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Happy Birthday Mom!!!

Yesterday I drove 300 miles north to surprise my mom for her 60th birthday.  It's actually not for a couple weeks, but we decided to do it early since our family has other plans the actual week of.  Plus, we thought it would be more of a surprise if we did it a little early. . .no time to anticipate it!  The kids and I got to my in-laws in time for dinner, then I left all four of them there and headed over to my sisters to spend the night.

This morning I started the day assembling these:
Which turned into these:
I had prepared Barefoot Contessa's Beatty's Chocolate Cake and Alton Brown's Chocolate Mousse recipe along with homemade whipped topping in Tennessee before traveling.  These party cups were purchased, six for a dollar, at the Dollar Tree.  And yes, they did taste as good as they looked :)

My mom didn't know I was coming up.  My sister had planned a week or so ago to pick her up for pedicures and lunch for an early birthday since she had today off. . .the birthday surprise was that I was going to be there too!!!  When she walked out of her house and saw me. . .well, at first she didn't know "who that person was standing in my driveway" -- ha!  What fun it was to surprise her!!!

We headed for our pedicures:

(my toes are in the middle)
Then my incredibly sweet aunt (my mother's OLDER sister -- ha!) treated us to lunch since she couldn't be here with us. . .
 This was my meal. . .it was a pork-braised something that was supposed to be served on corn tortillas.  I don't care for corn tortillas so they made this up for me.  Absolutely outstanding.  My sister ate one of the servings so I could down every one of those delicious french fries!  The side was a chipotle-mayonnaise mixture -- it was supposed to be for the pork but it was especially outstanding on the fries :)
 The birthday girl ordered this Kansas City prime rib sandwich.  I got a little taste of that. . .another incredible dish.
 My sister went for this beet-nut-veggie burger.  No, I didn't try that.
 Here we are!  When we walked in we got the last table. . .we stayed awhile. . .pretty much cleared out the place :)  If you are wondering, it was The Meadowlark Restaurant near the Dayton Mall in OH.

We all went our separate ways from here. . .Mom wanted to go home and spend some time with her dog before her party, my sis had to pick up one of her girls from school, and I went to meet up with my girlfriends to do this:
Yea, can you believe it?!?  (Scroll back up to see what a couple hours' difference will do. . .)  My bestest friends, Melissa and Amy, who I just went to FL with set me up with "their guy" Dimitri and then met up with me and encouraged me.  I don't think I've ever really had a "hairstyle" in my life and I know certainly no one has ever spent over an hour cutting my hair!!!  I really learned a lot about the art of haircutting and styling yesterday. . .Amy had had her mom in earlier for a 3-hr appt for a cut and color. . .I can tell he's an expert in that field too!  Anyway, such a great experience and something I hope I can keep up. . .I've already made my July appt with him!
Then it was time to run to my mom's and get her and bring her back to my sister's for her somewhat-of-a-surprise party.  She knew the grandkids wanted to have a birthday party for her but didn't know that we had invited some of her special friends over too.  What another fun surprise for the day for her!

We had a hot dog bar. . .which my sister and brother-in-law weren't all that sure about. . .in fact, the quote was "I've never invited people over before and served them hot dogs". . .ha!  It was easy, kid-friendly, and we had enough adult toppings to make it work.  Plus, my mom (unlike her daughters) likes hot dogs :)
Yes, there are "extra" people at the party because my sister, like me, has the philosophy that it's the "more the merrier" at all times.  And we're right :)
 Mom with Marie, AVJ, and Thomas

Here's a pic of the desserts "brought all the way from TN" as my sister's one friend kept saying. . .and Grandma and Grandkids. . .
And a few gifts. . .
My incredible father-in-law helped the girls to make a couple things down in the woodshop.  So great.

I hope this was a Day to Remember!  So sorry our brother couldn't make it to. . .five states away is a little more difficult to overcome then just three. . .


  1. Oh, I love your hair! Love it! There is an awesome lady I go to here in town that takes a loooonnnnnggg time - but she is awesome. Beautiful!

  2. The desserts look DELISH! Looks like an amazing day! I must admit to getting a little teary eyes, I cannot even imagine how shocked my momma would be if I did this for her...but 2,000 miles is just too far to go for a surprise like that! How I miss my momma and sisters! So glad you had such an amazing time!


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