Monday, August 24, 2009

Y'all gon make me lose my mind, up in here, up in here...Yall gon make me go all out, up in here, up in here...

Just another Earl Reunion 2009 post...probably. but it must be documented.

Plans had begun for this reunion a couple years ago, with many ideas thrown into the mix and consequently thrown out. We had many ideas for "themes"...too many...we had to focus.
So we settled on a Hawaiian theme, and planned accordingly. I love working with themes, it makes it all so much more exciting. an execution of a good party is all in the details, and that's what I think I bring to the group...I worry about the little details making sure it's perfect.

The reunion was a lot of work, a lot of stress, a lot of time invested....but the pay-off was worth it.
It was so much fun, and the look of joy on people's faces throughout the weekend made it all worth it.

There were times that I worried the reunion wouldn't go like I had envisioned in my head, and although some of decorations weren't perfect (stupid changing weather), I think everything went smoothly and people had fun.

the week prior to the reunion was spent organizing decorations, putting final touches on the games, making craft examples, and grocery shopping for 85 people. Each day we had a list of tasks that were to be accomplished (kimmie loves lists), and I think we were pretty organized. Luckily we are a family full of both leaders and followers.

Friday morning, while the men were golfing

us ladies got up bright and early and started decorating, even the kids helped. Carson was more than excited to place the sea animals into the nets and Kaiya was very proud of her flower positioning on the tables....then it started to sprinkle....there were some moments of stress that this "luau" we had put together wasn't going to go as planned. we quickly packed up everything and put it in the house. would the party move to the stake center? grandma's garage? I had to take a little break and just hope that it would all work of my biggest problems is dealing with things not turning out the way they look in my head. It's like i told grandma. I don't put a whole lot of effort into many things in life...i'm usually okay with "fine" when I do put forth effort, it must be perfect, or I am extremely disappointed...this is why I have a problem delegating, I don't like giving others that power over the outcome. phew...good to get that out there...very therapeutic.

friday went amazing! the weather cooperated, and the family was in for a party.

we ate (alot)

played in the pool

( I think many of the men may have permanent scars on their feet from basketball)

and listened to music (I had a summer time/luau mix playing in the background).

Friday night we wanted to have a little program. First we would present the reunion t-shirt (designed by jared), and then have a little dedication to my mom. We didn't want it to be cheesy, so I made it a production instead. I came up with the idea for a motown medley lip-sync, and assigned each family a motown hit and let them take it from there.
I had no idea what would come of it.....but i should have known, the families would come with their A game.

Stop in the Name of Love


Midnight train to georgia

Ain't to proud to beg

Heard it through the grapevine

Dancing in the streets

It was fantastic, entertaining, and a wonderful way to celebrate the family. Afterwards, David requested I put on some jams (an earth, wind, and fire song specifically) and a dance party ensued.
Do you remember...

and that's what I love about my family, and what I think may set us apart from everyone else. as long as I can remember my family has always been down for
1) a production number and
2) an impromtu dance party.
gotta love it.

Saturday we thought it was time the women got some alone time (the men usually get golf time)

so Lindsay and Kimmie put together some awesome crafts. It was perfect cause they were easy to do, very cute, and could be done while carrying on multiple conversations with family.
I love when I can multi-task.

That afternoon was spent at the state park (classic location).
playing volleyball

having races (backstory: david gives out money for race winners...aaron was taunting those behind him with a dollar....classic wise!)

doing an egg toss

taking family pictures

eating pizza, and visiting with family.

Such a relaxing day.

Saturday night was the big activity
the event Jared and I have been painstakingly planning for awhile
The thing I was most nervous about

I was so excited about it, and just hoped everyone would love it.
Jared and I had gone over the details multiple times.

Teams: each team should have at least one person from moses lake, one athletic person, one person who would be willing to do a food challenge, and try to split up families. We knew it couldn't be family against family...that's just asking for trouble.

Station managers: I had lined up friends to help with the challenges, and had made sure they knew one very important thing
I told them the Earl's (and in-laws) could be very competitive, very persuasive, and very just assume they are lying and don't let them get away with anything.

Clue and destination cards: Jared had spent numerous hours putting together the cards needed, and they looked absolutely amazing. We had spent a day driving around town: scouting locations, taking pictures, figuring out ideas for challenges, and it was Jared's job to make it all look professional

Tasks: I had made numerous trips to wal-mart (agh), the dollar store, and scoured online for all the items we would need for each station. I wanted it to be perfect.

Roadblock: Cafe Loco: one team member must finish a plate of less than appetizing foods
gross food items, bark buckets, bottles of water, hand sanitizer, gum...check

(backstory: I had also bought a bottle of very hot sauce, but in my attempt to sneak it inside the house, along with the other items, the bottle collided with the pigs feet bottle and completely shattered in the plastic bag...too bad i didn't notice this until i had gotten it inside my room and set it on the carpet. I then spent the next hour or so, scrubbing the carpet trying to get out the instant hot sauce stains that ran from my front door to the bathroom in my room. I scrubbed so hard I had rug burns on my knuckles...ouch)

Roadblock 2: two team members must scour the gardens in search of the travelocity roaming gnome.
route markers, gnomes, geisha costume....check

All Play task: Men must put on coconut bras and hula skirts, while the woman must paint their faces identical to this

and search downtown for the turtle statue
bras, skirts, eyeliner...check

Deteor: Swatch or Score: Team members can choose between scoring 5 goals from designated places on the field or search Home Depot for a paint color
marking paint, soccer balls and cones (jared), ref shirt with whistle, painted swatches identical to home depot swatch...check

we were ready....

We met at David and Peggy's, left the kids with capable sitters, divided into teams, watched as some family members manuevered their cars into more prime locations
gave last minute rules (you break the law it's your fault, listen to the station managers, and don't cheat)

and then said ready, set, go! and they were off.

It was intense from that moment, as a couple cars almost collided just getting out of the parking lot. awesome!

We asked each team to take pictures if they are some of the action shots

Jared and I quickly left too, running to check on the stations, gathering tiki torches for the finish line, and making sure everything was running smoothly.

Then we headed back to david's and waited for text messages from station managers saying a team was on their way home.

When I received two messages with a couple minutes we knew it was going to be a foot Jared drove my car up the hill and blocked the driveway so they would have to get out and run downhill to the finish line.....or so we thought.

Pat's team (the winning team*), drove around the car and parked by the house. We did make them run back up the hill and run back down to the finish line before we would check them in. as they were about half way back down the hill we saw the other team running down....just as we pictured. amazing.
Pat's team was the first to completely hit the finish line, and they were declared the winners (*) :)

I quickly texted the other teams to tell them the game was over.

One team got the text immediately following the finishing of this gross plate of food

and another team got it as they finished running a 1/2 mile into town to find this statue


Things went exactly like we wanted. some people tried forming alliances, some tried to follow other cars to destinations (they didn't know we staggered their destinations, and they weren't all going to the same place), some got lost, some rules were taken as "subjective", and of course in the end there was controversy!

we joined back together at the house

ate hot fudge sundaes with coconut, bananas, and macademia nuts (deliciousl) and listened to everyone's account of the game.

I was in heaven. everyone seemed to love it as much as I wanted them too.

It was a fabulous reunion, and I loved the time spent with family....but it's now taken me a week to I am tired (probably like you are, after reading this long post)


Kimmy said...

I think I'll just copy and paste your whole post onto my blog!

It was awesome! I find myself wanting to tell everyone I know all about it, but I have to stop myself when I realize they just won't get it...or won't care. Ha ha. I just want people to realize how awesome we are!

Thanks for all the hard work. It was worth it!

Samantha said...

I seriously keep reliving the amazing race in my mind. I learned that if I were ever on the real show I'd have to pay WAY more attention to details. Mitch was our detail man. Everytime I watch the show I'm like "duh! That steeple has a CIRCLE window! Not square! Pay attention!" But in the heat of the moment I was just too excited. It seriously ROCKED MY WORLD. Seriously Angie.

Kacey Nielsen said...

Could I look more disgruntled at the results in that picture? Come on, Kacey, poker face.

An amazing reunion and an amazing post. Duly impressed on all accounts. Though I really might have Heard it Through the Grapevine stuck in my head for life.

ashleyboice said...

loved it.

dirty>south said...

hey, glad I could help out and all, but you and Kim absolutely did a great job. big ups.

Cali said...

The reunion was absolutely FANTASTIC!!! Thank you Tami Earl family for all the hard work. Everything was sweet...the food, the show, the craft, the conversations, the activities, THE RACE!!! Your mom would be so so so proud.

Mandi said...

THanks again. We had SO much fun. It was great to see everyone and to have the fun activities planned. You guys are awesome.

Jill said...

This sounds like it was the most awesome family reunion ever! I love the singing and the amazing race! You guys are always so much fun.