Sweet Sixteen

Time just flies. My last post was in February. Oops...

Looking back my summer, it is nothing but Marilyn's Sweet Sixteen celebration! Yes, my baby is 16 years old now. Even she is 16, she is actually 112 years old in human age. In my country, we celebrate a long life. In fact, the 112th birthday is celebrated as Chin-ju (珍寿). Nonetheless, it is something to celebrate that a large breed like her turns 16. It's gotten to be very special.

I'd been thinking about her Sweet Sixteen since her 15th birthday. Her physical strength has been declined dramatically and her health hit some big bumps. Sometime I thought she might not make it to 16, but very very fortunately we got all extra special time all the way to her 16th birthday.

I was so much more excited about the celebration than Marilyn. I don't care for going to parties where many people are in general, but love to entertain and plan parties. I started designing the invitation in June. Most likely by my preference, its theme color was decided to blue. The blue of "Sweet Sixteen" is the color!!! Regardless, don't you think it looks great on her black coat?

We made a list of Marilyn's favorite human and doggy friends including all staff at the Barkery, her favorite doggie bakery, and her vets and their staff who good take care of her. We also extended the invitation to a couple of rescue dog parents Facebook groups which give Marilyn and me great support. All invitations were ready to send out right before the 4th of July. We waited the 4th weekend to pass, then sent them out.

Thinking of the party menu, drinks, decoration, favors, etc., etc. ... Prepping parties is so much fun! I could think of so many things. This time scrap booking paper came in very handy.

For human guests, we special-ordered M&Ms. They are awesome! Not only the print came out great, but it was very quick between placing the order and the delivery. The package was done very securely not to break the candies and keep them cool during the delivery. I was impressed.

Of course, favors for doggy guests.

And, our birthday girl needs to dress up. I made a sparkly caller for her. At Sweet Sixteen, she cannot wear a silly birthday hat this time.

Thanks to the Barkrey, they offered to donate Marilyn's birthday cake. What a great gift for Marilyn! Marilyn and her friends enjoyed it very much.

Let's the Celebration Begin!

Then, the big day came... The sign is out.

That morning, a mailman dropped off a box. That's a birthday gift for Marilyn from someone in Pennsylvania. Who would even imagine that happened? We know each other only online. We've never met in person. It was simply a wonderful wonderful surprise to us. "Marilyn look! You got a gift from Lola."

The decoration is done... right before the party started.

And, most importantly... the guests arrived.

Sweet Bella, a doggy guest.

The kids had fun...

Finally here is the birthday girl! ... with the proper attire.

Everybody's stomach was filled late afternoon. They forgot to leave room for desserts. The balloons are still up in the air.

"Happy Birthday Dear Marilyn~. Happy Birthday to you!"

Om nom nom... Her most active moment of the day.

When we checked Facebook that evening, we were completely shocked. This day, Marilyn got more than 100 posts and comments for birthday wishes. I felt very overwhelmed by them... of course in a great way. Someone even posted a video singing Happy Birthday for Marilyn with her dogs. Some made signs for her. It took me a whole day to check all of them. This is so amazing. We are very thankful for them. My old girl is very blessed. Here are some to share with you...

Here are more love for Marilyn...

I wanted the celebration to be special not only for her but also for other animals in need. So, Marilyn and I came up the idea to make the celebration a mini fundraising. We asked our guests some donation to some selected charities to help animals in need all over the world if they consider any gift for her. We greatly appreciate your contribution for ones who made the donation in honor of Marilyn. Thank you, thank you, and thank you!

Post Party... it's just not end peacefully. There is always something.

The following day, we were still in the mood of the celebration. I got chuckles here and there remembering what happened at the party while cleaning the yard and house.

While putting down the decoration, we could have fun like this.

Title: Afro Marilyn

"Mama, this is not cool!"
"Really? I think you look adorable!"
"Get this off from me NOW!"
"Relax Birthday Girl. Have some fun!"
"This is humiliation, not fun."

We dropped off some favors to some neighbors who didn't make it to the party that afternoon. Since we had so much food left, we had some neighbors over and hang out in the evening. Then, Chad started talking about the neighbors he visited that day.

Chad: I brought Lori the M&Ms and the popcorns.
Me: Popcorns? What popconrs?
Chad: The one wrapped up with the paw print paper.
Me: That's dog treats. I didn't make any popcorns.
Chad: I gave it to her saying that was popconrs.
Scott: Wait. So, you gave her the dog treats saying that was people food?
Me: That's right.
Scott: Does she have any dogs?
Me: No. She has only cats. OMG! This is so funny.
I was laughing so hard.
Scott: I hope she doesn't eat it.
Me: I don't think so. There are some dog bones in it. She would know.
Me: But... what made you think that was popcorns anyway?
Chad: I don't know.

Hum, I never imagined this would come. I can imagine Lori had a big laugh when she opened the wrap. And what made Chad think it was popcorns still remains as a mystery.

And I say it loud here that it is very clear WHO prepped the party!

Finally Marilyn has something to say...

Very good, Marilyn. That's my girl!