This Saturday, September. 3, our oldest daughter Heather turned 30 years old and I gave her a surprise birthday party. So hard to believe she’s 30. Heather thinks 30 is “old,” but she’s actually in the prime of her life! When I went to pick up her “flip flop” (beach scene with flip flops) cake today at HyVee’s, an older woman commented on what a beautiful cake it was and I told her about Heather’s birthday and how she thought 30 was old. She waved her hand at me, and scoffed, “Thirty? That’s nothing! Thirty is YOUNG!” LOL. I agree.
For the last couple of months, I’ve been planning Heather’s surprise party (driving my family nutts planning, preparing, praying her friends would show up and that we could all keep it a secret!). It has been REALLY hard to keep quiet about it, especially when Heather thought nobody was doing anything to celebrate her birthday – Kyle her husband, us her parents, or her friends. 😀 She should KNOW better, since I have always made a big deal out of our kid’s birthdays (just ask Ray, who’s had to pay for them, ha!). I believe everyone’s birthday should be honored in a special way to let them know how much God and others love them.
I was not able to give Heather the party on her actual birthday, since the party was being hosted at someone else’s house and Saturday night wouldn’t work. But Heather wanted to make sure her milestone birthday was great; she loves her friends and loves any excuse to get together with them, so she went ahead and began planning her OWN party. This made it even more difficult to plan mine for her – some people couldn’t come to BOTH events. She invited all her friends out on Friday, September 2, to a Japanese steakhouse. She said they could all wear pretty dresses, their best jewelry, high heels, and have a blast.
And they did. Twelve of them showed up at the steakhouse decked out in elegant dresses and cute new shoes. Heather had her hair cut and straightened, got a gel nail manicure and a spray tan, and wore her new beautiful birthday dress, jewelry, and purple VERY high heels. She looked STUNNING! (But then she always looks gorgeous, and I’m not saying that just because I’m her mom!)
I didn’t want Heather to think we were doing nothing to celebrate her special birthday, so we took her out for dinner last night (Saturday, Sept. 3, her birthday) to Chili’s. It was delicious and she had fun. She thought since we took her out, that was it! But she was planning to go out to lunch today after church with her friend Tiffany, while Kyle took his and Heather’s kids, Annabelle and Violet, “home so Heather could go have fun with Tiffany for her birthday.” (Heather wanted to make sure she got every bit of fun out of this birthday weekend!)
What Heather didn’t know was that I’d previously arranged all this for Heather’s surprise party…after Kyle got the kids, he headed straight over to the party hostess Christen’s house. Tiffany took Heather to Olive Garden for lunch, and Christen called Tiffany while they were there, casually asking what they were doing and asking if they wanted to drop by her house afterward because another friend, Melissa, was there. Of course Melissa was at Christen’s house for the surprise party!
For the last week, I’ve been working on a power point of Heather’s life from babyhood to now, scanning pics from photo albums we have and downloading her pics from Facebook. How do you compress 30 years into one slide show? It was hard choosing the pics – so many great ones of her growing up and of now to pick from for the slideshow.
I also chose a song that I found on You Tube (“Amazing” by Bruno Mars), which I felt perfectly describes Heather ~ amazing and beautiful. She is beautiful inside and out; she doesn’t know just how beautiful and amazing she is. I am SO proud of her! Here are some of its lyrics:
“Oh her eyes her eyes
Make the stars look like they’re not shining
Her hair her hair
Falls perfectly without her trying
She’s so beautiful
And I tell her every day
Yeah, I know I know
When I compliment her she won’t believe me
And it’s so it’s so
Sad to think that she don’t see what I see
But every time she asks me do I look ok
When I see your face
There’s not a thing that I would change
‘Cause you’re amazing
Just the way you are
And when you smile
The whole world stops and stares for a while
‘Cause girl you’re amazing
Just the way you are.”
So right on about Heather!
We had a couple of “false alarms” about Heather getting to Christen’s, thinking she was there. We’d all get quiet, say “Shhh!” to all the little kids, and then realize Heather wasn’t there yet, lol. The anticipation was building. Tiffany and Christen were texting back and forth so Tiffany could make sure everyone was there before bringing Heather.
She went to a couple of stores to shop after lunch to burn time to give everyone a chance to get to the party and be ready. Finally when Heather got there, Christen, her sister Amber, and Melissa were outside, “enjoying the sunshine.” It was a beautiful day today! As soon as Heather opened the door, we all yelled “Surprise! Happy birthday!” And she was – mission accomplished!
Below is the video of all of us waiting for Heather to come through the front door of Christen’s house. They stood outside talking awhile, so we were all getting antsy, LOL. Tiffany’s daughter Anastacia – who she’d dropped off at Christen’s before lunch – was jumping on the couch and hit her head right before Heather walked in so you hear her crying a minute – but she was okay. 🙂 Listen to us as we’re telling the little kids “Shhh!” so they wouldn’t give the surprise away before Heather walked in. We had the blinds down so she wouldn’t see us all in the den and our cars were parked down the street.
Did you know that God wants to give you sweet surprises? He loves you so much, just as all of us love Heather and wanted to surprise her and show her how much we love her.
“But me he caught—reached all the way from sky to sea; he pulled me out of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos, the void in which I was drowning. The enemy hit me when I was down, but God stuck by me. He stood me up on a wide-open field; I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!” (2 Samuel 22: 16-18, The Message)
Video – Heather’s surprise birthday party