January 26, 2017

anniversary number four...

i have to admit...this one kind of snuck up on me.  with all the birthday hoopla immediately following christmas i've been at bit lost in the calendar.  a whole week seemed to disappear without my realizing it and when missy asked about our anniversary plans on tuesday i muttered something about figuring it out next week.  to which she replied, "it's in two days".  whoopsie!

thankfully our fried chicken tradition takes some of the pressure out of the planning process.  we started the night at gus's world famous fried chicken and then hung out at the up-down with all the youngins.  donald was like a kid in a candy story reliving his arcade days.  his favorites were ms. pac-man, x-men and taking turns on crazy taxi; i basically stuck to skee ball and serving drinks to the patrons on tapper.  we wrapped up the night with fudge stuffed peanut butter cookies at tannin, because that's what donald's dreams are made of.  


January 9, 2017

the thirty forty...

the morning of the big day dawned bright and clear, and a balmy 5 degrees. we had plans to meet at the leslie's in the afternoon to head out on our little 'road trip'. when we arrived the first surprise was that we weren't just leaving as us, we were leaving in character. erica and i had written a screenplay titled 'threat level gold' and donald and grant were the stars. we sat down for a table read but soon decided that in order to really get into the roles we needed to take it out on location. the first scene unfolded in their living room, but as the caper evolved the men were sent to a mysterious address.


we loaded up the car and headed off, ending up at the independence train station. after hauling our bags inside we read through the next scene, which, in a surprise twist, had us getting back in the car to travel to a new address. this path ended at the airport, but given the whole train station confusion no one really knew what to believe. after solving a series of clues provided by a supporting character, a confirmation code was revealed. grant typed it into a nearby kiosk and bingo bango...we were on our way to warm and sunny los angeles! we also slipped in a couple of train tickets for the hogwarts express since we wanted to be sure to pay harry a visit.


the only surprise we kept all the way to california was our tour of the warner brothers studio, which ended up being one of our favorite stops. aside from riding through the backlot and checking out some sound stages, we saw all the batmobiles, a ton of original harry potter props and my personal favorite...sat on the central perk couch.


we spent our in between time checking out the hollywood sign, seeing a movie and strolling past some stars on the walk of fame.  we also paid visits to some of our favorite burger joints, namely in-n-out and shake shack. one of my best moments was unintentionally stumbling across gene kelly's star just outside of shake shack. he's my favorite.


on our last full day it was finally time to stroll through hogsmead and visit the hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry. it really is a magical place. we drank butterbeer and dined at the three broomsticks; checked out the wands at ollivanders and bought some candy at honeydukes. it was the perfect way to end our magical birthday adventure.


January 3, 2017

big smooth's big 40...

a few years ago while hanging out with grant and erica we discovered that donald and grant not only have birthdays three days apart, but they are specifically ten years and three days apart, meaning they will always be celebrating milestone birthdays together. erica and i decided that such a memorable occasion required an equally memorable trip, so about seven month ago we got down to business. i was happily planning this one and only birthday surprise when it occurred to me that in order to keep this a surprise i was going to have to get him a present on his actual birthday too...one thing led to another and suddenly i was on the hunt for forty, yes i said 40, gifts.



my husband loves things. they bring him great joy. receiving gifts is definitely one of his top love languages. it's also definitely not mine. but as i said, one thing lead to another and it just made sense that this was the perfect idea for his special day.

so on december 27th the songs started to play. five times a day a different silly birthday song meant another birthday gift! there were games and star wars trinkets, gift cards and silly cereals, and a game of thrones umbrella thrown in for good measure. he caught on pretty quickly and it was great to have so much birthday fun to look forward to each day.


but little did he know this was also a rouse to distract him from the bonus gift that was coming the following weekend. he knew we had a little something planned with the leslie's but i did my best to keep his expectations at rock bottom. [something along the lines of a weekend in branson] while i am normally an olympic level sleeper, i was tossing and turning every night with nervous excitement, and then the day finally came...