Surprise, Surprise!

Last Friday I wrote about how I "had" to go to Raleigh for an event at NCSU. Well, what I didn't tell you is that it just so happened that the event was on a Thursday and the following Tuesday was the 30th birthday of one of my best friends, Brook, who lives in Raleigh.  Once I knew for sure that I would be going and could stay for the weekend, I got in touch with Brook's finance (Chuck) and we plotted to make the weekend visit a surprise for Brook.

My coworker dropped me off at a gas station near their house, where Chuck and I had arranged for he and Brook to stop by. Chuck and I texted all day finalizing times, etc and both agreed we were nervous about pulling it off.

So, there I stood, outside the doors of a gas station, all dressed up from work, with a suitcase, not out of place at all.  In pull Brook and Chuck.  I see Chuck say something to Brook and she looks at him with a confused look, looks back out of the car at me and then back at Chuck.  Next thing I know the car door flings open and out comes one shocked and speechless Brook. I walk over, not really able to speak for laughing, and she and I hug and laugh and I finally get out "Surprise, Happy Birthday!".  Tears flow as do the questions as we load up and head to their house.  I think it took her a while to believe I was really there (and was really staying for 4 days!)

So, she thought she had really been surprised, she thought the rest of the weekend was for surprising Chuck.  See Chuck's birthday was the day I came to town.  Yep, that's right, 5 days before Brook's!  And even though we had all been working for weeks to arrange a surprise party for Brook, she tried to ruin it all and plan a surprise get together for Chuck on Friday night.  Needless to say it all got a little messy but we held it together.  It was exhausting though.  Try spending a day alone with someone you are lying to through your teeth about everything coming up!  Also, how do you hide 100's of text messages??  Not easy. Finally Brook and I, along with a good friend Lauren, head to the surprise get together for Chuck.  We step off the elevator and bam, there were 30 people yelling "surprise", with balloons and a huge sign that said "Happy 30th Birthday Brook!"  Brook's mouth dropped open and she turned around like she was headed back out.  Slowly the details of all of our planning came out.  It was kind of fun telling her all of the details on how we pulled it off but kind of scary to hear how much we all lied!  In the end it all worked out and it was so worth it.  Brook opened presents, drank champagne and took in the sign up list for people to help her finish up her "30 Things Before 30" list.  Then we spent the night hopping from nightclub to nightclub, doing our best to show Brook's 20's out in style. 

Not only was it a great night of fun but it was a great weekend getting to catch up and spend quality time with one of my favorite people.  It's a shame we can't have more times like that but it's nice that when we do it's a time I'll never forget!

A few photos from the big night:

The Birthday Girl and her "30 things by 30" list

Brook and Chuck - Soon to be the Beldens!

Some of the ladies.

 Yes, that is Brook climbing a tree.  It was on her list of things to do by 30, so it had to be done!  Not sure that when she made the list she expected to do this in Downtown Raleigh in a minidress!  Oh well!

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