I'm not very good at surprises. I can be the "surprisER," but the part where I'm the "suprisEE" is a different story entirely. That may be because I'm a little bit of a control freak. Last year for my 40th birthday, I knew there was going to be a big something, but it was unclear what that something was going to be. So instead of taking the chance that I would be unexpectedly surprised, I went ahead and planned the whole thing. I reserved the Mendon Station. I heavily hinted to my husband who he should enlist to help him. And then I told those people exactly what I wanted the party to look like. And when the day came, I knew exactly what to expect and I loved every second of it!
This year, my SILs and I planned to do something together for a long weekend. I thoroughly enjoy hanging out with my husband's side of the family. So the thought of a long weekend with some of them sounded great!
The effort needed to coordinate our schedules is nothing short of monumental. Two of them have busy job schedules. We all have callings, husbands, tons of responsibilities, and 14 children between us. Oh, and I now live 1200 miles away from them. So finding a weekend where we were all available to do anything together was miraculous. Up until the very last few days before the trip, we were still working out details. Fly into Vegas or SLC? Stay in St. George or Vegas? Come home Sunday or Monday? At 24 hours out, I was feeling the stress creep in, worrying that I was going to either fly into the wrong airport or have to wait in one of them for way too many hours. I'm sure I was less than pleasant to my husband and the other "planners".
So all along the way, I texted and called and emailed the "Alpha SIL" just to make sure things were still going as planned. (Did I mention I like to KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT?) And each time, she responded with calming reassurance that all was under control. (How could it be when I wasn't controlling it?)
I left DAL at 6:45am, connected in ABQ and barely squeaked onto the last seat on the flight to Vegas. I texted to let her know that I had landed and she said, "see you in a minute." Then she gave me specific directions to meet them outside of baggage claim. So out the door I went looking for my two blonde SILs. (Have I mentioned that I don't like to be interrupted by strangers when I'm focused on where I'm going??) I made it halfway across the pedestrian bridge and some girl stopped me and said, "Excuse me, ma'am." (ugh...what could she possibly want? and how could I possibly look like I had the answer?) Even though I was mildly irritated at the interruption, I looked at her and I would've attempted an answer to her question, but she didn't have a question because...
GUESS WHO IT WAS?! My sister, Kanoe! And GUESS WHO was standing right next to her?! My mom!
That whole "excuse me" exchange took all of 5 seconds (and have I mentioned that I'm not very good at being the SURPRISEE?) I was so confused. I thought that they just happened to be in Vegas, so I was still looking for my SILs.
But once I figured out what was actually happening and that my SILs weren't waiting somewhere in the parking lot for me, I realized it was the best surprise EVER! Really...I can't think of a time when I've suspected a thing less, known absolutely NOTHING about what was happening behind the scenes, and been more surprised by the outcome. And I can't think of a surprise that I've ever had that's been MORE FUN or MORE EXCITING.
The rest of the weekend was totally out of my hands and completely fun.
Here are the best parts...
- Hanging out with my mom and my sister. I especially loved the parts where people asked how we were related and I could say, "This is my mom and my sister." If I could have worn a sign that said "I'M THEIRS" I would have. I love that we all curl up the exact same way when we sleep. I love that they are so hilarious and fun. I love looking at them and seeing me. I love them!!
- Riding the gondola and shopping at the Venetian.
- FRIED TWINKIES!!!
|Serious YUM! I have been dreaming about these since I left Vegas!|
- Introducing my mom and my sister to my husband's family (well, some of them...two brothers, two SILs, 1 niece, and 3 nephews). And they all LOVED each other. We had great food, hilariously funny stories, and tons of fun together.
- Breakfast with my dear sweet friend, Mamie! I love that she's a standing date every time I go to St. George. And I love that we can pick up right where we left off, like we've never been apart
- The drive back to SLC. I'm convinced there is nothing more scenic than the mountains in Utah. It was a gorgeous sunny day, the skies were blue and the mountains were spectacular! I love when they look like they've been sprinkled with powdered sugar.
- Lunch with another dear friend from Mendon. I have missed her more than I realized. It was so good to connect with her. I wish I had had more time to see everyone else that I miss.
- VIsiting the family who wasn't able to be in St. George with us. I adore my husband's family. Even without him there, I still felt completely relaxed and comfortable with all of them. I visited his 96 yr old grandmother in her new care facility. She is delightful and sharp as a tack despite the recent health challenges she's had. I also visited my youngest brother-in-law and his family, and...(don't tell the other nieces and nephews), their kids are my favorites...by far! They are smart and warm and adorable and wonderful and I think they might like me.
- My SIL, Nance. She is the voice of reason for me all the time. She puts things into a perspective that I cannot often do on my own. It was so enjoyable to spend so much time with her. She is rejuvenating and uplifting for me every time. I'm pretty sure she has that effect on everyone.
But the greatest thing about the trip was coming home today knowing how many people must love me to have pulled off this amazing weekend. I am so grateful for all of them!