Sunday, October 21, 2012

40th Birthday Surprise for Richard :)

I admit it-- the plans to surprise Richard were premeditated for over one year!!!  I knew that to surprise my husband, each detail needed to be very well planned, so I allowed myself plenty of time to think it all through (and hide things in the closet).  ;)  Richard didn't want a big party with lots of people, and I knew a family party would be in order. I pondered how I could also include others' birthday wishes- those outside immediate family.
I knew I needed help from others. A friend, Lisa, agreed to collect birthday wishes from Richard's friends & family for a scrapbook I would put together. The birthday wishes were sent to her address, so that I wouldn't worry about Richard accidentally coming across them at home!!  lol!   :)
Closer to the time of the party, I asked another friend, Laura, if we could borrow her family's camper.
All of Richard's family in SW Missouri planned to come to our house, and I knew we couldn't scrunch them all into our house like sardines in a can. :)  Richard only knew that his sister's family (Christi) was coming for a visit. When Christi called to tell Richard her family was coming, he told me to contact her for more details. I had to discreetly hide my face, because Christi & I had already talked at length about the visit. haha!   :)

Richard had cut down a tree limb a few days before, and had piled up wood close to the gate. I  moved the wood pile over bit by bit until I could fully open the gate for the camper.  My plan was that Richard wouldn't see the camper right away with it being in the backyard.
 Now that the gate could open, we waited for the camper. When our friend brought it to our house, it was actually raining!!! I felt so bad watching him set up the camper in the rain, but he was happy to participate in Richard's surprise and didn't seem to mind~!

Richard came home from work, carrying in groceries I had asked him to get. Without giving away that we were having extra company (not just Christi's family), I had asked him to bring home LOTS of spaghetti sauce since we were having spaghetti & meatballs [the menu had unexpectedly changed from chili, since Richard decided he wanted to take his sister's family to the chili cook-off the next day...and I was still trying to keep everything quiet!].
He brought home 6 jars of spaghetti sauce~   :)
Stepping into the house from the garage...Richard looked right out the back door and exclaimed, "What's this?!?!"
I knew I should have purchased a set of blinds to cover the back door window-duh! (one thing I forgot to add to my lists)!!!
He thought I had bought a camper.  :)  :) 

 ~That's when I had to tell him that another family was coming besides Christi's family. I wouldn't tell him who the "other" family was, though. When they arrived at our door, he discovered the "other family" was his parents (Paul & Lynette) and youngest brother, Darren!   :)
 We had a great visit!   :)
 The next morning, we went on a nature walk at a park.
If you'll notice...there's a crowd of people far behind Richard on the trail. We were probably sharing secret texts from Matt, figuring out our next move.  Little did Richard know that his other brother, Matt, and family were also on their way. :)

The boys & men went downtown to Belleville, and Christi, Lynette & I returned to my house.
By this time, Matt and his family had arrived at our house. We had such a hearty laugh when Matt came running out to us all dressed up, thinking Richard was in the van with us.  LOL!
We decorated the dining room and cooked the taco meat.... and waited for all the men & boys to return!

 Once we received Darren's text that the men & boys were nearing our house, Matt's family hid in the garage to surprise Richard. 
I acted like I was really concerned/stressed over the amount of meat I was cooking. "Richard, do you think this is enough meat?"
I then asked, "Can you get the TV trays out of the garage?"
When Richard said, "Have the boys get them...", I nearly panicked. That wasn't part of the script! haha! :)
"Yes, you need to get them, Richard....and extra chairs, too!"
Richard looked at me a little funny, and then proceeded into the garage.  :)  :)  :) 


 All 18 family members from SW Missouri, in our Illinois home!  :)
 I made caramel apple cake for his Birthday~!  :)
 Richard was still in shock, but had a great time with his family  : )  :)
We also enjoyed cider, marshmallows and a bon fire in our side yard

One last  Surprise.....
a birthday blog for Richard:
The finished scrapbook of Happy Birthday wishes from friends & family!!  :)
[thank you!! we've enjoyed reading through them very much]

After church on Sunday, we posed for a few quick family photos at a park in Swansea, Illinois.
Christi is the photographer in the family and came well-prepared with her tripod!  :)

This whole 40th surprise thing was so much fun!!! :)  :) 
I hope you've enjoyed reading and seeing the pictures!!!
No, I don't expect Richard to do this for me when I turn 40....  I just wanted to make his 40th milestone extra special.   :)  :) 

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