It wasn't my idea.
Not mine at all. But hey--if you put an idea in my head, I'll roll with it.
So when my dad said he wanted to celebrate the fact that my mom and him started dating and fell in love this time 50yrs ago, I took it on.
A nice, simple dinner at a restaurant is what he had in mind. But this mama of baby twins had other plans. Because, anyone with one baby knows how hard it is to be at a restaurant with that nursing baby--let alone two of them...not to mention the 6 other little kids (my sisters included) who would be with us too. And 50 years together warranted way more than just a simple restaurant dinner. So I told him I'd take care of it, with no restaurant in the plans--but something even better.
So I stayed up late planning. I sent emails out trying to track down excellent musicians, went to millions of stores after the kids went to bed, made decor late into the night, baked cake layers while babies napped, practised little speeches with all of the kids on weekends, planned a meal I didn't have to cook myself and told everyone to show up at our house in their Sunday best.
You see, my parents are the type of people that we all aspire to be. They adore each other, they adore their family, they always ALWAYS put their family first and they know and have taught us that love means showing up. So they show up for each other, they show up for special events, they show up when their kids need help, they show up with meals in arms, they show up to hold crying babies, they show up when their kids are overwhelmed or stressed out, they show up for no reason--they're just always there for all of us. And always there for each other.
So this celebration of 50yrs of loving each other wasn't just about the fact that they are an incredible couple who deserve all of the praise in the world--it was also a thank you from my sister and I (and our families) to them for all that they have done for us over the years. For the excellent example that they have given us in modelling what a great, healthy marriage looks like--for the years of dedication to their family and grandchildren, and for the unconditional love that they have given us our entire lives.
So in knowing nothing other than they were coming for dinner (and had to be all dolled up), mom and dad showed up that day--and walked into our house to the sound of musicians playing beautiful music right in front of them...and a million grand kids running into their open arms.
And as they continued into our house, they found a table full of memories wrapped in gold frames (since 50's colour is gold, says Google)...
and sitting there tempting all of the kids sat the cake I made wrapped in milk chocolate and the cookies that I wish I knew how to make myself.
And of course there was a little extra for my dad--a booklet full of pages and pages of memories, songs, movies and events from 1969...
and an adorable little sign that my sister made all about my parents love story.
And then, to top it off...a huge over sized photo of them on their wedding day--just for kicks.
Because, you see...it's not every day that you get to take a minute out of your busy life to celebrate people in big ways. So we made sure to do it right.
So the table was set all fancy...
and the kids got their own fancy table too, which they were thrilled about--complete with little plastic wine glasses for their juice.
And we spent the afternoon celebrating together.
Just our family.
Just a small affair, with a big heart.
Because these two deserve all of the praise and love in the world.
So we listened to beautiful music, and snacked on appetizers and treats...
while dancing into the evening...
and decorating cookies to the sound of violins and cello's behind them.
And they ate a delicious dinner with pretty cloth napkins on their laps...just to be sure that they felt extra fancy and proper.
And presented them with a little gift from us all--a photo book including pictures from their 50yrs together and pictures and writing from each of the kids all about their beloved Nana and Papa.
And we celebrated until the sun went down and babies needed to be put into jammies...because celebrating such a huge milestone is utterly exhausting for two little babes.
So to our amazing parents--congratulations on 50 wonderful years together.
50 years since that first date when my 16yr old mom was swept off her feet by this tuxedo wearing, dapper guy in the top hat.
50 years of love, patience, joys, hardships, kids, memories, adventures and many adorable grand kids...you've been a pretty amazing couple to watch. We love you mom and dad and we are so grateful to you for your constant love, support and help over all of these years.
We love you both to the moon and back.
Love Erica (and us all)