So, the other thing that's kept me from posting lately was the party I mentioned yesterday. My younger brother turns 30 this week, and his girlfriend approached me almost a year ago, asking if I, the family party planner, would help her throw him a surprise party.
How could say no? (Its a sickness, really.)
We planned for months, laughing and joking as we IM'd each other and sent messages via Facebook. We got to know each other better as we took secret trips to the party outlet store, and bonded while we shopped the aisles of the dollar store for items to put into our "man-yata". (Its like a piñata, but for men. Filled with things that, um, men like.)
This past Saturday was D-Day. D Day to pray for nice weather.
We reserved a picnic area at a local park, so I was in a state of near panic when the forecast called for afternoon thunderstorms. We had only two small tents, so my Dad came prepared with a large canvas and plenty of rope, but that didn't really put my mind at ease. It was so windy when we got there to set up that the first tent literally blew away, rolling end over end toward the street before we could stake it down.
Because my brother Al rents the upper of our duplex, we needed not only a plan to get him to his own party, but one to get him out of the way so we could load up our mass amounts of party supplies as well. The idea? Take him fishing!
So my dear Hubs, forever making sacrifices to help his crazy wife, came home from working an overnight shift and packed up to head out fishing. He, my brother Jeff, Al and Nick headed out for the lake around 9.
Now, it was necessary to bring my boys along on some of the party planning trips - they were with us the day we picked up Jorge (that's "Hor-hey" for you non-Spanish speakers) from the party supply store. By this time last week, Nick was excitedly counting down the days until the party, riling up his brother, chanting "PAR-TEE, PAR-TEE, PAR-TEE!" and talking about the "pinana" while I nervously glanced around to quickly make sure Al wasn't just outside the window.
In an effort to make my day-of workload a bit lighter, Jay suggested he take Nick fishing with him.
I thought he was nuts. Surely the fishing crew would barely be out of the driveway before the secret was given away. But Jay spent all day Friday coaching his four-year-old.
"What're we doing tomorrow?" he'd ask.
"FISHING!" Nick would shout. "And then the party!"
We'd shake our heads and roll our eyes and try again, until finally, this process repeated enough times, we finally got the results we were looking for.
"What're we doing tomorrow?"
"FISHING!!!! And then nothing else."
Saturday morning, Nick leaps out of bed to say, "MOM! Its going to be so much fun - I can't wait to go fishing. And nothing else!"
Heaven help us.
ANYWAY...the boys headed off to fish. I'm pleased to report that the secret was kept (good boy!) and they got Al to the park without him suspecting a thing.
It was a loooong day, but a great time. The weather even cooperated.