Thursday, May 29, 2014


I'm keeping my promise!  I've been going back and forth in my head, but I think I'm just going to jump into Jay's surprise 40th!

So, months ago I had it in my head to throw Jay a surprise 40th birthday party.  Actually, about 5 years ago I had thought about how we should celebrate our 40th birthdays....we will both be turning 40 in June.  That was pre Luke and Kate.  I had thought that I would get a few of our closest couple friends and surprise Jay with a weekend away.

And then we had more babies....neither of whom sleep through the night!  So, I improvised, and a surprise party at our house made more sense!

I created the invitations, booked a bouncy house, and worked on a menu.  I was keeping things more simple than I would have in the past because of my struggles with panic attacks in the last month.  I am not the 'plow through anything, queen multitasker that I have been in the past.  Right now I have very obvious limits....and taking care of me by not taking on more than I can handle is important.

Anyway...I had a hefty guest list so I prayed for good weather from the get-go because if it rained I was in big trouble!  A large number of Jay's relatives that live 2-3 hours away all said they were coming.  Lots of our friends were able to make it.  The countdown was on to the big day!

It was a herculean effort to keep the party a secret!  Jay and I talk about everything!  I always bounce ideas off of him.  I found myself constantly ready to blurt out things like "Do you think we will have enough food?" or "Do you think it will rain?"....and stopping myself at the last minute!

Then, there was the whole issue of trying to get the house and yard ready for the party without being obvious that we were getting the house/yard ready for the party!

Since we were supposed to have house guests with us for the 2 nights leading up to the party, they were a great excuse to get the house "company ready"!  So, basically I tricked Jay into fixing lots of those little things that have needed to get done for a while but have been buried on the 'to-do' list!

My older kids were HUGE heroes in the 2 weeks leading up to the party!  Mike was especially helpful getting some of the bigger projects done.  He cleaned up the yard, cut and cleaned up all the overgrown brush around the fence, kept the grass cut, and even helped me get a fresh coat of paint in the main areas of the house!

Andrew and Jon helped with projects too...painting the deck, indoor clean up, and just about anything I asked was done without complaining!  I so appreciated that!

Things got a little ugly in the days leading up to the party!  I ended up getting really sick with bronchitis!  From Tuesday to Thursday I was on the couch unable to do anything!  Talk about panic!  That's when the kids and our families stepped up big time!  (Andrew even went grocery shopping for me!)

It was a lesson in humility for sure!

It took a village to put this party together!  Not being able to control and multi-task everything made it extra special!  I kept praying and asking God to bless the day and He did!  The weather was absolutely perfect, I had lots of help from my family and Jay's family to set everything up, and it was just a great day!  The bouncy house was a huge hit and kept all the kids occupied and having fun!

You know it's from God when you can not feel 100% and have 110 people in your house and have everything go so well!
Jon went to buy balloons at the dollar store that morning and they were out of
"Happy Birthday" balloons!  So he got a 'Feliz Compleanos" balloon instead!
His spanish teacher would be so proud!lol

The dessert table and a "40" picture collage!

Jay's mom made the rubics cube cake.
 I cut out 80's quotes and taped them to cardstock and a lollipop stick and put them in the cupcakes:)
Sarah, Andrew and I made a Pacman wall:)
I wanted to do a few special things, but not go overboard!  I'm happy with the way everything turned out!

The best part is that Jay actually had no idea at all!  Our friend, Corey, kept him out of the house on Sunday morning.(thank-you, thank-you!)  We even got away with telling  Jay that our neighbor was having a party and we stuck a balloon on their mailbox to make it look authentic!  It was so great so see Jay's look of shock when he walked in the house and everyone yelled 'surprise'!

Laughing at something Corey said as he walked in the door.

Confusion....Why are all these people yelling surprise?

Really confused face

The "you got me" face

Mike hugging Jay

Peter joining in!(Peter was so happy there was cake!)

Jay and his mom

Add caption

Luke and other kids having fun in the bouncy house:)

Kate, Sarah, and Jay's sisters, Julie and Jackie!
They dressed up 80's style:)

The party started at 12 and our last guests stayed until almost 6!  It was great!  The kids all had so much fun:)  There was plenty of food!  The weather was perfect!  The company and conversation was wonderful!  

Jay kept saying, "I can't believe you threw me a surprise party!"  "I can't believe that this many people came!"  "I can't believe I actually know this many people!"

It was truly a blessed day!