Monday, March 28, 2011

"Fabulous Twenty-Five"

On February 24th, we celebrated Bobby's 25th birthday. What Bobby didn't know at that point, was that an even BIGGER birthday celebration was in the works for him...a SURPRISE party, to be held in his honor the very next day, hosted by yours truly.

Bobby has wanted to take a trip to Las Vegas for at least as long as I've known him. And, in discussions last spring about where to take our summer vacation, Vegas was his obvious suggestion. I preferred somewhere tropical instead, and we went to Mexico...after I promised we'd make the trip to Nevada for his 25th birthday. (That was a mistake.) We made plans, we changed plans, and we decided to buy a house. And we still haven't been to Vegas.  Oops.

During the snow storm at the beginning of February, stuck inside for 3 days, I decided that I really did want to do something memorable to commemorate his milestone 25th birthday, and though a trip wasn't feasible...a 'Vegas-themed' party absolutely was. I knew it would be special, and although it seemed entirely possible that such a theme would only serve to remind him that he'd rather be in Vegas, I decided it was worth the, uh, gamble.

So, while Bobby worked from home at the kitchen table 10 feet away, I designed party invitations from the couch. The surprise-party-sneakiness had begun....

For the three weeks that followed, I bought party supplies and groceries here-and-there, mixing in purchases with my regular weekly shop so as not to arouse suspicion. (The other less obvious benefit was spreading out the cost between 3 weekly grocery trips. I must say, it worked quite well!) I delivered the groceries to my parents' house after each shop, hid decor in the laundry that I took to my parents' house, and baked and froze cake layers when I was at my parents' home, while Bobby had his weekly Bible study at ours.

The beautiful part was that I never once had to lie about my errands. ('Lies of Omission'? Oh, well, sure. No way around those in the surprise-party-planning-world.) But, really, when I said I was doing laundry at my parents' house, I definitely was! I was just baking and hot-gluing and decorating, too.

Notice the four mentions of my "parents' house" in the above two paragraphs? See the pattern? That's a critical component of this party that deserves recognition. The event would not have happened were it not for their willingness to play along. And, by that I mean, store lots of food and decor, open up their home for the evening, provide fresh flowers, and clean it all up the next day. (When I asked my parents if we could have the party at their house, my mom's response was as follows: "We're thinking you've dealt a 'full house'. Count us in, and we're not bluffing." Isn't she fantastic?!) We couldn't have hosted a party like this in our apartment, and it meant a lot that they (yet again) helped out in a big way. (Thanks, you two!)

It was NOT easy to keep all of the party planning a secret. I usually share everything with Bobby, and there was so much on my mind and in the works to be excited about...and I couldn't tell him about any of it! Tricky. But, I am happy to report that the party turned out to be a complete surprise. He didn't suspect a thing,  thanks a mini-birthday-celebration the day before...which was the trickiest part of the entire project, really. (How to acknowledge his birthday on the day-of in a very low-key sort of way, but not so much so that he gets bummed?) Anyway, it all worked out perfectly.

I lured Bobby to my parents' house on Friday night for a "steak dinner"...and the look on his face when he saw his friends and family inside was priceless. (Not to worry, he still got that steak dinner the following night.)

It doesn't get much better than that.
(I love my dad, all smiles in the background. How fun!)
Our dear out-of-town friends, John and Natalie, made a surprise trip to Springfield just for the occasion, and knowing they were coming to visit made it all the more difficult to keep the evening a secret! Their presence was the icing on the dice-shaped chocolate cake.

We spent the evening eating, laughing, playing/learning to play cards, and celebrating all accounts, a successful and enjoyable time!

Thank you to everyone who helped make the evening so memorable. And, MAJOR thanks to photographer and friend Brandon Goodwin for capturing so many of the party details! Such a treasure!

I hadn't had opportunity to plan an event of any sort since our wedding, and I had an absolute blast working on this party...especially because it was for someone whom I love so deeply. It is such a joy to be back home near loved ones...and to be so close to having space of our own to host gatherings such as this. I'm thankful to have been able to make this birthday a special one for Bobby, and so excited for many more occasions to celebrate (and to plan for!) in the years ahead.

We'll get you to Vegas, babe...someday. Promise.

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