Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Laurie's Surprise Birthday Week

For the past couple of weeks I was afraid to post something on my blog because I thought that my sister may read it and I may mess up her surprise birthday week.
For the last month or so my sister, Laurie, has told everyone that she was NOT having this birthday - she turned 50 on October 7... Well because she was so adamant about not having this birthday her husband decided to run an ad in the newspaper & give her a surprise party.  They own the Wexford Ace Hardware (Wexford PA).  He started her week with the ad, he didn't tell anyone at the store that he was placing said ad so that no one would "spill the beans". So when a customer called the store that day and asked about "the ad" she told the employee to tell them to bring that  in the ad to the store and they would match the sale - she thought it was from a competitor. She had no idea that she was going to have a picture (we think she was about 3 years old) and her 50th birthday advertised. 
When her husband, John, came into the store later in the day he brought the paper with him and left it in the car - they had to take their youngest, Ben, to his hockey practice. To say that Laurie was not happy with him would be an understatement - "if you are going to put an ad in the paper it would be nice if you told someone about it..." She said this as she was searching the paper for the ad.
She found the ad and said the first thing she saw was her teeth and she knew what he had done. She smacked him with the paper a few times and kept telling him "I wasn't having this birthday" "I can't believe you did this" "How could you do this to me...." and more of the same, but she was laughing the entire time she was yelling at him.

 I couldn't believe that the kids kept it a secret all that time. John started working on this back in June.  It was difficult for Jan (my older sister) and I to not let her in on the secret. I didn't call her as often as I usually do because I was terrified that I was going to let it slip that Jan and I were going to be there Friday evening for her surprise party.  The lengths that he went to to surprise were were long and involved.  The restaurant that he had dinner was the Penn Brewery - we had a buffet dinner that was absolutely wonderful.I can't tell you exactly what we had but the meal as well as the beer was delightful.  

Jan and I drove from the Chicago area leaving at about 7am so that we could get there in time for the party. Yes, that is a "birthday hat" on the car. We were there early. The plan was that the kids, Jan and I would be sitting at the table when Laurie and John walked into the restaurant so that she would, at first, think that we were the surprise. Well actually us and Emma, their oldest who came home from school (Indiana University of PA) for the weekend. i believe the longest drive for anyone was from Tennessee! All the way from Tennessee to see Laurie, WOW, now that is a true friend.
The premise to get her there - John is the best!  The weekend prior to her party he decided to take Laurie, Carly & Ben to dinner at Penn Brewery - they got there after 8pm and the kids were not allowed to enter, I believe because of the liquor laws and Octoberfest.  Earlier in the day he had printed out a pretend coupon for a 'buy one - get one free buffet dinner, and when he got back to the car he told her that they couldn't go in but, he was so excited about the coupon - "look at what they gave me - a free dinner..." "what awesome customer service" blah, blah, blah... she finally told him to put the coupon away or she was going to rip it up!  

Fast forward to Friday, October 8, he took her to lunch and she actually asked about dinner at Penn Brewery for that evening - "you have the coupon for a free dinner" - to John's credit he played dumb, pretending to forget about the "coupon". "What coupon?!?"  She figured out a schedule - the kids were going to go to the high school football game so it would just be her and John for dinner -- or so she thought.  

Laurie - Jan in the background
Friends holding Laurie's picture

Kyle (friend) Emma (oldest) Ben (youngest) Carly (middle)

Laurie's Cake

Laurie and John
She was really surprised - She had no idea that Jan and I would be there let alone that there would be 35 other people there as well.
Laurie just found out that Carly went to IUP to pick up Emma from School and she wasn't happy!

Now for the real reason for this post -- I created a 9x12 Zentangle "L" for Laurie!  I think she really liked it.


  1. A man never to miss an opportunity your BIL and what a fabulous occassion he made 50 for your sister.

    The piece you have given here is awesome had to 'blow it up' and look at every inch and WOW. xx Zoe

  2. Zoe - Thanks very much! We had a blast all weekend long in PA - We went to Ben's Hockey game and then to Emma's Lacrosse game.

  3. What fabulous fun you had with Laurie's birthday event! I love the tangled 'L' you made for Laurie - what a brilliant idea, WTG! Hugs and Blessings, Mo