July 21, 2014

Grandma's 80th Birthday Party

My grandma is one very special lady.  She gives of herself so selflessly, makes the best Italian desserts and homemade strawberry jam, and is the very definition of hospitality. She truly has never met a stranger and she makes everyone feel like a treasured family member the moment they set foot into her home, a house that you can't leave without eating seconds.  She finds the best deals when we go shopping and she always has a coupon handy.  With grandchildren scattered hundreds of miles away, she keeps up with all of us and knows what's going on in our lives so seamlessly.  She sends thoughtful cards just because and she never misses out on an opportunity to sneak her grandkids a handful of cash, and no amount of persuading can get her to take it back. She's a woman of faith and prayer, and I'll be forever grateful that her Catholic faith was passed down to us.  She has the most giving heart of anyone I know and she is just full of spunk - your would never guess her age from the way she lives her life! 

My grandma is such a cherished member of our family, so it was only fitting for our family to get together to throw her a big party to celebrate 80 years of her life.  Everyone wanted to make her feel special for a few hours the same way that she constantly makes all of us feel so special.

Thomas, Oliver, and I made the 10 hour trek (well, 13.5 with a baby) up to see her and it was wonderful getting to see all of my family who we don't get to see on a regular basis! We drove into town late on Friday night and were welcomed into my grandma's house by some of my cousins, aunts, and uncles.  

We woke up on Saturday and headed to the mall to see some of my mom's cousins and my great aunts, my grandma's typical Saturday morning routine.  

We went to my uncle's house in the afternoon to see some of my cousins and their kids from my dad's side of the family. They are sooo cute and it was fun seeing them so excited to see Oliver! :) 

In the evening we went to another uncle's house with most of my immediate family to have pizza and wings because that's our tradition! 

On Sunday, we went to mass and then we brought my grandma to the restaurant for the party.  It was at an absolutely gorgeous 5 star Italian restaurant and everything went very smoothly.  She was so surprised to see all of her friends and family, and it was beautiful seeing her so loved by all who were there. 

The afternoon was filled with delicious food, 

lots of love,  

and, of course, cookies (we are Italian, after all!) 

Toasts were made, happy birthday was sung, and all of the grandkids made short speeches and presented her with roses. 

Oliver, thankfully, was a delight.  He was passed around from person to person throughout the entire weekend, but was perfectly content and full of smiles for anyone who gave him a little attention.  He is such a happy baby, and I loved seeing him bring so much joy to our family! 

I was filled with such nostalgia Sunday night when we hung out with all of my cousins in grandma's basement, playing pool and laughing away.  I have so many memories of all the games we used to play together and the plays we used to practice down there while our parents were upstairs. 

The weekend was jam-packed and exhausting, but worth every second of our long drive. God has given me a tremendous blessing, my beautiful grandma, who's taught me to love selflessly and to put my faith and family first.  Happy birthday, grandma! You deserve nothing but the best. 


  1. This is so sweet. I'm glad you had such a great weekend. Your Grandmother sounds like a very special lady.

  2. Oh, Caitlin!
    Happy Birthday to your beautiful grandmother!!!
    What an amazing testament to her that so many of you gathered to celebrate her!
    I'm glad you had a nice weekend...
    You look beautiful, by the way,
    Keep lovin' on that precious baby. : )

  3. What a beautiful, love-filled celebration! Looks like you have a lovely family. Your little guy is so cute!

  4. What a beautiful weekend to celebrate your grandmother! :) Oliver is growing up so fast - can't believe it!! Love the italian cookies... in Pittsburgh, there is a tradition of having a cookie table when you get married. So... loved seeing the cookie table! :)

  5. Your grandma looks so great for turning 80! She looks much younger than that. You, your mom, and your grandma all look so similar and all so beautiful!

    Oliver is so precious. I love his sweet smile!

  6. So sweet! Love the cookie table–I can't really get Italian cookies where I live, so I love it when my grandma sends us a bunch at Christmas. :)