I can not even begin to explain how much I love surprises. Is there really anything as thrilling? I think I have the same amount of fun on either side of it. When I really think about it, I suppose I am a bit self involved. If someone is surprising me, part of the exhilaration is that someone or multiple someones are willing to take the time to plan a surprise for me. When it is me getting to be part of a surprise, I get SUCH a kick out of seeing the reaction that it is all a little bit for me too. They say there are no selfless acts and I guess this is just another example of that.
In the past two weeks I got to be involved in two and a half big birthday surprises. My dear sister was turning 31 and after having conspired with her boyfriend last year to throw a surprise party, I wanted to do a little bit extra this year too. My awesome new job was able to be flexible enough to let me go early last week. Fairly last minute my husband and I were able to show up for the friend celebration that was being held the day before her birthday. It was being held at an excellent restaurant in Petworth, D.C. We walked in about 20 minutes late and the group was sitting at the bar. Perfect. This meant her back was to the door. Her boyfriend nonchalantly glanced behind him and went back to his conversation. My sister did not even flinch. My husband and I simply walked up next to her at the bar and waited quietly until she turned around. After a full 30 seconds she glanced at us. And stopped. She looked back and then turned around to her friends at the bar and gaped at them. "Is that my Sister?? They aren't supposed to be here! They don't live here!!" She repeated, "They don't live here," about 5 more times before jumping out of her seat and gaping at us before enveloping us into great big bear hugs. The emotion on her face was just so genuine that I could not have been happier myself.
The following day was her family birthday celebration and I spent half of the day carving and icing a somewhat simple dinosaur cake. Somewhere along the way she had mentioned wanting a dinosaur cake so by gosh I was going to make sure it happened. We hadn't had a cake in a shape of anything specific in our family before (that I can recall). When she came in the house after pampering herself with a pedicure (a treat from her man) I could barely contain myself. Typically we bring the cake out at cake time, after dinner, after presents. However, I could not wait. So before dinner we brought it out and OH MAN did it go over well. She freaked out. It was awesome.
Finally, I got to be a part of a yet another birthday surprise. My father in-law's 60th birthday was this past Tuesday. He lives about two and a half hours away so after work, my husband called his Dad and wished him a Happy Birthday and lamented the fact that we would not be able to be with him, being it was a Tuesday. As soon as the call was over we hopped in the car and drove to the Eastern Shore of Maryland. His wife was practically dancing when she answered the door and just acted as though we were a neighbor stopping by. We walked into the living room where his father was reading his newspaper and said a simple, "Hello there." My father in-law stood up with a subtle, "Wow, where did you guys come from?" He gave us big hugs and then said he would have to sit down again we had surprised him so much! His surprise was far more understated than my sister's but equally as powerful. Today we received a grateful email from him letting us know that it was a memorable birthday for him.
This has been so fun for me :) I highly recommend, if you need a pick-me-up, plan a surprise for someone you love. Even if it is something small, I promise, it will make you feel good.