happy bday

Several weeks before his birthday, Joshua casually mentioned how, one day, he would like a surprise birthday party. My little brain got to ticking and I realized that this year would be perfect. He was turning thirteen, which is huge AND him and Jeremy were going to be gone the whole week leading up to his birthday. Emma G and I could do our planning and scheming without worrying that he would find out.

She made all the lists and dictated to me what was next when we went shopping. That girl is going to run the world one day.

candy bar


This was the first year we didn’t do a theme party. I guess he has grown out of those. Sigh. Every time I mentioned an idea, Emma G would say, “Mom, he’s turning 13,” like he was way past the age to do that. I took the hint. Basically she planned this party. Her ideas were so good…a candy bar for our candy loving kid, homemade pizza, swimming. It was perfect.


And boy, was he surprised! His face was a mixture of shock, confusion, and exhaustion. They had to get up at 3 AM to make their flight from Cape Town to Joburg and then drive 4 hours home. He quickly got re-energized at the sight of everyone there to celebrate him.

sparkler cake

blowing out sparklers
Sparklers on a cake seemed like a fun idea. It just screamed, “SURPRISE!” to me. It did not work. Even with everyone lighting them together, they still didn’t last long enough for him to blow out!

A couple of days before he left on his birthday trip, he said to me, “Mom, I know I’m not having a party this year, but I think if I have one next year and I invite my friends from school, that they will come.” He’s at a new school this year and still navigating the newness of it all. Inside, though, I was smirking. I already knew that every single one of his friends that I had invited were coming. This kid is loved…especially by me. Love you, my boy. Happy 13!


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No Comments

  • Reply
    The Herd
    April 6, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    The one boy in the middle(grey shirt) of that last picture looks so familiar…it may be from your pictures though! How fun that you got to surprise him!!!

  • Reply
    Elisa | blissfulE
    April 7, 2015 at 3:26 am

    Oh that's so great!! Happy birthday Josh!!

  • Reply
    April 10, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    What a fun party! Great planning, Emma G!

  • Reply
    April 18, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    A real teen now – happy belated and y'all throw one kick butt surprise party!

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