Our last plan was the present we wanted to give them. We teamed up with the photographer of the family, Aunt Linda, and started gathering photos from the past 25 years. We found pictures from when they were dating, wedding pictures, baby pictures, family vacation pictures.....everything. In the end, we had over 700 pictures to choose from! In the end, we created a family photo album off of shutterfly.com that chronicled all the moments and memories our family has shared since my parents got married. It turned out even better than we imagined!
We decided to have the party in January...for two main reasons. 1) Their anniversary is December 27th. That is way too close to Christmas for us to be able to have time to squeeze in a celebration party! 2) It would be more of a shock and surprise. As the date got closer, we nailed down details and sent out invitations and finished the photo book and boy, was it HARD to not say anything! Especially when we left to come back home after Christmas--it was hard to not say, "see you in a couple of weeks!" Finally, the weekend came! Daniel and I left on a Thursday--which of course, it was snowing up here, so we were just praying we would make it! We got in late Thursday night and spent all day Friday decorating and cooking and getting ready for the big party. In order to pull off the surprise, my grandmother invited my parents out for fondue. We knew they were coming out about 6:30pm, so we told the rest of the family to arrive about 6:00pm. To hide the cars, we parked them at my dad's aunt's house right down the street and carpooled down to my grandmother's house. We went down to pick everyone up and headed down to the party. But, SURPRISE! Wouldn't you know, my parents who are ALWAYS late, arrived to their surprise party 25 minutes EARLY!!! Holy Cow! So, to avoid my parents seeing us, we pulled up to the front door and all ran inside and Daniel and I hid in the back. They walk in, and I can hear my dad say, "what are we celebrating?" Lol. After the initial shock, Hannah told them we had one more surprise for them. They closed their eyes and Daniel and I walked out from the back. I'm so glad my Aunt Linda captured their faces on camera---it was priceless.
We sat down to a dinner of wedge salad with homemade blue cheese dressing, Imperial chicken with twice baked potatoes and green beans, and Italian Creme Cake from PattiCakes bakery. It was all so yummy!
After we stuffed ourselves on the delicious food, we let them open their gifts. Hannah and I gave them the photo book, but we requested everyone else to write them a letter describing what they have meant to them the past 25 years.
It was the perfect surprise party! In a hilarious way, we ALL got surprised--but I wouldn't have changed anything for the world! It was such a special time to spend with family and I think it's one of those memories we will love to remember!