Surprise!

I had my first week of Level 3 Competitve Gymnastics! And I got a henna tattoo!

He said

Quite a few months ago, aware that Mom & Dad were approaching their 55th wedding anniversary and wanting to do something special for them, we started to loosely organize a celebration for them. Given their mobility and the years we have put (read: aged) on them, we knew two things: 1) We wanted to do something special to thank them for the family they have built around us; and 2) They wouldn’t want a big production made out of it with gifts and commotion. So, we settled in to doing something quiet, that would bring the family together around them so they could bask in the glow of all that that their union had created.

The trouble we realized very quickly is – as usual – we’re about as easily organized as herding cats. So months of back and forth and a secret text thread that Mom & Dad weren’t part of and we were literally working right up until the moment of the surprise orchestrating and organizing our efforts. About a month ago, we had landed in agreement that we would surprise them at their house on Sunday after Dad got home from the Village. Danielle, Emelia and I would pull the guise of our usual Sunday night freeloading for dinner visit to ensure they were available. And aside from meal-planning everthing was set in stone.

Their actual anniversary fell on the Friday we left for our Arrowhead Provincial Park camping trip a couple of weeks ago, The day went by kind of quietly aside from me wishing them a happy anniversary when we met early that Friday so I could help Dad order his new iPad Pro. Matthew and Shawn did take them out for dinner that day (I think), but, I wondered if they thought we had forgotten or it wasn’t that big of a deal to us. Little did they know it was, and we did have something planned—it just took us a couple of weeks to get it all aligned.

Tonight, after I got done work, we all gathered at the Tim’s near their house and waited for the text from Danielle that let us know that Dad was home and we’re good for the surprising. As soon as the okay came in from Danielle, all four families, each in our cars, headed off to the house and taking over the back deck. We had a full meal with desserts in tow and a noisy herd to boot. Danielle said from inside it only took a couple minutes of the commotion on the back deck for Dad to know something was up. We shared our surprises, explained what we were doing and then promptly got right to assembling the dinner we had organized.

The food was amazing, and you definitely could tell Mom & Dad were surprised by it all—maybe even overwhelmed with the big deal we made out of it. But it was a big deal to us. 55 years ago, their union created a family that has given each of us four boys a sense of who we are, how we belong and – most importantly – the type of families we should create and humans we should be. There was tons of laughter, lots of smiles and generally a contentment amongst everyone that was as thick as both combined. It was the perfect personification of their marriage and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Happy 55th Anniversary Mom & Dad!

The other big event in our lives was that 2 hours from posting in a couple of places that Wolfie was for sale, she was sold. It was far faster than we had ever anticipated and a little sad. But, the good news is it’s going to a Mother who is a friend of a friend who has been searching for exactly this kind of trailer for some time. We’re so delighted it’s going to someone just like we were when Wolfie joined our family. It also meant we’d quickly solved the challenge of having to store and manage two trailers in our lives (and driveway)!

The challenge from this was that amid all the anniversary planning, we now had the job of swtiching the fans our which was a domino of replacing the one that came in Wolfie Too with the fancy new automatic one with a rain sensor we had bought originally for Wolfie. The new plan was to put that in Wolfie Too and take the one from Wolfie Too, that was literally weeks old and put it in Wolfie to replace the 20 year old one that was showing it’s age. With the sale of Wolfie and her new owner wanting to pick her up this Wednesday, that task became a priority for Saturday. About seven hours (and lots of sweat n’ swears) after stating that was all done Saturday afternoon.

So aside from a final clean up and some finishing touches, Wolfie is ready to join her new family on Wednesday and we’ll probably shed a tear or two when she pulls out of the driveway for the last time. But, it will feel better knowing she departs from us to start her memories with another family like she did with us five summers ago.

 

She said

What a week, it was busy pretty well from beginning to end. It was the first week for me with all 6 kids in the house. The daycare kids were back in the swing of things after a week of daycare routine and also I have my side-kick also in tow. It made for a very busy week. So the week was filled with a course that I am taking which meant every afternoon doing course materials, phone calls and trying to get our life around here back in order. Add into the mix Emelia has started her next level of gymnastics and things have become quite busy around here.

This week also was making sure that everything was in order for the sale of the trailer. When we got back on Sunday we knew that we had to shift our focus to selling the trailer. We had set on a price and I went on a spam fest posting the trailer for sale in as many places as I could think of. There was a fair bit of back and forth with some bargain hunters but then as the work day ended the real buyers came forward, by the end of the day we not only had one family interested we had 5 all serious and loved the value of these vintage trailers, and understood the value of a restored one. In the end we chose the family for Wolfie because she was a mom of three young children and just loved everything about the trailer. So we have spent the last week emailing back and forth setting the pick up date of this coming Wednesday.

With the trailer sold we had to focus on the ‘to do’ list of what needed to be done to get her out of storage, projects done and cleaned up for the new owner. This proved to be a bigger project than we wanted but in the end after a long day yesterday in the baking sun the old trailer has a new fan ready for the new family. This weeks task will be re-cleaning the trailer and getting her perfect for the new family.

To add to the mix all week was the planning of the big surprise anniversary party for Helen and Doug. John recapped perfectly so I just want to add my piece from the heart. To Helen and Doug – you are more than my in laws you are my second parents, you have been my rock, shoulder and ear for over 25 years. You have been an example of what family should always be, it should be love, security and acceptance. Thank you for always being my family through all that life has thrown at us. We love you with all our hearts!!! Happy Anniversary.

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