)
At 8:15 AM the day began for Cheryl, myself, and our husbands.
At 8:30 we placed the flowers and balloons outside of her door. Once we were set up we rang her doorbell and ran! We hid in a guest area and listened for her to open her door. Ahhhhhh!! Sweet success... The day had begun.
This is the poem that was in the flowers.
9:00 AM - Mom steps out of the elevator - right on time!!!
10:30 AM - We give Mom her next package. It was so funny that everyone in the coffee shop was just as excited as her to find out what would be happening. They all wanted to know what was planned throughout the day!
At about 10:45 we walked Mom back up to her apartment, and suggested that perhaps she get a little rest before her lunch date arrived. While there I received a call from the family friend (Carolyn) who was planning to take her to lunch. I stepped outside of Mom's apartment in order to talk to her. This was the conversation:
Carolyn: "Debbie... what are you and Cheryl doing for lunch?"
Me.: "Well, nothing really... we just have to set up her apartment for the next event."
Carolyn: "You want to go to lunch with us?"
Me: "Oh, I don't know, this was supposed to be your time with her."
Carolyn: "I've got a stretch limo to take us to lunch."
Carolyn: "Yep... I called to rent it and they said they had a 6 passenger limo. I said, 'NOPE! It has got to be the BIG one!!'"
Me: By this time I was DYING laughing. "You've GOT TO BE KIDDING!!!!???"
Carolyn: "They told me the stretch limo had not been cleaned, so I paid to get it cleaned too!! We're going to be there at exactly 12:00!!!!
Seriously - I think SHE was as excited about this as me, or the thought of the look on Mom's face!!!
So, Cheryl and I promptly decided that our husbands could take care of the next set up, and decided to join Mom and Carolyn for lunch. We left Mom to rest in her apartment (wondering what in the heck was going on), and we headed back downstairs to give detailed instructions to our hubbies. A few minutes before noon Mom came back down and was surprised to find us sitting there. We kept her back to the window and waited for them to arrive. Once they pulled up we made Mom close her eyes and we walked her outside. She wasn't allowed to look until the limo was in place and Carolyn had gotten out to greet her. The look on Mom's face was PRICELESS!!! We climbed into the limo and off we went - to Red Lobster!! LOL!!! Carolyn thought of everything, including some "Sparkling Water" (since we don't drink). SUCH FUN!!!! I loved looking out the window and watching people trying to see in and wonder what "celebrity" was inside. Well it was MOM of course!!!!!! She was "Queen for the Day!!"
1:30 PM - We get back and walk Mom up to her apartment. The guys did a TERRIFIC job of decorating, filling her apartment with all the balloons, and having the next package ready for her.
3:00 PM - Mom was allowed to look for her next gift. It was the pretty box filled with all the wonderful cards and messages that everyone sent. In the end we had well over 100 cards/messages for her! I designed special paper for all the messages, so the box was filled with beautiful letters.
4:00 PM - Yes, I know it wasn't 90 minutes, but we had to give her time to get dressed for dinner! :-)
5:00 PM - Picked Mom up to go to dinner. She had NO idea where we were taking her. We had made reservations at a local dinner theatre for the evening. The dinner was delicious, and the musical (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) was lots of fun! We had arranged for the celebration package which included a balloon, non-alcoholic drink, cake, and having her name announced. Needless to say, when they announced that she was "Ninety" there was quite a round of applause!!
What a FABULOUS day!! It was a lot of work, but something I would do all over again in a heartbeat, just to see Mom's delight!! On Saturday she said, "I know that you girls put a lot of hard work into the day, but I want you to know that it was worth EVERY SECOND!!! It was the best day ever!!!"
Mom wanted to send her appreciation for all the cards and notes, so here is a "Thank You" from her.
UPDATE: Our family traveled to CA to attend my niece's wedding the week after Mom's birthday. Since everyone could not be with her on her birthday, all the daughters and granddaughters (less one who was not able to come), surprised her with one more celebration. We all met at a beautiful restaurant overlooking the ocean and had another little party. My oldest sister, Joanne (who lives in AZ) had been putting together a pictorial book from the past 70 years (when Mom got married), through the present. She did a WONDERFUL job, and Mom was absolutely thrilled!!! Here's just a few pages out of that photo book - you can see that Joanne did a lot of great work on it!!!
Sooooo, I guess that's about it for now. We'll have to get busy planning her 100th birthday before too long... it will be hard to outdo this celebration!! :-)