Birthday Surprises

The above image makes me laugh. Mostly it is because it reminds me of my niece (she LOVES surprises and keeps yelling “Surprise!” these days), and also because it’s funny. “Dude, not yet.” I know how that is.

I had a weekend full of surprises, the kind of surprises that remind you that you are loved, the kind that make your heart sing, the kind that creates memories you will cherish in your heart forever.

Friday night, I got a text from Angelica… she’s my brother’s girlfriend and my niece’s mama. She wanted to take me out the next day as part of my birthday present. Anywhere I wanted to do, anything I wanted to do. I texted my sister and asked her if she’ll be home in time to go with us. She said she’ll try.

The next morning my mom wanted me to wear a dress. So I put on this little purple paisley dress with a 3/4 sleeved black button up sweater. It was going to be a hot, sunny day, but I get cold easily so I wanted a sweater. Especially since we would mostly likely be in an air-conditioned restaurant.

At one point when I was getting ready, my mom came in and said Jacqueline was on her way and that she was bringing a surprise. Two seconds later, I had it figured out. Or, at least, I hoped I figured it out. My cousin Kristian goes to CWU too, so it just made sense to me that she would be my surprise.

Yep. She was!

Angelica, Jacqueline, Kristian and I headed out… we went to Applebee’s, Target (Jacqueline let me pick out my birthday present – she made me try on everything), Dutch Bros for coffee (Haha. At this point, I was getting pretty suspicious… they were stalling), and finally to Walmart (I bought dog food for my little ewok).

I think we were going back to the car for the last time when Jac’s phone rang. When she got off she told me that our mom had one of my birthday presents on the kitchen island, and that she had to blindfold me when we went into the house. She also said that they would help me.

Angelica was the one to blindfold me since she was sitting beside me. She used one of my new shirts… Hmmm, what would she have done if I hadn’t gotten clothes at Target? We probably have a blanket or 2 in the car, though I would think they would have been too big to tie around my head, even folded up.

I opted to take off my glasses before she blindfolded me, and she covered my eyes BEFORE Jacqueline turned into the neighborhood. I was thinking, it’s gotta be more than what was in the kitchen that they don’t want me to see.


When we were safely inside, I felt Angelica’s fingers at the back of my head. At first, I thought, “What is she doing?” and then it dawned on me… There wasn’t anything on the kitchen counter.


The first thing I saw was a bunch of blurry people standing there. And the next thing I knew, my niece had launched herself at me, hugging my knees. I smiled and patted her on the back. I could not see. Finally, someone gave back my glasses, and I put them on. Aunt Liz and Uncle Cary, Aunt Barbie, my cousin Lauren, and Papa were there, as well as both of my brothers. I was happy to see them. There were hugs all around.

More people showed up after I did. Some dear friends. I wasn’t expecting a third surprise, so when my cousin Catherine walked in, my eyes nearly popped out of my head. 🙂 I was so happy to see her. I was so happy to see EVERYONE. I felt so loved. Still do, for that matter.

A bonfire was started outside in the fire pit when the sun went down. My dad brought the cheesecake out to me, with lit candles (not fair… my parents used numbered candles for my siblings). Everyone sang and Aliza helped me blow them out. Or rather, huff them out. I didn’t really help her, though. I was too busy laughing.

After a while, I got a little cold so I went inside. Presents time! Yes, please! 🙂 My dad gave me a hard time at first because he brought in a vacuum cleaner they got for Jacqueline. I just gave him a look. I can’t push a vacuum cleaner around. Are you kidding me? Apparently, he was. My real gift was a 32″ HDTV! I got really, really, really, really excited when I saw that. And they also got me a wall mount, so I can have it on the wall and have more space in my bedroom.

Two of my aunts and uncles said they made a donation to the Children’s Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation in my name. I almost cried with joy when I heard that. Already changing things. 🙂

We stayed up really, really, really late that night, watching “Bridesmaids.” I was laughing so hard throughout it that by the end of the movie, I was completely hoarse.

My friend Tammy had sent my birthday package two weeks ago, and kept texting me, “Check to see if it is leaking! Is it smelly? I hope it’s not rotting!” After having the box sit and stare at me a week, I figured it out. Well, I hoped I figured it out. And sure enough….

The next morning, my actual 30th birthday, and around the time I was born (10:45am), I opened Tammy’s box. It was from her roommate, Zeenat, too. It was a Coach purse! I was soooooooo excited! I love it.

My other friend, Val, lives in Phoenix, and I had gotten a box from her too. I pulled out a purple monkey squeaky toy for Buffy, a ziplock baggie full of treats, a book, and a coffee mug.

I have the BEST family and the BEST friends a girl could ask for. 🙂 Love you guys!!!!!!!!

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