SAL-VA-TION: by grace

E-LEV-EN: children from 1984 to 2006

HOME-SCHOOL-ING: since 1990

DOWN-SYN-DROME: susie and gabe

GRAND-CHILD-REN: since 2010

FAITH-FUL-NESS: my steadfast rock, my biggest supporter, my leader, my friend, my love, my husband

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Best Surprise Birthday EVER!

If you ever check into my little corner of the world you'll have noticed I've been silent for over a month. Chet is certainly tired of seeing "Mom Confessions" and has given up looking for updates. Although, he knew that we were on vacation for three weeks of that time (not something I wanted to publicly advertise) so probably expected it and understood.

I had planned to do a series of posts from that trip for my family so that I could connect with all of them after our long absence. However, they connected with me instead!

I "celebrated" my birthday on the 15th in Havre, Montana. It was not intentional. We were stranded there while waiting for our van to be repaired (I hit a deer--actually, I completely destroyed a deer and he destroyed the front end of our van and everything under the hood that holds fluid of any kind). So, Havre it was.

It wasn't too bad. I had an air conditioned hotel room, a pool, a putt-putt golf game (which I won), a huge Dairy Queen Snickers Ice Cream cake compliments of David and Dana who called it in for me, and many phone calls and birthday messages.

We finally made it home on Wednesday the 20th and moved on with life. By this past Saturday my birthday was a very distant memory. Keith and I went out shopping in the morning while the children did the general housecleaning. I walked into the kitchen with my bags to see the counters cleaned off and Troy putting away clean dishes.

I exclaimed how great the kitchen looked--I'd begun cleaning out the refrigerator after our absence and had dishes to clean out and wash sitting on the counter. He responded, "Yeah, well you should see your room." I was perplexed, I had left my room clean and the bed made and I told him so. "Well, you should go look at it," was all he said.

Immediately I groaned, "Gabe!" Keith and I headed down to inspect the damage. As I opened the door I was saying something like 'oh boy, what did he do' when I was greeted with a thundering, "SURPRISE!"

Packed in my room were my 5 married children, their spouses, and 2 grandchildren (2 were sleeping elsewhere). Coming down the stairs behind me and joining us in the room were my younger children (minus Shane who came later after a basketball event). We spent the next few minutes hugging, crying (OK, so I was probably the only one crying), laughing, explaining, and hearing the details of the events leading up to the surprise.

They pulled it off wonderfully. I had no idea they were in my room or were planning anything like that. On my way down to the room I stopped by our extra refrigerator to put away the milk and found three cheesecakes. I was confused and wondered how they got there but I didn't connect it to the "mess" in my room. I only thought Keith/Coley or Dana/David had needed some extra refrigerator space and had left their cheesecakes there--thinking it might be possible that they would be coming over in the evening (I had actually texted them to invite them over for a cook out) but not thinking it was a surprise.

The entire day was spent enjoying my family. They had the food all taken care of, they brought outdoor games, and they did all the clean up! I had one final surprise when I was blindfolded, led outside, picked up (nice to have big, strong sons), and placed in a hammock (like I need another gift!). It was a fabulous, amazing, tremendous, wonderful day. And I didn't take one single picture. I didn't want to miss a second of enjoying the day by being behind a camera. The memories will just remain in my heart.