A Party to End All Parties (which means we aren’t doing this again).

We’ve been working so hard on the yard, the house, the food, the cards…To be honest, we are a little tired.
Don’t let anyone fool you.  Getting ready for an open house is a lot of hard work.  Anita painted the ceilings and walls.  She scrubbed the kitchen with all the elbow grease she could muster.  We shampooed the carpets and scrubbed the floors.  We beat the rugs and bought a new couch.  
On the outside of the house we laid 14 yards of mulch, tore down the fence, painted the door and erected enough tent to house Barnum & Bailey. 
And preparation is not just an individual sport.  It is a team effort through and through.  Anita worked inside.  I worked outside.  Neighbors loaned chairs, tarps, tables.  Family brought food, dishes, more tables.  Strangers shouted “Congratulations!” as they passed.  Everyone got into the game.
But in the end, the party plans and extra effort paid off.  Not because the house looks so good.  Not because we have left-overs that will last 6 months.  In the end, the party plans and hard work allowed friends, neighbors and family to come and express their love and appreciation to Emily.  It was wonderful.
I realized this morning that every person who walked into our back yard and filled a plate with cake were important in Emily’s journey to this place in her life.  As parents, we try to do our best but these people made her life easier, better, more valuable.  In short, these people helped make her who she is today:  A wonderful, caring woman who loves her God and her family with sincerity and devotion.
And so, I want to thank you all.
Thank you, Sharon, Audry, Pete, Susie, John, Janice & Kenny, Brook, Todd & Sue, Caleb, Lauren, John (who I don’t know and never understood why he was here), Sydney, Elijah, Noah, Lilly, Chad & Christy, Laura & Jeff, Deb & Marty, Skye, Tyme, Beth, Joan & Don, Kim & Mike, Todd & Connie, Ross, Linda & Mac, Claire, Elliott, Meagan, Emily (the other Emily), Meagan (the other Meagan), Ryan, Andrea & Bo, The Thompsons, Pam & Sunil, Anna, Issiah, Jessie, Shannon, David & DeLora, Rachel, Joshua, Anna, Bekka, Shamika, Javi, Mia, Andy & Judy, Jeff & Donna, Chris & Jen, Amber & Logan, and MaryAnn, and so many others who came and I don’t even know your names! 
And thank you to those who couldn’t come to the party but were still an important part of her life.  You will never know how much you have meant to our family and my daughter.