Celebrating the Centenarian

I hope you're not yet tired of hearing about how my mom celebrated her 100th birthday because I have so much more to share. But of course, reaching 100 is kind of a big deal, isn't it?

100 candles.j[pg

My sisters and I had spent weeks preparing for the event and keeping our fingers crossed that the weather would hold up. (It's been getting stupid-cold in the afternoons lately.) The weather was Southern California at its most gorgeous. (Thank you, God.)

Luza thought it would be a mellow afternoon gathering with just the local family, but friends and family traveled for the party. This was the look on her face time and time again as each new person walked in and surprised her.

Lua surprise face

Can I just tell you that it's kind of a sketchy thing surprising a 100 year old, but I know my mom is healthy and strong and she was just delighted to see so many people that she wasn't expecting. In they came, one after the other, wishing her a Happy Birthday. I'm so grateful that she is so beautifully in her right mind (most of the time). It was glorious watching her greet each guest with recognition. What a gift.

Party people

One of the highlights of the day was the 100 piñata. It was bigger than life as a 100 year piñata should be. No, we didn't fill it and break it. We just moved it around and appreciated the awesome.

Luza 100 pinata


My siblings

Left to right, back row: Helen (71), Rudy (68), Ofelia (73), Marta (58). Front row: Miriam (64), Luza (100), Alina (60). That's a lot of collective years, people.

We had, as promised Italian food for lunch. Lasagna, Mac & Cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, but then we also had plantains. (Damn Cubans!)

Desserts were many and varied, with two cakes and lots of cupcakes. Also, we opted out of trying to light 100 candles. (Call me lazy.)

Cake table

Luza cake

For the decorations, I hung some banners. You may recall I really got into hanging words at Christmas time? I made two banners. The first said, Happy 100 Luza! I didn't want it to just say Happy Birthday, because, well, you can say that to anyone at any birthday party, but that's not important right now.


The other was made from photos of my mom through the years. I was quite pleased with the results.

Luza banner

My niece very cleverly created these cool jam labels. Talk about awesome party favors. They were quite the hit.

Luza jam

The day ended as we sang "Japi Bersdei" and she blew out her candles and we toasted her good health and long life.


So sweet and oh, so satisfying. Happy Birthday, Luza! Y muchos mas...