Monday, October 26, 2015

an early golden birthday for me

When I was a kid, I remembered someone talking about their Golden Birthday. They were 10 on the 10th or something like that. I thought that by the time mine rolled around - 31 on the 31st - I would be too old to care.

Well, younger me, you were way wrong. Ever since last year, I've looked forward to my upcoming golden birthday. I may have gone so far as to ask my husband for a surprise party. And, thankfully for me, he (and a friend!) listened.

I had plans with Miranda and Sarah to go to dinner at Dolce Vita on Saturday night. Normally, we have brunch or lunch but our plans changed a few days ago and I just went with it. The weather reports had been saying all week that Hurricane Patricia was going to dump a ton of rain on Houston over the weekend, and on Friday morning when I learned that the school I work for was worried about flooding, I texted my friends to see if we needed to change plans. Unknown to me, I started a whole domino effect of changed plans.

Saturday morning, Andrew and I had fun things planned like taking the cat to the vet and an allergy shot. After that, we were going to go somewhere "in Houston" (i.e., outside of our suburb) for lunch and then I would go have dinner with my friends. No one had definitively cancelled so I thought we were all crossing our fingers and hoping our dinner would work out. Between errands, I did think it was weird that Andrew decided to take a shower and change from shorts and a t-shirt to jeans and a polo shirt, but it didn't tip me off. Luckily for me, all of my grungy t-shirts were dirty so I was dressed more decently than usual on a Saturday - had Andrew tried to tell me what to wear, I would have really gotten suspicious. We were on our way to what I assumed was lunch when I got a text from Sarah canceling for that night because her baby was running a fever. It was no big deal, since it had been raining steadily all day, and I was nervous about driving home that night anyway. Andrew was excited about this as he claimed that hearing me talk about Dolce Vita made him hungry for it, so he said we should go to lunch there. Now, we both like Dolce Vita but it isn't in our regular rotation. It was definitely weird that he was suddenly so insistent on going there. But, I like pizza, so I wasn't going to complain.

We got to Dolce Vita and Andrew was really distracted by his phone. We walked in and were shown to a table for two. Andrew immediately got up and headed down a hallway, presumably to the bathroom, but didn't say anything. He came back with a weird look on his face and said there was someone in there. He looked uncomfortable for a few seconds, and then said there was a pretty bar upstairs and we should see if we could sit at it.

Ump what? Since when did he care? We were just eating pizza, and then going to Half Price Books and to buy coffee. We didn't need anything special. That's when I realized he had to be up to something. He talked to a waitress who then came to our table and said something like "Oh, you're supposed to sit somewhere else" and then they led me upstairs to a big table and five of my favorite people yelling "Surprise!"

And in that moment, I was just happy. Happy that my husband cared and listened. Happy that my friends had braved the nasty weather to come have lunch with me for my birthday (a week early, because a Halloween birthday is nice in theory but sucks in logistics). They were all planning to be there for a birthday dinner, but decided to move it to lunch so everyone could get home safely and before the worst part of the weather hit, and because of the move, a few people couldn't come. Sarah and Tig offered to bring decorations and had the cutest gold accents, complete with gold rings and tiaras, to highlight my golden birthday wishes. And there were wine cocktails and pizza and presents. Such a fun afternoon!

It pays to be friends with bloggers because they take great pictures before everyone arrives. They had great ideas - gold doilies for coasters, gold paper straws glittery gold Ls, and even a table runner. Also, my blurry surprised face is pretty dorky but definitely genuine.

A pear pizza with arugula, a margherita pizza, and chocolate cake with hazelnut ice cream for dessert. There was more food, but I was too excited to take pictures! 

 The ladies of the party (thanks to Miranda's husband George for taking that pic [since he's a blogger husband, he's a pro!] | a selfie with my blog friends | Andrew and me in coordinating crowns!

It was so fun for my friends to converge - from high school, work, and blog life - for a few hours. Surprise parties seem like something out of a movie, or something that happens to other people. A few years ago, I never would have thought I would have enough people to make up anything resembling a surprise party. I've said it so many times, but simply having people in your life to share it with is worth more than some people realize. I was so overwhelmed with wanting to talk to everyone and oohing and aahing over things that I couldn't even make myself read the menu. It was just exciting for me and I was so, so grateful for all of them and for my husband for coordinating everyone and making it happen, and then rearranging everything due to the weather. We may not have gotten to visit my favorite bar like he had originally planned, but we can do that another time. A golden birthday only happens once, but I wouldn't be opposed to another surprise party next year...


  1. This is the sweetest thing! I've always wanted a surprise party but I'm way too type a to ever give someone the chance to! Happy almost golden birthday!

  2. awwww how amazing and sweet!!! over here, we call that "champagne birthday" and i'm glad you had a great one!

  3. That sounds so awesome! Way to go Andrew and friends on pulling off a huge surprise despite plan changes.

    My golden is long gone, wish I had known about it when I was 16. :)

  4. I love it! I love the set up and the awkwardness of your arrival (I was totally laughing at Andrew coming back with a weird look on his my 30th surprise party I literally refused to get out of the car and MFD looked like he wanted to die - I still had no idea) and the help of your friends and the photos. I'm so glad they did this for you!

    I've also never heard the term golden birthday. Mine is long gone. 15 on the 15th.

  5. This was so sweet and awesome! So glad that they were able to pull off the surprise, even with the inclement weather. :D

    My golden was when I was 4, now I wish I was born later in the month. haha!

  6. What an awesome surprise!!! I love all the decor and that they were able to pull this off even with a time change and everything. Happy Golden Birthday!!! I wish I would have known that was a thing when I turned 17 on the 17th! I would have made a bigger deal :)

  7. Wow how sweet!! I love the decorations and the surprise! And umm I didn't even know about golden birthdays, I missed mine 4 years ago! lol

  8. awww that is so sweet! we surprised one of my friends on the weekend and she had NO idea, she had texted me earlier saying she was upset we were all busy. it was fabulous. KC is not a great listener when it comes to things like this, so I feel that! I'm glad he was able to do it though, it's so sweet! i wish i had a later birthday, i was 12 on the 12th. boring! i don't even remember it. i think i was in year 7 which is the start of high school for us, so i was super awkward and did i mention awkward?

  9. I love this!!! I'm so glad someone captured you walking in, too! I can totally picture Andrew being all awkward trying to get you to go to the area where everyone was, lol

  10. SO sweet that they surprised you like that and decorated. Poor Andrew but glad it all worked out.

  11. This was so fun!! Glad you have a happy blog post and lots of pics to remember it with.


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