Friday, August 15, 2008

The Big Surprise

A bit more on the birthday surprise party. So like I said, Karen organized the whole thing. She got my parents involved, and I was led to believe that I was going to dinner on Saturday night to Harvest with my parents and Karen. My mom asked me weeks beforehand to pick the restaurant and claimed to have made a reservation for 6:45pm.

My parents arrived in Madison at ~3pm on Saturday so we could hang out together before dinner. Which is when we went to the New Glarus Brewing Company for a brewery tour and beer tasting. Karen originally planned to join us for the pre-dinner activities, but at the last minute, claimed that she had to go run over to her sister Kate’s house to check on a “sub-pump alarm” that was apparently going off while Kate was on vacation. Sub-pump alarm? Yep, I fell for it. So Karen faked this whole entirely believable phone conversation with Kate right in front of my face and I never doubted its legitimacy for a second.

So while my parents and I were in New Glaurs on a brewery tour, Karen ran to Kate's to pick up the food and supplies (where she had been storing everything), and then back home for party prep—everything from chopping veggies, to setting up tikki torches in the backyard, to packing beverages on ice. Kim was also on hand for party-prep, despite a recent ankle sprain. At 5:30ish, several other friends arrived to prepare for my arrival and surprise.

Just before 6pm, my parents and I were driving back into Madison from New Glarus. We had planned to pick up Karen back at the house at 6pm before dinner. Apparently we were running a little early, so my parents were trying to think of ideas to stall. My mom was like, “should we pick up some ice cream to have after dinner tonight.” I knew we had enough in stock, so I declined. As we neared my neighborhood, my dad tried with, “we’re a little early to pick up Karen. Let’s drive around the neighborhood and look at some houses.” Which is totally believable because my parents ultimately hope to move to Madison.

Around 6ish, we finally arrived at the house. We hopped out of the car and started to walk up to the front door. Out of nowhere, my friends start popping out from behind the house, in what seemed like a never-ending single-file line. “Surprise,” they all yelled. I don’t think I'd ever been so surprised in my life. I had no idea what was going on, and was admittedly very confused and flustered.

Once I was able to process everything, I gave everyone hugs, and we headed to the backyard for a great evening of conversation, laughing, and summer barbecuing. Karen and Kim had set up an incredible spread of amazing foods and drinks. I had such a great time and still can’t believe how it all happened. Now I think back on some of the conversations that took place in the week leading up to my birthday and think, ohhh…I should have realized what was taking place right under my nose! It was a fantastic surprise and birthday, and I’m so thankful for such great friends and family in my life. Definitely a memorable birthday. And I just love a good surprise!

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