I should tell you that I am a very family orientated lady and I am extremely blessed to have the extended family that I have. I am an only child, but I am very close to my aunts, uncles, and cousins, it is almost like the cousins are siblings more than we are cousins. We’ve been brought up with good morals and values and a very strong faith. So, last Christmas (2014) when my dad and I were sitting and chatting and he suggested that I host a family reunion I jumped at the chance. My extended family is scattered throughout 4 neighboring States and we are not able to get together very often; we hadn’t had a family reunion in many years. It was an understatement to say that I was excited that I was going to have my entire family in our new home. So, as I normally do, I went into planning mode. The first thing I did was do a search for some kind of “Save the Date” announcement, I settled on this magnet, and I was able to find it online here. Everyone loved them and I’d venture to guess they are still attached to some of the family members refrigerators as it is on mine here.
Next, it was time to pick a theme, meaning something for me to build my decor around. So I chose, red and white gingham, mason jars, and red and white gerber daisies. While I was preparing for the reunion, I worked very hard to incorporate my “themed” pieces into the decorations, crafts, and basic home decor. I pretty much redecorated my home for this reunion–yes, that might seem a bit over the top, but, I really was excited to have everyone here and I wanted things to be extra nice. 🙂
The next thing I did was get in touch with two of my cousins and asked for their assistance. My cousin Stacey volunteered to make up some games and provide prizes for the winners of said games. She also created “Certificates of Awesomeness”, t-shirts, and plaques specially designed for our family (by her) and gave them to the older generation and our generation (1st cousins). She gave a special trinket to Cori who had made and decorated a gorgeously beautiful and very tasty cake. She also graciously gave a couple of niceties to my two daughters and a very special something to me. Stacey put on a fantastic ‘show’, telling stories and and poking fun as she presented all of her creative homemade gifts. It was a blast, definitely one of the highlights of the day! Here are some of the things that Stacey created for her prizes and gifts–she is so very talented!!
And here is the gorgeous plaque that she gave to me…SO sweet!
Here is Stacey standing beside her prize table and being her animated self while giving out her very special gifts–THANK you Stacey, you did an awesome job! ❤
Here are some pictures of Cori and her cake and the dessert table…YES, we love our sweets! lol 😉 THANK you Cori! ❤
Here are the three of us together…Me in the pink pants, Cori in the middle, and Stacey in the green pants:
Each family that came to the reunion, (I do believe we had almost 40 people in all), brought food to share, good thing we have a pretty big kitchen because almost every inch of the island and the surrounding countertops were full of some of the most delicious food on the planet. I think everyone brought their ‘signature’ dish which made for some good eats that day!
It took me months and months to prepare and I loved every single second of every project that I took on. I thrive on the planning process and to plan something for my family…well, I was over the moon with excitement and motivation. Here are some of the things that I created and a couple of things that I had someone else create.
I made a deco mesh wreath to hang on the light post that sits beside our entrance sidewalk:
I purchased red and white gingham tablecloths and made lantern centerpieces for both the kitchen and dining room tables. I also purchased candle holders and red candles to flank the centerpieces. I also made a lantern centerpiece to be added to the fireplace hearth decor.
I redecorated pretty much the entire lower level of our house including the mantel and the fireplace hearth, a couple of cozy corners, the kitchen hutch, and some other pieces of furniture and shelves. I tried to incorporate the color red, red and white gingham, and added “family” touches (as in plaques talking about family) and our family’s own photos which I placed in red and white frames and some in sweet little clip picture holders. I tried to add special touches incorporating my “theme” here and there throughout the decor. I also had created a slide show and had it playing on the tv throughout the entire day–everyone loved that! 🙂
As the day drew closer, I decided that I would make all of the centerpieces for the outdoor tables. Each arrangement consisted of a quart size mason jar filled with fresh gerber daisies and baby’s breath. I placed the jar on a white ‘charger’ plate, added a red paper doily and surrounded the jar with a pip berry ring (that I made). In addition, I made pint size mason jar fresh flower arrangements to sit around and augment the indoor home door.
I thought and thought about what to do for party favors. I wanted it to be something that they could take with them and use for years and years and that every time they looked at it they would be reminded of the day. So while perusing around the Internet, I stumbled upon this website and they worked with me to create a “mint tin” that I filled with red and white peppermint candies. They were a huge hit at the reunion. **Score**!! 😉
One of the last things that I did was to hang this banner. It really completed the entire look. I did not make this banner, instead I ordered it from this Etsy shop here.
Finally, the day had arrived and it was time to hang balloons out front and out back, set up tables on the patio, and set out a little chalkboard sign on the front porch. We were ready to go!!
We had a marvelous time that day. The feeling that fills the air when we are all together is magical, honestly. We all sing and many play instruments, so we sang some of our favorite old hymns and our grandma’s favorite hymn that none of us can get through without sobbing “Thank You Lord for Your Blessings On Me”, ate ourselves into oblivion, laughed till we cried, and cried when we had to separate at the end of the day. It was a wonderful day, one that I hope will be held closely and lovingly in everyone’s memory. I’m hoping to host a family reunion every year for as long as everyone will be willing and is able to travel to us here in Virginia. ❤
**I love you family!!!**
**In crafting there are no mistakes just unique creations**