Tuesday, 11 September 2012

The Big 3-0 (But not mine!)

Nope, not me.  I crossed that bridge in September last year.  It wasn't terribly exciting, much to my disappointment.  But Tyler made sure to make up for it with some fancy jewellery and a mini shopping spree, so I got over it.
This time it was his turn, and I spent a lot of the year wondering what I was going to do for such a big event.  At first I figured a party was out of the question, since I hate planning parties and everyone I would have invited was from out of town.  It's never a good idea to rely on your whole guest list to drive in from hours away.  But as the time got closer and we started to become good friends with other couples in town, I figured that there would be no harm in throwing him a surprise party. 
Over the summer we have started hanging out with our new friends more as couples, which has proven to be a lot of fun.  We've got a nice little group going with a good mix of people.  Some of the husbands have even started hanging out for 'guys nights' and going on what I like to joke are called 'man-dates'.  Having these new friends gave me the confidence to throw a party, knowing that there would be people who would show up.
I'm not a huge fan of playing hostess.  I'm usually self-conscious about the state of my house or the fact that I don't have any fancy stuff for hosting parties.  But this time I tried to push all that aside, reminding myself that people come over to see us and not our house or our stuff.
Of course it was stressful trying to plan and prepare for a party with 3 kids to deal with, especially when trying to keep it a secret.  My plans for the boys were up in the air because my mother in law was supposed to take them for the night but had warned me that she may have to leave to go to California at any moment because her mother was not well, so that meant I had no idea if they would be gone or if I'd have to deal with them at home.  Lily was of course going to stay here and I was counting on her sleeping well for the first half of the night as she usually does, but in the back of my mind I was always worried she's had a bad night and be waking all evening.
Add to that stress the fact that I seemed to catch some kind of tummy bug in the week before the party, and it was not exactly a stress-free week for me.
But everything came together in the end.  My awesome friends helped out by bringing some food and drinks.  My brother and his girlfriend came up before the party to help get ready and keep Tyler out of the way.  Laurie didn't have to run off to California which meant I was able to drop the boys off at her house for the night.
So what I told Tyler was that I planned for him and Mike to go fishing for the evening while I took care of the kids and put them to bed, to give him a night off from that stuff.  Then Mike and Renee would babysit them so we could go out for a nice dinner.  It took me ages to come up with a plan to tell him so that he wouldn't be suspicious, but it was the perfect one.
I sent him off fishing, packed the boys up and took them to their grandparents, put Lily to bed, then finished the preparations with Renee's help.  Our friends all showed up and hung out while we waited for his return.  They were such good sports, hiding in the dining room to surprise him.
And surprised he was!  I must of pulled it off because he seemed to genuinely have no clue what he was walking in to.
We had a lovely evening of food and friends, and I was so happy to play hostess for one night.  It's funny because a few of our friends have had us all over for dinner already, and just a few weeks ago Tyler had said to me that we'd have to apologize to everyone for never having them over.  Little did he know that I was secretly planning the next fun evening for all of us.
It was nice to surprise Tyler for his big 30th.  Of course we were all in pretty rough shape the next day, but it was totally worth it.
Now I have 10 more years before I have to plan another one for him.  And luckily that one will be easier because I'll have a bigger budget, and the kids will be much older and will hopefully be out of the way a bit more!