I've been working every spare minute on a huge project. If you will recall, when Mr. Man turned 40 last November, I swore I would throw him a surprise party in the summer. Listen, I never break promises and I never wear black & navy together.
This surprise party was a huge undertaking with over 50 guests, and guests arriving from 5 different states. Have you met Mr. Man? Let me tell you something, Mr. Man is a homebody, he can't stand running errands, and doesn't like to leave the house unless he has to. How on earth would I pull off a surprise party with Mr. Man home all the time?
Enter my genius idea... Mr. Man is a generous man, who will do most anything if asked nicely. So one of his very dear friends asked if we would host an 80's theme party for the youth (ages 14-18) of our church. Mr. Man said yes, and happily helped set up for what turned out to be his very own party. Lots of people ended up having to lie to Mr. Man, and what good lying friends I have, they all did their job beautifully. Mr. Man had NO clue as he worked so hard.
From 6:30-7:15, guests were stashed at the Neighbor-steins house. That was a last minute decision, as Mr. Man was supposed to be outside setting up his DJ equipment for the dancing portion of the evening. However, he finished the set up early, and was lolly gagging around in the bustling kitchen while I panicked and watched people drive up. Cinnamon was gracious enough to stealthly deliver the guests to the Neighbor-steins. The Neighbor-steins were dressed to the nines, I love them so much, you have no idea how awesome this little tiny neighborhood is. Mr. Neighbor-stein was dressed like Michael Jackson, with the sequined glove and socks.
At 7:15, I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown trying to hide everyone. I got the guests while Mr. Uncle went out to distract Mr. Man with some questions about equipment.
The dozen or more guests who arrived on time gathered in our drab boring living room. Their jazzy 1980's outfits really snazzed up the room, I'm thinking I need to add some 80's flair in there.
I went and got Mr. Man and begged him for help cutting up watermelon. He was shocked, when everyone said, "SURPRISE, HAPPY BIRTHDAY"
It took just a minute for everything to click, and he realized, "Wait, this is a party for me? For what? My birthday was 6 months ago."
I cannot believe I pulled it off. It took oodles of white lies, and I had to be incredibly nosey for weeks to find out just who Mr. Man hangs out with at work, basketball, and socially. Mr. Man doesn't talk a whole lot, so it took some stealth detective work. Mr. Man may never trust me again, but who cares I did it! I pulled off the "Ultimate 80's Surprise Party!"
And look at how happy he is greeting his guests!
Our guests had THE BEST costumes. This is Mrs. Neighbor-steins socks!
We had lots of fun activities for people to do at leisure. A Coke vs. Pepsi taste test.
Mr. Boy helped man the firepit and helped serve s'mores.
We had Atari's set up for our friends to play on, 80's Rock Band, and a yearbook (photobook) for people to sign.
By far the most popular activity was the "Glamour Shots by EllJayJay." She was awesome, and captured the most insanely awesome pictures of our guests in all their glamour glory.
I could not have done the party without a whole host of people, including Cinnamon, who was able to track down some missing guest contact info. Here is Cinnamon with Super Cute Pregnant Jill. (Hi Jill's mom,Lynn!)
I was tempted to push these gentlemen into the pool, but I tried to be a gracious host.
That's a lot of candles!
Happy Belated Birthday Mr. Man!
All in all, it was a huge success. Totally worth all the time and effort. Happy Belated Birthday Mr. Man!
I have been working every spare minute on a project and I can not wait for the unveiling in the next few days. Not even Mr. Man is in the loop on this one, I thought it would be best to ask for forgiveness rather than permission on this one. Although, I can't forsee he isn't going to be anything but super supportive.
I've been waking up in the middle of the night, because I am so excited about this. It reminds me of when I was kid, and super excited about an upcoming trip, I couldn't wait.
The anticipation is killing me, but this picture should be a hint. If you know what I'm referring to, because you have been brought into my circle of trust, please don't spoil it! Check back in a few days for the unveiling!
This is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I think we have to break up. It's like, I don't even know who you are anymore.
The other night, we were hanging out with Jane, making some s'mores by the firepit. It was nice to relax, because I had been up on the hillside planting Orange Trees all afternoon. .
Jane's babies were up the hill a ways, she likes to rest down by our house. I think she feels a kinship with me, because she is wrangling two kids all day long.
Then you came along, and as always, I was excited to see you. Rupert, you were my very favorite deer.
I thought it was sweet that you wanted to sniff my work. According to my "Deer Resistant Landscaping" book, you don't like citrus trees. Well, my book lied, and you munched those trees right down to stubs, while I watched. Were you doing it out of spite? Have I not fed you enough Molasses Oats or Deer Chow? Kept your watering trough clean enough?
I ran over and yelled at you, "Stop! Knock it off!" and you just stared at me, with a blank look in your eye. It's like you don't even care about me anymore. I did this for you, I imagined a hillside covered in fragrant orange blossoms, and sold my very best shoes to buy the best trees out there.... for you. I did it for you... and for me, just a little bit.
Rupert, I hope we can be friends again some day. I really thought we had something special, but right now, I need some time. Maybe some time, a windfall of cash to buy new trees and a new safe spot to plant them, will heal these wounds.
Goodbye Rupert, You will always have a special place in my heart. Love, Mademoiselle Francais
Last Summer was an adventure. We were right in the middle of Chalet Construction and I was mistaken for being homeless. I had to wake up early to greet the crew of Juans and was up late painting or trolling the aisles of the 24 hour Home Depot. It was a lot of work, but worth it I have declared this "The Super Mega Ultimate Summer" to make up for last year. Everyone but Mr. Man is sleeping in past Nine AM, and we are in the pool multiple times a day. I have cleared the calendar and declared that errands will only be run one day a week.
We are spending lots of time lounging around and reading. Mr. Boy is deep into the Harry Potter Series. He spends more time reading than he does playing these days.
We spend our days making goofy faces at the deer, and see if they make them back at us. This is Uncle Buck, and take my word for it, he is HUGE.
At dusk, we hike in the hills for firewood for the firepit.
The brush is so tall you can hide in it. Everyone loves playing in the hills.
And just when you think the hills could not get anymore beautiful, they get mowed down for fire season. I think this has to be the worst job in the world and it makes the hillside ugly.
And it makes Rupert super grouchy.
It makes our daily game of hide and go seek, not nearly as fun. Rupert's kind of a sore loser.
It was a year and one month ago that Mr. Man & I embarked on this construction project. Would I do it again? Yes, in a heartbeat. The Juans have been gone for three weeks and I miss them terribly.
Mr. Man + The Juans = The perfect husband.
I had lunch with the Juans during the day, they unloaded my groceries, and they did all the odd jobs on my "Honey Do" List. Mr. Man would bring home the bacon, eat dinner and spend the evenings with me. It was the perfect combo, and I miss them. I love Mr. Man, but he takes forever to fix a wobbly shelf.
This old backyard is a thing of the past.
I still can't get over how big this yard is. Once we cleared out the Oleanders and added a retaining wall, it's huge. Most city lots have room for grass OR a pool OR a sports court. I feel beyond blessed to have room for all three.
I had grand hopes of a pool, and my wish came true. We ended up moving it over a few feet, and I love it.
The pool was the perfect place to spend Memorial Day weekend. My brother was in town with his family and we spent lazy afternoons in the pool.
Everyone is enjoying the pool, even Skoopi and Mr. Man. Yes, the same Mr. Man who said, "If we put in a pool it will be over my dead body." I promise he is alive and well.
We had the neighbors join us at the last minute for a BBQ. We were all still in swimsuits as we entertained our guests, which is just exactly how it should be. The kids roasted hot dogs and marshmallows over the firepit. I kept catching Mr. Man's eye and we exchanged knowing looks. This is just what we imagined, family, friends, neighbors all relaxed and enjoying themselves. We wanted a house that felt like we were permanently on vacation, a place for our friends to come and rest their bodies and soul.
The deer wandered by for a drink and a snack, hawks circled overhead, and I still can't get over how secluded we are.
Yet after a few twists and turns, we are right there in the city and at night, the city lights twinkle down below.
Is it entirely possible to be totally smitten with your house? If so, I am one smitten kitten.