Ain't no part like a drug free party.

Our story begins with a phone call. Two weeks ago, my Dad called me in the middle of the day. This is unusual. He was calling regarding my Mom's upcoming birthday. It seems they would be in town for the big day, and he wanted to have a party.

This shocked me a little bit. My family isn't exactly known for their elaborate birthday celebrations. We don't hate birthdays. We just accept the fact that sometimes, you have to make your own birthday cake if you'd like one. You want something done right, you know?

But, this year my mom turned 50. And that's a big deal. So my Dad wanted to have a surprise party. And when the man who spent a lot of time trying to convince you that you didn't really NEED a wedding reception, requests a PARTY...you plan it. 

And plan it we did.

We told my mom that we'd like to make her a special birthday dinner, while she went on a special birthday date with my Dad. (The date they choose? Going to Wal-Mart to purchase new tires. Thirty years of marriage, and they still keep it spicy.) 

They left the house at 4:30 PM on Saturday, while we nonchalantly went crazy on the inside waiting for her to finally leave. Cory, Jesse, Tanya and I worked like crazy to get everything set up and cooked in an hour and half.

We tried to keep the decorations pretty simple with fresh flowers and pretty banner.

While everyone waited for the birthday girl to arrive (by far the most awkward time in surprise party planning), we had a little game set up (Thanks for coming early, and setting this up Lara!) to pass the time. 

It was the perfect way for early guests to pass the time while we frantically set up and then waited. And waited.

But, in the end it all worked out. We were afraid she would see the cars parked out back and give away the real surprise, so...we had to take special measures.

I just love the giggles in the second picture--a whole room stifling giggles at once is pretty amazing.
While the initial laughter couldn't be held in, once the door was opened you could hear a pin drop. Then we yelled surprise, and we knew we got her.

I apologize for the blurriness. It appears my settings were a bit off. But, I just love these pictures of her. She was really, truly shocked. Also, dizzy from the paper bag over her head.She might have been a little bit traumatized from that ordeal. Can't win them all.

We ate some yummy food and chatted.

Then it was time for the cake. And yes, we went there. There were 50 individual candles on that bad boy. Lit the room up like a torch.

She almost got them all in one breath.

Her party was so much fun! Also, she couldn't believe that I was able to keep it a secret. Seems she has little faith in my secret keeping abilities. Now she doesn't know what to believe. I must say, sometimes its more fun to tell secrets.But SOMETIMES it's not. And then, I keep it. Usually. So there.

Cory got a little bit creative with the camera Sunday afternoon. 

Also, Tanya let me borrow book one and two of The Hunger Games series. So, I spent the holiday reading. Whoa. It was nothing like I expected. I was expecting a high school romance a la Twilight. I got an intense life and death struggle with a dash of political uprising. And I really hope she ends up with Peeta. I do believe today's lunch break will include a trip to the bookstore. I just gotta know how it ends. 


Tanya said...

I seriously need some time so I can finish up the series, too! I'm taking the book with me to Orlando, hopefully I'll have some time to read...

Alicia said...

This post just made my day. You're so awesome. I don't know what's better... Uncle Gary trying to convince you that you don't need a reception or Aunt Ruth's head covered in a bag. I emailed this post to my mom because I knew she and dad would LOVE to see it. Mom just turned 50 and per her request was whisked away to Temple Square so no one could "celebrate" something she was dreading, haha! She knows us too well... we totally would have!

Nathan and Holly Larson said...

What a sweet surprise! :) I love your mom's surprised look!! And you did a great job of putting the party together, it looks great! Simple yet beautiful!

Happy Birthday to Your Wonderful Mom! Oh, and I'll have to try that date of your parents...spicy! ;)

Jennifer said...

nice cake and party. Hunger Games....one of my faves. I think I'm going to reread it and I don't reread books. I'm interested to know what you think after Mockingjay :).

Kristen said...

I am a Gale lover. It may be because he has the only normal human being name or because she totally loved him without knowing. Let's see the movie together?

sara raquel said...

No not Gale! Peeta! I love Peeta! the cave, i mean really?? he had me at the cave.

The Hargretts said...

Sounds like everything went well and it was a hit!! I love the pictures and that cake looked amazing. I haven't read the Hunger Games yet.... I have a really long list of books to read and that's kinda in the middle toward the bottom. HAHA. =)