Tuesday, October 21, 2008


We managed to pull off a surprise birthday party for Cassidy last Friday night. I actually planned it (with Katy's help) very spur of the moment (because that's how I tend to operate), and it turned out very well. I rented a room for the night at a nearby hotel and invited her closest friends.

The plan was for Katy to invite Cassidy to spend the night with her Friday but Cassidy declined because she wanted to wake up at home on her actual birthday. That meant that I had to pack her a bag and hope she didn't notice anything missing. The only thing I forgot was her toothbrush.

I went early to check in and get the room ready. Everyone showed up on time and I let the girls decide how we would handle her arrival. They wanted the lights turned off whenever she came through the door and to hide in various places throughout the living room. Obviously they would jump out and yell "surprise" whenever she came in.

Her dad had told her that we were going to dinner for her birthday but they would first have to come by the hotel to pick me up. I was supposedly there to visit with some of my old high school friends who were in town for our reunion and wanted them to meet my kids. Later she told me she was really annoyed about having to meet "these people" and really upset that we weren't planning anything special for her birthday weekend. She even called Lauren complaining.

Les called from the parking lot to let us know they were on their way up. My friend, Shelli, stood behind the door and opened it whenever they knocked. I was standing against the wall so I could flip the lights on after they got through the entry way. Les came first with Cassidy and Caden following closely behind him. He took a few steps inside saying, Hello, hello?" I thought she was looking right at me, (she was six inches from me) but she later told me she couldn't really see me. I flipped the lights on and the girls all jumped out and screamed "surprise". She was actually confused for a moment. It took her a minute to process it. (We were once thrown a surprise going away party and it was one of the strangest experiences I've ever had. It's like slow motion where your mind takes a moment to register why people are jumping out yelling at you and then you finally realize what is happening)

We ate pizza and the girls swam in the indoor pool. I was a little paranoid about the noise level but the girls were great. I was really impressed with how well behaved they all were. We were so, so bad at that age. We were loud, obnoxious and out of control! I was expecting it to be a LONG night but really lucked out. I gave the girls the big bedroom and slept on the pullout couch bed. We woke up the next morning and and gorged on the free breakfast, which was one of the best I've ever had.

The staff at the hotel were in on my plans and couldn't have been any nicer. I've still got to go online and give them a five star review.

It was really awesome to see her reaction. After the shock wore off she had a million questions about how I was able to pull it off. Everyone should be surprised like that at least once in their life. (Lauren, I owe you one!)