it’s always like this

March 12, 2009

like a fox

Filed under: absolutely fabulous, the love boat — notsojenny @ 10:21 am

“you’re sneaky!  usually in the good kind of way”

that’s what M said to me this morning as i was walking out the door to get to work.  what triggered the comment was him opening up the food pantry and seeing the “Happy Birthday!” paper balloon with ribbon tail that i’d stuck to the box of poptarts in front.  he had already dealt with the first surprise of the day when he got out of bed to go to the bathroom and came back to a stack of (beautifully wrapped) gifts taking up his warm spot. 

obviously today is M’s birthday and this year was tougher for me than most, as far as gifts go.  for the most part M and i don’t do gifts for any other holidays.  valentine’s day just gets us cards and our annual meal from the same restaurant.  our anniversary leaves us with more cards and a special date of some sort.  christmas is a mutual exchange of just spending time together.  but birthdays?  we always go big on birthdays.

the year before we started dating was actually my favorite.  we still worked in the same building at that time so i’d gone into the office over the weekend to prep for his birthday.  i spent a good 6hrs. decorating his office… i wish i had pictures.  i wrapped everything in there in fancy wrapping paper… keyboard, monitor, pictures, pens, stapler, etc.  then i made about, oh i dunno, a billion (give or take) stings of curled ribbon and hung them from the ceiling… the place was covered.  i hung crepe paper and blew up balloons from a helium tank to fill the room.  he was surprised when he opened the door but he knew right away who’d done it.  people stopped by his office for days to check it out… he left all the ribbon up for a very long time, he liked that part best.  even when he got home he was met with balloons and cake in his kitchen that he hadn’t left there.  that was the first year i got him.

since then it’s been toned down but whether it’s me showing up at his house, sneaking a cake i’d baked in and lighting it while he’s in the bathroom or getting him cooking classes he didn’t even know he wanted, i am always trying to do something fun and unexpected for his birthday.  sure, beyond all of this there are gifts (that’s the best part, right?) but my favorite thing is all the little surprises throughout the day.

but this year i had a hard time figuring out a big gift for him.  we’ve done big things like skydiving for birthdays before so it gets harder each year to meet/top the previous one.  with all the chaos and preoccupation with wedding stuff i can admit that i didn’t spend nearly enough time thinking about or planning his gift.  but i do know that when he opens them tonight he’ll be surprised.  i got him one thing he doesn’t know he needs, and 2 other things that i expect him to be thrilled with!

but still,  my favorite part is knowing that i’m stopping to pick up a fudgie the whale cake on my way home as a surprise.  knowing that as the day goes on he’ll find all the other paper balloons wishing him a very happy birthday  in the fridge, his closet, 2 bathrooms, etc. 

as i was sitting on the bathroom floor cutting balloons out of construction paper (this is the only place i can do sneaky things without worry of being caught) i was thinking about how much fun it’s going to be when we have kids.  i can’t wait to do this more times a year, and someday have a partner in crime to help leave little surprises for M!



~ today i learned… that i’ve spent the first half of my day in the office with my pants unbuttoned and unzipped and no one noticed, good to know ~



  1. I love it! I do similar things. Except instead of doing the decorating, I find really creative ways to wrap the presents and make opening them a little journey. Although for vday, i did find a vday themed coloring book w/puppies in the $1 section at Target. I colored almost every single picture, then cut them out of the book and taped them together and hung them in the doorway (like those beads from the 70s) for him to find when he got home from work that morning.

    I think your kids are going to have fantastic birthdays – they’re going to love it!

    Comment by DanceintheRain — March 12, 2009 @ 10:37 am

  2. You are so totally going to be the greatest mom. How much fun is this! I think the little surprises along the way are the best; there’s nothing that says “I love you” more than proof that you put in the time, thought about him, and most of all enjoyed it.

    Fudgie the whale was a good move, too : )

    Comment by magda — March 13, 2009 @ 10:03 am

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