A Dash to D.C. (#1)

We received an invitation several weeks ago that we couldn’t pass up- an invitation to our friend Lyn’s surprise 50th birthday party down in Leesburg, VA.  My sister and brother-in-law offered to watch our kids so we could go down overnight, so it was a go!  We drove through a crazy, blinding rainstorm but arrived in time to briefly visit with the Petersons, where we were going to stay that night, and make it to the restaurant in time.

The dinner was at a wonderful restaurant in old town Leesburg.  We celebrated in the Marshall room, with a large portrait of General Marshall over the fireplace.  Larry had done a great job planning the whole surprise, and everything was beautiful.

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I think all of us loved seeing Lynnie really surprised – and really honored.  Here is part of what we wrote in a note for her special album:

It is such a joy, and such an amazing gift, that we are in the U.S. And on the east coast to be with you to celebrate this momentous occasion.  Wild horses could not keep us away!  We are honored to be in the small group of friends attending, and realize that there are scads of other friends who would love to be there because that is the kind of person you are… You are an amazing friend, to so many people.  When we are with you, we feel like your dearest and only friends.  And I know so many other friends feel the same way when they are in your presence.  You have the ability to love so deeply, and so widely.

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One of the fun things about going to Lyn’s party was making a cake to bring to for her.  This was a new cake challenge… I ordered supplies and learned how to make a photo cake.  I loved honoring Lyn, and was so thankful to my sisters Allison and Beth for coming over to help me on decorating day. I used hexagon cake pans and put twelve sepia photos of Lyn through the years on the sides of the cake.  Lyn and her mom had fun looking at each photo and remembering…

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There was a secret decorator for this cake!  An hour before leaving for DC, Eric and I were rushing around trying to get ready… and I walked into the dining room and discovered Annie with as guilty a face as I’ve ever seen.  And clutching the brown frosting… She said, ‘But Mommy, I just wanted to put some pretty flowers on Aunt Lyn’s cake.”  I was afraid to look at the cake.  But sure enough, she had added her own touches:

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I couldn’t deal with fixxing the cake…so Eric spent 30 minutes trying to remove Annie’s special artwork.  In the end, it was fine.  Lesson learned:  keep the cake REALLY REALLY high and hidden, or have an “extra” cake that Annie can help make beautiful.

Finally, we left the party with smiles on our faces… until we reversed out of the parking lot.  We heard a sickening noise in the back of the car.  Eric turned off the heater and radio, and went forward – the same noise.  Ugh.  One more time.  And then, it dawned on me — someone had tied tin cans under our car.  We both got out, and had a great laugh.  It didn’t take too long to figure out it was the Peterson boys (pictured bottom right)!  We tucked the cans into our van and drove back to the Peterson neighborhood.  Then, a block before we arrived, I got the cans out of the car and we had fun clanging up to the house.  It was nice to let them know we were home, and that we had enjoyed their prank.  Nice work, guys!

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