Dave’s 50th Surprise Party

After sitting in front of my computer finely tweaking wedding photos for a few hours I decided to take a break and work on something near and dear to my heart.  For those of you that don’t know my family or myself well, we’re a pretty large close-knit but open-hearted bunch.  We love to throw parties, feed everyone from practically the whole county, play games and laugh together until the sun comes up.

Now out of everyone in our family, my Uncle David (or as all his nieces and nephews call him Uncle Dee or Dave), is probably the most memorable of the bunch.  Not only is he naturally the most hysterical person I know, he has a ‘mild’ obsession with WWE, loves any sports team related to Pittsburgh (not to mention won’t admit that they lost any game, ever), has given up on the traditional ‘kiss’ and replaced it with nose kisses (also known as Eskimo kisses) and just happens to have Down’s Syndrome.  Now to all of us who have grown up around it, we don’t even notice it.  We’ve always been surrounded by him and his friends and it’s 100% normal to us.  Some people don’t know how to act around those they deem ‘special’ but shooting events like this just goes to show how much love and kindness not only Dave, but all his close friends have for each other.  I think each and everyone of us wish we could be as open, honest, and loving as they are 100% of the time.  Dave and his best friend Tim, have literally known each other forever and are two of the funniest people around.  You can always catch them telling jokes to each other and giggling in the corner and I’m sure you can see how deep their friendship is in all their photos below.

The funny thing about David is how much he loves having a birthday (now I think this has more to do with everyone spoiling him rotten and hey… let’s be honest, lots of people love my uncle so there is LOTS of spoiling).  Dave just sucks it up.  I think it brings smiles to all of our faces to be able to celebrate him knowing how much joy he’s brought to all of us.  It’s honestly the least we can do to celebrate him.  But to put this in your perspective, my niece, Veronica, made the whole family calendars last year.  Everyone in the family had a picture of themselves on their birthday.  DAVE on the other hand had a whole ‘birthday week’ dedicated to himself, pictures and all. Dave’s birthday is celebrated for a month by family, friends, and really just anyone who Dave feels should know it’s his birthday (even if it’s a month later).  For the last year all he’s talked about is how much he wanted another surprise party (yes, we threw him one when he turned 40).   So my grandmother, who is the party planner extraordinaire, (literally… no joke… I’m pretty sure she could plan a party with $5 in her pocket and a ball of yarn, she’s incredible) of course set something up to celebrate his big 5 0.

To set the tone for the party, this past week Tim and Dave had been at my parent’s house on their own version of a ‘vacation week.’  This involved copious amounts of WWE screenings and peanut butter milkshakes.  Tim, who has known about the party for a few weeks, kept the secret of it’s upcoming arrival from David and couldn’t wait to see the look on his face when he came in the door.  Much to my Uncle Bill and mother’s planning, David thought he was coming to a fish fry at the fire hall (they made fish fry signs and everything).  Low and behold when he walked in everyone yelled surprise and Tim rushed him yelling, ‘I got you!’  After giving Dave a huge hug all Dave’s close friends came in and they all had a huge group hug. Seeing it and capturing it made me tear up behind the camera.  What a special moment and a wonderful group of friends.

We’re huggers in my family.  As you can probably tell by the below photos.  David proceeded to go around and hug everyone.  From old reading teachers to hair dressers as well as tons of aunts, uncles, cousins, and practically any other relative you can think of.  Dave’s whole party was themed Pittsburgh Steeler’s style; from decorations to cake. He was so excited when he not only saw the Steelers cake but the Coke can cake that had been specially made for him.  My grandma wrote songs about Dave that everyone sang along to that went along to oldies like ‘Take Me Out To the Ballgame.’ Dave’s old drum teacher had also come along with his band and let David jam out on the drums to his favorite songs.  It was so wonderful being able to capture Uncle Dee’s Surprise 50th Birthday and I hope you all enjoy the photos as much as I did taking them.  -Alysha



























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 **All images are owned and copyright of Alysha Yoder Photography.  Do not use without permission.**

16 Comments on “Dave’s 50th Surprise Party

  1. Thank you so much for these amazing pictures, what an awesome party, you captured it so well and love your write up. Happy 50th Dave! You rock, I think my favorite picture is the last one on the drums… what beautiful memories! Aunt Dode sure knows how to throw a party. She did so much to make our Mom’s 80th so special just last month. Thanks so much for sharing 😉 Love you all XO

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for including your west coast best friends who cheered at least 50 times on birthday day. What great pictures for all of us to enjoy. You even had me rooting for the Steelers for a day.


  2. AWESOME ! and Happy Birthday David….I’m sure you don’t remember me, but I sure remember you as we ALL grew up together in Grandview. So glad you enjoyed your special 5 0 party. The cake looks great. I want to see the pictures from number 60. All the best to the Pizor family, thanks for sharing.

    Dave Blakley

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Alysha I wish I could have stayed longer to witness all this joy. Great job in recording history. Thank you. Tom Fisher

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a treat to see this surprise birthday party in beautiful pictures !! I felt like I was there too!! sO MANY SMILES!! I haven’t seen David for about, oh gosh, 20 years. Love the twinkle in his eyes!! Happy Birthday David!! Oh – GO STEELERS!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Looks like a wonderful time was had by all! I doubt David remembers me, but I remember him. I’m so glad to see him so happy. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Alysha, thank you for sharing these precious photos of David’s birthday celebration. What a gift you have, and what an amazing gift you gave to all of us who have known, grown-up with, and loved your family for so many years.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a wonderful surprise party, and we all could tell it was such a surprise. Alysha,, thank you for sharing with all of us. What wonderful family participail (required) (Address never made public)
    ation and love. Great planning and great party for a great guy. Again, David…. Happy Happy 50th.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Alysha, thank you for sharing the wonderful pictures with all. I was at the party and it was so heartwarming from the time David walked in the room. What a great moment it was when he played the drums. Thank you and the rest of the family for the wonderful party.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dear Alysha,
    What a great job you did in catching all that love and tears that was shared that night. David is so special to all of us and God gave him to us to love in return for His love for us. Thank you for your labor of love. Uncle Bob and Aunt Nancy

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Absolutely loved this! Thanks so much for sharing this with all of us. The party was The Best!!! Every day I spend hanging out w/David is always a day I look forward to!

    Liked by 1 person

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