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Monday, October 17, 2011

Mommy's Surprise Party!

About two months ago Jennifer and I decided to plan something for my mom's birthday. We talked about various options and then settled on treating her to a massage and manicure. I thought it'd be fun to invite some of her friends along, as a surprise, and then follow it up with a surprise luncheon at a Livermore restaurant.

Before I knew it, it was only 2 weeks before her birthday and we hadn't planned anything. THEN, in the blink of an eye, what I envisioned as a ladies-only day morphed into a full blown, 20-person surprise dinner at Casa Orozco.

The changes are largely my "fault" because I couldn't bring myself to say "no" when guests asked if they could bring their spouses. Plus, my mom wanted a bunch of us to tour the David Glass House in San Ramon that morning and then go out to lunch. She invited a couple of friends to those activities so I had to rearrange the dinner and poor Jenifer was stuck finding a suitable spa that could accommodate 5 of us. Also a consideration was finding a spa that would do a scalp massage since my mom doesn't want to lay on her stomach for too long because of her chemo treatment portacath in her chest. Luckily she found a place called The Livermore Spa that offered to do a scalp massage for her even though they don't normally do them.

I got up early on Saturday morning to pick up an Austrian torte from a bakery here in Davis, then drove to San Ramon to meet Jennifer, my mom, Gayla, and Liz for the house tour. Of course, we got there just 1 minute too late for the 10am tour so we had to wait an hour. But there was plenty to do: tractor rides, a pumpkin patch, and a 4-H exhibit with chicken and rabbits. Jennifer and I spent a long time talking to some overly enthusiastic and dorky high school students about the animals. The tour was nice and it was cool to see how people lived in the East Bay back in the 1800s.

We drove to downtown Danville and found an Italian bistro with outdoor seating for lunch. This whole time I had the torte in a cooler in the back of the van so I had to make sure to always park in the shade, lest it melt in the heat. I called Edward and made him meet us for lunch...and to bring more ice packs for the cooler! After lunch I traded cars with Edward so he could get the cooler into the house while Jennifer and my mom went to the spa.

At the spa, Kateri and Liz met up with us. My mom was so surprised and happy that we'd planned for her friends to come along! The spa ladies opened a bottle of champagne for us, too! Kateri, Jennifer, and I got our toes done while my mom and Liz sat on the couch chatting. Later, my mom got her scalp massage while Liz got her fingers done. The massage lady came out to tell me that my mom was "purring" (snoring) and asleep on the massage table. Haha. I asked if it was okay to leave her there for a while since she'd had a long day and needed a rest. At about 5 I went into wake her up since we had to get home to change for dinner--turns out she was not asleep (for long) but didn't know if she was allowed to get up or not. Haha!

We'd told my mom that we were going to take her to a non-Emil Villa's dinner that night as a family. Of course she kept asking, "How in the world did you get DADDY to agree to eat someplace else???" I told her he agreed only because it was her birthday and that I had a Groupon for a free birthday meal, as long as it was within 1 week of their actual birth date. My lie worked since she has no idea what Groupon is and I told her it was an "online coupon." Yes!

All of us except my mom dressed up a little for dinner. I told her I wanted to dress up simply to wear one of my new Stitch Fix purchases. My dad, of course, only dressed up because he had a set of clothes he'd worn the week before to a memorial service and figured he "might as well wear them again before washing."

Lucky for us, my mom didn't recognize any of her friends' cars as we arrived at the restaurant. I left the cake in the cooler in the rear of the car so she never saw it. I told her we had a reservation so I asked where our table was and then marched us back to the banquet room.

As she walked in, most people stood up to welcome her. I loved seeing the look on her face when she realized what was going on! She first saw someone that looked like her sister-in-law, Bev. Then looked at someone else and realized it was her friend, Greg. Then it hit her--a surprise party! We had old neighbors from our first house, a high school friend of hers, her brother and sister-in-law, people from church, Dyani's grandparents, etc. It was awesome.I had told everyone to bring cash because I knew they wouldn't split up our table 10 different ways. But when the bill came, my dad offered to pay for everything! Amazing, right? (Yes, thank you Daddy!) We brought out the cake and sang happy birthday. I love it when other diners sing along, too.After we dropped my parents off at home, Edward, Jennifer, and I went to pick up Alex and then went to a few bars (clubs? I don't know...) downtown. I had only three drinks from 9:30-1am and it was plenty. We got some breakfast at IHOP and then went home to bed. My room was too hot and the walls so thin that I woke up at 7am when I heard my mom walking around. Ug....I did not feel well until I got my steak and eggs breakfast and coffee at Emil Villa's. Conclusion: I am too OLD to stay out partying until 2am. But I did have fun hanging out with Alex, drinking girly cocktails, and wearing my cute outfit.


steph.kelley said...

Sounds like an amaaazing day! You are a one-in-a-million daughter to think of all those special things and implement them. Your mom must be very happy to have you. xoxo

Mariah said...

woo how fun and wondeful of you to do that for your mom!

Kelly said...

Yes, I agree with the others, you are a super daughter!! I'm bummed I didn't get to see your cute outfit though ;-) I'm going to sign up for Stitch Fix, such a great idea.