23 November 2011

On a Personal Note...

i LOVE surprises

Wait, let me clarify.  I love good surprises, not the kind where people jump out and scare the pants off you or embarrass you (David and Calen, this clarification is for you!).

This past week I got maybe THE nicest surprise I have ever received.
When I returned from Hawaii last week I came home to find this on my bed...

Here's where we have to digress for a moment.  Last year for my birthday (in November) I requested we all go out to Cloudland - a beautiful restaurant/bar in the city that I'd heard was fabulous.  I pictured five of us girls having a 'sex and the city' moment - c'mon, I know I'm not the only one with these little fantasies!  One thing after another got in the way of us going out and we ended up going, in January (!!) was pouring down rain and though we'd been told Cloudland is NEVER closed, it was.  There we were in our finery, ready to 'party' but the party was well and truly pooped! 

(Side note - the next day Cloudland was under water with the floods - we can't stay mad at them after that)

We've kept saying that we'd go back sometime but it's never come to fruition so, when I saw this invitation for a birthday do sitting next to the EXACT outfit that I'd worn for Cloudland, the jig was up.  The problem was, by Sunday I was still exhausted/jet-lagged from my holiday and didn't know how I was going to rouse enough energy for a night out on the town.

At church that morning, I hinted to Chris & Kellie that I knew what we were doing and they were pretty cagey but I thought I'd caught them out.  I was totally right, we were going to Cloudland.  'Ok Anna, you can sleep when you're in heaven - wake up and let's do this!' - I told myself.

But my gorgeous friends who know me better than I thought, had other plans.

I dropped my little girls off at David & Carolyn's (and I must say a massive thank you to them again because this evening wouldn't have been possible without them) and headed to the farm where this is what I came upon...

Drinks on the lawn which I had totally expected.  Perfect!  The view from here is superb and having a little relax was just what I needed.  The girls were all dressed up and each of them was wearing the necklaces that I'd given them earlier in the year - spesh!

And then the presents came and I was surprised.  Like, beautifully surprised.

I'd just got a beautiful 'Anna style' pandora bracelet from David & Carolyn for my birthday...little did I know that each of the girls had bought me a special charm significant to each of our friendships.

I'll let you guess which is from whom.

 Next thing, Al comes around the corner beeping the horn of his now pink pom-pom adorned ute and I'm told to climb aboard and swap my gold stilhetto's for gumboots! Hmm???

(some of you will recognise this ute and this property!)

So up I popped and while Debbie distracted me on the ride down to the paddock, I really didn't think much about what was happening.  So much so that it wasn't until I heard someone with a ukalele singing 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' that I turned around and 10 metres away saw this....  

A table set for a vintage-feel sunset dinner party, the amazing boys to match my girls, handpicked posies and bunting with photos of me at various stages of my life (contributed by my sister - love you Chels!).  For me??

Major teary!

Oh how I do love a cheese platter and a pink drink...

Sooo much better than Cloudland!...

The boys cooked up a storm in the Webber with roast chicken, roast lamb, potatoes, onion, with salads and who could forget Chris's world famous gravy.

Seriously yum.

We totally couldn't resist a little photo shoot in the dreamy haze...

(Side note - all the photos in the post are by Chris & Kellie Walters. They totally made me have a night off...lovely sigh!)

But got distracted gabbing as girlfriends will do...

This next one looks like a cute little photo but the reality of it is my beautiful dress was so floaty and lightweight that the slightest breeze saw it around my ears.  Literally.  I was hanging onto that thing for dear life. And dignity!

(Hot tip - if you want to look all casual and carefree in photos even though your dress is giving you kenniptions about possibly scarring your girlfriends husbands retina's for life, simply have your girls secretly hold it down for you from behind ;) - see above!)

And then it was the boys turn...they'll soon be appearing in the next Roger David catalogue!...

Ok, ok, enough of the spunks!

Most people might top off a dinner like this with a lovely cheesecake and a refreshing fruit platter.  
Puh - lease!

Girlfriends know that Anna LOVES her chocolate so dinner was followed by a chocolate platter and a totally decadent humongous mud cake...heaven!

The thing that really overwhelmed me during this beautiful dinner party was how much these people really do KNOW me.  The beauty, the styling, the music, the company, the fresh air, the sunlight, the candlelight, the food....all things that truly delight my heart.

So I have to say THANK YOU to my friends.  

To Debbie & Brad, Julie & Mark, Kellie & Chris (and also to David & Carolyn and Steve & Chelsea who contributed from afar)....honestly, a gal could not have happened upon more lovely, noble, refreshing, delightful, compassionate, generous friends than you.

And we sat into the evening, laughing and eating, and watching as meteorites zoomed across the night sky...



  1. Awesome, lovely photos xxx

  2. Whoa man! That is one super elegant party. And lovely photos to boot!


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