A week or so before he said to me: "I'm going to be 30. Cavemen didn't even live to be 30."
Not quite sure I fully understood what he was going for there, but I chuckled. I think maybe he's feeling old?
A month or so before he said: "Let's not have a party or anything. A party is too much work. Let's just go out to eat, you and me. Something romantic."
"Sure, kiddo," I said. But, ohhhhhh, I'm a sneaky wife. I just had to plan a party! I mean, 30 is a big deal, right? It needs to be celebrated properly. He needs to be celebrated properly!
And what better way than with a super-hero-themed surprise party?
I messaged a handful of our older church friends (who have taken us under their wings since we moved to Memphis... we think of them as our Memphis parents, they're just so good to us!) and asked if I could use one of their houses for the big celebration. And they said yes!
Then I called his parents to see if they could make it out for the surprise. They said yes too! They live about 8 hours away, so a visit from them is a big, awesome deal! We decided to tell him they'd be visiting so he could get the most out of their time here. But the rest stayed a surprise.
It took about a month to get the whole thing put together: from invitations, to decorations, to menus, shopping, and set-up... let's just say, there was a bunch of love that went into it. And even more lying.
I have never lied to my husband so much. I mean, you have to in order to throw a surprise party. But it felt so weird. And I almost gave away the secret about a million times. Not because I wanted to, but because I'm so used to telling him everything. I caught myself one night almost telling him about some of the decorations I had purchased earlier that day. Shhhhh, Stephanie! The thrower of the party can't ruin the surprise! Hold it together.
We made it to the day of the party and I told him one last lie - that I had to drive an hour away to clean up after a diocesan youth retreat I had been on the day before. In reality, I was just down the street setting up decorations, creating a photo booth, cutting avocados, and putting out the ladder golf. Sneaky, sneaky.
In order to get him over to the surprise party house, I told him that our friends had invited us and his parents over for dinner. He totally bought it too, because when his parents lived here in Memphis several years ago, they were really good friends with the lovely folks hosting this little surprise party. There was nothing out of the blue about them inviting us all over for dinner.
We pulled up and he didn't even question the bajillion cars outside their house. He thought our friends had invited a little bit of a crowd for our dinner. I love my gullible boy.
So we walked into the house and...
|I think he was more confused than surprised.|
After he figured out that all the people were there to celebrate him, the birthday boy ended up having a most wonderful time!
He wore a handmade superman cape the whole evening, played ladder golf, ate some of his favorite foods: hot dogs and french fries, blew out candles on a most delicious irish car bomb cake from Muddy's Bake Shop, hung out with good friends, played a silly and hilariously inappropriate card game, took photo booth pictures, and even got to hand out ice cream from an ice cream truck that our friends rented for him for an hour.
That boy sure was celebrated!
He said the whole thing just made him feel so loved.
And to that I say, with a big smile on my face, "Mission Accomplished."
|Some of the decorations.|
|Cake & wall of photos from his birth to today.|
|30 years of SuperJohn in the making.|
|"A preview of John's 40th bday."|
I hid this little gem in the corner. (Made using the BaldBooth app.)
|Waiting to surprise my birthday boy.|
|More surprisers in waiting.|
|Right after the surprise, the ice cream truck pulled up!|
|The birthday boy serving ice cream to his guests.|
|Enjoying some ice cream and balloooons!|
|The hot dog topping bar, or as I called them... wonder dogs.|
|Irish Car Bomb Cake - chocolate Guinness stout cake and Bailey's |
buttercream icing. SO. GOOD.
|Blowing out his 3 candles (duh, one for each decade).|
And from the photo booth...
|Friend and current seminarian. Please pray for him :)|
|Cape made with felt, fabric glue, lots of time, and lots of Stephi-love. Anything for my big 30-year-old superhero!|
(But seriously, that S was hard to make!)
|His parents, my in-laws, SuperMom & SuperDad :)|