But, due to us all having rather hectic lives, it's not always possible to do the meal close to the actual birthday. Explaining why Sarah's birthday meal happened over a month after the actual event.
A few months back Sophie and I were having a chat in the pub and we'd decided we wanted to get something personal to us for Sarah's birthday. She'd asked for money towards something for a present, which of course we gave her, but we wanted to do something a little extra. Something really special, just from us. They did the same with my 30th, turning up to Dublin for the weekend of my birthday, when I had no idea they were coming over. (read more about that here)
Sophie, Sarah and I are incredibly close. We're all very different but then in some ways we're incredibly alike. Anyone who knows me knows how much my sisters mean to me. We've all been through a lot, both together and separately. I cannot, and do not want to, imagine life without them.
So back in the pub in April, over a few packets of pork scratchings and a few pints of rather strong Tadcaster beer, we came up with the idea of doing a photo book for her. We said we'd fill it pictures of us and the family members and we'd crack on with it quite soon.
Fast forward to the end of June and no progress having been made on the book, I panicked slightly and so Soph and I pulled pics together and starting collating the book on the Asda photo website. We both underestimated the effort involved, and although it was an enjoyable process, trying to get some semblance of organisation to the pics and weeding out the duplicates took some time. But we managed it, and after ten days of to-ing and fro-ing, we had a 40 page book, containing approx 120 pics. I've added a selection below.
|Sophie & Sarah (aren't they cute?!)|
|Sophie, Sarah & I at Sophie's wedding|
|Our paternal grandparents|
|Lesley and the kids on her 60th last year|
Then there was the subject of the cake. For Sarah's 21st she'd had a cake with dolphins on it, her favourite animal, and she kept the sugar craft dolphins for a good few years.
Sarah's fiancee and Dad had decided to do something similar, something that was personal to Sarah for the cake. But various circumstances meant that it fell to Sophie to organise. Sarah is very spiritual and does Tarot readings. Sophie had the great idea to get a tarot card done for the cake, but was quite right to admit that doing the card decoration herself would be difficult, given the intricacies of the cards. She found a place online the would transfer any image you wanted onto icing, so she found a meaningful card and sent the image off. She then set about making the cake and planning the periphery decoration. When we discussed it she mentioned that we'd tell people she'd had the cake professionally made and see who bought it.
|I think she's happy with the cake!|
|Isn't it awesome?!|
Sarah was over the moon with both the cake and the photo book, and was incredibly moved by both.
There were 16 of us for the meal, and a great time was had by all. The kids were in their element, with new additions to the brood in the form of my step-brothers 2 daughters. Both lovely girls, and I'd say it can't have been easy for them not knowing many of us, but by the end of the night it seemed that firm friendships had been made.
Big family get togethers can be stressful sometimes, especially with my family, but I couldn't have asked for a better evening for Sarah, and I know she had a wonderful time, which was the main thing.
Next weekend is a get together with college friends, always good fun when we get together, and I'll report back as appropriate!