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Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I decided it would be fun to have a surprise party for Sandi.

Luckily she isn't very observant and doesn't really care to know what the next thing is going to be in life in general so surprising her wasn't too hard.

Coming home to a clean house (with the birthday girl and 2 kids) full of 12 adults and 10 kids, dinner, birthday cake, wine, beer, balloons and that is a different story.

Enter in the pedicure plan.

Ella knew about the surprise party and kept it a secret for TWO WEEKS. She did not however know about the nails and she was VERY excited to get a surprise of her own.

Looking through the nail dryer.

Maya was a little less impressed with the whole idea.
Until she got her own nails painted.

And then home to a house full of fun. 

I had delegated out every conceivable task, from picking up the catering (Trish), to picking up the bread (Emilie), to decorating (Ange and Mindy), to making food for the kids to eat (Ange, Mindy, Katie and Alex), making tossed salad and getting ice for the beer cooler (Mindy) so once I had stashed everything in the basement and left the back door unlocked upon departure it was out of my Type A hands.

Ella played it totally cool on the ride home, since I had told her if she appeared too excited she would give it away.  She choose instead  not to say a single, solitary word and instead stared out the window.   When we got out the car she gave me a stretched-wide-over-her-teeth smile behind Sandi's back and then zipped it.

We walk into the house, Maya being left in the car amidst a temper tantrum, and Sandi immediately knew something wasn't right (although everyone is hiding in the living room, not the back where we entered.)  She noticed the door was unlocked, the pellet stove was off and the office door was shut. 

"Someone's been in the house,"  she says. 

Perfect.  Robbery instead of surprise party.  I'm thinking FUN and she is thinking "exactly where is my laptop?" So I lead her by the hand into the kitchen where she begins to get confused and into the waiting:


And did you take note of the fact that there were TEN kids that they managed to keep quiet while they waited for Sandi to secure the premises?

Loved ones abound.
Matt read Maya several stories and for some reason her mantra that night was: "That's not OK!" and she kept shouting it at him.

YUMMY food from Montes catering.

And Mindy's delectable salad with her homemade balsamic dressing.

One of my favorite Sam Manhart expressions...

A yummy chocolate torte AND a cheesecake to hit everyone's palate.

One thing is for certain:  Sandi Carver your life is blessed with people who love and adore you.

The funny thing about this picture is that I was taking pictures like a crazy person and was feeling a tiny bit tipsy on the wine (Ange's wine!) and decided to hold out the camera to shoot a picture of me drinking the wine (the picture came out awful) and Emilie shot a picture of me photographing myself.  She even got it as the flash is shinning on me.
The really awesome thing for me was that I got a belated birthday present of my own from Mindy and Charissa- perhaps the most brilliant running shirt ever made.  It deserved a thumbs up.  (Please don't be alarmed if you see me coming down the road.  I am not an umpa-lumpa.  I'm just trying to stay warm.)
All that secret keeping wears a girl right out.

Thank you to everyone who came and helped (which was everyone who came.)  I asked Ella in the end how she managed to keep it a secret for so long and she said, "I just had to forget all about it so I wouldn't tell."  Smart girl.

A bike and a surprise party.  What's it gonna be next year?  A trip to Greece?  Hmmmmmm.....

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