April 29, 2014


At the end of March Andy turned 30! I can’t even believe he is thirty, this is still shocking to me. I always thought that when people turned thirty they were old, I guess as you get older your definition of old changes.

Since he was turning 30 (kind of a big deal) and we are going to be moving 800+ miles away (also a big deal), I decided that I wanted to do something extra special for him. I went back and forth with the idea of skydiving or throwing him a surprise party. I even told him one day that I thought about throwing him a surprise party but decided not to because it would have been too hard. I told him I wanted to go sky diving and kept talking about it (in case you haven’t noticed, I really want to go sky diving). When I started looking into sky diving I quickly realized how expensive it is and thought it would be better to save some of that money, so I decided to throw him a surprise party instead.

2-3 weeks before Andy’s birthday I reserved the gym at our church building for the party. On the days he stopped somewhere to pick something up on his way home from work I would print out invitations (of course I deleted any trail of said invitations off of my computer) and run them to our friends and neighbors homes. He almost caught me on more than one occasion while I was out making my rounds. One day he decided to stay at work a little longer. Naturally, I beat him home so I grabbed a few invites and headed out the door. As I was backing out of the driveway he called to ask where I was and I told him I was at home. I quickly ran to our friends, dropped off the invite, and headed home. As I was unlocking the front door to go back into the house Andy pulled in. I quickly let myself in, locked the door, threw my shoes off and started doing the dishes. If I had been 5 seconds later getting home he would have known I was up to something.

One day he fell asleep on the floor, I grabbed his phone and started scribbling down names and phone numbers. The next day I text everyone and asked for their e-mail address so I could send them the party details. Once the texts were sent, I deleted them from my phone. I proceeded to communicate with everyone through my work e-mail (Andy doesn’t have access to it).

One night when we went to have a game night with Andy’s co-workers I purposely left my book in the car. Later I asked Andy if he could go get my book for me. While he was outside I distributed invites to all of his work friends. Hehe. I thought I was so sneaky.

The week of his party arrived and I got permission to take shorter lunch breaks so I could get off early on Friday to set everything up. During my lunch breaks I would run to the store to pick things up for his party, communicate with friends who were coming to the party and order pizza. 

As the day of the party began to approach I started to get nervous, I thought he had figured out he was having a surprise party. All I had told him was that I got him on his birthday and that he could do whatever he wanted the day after his birthday. I also told him we were going on an adventure, he would be blind folded until we got there, and his parents would be there for the adventure. Up to this point he told me he thought we were going sky diving, but I didn’t believe him.  I printed out a fake sky diving invoice complete with the logo and contact information of a sky diving company in Utah. I planted the invoice in a stack of papers I had asked him to go through and even left it sticking out quite a bit, as luck would have it he didn’t notice it.

On the day of his party I knew I had to do something to convince him he was going sky diving. I talked with my co-workers, did some research on sky diving, and then composed a script. One of my co-workers called Andy to confirm his sky diving jump. Unfortunately, Andy didn’t answer the phone so my co-worker had to leave a voicemail. In the voicemail he said his name was Josh (this was the name of one of employees according to the company website) and that he was calling from Sky Dive Utah and he was calling to confirm his jump for tonight. He instructed Andy to wear loose fitting clothes and athletic shoes.

When Andy listened to the voicemail he got excited and tried to call the phone number back but the call would not go through (you cannot call into our work phones). So Andy hopped online to look up Sky Dive Utah’s phone number and he called them. He spoke with a woman and she told him that they didn’t have any jumps scheduled for that night and they didn’t have anyone by the name of Josh who worked there. I received a frantic text from Andy asking me to call him as soon as I saw the text.

I called Andy and he told me what had gone on. He told me he was super excited to go sky diving and that he was sorry he ruined the surprise. He asked if I knew what was going on and I told him I did and he asked if he needed to worry about anything and I told him I had everything under control.

After work I headed to the party supply store to pick up some balloons, withdrew some money from the bank so the neighbors could pick up the pizzas I’d ordered, and then headed to the church to setup. Setting up took a little longer than I thought it was so I called Andy to tell him I was on my way home from work but was stuck in traffic.

When I got home Andy was ready to go and told me that I needed to hurry. I quickly changed and put on some makeup while he put some gel in his hair (I told him I wanted him to look good in his pictures and that he should do his hair). Then we hopped into the car and he put his blindfold on.

I purposely drove around several round-a-bouts multiple times so that he didn’t know where we were headed, then I hopped on the freeway. As we were going down the freeway he asked how fast we were going (he was trying to figure out where we were). I told him what the speedometer said and he started guessing roads (lucky for me the speedometer doesn’t work properly so we were going faster than what it said so he didn’t guess the freeway). I got off on the first exit we came to and started taking back roads. I asked him what he thought we were doing and he said, “We are doing something exciting! We are either going sky diving, hang gliding, or parachuting!” The blindfold stated hurting his head and I told him we were almost to where we were going.

When we arrived at the church someone propped the doors open and met us at with a video camera. They welcomed us to Sky Dive Utah and asked Andy what he thought he was doing today and he said, We are going sky diving!” We led him to down the hallway to the gym and we told him he could take his blindfold off. The room was wall to wall with family and friends who all yelled, “Surprise!”

*Sorry the video isn't the best quality, it was made with a cell phone.

The surprise party reveal.

Andy was so surprised and very happy! He was so caught off guard by everything that he almost started to cry. He wasn’t really sure how to react.

The rest of the night consisted of eating food, playing games and sword fighting with balloon swords.

Later that night Andy told me that was the best birthday he had ever had. He said he was nervous and sad about turning thirty but the surprise party made everything better.

I want to thank those who helped me pull of the surprise party and thank our friends for coming to celebrate!

In case you were wondering, I did apologize for lying to Andy and leading him to believe he was going sky diving. He was very understanding.