I spent over a month planning, purchasing, creating, and going insane trying to do it all on the sly. I knew I wanted the theme to be the Alabama Crimson Tide, because he is a die-hard fan, and it would also be football season. I also had to purchase everything without him seeing it on our online banking, keep everything hidden from sight, and spend conservatively since we are now a one income family.
My sister Jaime agreed to host the party at her house. She has a huge finished garage and lives on a farm with lots of land for the kids to play and people to space out, and also to have a bonfire at the end of the night as well. My sister-in-law Holly and brother-in-law Chris volunteered to help me out by creating a football table, complete with goal lines and posts, and also bringing the beer and Jell-O shots. The necessities ;)
I shopped for expendable (read:I can throw it away when I'm done) items such as napkins, plates, silverware, tablecloths, etc. at Deal's. Deal's is my go-to for party decorations. You can't beat their selection and with everything being $1, you don't have to spend a fortune on shit you'll only use once. I ordered just 1 package of Alabama plates and napkins to layer in with the cheapies just so people would think I spent more than I did. Fake it 'til you make it. Then I bought things like balloons, noisemakers, the wrapping paper for table runners, cupcake toppers, etc. on Amazon and had it all shipped to my sister's. I decided to blow up my own balloons since our local party store wanted $8 a piece to blow up the mylar balloons, and $1 a piece for the latex. Fuck that noise! So I bought a tank for $20 at Walmart, problem solved :)
I used the table as our centerpiece so to speak, and decorated it with football shaped serving trays for the cupcakes and football shaped cheeseball. My sister Dede made the cupcakes which were delicious, and my friend Amy made the football shaped cheeseball. I made the houndstooth and red birthday sign. My brother in law Kent hung it and the "30" numbers up, can you tell? :)
I also had my cousins make Lorelai a custom onesie to wear and she was absolutely adorable.
Holly's father-in-law made a slideshow video of pictures that we showed during the party as well. I ugly cried throughout pretty much the entire thing, it was so, so good. Bradley was surprised, everyone had a great time, and I'm glad it's over and I don't have to worry about him finding out anymore.