Back in November I started thinking about what I was going to do for Doug’s big 4-0 birthday that would be coming up in December. Unsure of any creative ideas since he is the creative one between the two of us, I decided to contact a few of his “creative” friends. They gave me some great ideas including a dinner party, and a trip to see Blue Man group with a few close friends. One of Doug’s friends Neal suggested that we get together 10 of his close friends and have them contribute money towards a trip to NYC, and then stay with him and his fiance’ Daniel. So after much thought that is what I decided to do. I still wanted to throw a party so that all of his close friends who were contributing could actually give him this gift personally. The planning began and not much else was going on in my mind, but how I wanted this to be perfect for him. I called Ted, one of Doug’s closest friends to ask for help with the food, since he is the foodie in our circle of friends. Then I got ahold of another of Doug’s friends Julian to see if he would be available to play guitar so that we would have live entertainment. Even though I like the old fashioned means of inviting guests to a party, I was limited in time, so I sent the good old e-vite. No one responded for a good week or so, but then slowly the list of “yes” responders started climbing, and I started wondering how I was going to pull this one off. Thank God for Ted, and Erin. I called both of them numerous times for advice and opinions. Finally Ted, and I set up a planning session during the middle of the day when I knew Doug wasn’t going to be home, and guess what, he showed up. The papers we had sprawled all over the table went flying everywhere. Ted was laughing as I was rapidly collecting then dropping papers in this viscious cycle to conceal the evidence. Then we sat back in our chairs with blank looks on our faces like “nothing to see here” as Doug walked in. The Wednesday before the big event my sweet sister Crystal came over to stay with my girls for the afternoon so Ted and I could do our grocery store run. We hit Costco, and made a stop for their delicious hot dogs first. Ted left his list in the cart. Then 10 minutes later the cart and list were gone. That was interesting, but we did good, and only $2.00 over budget. Whewww!!!! Friday Ted prepped food all day, and I cleaned my house.
Saturday the 2nd of January, the day of the event, came and I sent Doug out of the house from about noon on. The girls went with my mom, and my cousin Kristen came over. We spent the day making trips to the grocery, last minute cleaning, and setting up. Trevor came over later in the afternoon to help hang white lights in the back yard.
Then we set up about 8 tables tables with white linen, a wine bar, and we filled the back yard with candles. Just like any party we made it to the last minute, and the guests started arriving at 7. Doug showed up around 7:20. He knew something was up since I sent him out for 7 hours, but he was still surprised to see everyone there including some of his old friends.
The night was going perfectly so far. The food fabulous.
The music entertaining. The environment beautiful. A little while into the evening a bunch of Doug’s friends including Doug started pulling out their guitars and percussion instruments, and the back yard was filled with great music.
Then it was time to give Doug his big gift. A few days earlier my BIL Jake made a life size airline ticket out of foam board that had all of the information about our trip on it. I wrapped it in a pretty bow, and when he opened in front of his guests he was so surprised and thrilled.
The rest of the night we had great conversation with friends, cheesecake, cream puffs and more wine!
Then we crashed at 1:00 a.m.
What a great night. Better than I could have expected, thanks to my wonderful family and friends and all of their help.
Oh, I forgot to mention that our great friend Will who has acquired a ton of frequent flyer miles, purchased our airline tickets using his miles. And, our friends Nicole and Ray bought us tickets to see Hair on Broadway. So, between the contributions to Doug’s 40th from his friends and family, free lodging thanks to Neal and Daniel, tickets to see a show from Ray and Nicole, and airplane tickets from Will we were truly blessed. We feel so incredibly thankful for all of our amazing friends! We love you all!