Poppy's Party Surprise

 I blogged about our surprise arrival HERE and Poppy's birthday weekend HERE now to share the big birthday party surprise with you.

 We truly plotted and schemed all weekend about how to get Poppy out of the lodge long enough for us to clean up, set up, and for all the guests to arrive.  Justin (of course) finally came up with a great idea.  He told Poppy that he needed a ride to Woody's house so that he could take him to the airport that night, that way we could go ahead and get on the road home.  I have to say I'm surprised it worked so well but JB, Poppy, and Justin hopped in the car and headed to Birmingham.  Justin even did a huge fake goodbye to the boys and to me!  It was Oscar winning :-)  As soon as they pulled away we jumped into action.  Cleaning, showering, dressing up, making beds, and getting ready for some fun.  I love all the pictures and party details that Dee Dee made.  

And the caterer showed up and got busy.

Finally the guests started arriving.  Hilarious that they have to cross a culvert with flowing water to get across.  An attachment in the invite said access by SUV or truck only.  If you can't make it across, we will come get you!  As the trucks/suv's started rolling in we went out to meet some and others were brave and just came right across.

Then the waiting game began.  Of course we could see when they were coming across but my dad said he still didn't see anything on the way in.

The birthday boy arrives!
waiting for Poppy to arrive 
As he came around the last turn in the mountain and down the hill, he said that is the first moment he knew anything was up.  He saw his brother's smiling face first and then everyone else.  Judging by the surprise on his face (so sweet) I think he was shocked!

Everyone greeted him and gave him lots of love and welcome.  I think he was still trying to process how? what? and who all came!

Finally the birthday boy arrived and the party went into full swing.  Everyone had so much fun at the lodge.  Playing in the sand of course.

Beckett (3), Eli (3), with cousins Charis (4) and Addy Kate (3) 

Eli with cousin Charlie (almost 2) 

And the kids even got some water action (that resulted in wardrobe change for the kiddos!)

Me and all the munchkins

And who is the best Poppy in the whole world?? Rolled his pants right up!

While the kiddos were being crazies, the adults were enjoying the beautiful afternoon God blessed us with and the wonderful company of close family. 

My uncle Colby, cousin Bob, and Great Uncle Bobby 
Great Aunt Marcille, cousin, Ginger, fabulous Ma, and Aunt Laura
My mom visiting with Aunt Wendy, Uncle Jeff, and Aunt Cindy  
My cousin Will and soon to be wed Christie 
Poppy with Nikki & Woody 
Uncle Chuck and Aunt Cindy 
Girls taking pictures of course
lots of cousin talk 

and more cousin talk  
catching up with his sister Brenda 
I remember so much of this moment.  We were talking to Aunt Wendy about how fast the kiddos grow up.  Her boys are so big now but such great kids. 
cousins Abigail, Gracie, and Madison 
JB & Bride to be Madison
Lovely ladies Nikki, Dee Dee , and Aunt Brenda - looking like models in the wind!

My Ma with Abigail and Madison
Sister Gracie chatting with cousin Abigail and Bo 
Beautiful ladies!  Ginger and Ina Marie
The men enjoyed fishing and even braved a few paddle boat rides with the kiddos.

And a little bathroom break entertainment :-)

The food was simply amazing. The lodge has an executive chef available for dinners, parties, and events for the guests.  There are plans to have a restaurant in a converted barn in the future.  Food Network worthy for sure.  He cooks with local, natural, mostly organic, and fresh ingredients. Think grass fed meats, local eggs, fresh herbs that he grows. Also think incredible.  

appetizers were fantastic
grilling it up.. 
The menu 
cherry tomato salad with buttermilk dressing 
grilled potatoes with lemon vinaigrette 
savory corn pudding and grilled asparagus
grilled mahi mahi with mango chimichurri 
coriander crusted hangar steak  
Grilled chicken with fresh garden salsa
birthday boy loading his plate
The food was enjoyed by all. Really enjoyed.  And so was all the dinner company.

Abigail - beautiful picture of this sweet girl 
What follows a great dinner?? Great birthday desserts of course.  I think the idea was to choose one from the assortment but there was no way to pick! I tasted all of them of course.  
mini chocolate pies
banana pudding 
assortment plate
red velvet whoopie pie 
No party is complete without birthday gifts too and Poppy got so many thoughtful gifts.  A hat signed by Duck Dynasty Willie Robertson and fun gifts like things that started 60 years ago.  Did you know Poppy shares a birth year with Peter Pan? I think Eli enjoyed gift opening just as much.

The best part of getting the family together?  Finally getting updated pictures of all of us.  Ok. Maybe the men don't say that, but I sure love it.  It is  so rare that we are all together but it is such a blessing. To have this captured is must magical to me.  Our family is made up of such unique, God loving, precious individuals each different and fun in their own way.  These pictures are treasures.

My mom's side - (minus cousins Dusty and Tosh)
The Roberts Family (minus cousin Cameron and Matt) 

Poppy's family (love the Beckett is a walrus in these!!)

Ma and her precious brother Uncle Bobby 

Ma and her niece Diane (sidekick sweet Susan is behind the camera)

Cousin Marcia, Aunt Marcille, and Uncle Bobby 

Beautiful Dyer girls and cousin Shelbi .. aren't they precious??
It's so hard to find gifts for Poppy as he truly is a man that doesn't value "things".  His one wish for his birthday was time with family.  It was such a special weekend full of surprises and ending with the best gift of all.. surrounded by the love of close family.  

Happy Birthday! May the next 60 years be just as grand... We love you Daddy, JR, Johnny, and Poppy.

The Riley's