Monday, January 11, 2016

My Husband's 30th Birthday Surprise


My husband's birthday is in early October, which means that every year it falls on the heels of our wedding anniversary. In the few years we have been married, we have opted to celebrate our anniversary with a weekend trip - and sometimes (depending on what day of the week everything falls) Michael's birthday celebration has gotten lumped together with our anniversary weekend. Because he just turned 30, I wanted to make sure I did something to make this extra-special milestone stand apart from our wedding anniversary.

When I think of a 30th birthday, I see it as a natural time of reflection. I have a hunch that most people look back on their twenties and think about all the places they've been, the people they have encountered, and what they may have accomplished leading up to the "big" three-zero. If you've been reading for awhile you already know that we have moved a LOT since getting married in 2012 - which means we've been a lot of places and met a lot of people. We are currently blessed to have some family nearby, but obviously not ALL of our friends are here because we haven't been here that long. So, in order to surprise my man I thought of a way to bring the community to him, so to speak.

For his birthday, he chose to celebrate with a family dinner at a local restaurant along with my sister and her family. What he didn't know was that I had a surprise gift for him at that dinner....

A few weeks before Michael's birthday I secretly sent out emails and Facebook messages to some family and friends I thought he would like to hear from. I even snagged some phone numbers from his phone when he was at the gym one night so I could text people I didn't have a way of contacting online. I felt so sneaky!

I explained to everyone that I planned to compile a bunch of birthday messages in a scrapbook of sorts and requested that (if they wanted to participate) they email or text them to me by a given date. As far as guidelines went, I told everyone it could be whatever they wanted - keeping in mind that the goal was to wish Michael a happy birthday and help make him feel loved and appreciated.

And you guys - my husband has been blessed with some pretty amazing people in his circle of family and friends. I compiled no less than twenty-seven messages (in addition to my own) for his surprise! A handful of individuals even sent accompanying photographs, which was really sweet (and in many cases, very funny)!

I knew I wouldn't have much time to get the book together, so I kept it really simple. I copied and pasted or typed up the messages in a Word document, adjusted some fonts and sizes, and printed everything out. I picked out some cute scrapbooking paper from my stockpile, cut the messages out, and pasted. And that was it. No fancy borders or extra details. The messages spoke for themselves anyway.

Michael thought his only gifts were a new watch and wallet, which made giving him the scrapbook all the more exciting. When he first opened the book he had no clue what it was - and once he read a few lines from my opening page and glanced at how many pages there were, his reaction was PRICELESS.

He seemed legitimately stunned when he asked, "you got messages from ALL these people??"

After a delicious dinner we stopped by my sister's house to sing Happy Birthday and eat cake.

Ever since his 2nd birthday, Gabriel has been SO excited to watch and/or help
people blow out their birthday candles
Our family: ages 30, 27 (almost 28), 2, and 4 months

We celebrated Michael's 27th birthday (that link will take to you to my old, old blog) with cave tubing and zip-lining in Belize on our honeymoon, I completely surprised him by decorating our home with 28 love messages on his 28th, and for his 29th we took a day trip to Baltimore's inner harbor...but, in my opinion, his 30th really took the cake (pun intended).

"People are similar to wine; some of them will turn to vinegar but only the best will improve as they age."


  1. What an awesome idea for a gift! I'll have to keep that idea in the back of my mind :)

  2. Oh this sounds so much like what we did for my husband's 30th last year! ( I wish we had family and friends nearby so I could have thrown a big party but this just had to do.