Our fridge is still full of delicious leftover party food and cake, and I keep finding “40” confetti around the house, but otherwise you’d hardly know there were 75-85 guests here for the big 40th birthday bash on Saturday night. Let me tell you, if you want a good party, invite these same 75-85 people and you’re guaranteed an evening of belly laughs. I love our friends.
Toby (April’s uncle) and Jean brought their grandson, who made friends quickly and soon had a large group of kids following him into the neighbor’s yard. They gave me and April names of hymns for people over 40:
Precious Lord, Take My Hand (And Help Me Get Up)
It Is Well With My Soul (But My Back Hurts)
Nobody Knows The Trouble I Have Seeing
Amazing Grace (Considering My Age)—this clearly does not apply to me
Just A Slower Walk With Thee
Count Your Many Birthdays, Name Them One By One
Go Tell It On The Mountain (And Speak Up!)
Give Me That Old Timers’ Religion
Guide Me Oh Thou Great Jehovah (I’ve Forgotten Where I Parked)
Lafe, Rebecca, Cooper and Rowan came from Walla Walla for the party. I hadn’t met the boys in person and it had been years since I’d seen Rebecca. Although I didn’t get to spend much time talking with them, it made me feel very special that they were here. The thought of them making the effort to be here still puts a smile on my face. I’m also enjoying the beautiful bouquet of roses they brought.
David, Cristina, Sally, Mack and Phoebe, some of our delightful-er neighbors, left their pug Eddie at home. That greatly decreased the chances of my mom getting peed on during the party, for which she was thankful. Personally, I think it would’ve been a hoot.
Deanna, my favorite cousin, stayed up with me and Kathy until 3 a.m. after all other party guests had left or gone to bed. We gossiped about family and Kathy told the same stories at least three times.
Dominic “Honey Bunny,” Janet and Danell hit it off with our neighbors and now have a standing invitation to all our barbecues, beer busts, beer blasts, keggers, steinhoists, AA meetings, and beer nights.
Kendall, Karen, Anna, Andrew and Abi were guests of honor, as Karen is an oldster like me and April. Abi slept through most the party. Karen pretended to try to hide her voluptuousness but failed miserably (photographic proof to be posted later this week). April and I have known Karen since high school, and have all been roommates at different times; for us, this celebration would have been incomplete if any one of us had not been there.
Julia (April’s sister) and Ralph played social butterflies to critical acclaim. We were honored that they were able to make it here to help us celebrate.
Mary (my fabulous mom) played nametag creator/enforcer. She also helped tremendously with party preparations, while my sister spent the afternoon at the mall, not helping at all. Mom gave me a bistro set for my birthday, which kind of completed the new front porch décor.
All the festive balloon bouquets were the work of Jim, April, Emma and Trevor. April, as one of the five guests of honor, spent most of the party welcoming all the family and friends that came to help us celebrate our 40th birthdays. I think she was better at this than I was, but it could be because she was less drunk.
Shawn, Heather (April’s sister), Kaitlynn, Mitchel, and Wyatt were instrumental in getting our guests fat and happy.
Michael (April’s brother) and his daughter Miah were surprise guests—we weren’t sure they would make it, and were thrilled to see them show up.
Pat (April’s delightful mom) arrived early to help with party preparations and I don’t think she stopped working the whole party long.
Dave and Cindy brought me a beautiful sunflower bouquet and their glowing smiles. The party wouldn’t have been the same without them here.
John, Lori, Taylor, Trevor and Theo—my BFF-in-laws—were the guests that were hard to let go of, and we made them stay much later than they wanted to. Of course, since Lori and Kathy disappeared for a good portion of the party, they sorta owed us that extra hour.
Jerel, Sabrina, Jordyn, Jessie and Josh managed an evening outside of the E.R. to join us for the celebration. Their summer has been Jen-like in its misfortune so I felt quite honored that they all made it here!
Jim (without Tina, Kailey and Sammi, who are currently vacationing on the equator) let us borrow his driveway and ignored noise ordinances, for which we are especially grateful.
Vic, Jen, Katie and Jack—that’s us—got most of the house projects done in time for the party, though we question whether our efforts were worthwhile; when the house is crammed so full of people I don’t think anyone is noticing crown moulding and new paint colors and alphabetized bookcases. But we all had a wonderful time at the party and are truly honored by the many family members and friends that joined our celebration.
Wellington and Darlene, Vic’s parents, had a mini-fit just before the party when they stopped at Costco to pick up our birthday cakes and found the store had just closed. If not for the very kind employee who took sympathy on her and snuck her through a back door, we wouldn’t have had cakes.
Kevin and Erin arrived with an armful of lavender from their garden, which is still making my whole house smell like my sleep mask (this is a good thing). I have already forgiven Kevin for thinking I was 50 and not suggesting that I look way too young to be that old.
Kim had RSVP’d but she has the kind of schedule/life that doesn’t always let her carry out plans so I was thrilled beyond belief when she showed up! I love that girl; we don’t see each other nearly often enough but when we finally get together it’s like no time has passed. Next year is HER year for the big milestone party.
Lisa and her daughter Sage arrived late, but because I didn’t think they’d show up at all, it was a lovely surprise to see them. Another classmate and friend since high school, Lisa was a guest of honor and made me publicly announce that I was wrong about her. And now I’ll announce it to the Internet: Lisa is not a party pooper. She was hot and grimy from camping but came to the party anyway because she is a good person and cake is yummy.
Ed, I am very sorry about my sister. She told me she took your shoes. I am also very sorry that I didn’t notice how fabulous your shoes were or I might have tried to steal them myself.
I hardly got any time to speak with Dick and Dotti because it seemed like every time I saw them I was rushing off to take care of something important/party-related.
Roger and Camille (April’s sister) were of huge help before and during the party with making sure the food was prepared and frequently re-stocked. They’ve got that Ralph Knudson hosting thing perfected. Thank you!
Darby, Dawn and Lauren are responsible for much of the delectable food items on our table. If you didn’t eat at the party then you are very, very unfortunate. Many guests asked for Dawn’s macaroni and cheese recipe, as well as the sundried tomato/pesto torte, and I’ll be posting that stuff tomorrow. Dawn is not only one of my favorite people, she is an amazing cook and incredibly generous. Darby’s a good guy because he was not offended when my sister started calling him names for no reason at all.
Part of the reason we had this party in July instead of closer to our birthdays in September is so Kathy (that oft-mentioned sister of mine) could be here. Most parties are more fun when Kathy is at them. But this time she and Lori came up with some reason to leave just as the party started, which I think had something to do with an emergency spray-on tan situation. I don’t know. I do know that when Kathy came back, she proceeded to get her drink on. And on and on and on. And then she pulled down her pants. (Yes, there’s more to the story but it still doesn’t really explain WHY she stripped in my dining room so I’m not gonna bother.)
Share (April’s aunt) and Ed were surprise guests, too, because Ed was in the news recently and we weren’t sure he would be up to partying. We felt honored that he was able to make it to the celebration, and wish him the best in his ongoing recuperation.
Rob, Trudy, Travis, Tyler and Taylor were especially kind about our yard overflowing into theirs with partying children and passed-out guests. Trudy celebrates her big day Thursday but she was honored at our party a little early. Congratulations, Trudy!
And that’s how it went, guest-wise. Hopefully I got everyone. I’ll share other party-related items over the next few days, but I’m still recovering from all our preparation efforts, as well as that poorly-proportioned Tickle-Me Erin. Sunday was the first day in weeks that I haven’t awakened with a to-do list being written in my head. And last night was my first full night’s rest in a couple weeks. I’m glad the party’s over, but I have memories that will last me a long, long time. Thank you to all of you who contributed to that. You may have come to the party for Dawn’s unbelievable food and free booze and to see my sister drop trou, but I choose to believe you were there for me, April, Karen, Trudy and Lisa.