We celebrated my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary last weekend.
Now, clearly a lot of people hear that and they think, PARTY TIME. They envision the nice engraved invitations, they imagine every relative and friend packed in the rented hall, and the menu and the flowers and oh my gosh, but what will we wear… The party, celebrating a wedding date. And then there are other people who envision the entire day as a small, quiet tribute to a special occasion. The marriage.
Without a doubt, Muzzy and Dad’s celebration was about the marriage. It was just a simple, sweet day of just our parents spending time with their kids and grandkids.
We started the day with morning Mass. My parents didn’t tell the priest it was their anniversary, but he spotted the flowers pinned to their jackets and the jig was up. He came over after Mass and pulled them to the corner of the church, to give them a special blessing.
After Mass we all headed back to my parents’ house, changed into comfier clothes, and just kind of relaxed before the rest of the ‘festivities’.
And let me explain this cake photo (bottom middle), if you don’t mind a quick side note: so, Leah and I were sweating the whole cake thing. We had to pick it up in Joplin, MO, and transport it all the way to my parents’ house. Then get the huge thing out of it’s packaging and slip it onto a buffet table without harming it. Tall order, as Leah and I are not exactly known for being graceful, you know? Anyhoo, we got it to the house. In one piece. We set it on the kitchen island for a second, then went off to tell everyone that OMG WE GOT THAT THING ALL THE WAY HERE WITHOUT DROPPING, TIPPING, OR ACCIDENTALLY FALLING ON IT BOO-YAH. And while we were patting ourselves on the back, my parents’ cat jumped on top of the cake box and kinda fell through the top, smooshing a corner of the top layer with his paw. And that, my friends, is pretty much just my luck.
We went kinda theme-y for their little party – using the movie Up as our inspiration. I know what you’re thinking, if you’ve seen it then you know that whole super-sad bit in the beginning and are wondering why in the hell we would base a party around something that’s, well. A little morbid. Well: we like to think of that little scene is a celebration of a beautiful marriage. And besides my parents kind of adore that movie.
At any rate – we had a soda bar, lots of balloons, and a cute cake topper of the Up house itself.
And we added Ellie’s Badge to my dad’s boutonnière.
Cat footprint aside – that was one beautiful cake. The bakery did an amazing job of recreating the original.
Okay this delightful specimen – believe it or not – contains two frosting roses from my parents’ original wedding cake. Yes. That’s two 50-year-old pieces of frosting in a Smuckers jar. Isn’t that unreal? Gross and yet – awesome. Those puppies have always sat in the door of the fridge at home, tucked in-between assorted condiments throughout the years.
We had a heavy-appetizer sort of lunch thing, meant to just tide us over until we had our dinner at the lovely Jim’s Steakhouse later that evening. Um. We all kinda pigged out though? It was all very yummy, I mean who doesn’t love mini eggrolls, or cocktail shrimp, or a cheese tray, or buffalo wings… Plus we were all so busy enjoying ourselves that we hung out at the table for awhile, and the food just kinda goes with all that. Needless to say there were a lot of doggie bags taken home from the restaurant later that evening.
Muzzy and dad made it clear that we were not to get them a gift for their anniversary. Hello, killjoy. But we were sneaky. And remembered how every once in awhile, they would talk wistfully about someday putting together a family cookbook. So, that’s exactly what we did. We sent out a Call for Recipes and Photos from all our relatives, and began making lists of family recipes that we ourselves loved. Then all of my sisters, brothers, and other relatives sent me their recipes, their photos, and stories/well wishes, which were all sorted, organized, proofed, and set for printing. A HUGE thank you to everyone for all of your help! That book, it is definitely well loved.
And then it was dark and time to do dinner. And of course, I totally forgot to drag my parents outside for photos before it got dark. GRRRR! And also eh. I think we shall live. Now bring on the steak and wine!
We ended the evening by cutting into that glorious cake.
So the one (other) weird thing about that cake was that they put one of those sugar-photos on top, of my parents on their wedding day, cutting their cake. Leah left the photo with the bakery as a decorating guide, but they must have gotten confused… So not a huge deal, and actually Mahni insisted on eating the slice with her beloved grandfather’s face on it. I can only assume she meant it in a complimentary way.
One last shot of the day, of Paulo. He loves balloons.
So just to close, a few quick words on my parents. They met as teens (ready to leave for my muzzy’s prom in the photo below), stuck together through college, and married young. They had a few darling baby girls, then a few more, and a few more… Finally a boy, just *one* last girl after that, and then oh what the heck – let’s start adopting too. Eleven of us kids in total.
They played with us, they pushed us on swings, they showed us how to make pretzels and taught us to sing songs from The Muppet Show. They kissed a thousand boo-boos, read just as many bedtime stories, and were our personal cheer section as we grew up and more independent by the day, then saw us all off to college. My dad has walked many a daughter down that church aisle, and my Muzzy can work her magic to soothe even the fussiest grandchild. They love each other and they love their babies and they love life like no other couple I know. Not to say everything was easy for them (everyone gets their lumps in life, our family is no exception) but they have always accepted the bad with the good, and never let the ‘lumps’ get in the way of enjoying everything to the fullest.
Muzzy and dad: you have taught us all some valuable life lessons by showing us how to laugh, love, and appreciate all that life has to offer. Thank you for everything.
Happy anniversary Muzzy and dad. XOXO love you bunches. -Nemmie