My sister Vanessa turned thirty last week.
A few months ago I started thinking about what I could do for her 30th birthday to make it special.
One part of it involved me bringing these four monkeys to the Nashville airport at 9:00 at night on Saturday while Chris was out with his friend watching football. You know if these children are out at the airport two hours past their bedtime, it's for a good reason!
We waited for a little while, and then Ms. Abby arrived! Vanessa's absolute best friend, since she was about four years old, flew down for the weekend to surprise her. And we actually pulled it off! She was surprised!
But there were more surprises to come.
Katie worked hard on a painting for Auntie Nessa.
My mini-me and I worked on another part of Vanessa's surprise, along with the help of several other people. Like, 28 other people.
I made a chocolate peanut butter cheesecake that, if I say so myself, was divine.
We got our last swim of the year in. Katie did FANTASTIC with just a lifejacket. She was a bit apprehensive at first, but she was kicking those sticks (as Chris calls them) in no time, "racing" Henry across the pool. (As Henry pointed out, "I'm just doing a light jog and she is kicking as fast as she can! She's trying so hard. I'm so proud of her, I'll let her win. This time.")
Finally, it was present time!
Katie wondered what everyone was so excited about.
Vanessa did too. I completely thought she knew about our surprise.
For her 30th birthday, I had thirty of Vanessa's friends and family members write notes, cards, or letters to her to wish her a happy birthday and share their favorite memories of Vanessa. I put them all in envelopes, numbered them from one through thirty and wrapped them up. I put my letter first, and in that I explained the gift. She was totally surprised!
The notes were sweet, funny, thoughtful, and perfect. I am so thankful to everyone who participated and helped me do it, because she seemed to really like it!
Happy 30th Birthday Vanessa!