The shout out/message I wrote for the birthday boy on Instagram, is below, and included the above photo:
"Happy , Happy Birthday my love! Today, you are not 40 years old, you are 40 years loved!! Words cannot express how highly I think of you, how deeply I love you, and how proud I am to not only call you my husband & best friend, but to also call you the father of my children. COMEDY was the FIRST thing that attracted me to you. You are so funny! You are the reason I smile often and laugh daily. Thank you for your loyalty, faithfulness, commitment, passion, dedication, motivation, integrity, wisdom, patience, generosity, understanding, and love IN. EVERYTHING. YOU. DO. I love you from the depths of my soul and will continue to cherish you for the rest of my life! I pray you feel honored, loved, and appreciated as you say goodbye to your 30's and hello to your 40's."
Darren's day started out like normal. We are adults and we cannot take a time out from life just because it's our birthday. Haha. Remember, I did have a really fun, 3 day trip planned for him, but he declined. AND PRAISE GOD he did because BOTH of our twins came down with a horrible illness. The poor sitter would have really had her hands full.
Days leading up to Darren's birthday, I started collecting 40 years worth of photos, taken of Darren or with Darren in it. Renee, Darren's mom, gave me a nice collection of childhood memory photos, mostly portraits. Those were so fun to look at. Then I went through every single physical photo (in my old fashioned photo albums and photo boxes) and every single online photo that I have ever taken of Darren. I picked photos that were FUN & FUNNY to share. I sent one, different photo to a minimum of 40 people and asked them to post the photos on Instagram OR text the photo to Darren with a message. The message could have been funny, matter of fact, sentimental, or reminiscent in nature. Every person I asked was on board. So fun. Below: my beginning stages/planning process. I stayed up until 2:00 a.m. the night before his birthday.
Then, the minute Darren left to take Ty to school and himself to work, BAM, I began sending individual photos out to my generated list of people. I created a slide show of the photos I chose for people to use. I really need to screen shot each post and the hysterical messages and create an additional slide show, but for now... here is what I have. OR you could check out everyone's posts by using the hashtag #BigDTurns40
I also made a slide show of our last 25 years together. I alternated ONE photo of him with ONE photo of us. After I did it, I realized this was probably something I should have saved for our 25 year wedding anniversary, but there are still so many photos I didn't use, including most importantly, photos of our children.
Jax was home sick this day, but I set up a make-shift bed in my vehicle and stuck with my original plans of surprising Darren with lunch at one of his favorite places: Mission BBQ, plus an iced coffee from Starbucks. I also had to pick up balloon bouquets that I had previously ordered.
This was the most sick my twins had ever been. I am so thankful that God has fully healed them.
When Darren went back to work, after lunch, I had less than 4 hours to rush around and prep the house for his birthday evening.
First, I set out the black "40" balloons along with the gold/black "Happy Birthday Balloons". I love the color scheme.
Then, I used our kitchen table to display some of the unwrapped gifts along with a few wrapped gifts.
Simple, yet classy!
Some of his gifts inlcuded: (2) new blazers from Express, along with (2) matching shirts, a tie, gourmet coffee, (2) bottles of nice whiskies, a whiskey glass, a new pair of shoes, and a pair of moldable ear plugs for the shooting range.
His BIG gift was this beautiful LIBERTY gun safe! He's been dying to get one. His wish is my command.
When Darren arrived home, we yelled surprise to him. This was the best I could do along the lines of a surprise party!
Dinner had to be ordered because it was all I could do to organize 40+ people to send out photos, take care of a sick child, clean the house, pick up lunch, decorate the house, and bake a dessert. I had planned to cook the BELOW meal, but I never made it to the grocery store (again sick child), so I ordered Carrabba's! I ordered chicken Fetticcinie Alfredo to go along with the bottle of Chardonnay that I bought him.
It was nice not having to slave away on a meal and worry about clean up Darren's special night.
As usual, being a GOOFBALL, FUNNY guy.... during photo time.
Getting sicker by the hour...
Dessert consisted of a over-sized Reese's cup and an over-sized Oreo cookie.
I made BOTH of these desserts. The Reese's cup was made a few days prior AND I made the oreo the day of Darren's birthday.
We sang Happy Birthday to daddy/Darren and pigged out on the desserts. They were BOTH so fantastic, but my favorite was the oreo.Under the circumstances of sick children AND Darren having no desire to travel during this time, I feel like I did the best I could to make this day special for him! I know he would have loved for his guy friends to hang out with him one night and love on him too, but is probably too manly to admit it. His 40th 1/2 birthday will be in August... shhhhh, maybe I will start planning his 40 1/2 birthday surprise party!