When I initially began planning a surprise party for my husband, I thought it would just be a great way to bless the person he is. He likes surprises, and he loves being social, and telling lots of stories. I knew I was risking things: I really don't like surprises that much, I'm not the greatest social-bug on the planet, and HE is the one who is a great host! (I'm not that great at being hostess!) This could be a total disaster! Despite all of the lack of those traits in me, I had no idea how difficult and how often I would have to tell at least little "white - lies." I had hoped that maybe some family members or friends who live far away might take the "bite" and come for this 40th birthday surprise party. I was giddy at thinking about hiding people he wouldn't expect to be there. That didn't happen, but it was something that initially got me excited about planning the party.
He wasn't easy. I didn't realize how much he watched my every move until now. I teased to some of my friends, "What a controlling husband I have!! I didn't even realize he was one!" (snicker, snicker) In all actuality, I think it is sweet that he watches my every move. Well, why shouldn't he? He thinks I'm gorgeous, you know! ;) I had to spend money on food that wasn't on the food budget. I used the personal bank account that I have. Yes, he gives me an automatic deposit from his check to that account that I'm free to do non-budget things with. It's also where I put money I make from voice teaching. But in case he looked at statements, and realized I was spending all of it at the grocery store, I decided I would draw out money just so he wouldn't know what I was spending it on. Wonderful volunteers made/brought items to the party that I just couldn't get away at being sneaky with. I mean, you can only hide so many bags of tortilla chips. And what if I cooked 5 lbs of beans all day and then they disappeared. I couldn't hide that! He LOVES beans! He would see that big pot and think, "Amazing! I get to eat beans for weeks!!!"
I could tell so many stories, but my brain landed on this one: One day he had gone out to run some errands and I thought he'd be gone quite a while. I grabbed my stash of invitations and started addressing them in my kitchen. Some I put stamps on, and some I stowed away to hand out to folks I knew I'd see. I had just finished the last address, and I heard him come through the front door. Thankfully, I can get from my kitchen to my bedroom without going near the entrance of our house. I grabbed them up, but they ALL crashed to the FLOOR! I very quickly gathered them and rushed to my bedroom. Once I got to the bedroom though, I could hear him go into the kitchen (looking for me, you know). Again, thankfully, I can get from my bedroom and out the front door without him seeing me from the kitchen, so I decided to do just that. I deposited them into the van, but came back in the house with just the keys. He was waiting for me in the living room (what a "controlling/needy" husband, huh?). I barely got through the door, and he asked, "Whatcha lookin' for?" Frustrated, but not showing that on my face, all I could say was, "Nothin.'" Don't you think I could have come up with something ELSE to say?!
awesome invite designed by Jaci Johnson at http://inthelifeofajohnson.blogspot.com/p/freely-me-designs.html
Another time he was gone, he came home and wasn't in the door 5 minutes and realized his guitar was missing. I meant to cover up the spot that it normally is! Honest I did!!!
This was a place where pictures were taken. We brought in his saddle later. (notice the guitar that he later entertained with, of course!)
In the end, the kids eventually gave it all away. I had to let them in on it though, because that's part of all the fun. Years from now, they probably won't even dwell on the fact that they helped reveal the surprise a little earlier than intended (they had a conversation too loudly on the way to the "Sunday School" party...that's what I told him he was going to) But they will remember how much fun it was for Daddy to be surprised!
Praying before the meal.
Later, he told me he was at least confused, though not entirely surprised. Just in case it was all really his party, he brought some of his favorite cowboy poetry (SEE! I TOLD you HE is such a HOST!)
Whit standing and reading poetry to the guests (58 of us in all).
The silly Chicken Song :)
Jeff & Laurie Reed
Glenn, Megan, Blake, Brody, & Kellan Lewis
Kyle, Stacy, Olivia, & Will Haley
Arlie & Barbara Eicke
Taylor, Alesha, Glory, Levi, Dan, & Nathanael Hollingsworth
Auntie Amber & Abigail
Kinney and Ronda Robinson
"It wasn't me... surely it was one of them!"
"I know how to spit! Wanna see?!"
Ray & Gloria Myers
O'ma & O'pa
Edward & Patsy Jones
Joe & Betty Wirsching
My mom was THE decorating committee! She did a fabulous job, and none of it would have looked as fun without her help!! Here are some of her center-pieces, all made from his pictures, his stuff I snuck out, and odds & ends she found to use:
Love from our family to you and yours!