So there I was, having just ran a half marathon in 2:30 (Amy and I were taking it slow and enjoying ourselves on the Interurban Trail in Bellingham on Saturday morning), wearing two racing shirts because it had been crazy-cold at the start line, plus a plastic Hawaiian purple lei (Maui Mile) and a tiara crafted from pipe cleaners (Princess Mile), with a running skirt I’m pretty sure I peed on because gravity + 13.1 miles = a bitch, and I pull in to my mother’s driveway looking forward only to a long, hot shower and an afternoon spent lounging on mom and Paul’s back deck, gazing at the lake while my leg muscles slowly stopped quivering, when what to my wondering eyes should appear?

Most of my family, many of my friends, all assembled for a surprise birthday party.


I had no clue.  Seriously.  I probably would have cried if I had had any fluid left in my body.  My sweet mom had apparently been planning this for months.  My sister Alisa and her family were there, aunts, uncles, cousins, plenty of kiddos for Zoey to play with, my best friend Rikki and her family, my dear friend Paul (the only CRNA I’ve ever met that I don’t hate working with), and then, behind another small crowd of people, I saw Kate and Kendra, two of my mom friends from Vancouver.  My aunt Cindy tells me the look on my face was priceless when I saw them.  They had driven probably close to five hours to be there.  I hadn’t seen them in months.  Then I REALLY wanted to cry.  How had all these beloved people pulled this off WITHOUT BLOWING IT??

Mom says it was hard.  Actually, her direct quote was “as the week went on, I just didn’t want to talk to you at all.  It was too hard not to blow the surprise.  So I kind of didn’t want you to call me”.

I spent the entire afternoon lounging on the deck, as planned, except I was surrounded by nearly everyone I love.  If Abby had been there, it would have been perfect.  Mom had fashioned runner’s bibs for everyone to wear in lieu of name tags.  The whole theme was running.  A ‘start’ banner led you to the beginning of the buffet line; a ‘finish’ flag was stationed near the cake table.  The food was excellent and all my nieces and nephews, plus Zoey, helped me blow out the candles on my birthday cake (trick candles, which they found hilarious).

What an awesome birthday, and what a perfect mix of people.  34 seems to be off to a very, very good start.


2 thoughts on “Surprise!

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