day 3 – kelly’s 30th birthday

having just shared my surprise birthday gift from kelly, i thought it was only appropriate to follow up with the little extravaganza that i planned for her birthday this year. it was a big milestone in her life, as she gracefully embraced the age of 30.

kelly is truly a summer girl at heart. she loves warm summer nights, freshly-cut wild flowers, and eating outdoors. so as i began planning her surprise 30th birthday party, i knew that i wanted to incorporate each of these elements.

step one, her gift. ever since we built our house, kelly has wanted outdoor furniture for our deck. since that is exactly where the party would take place, i had the perfect opportunity to blend her gift directly into the scene. the outdoor furniture would essentially become the centerpiece for the party.

step two, the details. oh how i love the details. for flowers, i knew that i wanted the table outfitted with a couple of kelly’s summer favorites. (pro tip: guys, know your lady’s favorite flowers. there comes a time when you have to get creative and step out of the comfort zone of roses.) to hold the flowers, i wanted something special. something that would not only be used at the party, but could also serve as another birthday gift, and eventually find it’s way into our home decor. when i came across these old milk jugs at a local antique shop, it was as if the angels began to sing. brilliant. and the wire crate carrier was just an added bonus. to compliment the flowers, i wanted the color palette to include yellow. i went to work on the basics, such as the plates, napkins, and ribbon. then i had some fun and framed a piece of yellow plaid stationary with the number 30. for drinks, of course we had sweet tea and water, and the lemons provided a nice additional pop of yellow to the table. the drink dispensers? well, those actually turned out to be another birthday gift. they tied in perfectly with the mason jars and old glass milk jugs, and once again, i was able to use another birthday gift as a functioning aspect of the party. it all came together quite nicely.

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step three, the plan. just as we always do for our birthdays, kelly and i were going to have dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. my parents came over to watch the boys, and the night was ours. little did kelly know that my mom would be calling mid-meal to say that emerson was terribly sick and we probably needed to come back home. bingo. that gave me just enough of a window for everyone to arrive at our house, park their cars at a secret location, and set up the entire scene. i had every piece of the party ready to go, and detailed instructions as to how i wanted it all arranged. so essentially, we left our house with absolutely nothing on the deck, and returned home to a full deck of furniture, gifts, dessert, and people. needless to say, kelly was quite surprised when we arrived home.

and here are just a few familiar faces from the party, including each of our two cupcake bandits, and the birthday girl alongside her sister.

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all in all, it was a perfect evening. i had a blast putting it all together, and i can’t thank my family and friends enough for their help in pulling it off. while kelly may want to forget that she is now 30, i don’t think she will soon forget this birthday surprise.