Bradley's Surprise 30th Birthday Party

My husband Bradley's 30th birthday was August 28th, but since we had a trip planned to Houston that weekend, and then Labor Day weekend was after that, I decided to throw him a surprise party this past Saturday the 10th. Plus, having thrown it so far after his actual birthday, it helped add to the element of surprise.

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? :)

 Each table had a red tablecloth, and I used houndstooth wrapping paper as table runners. I also had two picture frames per table with front and back photos of him as a kid and some as an an adult. Sprinkled amongst that were pins I made with a picture of him dressed head to toe in Alabama clothes, and buckets I decorated with stickers and filled with frozen water balloons to keep the waters cold. I also used the buckets to tie my balloons to for each table as well.

I didn't get any good pictures of the tables set up before everyone got there. I'm still upset with myself that I didn't take a minute to take pictures of everything to have as a reminder of all my hard work. Between setting up, coordinating his arrival, dressing and nursing Lorelai, I had no time to think, let alone plan ahead for something like that. I also didn't get a family picture of the three of us either. Every party I throw from now on, I will be sure to designate that role to someone beforehand so it gets taken care of.

I also had my cousins make Lorelai a custom onesie to wear and she was absolutely adorable.
Boo Boo Kitty did not last long since we had a long day already before the party even started. It was our town's Marigold Festival, and between that and being passed around all night, she was pooped. She eventually got her second wind and was the life of the party until she finally went down for the night at 11:30pm.

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.

Now that it's over, we can all focus on more important things. Like my upcoming 30th birthday in January!


  1. I will come back to this place, its huge and open, and have really tall ceilings. Wait staff was also pretty good. Bartender was awesome and personable. I was really pleased with my party at Chicago event space. Ha! I highly recommend these guys.

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