Sunday, May 27, 2012

18 Years of Love

It's that time of year again....graduation season. On the years that darling friends and family are among the graduates, it's hard to believe where 18 years has gone! It puts one's life in perspective as you reflect back on the lives of these accomplished graduates. It's a real beginning into adulthood.

This weekend, we celebrated in Charlotte, NC.  While Hayden was the guest of honor, years of friendship between Linda and myself was evident as we spent two long days in preparation...all the while laughing, peeling, mixing, rolling, chopping and mincing for a good cause! 

It seemed like a fairly simple plan, but when the end result culminates in 23 hours of work...well, what can I say?! Congratulations, Hayden. You've earned it!

Several weeks ago, when Linda was in Bucks County for the Designer House opening Gala, we planned the menu.

30 lbs of pulled pork (Sandwiches)
 Susan's favorite Green, green salad
Linda's favorite potato salad
Fresh fruit salad
Grilled Hot Dogs for the younger set
Assorted cold drinks
Linda's Carrot Cake
Susan's German Chocolate Cake
Raspberry Chocolate Torte
Home made Double Chocolate  Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches

I think it's safe to say that we had planned a menu fit for a party!

Hayden is one of four siblings, and coming from a very stylish girly-girl mother, he instructed us that this party was not to be the least bit "sweet"! No girl-y colors...not too "pretty". Just a good boy party. 

Here's what we came up with!

Linda caught this evidence of "getting down to the grunt work"! All bracelets and watches off in preparation for pulling the 30 pounds of pork that had been cooking overnight...

First thing Friday, we mixed up a quadruple batch of double chocolate chip cookie dough for the 60+ ice cream sandwiches to follow.

 How we wish we had someone on hand to photograph the next sequence! Filling, shaping, prepping the plastic wrap and wrapping the ice cream sandwiches was getting out of hand real fast!! It was truly a scene from a Lucy and Ethel episode! Somehow, we got them put together and documented our stash in the freezer for the evening ahead. *Whew*

Every surface of the kitchen was filled with supplies to be used and items not to be forgotten...

Colors...lime and orange, two personal favorites and oh so manly...remember the deal, "no girl-y stuff"!

Platters and serving pieces at hand...


Salad bowls, trifle bowl, samovar for favorite cucumber water...

Burlap for our table clothes...not exactly budget friendly, but once again, oh so stylishly manly!

Hayden posed with me after assembling the Chinese lanterns in the colors of the day!


Then the graduate and I set out to hang the lanterns under the largest tree in the back yard. We were enjoying an 87 degree day in the city of Charlotte...May, no less.

We wrapped a band of burlap around assorted sizes of mason jars and then used multiple turns of twine as our "ribbon" (the manly version!) Each mason jar was filled with tinted lime green water and hosta leaves, along with several sprigs of the large maple tree that took center stage in the yard.


I tied burlap covered sand bags as weights to use for our balloons.

Here's a long shot of the tables!


In back of the serving table, we used our weighted burlap bags to hold 18 balloons for 18 years...all at perfectly placed heights to form a celebratory wall. Giant hosta leaves from my daughter, Jessie's yard added the punch.

Closeup of weighted burlap bags!

Looks like a  manly party for sure!

Linda and I laughed when we arrived after a short break to dress in the same color! Well....we think alike! Nothing planned, really!

Hayden indulged us in a photo shortly before the guests were to arrive. He is so handsome!


 One last look around....

 Our favorite refreshing drink was added to the drink buffet table...


At the end of the evening the breeze had completely died . That, along with the piles of burlap told the story of a successful evening.


 We decided to release the balloons as an expression of Hayden's moving to new heights!

Congratulations, dear Hayden. I know he will go far.


linda said...

It all looks so cute! I am forever in your debt to you for your cheerful help. It was a very fun weekend and I could not have chosen a more creative and fun "work companion." You forgot to mention that you did a large part of the clean-up solo! Just one more thoughtful gift you bestowed that weekend!

"Assembling" those ice cream sandwiches was hysterical, trying to get them wrapped while ice cream was dripping everywhere and not licking fingers and sandwiches, was a true trial of willpower!

And, while my first love is anything "girly" I must say I think we did a great job of not making it "girly." A true testament of my love for my very sweet boy, Hayden!

I am so blessed to have you as my dearest friend, of all. I love you!

michelle said...

It looks like a wonderful party!

Oh dear, is that what I have ahead of me in just one year??

Lee said...

Susan you and Linda did a fantastic job. I should have called you for my son's. But I think I did a good job, you would have been proud. I love the colors and the photos.