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nina is ninety

This is my grandmother, and this is my favorite photo of her. It also happens to be the photo she gave my grandfather when they were dating. "To Bob: With all my love, Nina"  He liked it too. They were married for over 60 years. My grandfather passed away five years ago, but grandma is still chugging along.

My aunts decided to throw grandma a big party for her 90th birthday. We sent out save the dates, using another favorite photo of mine, back when she was a young mother of three. Somehow she still managed to look amazing (I'm loving the dress, the necklace, the hair.. so beautiful, my grandmother).

The invites featured three different photos of grandma, when she was a young girl with her pixie cut, when she was in high school, and on her 25th wedding anniversary (still gorgeous, and that was while raising 10 children!).

We decorated with more old photos, with paper circles in different sizes and shades of green. Just punch a hole in each side and thread onto some embroidery thread.

Instead of a guest book, we printed out cards with different photos from grandma's life.. (there are so many beautiful old photos of my grandma, this seemed like a nice way to showcase them). As people came to the door we asked them to take a minute and write a quick note to Nina.

And then we hung them from green embroidery thread with paper clips. It was fun to watch the wall grow as the party went on and to see all the photos there together... a life in pictures. We'll make these into an album after the party so grandma can read through them whenever she likes.

My favorite note, from a boy who grew up with my grandmother. "Nina - If I had been five years older, Bob wouldn't have had a chance." (Bob, of course, is my grandfather. And yes Don, I'm afraid you missed out!)

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Reader Comments (67)

i love this. what a wonderful way to honor what sounds like a wonderful lady. thanks for sharing!

01.26.2010 | Unregistered Commenterheather j

This is so beautiful.
What a wonderful celebration for a wonderful life.

01.26.2010 | Unregistered CommenterKristel

Brooke you are so awesome! That looks like the funnest party!

01.26.2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke

so thoughtful, beautiful and absolutely memorable.

01.26.2010 | Unregistered Commenterbarbara

This is delightful. Happy birthday Nina!

01.26.2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

she must have felt so honored with all this beautiful thoughtful decor. simply lovely!

01.26.2010 | Unregistered Commentermandy

I love it! We're heading to my husband's grandfather's 80 surprise b-day party next weekend and we may just have to scramble for some more pix to use for guest notes. Thank you so much for the heart-felt inspiration!

01.26.2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

Wow! This is beyond fantastic, what a life! What a party!

01.26.2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmber Lee

10 children you said ???
Thank you for sharing this marvelous moment. I wish my grand ma would still alive too....

01.26.2010 | Unregistered Commentertiphaine

Hooray for Nina! This party is perfect. I love every detail. Fantastic job to your whole family.

01.26.2010 | Unregistered CommenterDesign Mom

that is lovely. i love the card idea with everybody writing great things about your grandmother. i also love the garland with the circles.

01.26.2010 | Unregistered CommenterOlivia

What a unique and lovely party! I love all of the thoughtful personal touches. Your grandmother must have been thrilled. And she looked so beautiful in those photos. 10 children?! Wow! Happy Birthday Nina!

01.26.2010 | Unregistered Commenterwanderluster

Happy Birthday to your grandmother! My own lola (that's grandmother in Tagalog) is turning 90 in December. I do like the idea of the card...to bad my lola can't read. :(

01.26.2010 | Unregistered Commentergn.

This is the most loving, wonderful, and creative tribute and celebration! I can see how much your grandmother is loved by so many. I wish her many happy returns!

01.26.2010 | Unregistered Commenter*gemmifer*

Hi Brooke,

Your Grandma's party is genius!

Much love,

01.26.2010 | Unregistered CommenterAngie Gubler

everything looks so great! I wish we could have been there too.

01.26.2010 | Unregistered Commenterbec

It was all so lovely. Thanks for all your hard work. It was great to see your darling family!

01.26.2010 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

You look quite a bit like her, Brooke, both of you beautiful!

Miss you lots,


01.26.2010 | Unregistered CommenterKeri

What an amazing tribute you put together. I'm sure it will be cherished, lovely.

01.26.2010 | Unregistered CommenterRansacked Goods

This was such a fun tribute! I love the cards with the pictures and notes on them. How fun!!!

01.26.2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelissaPete

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