Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Surprise to Remember...

November 2013 Catch up continued.. 
We hosted Thanksgiving for the second year in our new home.  This year we missed having my sister-in-law and crew, they had several places to visit during the day of festivities, so it is completely understandable.  I did miss them for sure though.  Just in case I smoked two turkey breasts this year since we ran out the year before.  My traditional turkey came out better than it ever this time.   My mom and grandma brought over the hors d’oeuvres for pre-meal.  Sara’s dad and Katelyn made yummy deserts.   It was a great feast and I enjoyed every bit of it.  I love to cook and it is great to have a house big enough for everyone to be comfortable and enjoy each other’s company.
November, even though I worked the most of it turned out to be the best month of the year, but just when I thought to myself it couldn’t get any better, my wife surprised me for my 40th birthday.  My birthday is in January, but in order to pull off the ultimate surprise you must do it in advance and she did not disappoint at all.  I did not suspect a thing.  Since I had been working so much, we planned a date night.  Generally how we do date nights, one of us comes up with the plans for the night, depending on whose idea it is to have a date night.  Since it was Sara’s idea, it was hers to plan, however being extremely nervous to give away the surprise she was finding it hard to come up with a way to get me to the destination. 
Luckily she had Andie in her back pocket to help because she would have definitely given away the surprise.  Andie had text me that morning to see if we had something going on, but Jackson had my phone…watching trash truck videos.  So naturally I was not responding to the text, so in panic mode Sara found a way to leave the room and get Andie to call me.  Oblivious to everything it was not hard to convince me to go to the destination as I have been there a few times before, Kirkwood Station. It has a huge key element for me, it’s a brewery and it has great food.  They also have an 80’s tribute band that performs once a month and for years I have wanted to see them, so that was an added bonus.  We set a time to meet there for dinner and the night was planned. 
We had someone coming to the house to be with the little man and Sara’s mom was going to come by later to pick him up.  What didn’t make sense to me was why someone was going to watch him for an hour before going over to grandma and grandpa’s to spend the night.  My darn logic was planning a takeover and I obviously did not know the plan was so they could be part of the surprise, opps… so in fear of blowing the surprise Sara canceled the short (which was really not a short) in-between babysitter.  Like any night Sara and I go out, Sara has a wardrobe catastrophe.  So while I am trying getting ready she is in search for a specific shirt and can’t find it.  She goes in to panic mode and Jackson is clearing our dresser of items, then coming into the bathroom and clearing the sink, going from place to place.  Sara is near panic attack mode, I think most ladies can relate to this feeling.  Instead of handling it like I should, I blow up and take Jackson downstairs so Sara can find her shirt.  After looking in every place she could think of, she is giving up hope and is almost in tears.  So I have her come down and take a watch over Jackson to go find this missing shirt.  After a few places, I find it…but the house is now completely turned upside down.  I go back down, hand Sara the shirt to she can go put on her face to match.  To this day I am not sure if this was stall tactic, or just a typical get ready because this happens a lot when we do go out. 
We head out to drop Jackson off at the grandparents.  I was a huge jerk over the missing shirt and nervous about being late.  Sara thought perhaps we could get pre-drinks somewhere before meeting up with Andie, but we were running too late for that.  We dropped Jackson off, but Sara was trying to stall a little bit while we were there. I am still not catching on to anything because this fairly routine for going out on date night, I am not suspicious at all…after 20 minutes of going over Jackson’s night routine and the going to bathroom twice.  Sara wants me to stop at Quick Trip to get cash money and a red bull and, we are finally on our way.  I am chomping away at a piece of gum because I get nervous going to restaurants, it’s my thing.  I am also nervous because Andie is always 15 minutes early and I figured she would be waiting for us.  I used to be 15 minutes early to everything myself, but then I met my wife and then we had a son that has the “mosey”, so I am learning to adjust to being late to everything.  I still have a long way to go. 
It is the weekend after Thanksgiving and football-wise Mizzou vs. Texas A&M, so I spoke to the parking Gods all the way to the destination because Saturday nights in Kirkwood bring in lots of people without special events.  The Gods answered giving me a great spot, but this made Sara nervous because she was afraid I would recognize some of the cars, again though…I was more worried about being late so I wasn’t paying any attention.  Kirkwood Station was packed with Mizzou fans.  Andie and Christie met us at the door, I was worried that we wouldn’t have a table with how crowded the place was, but Andie eased me as she said she had one in the back.   I paid our cover, which apparently was already paid for, however they were able to hide that from me as well.  I am ranting to Andie about our adventurous evening as I think I see a friend at the bar.  I slowly start to turn to Sara to tell her, hey…  “I think Donna and John are here” when blamo tons of people turn around and scream “SURPRISE!”.  I grabbed Andie by the arm in shock and said, “Who the F*CK is this for…, what the hell” and in true Andie fashion she answered, “You, you big dumb a$$!”  In complete shock I of course retaliated, “This is isn’t for me…  No… It can’t be.”  Then Andie pointed out the signs that were hanging around with my name on them.  I couldn’t believe all the people that were there as I panned around the room.  My family, my college softball teammates, my flag football teammates, my slow pitch ladies team, my co-ed team, childhood friends of the family, old co-workers…   It was crazy, it was overwhelming, it was amazing, and I felt like I was going to vomit.  I am not one to be the center of attention and everyone was looking at me.  Quickly Sara handed me a beverage and I am sure she needed one for herself with all that stress of planning the perfect night for me.  Every detail was thought off..  from ginger ale for my Jack, to the signs, to the cozies, to the 80’s band that would playing later.  If this is what 40 is, hot damn I am ready for it.
Some of the decorations

There was food and whiskey cupcakes, without planning the Honey Jack girls were promoting that night and bonus I got a free kick a$$ hat.  I was in too much shock to eat which did not help my cause, however much like this season of HIMYM where Lily gets “The Kennedy Package” I was never empty handed. “Thank you, Linus!”   The evening was much like my wedding night, a room full of people you love so much and want to talk to, but there doesn’t seem to be enough time to visit with all of them.  I am so grateful for all the people in my life and to have almost everyone I care deeply about to be in one room together it best gift I could ever ask for. It felt like the night was flying by too fast, and then That 80’s Band took the stage.  I seriously did not leave the dance floor and they played 3 sets.  BEST LIVE BAND EVER!

The night went on and people slowly left, it was late and I was good and drunk. I headed the restroom to pee and vomit, it was a great night.  Sara had already packed up the car and it was time to go. I passed out on the ride home.  I didn’t not properly thank my wife for a very well thought out evening, but managed to make it home before vomiting again.  Then next morning reminded me that I am not in my young 30’s anymore, holy hangover batman.  I was in bed for the majority of the day, so hats off to all….mission accomplished. The party was completely epic!

Watching the brand perform
Brandon, Emma, and Katelyn
Flag Football Gang

My Sophie

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