Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Surprise for Me

Following the amazing dinner that my husband made for me on Friday of last week, my actual birthday, I spent the next day NOT cleaning the kitchen (this is important later) and went shopping to try to find something nice to wear because I knew that we were going to be going out to dinner and then meet up with our friends somewhere to celebrate my birthday. I knew no more than that. Mike had been telling me that he made reservations for dinner somewhere (wouldn't tell me where) then we'd go to Wynkoop for a couple of beers with everyone. For the record, we hadn't been out downtown in ages, but hey it'd be fun.

Saturday morning, Mike was working out in the yard getting the last little bit of rock cleared out and made a trip to the dump during the day. I didn't think this was at all odd because that's what he does - the man cannot stop moving if he had too! He kept telling me what all had to be done - washing the dog, mowing the yard, making planter boxes... all kinds of things that had to be done in addition to his schoolwork. I, of course, kept telling him that it would fine - we could do it all tomorrow. I thought I got him to quit doing yard work and to go do schoolwork, but somehow I don't think that was actually the case.
So I get home from a very unsuccessful (read: frustrating) trip to the mall - seriously, I couldn't even find a cute new top to wear with jeans or a skirt, nothing - with just enough time to get ready (and try on everything in my closet at least once) before it was time to leave to go to dinner. Again, I'm thinking, "Mike, why on earth are our reservations so early? It's only 5:00 and this is Denver and it's summer and no one will be there..." My questions went essentially unanswered but we ended up at Izakaya Den (owned by the same brothers who own our favorite sushi restaurant, Sushi Den and conveniently across the street from said sushi restaurant) for a fabulous dinner of sushi and Japanese and Global tapas.

While at dinner, Mike says that we need to stop by the house on the way to meet up with our friends because there is a group present for me that he left in the garage that he wanted to bring since our friends had all gone in together on it. OK, whatever - I'm still not thinking anything too odd is going on. It would have made more sense to remember to pick up the gift on the way out when we left 2 hours before, but whatever.

So we get back to the house, the garage door goes up and I notice the Christmas lights that we have strung up from our rehearsal dinner last year are lit up. I asked why and Mike said he must have been playing with them and forgotten to turn them off. So then, I'm focused on finding the present to see what it looks like (I know, I'm awful, right?) that I don't notice that Mike is trying to steer me towards the backyard. When he opens the door to the backyard from our garage, I notice that someone has put streamers and a Happy Birthday banner up on the patio. Do I notice that 15 of our friends are hanging out to the left of me? No, that'd be too easy. FINALLY, I hear "Surprise" and tons of noise makers and notice that our friends are there, there are lights all around the backyard (good thing I cleaned up all the dog messes earlier in the day), there are bins of drinks - all the makings of a party!

So can I go back to the fact that I had at least 15 people (with more arriving later) at the house and I KNEW that the kitchen had looked like a complete wreck when I left for dinner, much less the rest of the house, and I was thoroughly embarrassed. So what's the first thing I do? I head straight for the kitchen. Did I think I was going to do the dishes? I'm not sure, I just knew I had to see what it looked like. I have amazing friends though who when they first showed up to get the party started, went straight to the kitchen and washed all the dishes. Luckily, no one cared that 90% of all the clothes I owned were strewn around my bedroom and that mail was sitting on the built-ins. And if I had only spent less time on my awful shopping trip and more at home picking up the house, I would have only been embarrassed because there was a surprise party in my backyard for me!!

You can fully appreciate the green grass!!

Harper was thrilled to partake in her first surprise party

A yummy red velvet cake - Matt and Emily did an awesome job!!

A Red Plate Night

From what Mike told me, when he was growing up, his family had a red place with the words "You are special today" on it. When Mike was home in April, his mom had found one of these plates at a consignment store and bought it to send home with us. We had the first option to use the plate for my 30th birthday.

The story goes that when something big happens in your life, you get to use the red plate. Then, on the back of the plate, you write what the special occasion was and what the date was. Mike said that his family ran out of room on the plate so they have a separate piece of paper with the rest of the special occasions. There is actually an entire blog about the red plate -
go give it a visit. And if you are interested in getting one for your own family, I did a quick search and found them on eBay. The pen that comes with it seems to be a normal Sharpie, but I don't know for sure if that's the case.

For my 30th, Mike made me an amazing dinner inspired by one of my favorite meals growing up, Broccoli Chicken Fettuccine. Mike went so far as to call my mom and step dad to find out what my favorite meal was! Growing up we never had it with white sauce (unless I had it at
Scalini's, which I often did on my birthday) but Mike went all out and even made homemade white sauce! I'll say I was quite impressed!!

Below are pictures from the meal. The first one is my original plate (before we remembered we were going to use the red place). Then you'll see Mike's plate of food... interesting how organized my plate is versus Mike's plate. Finally, the red plate.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I'm coming!

I have plenty to update everyone on but I'm currently trying to get my pictures downloaded and organized. I had a wonderful 30th birthday with some great surprises - but more on that later. Stay tuned - I'll be back soon!

Friday, June 5, 2009

All I want for Christmas...

You know you are getting older when any of the following things happens:

  1. All of your birthday cards remind you how much older you are (and thanks, everyone, for that)
  2. You realize you are one of the last ones without (at least) one child
  3. You actually enjoy doing laundry (and might I say - not only do I enjoy doing laundry, I am quite particular about the way it is done - that could be a whole other post altogether)
  4. All you really want from your husband for your birthday is for the housekeeper to come back and make the house as gorgeous as it looked 9 months ago for your wedding

Yes, today is the day I'm offically older, not becuase I'm 30, but because all of the reasons listed above.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Hawaii here we come!

OK, not exactly, but things are certainly falling in to place. Our backpacking permit information got to us earlier this week. Our four nights on the Kalalau Trail will be as follows: one night at the start of the trip at the Hanakoa campsite, 2 nights on the beach at Kalalau, and one night on the way back at Hanakoa. For those counting, that is 6 miles in the first night, 5 miles the next day and two nights to relax, 5 miles back the fourth day, and 6 miles back to the car on the final day.

After 4 nights of tent and beach sleeping, we will spend 5 nights in a house in the town of Kileau, HI. The house has easy access to many beaches, a kitchen to make our own meals, and a hot tub to relax. (I think the hot tub is what I'm looking forward to the most - which is odd since I will be IN HAWAII!!) The last 4 nights we'll be near the airport, just out side of Lihue, at a resort. We haven't decided 100% where we will be staying, but it's looking more and more like the Hilton. I'm so excited about that, too, because as much as I will like being in the house, I'm also excited about getting to be in a nice resort where there is a pool, a waterslide, other people to talk to, and the beach just a short walk away.

Even if we do NOTHING other than sit around for the entire 13 days we are there, I'll be blissfully happy and relaxed when I come back to the real world. And of course, I'm sure, knowing us (or at least my husband) there will be very little "sitting around". How about I let him go off and do all kinds of things and I spend two weeks on the beach?!? Sounds good to me!