Sunday, May 23, 2010

Derby Day

Despite the silence around this here blog page, May has been quite a busy month. Actually, that's really why I haven't blogged...not because there's nothing to say, but because there's no time to write it all down! I talked with friend and fellow "writer" (those quotes really only apply to me...he actually knows what he's doing) Brian the other day, and we agreed that the trouble with blogging is that sometimes you have to choose between living life, or documenting it....there isn't always time for both. But in the interest of preserving these memories before they get pushed out of my crowded little mind, I'm going to attempt some backlogging here.....

Hop in your way-back machine, kids. Date: Saturday May 1st.

**(insert Wayne's World dream sequence fade-in sound here....)**

There's no real way to segue into this story, so I'll just launch in, and tell you my mom loves special events, especially those involving animals, bonus points if there is a competition between said animals. Thus, for the last few years she has been OBSESSED with the Iditarod. I'm talking non-stop video watching, live-feed streaming, dog gear researching for the entire month of March (and February...and January...) We've come to accept this passion, but haven't exactly caught the fever. We all sort of nod and smile, waiting for the season to end.... So April arrived, and I expected a break from all the race talk....but noooooooooooooo, no. Because now it was Kentucky Derby season, of course! So the new talk of the town was organizing a trip to Louisville. But we got a little bit of a late start in planning, so it really didn't seem like an option. But I saw an opportunity....if we couldn't support her enthusiasm by coordinating a live viewing, maybe we could do the next best thing: throw her a surprise Derby party!

You see, I may not have inherited her passion for quadruped sports, but we do have a shared love for party planning, especially when it involves a theme. And Derby tradition supports....nay (neigh?)...requires over-the-top outfits, so volunteering to throw the party was really a selfish move on my part.

So I got my step-dad Vern involved, and we began our covert operation. Friends and family were called, decorations were coordinated, games were designed, hats were made and booze was bought. She still had no idea I was even coming to visit, let alone planning a bash, so it was really fun to surprise her the night before. I showed up, and she was shocked! The surprise continued when I asked her to open her Mother's Day gift was a hat of course! The funniest part is that she still didn't connect it, and just happily put it on, thinking nothing of it. Finally she said, "I should wear this and watch the Derby tomorrow!", and I laughed, responding, "Yes. Maybe you should. And maybe we'll have some people over to watch it....because maybe we're having a PARTY!!!" She was so surprised, so appreciative and so made all the thought and effort worth it by far.

So, the cat (or horse) was out of the bag...which meant it was time for her to start helping! (See, I told you it was a bit selfish on my part.) It may seem wrong to force someone to throw their own party, but it was actually really fun to work on it all together. I had all the pieces gathered- but we got to cook, decorate, and plan it as a team. We had a great (but busy!) day getting everything ready, and I have to say- it turned out great.

Vern even set up the projector, so it felt like we were a part of the action. (complete with a trellis to hide the electronics).

I made blue ribbon name tags for everyone....each guest had to make up their "Official Thoroughbred Name"- following Jockey club rules- and pick a pony sticker to represent them.
The food was big hit. we tried a few new recipes, and luckily it all turned out delicious....

A fav of mine: watermelon, mint and feta cubes. Yum!

And though I got into the creation of all the details, the best part was really just doing something to make my mom feel special. She does so much, for so many, it was fun to knock her socks off with something just for her.

I loved how excited everyone else was too...obviously they've been touched my mom's generosity and fun spirit....each and every person I talked to was thrilled to be a part of it, and couldn't wait to surprise her. And they all got into the spirit with the hats...gotta love that!
Here's a few of the guests livin' it up (sad I didn't snap one of everyone!)...

It was lovely girls day, full of fun memories. Who knows...maybe it was enough to get people on board for a trip next year?

1 comment :

  1. whoa my mom has a cool hat on!!! :)
    wish i could have been there.