Surprise! Julia is 14!

Since she was a surprise of the very best kind in the beginning, a Surprise Party to celebrate our Julia’s 14th birthday seemed perfect.

1997, and Greg and I had been married 3+ years. We had it all: great families, friends, careers that fit our high ambition; we were traveling and doin’ it all. We always planned to have kids (and we were doin’ it all to do so, ahem). Yet by this time, we also kinda figured maybe we just weren’t meant to have kids…

Then. We found out we were expecting our first little one!

Julia Elizabeth Hansen changed our lives forever. In all the best ways. Time for surprise payback, huh?

Julia, left, with Bestie Meghan, who helped plan and orchestrate the party. Meghan will make a scary good spy some day!

The secret plan

So how do you plan a Surprise Birthday Party for an alert young lady? Facebook, of course. The private messaging feature. Jules bestie, Meghan, helped invite all Jules’ fave girls and her amazing mom Jenny brought Julia and Meghan to our meeting spot, under the auspices of just getting a little Cherry Berry treat.

City girlz, soccer babes

I wanted her party to celebrate all the things I so appreciate about Julia and her awesome friends:

1. They like to eat (fairly) healthy: Cherry Berry froz yogurt! The bright lime green and red decor set the tone, too!

Little sis Cara, cousin Allie and the birthday girl.

2. They adore their families

Julia, Justin, Davey; Grandpa Jerry also came for the fun!

3. They’re city girls – From Cherry Berry, the girls went to the quintessential urban park, Heart of the City in Burnsville for some pix.

4. Most are sporty girls; ALL have a competitive spirit! We then went back to our house to watch the Gold Medal Women’s Soccer Game (the week before, Hope Solo and Co. nearly lost a play-in game. I was VERY nervous!) The girls won. And our girls won. I hope they will remember that today, girls can do anything. ANYTHING. After all was said and done, the U.S. women hauled home more medals than the guys. I can’t wait to see how Julia and her friends will change the world. They will. And I won’t be one bit surprised.

Did she know?

All morning, I figured Julia knew about the surprise. Perhaps I’d left my Facebook open…perhaps I’d slipped up…

As soon as I saw our little lady’s face, I knew She. Had. No. Idea! She blushed beautifully deep red and started to cry happy tears. Same tears of joy I wept 14 years ago, baby girl.

I LOVED surprising her: after all, she was one of my biggest surprises. Paybacks are great, huh?

Happy Birthday, Jewels. We adore you, appreciate you and love you more than you can ever know.