Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Grandpa's 80th Birthday

On July 7th, my mom's side of the family got together to throw my wonderful grandfather a surprise 80th birthday party.  We rented Heritage Park in Downtown Irving and braved the heat (and boy was it HOT) for an awesome time of celebration.  The party was in a small building there in the park that was the original Irving Public Library.  We invited around 120 of Grandpa's friends, family, and former employees and colleagues.  Almost all of them showed up, so it was a full house!

In case you don't know about my special relationship with my grandfather, here is a bit of background.  He was a coach and administrator all around Texas for many years.  He became the principal of an elementary school in Irving a couple of years before I was born.  I had the amazing experience of attending that school as a student.  Many of the party guests were the teachers who worked for him, which was so much fun!

I had a really great time planning the party.  We made sure that all of the food was themed around him.  We served cupcakes that had toppers on them with pictures throughout his years, white chocolate popcorn because of his love of movies, football decorated chocolate covered strawberries because of his years as a coach, golf ball cake balls because of his golf hobby, and chips and salsa because of his being from Jacksonville, Texas (the Tomato Capitol of the World and salsa also being a very popular food in Texas.)  My uncle Andy made an amazing video that looped during the party and he also brought some awesome memorabilia of grandpa's that we used for decor.

Overall, it was a smashing success!

The spread.  Next to each food item there was a framed explanation of why we chose to serve that food.
Some of the decorations- old letter jackets and football jerseys, a football for guests to sign, a football calendar from Plano High School, and an AWESOME banner courtesy of Waldrum Signs.
A few pictures taken before the party.  Setting up and the arrival of Grandpa and Grandma.
Teachers from Lively Elementary.  These people LOVE my grandpa!  The top right photo is Mrs. Sullivan, the former music teacher, entertaining the crowd with a song she wrote for the occasion.
And of course, Emily was there, too!  She and Lucas had to leave early to take a nap, though.
So much love, laughter and friendship!
Family who came to the party.  Grandpa's brother Charlie and all of Charlie's children and their families came to Dallas for the party.  Too bad Lucas and Emily were already gone for these pictures.
Grandpa and Grandma

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