I love pulling off a good birthday surprise, especially for my husband who has the unfortunate luck of being born a little over a week after Christmas. This smushed together holiday and birthday timing can lead to the “double gift” and “double celebration” for many people who have a birthday so close to Christmas. It’s because of this and the fact that I am married to a truly amazing man who I try to make his birthday extra special AND I make sure it is completely separate from all Christmas celebrations and/or gifts.
This year, I nearly pulled off a complete surprise which was really only spoiled because of my misjudgment to entrust a 3-year-old with a secret. Needless to say within an hour of telling my 3-year-old son what we would be doing to celebrate Jason’s birthday, he was informing Jason of this surprise and several of his gifts. Lesson learned. Luckily this was several weeks before his actual birthday and I never confirmed the truth of the spilled beans.
Fast forward to this weekend and Jason was following the boys on a scavenger hunt to find tickets to see the Chicago Bulls play the Pacers in Indianapolis on Jason’s actual birthday. (An ideal game would have been seeing the Bulls in Chicago but I’ll take what I can get.) The boys and Jason love the Bulls, the boys had never been to an NBA game, I had never been to an NBA game and we were all ready for a change of scenery for the weekend.
The boys traveled well to Indy and I had one more surprise up my sleeve. Jason has a love of Portillo’s that started when he attended college in the Chicago area. For anyone unfamiliar, Portillo’s is pretty darn good. So good, that we patiently waited in a line at least 50 people deep to order our lunch. The beautiful thing about Portillo’s is that it works like a well oiled machine. You are through the line and to your table eating cheese fries and hot dogs before you know it. After a quick search, I was so thrilled to find that there was a Portillo’s only 30 minutes from Indy, so birthday stop number 1 resulted in the family enjoying the best hot dogs and italian beef and in the case of Shane…french fries and pickles. The rest of the birthday events went perfectly right down to the ideal parking spot that was equal distant to the restaurant we were having dinner at and Banker’s Life Fieldhouse. Also noteworthy, Jason’s tweet of us at the game was retweeted by the Chicago Bulls (kind of cool, right?!?) Plus, the boys got to swim in the hotel pool earlier that afternoon which is always a huge win. The only downside of the day was a double loss for two of the family’s favorite teams. Both the Chiefs and the Bulls lost that day. You can’t win them all.
We are all safely home now, although everyone’s just a little sleepier (and crabbier) than normal and not quite ready to start the week. I’ll take the sleepy somewhat crabby aftermath of a good weekend any day if it meant a fun family birthday celebration for the man who deserves nothing but the best in life.
Happy birthday, Jason! And side note, as of today, I can now say that I have dated/been married to you for over half of your life.