i think i’m turning 33

Marla and Emma masterfully planned a surprise party for my birthday this year. Unbeknownst to me they invited a few dozen of my friends to David Vonderhaar’s house for a night of friendly poker. (Note to Feds: no illegal gambling took place… honest!)

Enlisting the help of Granma Northcutt, who “just happened” to be in town, Marla concocted a pretty believable story of running into Vahn at Target after Temple and them inviting us over before Marla and I snuck away to a movie, leaving the kids with Granma.

Emma had dropped clues along the way, but I guess I’m not too smart.

About two weeks before the party Emma earnestly asked me, “Daddy, when you get home can we just yell surprise?” Marla burst out laughing but I didn’t think too much of it.

About a week before the party Emma was going on and on about a poker party for Henry’s brithday when I came home from work. “Yes, yes, sweetheart. Of course we can have a poker party when Henry turns two.”

Emma’s clues should have been enough but it took my good friend Art Santos to really spill the beans.

“Dude, I thought we were friends?” he said via MSN Messenger.

“Uh, OK. What did I do?”

“You’re having a party and you didn’t invite me!”

There was an awkward pause in the conversation – or at least as awkard a pause as can exist in an IM conversation.

“Art, I don’t think I’m supposed to know about that. Maybe you should call Marla instead…”

I swear I could feel him blushing across the Internet.

At any rate, the day arrived, I was successfully fooled and a good time was had by all. I don’t think I’ve had a birthday party in 20 years, so this one was great. A very special thanks to my beautiful wife for bringing it all together, Vahn and Maria for playing host and all my extended GameSpy family for showing me a good time.

The pictures from the party were almost entirely taken by Emma. You might be able to tell that the last 2/3 of the set are taken from just a few feet off the floor.

She’s only three, mind you, but I already get the feeling that she’s going to be a better photographer than me in a very short amount of time. (So that’s what obsolecence feels like, huh?) I’m not sure what it says about my parenting skills that my three year old served as photographer while her father gambled and drank beer with all of his friends. At least I didn’t let her smoke…

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