Our lives have been so full this past year. We've done so much this past year. We've labored hard, often for others. I've been so busy working alongside this beautiful husband of mine that I've often felt like I have so little time to give just to him.
When thinking about Zachary's 30th birthday, I longed to do something that was just for him. I wanted to labor in love in a way that I give love best. I wanted to give him something that was all for him, in each detail even down to the balloons! That boy loves balloons. I rarely give in to his wishes to have balloons at all of our monthly events but I knew when it came to his birthday, his special day, dang it, there would be balloons! (And a smudged chalk chalkboard. Don't mind that.)
I searched and searched to get cute gold ones but EVERY Party City in Austin was out of the "3" in the gold foil. If we were going to have balloons, I really wanted to make them at least trendy ;) but alas, polka dots it was.
For food, I wanted to give a nice array of delicious "guy" food that I knew Zachary would love. I made hamburger sliders, Cuban sliders (OMG amazing), little chicken in waffles with a side of honey and a hot dog bar!
We kind of fell in love with hot dogs after we had a Seattle Dog at Deez Dogz in Seattle. I made sure to also include lots of delicious toppings and some guidance on how to dress your dog for everyone. Though, Zachary and I were partial that night to a hot dog smothered in cream cheese and hot sauteed onions. Drooling just thinking about it.
Zachary's been obsessed with camping these days. He also is a HUGE fan of floor seating. I knew that I wanted both to be a part of my theme. I made a 30th Mood Board on Pinterest and quickly narrowed down the theme of his party to a Camping/Rusting/Glamping feel with a touch of boho, because it was me decorating and it just happens.
Zachary's favorite beer is Soporro (I spelled it wrong above. Whoops!) so I knew that his 30th birthday had to include a keg of that! I was thankful to reserve it at Spec's for a great price. Zachary was thrilled to see this special touch!
You may notice this back yard from my Instagram. It's my parent's backyard. It seems to be the place to have parties. It's the perfect size, big enough for 50+ people but small enough to be intimate. The twinkling Christmas lights looping the fence and the fire pit are pretty irresitable, too, while dreaming of where to have a party. And it's free! ;)
I am obsessed with these pallet floor tables. I knew I could find pallets for free around the city but in inconsistent qualities and looks. I wanted them to be tables so it was important for me to find something a little nicer than alot of the free, side of the road options I found. I found a family business on Craigslist just down the road. He was wonderful and even added the legs on them for me.
Most of the decorations I used were pieces I already had, items bought off the 40% off aisles at Hobby Lobby or bought at The Dollar Tree. I had so much fun painting mason jars (Packs of 12 at the grocery store are only $8-$12 depending on the size! Such an affordable, timeless decoration!) and cutting fabric and gluing sticks on dollar tree battery candles.
This Make a Smore sign seems to be somewhat of a staple piece for all our backyard parties. We had it at Jacob & Lauren's wedding and my mom's 49th Luau birthday. And why not? It's perfect for such a setting.
I gathered blankets and pillows from around our house, my parent's house and our friend's houses for seating.
A few weeks ago Zachary and Chris made corn hole boards for "fall events." Little did Zachary know that he was making a corn hole board for me with this specific event in mind! His birthday was the inspiration for the DIY day with Chris. Both us and Chris and Meghan will get tons of use out of them though! It took around $100 to make the boards and bean bags. They're great quality and much cheaper than what we found online for comparable quality.
I had sent out an invite almost a month before his party to make sure everyone marked their calendars! I told everyone to park down the street and arrive around 5:00 pm, as Zachary would arrive at 5:20 pm!
People starting trickling in and catching up with friends and meeting new ones.
There's that awkward part in any Surprise party though where everyones just really waiting in suspense for the guest of honor to arrive and the real party to start! He didn't take long. We all went to the back yard and when he arrived my mom told him me and my siblings were in the backyard playing corn hole.
Everyone got ready for the big surprise with their phones! We could hear him talking to Chara in the front yard and his loud voice in the house for a good 5 minutes before he walked through the back door! Oh the suspense! We were all trying hard to stifle our giggles and keep quiet!
Here he comes......
:) :) :)
He was so surprised and excited.
He was adorable looking around the back yard at each person taking it all in. His eyes got all watery and he said "Aw, I'm gonna cry!" And made the below beautiful face. ;)
He was quick to start making his way around the circle of friends to give hugs all around!
Chara was super excited! I'm pretty sure she thought the party was for her. Rosie was super excited, too. But not for the party! To see, and try to play with, Chara!
Everyone was full of smiles!
We had a quick prayer for our food and an introduction to what we had (Like they didn't know! They'd been standing there starting at it for 20 minutes! But in true hostess mode, I had to explain each item to them. ;) ). After the intro and prayer, it was time to let the party begin!
In a true procrastinators style, I hadn't pressured Zachary to stain and seal the board until the day before. I insisted that we had to have it for family dinner! He got some fast drying poly and stained it the night before and morning of the party. Because of that, I had to ask Zachary to bring the board to my mom's house for dinner because it was still drying when I left that morning for a "work event." This guy. Ha. I did so much shopping for the party with him! He'd ask, "Now what is this for?" And I'd say, "You know, just fall! Decorating for fall and parties and stuff." He would find this answer acceptable and not ask anything else. haha. Anything that I had in my car for the party (candle packs, a hay bale, etc.) that he'd ask, "What's this?" I would just say, "Oh, it's my mom's." And that was that. No more questions!
Everyone quickly grabbed plates and a drink and the party quickly started having that fun, party buzz of laughter and chatting.
Sophie LOVES parties! Thankfully she didn't get another chocolate hangover.
Zachary's mom sent me several scanned pictures of Zachary growing up that I made sure to put around the cake. Everyone loved seeing little Zachary! :) Also, that cake. I tried to make this cake but failed miserably. (Later I realized I didn't read all of the directions..) It ended up just being a pile of "Camp Cake" as my grandmother so lovingly called it in hopes of redeeming it for me. hehe. Everyone said it tasted good, though! So, I guess, no worries.
I was thrilled Trent & Angie were able to make it! :) It always feels a little more like "home" when they're around.
Rosie hasn't quite got the clue that Chara's less than thrilled to have her following her around all the time. Here she is trying hard to get Chara to play with her! Luckily, Chara is very into food, so Rosie was spared a good snarl for doing this.
Chara loves parties, too. After everyone else she was still all over the place making her rounds!
Love them all.
Jedi is getting so big! I can't believe he's now walking! And playing Cornhole. He's v advanced.
Is there anything better than having so many friends and family you love all in one place?
We missed tons of friends and family that I know would have been there if they could. They were missed but we know their love.
Zachary's family had come in the week before to celebrate his big day. We had an amazing day with them relaxing at our house, opening presents, eating cake and Italian.
After everyone had their fill of dinner the S'mores came out!
Rosie was never without arms to hold her or hands to pet her!
Birthday cake time! I'm one that likes to have ALL the candles on the cake. I don't care if you're turning 4, 30 or 65, we're gonna put them on there!
After we sang Happy Birthday, the sun started setting leaving the backyard in a gorgeous glow.
And then, a beautiful gift from the Lord. The sunset that night was especially special to me. I had been praying that morning for the day and for Zachary to feel so loved and special. I was talking with the Lord and reminded that He loves Zachary more than any of us ever could. I asked that the Lord just remind him that day how special and loved he was. And then, a gorgeous sunset. Every one kind of stopped and stood in awe of it. We all took pictures. My mom had been in the house because she wasn't feeling well so I made sure to go and get her to come outside and see the beauty. These pictures don't capture it. But it was special.
After the sun set, people starting giving their hugs good bye and trickling out. Those left set around the fire, picked at the food and enjoyed the nice weather. Zachary, Chris, Jeff and I stayed out hours after everyone left. Me and Sophie snuggled under the tent. We dragged the extension cord outside by the fire so my mom could plug in her heating pad. It was just a great night.
I quietly started cleaning everything up, still wanting to soak it all in. Eventually my mom went in and others left. Chris and Jeff started helping me clean up a bit and Zachary fell asleep on the chair next to the fire (He was nursing a cold and a long day! And who am I kidding, he falls asleep everywhere.) It was a wonderful day celebrating Zachary's life and I felt like life in general. It ended peacefully and my heart was full.
Happy Birthday my amazing husband. I love you more than words. I can't imagine a day without you.
Let's make 30 the best year yet. XOXO