28. Throw a party

Yesterday was my little sister's 30th birthday. Friday night I threw her a surprise party. That I've been planning since March. Natalie is SUCH an amazing sister and one of my very closest friends. She does everything for others and nothing for herself and so my main objective with this party was to make her feel special. She deserves the world as far as I'm concerned.

I got many people involved in the party-planning fun. My mom a.k.a. super-scrapbooker, made the invitations:
My friend Liene Stevens of Blue Orchid Designs and The Smart Planner fame put together the linens and center pieces. I wanted to make the evening beautiful but I know where my talents lie and they're not here. Liene worked with my budget and blew my socks off. The result was so cozy and inviting:
Linens by la Tavola--Liene's favorite linen company.

Liene also helped me find the perfect location--The Tortilla Factory in Old Town Scottsdale. We sat outside on a covered patio and it was an absolutely perfect evening. Margaritas were served to guests upon their arrival:
The surprise part of this party was tough to pull off. Especially since Natalie works for me and checks my emails. Plus she's too stinkin' smart for her own good. I did the best I could and it turns out she had an inkling that "something" was up but she was still surprised in many ways. The biggest surprise was that Ellen, one of her closest friends, who now lives in Portland, flew in for the party:
But again, my main objective was to make her feel special and that was ultimately accomplished. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face all night because of how happy she looked:
Fun times were had by all:
The guests totaled 18 and included parents and close friends:
One final shot of Natalie and my brother-in-law Josh--who gets a lot of credit for throwing her off the scent:
It was definitely a team effort. Thanks to everyone who helped make this party everything I had hoped. On the way home Natie said that it was the best birthday she's ever had. Mission accomplished.
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