A few years ago John was out of state doing training for his job for 9 weeks leaving me a single mother except on Saturdays (but one Saturday he got snowed in and couldn't make it home). That summer, I planned a dinner to thank my friends who helped me in some way while he was gone. They didn't know it was for them, and I actually did it on my birthday and some people thought it was me throwing a birthday party for myself (which actually it really was the best birthday!) but mostly the husbands didn't even realize it was my birthday. So, I read a little poem (part of it at the end of this post) during dinner that I had written to tell them that the dinner was really for them and I wanted to say Mahalo (thank you) to my village!
Not even kidding, that morning my app said like 90% chance of rain for the evening. I texted everyone to pray hard it wouldn't rain and borrowed as many canopies as I could. It sprinkled a bit during the day, but the weather ended up being perfect! Hallelujah!
|The front and back of the invite I made|
|The walk lined with tikki torches to my back yard|
|The set up - I wish I had removed the wrapping on the table tikkis before I took the pictures|
|I made napkins out of Hawaiian shirts I bought back from Hawaii a few years ago. (I gave my nephew a quick sewing lesson, and he helped too!)|
|I made the seashell candles that you can see in this picture too.|
|I wrote every name in Hawaiian on the place cards, so it was fun for people to try and figure out their name. This one was easy.|
|I made these star fish chair wraps with raffia|
|Salads: Spinach salad with Papaya Seed Dressing, Pasta Salad, Potato Salad, and Frog Eye Salad|
|Rice, Home made Hawaiian sweet rolls, Teriyaki Chicken, Polynesian Chicken skewers, Kalua Pig, and sweet potatoes|
The appetizer station:
|Pipi Kaula, and shrimp cocktail|
|The shrimp may or may not have been forgotten about when it was cooking....|
|We made some virgin lava flows or lava coladas|
|Of course my friends were greeted with leis when they arrived|
|The haupia in coconut shells|
You guys, I love my backyard. It basically sold the house to me. Never a fan of our house, but huge fan of my back yard! I love these pictures because it just reminds me of what a perfect evening it was!!
Played a little Hawaiian themed charades:
Some of my awesome village!
And I even got to hold a newish little baby! Love!
I had a little photo opportunity:
|They made the perfect hula couple with their dark hair|
The best evening!
Earlier in the evening, I stood up to do my prepared little poem to thank my friends and tell them what the luau was really for, and it was pretty funny because some people thought I was going to announce I was pregnant. Which I was not.
Below is the first part of the poem I read out loud, I didn't include all of it though. Too personal, it did make me tear up a bit reading it.
Aloha! Welcome! We’re so glad you’re here,
You have been assembled under a bit of guise.
What’s she talking about? I know you’re thinking,
But, this was all just a big surprise!
This isn’t a birthday party,
Or just an ordinary meal.
It’s a way I can thank you, my friends,
So, Mahalo! Here’s the deal…
You see, my husband, he was gone
As you may recall, for a long nine weeks,
But, you, my friends were always there,
To help, even before I had to speak.
I soon realized that I was in good hands
That I was surrounded by my village,
I can’t even tell you how grateful I was,
For my sanity, my children did try to pillage.
And it goes on from there...
It really was the perfect summer evening with friends! Going through this post makes me want to do it again!