Holidays, Life

Birthday surprise

I’ve mentioned before that my husband is notoriously difficult to buy gifts for. He doesn’t really have any big hobbies that require “gear” or “equipment” (no golf balls or tees to buy….doesn’t really like to read….is pretty minimalistic about many things like coffee mugs, etc…..). He is also rather picky about his clothing and likes them to “feel” a certain way, and he just bought himself some cool new sunglasses recently. Technology wise, he likes nice things but usually either buys them himself or, I have absolutely no idea what he would want. Besides high quality TVs and a decent, newish phone, he’s not even that big into lots of gadgets and stuff anyway (minus our intergalactic refrigerator he insisted on). I asked if he might want AirPod Pros and he kind of shrugged like, eh, don’t need ’em.

So I was kind of freaking out about his 40th birthday. I felt like I needed (and wanted) to do something to celebrate, since it’s 40!! But I had no idea what to get him. The boys and I literally sometimes resort to getting him chocolates and like, Starbucks gift cards because we can’t think of stuff to buy him…. It’s quite exasperating.

I was working one day and I had one of those lightbulb moments….his MOM! I suddenly realized that all he would want is to see his family (or at least part of it). He is VERY close to his family including his extended family and has been saying, “I want to go to Mexico. I want to go to Mexico” every few days for the past several months. With COVID there + his huge extended family, we felt it’s not a good time for him to go since it would be hard to go and then not be able to make the rounds to see everyone. (He usually goes at least once a year by himself to visit plus our family visits every 1-2 years).

Anyway, I had the idea of his Mom coming ~2 weeks ago now, talked to his sister who lives in town, talked to his Mom, and bought the ticket for his Mom in a span of about a day!! We hashed out a good plan to surprise him and it totally worked. He was so surprised when he opened the door that he said, in ENGLISH, “What are you doing here?!?!?” Hahahaha!! Spanish is definitely still his native/preferred language and besides, his Mom doesn’t speak any English at all. So I could tell he was flustered and that his brain waves were a little mixed up at the moment! lol!!

The boys and I made photo posters with tons of pics of friends, family and him from over the years I have known him.

I wanted to surround him with everyone that couldn’t be present!!!

The boys and I also made a big sign where we listed 40 things they love about their Dad. A few examples: “He teaches us to eat spicy food”, “He sets a good example of how to be a good dad”, “He plays board games with us even though he doesn’t really like them…” (lol!), “he is fun to climb rocks with on family vacations”, “He buys us nice shoes”, and many more!


I made two desserts- a blueberry crumble (his request) and a lemon cookie strawberry pie thing that the boys love. We managed to buy a couple small gifts and had Mexican tlacoyos and thin flank steak with spicy salsa for dinner. I think he loved the whole night!!!

I’m very happy that the surprise was a success, mostly- and that I managed to make his birthday special!!! I was really stressing about what the heck to do, especially given covid and all- options were limited. My original plan (like, years ago) had assumed maybe we would do a special couples trip for his birthday to some place really cool- he has always wanted to go to Denmark. Well, clearly THAT wasn’t happening…so this was a much better (and less expensive 😉 ) optioon.

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for 1 hour photo printing options!! I didn’t have the photo idea until kind of last minute….thankful Walgreens pulled through for me. haha!

5 thoughts on “Birthday surprise”

  1. Awww that is so sweet! I’m glad you were still able to make it very special for him. You described his reaction so well, I can almost watch it as a video in my mind, haha.


  2. what a great birthday present! so thoughtful and really the best of its kind than any gift. Things that really make us happy are invisible 🙂


  3. That is the best gift you could have given him! Time with family is so priceless, especially since he hadn’t seen here in a long time and her other trip had to be canceled. And for a minimalist, an experience gift is the best. You did a great job making this such a special day!!


  4. This was so, so thoughtful. What a wonderful surprise – and just what he wanted! Just the right kind of gift. AirPod Pros don’t compare. 😉


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