Back in September I chatted with my dad about throwing my mom a surprise party the day before her actual birthday and he was like "YES. I'm on board." So then I chatted with a few other of her friends who I knew could keep a secret and the planning commenced.
At the end of November, about 2 months before my mom's birthday, my dad and I were talking about location and where we wanted to have her surprise party. I offered my house, but was worried it wouldn't be big enough...my dad suggested renting a place, but that gets expensive quick, so we tabled that...then he suggested their house, but I told him I think my mom would feel like she needed to play "host" once she got there, so we nixed that idea too. I called my aunt Monica (my mom's sister), who's the queen bee of throwing parties, and asked her if she wanted to help. She most definitely did, AND even offered to have it at her big house--DONE. Don't say anymore, location solved!
We decided it'd be Mexican-themed, because my mom loves Mexican food--specifically Fuzzy Taco--and it would be a fun fiesta theme to go with! I whipped up an oh-so-cute invite on Photoshop (that I blurred out the personal details cause, #creepersbecreepin' and I don't need them knowing my phone number or aunt's house addy.) and sent them out in mid-December.
As soon as I sent the invites out I just KNEW that one of my mom's friends would leave it on their fridge, she'd come over and see it, and our cover would be blown. Oh well, still would be a fun party anyways, right?! RIGHT! So! Onward to planning!
I was willing to tackle everything for the party--I love planning things, so didn't mind handling it all. My aunt Monica took care of the decorations and set up, and I took care of the rest (with the help of my dad, brothers, and a few of my mom's friends!). I handled the RSVPs on a Google Doc, which the numbers quickly grew to 90+ people, and then placed a catering order for tacos from Fuzzy Taco and McArthur's Bakery for the cake. I had like 10 appetizers lined up and had people make, enlisted my brothers to take care of the alcohol and drinks, and all of a sudden it was January 23rd! I was so nervous that day that I (or someone else!) was going to blow it the last minute. I was shocked my mom had ZERO clue thus far about it, and hoped it'd stay that way until we surprised her later that night.
My mom had a jam-packed schedule (intentionally!) on the 23rd so she'd be good and gone for us to do our last minute prep work. She was off with my dad's cousins to a swim meet in Alton (lunch first!) so she was gone all afternoon. She thought her and her siblings were having a family meeting that evening at Monica's, so she was planning on picking up her brother Robert at 5:30 so they'd be there in time to "meet" with everyone. Little did she know! Hehehehe!
I dropped the kiddos off at my inlaws at 12:30pm on Saturday, raced home, took a shower, pumped, and went and picked up my mom's bestie Bridget. We went and picked up the cake, then got to my aunt's house about 2pm to help her get set up. HOLY COW. We had a TON of food and decorations! But it looked amazing and was slowly coming together. About an hour and a half later my dad arrived with the Fuzzy Taco order and ice, then my brother came to help get the booze set up and people parked. It was all coming together! My mom called me just to chit chat around 4:30pm, and I went and hid in the garage shaking, assuming she'd hear the wavering in my voice that something was up. She didn't! We were in the clear!
About 5:40 came and I screamed to everyone to get ready, that they were about 5 minutes away (thank you Find My Friends for showing me where she was!). I was sooooo anxious! I had my GoPro set up to capture her reaction, and, gah, words can't describe how amazingly awesome it was to surprise her! She didn't have a clue! Unshowered, hat on, ratty clothes and everything! It was priceless!
Wasn't that the best surprise ever?! So amazing! The rest of the party went awesome. It was so much fun to mingle with all of my mom's friends (like 80+ of them that turned out!) and family and see my mom be so loved and showered by gifts by so many. It was just awesome.
I (shocker! I know!!) didn't take many pics that night...but my brother did and so did my uncle--so I grabbed their pics from their phones/cameras so I could share some with you here!