The Lord of the Gourds’ Surprise Birthday Bash

It’s a big week for birthdays: Jamie’s 40th birthday is TODAY! I’m ashamed to admit I wasn’t going to go above-and-behind for the celebration besides just a nice dinner. Between sickness, travels and our crazy work schedule (not to mention we had something going on every day this week), time is just not on our side.

Until I saw a Facebook conversation between him and my Aunt Sue wherein he stated something along the lines of, “I’m bracing myself for whatever Amber has planned for my birthday.”


And so you could say I was forced into action. Last week, I sent an Evite to some of our closest friends and neighbors to come for a casual, dessert-bar surprise party on Monday night. Sound pretty easy?

Then Jamie and I both got sick.

Remember my previous post wherein I revealed our house looked like a bomb went off?

On Monday, my friend Kristen watched Bode for a couple of hours so I could go back to bed and try to sleep off the plague. It worked and I was energized enough to disinfect the entire house, unpack, play with Bode and do five loads of laundry.

It was a modern-day miracle.

My cover for getting us out of the house that evening was I was tired and didn’t want to cook dinner so we headed over to our local Qdoba. I had stashed black streamers, balloons and the desserts in the laundry room so Jamie’s sister Lisa could set them up while we were gone. I had advised our friends not to park in front of the house and to arrive promptly at 6:45 p.m. for our 7 p.m. arrival.

And get this: everything went according to plan. I hadn’t told the children about it because, welp, let’s just say keeping secrets is not one of their strong points. When we arrived home I held the kids back so Jamie could go first but when he turned the knob, it was locked.

I don’t know about you but we don’t carry house keys. Ever. We always enter through the garage and I’ve gotta admit we don’t have a spare set so if that garage door gets locked, we’re outta luck.

Exasperated, Jamie turned to me and reprimanded, “WHY DID YOU LOCK THE DOOR??!!!”

At that very moment, one of our friends flung it open while everyone shouted, “SURPRISE.”

“Surprise” wasn’t even an appropriate word. Maybe “shock” is more befitting, or even “heart attack.”

The man is, after all, 40.

Happy Birthday to the Lord of the Gourds, from those who love him most.

Pumpkin beanie hat and all.

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