Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Christmas Letter

December 8, 2010

Dearest friends and family:

2010 couldn’t have come soon enough for us. Larry and I were desperate for a new year and a new beginning. We needed this year to be a good year, and God definitely provided.

In January, our sweet nephew, John Patrick, or Juan Patricio as I normally refer to him as, turned one year old. It is amazing to see how much he has grown this year as we are quickly approaching his second birthday in less than 2 months. He now calls me Titi (short for Tia Tina) and I love him more than I ever thought possible!

In February we celebrated my mother’s 50th birthday. Yes, Sieglinde is 50, and I know, she doesn’t look a day older than 35! We had many naysayers, but we were able to pull off a complete surprise thanks to the help of many people! She was so excited, and it was all she talked about for weeks!

In June we were gifted the most wonderful vacation! Larry’s boss (and his very close friend) gave us tickets and spending cash to party it up in San Fransisco for 6 days! Saying the trip was wonderful is a complete understatement. San Francisco was beautiful, we got to see our cousins, Josh and Justin, who live in Los Angeles, and we had the most amazing time imaginable! We are almost scared to go again for fear that the next trip cannot ever live up to our first visit!

Angel and I celebrated our 2-year “anniversary” in July. It’s hard to believe it has only been two and a half years since she and her 3 kids came into our lives. Angel, Erick, Mia and Mariah all have a special place in our hearts. We love them and are so happy that they are now a part of our family.

In August, our cousins Jesica and, her husband, Jeremy visited with their son Seth. It was such a joy to meet their new baby and we were so blessed to witness them having him dedicated at our church. We also got a chance to have some one on one time with Jesica and Jeremy while the grandparents watched the little one. We really had so much fun with them and can’t wait for them to come back!

I also turned 30 in August and had the most amazing almost-surprise party. Some might say that it’s because I “have to know everything” that I “ruined” the surprise, but I say that it is merely because I am observant and inquisitive and that I became the victim! I’m still not sure how it would have worked had I have actually been surprised, but it was a gorgeous party! Twilight Theme (complete with Team Edward and Team What’s-his-face t-shirts), cash bar, and about 100 friends and family – what more could I ask for? It was great!

Erika got married this September! That’s right, I said “married”! Tim is great and he is so good with my sister and the baby. They are expecting a little girl that is due March 8, 2011 and we are so excited to have another baby in the family! We pray for the best for Erika and Tim and we welcome him with open arms to our not-so-ordinary family.

In October we had the privilege of seeing our cousins Josh, Justin, Jesica and Jeremy again when we went to Los Angeles for Josh and Justin’s wedding. We had such an awesome trip and it was great to get to hang out with them. The wedding was in Palm Springs, California and it was gorgeous. Justin was an absolutely stunning bride! We wish Josh and Justin the absolute best and we couldn’t have asked for a better wife for him, we love her and are so very happy for the both of them! And by the way, we are loving the seeing-the-cousins-twice-a-year thing! Hopefully we can keep this up!

November was especially nice this year as we had our first Veteran’s Day sermon at church where our pastor honored Boofie with a special folding of the flag given to her at Papa’s funeral by an Honor Guard. Our cousin, Jacob, drove down from Oklahoma for the service and we were able to spend time with him over the weekend. We truly enjoyed hanging out with him, and we now have some pretty hilarious stories between the three of us.

This years’ Baxter-Byers-Booth-King-Morrison-Perez-Reifschneider-Simpson Thanksgiving was a hit as per usual. My mom, Amanda, Erika, John Patrick and Tim were all visiting our family in Germany and they were missed, but we did have Uncle Bill, Aunt Cindy, our cousin Alisha and her daughter, Elizabeth, join us from Oklahoma, so that was a very nice surprise!

We pray that you are all well and we truly thank God for putting you in our lives. As we reflect on the past couple of years, we know we couldn’t be where we are today without the amazing friends and family that God has blessed us with. We anticipate this new year with faith and excitement about what God has in store for us, and we wish you the blessing of hope and the peace of His love this Christmas and always!
                                                            All our love,
                                                            Larry (Trey) & Christina

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Happy Birthday, Alexis!

I don’t even know where to start with this girl! To say that I adore her is a complete understatement. Three years ago today, our family’s lives were definitely changed when she was born!  She has the ability to make you laugh when you are really supposed to be mad, to turn the tables and make you console her when you were in fact reprimanding her, and she is really good at showing off her cuteness and pulling at your heart-strings!

Alexis is 19 months younger than Bianca, but that doesn’t keep her from doing just about everything her older sister does. On Bianca’s first day of Pre-School this past August, Alexis wouldn’t let us go until she was sure that I had a picture of her with Bianca’s backpack on and then when we got to Bianca’s classroom she sat in the seat right next to her sister and got right to work.  She definitely learns a lot from and looks up to her older sister.  So far so good, they play really well together and don't fight very often.  Hopefully that will be the case for many, many years to come, if not always.

She’s definitely learning the ropes from her older sister and is one of the smartest 3 year olds I know.  This is Alexis singing a song that Bianca learned in pre-school and that Alexis very quickly picked up.


When I take them out and people ask if the girls are my daughters or my neices, I sometimes think it's a little odd that I have cousins that are over 20 years younger than me.  But I've realized that the difference in having cousins that are close to your age and having cousins that could literally be one of your own kids is that I don’t love these girls like I love my other cousins, I love them as if they were my very own children. Obviously I know that one day I may have to admit that I love my own children just a tad bit more, but I honestly can’t begin to fathom that at this point.  My heart swells with joy and love every time I see them and I literally ache until I get to see them again.  Thank God we live so close!

Alexis, there is a special part of my heart that will ALWAYS be just for you. I so enjoy watching you grow up and am so very happy that I get to be a big part of your life. Your smile and laugh are infectious and I cannot wait for each moment I get to spend with you.  I love you so much more than I could ever express!!
Feliz CumpleaƱos! Te quiero mucho!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Bianca's First Day of School

My cousin, Bianca, just started Pre-School at Rylander Elementary last month, and there is absolutely NOTHING that could have stopped me from seeing her and taking pictures before her big day.  That morning I got up earlier than I ever thought possible, got ready for work and left to go see her off.  My aunt and I got both girls up and got them fed, dressed and hair done and we left to go take her to school.  The traffic was unbelievable (they live about 3 blocks from the school), so we parked at the neighborhood pool and walked the rest of the way.  We took pictures outside of the school and my aunt and uncle were gracious enough to let me join them walking her to class.  So, the three of us (along with Alexis) walked her to her class and helped her find her chair, and when we left her, who do you think was the one crying?  Bianca?  Nope.  Me.  I was so excited for her, but it really hit me how much she is growing up!  I'll definitely treasure these times that I have with her where she still wants me to sing to her and she calls me to come over and play.  She loves her class, loves her teachers, is learning more than I ever thought imaginable, and has so much fun every day.  And that was all that we were ever hoping for!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Last month I turned 30. T-H-I-R-T-Y years old. Not much exciting to look forward to when you turn 30. I was so excited to turn 15 so that I could go to Drivers’ Ed, 16 so I could get my Drivers’ License, 18 so I could buy lottery tickets and vote, 21 so I could go to the casino (I wasn’t interested in drinking back then) and 25 so I could rent a car on my own. And what do I get when I turn 30? My manicurist guessing that I was turning 35 years old and an employee at the liquor store asking for a guy’s ID to be sure he was old enough to be in the store by himself and not even giving me a second glance! I’m going to have to start using Oil of Olay!

For my 30th, my sweet family decided to throw me a surprise party. They successfully decided on the location and theme and had many, many friends in on it…and then…I.found.out. I know what you’re thinking, but I swear that I didn’t mean to find out! I was the victim! I knew for weeks before I even mentioned anything to my sister, then she tried to lead me astray and I tried so hard to forget what I had seen and what I suspected, but I would randomly think about it (like while pumping gas) and I couldn’t let it go. Sure, the surprise would have been great, BUT like I told my mom and sister, finding out only meant that I got the opportunity to be excited about the party for weeks instead of only being excited during the party.

So, the BEST thing about the party was the theme – Twilight. My friend (who I won’t name in case she wants to keep her anonymity, but you all know who it is) and I are semi-Twilight fanatics. I say “semi” because most everyone knows that we love Twilight, and we know we are crazy, but it’s not like we’re losing our jobs or our marriages (as some people reportedly have) over our obsession. Yes, we have read all the books (some more than once) and we have seen the movies multiple times, and yes, we have conversations about the characters as if they are real people, but really, we’re not that crazy! So, the theme was great! My mom and Amanda had apples to represent Twilight, feathers with “blood” on them for New Moon, red ribbon in vases for Eclipse and hand painted chess boards with chess pieces for Breaking Dawn. VERY CLEVER!

There were Twilight posters all over the room and a life-size cut-out of Edward that even got taken out on the dance floor a couple of times (and not by me!). The room was gorgeous!

My dad made the food, which was delicious, and there was a cash bar (I had free drinks all night thanks to my sister!). My sister also did an amazing (and sometimes embarrassing) slideshow. Then there was music and dancing, an encore of the dance Amanda and Robbie did of Grease at my wedding and an impromptu comedic act when our friend, Jason, had his turn with the microphone.

As if it wasn’t bad enough that I spoiled the whole surprise party surprise, there was another surprise I managed to, again unintentionally, spoil. Larry had to leave early to help my dad with taking the food to the location and I wasn’t ready to go yet, so I called my friend, Lynette, to see if she could pick me up on her way. I frantically got dressed and to my surprise was ready right about the time she was supposed to pick me up. With nothing to do but wait, I headed to check Facebook out for the first time that day. What’s the first thing I see? A picture of our friends, Jeff & Berdie, wearing matching “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob” shirts! Obviously, Jeff doesn’t always go around sporting a Team Jacob shirt, and I knew they were both coming to the party, so it only took me a second to figure out that was another surprised I had ruined! If you ever read this Lynette…I LOVE the shirts! Thank you so much!

Even after ruining two surprises, I had a fabulous time! I saw friends that I don’t get to see very often and even had some party crashers!

I want to thank everyone who had any part with the party! Those that planned, decorated, cooked, set up, attended, helped clean up – each one of you made the night one that I will never forget! I love you all!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy REALLY Belated Birthday Robbie!!

Robbie, I started writing this post before your birthday, and just haven’t found the time to blog at all since then. Just wanted to let you know that I didn’t forget you and I love you very much! Sorry it’s so late!!

Many of you don’t know my brother, Robbie. Let me first say that God definitely had his hand in bringing him into our lives so long ago. 23 years ago, when Robbie was just 6 weeks old, Robbie’s mom, Tomi, saw a notice on the church bulletin about a woman who babysat kids in her home. After just one meeting with my mom, Tomi was convinced she had found the right person to watch her baby. From that point on, he was at our house from 6 am – 6 pm, Monday through Friday until he was ten years old.

He instantly became part of our family. My mom spoke to him in Spanish (sometimes Tomi would have to call and ask us what he was asking for), and he grew up calling my mom “Mami” and my dad “Papi”. My dad had always wanted a son, and with Robbie’s father not in the picture, he was able to step in and he and my brother have a great bond. I know now that this was all part of God’s amazing plan for my brother. As a little boy, Robbie even had an explanation for how he fit into our family and when people asked him where he was born, he would say “In Venezuela at HEB on Highway 6 next to the apples”.

With 4 older sisters (Amanda is 3 months older than him) and an older brother, Robbie sure did have a lot of people bossing him around when he was younger (he might argue that he STILL has a lot of people bossing him around), but he isn’t bitter about it. He has the most giving spirit of anyone I know. He is truly selfless. Growing up he would do anything asked of him, and that hasn’t changed a bit over the years.

Robbie is an actor. He has been “acting” ever since he learned to walk and talk and let me tell you, he is hilarious! I am not exaggerating when I tell you that he has made me laugh so hard that my stomach hurts over a message he left on our answering machine. He currently participates in plays in the San Antonio area, but I have no doubt that he WILL make it to Los Angeles or New York one day. 

Robbie & Amanda dancing to Grease at my birthday party

Robbie had the privilege (or some might say the misfortune) of being my other baby along with Amanda. He was always so sweet and would keep me company whenever I needed it. He’s the best person to sing a duet with in the car, the most awesome person to have a cleaning party with and the most amazing person to have pray with you.

Robbie, I am so proud of the man you have become. You have never used situations in your life as excuses, but have learned from them and grown into a strong yet compassionate man. I thank God that he has given me you as my brother, you are absolutely the perfect choice!

Monday, July 12, 2010

San Francisco!

Three weeks ago, we were gifted a last-minute trip to San Francisco. Let me first say, that we are so thankful for this tremendously generous gift we received and we absolutely love the people we received it from (who I will not name in case they would like to remain anonymous).

By last minute I mean, we found out on Wednesday that we would be leaving early Saturday morning for 5 nights and 6 days, and I didn’t even get the okay from my boss until Thursday afternoon. I am a last minute packer anyway, and with this vacation being booked with only two days notice, it actually justified my usual midnight run to Walmart the night before a flight and the all-night laundry and packing fiasco.

Without having slept at all, we left our house at 4:15 am and began our vacation with breakfast on our way to the airport. I just LOVE vacations! The fact that everything is low-cal or no-cal while you’re away is so freeing!

Two planes and 7 hours later, we made it to gorgeous, sunny and -- COLD San Francisco. When we were told to “bring a sweater”, we thought that meant it would get chilly in the evenings. Well, not for this native Houstonian. It was in the 60’s during the day and 50’s at night, and we quickly realized that we would NOT be laying out on the beach and getting a tan as we had thought. Sunny, beachy California dreams were consistently met with “not in San Francisco” when we talked to the locals. I guess we stereo-typed just as much as those who think everyone in Texas lives on a ranch with horses.

The first two days of our trip, we were able to hang out with our cousins Josh and Justin who graciously made the 6-hour drive from Los Angeles to spend some time with us. We had so much fun with them! It had been 10 months since we had seen them, and we really needed and enjoyed our J&J time! Fortunately for us, they had been to SF several times and showed us how to get around town and took us to several must see touristy spots.

Golden Gate Bridge
Us with Josh and Justin (cousins)

The Muir Woods
Monterey Bay Aquarium

We took our time with everything and really enjoyed every second of our trip.  It had been a long time since we had had the opportunity to vacation like that and we relished every minute of it.  There were so many things we didn't get to see or do, but we decided we needed to leave something for next time! 

Monday, April 26, 2010

13 Years of Love

Larry and I started dating 13 years ago today.  The past 13 years have been nothing short of interesting to say the least.  There is never a dull moment in our lives it seems.  I thank God that I have had the opportunity to share these years with him and for the privilege of getting to spend the rest of my life with him.

This morning as I wrote the date down and realized its significance, I sent my sweet husband this text message:
"13 years ago today, I started my life with you.  I love you so much.  Thank you for being the best husband and very best friend I could ever want or need."
His response made my eyes swell with tears:
"Your beauty is exceeded only by your patience and constant optimism.  My life would be empty without the experience of our love, a dark canvas without the life of color.  May God bless us with seventy more scoons (years) together!"
To say that I love him, almost seems like I'm lying.  "Love" doesn't seem to be a strong enough word or do my feelings justice.  I looked up some synonyms of the word "love", and I think I will try to start using different words that I haven't said to him every day multiple times a day for the past 13 years.  Words that I'll only ever say to him and never another man.  Words that may better capture the depth of my sentiments for the man that still makes me the happiest girl in the world!

Babe, I adore you and think the world of you!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Birthday, Erika!

My sister, Erika, was my very first best friend.  She and I are a little less than 2 years apart and to say that we did everything together is an understatement.    Since we were so close in age, Erika wanted to do everything I did.  My mom who always wanted to be fair, treated us like twins...if I got something, Erika did too, only usually in a different color.  She even dressed us alike. 

Let me just say that having her as a sister, there was NEVER a dull moment! 

If you've ever met my sister, you would probably never guess that she got off to a late start talking.  She wouldn't speak clearly and instead of talking, tried to get away with some kind of baby babble well into her second year.  My mom would ask her what she wanted, trying to get her to talk and Erika would respond with some incomprehensible gibberish and she would say, "Erika, I don't understand you".  Well, it never failed that I would jump in as the big sister and tell my mom exactly what she wanted.  I understood her and I did not realize that my mom was simply trying to get her to speak clearly.  To some extent, this even happens to this day.  I understand her more than most people and usually know how she is feeling or what she is thinking before she can even verbalize it.

Trying to pick a story or two from our childhood to put in this post has been difficult.   We have so many funny memories that we desperately need to get documented before we forget them (if we haven't already).  This is one of Erika's favorite stories, and I'm sure she is expecting I put it in here.  I've never written it down before, so we'll see if it is as funny when you read it as it is when you hear it.  In December of 1987, when I was 8 and Erika was 5 years old, I broke my elbow.  At this point, Erika and I had bunk beds and I normally slept on the top bunk.  However, since I required surgery and had 2 pins in my elbow, a soft cast, and could not bend my arm, my mom put me on the bottom and Erika on the top so that I wouldn't injure myself further trying to climb up and down the ladder.  In the middle of the night, I woke up having to go to the bathroom.  Several things hindered me from going on my own - I couldn't get up out of bed on my own without hurting my elbow and I couldn't pull my pajama pants down (or back up) by myself, so I called out for Erika to help me.  After calling her name three times, I got a groggy response and told her that I needed to go to the bathroom, she said okay, and the next thing I heard was a huge THUD!  When my mom ran into the room, Erika was still laying face down on the carpet trying to figure out what had just happened.  She had totally forgotten that she was on the top bunk and just stepped out as if she was on the bottom.  Fortunately, she was just fine, and now we have a hilarious story to tell our grandkids.

As with most siblings...we had a few years where we didn't get along quite as well as we did in our younger years.  She didn't much care for my advice and I didn't like that she wasn't accepting it and abiding by it.  BUT as we got older, we found a mutual admiration for each other.  I hope she realizes now that my "advice" was given purely out of love and not some sick need to be right all the time.  The last year and a half or so, during the last few months of her pregnancy, and since John Patrick was born, we have been closer than ever.  We love taking the baby and our little cousins, Bianca, 4, and Alexis, 2, to the park, Chuck E Cheese and Disney on Ice together.  It is rare that we go more than a day or two without atleast talking on the phone and we see each other atleast once a week.

Erika has turned out to be such a great mother!  I am so proud of her and John Patrick definitely loves his mommy!  She goes above and beyond to make sure that he has everything he needs, no matter the circumstances.

Erika, I am so proud of the mother and person you are.  Know that if you or John Patrick ever need anything at all, I am just a phone call away. 

I love you both so very much.

Happy Birthday!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Bianca!

Oh my sweet, sweet Bianca!  I can't tell you how much I LOVE this girl!  Just thinking of her makes me smile!  Today, my precious cousin turns 4 years old!  I have so enjoyed the past 4 years with her. 

She is definitely one of the sweetest, smartest, most beautiful little girls you will ever meet!

Most of you know the story behind why Bianca, I believe, was sent to us by God.  If you don't know, it's definitely not a story I'm going to post, but one that I can tell you over coffee one day.  Bianca has definitely filled an enormous hole in the hearts of many.  She brightens up any room and just being with her makes me totally forget any of my problems.

One of my favorite things to do with Bianca is to teach her songs.  During Christmas of 2008, before Bianca turned 3, we started singing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer".  Let me tell you, that we sang that song over and over year round, and by this past Christmas she had pretty much gotten all the words down.  Back in November, I was able to record her singing the entire song. 

She's so funny, you can see she did NOT want me to help her at all!  I am so happy I was able to capture that because now, only 4 months later, she now knows all the words!

When I say she's smart, let me tell you, I'm not exaggerating.  She speaks mainly Spanish, and it is quite often when she actually teaches me a word I do not know.  She has also corrected my pronunciation of Spanish words on several occasions!  She has also (mainly by watching Blue's Clues and other shows of the sort) picked up a great deal of English on her own.  It's so funny hearing her speak in English and wondering where she got that from.

I definitely cherish every minute I have to spend with her.  I hope she knows how much I love and adore her and just how much she means to me.  How I wish there were more time for me to take her to Chuck E Cheese and the zoo every weekend and spend more time with her, but that only makes our time together even more special!

Bianca, I love you more than you will ever know!  I look forward to every trip to the zoo or to Chuck E Cheese and I look forward to all the new things you will want to do as you get older.  You never cease to amaze me with how smart and kind you are.  You truly have a piece of my heart!

Feliz CumpleaƱos! Te quiero mucho!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Happy Birthday, Amanda!

My baby sister, Amanda, is 23 years old today.  I can't even believe it.  If she's 23, that means I'm - well, let's just say it means I'm older than she is. 

Amanda was my baby.  I hated to leave her everyday to go to school and really looked forward to coming home and hearing every single detail of my mom's day with her.  Everything she did amazed me so.

My mom started working out of the house when Amanda was little, and I was left in charge.  This meant that I was able to discipline her.  Funny when your older sister is able to spank and ground you, but that's the way it was for poor, little Amanda.  I'll never forget one of the first times I spanked her and I had to run out of the room and cry!  I couldn't stand to see my baby hurt!

We did everything together.  I taught her how to say her ABC's, how to read, how to swim, how to ride a bike, and how to hide from and get away from strangers.  I taught her all of the states and their capitals when she was 3 years old (she was one smart kid!), and when I got older and wanted to go out with friends, she came with me, which I guess has stuck, since even to this day if I don't want to go somewhere by myself, I call her.

Amanda and I have always had a very special closeness.  When she was eight years old, she had to have surgery to repair her ear drum and have her adenoids removed.  The family waited anxiously in the waiting room to hear from the doctors to know that she was okay.  When the nurse came out, she asked "Is there a "Tina" out here?"  We told her that I was "Tina" and she said "Amanda is asking for you."  Although it might have stung my mom just a little that her baby was asking for me instead of her, I'm sure that she was happy to know that her daughters have such a special bond.

One evening when my sisters and I were at a friends house, I went for a walk around the block with Erika and the 2 older friends.  Amanda begged to go, but I told her to play with her friend and that I would be right back as I just wanted the "big kids" to go.  Apparently, not long after I had gone, the little boy that Amanda was playing with swung a metal bat and hit her in the head.  When we got back from our walk, I ran into the house when I heard her screams.  The lady that was watching us had a bag of ice on her head and she said that she had been screaming for me since it happened.  I felt so bad that I didn't let her come with me.  I just knew that if I would have let her come, she wouldn't have gotten hurt and I felt horrible that she was crying for me and I wasn't there.  My "motherly" instincts came naturally when it came to Amanda.  God definitely knew what He was doing when he surprised us with her!

Things haven't always been peachy between Amanda and me.  I think with every "younger sister/older sister" and "mother/daughter" relationship there is usually a period of time when personalities clash.  Not to mention that I never wanted to see Amanda do anything that would be bad for her.  It really is so difficult to see someone you love so much doing something you know is going to turn out badly, especially if you have gone through it yourself and are wanting them to learn from your mistakes or hear your advice.  There were several instances when Amanda went in a direction opposite from where I would have liked.  Where even though I begged, pleaded, bribed, yelled and cried for her to do one thing, she did another.  It was those times, I think, that have made us closer.  I have ALWAYS told her what is on my mind, and regardless of whether or not she agrees and/or listens, she knows that no matter what she does or decides, I will be behind her 100%.  It has also been nice to see/hear her use my very same words of advice now.  When I ask her "So, you were actually listening?", she always says, "Tina, I always listened".  It is nice to know that even though she didn't always do what I wanted for her, she was listening, and didn't just think that I was some crazy, raving lunatic!

About a year after Larry and I were married, and 6 months after we moved into our new house, Amanda moved in with us.  It was SO much fun!  She was the best roomie ever!  We (yes, even Larry) really enjoyed having her with us for that year.  Too many funny things happened while she lived with us to put in this post, but one thing is for sure, Larry, Amanda and I will never forget that year!

Over the years, the "Titi" turned into "Tina" and before I knew it, my baby was all grown up!   Fortunately, she will ALWAYS call me Tina, and I wouldn't have it any other way.  As a matter of fact, when she was in Junior High, she tried to call me "Christina" one day and it was horrible!  If she started calling me Christina now, it would be like you calling your mom by her first name instead of "mom".  To me, it is just a constant reminder of our close relationship and it is a reminder that I love to hear!

Amanda, you have turned out to be a beautiful, fun, loving, mature, responsible woman.  I hope you know that I will always be here for you.  Know that I will always be honest with you and that I absolutely want the best for you. 

I love you so much!

Happy Birthday!!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


We totally pulled off a surprise party for my mom's 50th Birthday this past Sunday. With the help of the entire family we all pitched in, schemed and plotted to make sure everything went off without a hitch. I must say, I think it went pretty well. She was totally surprised and she really loved seeing and visiting with everyone, especially those who came in from out of town and who she hadn't seen in years.

She was so excited, she didn't sit down the entire night until only 2 of her friends remained. Even then as she was finally eating the dinner we had catered, she was still noticing the old pictures we had used as decorations and going on and on about how excited and surprised she was.

Thank you all who attended and made her day oh so special. She will never forget it! A very special thank you to all my friends who were so generous in giving their time to help out and let me borrow things. THANK YOU to both my sisters for helping make this party happen. Couldn't have done it without either one of you. Thank you Nana and Papa for everything and Mike for keeping her in the dark until the very last second!

Here are a few pics...

Please see my facebook page for more pictures.

Hope you loved it Mom!!