Sunday was the big Johnson Erikson summer bash with a celebration of 190 years of living. Mum turned 75 this year, Dad turned 75 this year and Bri turns 40 in 2 days. Thus the 190 theme. We offered to host the BBQ this year as the rest of the family apparently fights over who has what responsibility and who will and will not come etc. Weird. Maybe because my family unit of birth is small it seems petty and unreasonable to me. Get together, have fun, don't sweat the small stuff.
We did it up a bit extra special because it was more than a BBQ and was also a birthday celebration. We had a canopy which was worth its weight in gold. Large enough for 25 people underneath comfortably it shaded us when it was hot and protected us when showers moved in at the end of the day.
Giving parties is hard for Kirsty. Not kiddie birthday parties. Not small intimate family parties. But hosting for 20 people or more, this is stress to her. I love it and honestly enjoy planning choosing decorations and color schemes etc. Slowly but surely, K came on board and as she put it, "embraced my Marthanity." Her philosophy has always been that it is family and why should you have to do stuff up fancy for family. I guess I just think everyone deserves a time to come someplace and feel that things look special for them. . .
We had small artificial swags on the canopy and a sort of tropical color scheme. Anchored with a deep blue but punches of lime and pink and orange. Small arrangements on each table and a taller one on the food table. Robbie picked a lot of queen annes lace for me and I put it in two vases with a single deep blue hydrangea from our garden. Rob and KC helped me make helium balloon bouquets as well. Kirsty made a cool balloon arch over the driveway that helped folks locate the house from afar and looked stunning to boot.
It was such a fun day. The kids could run around and play. Which they did as the day wore on and they became more comfortable around all the relatives--many of whom our youngest 2 have never met. It was especially great to see Kirsty's Aunt Nancy and Uncle John again. It has been years since we have seen them and they are some of my favorite people. When K and I first got together we spent tons of time at their house visiting. They are just neat people, very genuine down to earth folks that don't play mind games. I love them dearly and so does Kirsty. Watching John get to know Elisabeth was so much fun. He was so patient, waiting for her to decide that it was okay for him to hold her.
Mum was down and I hope enjoyed herself. I know she isn't feeling well, but she is also at a very sad and bitter place in her life. I hope that I don't ever look at people and the world that way.
What I have are lots of beautiful memories of us all gathered together for a day. I treasure that because time passes quickly and when you start marking 75th birthdays you don't really know how many more gatherings all these people will be able to be at together.