Apr 072015
 

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SURPRISE!

I knew I wanted to plan a surprise party for Michael’s 40th birthday. It’s a big date! I wanted him to be surprised and I wanted it to be special. I started thinking about it a few months before his birthday and was feeling a little overwhelmed. I’ve never thrown a surprise party before. I did throw a “sort of” surprise party for Michael’s 35th birthday where I took him to his favorite pizza place and surprised him with a bunch of his friends also being there. That was a lot easier to plan.

But this time around there were more details to coordinate. I was throwing it at the house and at first I thought the kitchen remodel would be done beforehand but then some unforeseen scheduling things happened and I realized it wouldn’t be. Bummer. Oh well, going forward I still wanted it at the house. It’s cheaper than renting a location and easier to plan than trying to coordinate it at a restaurant (and I didn’t want people to be expected to go out to eat).

The hardest part was trying to figure out how to get Michael out of the house so I could get everything ready and everyone could arrive. Michael’s friend Jeremy came down from Seattle and he helped get him out of the house while I cleaned and set everything up!

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I wanted to have a Star Wars themed party because that’s Michael’s thing (and I hate Star Wars and it makes him crazy that I won’t watch the movies). It was actually surprisingly hard to find Star Wars themed party stuff. I went to a bunch of different party stores and ended up getting a few items on Amazon. Then I discovered that Michael had a bunch of old Star Wars posters in the garage. Perfect! 😉

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I had a Star Wars table cloth, plastic cups and plates. Then I got a Star Wars cupcake tower that I used for the donuts. I used the posters for decorations. I attached old photos of Michael as a child to the balloons and put them all over the house. I liked that idea (also from pinterest) and people seemed to enjoy seeing goofy pictures of Michael as a kid. 😀

I knew I wanted to get Michael’s favorite foods: pizza (of course), donuts from Krispy Kreme (his favorite), and other munchie things. Michael’s mom made her amazing blue cheese dip and a veggie tray.

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I saw something on Pinterest that I wanted to make for the party: a PunchBox. It was pretty simple to make but it took a LONG time to do. I ended up doing it when I was in Seattle visiting family. My mom helped me do it and it turned out great. I got a bunch of fun and goofy items and then we went to Archie McPhee’s to get a few more items. Basically a PunchBox was for party favors but a fun way to do it instead of making party favor bags. It was fun to make and I got a bunch of crazy things! Several toy unicorns, a blow-up unicorn horn for cats, a Big Foot air freshener, some various candy and mini booze bottles. I think there was a pirate eye patch in there and some other kid toys that I thought would be funny for adults to play with. So I made it in Seattle and then had to sneak it into the house when I got back and hide it from Michael.

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Everyone seemed to have a fun time with the game, so that made me happy! Thankfully the weather was nice so the kiddos could run around outside and play. They all got hopped up on sugar from soda, candy and the donuts. Sorry parents….!

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Mmmm Krispy Kreme!

Most importantly Michael was SURPRISED and he had a great time and I’m so glad so many of his friends and family were able to come out for it. Our house is pretty small, but somehow we managed to fit in about 21 people. The birthday boy:

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We did presents and some of the people had to leave but a bunch hung around for awhile longer and we hung out outside while the kiddos played with a ball until it got dark.

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I would call the party a success! Happy birthday babe!

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Jan 212014
 

Historically we spend my birthday in the snow. We’ve gone to Bend many, many times, Sisters once and Mount Hood. Usually the snowshoeing is fantastic in January! Unfortunately this year the snow levels in the mountains were nearly non-existent.  Many friends that went to Bend or Mt. Hood to snowboard or ski complained about the lack of snow. So this year we skipped the snowy-birthday and went to the beach instead. Maybe we just needed a change. We got a Groupon Getaway for a hotel in Lincoln City. I love Lincoln City. It’s one of my favorite beach towns in Oregon (Rockaway is my first).

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I was excited to try something new for my birthday and to also experience Bella’s FIRST beach trip!

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Funny enough, she seemed to prefer just rolling around in the sand! It was very odd and totally hilarious. She scooted, rolled, rubbed and flopped around in the sand. She was one dirty girl after this weekend. She didn’t like the super soft sand by the surf and she seemed scared of the ocean so she didn’t venture into the water, which was probably for the best because it was pretty cold.

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Lincoln City is a good beach town for flying a kite, which we didn’t do this time. The wind is just perfect for it. We got lucky this weekend. The weather was perfect–around 50 degrees, clear blue skies and not too windy. The first day we went down to the beach was a bit cold but the following days were not bad.

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We walked around quite a bit on the beach. Because Bella’s recall is about 80% we didn’t take her off leash, but we had a super long leash and let it all out so she could run around and have some semblance of freedom. She seemed over-stimulated most of the time which meant she didn’t bark at all the strangers on the beach or the dogs on the beach, which was good!

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Hopefully when she is a little older and more trained she can be off leash and go nuts with the other dogs!

After spending the afternoon on the beach we went over to Chinook Winds, the casino at Lincoln City. I’ve never played there before and wanted to check it out. It was super crowded for the holiday weekend but I squeezed in at the roulette table and gave it a try. I ended up walking away with double my money! WOOHOO!!!!

Robyn's Birthday

Robyn's Birthday

Finally it was dinner time and we went to Humble Pie Pizzaria. It was a little hole-in-the-wall joint with some old hippies in tie-dye making some damn good pizza. We got it to go, made a stop by the local grocery store that had a walk-in beer fridge and then went back to the room so we could hang out with Bella.

Robyn's Birthday

It was pretty darn good pizza. And there’s just something great about eating pizza and drinking beer in a hotel room. :) We called it a night because we were all pretty tired by this time. Even though we don’t really let Bella on the bed at home, we did in the hotel. She did really great. She slept in her crate at night and didn’t bark too much. She had to have a few time-outs when we first got there because she’d bark at the sounds outside, but it only took a few time-outs and she got it and was great the rest of the weekend. I was happy that her first “vacation” was a success. Now we know we can take her other places with us!

It wasn’t that late but I was super tired and that Ninkasi Tricerahops Double IPA hit me fast and honestly, the sound of the ocean outside your bedroom just makes you relaxed and sleepy. Why don’t we go to the beach more often??

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