Thursday, 24 April 2014

Coffee House Anniversary

    In Canada 41% of marriages never make it to their 30th anniversary.  Those are disturbing statistics (although slightly better than the 50% our American neighbours report).  If there is a glass half full attitude to this then 59% of marriages will make their 30th anniversary.  When you win a sporting event you get a trophy, when you succeed in your chosen profession you receive accolades.  What do you get if you succeed at marriage?  Well for my parent's ... you get a party.

    The idea for my parent's 45th anniversary party came out of a phone call from my Mom.  My Uncle had dropped off a c.d. of my cousin Bruce singing.  Mom then played it for me over the phone.  "He's good, he's really good"  she said.  At that moment a little light bulb light up in my head.  I could have coffee house themed party for them.  My kids had been practicing their little hearts out for weeks in preparation for their school's talent show.  I could ask several talented family members (and my own little monkey's) to perform.  That is what I did.

    The decor had to be coffee shop style.  I purchased inexpensive table cloths from the local dollar store (although now nothing in a 'dollar' store is actually a dollar).  I borrowed wrought iron bistro tables from family to give it that coffee house feel.  Each table was topped with a table cloth and then a white napkin with a brightly coloured tea light candle holder.  The colour palate was rich brown, cream and bright blue.

    The food and drink were coffee house style too.  I brought in my Keurg coffee maker and baskets full of flavoured coffees and teas.  I filled two of my beautiful drink jugs with southern lemonade and the other with Malibu Sunset with a tag that read "no kids allowed".

    It was a night where the sweet tooth ruled.  A table filled with cookies and cup cakes and woopie pies (you may remember those from yesterday's blog), and chocolate peanut butter cups.  If it was sweet, it was there.  It saved me money having desserts instead of a big meal, and it was in line with the evenings theme.  It also allowed people to eat their dessert first, because dessert was almost the only thing on the menu.

    My parents sat at the front table, eyes glittering with tears of pride in their grandchildren.  They were able to share their love and pride in their grandchildren with their family and friends.  My hammy kids aimed to please and sang their little hearts out.  Each time the crowd of family and friends exploded with applause my kids little faces beamed.  They felt important.  The kids felt important and my parents got to share their love with everyone around them.

    One of my personal highlights was being able to check a big item off of my bucket list... "sing in public".  I love to sing, but have always lacked the courage to do it in front of anyone other than my kids and husband.  I think that is why I really encouraged my kids to perform.  Through their courage I could live my dreams.  I decided to do something that really scared me, I sang in public.  I kept talking myself through it with the mantra of "It's friends and family, they love you, it's friends and family, they love you, it's friends and family, they love you."  I practiced singing for weeks.  Every wrong note, everything less than perfection I rethought my decision.  I practiced until my throat was raw.  Finally the big moment came.  I stumbled onto the stage, trying to make eye contact with no one.  I sang.  I could not tell you honestly if I did well or not, but I made my Mom cry, and I did something that I desperately wanted to do but was always to scared to try.

     In the end the evening was a success.  My parents loved it.  The kids performed my professionally trained cousin Fiona (you may remember her from my Rocky Horror Picture Show Blog) sang and was accompanied on the guitar by her very talented husband Kevin.  The kids each performed three songs / acts.  Riley did her hula hoop act from the talent show, and played her guitar and sang.  I checked a huge item off of my bucket list.

Being the proud Mama that I am, I thought I would share the kid's talent show performances with you.  These are the acts that they performed for the coffee house.

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