I don’t think there is anyone more excited about the Hurstling than my mother-in-law. I’m pretty certain that she’s even more excited than we are. (Although I have this theory that pregnancy becomes a VERY TRUE fact immediately to everyone that is not the mother or father of said baby. So really we are at a disadvantage because we are still transitioning into the “Is this real life?” stage.) When we announced our pregnancy, I thought the walls of their house were going to come tumbling down. She screamed, she cried, she jumped, she danced. It was serious excitement.
I’m not saying that my parents and siblings and siblings-in-law and all the other important people in my life aren’t excited. They are. It’s just a different sort of excitement. Maureen (MIL) tells strangers that she’s going to be a grandma. She screams into my belly “THIS IS EMMIE! HI BABY!!” every time she sees me. She told us that we never have to get her a present EVER again… that this is the greatest gift in the world and we could never top it.
Sounds pretty good, huh?
Well Maureen turned 50 last week. (Thanks for all the birthday wishes for her, by the way!) And 50 is a big deal. We did get her a darling hand stamped necklace that says “EMMIE” on it but that wasn’t enough. We had to go big. Go bold. Go disco.
My sister-in-law, Heather, was the mastermind of it all. Months ago she started the plans. We were going to fulfill Maureen’s one wish in life (besides the grandbaby thing… that was already in the works), we were going to throw her a disco party for her 50th birthday. To make it even more exciting, it was going to be a surprise party.
I have an aversion to surprise parties. I’m not a fan. I don’t want you to throw one for me, ever. I don’t like that sort of thing. A few years ago I threw a surprise party for my parents’ 25th wedding anniversary. It was TORTURE. I mean, it was great. They loved it. They were shocked. The bagillions of guests had a great time. But it was hard hard work. Lying, hacking into my mom’s email account (which wasn’t very hard because she still used the same password I had given her when I set up the account 10 years prior), organizing, coming up with a plan. It was a lot. For someone who gets migraines under stress, it was torture. It went off well and I swore to my parents that this would be the one and only surprise party I ever threw. And I mean it.
So for the disco party I was in charge of finding a bartender and a DJ. The bartender thing was easy since I have a cousin in college who would love to make a few bucks by pulling the lever on a margarita machine or pumping a keg. And the DJ was easy because I happened to get married 3 years ago and had a great one in mind. So my job was done. I sat back, played stupid, and let my SIL’s stress over the details.
The night came and guest piled in. Some seemed to ignore the theme but others went all out.
I won’t actually tell you who these people are because, well, I won’t. And I’m sorry this isn’t the best picture but you NEED to see this outfit.
I never figured out if this is a new outfit or if she happened to have this laying around from her crazier days. Either way, it was awesome. And just so you know, there was better mood lighting, it just looks like all the lights are on because of the flash. So anyways, people came and the place was decorated. The mood was set. In she walked.
“OH MY GOD.”
“OH MY GOD.”
She screamed with each new face she saw. Friends from home, friends from California, New York, work, her neighborhood. We were missing a few people for various reasons, but her life was pretty well represented.
I decided I needed to do my part. As the mother of her grandchild, I needed to be sure that her grandbaby was at her party. Her grandbaby need to play a role in this party. How exactly do you do that when that grandbaby isn’t actually born yet??
You give the baby the role of The Disco Ball!
Yes I did.
I bought a $14 top from Walmart (remember the Walmart fitting room incident?) and some fabric from Hobby Lobby. Stephen and I cut and argued and glued until we had that thing looking right. I was worried it wouldn’t be obvious… that people would just say, “Hmm, she has a giant silver polka dot on her belly.” But it was obvious. I’ve never had more people touch my belly than I did that night! (For the record, I don’t mind belly touching… even from strangers. Which is weird because I normally have strong do-not-touch-me German blood.)
All in all, the party was a success. She loved it. The guests loved it. The baby, I’m sure, loved it. And I can probably bet you $20 that his sisters will say that they will never do a surprise party ever again.