Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Monday, April 8, 2013

Happy Anniversary Marilyn & Ted!

The 60th anniversary party for the folks was beautiful.  It couldn't have gone any better, and my mom and dad thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.  L and I picked them up to take them over to Big Canyon, and they were running a little bit late.  Poor Dad - the chemotherapy has done such a number on him that his clothes don't fit very well anymore and he was having a hard time getting an outfit together.  But he looked so handsome in his gray jacket and shirt and tie!  I know he doesn't feel like himself, but he looked every bit the co-guest of honor.  Mom looked beautiful, as usual, a little nervous, and we bundled them into the car, and off we went for our evening of fun.

Now, if you're lucky enough to belong to the Big Canyon Country Club (I am not) maybe you get used to living in the lap of luxury.  But for me, it was such an enormous treat to be able to have our parents' party there.  My middle brother and his wife are members, and so we all got lucky with the location of the party.  Dinner was beautiful, delicious, and wonderful.  The staff is so attentive, and I've not had a better dinner anywhere else.  Our table overlooked the golf course by the little lake, and it was a lovely view as we ate filet mignon, conversed, and listened to our mom and dad tell the story of how they met and became a couple.
Mom at dinner remembering the early days

Sister in laws Greta and Becky, with Greta's daughter Ariana in the middle

Because we had gotten there a little bit late, and the conversation ran a little long, our guests started arriving just as we were finishing dinner.  My nephew Tom and his girlfriend Hadley were taking pictures of everyone as they arrived, so we would have a good memory of everything from start to finish.  

Nephew Tom and girlfriend Hadley, camera at the ready

I won't bore everyone with the names and faces of everyone (and truthfully, I didn't know everyone there) but here are some of the main characters:
Becky and brother Brent 

Brother Matt, Greta, and Ariana

Brother Chris and a guest (we never got a picture of Chris and wife Jill together!)

Sister in law Jill and a guest - I think his name is Brownie!

The program commenced: a magician!  I've seen this particular one before.  He works at The Magic Castle in Hollywood, and he's very good.  He did everything from fire swallowing

The magician swallowing fire!

The magician floating a table with Mom's assistance

Mom and Dad enjoying their party

to rope and ring tricks, to a floating table.  He did amazing tricks that seemingly needed psychic ability, and we were all wide-eyed, and open mouthed with amazement.  My dad, especially, loves things like that, and tries to figure out how they're done.  This magician is too good, though.  No one had the slightest idea how he did anything.

After that bit of excitement, one of Jill's friends came onstage and sang about 3 songs.  She has a lovely voice, and my mother really enjoyed that part of the program.  She started off with "On The Road To Mandalay" - a rather random selection, except for the fact that my dad sang that to us on an almost daily basis.  Because he's tone deaf, we were all curious as to what the real song sounded like.  Actually, I prefer my dad's tone deaf version, I think.  It's more fun, and has good memories attached.  But the rest of the selections were beautiful love songs, and we all sang along on the last one.  

My brother Chris (master of ceremonies that evening) was just about to wind it up when our youngest niece, Ariana, felt moved to sing a song for her Grandma and Grandpa.  She said she "felt it in her heart."  So she proceeded to sing a long and wandering tune of her own composition.  It seemed like there was no end to it, but she was so adorable... so finally Jill began to clap, which made us all clap, and the gift of song from the heart ended.  

Ariana's aria.  Chris standing by... waiting...

More pictures, and more visiting followed, as people made their way to the dessert table, which consisted of (YES!!) triple chocolate cake, and an ice cream sundae bar.

My dad and his oldest friend, Tom,  and wife

Ariana and Grandma/Mom share a moment at the party

LaMar and I had put together a framed poem, written by my friend Sue Anderson, that all of the guests signed at some point during the party.  It turned out so lovely, and it will be a precious memory for them of a beautiful evening with family and friends.

Sue's poem, framed with guest signatures on the mat

And what about the gift we gave our parents?  Well, we couldn't think of a thing that they didn't already have.  They've been through the wringer this past year with my dad's cancer treatments, and a newly developed heart condition - life has been a little complicated and worrisome.  So we decided to give them a gift that would take them back to those simple years where it all began, before life as we know it got so problematic and complicated.  When the four of us were not even a twinkle in their eyes.  We found a photograph of them in 1951, just after they'd started dating.  It was taken at one of the BYU dinner dances they attended together, and the sweet innocence of this particular photo brings tears to my eyes.  We had it enlarged to 12 x 16 and mounted on canvas, before choosing a beautiful frame for it.  I love the nostalgic feel to it, and I hope it took them back to a wonderful time when love was fresh and new.

Mom and Dad in 1951 - our gift to them

The guests of honor basking in the glow of their celebration

It was a magical evening well spent.  For a few hours, cancer was banished, health issues disappeared, and love for family and friends sparked the night air.  So many people came out to give our parents their best wishes, and we're grateful to them for helping us to make the evening a huge success.  A couple of nights later we all gathered together post-party to celebrate Ariana's 7th birthday, and Mom and Dad were still riding high from the fun and memories of their special celebration.  60 years is quite an accomplishment (61 years this coming June!) and they deserved the biggest party we could throw them.  Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!  Your lives together are an inspiration to all of us, and your party had the best chocolate cake I've ever had.


  1. Karen, what a great night for your parents! They looked wonderful and so happy...I love the picture you gave them. They were just adorable in 1951! The poem from Sue was great and having everyone sign it was a super idea. It looks like a night that everyone will remember. I hope your Dad can get into a better, healthier summer ahead. Your family is made up of a bunch of good looking genes! But look how it all started! Glad it came out a great success!

  2. Hi, dear karen! I am elated to know that the anniversary celebration was a huge success, thanks in no small part to your tireless efforts putting it all together. Your dad looks dapper and your mother beautiful. They are still a great looking couple after all these years and your nostalgic framed picture was the best gift I can imagine you giving them at this juncture. I can see that your dad was mesmerized by the magician, another great idea for this special occasion. Now, dear friend, you hardly have time to catch your breath before winging it to New England for more family togetherness. Best wishes to you and all your loved ones, karen!

  3. It all looks beautiful. And I love the photo of them when they first met. Made me cry.


  4. I could feel the joy and love of the evening with every written word. Your pride and love for your Mom and Dad is so eloquently written. What a lovely gift you choose and the party looked fantastic from start to finish!
    Well done...and with so much love and care.

  5. What a lovely, fun celebration! It looks like everyone fully enjoyed themselves, and I LOVE the gift you got them. Perfect!

  6. I'm so glad your party went perfectly. Your parents look thrilled. I did laugh about the impromptu song. Those things are adorable and will likely be talked about for years :)

  7. Oh Karen, what a beautiful post! I truly enjoyed the messages of love that you helped to bring to your parents on this very special occasion. The gift of the photograph is stellar!
    Your parents are inspiring. In today's crazy world, to be married and deeply committed to loving each other through it all for 60 years is really something to celebrate!
    And I soooo want a piece of that chocolate cake!

  8. Awww everyone looks so happy!!! Especially the guest of honor :)

    Happy Anniversary to yuour folks! And that cake looks awesome haha.

  9. How fortunate you are to have such lovely parents! Your mom looked beautiful and no one would have guessed you dad is struggling with health issues, from these pictures.

    Blessings to your whole family. It looks like you coordinated a beautiful celebration of their life together.

  10. What a party!!
    It sounds wonderful and I loved seeing all your family and friends. So great to mark important dates to honor those we love. Way to Go!!

  11. THAT is the perfect gift! I have been wondering what it was. Perfect. Your family is all so dignified and beautiful. You all look neat and like great people. I'm glad the evening turned out so nice.

  12. Karen.. what a delightful post. And the gift was perfect. Look at those beautiful hopeful young faces! So happy your evening was magical!

  13. oh my goodness... I loved this post!!! the pictures are wonderful. Happy Anniversary to your parents!

  14. What a wonderful celebration for all. I'm amazed at the likeness of Chris to my memories of your dad! My love to all of you.


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