Thursday, 25 September 2008

Return to Blog-land

Well, I’ve been away for quite a while. It’s fair to say I’ve been busy, but it’s also fair to say that I’ve been trying to keep from thinking about blogging because every time I start to think about it, a sense of mild dread sets in because there is so much to update you on! But it can’t be that difficult, so I’ll start from the start, and see where we get to.

I suppose the real beginning was on 24 August 1968, the date my parents got married. But that seems a bit far back to go, so let’s start with something a bit more contemporary, say this Spring?

So early this Spring, my sister and I decided that as it was going to be my parents’ 40th anniversary this summer, we couldn’t really let the occasion pass by without marking it in some way. We decided that the only thing for it was to throw a surprise party for them, and for me and H to secretly travel back to BC to co-host the party with my sister and her boyfriend. Thus began the planning stages – they went on an awfully long time, so I’ll spare you the gory details, but eventually we found a venue, a theme, made some invites, started to track down long-lost friends and relatives (with varying degrees of success) and it all started to take shape.

Along with the party preparations, I decided that it would be a nice idea to commemorate Mum and Dad’s big day with a special anniversary sampler – well, of course I would! I mulled over the choices, and eventually settled on Marriage of Minds by The Drawn Thread, not least because coincidentally Mum had chosen this off my wishlist as a Christmas present for me just a few months earlier. I had to keep my stitching very secret, because both my parents are avid readers of my blog (isn’t that sweet??) and I didn’t want to give the game away. So I stitched diligently and determinedly, and eventually it got done – and even in enough time to get it framed.

Above - unframed, and below - framed and hanging on Mum & Dad's wall

Finally it came time for me and H to get on the plane back to Canada – I was so, so excited! We stayed the first day with my sister and her boyfriend in Vancouver, and then headed over to Vancouver Island to surprise Mum and Dad – we were all giddy and giggly on the ferry over with the excitement of it. And, when we finally got there, their faces! Oh, it was priceless! My sister and her boyfriend were expected, so we waited until they had been welcomed and then rapped at the door – I shocked Mum speechless for the first time in a good number of years :)

And the party? It was a blast – my sister and I spent a whole afternoon blowing up balloons, making table centrepieces, hanging decorations, cutting out photographs, picking up the cake and organising music (yes, and gently panicking that no one would turn up on the night!). And it was all worth it because Mum and Dad had a wonderful time.

And then, the relaxing part of the holiday started! We spent about 10 days altogether in BC, golfing, shopping, eating out, playing bocce, visiting friends and family, spending a day at the PNE and chilling out. It was magic. I’ve posted some photos below for those of you interested (they're small, but clickable).

And then, refreshed and relaxed, we arrived back home. And the best part? We’re heading back for Christmas in just three short months!

I think that’s enough for today, so over the next few days I’ll update you on some other goings on, including a couple of exchanges and gifts that I sent before I left, and bring you up to date with life as it stands. Actually, that wasn’t so bad, I should have blogged days ago :)

Happy stitching!

The signing table at the 40th anniversary party

These centrepieces took T and I several hours to make (all 8 of them)

Happy families! Sister's boyfriend A, Mum, H, sister T, Dad, me

The 'boys' Venture and Pepper

Mum and T walking the boys


Taking a break from bocce to have an impromtu picnic. L-R: A, Mum, H, N, T, J

Dad teeing off at the 10th

Elk Falls in Campbell River, about 3 hours north of Duncan

A tearful goodbye to Mum & Dad on the deck

My favourite ride at the PNE - the Coaster! Me and T in the second row, with her boyfriend A and his brother L practising their pose for the photo which is taken on the second big 'down'

me and T on the midway, the Coaster in the background

T, H, L and A - whose stupid idea was it to go on the log flume????

H and L queued for 15 minutes to ride the bumper cars amidst a score of 10-year olds. Who had the most fun??

T, showing off her fairground prize


karenv said...

What a great surprise for your parents! It all looks wonderful - so glad they enjoyed the party.

Your sampler for them is gorgeous too - congratulations!

Annemarie said...

I'm glad you took the plunge and updated your blog, because I, for one, was suffering from withdrawal symptoms. First of all, that sampler you stitched for your parents is amazing! They must be thrilled to bits to have this hanging on their wall!
Loved all the pics of your holiday, too. 1968 was a popular year to get married, I guess, because it was my parents' 40th in May as well. My sampler for them is languishing on a WIP/UFO pile, by the way :o(

Nana's Quilts said...

Fabulous. So happy that you included us in blogland in your big adventures and I'm SURE your folks were overjoyed that you were able to be there. Another time let me know and perhaps I could drive up and visit with you.
Best -

Jennifer said...

That sampler is just incredible. Absolutely incredible!! How thrilled they must have been to receive it! And what a lovely party you all put together - I love the signing table idea.

Angela said...

What a great suprise for your parents. The sampler is beautiful.

Barbara said...

Wow, what amazing fun! I feel like I've had a mini-vacation!

You put on a wonderful party for your parents and I just ADORE what you made for them. This is amazing!

Joke said...

Lovely pictures, lovely story and what a nice surprise to your parents. The stitching you dis is marvellous!!

Sharon said...

What fun! Your sampler is gorgeous! Your parents will never forget that!

Andrea said...

What a great surprise for your parents. A gorgeous present too.

Kathy A. said...

What a wonderful post. You brought tears to my eyes. What a lovely tribute to your parents that you have stitched such a beautiful sampler. You and your sister obviously put a lot of time and thought into your parents party. Glad that you had a such a nice visit with your family. Welcome home