When Mike turned 30, I surprised him with a big party at our condo. After a long day at school (he was getting his Master’s Degree), he came home to a house full of family and friends. He had a blast, but I distinctly remember him saying, “You’ll never be able to surprise me again.” I was like:

challenge

I started figuring out Mike’s party back in the summer. His birthday is December 9th, so I picked a date in November when I didn’t think he’d suspect anything. I emailed his family and friends to save the date…and then I spent the next several months stressing that somehow, the surprise would get ruined. I was mostly worried that I’d absent-mindedly copy Mike on a text or email about the party. Luckily, I never blew it (and as far as I know, neither did anyone else!).

On Saturday night, I told Mike we were going to an event for the app I work for. He accepted that, especially since it was at a bowling alley (Mike loves to bowl). I was careful to drive it home by telling him all about the different people from the app who’d flown into town for the event. I quizzed him on names as we entered the alley through the back entrance, rounded the corner, and walked right into his party.

walking in...

Walking in…

realizing what's up

Realizing what’s happening as everyone yells, “Surprise!”

It was so great to have all of his friends and family there to surprise and celebrate him.

#Spohrty

#Spohrty

Spohr Family

It was a kid-free night, which meant we adults could actually talk to each other instead of chasing around kids with bowling balls. It was awesome!

#Spohrty

Vervin'

#Spohrty

Spohrty

There was also lots of bowling. Mike and his friends are very good, and very competitive with each other. We also discovered some of us have secret bowling talents.

#Spohrty bowling

As you know, I love party planning and all the little details that come with it, so holding a party at a location was a new experience for me. In some ways, it was nice to not have to do much for the party. I didn’t have to worry about food because the bowling alley had a caterer. I didn’t have to do much in the way of decor because…it’s a bowling alley. But still, I wanted little touches. The alley put up baby pictures of Mike on every bowling screen:

baby mike

I also made a faux BuzzFeed post with more of Mike’s baby pictures (kindly scanned and emailed to me by his dad!):

Untitled

And I couldn’t resist putting one of my favorite pictures of Mike on the cake:

aw baby Mikey

…which he didn’t see until he was blowing out the candles:

Blowing out the candles

But I really loved how everyone gave Mike perfect gifts:

Cowboy Diet Coke

Yes, that is a Diet Coke cowboy hat.

It was a great night with family and friends, celebrating a guy we all love. I bought a few decorations that said, “Life Begins at 40,” and I truly believe the best is yet to come. Happy almost birthday, Mike! I love you (never challenge me again)!