Well! And I thought I had the corner on giving surprise birthday parties!!
I don't know how long Jayme and Emerson had been planning this one, but I was totally clueless!
Jayme had told me that she wanted to celebrate my birthday at her house the weekend AFTER Emerson's big party. She was afraid that my birthday was going to be overshadowed. She said that Ladd & Donna and the boys could come up, we'd watch a movie and eat pizza. Sounded great to me!!!
So, when last weekend came up, I called Jayme to see when she wanted us to get together.
Me: How early do you want us to come?
Jayme: Neal & I have to go to meetings for Addy's preschool--ALL AFTERNOON--from 2-6!!
Me: Emerson and I can come up and keep the girls while you go to the meetings.
Jayme: No need. I already have plans for the girls. They're going to a friends house and they're all going to the zoo.
Me: Fine! We'll just be there about 6 then.
Saturday morning, Emerson and I go to Aaron's soccer game. Emerson asks me if Ladd and Donna and the boys are going to the party. I said I thought so, and then turned and asked Donna. She said, Ummmm, I think so--depends on how Daniel feels.
Later that afternoon, I ask Emerson if he doesn't want to call and see if Ladd and Donna want to ride up with us. He putters around and wastes time. And I'm thinking....Sure, you and Ladd yell at Donna and me for making a little trip to town and wasting gas, but you're not going to call and see if they want to ride with us to Jayme's house 50 miles away?????? Boy!!! Emerson finally calls, but gets no answer at their house.
We leave for Jayme's house. We don't leave on time. We will be 15 minutes late. I take a bag of popcorn along because I am already starving. I try to share it with E, but he says he is saving room for pizza. I tell him that if they are in meetings untill 6:00, chances are the pizza won't be there yet when we get there. He does not eat any popcorn. About 5:45 Jayme calls to see where we are. She says she will go ahead and order the pizza. I say, "See, she's just now ordering the pizza. Emerson starts to eat popcorn, but then changes his mind. Fifteen minutes later she calls again. Where are you? We had just pulled into town. She asks what kind of pizza we want--supreme or meat lover's. We discuss the options. She hangs up. I say to Emerson, "She STILL hasn't ordered the pizza." He reaches into the bag--"Hey, you ate it all!" I told him he'd had his chance!!
We pull up in front of Jayme's house. We go to the door. Jayme meets us there. She takes my purse and camera and tells me to close my eyes. She begins leading me through the house. I think she is taking me to see a present. She leads me all the way to the back door of the house and out onto the porch. "Open your eyes!"
When I do....what on earth???? There are about 10 of my friends, including my best friend ever since the 8th grade (she lives about five hours from Jayme's house), PLUS Ladd & Donna and the boys, and Jayme and Neal and the girls. Nineteen of us altogether. And the backyard! She had turned it into quite an impressive setting. Lights in the tree--which bloomed just that day!--lights on the fence, candles in jars on all the tables. A 3-D scrapbook table, with memories and pictures from my life, jazz music playing in the background. And a table set up LOADED with food from a caterer!! Barbequed beef brisket and pork, baked beans and coleslaw, potatoes, buns, the whole works!!! YUMMMMY! So after much laughing and hugging, we all dug in and had a wonderful meal.
While we were still eating, Jayme says, "Oh, here's another surprise!" And she introduced a lovely lady from their church who serenaded us with three very lovely pieces on the violin!! My mother was a violinist, and it was just like having her with me again. The music was SO BEAUTIFUL!! It brought tears to my eyes!!
THEN, the next surprise was that Jayme had baked me a home made angel food cake. My mother had always baked my sister and I angel food cakes on our birthdays for as long as I can remember, and Jayme knew how much I loved them. So, she had used my mom's recipe, and baked an angel food cake with boiled icing. It was PERFECT!!! Soooooo GOOOOD! I won't tell you how many pieces I ate!!!! :) And Jayme also made 3 kinds of cookies and tied them up in little stacks of 3 with ribbon. They were so pretty! And Yummy. Oh, and these oreo balls that were to die for!! WOW!!
Then we went through everything on the memory table. Jayme and my friend had written captions about all the pictures and objects on the table. It was really neat!! And then, my friends husband said his favorite memory of me was when we all sat around and I played the guitar and we sang together. So Jayme brought out a guitar that she had borrowed and I played a few songs that I could remember and we sang!! The presents were wonderful as well:
A new iced tea maker--Jayme knew that the handle had broken off my pitcher on the old one.
A new coffee mug--Jayme and I have a collection of the same cups--so that we can have coffee/hot chocolate together even if we're apart!
A homemade bread basket--that lays flat when not in use.
A heart shaped wire and bead basket.
A mosaic covered watering can.
And an Iris fountain that I had been admiring all summer.
The weather was wonderful. The food was excellent. The friends and family were perfect. The music and the angel food cake were heaven sent. We even played a couple of rounds of a computerized trivia game. What fun!!
We were the last ones to leave. My friend and her husband spent the night, but then came to our house the next day. We had another fun afternoon visiting and laughing and remembering.
This 50th birthday has been so wonderful!!!!! How could I ever say just how much it all meant to me??!!?? I am soooooo blessed!
Thank you Jayme and Emerson and all my friends for loving me so much.