So it’s easy/hard to surprise my dad. It’s easy because he is oblivious to almost everything and hard because he’ll notice something random and insignificant and ruin the surprise.

Suffice it to say that right up till the guests turned up my stomach was doing flips and my mind was reeling.

a recap of my dad's surprise birthday party!
Dad’s birthday is on Cinco de Mayo so this photo was more than fitting for this post.

But before I delve into the party details, let me share our planning process:

In like February one of my cousins (dad’s niece) called us and floated the idea of her coming up for dad’s birthday- that would make his day so we were already excited. Maybe a week later she called again and told us that 3 other cousins would like to come also.

Ok, by this time we were in full planning mode so we settled on the dates, where to eat, what to do and of course who all who was coming.

So in the weeks leading up to his birthday, we were planning in secret, talking in whispers and calling only when he went out.

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One niece was coming Thursday, 2 more Thursday night and the final one on Friday.

The weekend before May 5th, we heard that my dad’s nephew (that he hasn’t seen in almost 30 years) decided to come. I had never met him, but this was mom:

On to the celebration weekend

Thursday-the day before

Around 11 dad was watching a movie, I was watching for the car and mom was running around doing some last minute errands.

11:30 rolls around-here begins the surprise.

I wish I could’ve gotten a picture of his face when dad opened the door- but the lighting was horrible and mom told me to stay behind him (so it would’ve been the back of his head anyway).

He greeted the one niece (he was already surprised to see her) then his nephew came to the door. Now he was wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap so none of us really knew it was him.

Dad shook his hand and was cordial, but lost his s#!t when he took off the sunglasses. It was an awesome moment and no picture would do it justice (just another excuse for why I don’t have a photo).

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Fast-forward a several hours and he was asking me when they were leaving (not in a rude way, but in a worried-it’s getting rather late and dark way). That was when mom and I had to tell him that more were coming and that they would be staying the weekend. He tried to hide his smile, but I could tell it was there.

After we picked up the other girls that night, we had a late dinner then talked until like 2 A.M. (our dog WASN’T happy).

Friday-dad’s actual birthday

So in the morning we ate breakfast/brunch

They all went for a walk around the neighborhood while I read.

Mom and two girls went to go pickup the last niece to arrive at 4:30. When they got home we ate (when do we not?) and talked till 3 A.M. this time.

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Saturday-the day of the party

Now this was it. The family was here and getting ready for our reservation at a restaurant at 11.

All in all there was almost 20 of us (family and friends).

We ate a fantastic lunch, then we came back to the house for ALL the dessert.

We all sang happy birthday, ate enough sweets to sink a ship, and took photos galore. The rest of the day was spent cleaning up, talking (shocker) and eating some more (shocker again).

Sunday-the day they all left

Oh what a bittersweet goodbye. Although we all loved seeing one another- everyone was more than ready to get back home.

It was an awesome weekend, but as soon as they left we all took a nap.

Have you ever thrown or received a surprise party?

Author: Alix Maza

Alix is a college student, Step Up Magazine contributor, wannabe author, blogger and a super girly-girl who loves dogs and is entirely too dependent on coffee.

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