A couple months ago, my older sister Melanie had this great idea of throwing our Mom a surprise birthday party for her 50th birthday. Melanie lives in sunny Irvine, California, so any chance she has to come home and see the family for a few days, she'll take it. One of the big surprises would be my Mom wouldn't know Melanie was flying back home for the party. Whenever us Craig girls plan any party, get together, or anything at all, we go way above and beyond then originally planned and though, I guess that's just how we are, "go big or go home."
Planning this surprise party was deemed difficult. My Mom is a little to aware of her surroundings, and my Dad is least sneaky person in the world. This combination almost doomed us, but we were able to pull it off.
Melanie flew in on Friday afternoon, I told my Dad to tell Mom that he had to go run some errands so he could come with me to pick her up at the airport. My Dad told my Mom he was going to go over to my Grandparents house to work on some projects. We picked up Melanie, ran a fury of errands to the Dollar Store, Costco, Grocery Store, the church (where the party was taking place), and a bunch of other places. My younger sister Caitlin, had to go to a doctors appointment and my Mom went with her to that. Afterwards they stopped at Dick's to pick up her RX. With our good luck, Caitlin and my Mom ran into my 93 year old Grandpa shopping for groceries. My Mom asks Grandpa what my Dad has been doing all day at their house. My Grandpa replies by saying, "Rushby hasn't been at our house."
During this time of trying to hurry and run errands, Melanie and I stopped at the house to pick up some supplies. We took some platters, table cloths, and some picture albums. Well, when Mom got home she noticed how all of her picture albums were gone and asked my Dad where they had gone. My Dad told Mom that I had taken them without any explanation, thanks Dad!
The part that was the most difficult was coming up with a reason for her to come over to the church on a Saturday night. We employed the help of my parents bishop and asked him to call my Mom and have her come in with my Dad to meet with her. When this happened Mom kept asking my Dad why in the world would the bishop want to meet with me on a Saturday night.
Melanie and I got to the church around 1:00 p.m. It took us five hours to set up the tables, chairs, projector, screen, music, decorations, center pieces, buffet table, and put together all of the food. After we were all done, it looked more like a wedding reception then a surprise birthday party. I knew right then and there we had outdone ourselves, but the place looked beautiful.
Friends and family started showing up and we assigned McKay to hide in some bushes in the front of the church, so when he saw Mom and Dad walk in, he could give us the signal to turn off all of the lights. I kept calling McKay on the phone and asking him, do you see them? He said that he hadn't seen them come up yet. Then all of a sudden, the door opens and it's my parents! Everyone turned around and yelled "surprise!" Note to self, don't rely on an outside spy hiding in a bush.
My Mom said she was pretty suspicious and had a faint idea what was going on. But the biggest surprise was when she saw Melanie. Yah, we got our surprise! The party was really fun, we had a way delicious dinner, people got up and shared their favorite Cay moment or memory, she opened up gifts, and to top it off we play Just Dance.
Not very sneaky Dad and birthday girl
My Mom's step sister Susan and her family
My Uncle Brad's family and Grandma Kathy and Mitt
My parents bestest neighbors the Sappenfield's
A bunch of friends from the ward. If you look behind you can see the cool 50 we made out of Mom's pictures. One of my favorite decorations we made.
Mom opening up her presents
Mitt, Grandma, and Mom. The funniest part of the party was when my Mom opened up her gift from Grandma, it was an apron she embroidery on it, and instead of putting 2012, she put 2011. Good ole Grandma.
Dad's side of the family and McKay in the background