Two weekends ago we held a surprise party for Eric’s birthday. We somehow managed to keep it a surprise until just 30 minutes before the first guests arrived. Pulling this off was quite the feat. My cover story was that it was group night and the Finnegan’s were coming over, so he was expecting company. I suggest never trying to plan a party, in your own home, for an adult that lives there!

I spent half a day on Friday working on the decorations for the top of Eric’s cake. It ended up taking so long that when Eric came home on Fri night from picking up Jenna, I banished him from the kitchen so I could keep working. So, at that point he knew about the cake, but I said that since the Finnegan’s were coming over for dinner and Jenna was here, it made more sense to make his cake for Sat than to wait until his birthday on Thu. By 10:30pm I had finished molding candy. The actual decorating was going to have to wait.

In addition to working on the decorating for Eric’s cake, I was baking pecans and prepping food for the next day. I enlisted Alicia’s help, or I would have had to seriously scale back. She made the vegetable dip and cut up all the veggies. She baked the cake and dropped it off on Fri night so I could decorate it on Sat. She made the Chex Mix. I made the Bourbon Pecans, Reuben Dip, Tomato Mozzarella Crostini, and Italian Sausage with Polenta 1. The kids had chicken nuggets and hot dogs, strawberries and Cheetos.

Sat morning, I woke up early, so I came downstairs and cut up more food and started the frosting. When Eric finally got up 2, he was once again banished from the kitchen until I finished decorating the cake.

His cake turned out wonderful and everyone loved it. All of the chess pieces and each of the squares in the board were solid chocolate:

Before lunch, Eric and Jenna went to the art store. Jenna was in on the whole thing, so she took her time browsing. 🙂 The kids and I wrapped his presents and I prepped the last of the food. After lunch, Jenna and Eric went to play racquetball. Beth and I decorated the house. (I just told Eric that Beth wanted to decorate since we had a cake.) They got home just before 4pm. About 4:10, Beth said to Daddy “We’ll tell you when the party starts!” At that point I stopped trying to hide it. I had already covered-up two of her other slips. Kevin and Sarah arrived at 4:37 3. Once Eric knew about the party, he went to get some beer and wine coolers, since I had overlooked that and it wasn’t like I could send him out without a reason 4.

The party was good. I invited Bill & Olya, Kevin & Sarah & Alicia. And Lynze – to babysit whatever kids ended up coming. Kevin and Sarah ended up leaving their four with Kevin’s parents. Damien ended up at an impromptu sleepover. So she just had to watch Alex, Beth, Sergey and Xavier. Everyone seemed to have a good time. The kids hung out in the basement with Lynze and the adults hung out upstairs, just chilling out. It was a good time for everyone.

The next day, I was talking to Eric and he said that in retrospect, there were a few things that happened over the course of the day that seemed a bit strange, but he never got suspicious.


  1. This was the only dish I didn’t have to hide. Eric thought we were having that for dinner with the Finnegans.
  2. Eric had to work from midnight until 5am the Fri before the party. Not convenient, but how do I tell him it’s a bad idea? I was just glad it wasn’t conflicting with the party!
  3. That was a joke – Sarah told me there would be here at 4:37 and I told her I would hold her to that. They rang the bell at exactly 4:37.
  4. I had even texted Sarah to bring a can of sauerkraut because that somehow that got overlooked and I couldn’t sneak out to buy any.

2 thoughts on “Surprise!

  1. Wow quite a feat on your part and with the help of your friends, it sounded like it turned out just great. I am sure Eric will always remember that birthday. You worked hard at making it special for him. Good job. Love Aunt Mary Ellen

  2. Sounds like everyone had a good time. Eric had mentioned that you gave him a surprise party. It sounded like he enjoyed it.