last thursday was my grammie's 75th birthday. so to celebrate such a monumental event for a great lady (whom you may remember her from posts like this), my grandad and the rest of the fam threw her a surprise party on friday night. my big contribution was making the invitations to the party, which you can see on my stationery blog.
i drove out with my mom, my aunt flew in from colorado, my other aunt came from her home in phoenix near my grandparents, and grammie's two sisters came from the phoenix area as well. the ploy was a dinner with a few friend-couples who live near my grandparents in their "retirement community" (aka resort paradise) so we met up with all of them and waited for the birthday girl to arrive.
me & momma waiting for the party to start:
finally it was showtime. here's gram and grandad upon arrival -- please note the look of delighted shock. she was totally surprised. i felt so sneaky -- i love surprises :)
the party was fun -- we had mexican food [after i'd eaten cafe rio for lunch just five hours earlier...mmm. one can never have too much mexi, in my opinion.] and everyone got to tell their favorite memories of grammie. not only did i learn she dated someone named "harvey the marine" before meeting grandad, i found out she used to deliver doggie droppings to neighbors she didnt like when she was in elementary school.
here's me and gram [she's not really THAT much shorter than me, just fyi -- i was wearing giant heels]:
grammie and her three girls (l-r my mom, aunt susan, gram and aunt nancy) -- um, i think maybe they're related because they look like quadruplets:
fun times. saturday we all hopped in the car for a marathon day of coleman-woman shopping. you can never go wrong when shopping with grammie; she gets the BEST deals and takes you to the funnest places.
we started out at the queen creek olive mill -- totally fun place with all sorts of yummy olive oils, spreads and dips to try. it was in such a picturesque, pretty setting -- reminded me of europe:
we ran a few more errands and got to eat THIS sucker at lunch. behold, the biggest frozen cream puff on the planet, bigger than my face [complete with neon mutant cherries. i skipped those]. you know i can't leave out dessert:
one of our last stops of the day was at a bosch kitchen center, filled with the most delightful cooking supplies you can imagine. as if that wasn't good enough, they were doing a cooking class! i got to watch a bosch mixer in action [helpful because i've had a bosch for two years and have only used it twice] AND learn how to make delicious food items such as scalloped potatoes [gallon of cream included], pepper steak, and peach cobbler with a pecan-roll crust. they gave me a loaf of homemade wheat bread because it was my first visit, and then we got to sample everything they made! so fun...and it was all free. my arteries are clogging just thinking about it.
and thennnn... they did a raffle drawing. me, the girl who never wins ANYTHING, won knives! that's a $60 value, thank you very much. they are sort of weird -- they're swiss and brightly colored and non-stick but i love them because they are FREE.
this is my thrilled face [and the knives clutched tightly in-hand]:
woot. free bread, free snacks AND free knives. doesn't get much better.
after that we went to home goods and i remembered i had a $42 gift card leftover from my wedding. so i bought a bunch of junk all for free. saturday was a great day.
that night we cooked dinner and chatted and read books. it was a fun relaxing night. sunday we went to church with grammie and met all her friends, and then mom and i packed up our car and drove home.
i must say, arizona is fabulous. i love everything about it -- the sun, the desert, the palm trees. or maybe i'm just captivated by all the billboards advertising new homes for $120K. regardless, i want to move there. b and i may just be headed to the greater phoenix area in approximately three years :)