Sunday, February 19, 2012


I did it! I successfully executed a surprise party for my husband!!!
If I sound overly excited about this, you need to understand how hard it is to surprise my hubby. Every year at Christmas I think I'm being sooo sneaky and that he'll never guess what I got him. And every year, if he hadn't guessed outright, he had a pretty good idea of what was coming.
This party was probably one of the hardest ones to plan - not because there were so many details to sort out, but rather because there were so few!
My party style is the over-the-top, fancy-pants, mimosas-in-rented-champagne-flutes style. This, this was a man party.
The menu: Walk-around tacos; individual dorito chip bags filled with taco fillings. And that was basically it. A friend brought a pie, we had some pop and chips, and later we ordered pizza.

No appetizers. No verrines. No brulees or souffles or otherwise elegant-sounding dishes.

Just tacos. And why serve them in the bag? Because what's more manly that not having to do any dishes?
They were a hit, by the way, with guys having up to 4 bags just so they could figure out the ideal way to open and fill them.
But when I say the planning was hard - I mean it. I felt negligent. I felt lazy. I had a melt-down in the middle of our local Costco when I realized they weren't currently carrying any individual baggies of doritos (Thank goodness for Walmart).
I wanted to be baking and making and doing, but it would not only have been impossible to keep petit fours hidden in my house, but it would have entirely missed the theme for this party: manly. I didn't want the party to be about me or my 'legendary' meals (total modesty right there, I tell you) - I wanted it to be about my hubby and his birthday. I wanted his friends to feel comfortable and not intimidated, I wanted it to be a fun-feeling gathering and I wanted, above all, for it to not be about me, but about him. This is not to say that you can't have fun when you have petit fours, but it sets a different tone for the whole party when you whip out the fancy. I wanted the guys to feel free to break out the poker chips and hit up the Guitar Hero downstairs, and if they had to eat pretentious foods with overly small utensils, they wouldn't have been as prone to rocking out to Metallica I think.
As a pat-on-the-back for me: I even refrained from putting the chips into bowls! (Hardcore, I know.)
One of the other hard parts about this party was trying to not act strange. Matt came home a week ago with the idea that we could rip out all of our flooring upstairs and lay in new stuff over the long weekend! He planned to move all of our bedroom furniture into the basement (where Guitar Hero was set up) and to paint baseboards in our living room (where the rest of the party happened). While normally I would have been just as excited as he was to get these jobs done, I vetoed his suggestion citing personal stress levels. I was worried about seeming unreasonable in the week leading up; I wanted to keep the secret but not at the cost of frustrating my husband. Fortunately for me, if you have surprise parties too often, they are no longer surprising, so I've got probably another 5 years before he gets another one!
After working so hard to 'tone down the Martha' this past week, this coming week will be a full 180. I'm helping to run a Daddy-Daughter Dance this weekend and am somewhat responsible for card making, decorating, and general prettiness! Thank goodness for Pinterest to give me lots of ideas!

Mrs. VanderLeek ;)

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