Last Friday I had the honor of helping my niece, Taylor, with her graduation party. My sister Beth had to teach school until 2:30 in the afternoon, and the party was that evening, so my other sister Kristen and I rallied at Taylor's house to help get things ready for the party.
Plan A was to use a tent in the backyard. People were supposed to walk to the tent via their side yard. Which meant that no one needed to go into the house except to use the restroom. So we planned for that. The tent was up, all the flower beds in the front and back were weeded and mulched. The pool was cleaned and ready for floating candles. We were set.
Then Friday came along.
And it rained. And poured. And was really, really windy. Se we had to change our plans.
Plan B was to still use the tent in the backyard. But to have people walk through the house to get to the tent.
But it still rained. And misted. And sprinkled. The grass under the tent was OK. It was just that to get to the tent, people would have to walk through muddy, spongy grass. And then they would have to walk back through the mud to leave. It just wouldn't work.
So on to plan C.
Plan C was our final, last-ditch effort. Keep in mind that it was now 1:30 or 2:00, and guests would be arriving by 7. The house was clean, but not ready at all to host a few hundred people. In short order, Kristen, Taylor and I had relieved the house of all vestiges of Christmas. We also figured out where everyone would be situated (Beth and Rod welcoming people on the porch and Taylor and her pictures in the living room.) Then we found out the tent guys could come back and put up a tent on the driveway to basically extend the garage. Thank goodness we knew someone who had large panels of fabric to hang in the garage to hide everything (like shelves, a grill, ladders, was there even a lawnmower back there?) And thank goodness that either 1) Beth and Rod always have a clean garage or 2) they had previously cleaned it out just in case.
And before long, we had many hands to help set everything up, finish getting things cleaned up, and in general, just getting ready for the party.
We set up the food and drinks in the kitchen for people to get while on their way to the garage and tent.
And before we knew it, it was time to get ready for the party. The house was transformed.
We were ready for the party to start!
There were 3 different kinds of pie and ice cream. The pie that is closest in the picture below is black raspberry. That was definitely a favorite. The problem we encountered with serving it was that it wasn't set up. So as soon as I put it on the plate it would just puddle everywhere. So even though it didn't look very nice, I was told that it still tasted wonderful!
After guests left, Taylor opened her presents. Times have changed because when I graduated people gave actual presents. Now the vast majority is a card with money. It was still fun to see the goodies that Taylor got!
Below she is opening the present from my family - a purse I made for her. The surprise was that I gave it to her a month or two ago and she didn't realize that I took it back and wrapped it up.
One of the sweetest presents was from her former babysitter. Her babysitter and her daughter made Taylor a denim comforter and they gave her the cup that Taylor used every day when she was at their house. Like, it's the actual cup with Taylor's name on it! It was such a sweet gift - and Taylor was thrilled with it.
So maybe the graduation party didn't go quite as expected. But it turned out really nice in spite of the poor weather. And we had so much fun getting ready for it and helping at the actual party. And I think Taylor had a blast too!