Happy Birthday, Mom! (And Shakespeare, obvs)

This is an important birthday in any Beatles-loving family.  My mom is turning 64 today!  Happy birthday, Mom!!
Also: See Patti's post about our weekend :-)

About a month ago, Dad sent around an email to everyone, except Mom, saying that birthdays are usually monumental on the 0's and 5's, but turning 64 became a milestone birthday when The Beatles wrote a song about it.  Since most of our crew would be enjoying their Spring Break already at the River together, he requested all of us make it a priority to celebrate her birthday a tad early and gave it a Beatles theme.
And then we ran with it!  I'm kind of a planner, and wanted to make sure everyone knew what was going on, so I kept annoying the rest of the family with emails.  But Dad invited more family members, and the rest of us made sure there would be food, drinks, and decorations fit for a 64th birthday party.
Decorations involved album covers, and silhouettes of the Abbey Road Beatles.  Being an architecture major has its perks...
So Becky came over and helped me execute some awesome things!  She also had the amazing idea to create Valentine/ Birthday Cards ("would you still be sendin me a valentine, birthday greetings, bottle of wine?!")
Also I made Mom Kahlua brownies, because she loves both things separately, and definitely together.  But I'll post more about those soon!
Becky and I headed to VA on Friday afternoon and met up with everyone else- Mom, Dad, Matt, Patti, Ed, Cole, Wes, and Dan!  We played croquet, as we tend to do.  Wes was adorable and smiled a lot.
Ed played with Wes on his back.
Quote from Dad: "Am I da bomb?"
Yes, Dad.  Yes you are.
Cole with the ambulance I gave him for his birthday!  While playing with it, he said it was headed to Mommy's hospital.  Exactly!  What a smart kid.
Practice.
Funnily enough they're posing the same.  But not on purpose.
Go team!
 Cole was bored pretty much this entire game.
Bottle break.
Becky managed to hit her ball right onto a tree root and it stayed.
 Wes is totally mobile, look out.
Dad lit a fire!  The smoke became an obstacle, haha.
Nephews playing.
Dad guided Dan in sending Ed and getting through the end wickets and back.  Dad is too nice of a competitor, haha.
Westside Wes!
 <Charlie Brown sad music>
Recap: Dad won and became Spider.  Dan quickly became a Spider too and Dad ran away.  Dan killed Ed but immediately went through a wicket and killed himself.  Dad came for me, Matt and Becky.  He killed Matt, killed me, then killed Becky (though she put up a great fight).  Dad wins again!  Also, this recap makes sense only if you know that we play croquet by all traditional rules, but then once you make it through the course fully, you become a spider.  If you hit another player, they die, but if you go through a wicket, you die.  It adds a really fun competitive aspect to the game, haha.
We hung out by the fire afterwards, and Patti and Cole played around.  Cole was way happier now that we weren't playing croquet and were paying attention to him again.
Becky, the best aunt ever, kept an eye on Wes, who only wanted to aim straight for the water.  Dangerous.
The next morning we played outside a little.  Cole kind of has this thing about putting things in their place (according to him).
Then we decorated eggs for Easter!
Also, I never once considered eating the Easter eggs when I was younger.  But that's all Cole wanted to do.
 You go, Glenn Coco.
The starry night egg.  The red dye became kind of weird halfway through decorating- Becky tried to fix it by dipping it in blue.
Patti showing off Becky's starry night egg and nautical egg, me creating my rainbow egg.
Then we opened presents for Mom's birthday!  There was a bit of a theme.
Ed got Mom a Miller 64!  Very appropriate :-)  He then promised to drink the other 5, hahaha.
And he also made sure his Valentine had 64 A's in it.  I haven't counted, but I trust him.
Dad made Mom...
An Abbey Road sign!
After presents, we started on decorating the place for some surprise visitors to come over and celebrate with us!  Mom hates surprises, but we had invited some family members to join in the fun.

George, Paul, Ringo, John, and Wes.  We had a lot of fun with these.
 Arms up!
We took a rather cold spin around in the boat.  Becky, Janis and Mom!  Rich and Janis drove up from North Carolina to join our celebration!
Yesss, Uncle Rich taking a picture of me taking a picture.
The decorations continue.  I'm sorry, I really love these.
I printed out some apples (a la their label) and strawberries (for Strawberry Fields)- Becky is the artiste who shaded these though.
Cole ready to party!
We had a ton of snack food; Mom definitely taught us how to provide for a crowd.
The guys in the pool room watching the NBA tournament.
We decided chili would be an easy thing to serve everyone and would be rather quick (and delicious!) to grab and eat.  Patti has an amazing go-to veggie chili that she makes, and I have an awesome one I love to make.  It was perfect!
Jess, Joe and Grace were the next to arrive!
Followed quickly by Nikki, Marc, JT, Larsen and Pink (Danielle had a softball game in Richmond and wasn't back in time to join us).  Larsen and Pink had an awesome time playing with Cole!
And the place was filling up nicely!
Larsen and Mr. Wes.
I got on Wes duty for awhile and missed some great pictures of people hanging out, eating, catching up, having a grand old time!  But I jumped back in when it was time for Mom to blow out the candles on her birthday cupcakes!  She had the little ones help her :-)
Cole didn't want to move further than touching distance away from the cupcakes.
I was taking these pictures of the cupcakes and kids when Patti walks into the room and goes, umm, there's kind of an amazing sunset happening right now, I'd get out there.
I can't even deal.  This sunset was one of the prettiest ones I've ever seen.  Sorry for a bunch of pictures of the same thing, but I just love all of them!
Gor.geous.
Abbey Road.  On the pier.  JT, Ed, Becky, Patti.
Adorable.
Becky and Patti jumping.
And we ended the night with another bonfire.  Rich and Janis were spending the night, but everyone else had peaced out.  Thank you Liz, Jeff, Sandy, Edward, Marc, Nikki, JT, Larsen, Pink, Joe, Jess, Grace, Rich and Janis for joining us!

Becky always knows where the camera is.
Board balancing on top of the fire collapsing, and Ed excited about it.
It was a perfect weekend.  We all got to relax together, as well as go on runs, kayak trips, and paddle board outings.  I finished up a book I was reading, and we ate a ton!  Easter Sunday was all about waking up early to get to Mass, then waffles and Easter candy afterwards.

It was a perfect weekend, celebrating a perfect Mom.  Happy Birthday, Mom!  Have a wonderful and Beatles filled 64th year!

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