secrets! lies! mean cakes! surprises! more meatballs than we’ll ever eat in our LIVES!

I have never been good at lying to my mom. This was obviously very handy for her when I was a teenager, but not so helpful for me. I can remember several instances where I got caught in (very lame) lies so after a while, I just gave up trying to do it. It wasn’t worth it, really.

But, I’m happy to say that at age thirty-one, I finally figured out how to lie to my mother.

She turned fifty on Saturday. My sister and I first started scheming about a surprise party for her back in February (my dad would like to go on record as saying: HE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. Even though he totally did and was calling my sister and me every day for the past week in a state of panic and helplessness because he couldn’t do anything to help, lest he arouse her suspicions. ha) But oh geez, do you know how hard it was for me to keep a secret from my mother for two months? And to outright LIE TO HER in recent weeks about all sorts of things?

Lies about what we did last Saturday: my sister came over to help me with some yard work while Dan was out of town. If she even had an inkling of that, we worried she would think it was odd and start suspecting things. Then I had to lie about what our (fake) plans were for our birthday dinner this weekend (our birthdays are only three days apart, so we usually celebrate together). Then we had to make sure she didn’t know that my dad and my sister were both at our house on Friday night helping to set up for the party. And THEN there was the whole matter of having a three year old who has no idea what a ‘secret’ or a ‘surprise’ is, so of course we were SURE that Maggie would say something about a party and ruin the whole thing. Keeping Maggie in the dark was crucial!

The plan was this: guests arrive at our house at 1pm on Saturday. My mom thought we were going to the zoo, courtesy of free zoo passes my sister got from some lady at work. And then after the zoo, we would meet my sister, her husband, my dad, and my uncles at a restaurant for dinner. So we would pick my mom up around 1:30, but OH CRAP, PREGNANCY BRAIN! I forgot Maggie’s diaper bag! We have to go back to our house! (This is where living 5 minutes from your parents’ house comes in handy!)

However, the weather decided to drop 40 degrees in two days, so it wasn’t exactly zoo-friendly. I knew this a few days in advance, so I cleverly planted the seed that oh WOW! I just noticed on the tickets that they’re not only good for the zoo, but they’re good at the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum as well! So if the weather is as bad as they’re predicting, we can just do that instead!

Thankfully, she bought it ALL. (or at least, we just think she did and she’s the Best Actress Ever.)

Maggie ALMOST blew it for us, but only about 2 seconds before we pulled down our street and my mom saw all the cars and realized what was happening. WE DID IT!

The party was a success. Over fifty of our family and friends, hanging out in our garage- or, for the wimpier of the group, hanging in the kitchen because HOLY CRAP WAS IT COLD. IT SNOWED. Music, drinks, tons of food, pictures of my mom, people we only see a few times a year (and some we haven’t seen in years!)

Mom's 50th Birthday (SURPRISE!)

Mom's 50th Birthday (SURPRISE!)

birthday girl

Mom's 50th Birthday (SURPRISE!)

nighttime fire

I’m exhausted but it was worth it. My mom does SO MUCH for everyone else and I honestly don’t know that she’s ever had a party thrown just for her in her life, besides maybe her wedding. So it was a lot of fun planning it for her, even if I was a little stressed and had several dreams about forgetting to order the chicken in time or about rearranging my refrigerator to make room for more food (??? I HAVE NO IDEA, YOU GUYS.)

Happy birthday, Mom. Hope you enjoyed it :)


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  2. Laura

    April 18, 2010 7:49 pm

    Great job, Jen!!! You guys did awesome :) I think we did a surprise party for my mom’s 50th too! But it was kind of a long time ago (shh, I didn’t really say that) so I don’t really remember.
    .-= Laura’s last blog post: things i like on thursday =-.

  3. Priscilla

    April 18, 2010 7:55 pm

    Awe, I’m glad everything worked out! It was really nice of you to do that for her. I’ve attempted to plan a surprise party for my FIL’s 50th birthday but it doesn’t work when the MIL tells him beforehand! lol….surprises are so fun when they work!
    .-= Priscilla’s last blog post: Living in a Box =-.

  4. mom

    April 18, 2010 8:35 pm

    I totally forgive you for the little white lies! I had the BEST TIME!! You guys did such a great job with everything (even the lies!). Thank-you SO much!

  5. Melissa

    April 18, 2010 8:47 pm

    Awesome. :) Sounds like it was a huge success and a very memorable birthday for your mom!
    .-= Melissa’s last blog post: contact =-.

  6. bluzdude

    April 18, 2010 11:07 pm

    Great plan, too! Well done.

    It doesn’t count as lying for events like this.
    .-= bluzdude’s last blog post: The Year of Pranking Dangerously =-.

  7. Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks

    April 19, 2010 8:16 am

    Like you, I was a terrible liar as a kid. Still am, for the most part. So, I don’t make it a rule of thumb. That said, as an adult, my family really got into surprising one another (when you live hundreds of miles apart, surprising each other is a big deal!). I’ve become damn good at lying about those kinds of surprises … makes me so excited for the surprise coming up on Mother’s Day. heheheh
    .-= Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks’s last blog post: Miss =-.

  8. Burgh Baby

    April 19, 2010 11:20 am

    How much do I love that your dreams are generally about being organized and getting the stuff on your lists done and such? SO MUCH!

    Congrats on a successful party!
    .-= Burgh Baby’s last blog post: Just Like Yard Work. Except Not. =-.

  9. Dave

    April 19, 2010 3:19 pm

    Great job to all who were involved! Now it gets me thinking about what we can do for my parents in the near future….hmmmm….
    .-= Dave’s last blog post: Abby is a butterfly =-.

  10. Heather

    April 25, 2010 6:52 am

    your mom is beautiful!

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