Sunday, April 15, 2012

JC's Surprise Party!

About two months ago I decided that I wanted to tackle a surprise party for JC’s 31st birthday in March. I wasn’t able to throw any kind of party for him last year, for his big 30th, so I was hoping this year would be extra special for him.

This event turned out to be a much bigger event to plan than what I had initially anticipated. The hardest part: keeping the party a secret from JC.  Even though it was hard to keep the party a secret, I wanted to make the party as grand and special as possible for JC. He had never had a big party (besides our wedding) or a surprise party, thrown in his honor; another reason why I was striving to make this even so special.

JC is an avid golfer, so I decided to go with a golf theme for his party. I found some really cool ideas online for golf parties and tried to use some of those ideas when planning his event. His invites were golf themed, and a special sign was painted by my brother’s girlfriend with a “Happy Birthday” golf theme. It looked amazing. I also had a cake made for him with the golf theme, which turned out really great also, and tasted wonderful. Finally, I chose some green (mostly) colored candy to put out for a small candy bar. The party was held at Custom Smokehouse in Mattoon. They were very accommodating for the party. We were able to have an entire room to ourselves that had a huge TV that covered one entire wall, bags, darts and more. This really was a perfect location for JC’s party. 

Once all of the logistics of the actual party were planned, I had to come up with an idea of how to get JC to the restaurant without giving away the fact that there were 40 of his closest friends and family waiting there to celebrate his birthday. Luckily, JC’s youngest brother has a birthday just a few days before his, so I came up with the plan for his dad to call JC and invite him to Custom Smokehouse for a birthday dinner for Josh.  This worked out great.

The night before JC’s birthday I had bought all of the decorations and gotten all of the candy bar items ready to go and put everything in the trunk to hide from him. We are trying to sell our house right now, and just my luck, our relator called that morning to say someone wanted to come look at the house that afternoon. This made me very nervous because I had glass in the truck and was afraid it would clink and make a bunch of noise, giving away my candy bar hiding place. I volunteered to drive, and took all of the bumps and turns extra slow – I made it out okay, no suspicion there.

Then I had another close call. I was checking my voice mail and did not realize I had it on speaker. The person who had left a voicemail was calling about JC’s party and he was in the room and could hear the message. I quickly deleted the message right after the person said her name. I tried to play it off saying it was one of my mentors from a few weeks ago. He believed it!

Finally, just hours before the party I had to leave and set some stuff up at the restaurant, so I had to lie once again and say I was going with my brother to pick up something for his birthday. He believed me again and stayed home to do yard work. On the way to the party we stopped and got a card for his brother and a small gift.  I was very nervous and afraid that all of these small slips would have given away the secret while driving to the restaurant, and that he would recognize one of our friends cars in the parking lot. But he didn’t! I was so thankful.

We walked into the restaurant and were greeted by his Dad. He told us we were sitting in the backroom. At this point he still didn’t know, he says. We encouraged him to lead the way and he was greeted with a big “SURPRISE” from all of his college and high school friends and family. Everyone who was waiting said he had a surprised look on his face, so they think he really was not expecting this. And he swears he had no idea.

I was so thankful the surprise went over well and that so many of his friends and family were able to come. The people really made the event special for him as many of the partiers had to travel hours to come to Mattoon. 

The surprise party was very stressful, almost more so than planning my wedding, because I didn’t know what to expect and there was a chance that he knew about the party. But it all turned out wonderfully and I am so happy that I created this wonderful memory for my amazing husband on his 31st birthday!

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