Monday, January 27, 2014

Surprise Me

My birthday is coming up in a few short weeks, and it’s a big one. While many of my friends have dreaded (or are dreading) their 30th birthdays, I’m actually looking forward to mine. For some reason, 30 just feels right to me. I’m ready!

And since it’s a big birthday, it only makes sense to do something fun to celebrate. Sean’s work schedule has been making that a little difficult though. He works every weekend in February and can’t get time off. So, being the nearly 30-year-old that I am, I’ve spent the last few weeks whining about it. Very mature.

But I can stop acting like a toddler and whining about my birthday now - because on Friday night, Sean and our families and friends threw me a surprise party!

We were planning – or so I thought – to have dinner with his family at his mom’s place. She said she had something after work so wanted to eat a little later, around 7 or so. I didn’t even think twice about it. We left our house a little early – around 6:30 – and only a few blocks from home, Sean decided to stop at the gas station to go to the bathroom. I was a little annoyed, but again, didn’t think a thing of it.

We pulled up in front of his mom’s building and parked behind his uncle’s car. I said something like, “Oh Scott’s here!” It didn’t faze me because he often joins us for family dinners, but apparently it made Sean’s heart beat even faster than it had been because he was worried I’d start to notice other cars, too. A car was just pulling into the garage and Sean joked about following it in to escape the snowy cold sooner. I found out later it was to distract me from looking around at these other cars, but like all of the other things before it, I didn’t even think twice about it.  

When we got up to his mom’s condo, Sean let me walk through the door first and I saw his mom and brother’s girlfriend right away. They started to sing happy birthday. My first thought was that we were celebrating with his family early, until the birthday chorus was suddenly amplified and people started coming out of every nook and cranny - out of bedroom doors, down from the loft upstairs. My brain was trying so hard to process what was going on that I wasn’t even sure what was happening at first.

They got me. They got me good!

I am usually a very suspicious person – often guessing things or thinking critically about the most random decisions or behaviors. Apparently my mom and others had been planning it for weeks! So I am shocked that the idea didn’t even cross my mind. And even more shocked that Sean managed to keep such a good secret (he’s not usually so great at that). 
My mom and sister and me.
It was such a fun night! Our families were there, and our closest friends. A few people couldn’t make it at the last minute because of the snowy weather, but I was honored that so many people made it out to celebrate with me. I couldn’t stop smiling all night long.
I usually have my camera with me everywhere I go, but didn't expect to need it for family dinner, so I only managed to get a few cell-phone quality photos. I wish I had gotten some of Sean and I, his family, and of the party in general but I was busy having too much fun, I guess :)
I woke up Saturday morning reminded again of how lucky I am to have so many incredible people in my life. It’s funny what some quality time with the ones you love can make you a sappy mess—and also a truly happier person. I can’t thank everyone enough who helped to pull it off. I think 30 is going to be a great year! 

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