The hot man in my life turned 40 recently. He wasn’t melodramatic about it, didn’t request large unwieldy gifts, or a party, or even a day to mourn his 30s. He never asks for things and much prefers us not to spend too much money, or time, or money, on him… and is, as a result, so hard to figure out how to please.
So of course, we needed to make it big.
It began with his awesome friends, who surprised him with a day at the whitecaps – boys day out. I took that opportunity to clear out some of his “list” of to-dos. The following weekend I whisked him to Vegas for some sun, good food, and fun with my best guy. Then we ended the month of “40” with a party…not going to lie – this one has been simmering for over a year – but it turned out very differently than I’d imagined – and every bit as “him” as I’d hoped.
It was supposed to be a sun drenched backyard bbq adult style – with all of cam’s favorite things from slurpees to icecream, bocce tournaments, a singer in the background, and food truck in the driveway.
In ended up a crazy rainy day with all of cam’s favourite things – but once I let him in on the plan the CMA in him came out and the food trucks and singer were quickly dashed aside in favour of me cooking for 50 people and him setting up an apple play-list. The results made him super happy – and the night was incredible – all because of our wonderful friends and family who came from near and far and found childcare (not easy!) for the night to party with us.
I wanted to set the tone right for the evening – not to be confused with one of those parties you attend for an hour and leave, this was to be a par-tay. So – the invites were key – I made drink coasters as invites – I found a great website called Evermine and was able to create awesome coasters for invites, and with pics of cam from his childhood for throughout the event. Also sent evites from paperless post out so people had a reference point to look back to for the event when the coaster was turfed or lost.
We took the theme of Cam’s favourite things and ran with street food (one of his favs) which led us to tacos – and the opportunity to make halibut tacos and chicken carnitas.
We had help from our neighbour building a super cool taco stand and the kids and I painted it, and some old pieces of wood with chalkboard paint to make the taco theme more authentic, and the signs for the bar/food/directions stand out. I ordered bamboo taco plates, cutlery and dessert plates through Bio & Chic and wooden planters, galvanized tubs for beer and pop shop drinks, and manly burlap table runners through save-on-crafts.
We had tacos a few nights in May, trying to perfect the recipe for both versions – and I got more and more excited as the party items started to roll in. His favorite pops from lime soda to orange crush to old fashioned root beer, a bunch of local beer from Vancouver breweries that came highly recommended from colleagues and friends, a rented slurpee machine for slushy gin and tonics, containers for individual ice creams for dessert that my daughters and I would make, labels for the ice cream, water bottles, and more…
On the day of the event the rain was … powerful. The tents we bought/rented for shade became rain canopies in our shifted plan from the main house to the “beer garden” garage set up. The long tables we’d rented with 50 white outdoor chairs were changed the morning-of to high-boy tables and inside chairs. The games I had planned slid away with the mud down our eaves.
And then the time of the party came and the clouds broke and despite the weather networks’ 90% call for rain – the sun shone through for the whole evening. huh. My love/hate relationship with my weather ap continues …
…did I mention there was a candy bar? I think that was the girls’ favorite thing to help make happen 😉
I said that the party was a success because of our amazing friends and family and that is very much true. From my sister and mom who were guinea pigs for appies and various tacos to my mother-in-law who came in early and helped chop, cook, saute and broil, to friends who lent crock-pots, warming dishes, and mad tart and cake-making talents – to the relentless friends and neighbours who cleaned up as the night progressed and made the end of the night a breeze for us. Most of all though, it was the fact that people came to celebrate Cam. People we haven’t seen in months or years, made the effort to get out to see him, share a few laughs, and celebrate this incredible guy. When I looked around throughout the night I just felt … lucky and blessed. So many good people. Such easy laughter and conversation. Such a great smile on cam. Such a good night.