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Birthday surprises for everyone

I spent this past month challenging myself to love my wife better. There was a wonderful opportunity to do so too. This month, Katie turned 30 on the 30th, so I decided to give her a card each day and try to give her a gift each day as well (my natural love language is not giving gifts, so this would be a challenge, I knew).

The first week went very well. It was easy to write down the things I had meant to tell Katie all along and I was way overdue in paying her compliments. Gift ideas were also fairly easy, as long as I actually entered a store. As it turns out, I can be quite the little shopper as long as I am in a location where things are sold!

Week 2 also went fairly well. I had to start planning more creative gifts and extravagant ways of saying happy birthday. Most fell flat but a few were pretty clever!

On week 3 we were away at a week of CIY Move so I knew that I needed to plan ahead and pack cards and gifts ahead of time. I snuck them in my juggling bag (which I anticipated correctly that Katie wouldn't snoop through) and was able to continue my gift giving, even while being away. Monday of week 3 was my first miss, however. It is tremendously difficult to find time when I am at home to be able to do something secretive. That Monday we drove to CIY, learned the ropes of the campus, did the evening show, planned the next morning's events, and crashed on two twin mattresses pushed together. No card, no gift. Which just meant 2 cards the next day...

Throughout this whole month I had also decided to plan the biggest, bestest party I have ever planned. Last year on Katie's birthday we did hardly anything that was unique to Katie and the evening ended with me running in a 5k mud obstacle course. #BirthdayFail. So I knew I needed to be WAY more extravagant this year.

The plan formed slowly as the month progressed. Initially it was just a "save the date" plea to 30 friends and family. Then it became 40 friends and family and turned into a Mexican themed party (Katie loves Mexican food) called "Treinta/Treinta!"

However, once Wednesday of CIY rolled around, I remembered that the talent show night was Christmas themed. A sudden thought ran through my brain reminding me of Katie's favorite holiday. Suddenly I emailed everyone who was invited (chances are if you're reading this, you are one of them) and told them to dawn their favorite Christmas garb and wrap some Christmas present and bring some Christmas cookies. I had some friends from small group come to the house to decorate while Katie, Isaiah, Grammy and Grampy, and Trey and Emily went on a boat ride with Katie's uncle and aunt. Everything worked out perfectly!

We got home from the lake at 6:08p and found 30 people standing on our front porch singing "We wish you a happy birthday" standing around a decorated Christmas tree with shaving cream snow on the front bushes.

Katie was thoroughly embarrassed and surprised! She was very nearly speechless in the car when we pulled up and it took a lot of convincing to get her to actually come join the party. There was a delicious aroma in the air from all the cookies... well as Christmas music playing on the stereo. 

Everyone really made Katie feel special, but that wasn't how the evening ended. Once it was dark (9:50pm) and most everyone had gone home except immediate family, Dan shot off a round of 20 fireworks in our backyard (technically illegal, yes). It was a perfect ending to a perfect day (except for the police officer who circled past the front of our house). wasn't the end of the evening. Dan put the fireworks under a big blue bin next to our back porch to keep the curious hands of Isaac away from touching the still-hot fireworks. Round about 10:45p Katie and I sat down on the couch to watch a movie before bed and Katie noticed that there were dancing orange lights on the side of the neighbor's house. 

As it turns out, the fire smell she had been commenting on minutes earlier was an actual fire, blazing inches away from our wooden back porch. I calmly ran outside and turned on the hose to put out the fire. Katie ran out moments later with fire extinguisher in hand, ready to do battle if the flames worsened. Gratefully, it had rained that afternoon and the deck was too wet to catch very quickly. The hose quenched the flames pretty quickly and I went ahead and doused the deck just to make sure nothing further happened. 

It took a bit longer for the adrenaline to leave our legs and for sleep to find our minds, but all in all, it was a pretty surprise filled birthday for everyone! 


  1. Things I love about this post:
    -"I spent this past month challenging myself to love my wife better." You did a PHENOMENAL job of this. Mission accomplished babe.
    -"As it turns out, I can be quite the little shopper as long as I am in a location where things are sold!" I told you all it would take is a walk through Target and you'd be inspired!
    - "I snuck them in my juggling bag (which I anticipated correctly that Katie wouldn't snoop through)" I do not snoop. I accidentally stumble across things that happen to be in my path. ;)

    I love you Daniel.


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