Tate’s 40th SURPISE Birthday Party
Well, it was six months in the making… but I pulled it off. WHEW! Here it goes:
I knew that Tate wanted something special for his 40th birthday. He isn’t normally a birthday celebrating kind of guy but for this big one, he wanted a party. We talked about it early in the year throwing around ideas for where to have it. Unfortunately, our house was too small for a large party when we couldn’t use the patio (December is too cold for patio use). I threw out the idea of our favorite restaurant, Rudy’s Hideaway and then didn’t bring it up again.
In June, I figured I REALLY needed to make a decision so I called Rudy’s and booked the banquet room. While trying to make the decision, I talked to Jennifer about it and as soon as I booked the date, she made her plane reservations. She was coming out!
Jump ahead to December. The Evite invitation was out and people were coming. Tate had no clue. Even better he had no idea that Jennifer was coming. I called his parents and brother hoping that they would be able to make it too. Unfortunately, it didn’t look good. A week before the party, I got a call from Richard (Tate’s dad) stating that they were coming and would be here the day of the party. YIPEE!!!! So not only do I have one surprise guest, but THREE!!! I was so excited I couldn’t stand it!
Of course keeping the party and his parents extended stay a secret was very difficult. He kept bugging me about what I was doing for his birthday so I made up a small dinner party at the house for Saturday night (the party was Friday night). I promised to call his mom and learn his favorite birthday dinner of Fried round steak, mashed potatoes & gravy and peas. I think he was disappointed that there weren’t more people coming (hehehe). As for Friday night, that was easy. His company was having their party on the same night and I told him that we were going to that. I called the girl planning the party and told her that we would not be there and why and asked her to help me keep the secret. She said she would… although when the RSVP list was faxed to all the CalStar bases, WE were not on it. I freaked out and called her immediately and left her a message reminding her of our plans. She refaxed the list with our names on it WHEW!
As the party drew closer, Tate kept trying to schedule himself to work the week following his party. I knew he wouldn’t want to work extra with his parents in town so I kept bitching about this and that and making him change his plans. He was driving me crazy . He had planned to work extra the day of the party which was fine with me because he would be out of my hair and there would be no chance for him to run into his special guests on accident. Of course, the day before the party he decide he didn’t want to work on Friday . Tom offered to take him snowboarding and I gladly accepted. Tate was a little surprised that I was so nice about “letting him go” (hehehe ). I even offered to let him go on Saturday so that I could prepare his special dinner for his (fake) dinner party.
The day of the party was stressful and exciting all at once. Jennifer and Richard and Jan were due to arrive in the afternoon and I had plans to put them to work running errands while I finished up at work. Things DIDN’T go as planned. Jennifer sent me a text saying her plane was delayed due to fog in Houston. She was going to be late. She called from Houston to say she was flying into San Francisco and would be driving to Sacramento. To read about her adventures in getting to this party, read Jennifer\’s Travel Blog. Richard & Jan arrived at about 2:00. Jan and I ran around to pick up the cake and balloons and deliver them to Rudy’s while Richard relaxed at the house. At 4:00 I booted them out of the house and sent them to Holly & Cayle’s to meet up with my parents and Jennifer for pre-party drinks. This was my way to keep them occupied while I waited for Tate to come home from snowboarding and then got ready for the “CalStar” Christmas Party.
All the while I was getting ready, was very nervous . I still hadn’t exactly decided on what I was going to say or do to tell him we WERE NOT going to the CalStar party after all. At 6:30, we were getting ready to leave and I brought out suitcases and said I had a confession to make. We were not going to the CalStar party and I was whisking him away for a night away. He was quite upset and disappointed that we weren’t going to the party and NOT happy that I wasn’t going to tell him where we were going or that he was going to have to wear a blindfold on the way there. I drove around t
own for 45 minutes trying to “throw him off” of where we might be going. He had a few guesses along the way but I didn’t tell. He whined and bitched “are we there yet?”. Finally, we were there .
We walked into the restaurant he with his hand over his eyes and as soon as we were inside, he took one sniff and knew exactly where we were. I told him to uncover his eyes and take a look. To his surprise, a room full of friends and family (not the surprise guests yet) were there to greet him . Camera’s were flashing and everyone clapped. After the initial shock wore off, I handed him an envelope and a small black box and told him that we were under strict instructions to open immediately. He opened and read the letter which was from Jennifer stating how sorry she was that she couldn’t be there and continued on to the gift box which included an “Over the Hill” shot glass and a pink “Kentucky” t-shirt that she had threatened to give him (he was a graduate from the other Kentucky college, Eastern Kentucky University). As he laughed at the gift, Jennifer came out from behind the gold lamé curtain (behind him) and gently blew on his neck. At that moment, he turned around to see Jennifer, his first surprise guest, the Best Gal at our wedding and his very best friends’ widow. They hugged, they cried (so did I ). A few minutes later, I quieted the room for a small announcement. “So I guess you know that we aren’t having a dinner party for you tomorrow night. So if you want your special dinner, you will have to have your mom to make it for you.” At that moment, his parents came out from behind the same gold lame curtain and there were more hugs and more tears. He had no idea. He was totally surprised.
Later, after dinner and cake, it was time to open presents. He got a lot of great stuff from everyone (THANK YOU!) and one big thing from me. He had been wanting a new underwater housing for his digital camera. He had been tracking a complete set up on ebay for quite sometime. It had been listed several times and never sold. I contacted the seller to arrange for a the purchase of the set up outside of ebay (since he would see that I bought it if it was done through ebay). It arrived the day before the party. It was the very last gift to be opened. He knew as soon as he saw the logo on the box what it was and was so excited . He wanted to instantly play with it and put it together, but unfortunately, he had to wait ‘til we got home.
Finally, all the surprises were out, the stress was gone, I had pulled it off. Now it was time to enjoy the evening. The food was great, the company was great and the night was perfect. My Hubby was happy and so was I .
Click HERE for pictures of the party:
IN OTHER NEWS:
Jennifer was due to stay in town for a couple of days so we were able to spend some time together. On Sunday we went to the Jelly Belly Factory and then headed to Napa for some wine tasting. Photos of our trip are also included.
Richard & Jan will be staying with us through Christmas. We will head to Red Bluff on Friday night to spend the evening with my Dad and then to Redding to spend Saturday and Sunday with my Mom & Jimmy and the rest of the family. We will head back on Sunday afternoon because Tate has to work Christmas Day. I will head to Carrie’s for Christmas Day festivities.
My boss was kind enough to let us go home at noon today (Thursday) and give us tomorrow off. I don’t return to work until next Wednesday. There’s lots to do around the house before we leave tomorrow. Including installing our new fridge and dishwasher J
Well, that’s all for now.
Merry Christmas Everyone!
Reneé & Tate.