Sunday, February 08, 2009

Days away from a half century

50 years is a long time, but when you refer to a 50 year old as a half century old, that just makes it seem so much more significant. Louie will be turning 50 years old on Thursday and his party was this past Saturday. When the girls and I asked him what he wanted to do for his 50th, he said "just have the neighbors over". We told him we do that all the time and asked him if he didn't want something more elaborate. Nope, he just wanted something small. Although this wasn't a "surprise" party, Louie didn't have any idea what we were going to do. The girls and I decided to keep him in the dark in regards to our plans, and I think that made it even more fun (as far as I'm concerned, planning is half the fun!) One of the things I decided to do was to ask everyone to wear a sports team shirt. Knowing all of our friends as well as I do, I knew that wasn't going to be a difficult request. It was really fun to see all the sports teams represented. The three girls decided to don college team shirts (Ali-Notre Dame, the sister school to UP, Katie-Sac State (duh :), and Cass-Ohio State). Obviously the Giants, A's and Sharks were represents, but we also had the Vikings, Rangers, Dolphins and the Brewers. We even dressed Harper in something appropriate for the celebration.

I don't think we could have had a better party. We did keep it to just the neighbors with a few friends and family from the bay area. My aunt and uncle surprised Louie and came up from Gilroy(it wouldn't be a party without them!), my friend Joanne came up and our wonderful friend Scott and one of his daughters also surprised Louie by joining us. It was extremely special that Scott was here with us for a few reasons. Scott and I have been friends since the 4th grade...what a long time! Especially when you consider that I moved a lot when I was a kid and went to three different elementary schools. We don't see each other nearly as often as either of us would like, but when we do get together we have a great time. Since shortly before Louie and I were married until now, I've given him three "big" parties. A surprise party for his 25th birthday, a surprise party of his 38th-nothing "special" about turning 38, but it was a good time for a party :) - and this party. Other than Louie and myself, Scott is the only person who has been at all three parties. We hadn't seen Scott's daughter, Simone, in 8 1/2 years, so I was worried she'd be a little apprehensive being in a houseful of strangers. WOW, did this kid ever blend in!! She and Cassie became instant friends and I really don't think she wanted to leave. I have been very lucky in the fact that my oldest friend and my husband have become friends over the years. In fact, the two of them have even gone to some Giants games together over the years.

Aunt Pam and Uncle Bob arrived Friday afternoon, Joanne arrived around noon on Saturday and the rest of the guest list arrived right on time. The celebration began at 4:30 when the neighbors migrated in. All the adults carpooled in several cars, over to Coach's Sports Bar in Rocklin. Cassie stayed with Mackenzie, Carson and Simone and had their own drinks and appetizers, while the grown ups had their own drinks and appetizers at the bar. We had designated drivers, so it was great to not worry about any issues related to drinking and driving.

About 6:15 Ali headed over with two of our friends, to Lucille's and picked up dinner. By the time the 15 of us arrived home Ali, Jo and Bess had everything all put out and we were ready to eat. Dinner was FANTASTIC!! Ribs, chicken, pulled pork and tri-tip with lots of sides was on the menu...oh and Lucille's delicious biscuits with apple butter!

We have some really generous friends and family who lavished the birthday boy with lots of gifts-mostly Giants related. Pete and Bess ordered something for Louie on line and since she felt badly that there wasn't anything to "wrap", she decided to make Louie some cornbread. Bess knows that Louie likes cornbread with syrup in the morning, so that was an extra special treat for him to have on Sunday morning. One of the other memorable gifts was a stack of lottery tickets from Steve and Becky. Out of the stack, he won four extra lottery tickets AND........$100!!!!!!!!!!!! That money will definitely go towards purchasing Giants tickets for two games.
Just before the evening ended, Ali brought out her homemade cupcakes she had prepared. Between the red velvet, the yellow with chocolate chips, and black forest, I think the latter was the favorite.

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