A full week later and I am still smiling ear-to-ear about my husband surprising me with a 30th birthday party!
I remember Joe asking, “Do you want to have a party for your 30th birthday?”
Absolutely not! Was my quick reply.
I made this decision five years earlier.
Rewind back to to 2011…I was in Party City buying last minute decorations for my 25th birthday party and fielding phone calls and text messages from people telling me they weren’t going to make it after all. By the time the shindig was scheduled to start, I was in tears. Dramatic? Maybe. Especially considering that it still turned out to be fun. Still, I decided I was never planning a birthday party again.
Five years later, I was still pretty steadfast in my decision to never repeat that emotional breakdown.
My husband asked again a few weeks later if I wanted to have a 30th birthday party…but this time he added, “What if I plan it and you have nothing to do with it?”
“That’s a lot of work.” I told him before launching into my “25th birthday buying decorations at Party City” story that he’d heard several times — and in fact witnessed a portion of the breakdown live.
“Besides,” I reminded him, “We’re going to Vegas for my birthday!”
He dropped the topic and I thought nothing else of it for months.
Then one day, I noticed he started being super sneaky. Joe is not sneaky at all and it’s hard to be sneaky around someone like me who always has a follow up question.
Finally he said, “I’m working on your birthday gift so don’t look at the bank account or Amazon.com buying history.”
Now, I was intrigued!
I actually like surprises and don’t actively try to ruin one for myself. Despite this fact, I’ve still ruined my own surprise a time or two.
Like my birthday April 2013, the year after we got married…
I was perusing through our bank account purchase history one random April afternoon and saw a purchase I didn’t recognize from Brookstone. Whenever this happens, I rack my brain for the memory or I ask Joe about it. I hadn’t bought anything from there in a while, so I texted Joe, “did you spend $54 at Brookstone?” You can guess what happened next. Whoops! It was a birthday gift and I ruined it. Instantly, I knew exactly what he bought me because I had pointed it out in the store a few weeks earlier. Note to self: don’t look at the account in April.
Fast forward to this year and I didn’t want to repeat the Brookstone thing, so I was fine with not looking at the account for a few weeks.
Little did I know just WHAT Joe was planning.
The week before the surprise, Joe said, “Don’t make any plans for Monday. We’re celebrating your birthday.” I followed up with the obvious questions, “Where?” “With who?” and “What will we be doing?” He just smiled and refused to answer.
A few days later he told me my mom wanted to come back into town to celebrate my birthday with us that Monday evening. “So, it’s a small get together.” I concluded. I knew my mom wouldn’t come in town for an intimate dinner for two.
Still no answers from Joe.
By Monday, my mom was here and Joe said he was picking me up from home after he got off work.
When he came to get me that evening, I’d already assumed that we were going to a friend’s house to celebrate my birthday with a few of our “couple” friends from church. So I wore a red skirt, my new “Made in 1986” shirt and red flats.
Well…we didn’t go to a friend’s house for a birthday get together with a few friends at all. In fact, we went to North Bank park where Joe planned an epic birthday surprise bash!!!
I could NOT believe it!
A ton of people were there — family and friends from work, church and childhood. He even hired a DJ! (Later he said, I seemed to be having so much fun at my friend Brittany’s wedding reception, he knew he had to hire a DJ for my party.)
Joe planned the whole soiree with my friend Priscah who is also a professional event planner. The chef was former MasterChef contestant Whitney Bray whom I did a story on two years ago and she now has her own catering company.
The venue, decorations, everything was just beautiful.
I am amazed that this many people – most of which I see on a fairly regular basis – were able to keep this a secret!
This was the best, most unforgettable surprise birthday party ever.
Words cannot express how blessed I feel to be married to a man who went out of his way to plan this whole thing just for me! And I am overwhelmed with gratefulness for all of the guests that showed up to celebrate. I have a LOT of thank you cards to write.