Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Bea's Surprise Birthday Party

Let's start with a bit of back history. Last year, when Bea turned 40, I proposed throwing a party for her. She was having a bit of a bumpy adjustment with the whole Four-Ought thing and completely refused the notion outright. But this year, when I asked her what she wanted to do, she said, "I don't care - do whatever you want. All bets are off."

Oh, Hot Damn! I'm throwing a party!

So two weeks before, I called everyone up, and got the ball rolling. Everything was coming together, but as of last Thursday, I still had no idea how we were going to pull off the surprise factor. It was decided that on Saturday, my dad and my hubby would take the D.R. Field and assorted yard tools over to Bea's house to help get her yard tamed and ready for spring. Of course she had to be there to supervise. Okay, so she's busy all day, while we set up, but how to stage the surprise? I decided to tell Bea that Ms. Q. was coming out on Saturday, to take us all out for a birthday dinner somewhere nice, so Bea would be sure to change from her yardwork attire. Then I told her that Ms. Q. had this huge present for her that she didn't want her to see right off, so could she wear a blindfold down to my house? "What the fuck?" Bea asked, and I laughed on cue. "Well, you know how Ms. Q. likes to make a big statement on birthdays! Just go with it." I advised gleefully.

So on Saturday, in spite of all the Murphy's Law kind of mishaps that occur, like the canopy of the tent coming up missing, and the impending thunderstorm on the way, we got everything ready. The hub-man, nattily done up for the bogus dinner out, went to fetch the birthday girl, while the rest of us got our party on and tried to pipe down.

Here Bea arrives at the party in her stylish blindfold, escorted by the aforementioned hub-man.

"You're taking my picture blindfolded?" Bea gasped between giggles. Hub-man couldn't be reached for comment; he was laughing too hard.
We walked her down the driveway, cracking jokes loudly, to cover any crowd sounds. When we took the blindfold off, she was, at first, shocked to see all of us there.
Then the coup addition of my sister, from The Fairies Nest caught her attention. "What are you doing here?!" Bea was a bit overwhelmed. Her hands were shaking. She needed a special birthday beverage...STAT.
It was really a lot of fun to scare the hell out of her. See us all laughing at her near heart attack?
Everyone brought parts of the spread and we ate so much of the appetizers we could barely think of grilling make-your-own quesadillas. Here your hostess and tour guide refurbishes the cracker basket. The homemade hummus, egg salad, guacamole, salsa, cheesy chicken balls (I just like calling them that!), and 7 layer dip, accompanied the veggie platter, cheese tray, and assorted crackers and chips quite well. I feel stuffed all over again, just naming everything! (Note the small roman in the foreground - does that boy know how to accessorize or what?)
Mmmm! Those chips sure are tasty! Bea chats with Sis (Who really was happy, I don't know why she's frowning here; the administration would like to apologize for any unintended inferences or misrepresentations of her as anything but a lovely and happy, HAPPY individual.)as she works on another round of drinks.
Bea smiles for the camera (that's how I know the drinks are kicking in - she would have ducked if she was sober!) from across the pavilion. No party games were planned, but the balloons lent themselves to a bit of frolicking. (Note both Ms. Q. and my sister-in-love are in the background here.)
You will notice that the pictures are becoming blurrier as the day goes on. I would LIKE to blame the darkening sky and looming thunderstorm, but the truth is, I can't stand still for shit after a few drinkey-winkeys. Really a shame, because all the action shots of the balloon frivolities are too grainy and blurry to do justice to anything but the fact that we were hammered.And the pictures of the awesome cake made by my mom for the occasion? Well, I kind of forgot to take pictures of it, the whole drinking thing coming into play again. But it was FABULOUS - six layer chocolate cake with coffee cream and chocolate frosting. Its the kind of cake you feel compelled to eat until its gone, regardless of how ill you might feel afterwards. Needless to say, I'm going to be fasting for a portion of this week, having eaten way too much on Saturday.

Happy Birthday Bea! Hope you enjoyed your big family party!


FairiesNest said...

Too bad you didn't get any pictures of the "yard work" dances! The sprinkler and the lopper dances were particularly amusing!

Chanda (aka Bea) said...

WOW! This 40 something crowd really knows how to throw down! Thank you again for the fabulous party. It was definitely one for the record books.

I will refrain from commenting on the sad state of my total lack of photogenicability(is that even a word?). Yikes!

maggie, dammit said...

OH, WOWWW!!!! Happy shiny wonderful cool glittery sparkly lovely people!!

Oh, this is just so cool. I want to photoshop myself into every single picture.

Nice work, you.

flutter said...

You are a good friend, and you know what?
Bea has the most beautiful smile

jennifer h said...

I'm getting ready for the party years now! Apparently they're much more fun that the 30s.

Happy Birthday Bea!

Revenant said...

Fun, fun...

It looks like you all had a great time. I plan to steal that drink recipe. It looks fabulous.