Last weekend I had a chance to head home to Kearney to do some celebrating with my family. It’s a big year for our family, both of my parents turned 60 this year AND they both retired and are looking forward to new adventures. My Dad retired in November from a career in school administration and my Mom completes a 36 year career teaching 4th grade for most of that time in two different school districts. AMAZING, I can’t imagine working somewhere for more than 5 years let alone spending 19 years at the same school!
Here’s my Mom (hopefully she doesn’t scold me for posting this.) starting her career as a student teacher in 1972.
I’m so incredibly proud of both of them and wanted to do something special for them. So my sister Kate (this is a picture of her below with Ted from the car dealership in Kearney, she bought her first car this weekend too! Congrats Kate), put our creative minds together and decided to work on a little something special for our folks.
My sister is a wonderful writer, in fact, she blogs for the store she works for, Material Girl, check it out here. And as you all know, I am a little obsessed with creating memory boxes. But lucky for us, neither of our parents have one yet! So we decided I would create the memory box and Kate would write a special tear-jerker note to include in the memory box design. Here’s what we developed for my Mom.
A colorful, teacher and classroom inspired memory box! My Mom and I have similar handwriting and being that the little kiddos have called her Mrs. O’Dea for the last 36 or so years I wanted to make sure to include that detail.
My Mom always had the best bulletin boards and it was something she prided herself on so I wanted to incorporate that in to this design. I went on a hunt around Omaha (thanks for taking me Brian!) to find old rulers. I cut them up to frame a little piece of cork board and decorated with colorful buttons and a great photo!
When I was little I always remember my Mom writing notes or decorating her bulletin boards with lettering that had little dots on the corners like above. So I knew I wanted to incorporate that and here you can see it on the front of the envelope that holds the note my sister wrote for Mom. The envelope fits into photo corners so it is easy to remove.
This memory box for my Dad was a little more difficult to create being that a career in school administration doesn’t translate quite as colorful and light-hearted as a career in teaching! So I thought to myself, what do I remember about my Dad going to work everyday? He wore a lot of ties and was very business like so I spent a lot of time at our local thrift stores scavenging for ties (actually, they aren’t that hard to come by!).
I felt like a bow just wouldn’t look good with the design of this box so I decided to create a sort of clasp using 2 buttons and some black elastic. Turned out good!
I purchased the letters used on the inside cover at the market at Silver Bella (yes, I’ve been saving them since November to use just for this memory box!). The Irish Blessing is pasted on the front of the envelope that holds the note from my sister and again is secured with photo corners so it can be easily removed.
He already had a pile of notes, cards and memories ready to put in his memory box! So cute.
I loved working on this project with my sister and creating these for our parents but most of all I loved seeing their faces as they opened their gift. So special. What other special gift ideas do you have to celebrate retirements? I would love to hear from you!