How do you totally surprise someone for their birthday? Act like you are going to totally surprise them for 4-6 years before you actually do. =)
WARNING: Despite years of my mother telling me it isn't nice to brag I'm about to brag my brains out here. If you don't like braggy people, please do not read this post and try to continue thinking of me as a humble person. Thank you.
For years now, Mr. Hotness has wanted to throw me a party or do something really cool for my birthday, but every year something got in his way: he forgot to plan ahead, we didn't have the money, or he just didn't know how to do it. So, I've had simple birthdays. Last year I opted to just stay home, watch SpongeBob, and eat cheesecake and pizza because having happy kids meant having a happy mommy. This year I turned 30 and Mr. Hotness kept telling me we had to do something big to celebrate (but he said the same thing when I was turning 29). I am so pregnant, my hair is so out of control, and my feet are so fat, that I really didn't feel like doing anything at all. I kept telling him I just wanted to see a movie, eat my favorite birthday dinner, and that was it (and I wasn't even expecting those to happen because we've had a tough time getting our babysitter now that she works). He kept telling me not to schedule anything on my birthday (just like he has for the past 6 years), but wouldn't tell me anything else.
My birthday comes and Mr. Hotness doesn't get up for work, so I figure he has taken the day off. I get up to make breakfast, school lunches, and to get the kids ready for school and the babysitter, while Mr. Hotness enjoys sleeping a little longer. I am serving the kids their french toast when Mr. Hotness comes out and says, "You haven't eaten breakfast, have you?!?!"
"No, not yet, why?"
"I'm not telling you why, just don't eat breakfast."
"What do you have planned for today?"
"Well, I'm taking the kids to school, then I have to drop the other kids off at the babysitter while I go to a doctor's appointment. Around 3 I will pick the kids up from school, and then I'm just going to enjoy my birthday."
"Why did you schedule a doctor appointment??? I told you not to schedule anything."
"Well, I didn't know you weren't going to work so I thought you meant not to schedule anything for the time that you are usually home."
"It's ok, this will still work."
"What will still work?"
Turns out he is taking me to breakfast. I think, "Aw, how sweet. This is my surprise." My friend was willing to watch the kids earlier so that we could eat before my appointment. I normally don't like going out for breakfast because breakfast is easy to make at home, but the place we went to actually served a fantastic breakfast. I had Swedish pancakes with loganberry butter and compote.
Then we picked up the kids and Mr. Hotness says, "Ok, now you get to choose between seeing Iron Man or going to McCormick and Schmicks for stuffed salmon."
"What about the kids?"
"I have that all taken care of." I started to panic because I am very very paranoid about who I let watch my kids. But Mr. Hotness did great and picked one of my very trusted, and best friends to watch them. It was a tough choice between the two but I settled on the salmon because it won't be coming out on DVD later. This salmon is my usual birthday treat. A big hunk of fresh salmon, stuffed with crab, shrimp, and brie cheese. Absolutely decadent! Even the mashed potatoes and veggies were cooked and seasoned perfectly. The weather was gorgeous! The restaurant overlooks lake Union and so we sat and watched water planes taking off and landing while I licked my plate clean. Mmmmm. They even gave me a free slice of scrumptious key lime cheese cake, but we took it to go because I was stuffed. I was so happy driving back to get the kids, telling my hubby how happy he had made me on my birthday, and thanks for arranging the babysitter and for all the yummy treats. I figured this was the surprise.
We get to my friend's house to get the kids and Mr. Hotness tells me I'm staying there. "What?" My friend, Jamie, pulls me into her house and says, "I'm babysitting you." Hmmmm, what is going on here? I'm worried that he might actually be planning a surprise party for me because I left the house with wet hair which was now all over the place, my breath was nasty after 2 meals, and my clothes were also a bit dirty after two meals (I can't eat without spilling when pregnant). I asked her for a curling iron and she said, "No." What kind of friend would deny a girl a curl? We sit and talk till her babysitter shows up and then she says, "Time to go." I was really worried now that I was going to have to face people looking so scrudgy (which happened to me the only other time I've had a surprise party thrown for me). But Jamie didn't take me home. She took me to the Gene Juarez Beauty salon. I start crying, just a bit and then stop before my face puffs up. Mr. Hotness has arranged for me to get my hair done, my face done, and my nails done. I've been so badly in need of a haircut but am way too cheap to get one. This place was amazing. They have you remove your shirt and put on a robe, they ask you what you want to drink, and then you sit by the fireplace till it is time for your appointment. This was one of the very very few times I've liked, no... loved, going to a beauty salon. The guy who did my hair actually listened to me and gave me a perfect cut. I have funky hair so a perfect cut is very hard for me to get. Then I went to the makeup counter and asked the lady if she could somehow hide all my embarrassing acne scars and pregnant blochyness. She did!!! And without making me look like a Glamour Shots photo. I looked in the mirror and actually had normal skin looking back at me. YAY! I asked her how much the "camouflage" paste and powder cost. It was too much. But then I cancelled the manicure (my nails are so short and I don't like the way my fingers look when wearing nail polish anyway) so I figured I would break even with buying the makeup. Now I'm excited to go out again, or to even get a family photo taken after the baby is born because I can hide my blemishes rather than photo shop them out (which I do). I came out happy. THIS was the big surprise!
But then Jamie grabs my arm, "We aren't done yet." There is more? She takes me to Motherhood and tells me that Mr. Hotness has instructed her not to let me leave until I find some outfits that makes me feel sexy. With everything I tried on she asked, "Do you feel sexy?" If I said no I wasn't allowed to buy it, no matter how cheap or practical it was. I came away with three new shirts (I wore the one in the picture out of the store), a super cute and comfy pair of cuffed capri jeans, and nursing pajamas with a matching onesie for the baby. "Ok, Liz, do your shoes make you feel sexy?" I tried to convince her that there was no way we were going to find shoes that could pull of such a miracle with my marshmallow feet, but like a good friend she insisted. We went to Payless (I didn't want to waste too much money on a pair of shoes that I hopefully won't be able to wear once my feet go back to normal) and we actually found a roomy, comfy, cute, as-sexy-as marshmallows-can-get, pair of shoes. Then we stopped into another store and I found some sexy, affordable, stretchy camisoles that I can use even after I've had the baby. They are extra long so I can wear them under all the shirts that don't quite cover the panel on my maternity pants. LOVE THEM! And they are lacey so I feel sexy when I wear them. I feel so completely spoiled at this point that I have to try really hard not to return all the clothing in a fit of humble frugality or cry and ruin my perfectly spackled face. This was the best surprise I've ever had. I was so overwhelmed and ready to get back to my Mr. Hotness to thank him for my wonderful day.
Jamie takes me home (she also got a fab new haircut and a cute new shirt) and I see cars all over the place. He didn't. Did he? He did!!! I come through the door and everyone shouts "Surprise!" Everyone but Mr. Hotness who was actually out grabbing some last minute things. I hid and when he came back I jumped out and yelled surprise to him. He seemed to like my new "sexy" look and I couldn't help but cry at this point for all he had done for me. And now I have to brag about what a wonderful job he did putting together this party. He thought of everything. He invited all my friends, old and new. He had it catered with Indian food, one of my absolute favorites! He even thought to have pizza and Cheetos on hand for all the kids. Several people brought food too so we also had Brazilian food and more Indian goodies. Mr. Hotness refused to let me do any work (my usual way of surviving parties) and made me socialize, and it was actually very fun being able to talk with everyone. Meanwhile, Mr. H was busting his cute hiney taking out garbage, fetching more cups and plates, making sure the food table was stocked, getting the cakes ready for me, etc. He even thought to put together a pinata, one of my favorite birthday things, and organized the whole whacking set up. We all took turns hitting it till Mr. J finally knocked it clear off the rope and the kids went diving for their candy. Then Mr. Hot brought out the birthday cakes. He had bought 2 gigantic cheesecakes. When he brought one of the cakes to me, with candles lit, and everyone following him singing to me, I started crying again. Monster Man asked why I was crying, "Because, Sweety, mommy just isn't used to all this attention." Cheesecake.... Mmmmmm, (so much for following the doctor's advice to watch what I eat till the baby is born). Food, friends, and fun. What a wonderful surprise. But it STILL isn't over.
Then came the last gift. I had mentioned last month that I would like to get an iPod for my birthday so I could listen to music while cleaning and running (after baby is born), and because my sister has found that her kids are willing to do hours worth of chores when they get to listen to the iPod while cleaning. All I wanted was one that played music and podcasts. Have you seen the new iPod shuffle? It is the size of a pat of butter, and just clips right onto your clothes, and it is only 30 bucks. Perfect! So did I get the iPod shuffle? Nosiree, bob! Mr. Hotness went a bit further and got me the new iPod Touch. Have you seen this thing? It is amazing. I'm not even tech savvy enough to describe it to you, other than to say that I LOVE it and already can't imagine my life without it. Now, when people give me a date for an event, instead of hoping I will remember, or scrounging for a pen and paper, I just plug it into my iPod. Saturday night we met up with six other adults for dinner at a fancy restaurant. We were the only ones that brought our kids, and after my kids had reached their "perfect manners for an hour" limit I turned on my iPod and they watched several episodes of PBS programs for children (Sesame Street and SuperY) quietly while all the adults continued to talk in peace for an extra 2 1/2 hours. And now I'm learning Spanish while I clean.
Come to find out, Mr. Hot had been planning this whole thing for weeks. I even found his "cheat sheet" later and it was even more touching seeing all the work he did putting it together. He even had the whole day planned down to the half hour.
Thank you, Mr. Hotness. You made me feel pampered, special, and completely loved. Thank you for working hard to afford such a day. Thank you for giving up the time it took to plan and put together such a wonderful day. Thank you for making it a complete surprise. Thank you for treating me like a queen. Thank you for making me cry. I love you!