Remember when I was talking about an upcoming surprise that I couldn’t wait to share? Well over the weekend, 25 of 27 grandchildren made their way to Chicago to surprise our Grandmother for her 85th Birthday! We began planning in January and she had absolutely no idea that anyone would be in town to celebrate. As we get older, weddings have become the new reunion. It’s a rare occasion that everyone is able to see one another. Holidays are now shared with many more families. And we have had to say goodbye to old family traditions and hello to new ones.
All my grandmother knew about her birthday was that her kids were picking her up and taking her out for dinner on Friday. And nothing else! My cousin Jenny Solberg owns a distillery with her father called Rhine Hall (that you MUST check out if you live in or visit Chicago) and we met there for the surprise. All the kids hid behind the bar as Tommy made her way in and we came out as a group to wish her Happy Birthday. The surprise was a success (no heart attack or fainting) and I think it’s safe to say the weekend meant everything to her.
On Saturday we drove out to Barrington and continued celebrations at my uncle Charlie’s house. We had a fabulous lunch, sipped champs & brews, played games with the littles, and caught up with various cousins we had not seen in a while. One of the best parts of the weekend was delivering a Shutterfly book we made for Tommy, with a toast from each grandkid. If you’re ever pondering a creative gift idea, look no further. These gifts always go over well! We filled the book with pictures from years of family trips, get togethers, and reunions.
Our last celebration took place on Sunday in Winnetka at the Tor Solberg’s house. They have a huge back patio and yard where we sat and basked in the sunshine (rare 80 degree weekend) and enjoyed bacon and bloodys. The Solbergs are known for great music and good company and it was the perfect way to end the weekend. I’m not sure when we’ll all be together again, but I cannot wait for the next reunion. Cheers to Family!
And Cheers to my Grandmother Tommy who turns 85 TOMORROW! We love you!
Photography by my Amazing Cousin Tor Camorlinga