OK! So let me tell you all about this most amazing party Frit threw for me last night. I honestly had no idea. I knew she had a surprise, but last year that meant tubing in Park City. The year before that it meant sledding in Kaysville. The year before that it meant a beach party in our living room, just the two of us, complete with sand and pina coladas. So when I asked her how I should dress for the evening, and she said, “you’ll want to look nice,” I assumed the theater or a museum. Never a party at my very own home!
My little sister was in on the whole charade and took me to dinner at Thaifoon so that everyone could assemble. She said she had to leave at 7 so she could get back to Provo for dance practice. I understood, and was just grateful she even took the time to come all the way up to Salt Lake, so I told her to “drive safe and text me when you get home so I know you arrived safely.” Then I hopped in my car and called Frit. She asked how dinner was and told me where to meet her for our excursion. I arrived at the park-and-wait but she hadn’t gotten there yet. She called me a few minutes later and said, “I forgot something at the house and have to go back. Just come on home and we can drive together from the house.” I still had no clue and as this all seemed very reasonable, I drove home.
So I’m rounding the bend to our house and in the culdesac next to our house there were a ton of cars and I thought to myself, “Oh, someone’s having a party tonight,” thought nothing more and drove into the driveway. Our front-room light was on, which was odd, because we never use that room, and when I pulled into the garage I saw some folding chairs and I thought, “oh Frit must’ve called her family to come over for cake before we go out for the evening. How fun.” Nothing prepared me for what I saw when I walked in the house.
There, standing in my living room were 30-40 of my dearest friends and family. All of Frit’s family was there, Kaycie had sped to my house after dinner while I “waited” in the parking lot for Frit, Shanna and Whit Whit from work, Mel from our old ward, all my Young Women and the YW leaders, friends from our current ward, Michael McLean (one of the recording artists I do marketing/publicity/tour producing for), and MY MOM! A whole bunch of sneaky liars! Well I burst into tears. I was so overwhelmed that all these people would come to celebrate with me!
Now, I was so surprised to see Michael there that as I initially went around giving hugs and thanking everyone for coming, I hadn’t even seen my own mother in the mix. Apparently I walked right past her multiple times and didn’t even realize it … until everyone was laughing and someone said, “turn around.” And there she was! She flew all the way across the country for my 30th surprise birthday party!
Frit, her sister, her mom, and my mom had spent the afternoon decorating. They had blown up posts from my blog, poems I had written, and quotes I love at Kinko’s and tacked them to the walls. Frit had collected pictures from everyone she invited and they were hanging all over the walls in each of the rooms. There were balloons and feather boas and gorgeous table cloths and a food spread to rival all food spreads! The island in our kitchen was filled with beautiful platters and salads and goodies. Outside, they had strung white cafe lights from our canopy and had a fire pit going for s’mores. It couldn’t have been more perfect.
Later in the evening my old college roommate, Katie came and was soon followed by Matty, who I taught at the MTC with. Both are the dearest of friends and some of my most very favorite memories are things I did with them. There’s one summer at BYU that I look back on with tears of gratitude and joy because of the fun we all had together.
At the end of the night, when the food had been eaten, and the house was empty I couldn’t help but get on my knees and thank my Heavenly Father for:
1. The most amazing roommate and best friend who would orchestrate such an event. For me. I weep even now at the thought of her love and care.
2. A family who loves me. A mom who would fly all this way just for a party. A baby sister who’s darling in every way. A dad who adores me (and paid for mom’s flight). And another sister who was the first phone call of the day.
3. The most wonderful friends a gal could ask for. President Gordon B. Hinckley once said something along the lines of, “All of us are largely the products of the lives which touch upon our lives and today I feel profoundly grateful for those who have touched mine.” I echo his sentiment. Today I am profoundly grateful.
I’ve been thinking a lot these last two days about my life … where I’ve been and where I’m going. And there’s much more to say on the matter. But it’s night. And my eyes are drooping. Slumber is calling. And I must obey.
Thank you to everyone who came (or wished they could’ve come). You made my whole year!