We celebrated my parents' 40th anniversary last month. A few years ago they started inviting us all to spend the weekend together at a cabin in the mountains to celebrate their big day. We go skiing, sledding, snowmobiling and watch lots and lots of movies, chat as much as possible and generally just make ourselves merry. Mom plans spectacular food for us to eat all weekend, Dad usually gets us discount tickets to the ski resort and they make it a great party. Isn't that nice of them to baby all of us on their anniversary?
It really has become a favorite annual weekend. This year we tried to do a few things to commemorate the big day.
We took them breakfast in bed because we used to do this as little kids. Years ago, breakfast often arrived with charcoaled eggs, soggy toast, half-cooked bacon, and watery hot chocolate. Somehow Mom and Dad would gulp down all of it. And smile like we'd given them filet mignon and chocolate-dipped strawberries.
Hopefully, breakfast this year was a little more edible.
The hardest part was keeping my mother in bed past 6AM. She tends to worry about getting food on the table instead of sleeping in--even on vacation. We had to ask her nicely to go back to bed when she tried to sneak down the stairs at 6:15AM.
To try to beat my mother out of bed, we had to start making breakfast at 5:30AM. I was so impressed that my siblings would get out of bed this early on a vacation day. Go, family!
Cassie and Meg made a big sign that said Happy Anniversary that we hung up. We also helped Dad get the 40 pink roses he wanted to give Mom for their big day.
Of course, then we spent the rest of the weekend celebrating. We had a couple of surprises up our sleeves and we wanted to spread them out over a few days--you know, not overwhelm Mom and Dad with all the love immediately.
We played in the snow on Saturday. We watched more movies. We ate lots of good food. We just enjoyed the weekend and our time together.
A few days after the cabin, the second surprise showed up. It was a book of our trip to Denmark. This was the super-big surprise that I had been working a long time on. It was 70 pages, full color, of about 300 of our photos from the trip. I think they liked it.
It certainly took over my life for a few days as I tried to complete it.
Sunday we shared the first big surprise. Mom had said again this year after Christmas that just once she wanted all of her kids to play a musical number together on the instruments we had learned as children. Well, I thought "Why not for their anniversary?" We had a very nice neighbor who plays in the Temple Square orchestra and I asked her for help. She helped us arrange the music and gave us the parts for each instrument. Then we practiced.
Sometimes, I wish we had recorded those practices because we laughed so hard during them.
We even laughed ourselves a bit silly right before this performance. We told Mom and Dad we had a surprise for them at the house and they were supposed to arrive at a specific time after church. We got there earlier and practiced a few times and got the giggles out.
Which was good because it allowed us to focus on their faces during the performance.
Now, you can laugh yourselves silly. Just remember that several of us have not picked up these instruments for years. So, be kind. One of the best parts for me is watching my parents be so thrilled about the whole thing.
And thanks to Julie, we actually have a recording of the big event. She generously let me borrow this video from her blog.
Hopefully, all in all, it was a weekend where we feted Mom and Dad and their commitment and love for each other. We certainly feel lucky that 40 years later we get to celebrate together the magic that started this journey.