Monday, April 16, 2012

twice is nice

On Friday (the 13th) Les celebrated his 36th birthday. Last year for his birthday I planned a little surprise party. I told him I was taking him out on a date to Tony Roma's and when we got to the restaurant, 8 of our closest friends were there to surprise him! He was definitely surprised and we had a great evening.

This year I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do. I knew that on Friday - his actual birthday - he wouldn't be getting home from work until sometime between 6:30-7:00 which would make it too late to go out anywhere, given that we have to drive about 30 minutes to get anywhere we would want to go. So we had decided that we would rather go out as a family on Saturday when we wouldn't be pressed for time.

That still left his actual birthday feeling a little flat - especially with it being on a Friday. So I decided to try to surprise him for a second year in a row! I kept it smaller this time, only inviting 2 couples, and the plan was just to have them over to our place for a BBQ. The plan was for them to all come over for around 5:30 and one of our friends was going to do the BBQ'ing for me so that when Les came home (he always calls when he's leaving the city, giving me a 45 minute warning) everything would be ready.

It all was looking like it was going to go smoothly until I found out on Thursday evening that Les was planning to be home from work early - as in mid-afternoon! That made it a bit trickier to pull off an at-home surprise but I was determined to still make it work. I knew that if both couples didn't arrive at exactly the same time, one of them would have to miss out on the surprise factor, but at least he could still be somewhat surprised.

It did, however, give me less time during the day to get prepped for it. I pre-made as much of the food ahead of time as I could that morning before Les got home, and hid what I thought might give anything away (the big mound of potato wedges that I had cut up and seasoned hid in the stove, the big bowl of chip dip got hidden in the back of the fridge, and the way-more-than-what-our-family-of-four-would-need farmer's sausage patties were carefully wrapped and also hidden in the fridge).

There was one other flaw that I was sure would completely ruin the plans though. Bright and early on Friday morning, Malia spent a couple of hours running from her room to the bathroom...but our friends are so wonderful that they still wanted to come over to celebrate Les, regardless of the germs that were floating around our home.

Perhaps the trickiest part of the whole thing was trying to hold off starting the BBQ'ing. I had told Les that for his birthday supper, I would do the honors of BBQ'ing for him. In the rain. The problem was, it was getting close to 5:30 and Les was getting really hungry. But our guests weren't here yet!

I tried my best to hold off for a few more minutes, saying I was waiting another 10 minutes or so to see if the rain would start to let up a bit. But that wasn't quite good enough for him...so he went in search of his camouflauge rain gear for me to sport while getting supper going.

I tried to stall as much as I could and finally asked if he could at least go outside and light the BBQ for me since I'm not too skilled at that quite yet. This turned out to be the perfect suggestion, because just as he stepped onto the back deck to do as I asked, our first guests pulled up on the driveway. I quickly tore off my not-so-flattering rain gear, snuck them inside the front door and when Les came back in they jumped around the corner and yelled "SURPRISE!"

And he definitely was!

The other couple arrived a few minutes later and it was laughs and fun times all around! We had a scrumptious dinner of BBQ chicken drumsticks (with apple butter sauce - YUM!), farmer's sausage burgers, strawberry jell-o, seasoned potato wedges, caesar salad, ripple chips with onion dip...and a delicious unbaked cheesecake for dessert with cherry topping, blueberry topping and homemade chocolate sauce.

So two years in a row I have successfully pulled off a birthday surprise for my hubby. I may have to take next year off or he'll suspect something for sure. :)

Happy (belated) Birthday to my wonderful husband! We still have next weekend to look forward to, since our Saturday evening plans got postponed due to continued illness in the household. It was disappointing to miss out on what we had planned, but now we still have something to look forward to!

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