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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)

You did a fantastic job on her party! The colors are fabulous!!! Great great great job, especially the cards for people to write on, very clever idea!

01.28.2010 | Unregistered CommenterAudrea Ratliff

It's great that you were able to find so many photos and you showcased them beautifully and thoughtfully.

01.28.2010 | Unregistered CommenterConiqua

It's so moving to see a life through old photographs and the wall of memories--so beautiful.

01.28.2010 | Unregistered CommenterAutumn

I love all of the beautiful details! You really put a lot of thought and care into everything. So classy!!

01.28.2010 | Unregistered CommenterBetsy Pruitt

this looks so wonderful! i love the cards and the old photos.

01.28.2010 | Unregistered CommenterHelen

Absolutely gorgeous party & so thoughtful with all of the photos and beautiful notes for her. Loved it.

01.28.2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

What a lovely celebration of your grandmother. Gives me ideas for my own (who will be 90 in a couple years).

01.29.2010 | Unregistered CommenterNina

i loooooove these sentimental and thoughtful things! thanks for sharing them!

01.29.2010 | Unregistered Commenterjudy

So many wonderful remembrances and such a loving tribute to your grandmother. My dear mother-in-law has just a few more years before she reaches ninety, so maybe I can borrow some of your fabulous ideas!

what a sweet way to celebrate her 90th! such FABulous and meaningful ideas.

01.29.2010 | Unregistered Commenterjulie

this is awesome and beautiful and everything in between.

01.30.2010 | Unregistered Commenterdamaris palmer

Don's note at the end made me go all teary!

Discovered your blog via theblisslist and it's lovely. Will definitely be back for more!



01.31.2010 | Unregistered CommenterAgnes

....an elegant tribute for an elegant lady!

01.31.2010 | Unregistered CommenterLouise

wow, the "instead of guestbook cards" really are amazing! what an brilliant idea. thank you for sharing!

02.2.2010 | Unregistered CommenterKristin

this book is adorable!!!!!

love your blog!


02.2.2010 | Unregistered Commentersarah

I just came across your site a few days ago when my sister-in-law sent me a link for your blog and what a small world! My grandparents lived in Sacramento for all of their married lives. I thought the names Bob and Nina Hellewell sounded familiar. I sent this link to my mom. She says she got weepy when she saw Nina's picture because she was a good friend of my Grandma's (Peggie Glenn) especially as her life was drawing to a close. Thanks for sharing!

02.3.2010 | Unregistered CommenterStacy

I'm so glad I've found your blog. Beautiful posts and gorgeous layout. Love it love it.

02.7.2010 | Unregistered CommenterEstelle

wow. what a wonderful birthday party... beautiful, thoughtful, full of love... I am truly inspired to see everything you guys did!!! Happy Birthday to your lovely grandmother!!!

02.11.2010 | Unregistered CommenterHijiri

Oh my! I landed here via purlshoho.com and as I wandered through your past, found your beautiful grandmother. The photo of her in high school is timeless, and what a pretty, pretty girl and warm smile. The sweetest people do stay the most beautiful as they age, don't they?

02.13.2010 | Unregistered CommenterKathi D

such a great great tribute.
I loved the last picture - so beautiful!

04.3.2010 | Unregistered CommenterManasa

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