My new venture had begun. I was planning a surprise party. Easy? No. Exciting? Yes. A walk in the park? No. Worth it? Definitely.
It began weeks in advance with invites and planning. There was then the secret shop to buy the supplies, the secret phone calls and organising a night to stay at my parents (where the party was being held) in order to decorate the house and then lure Luke over for his surprise 25th birthday party.
This party was not without its little hiccups. I had, with the help of my mum, managed to get a vast array of party food whilst I was staying at my parents. Just as I had loaded the fridge with the goodies then who should arrive? Luke. Queue mad dash to load all the sausage rolls, cocktail sausages, quiches and various dips into a bag and hide them untill he had gone. This then had to be repeated the next night after another surprise visit. Honestly, I thought I was meant to be the one surprising him!
Then there was his phone calls to his grandparents who informed him they may be away… this set off a lot of muttering from me and going mildly red-faced, one might say almost puce. Luke asked why I was so bothered and I am a very, very bad liar so I had to think on my feet and replied that there was no reason. Not the most creative excuse but I think it might have worked.
I took the day off before the party to bake and then my most classic hiccup occurred. As I was halfway through making my red velvet cake (see my post ‘Red Velvet Cake and S’mores Cupcakes‘) I realised I had forgotten red food colouring. I then had to go out again for the second time that morning and walk to the shops in search of the colouring. Honestly, who makes a red velvet cake without checking they had red colouring before. I don’t even know what I could have called the cake if I hadn’t found it…the white velvet cake?Hopeless I know.
However, I finally had the cakes and cupcakes done. My biggest struggle then was to avoid Luke picking me up from work as, well, I wasn’t there, but he didn’t know that. Luckily, I got away with this too and spent the evening with some well-earned wine whilst decorating the house with the help of my mum and sister. The wine provided some additional inspiration as well but it didn’t help me blow up the balloons, which took ages. I almost gave up!
I then was a little concerned that the house now looked ready for a five-year olds birthday , and not at twenty-five year olds, but, as my sister accurately pointed out, this as probably more suitable for Luke anyway as he is just a big baby really!
The next morning I was up early to make cream cheese frosting, ruin a meringue topping, make up for it with vanilla buttercream instead, finish decorating and lay out party food.
Just in the nick of time everything was almost done as the first family arrived, although I may have roped my brothers partner into hoovering for me! Their arrival was swiftly followed by the Murrays. There was then a long, long, long period of nervous tension, with intermittent party cone noises, as we awaited the birthday boy. However, the birthday boy is notorious for his poor time keeping skills so we were waiting a bit longer than we thought. One time we thought he had arrived but, no, it was my sister’s boyfriend who then joined the group of us hiding in the kitchen. I then received a text saying he was five minutes away but stuck in traffic on a roundabout. At least he wa on his way, but who knew which roundabout? However, this led to everyone remaining silent for the next five minutes until Luke arrived.
Finally, he was there and my sister diverted him into the kitchen where he was greeted by a loud chorus of surprise and happy birthdays. Luckily, he did look surprised and even more so when he discovered his mum had brought recordings of when he was a child and everyone spent the next few hours giggling, at Luke, as a little boy trying to play golf (he is only marginally better now) and on trips to various places, including a place called Sandyballs. Ummm.
My challenge was then to carry the birthday cake into another room for the birthday song to begin.
Then it was Luke’s biggest challenge of the party. Trying to cut the birthday cake without it toppling over.
Amazingly he managed it! After cake everyone started departing, some (grandparents!) more slowly than others as my Nana and Luke’s Nana delved into various conversations…as the rest of the Murrays waited outside in the car. Once they were safely bundled up It was then time to do a quick clear up and head back out for drinks at the Manchester Christmas Market.