I have been waiting to post about Dan's surprise birthday party until I had pictures to go along with it, but since I have no idea when that will be, I'll tell you about it now and post pictures later! After all, I want to share the all the fun we had before he turns 31!
For a couple of years now, I have planned to throw a surprise party for Dan on his 30th birthday. Unfortunately, it came up quick this year. About a week and a half before his birthday, I realized that time was running out and if I wanted to surprise him, I better start planning! So I called up Sarah and asked her to conspire with me and then started calling friends to keep the Saturday following his birthday free. I went shopping and bought all the food, except the cake and deli meat and some balloons, which Sarah picked up for me, and stored them in Sarah's garage until Saturday. That was the easy part.
I had to figure out how to get him out of the house Saturday afternoon, and then back by early evening. Tina helped out by watching the kids in the afternoon so Dan and I could go on a "date." I wanted us to have enough time out that it appeared to be a real date, so I concocted a story that included us needing to be home in time for Buff and Tina to go out that evening. That meant we had about 4 hours together in the afternoon. What do you do with 4 hours on a Saturday afternoon without kids? I didn't want to eat out, since I had a ton of food waiting for us back home, so we did what most other parents would love an opportunity to do - we shopped, childless! We went to Home Depot and Menard's and spent our time looking at materials for our never-ending list of home repairs and remodels that we want to do, and then I indulged Dan in one of his favorite shopping stops - the pet store. He loves fish, has a 55 gallon tank at work and loves to dream about one at home (that is a whole other post!) After the surprise, he commented that he should have been suspicious when I was willing to visit 3 fish stores in one afternoon!
So, I sufficiently stalled long enough that we headed home at about the exact time needed for the surprise to work out. We parked in the garage, unloaded some of the bags of goods that we purchased, and Dan walked in the door. One of the kids had hidden in the doorway and shot a rubber band at him, which tipped him off that something was up, and he turned the corner to see 30 of our friends crowded in our little living room. They shouted "surprise" in unison and I just about cried that it had all worked out!
The rest of the evening went great. We had enough food and cake (actually way too many bags of chips!) to feed the crowd, only half of which were adults! We are in that phase of life where we all have small children and the house was filled with 13 kids under 10, 9 of which were 4 and under! It was crazy, but it was a blast!
Dan was totally shocked and surprised, and probably a little embarrassed to be the center of attention. It was worth it to do something big for his birthday, although I probably won't try to surprise him again for quite sometime. As soon as I can load the pictures on the computer, I will post some of them. Check back later to see the festivities!