MIMM: Surprise Birthday Party

Hello, and happy Monday!

I hope you all had a great weekend – I know I did!

For this week’s Marvelous in my Monday, I want to share with you all an event that I threw this past Saturday: a surprise 50th birthday party for my parents!


Ok, so here’s a bit about how the planning started: My parents both turn 50 this year (my mom in March, and my dad in October), and because it’s such a big, milestone birthday, and my parents are so awesome, I wanted to do something special. The idea to throw a surprise party popped into my head back in February. At the beginning of March, my aunt (my mom’s sister) asked me if we were doing anything special for the birthdays. I shared my idea with her, and she loved it.

What with school and everything, the actual planning really didn’t get going until about April. I sent out e-invitations (from evite.com – really great!) to my family, and thankfully, almost all of them could make it!

Picture 4

I asked each family to bring an appetizer sort of dish, and my aunt and grandma had the idea to order a platter of Jimmy John’s subs. My other grandma ordered a Happy Birthday cake from Costco, and I bought/made some decorations.

Up until Friday night I had no idea how I was going to set up the decorations without my parents knowing. (Note: it is REALLY hard to throw a surprise party for two people when you live in their house!) Thankfully, my aunt and uncle told a white lie to my parents, saying they were “passing through” Grand Rapids on their way to a “conference” near Lake Michigan. They showed up at 11:00 on Saturday morning, and everyone else was to show up exactly at 12:00. The guests were going to sneak around the house and come in through the slider door in the basement. I was going to head downstairs at about 11:45 and, with Dan’s help, start setting up the decorations and wait for others to arrive. I figured then my parents would hear noises downstairs and come to investigate.

Well, six of my family members all made it downstairs and hardly made a peep. My aunt, uncle, parents, and brother were upstairs visiting in the living room. The decorations were all set up, and we were just waiting for the other six guests to show up when I heard my mom say “Hey, Mike…there are people outside who look an awful lot like your sisters. And that lady looks like your mom! What are they doing in the neighborhood??”

At that point, I knew I had better call them downstairs. I tried to sound urgent, like I needed help, and asked the two of them to come down together. Unfortunately, my dad’s mom and sisters didn’t get to see their reactions, but let me tell you – they were shocked!

I’m so bummed that we didn’t get any pictures of their reactions, but they were priceless. My mom stood on the stairs with her mouth open for at least two minutes, and my dad kept asking “What are you doing here?” to everyone. My mom said that was the slowest processing she’s ever done. πŸ˜€


As soon as they stepped downstairs, Dan, my family, and I got to work getting the food all set up. Dan brought ice, the subs, cups, and the chips and pop I bought (but had to hide), so we brought those in and got those set up; my aunts brought a veggie tray and lots of delicious fruit; Ian brought the cake in from my grandma’s car; my other aunts and grandma went upstairs to get some more appetizers in the oven, and my parents were sitting there the entire time repeating that they had no idea this was happening. Success!

I didn’t get too many pictures because I was busy visiting and hosting, but I’ll let those that I did snap do the rest of the talking…






My Aunt Peggy made this beautiful quilt for my mom. Happy birthday indeed!




It was such an incredible party. Everyone stayed until about 7 in the evening, spending time together, chatting, playing cards, eating, and just having a good time. It could not have gone better. I still can’t believe the surprise aspect went through perfectly! I know a lot of my family read this blog, so a huge thank you to them for helping out – I could not have done it without their help in the form of food, support, and as sounding boards for my ideas.

IMG_1814It was a good way to spend the weekend. πŸ™‚

I hope you all have a great Monday!

Thanks, Katie, for hosting another MIMM party!



  1. What an awesome thing to do for your parents!!!

    1. Thanks! πŸ™‚

  2. Liv, you are such a beautiful daughter. They truly are lucky to have you! You did an awesome job ❀

    1. Aw, thanks Jessie!

  3. kimathungryhealthygirl · · Reply

    What fun! I threw my mom a surprise 50th b-day and then my sister a surprise 30th b-day. Both went off without a hitch and are times that I will never forget.

    1. Wow, that’s so great! And they both went well! I agree, the looks on their faces will be something I will remember forever.

  4. gosh I wish I could do something like that for my mom and dad, I just love the idea of surprises when they least expect it.

    1. Yep, exactly. It was a lot of fun. πŸ™‚

  5. WHOA! I can imagine that took a ton of planning! Surprise parties are hard enough when the honorees don’t live with you πŸ˜›

    You did such an amazing job with this party, Liv!!

    1. Haha it really did! My mom usually catches on to things really quickly, so there was a lot of thinking that went into it.
      Thanks! πŸ™‚

  6. moderngirlnutrition · · Reply

    Aww your parents are lucky to have you as a daughter! What a cute cake too πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks, Sunnie! πŸ™‚

  7. Wow, I can just imagine how crazy it must have been to set up and plan the whole the thing when you live with your parents, the guests of honor! We threw my parents a surprise 25th anniversary party when I was a teenager, but it was at my aunt’s house. That made it easier πŸ™‚
    Your pictures look like so much fun, and that quilt is beautiful! What a nice gift!

    1. Yes, now that I think about it, it would have been much easier to have it elsewhere. But I’m such a crazy person that I like to be hands-on with those things, so I wanted to host it here. πŸ˜‰
      Isn’t it? My aunt is seriously talented. I’ll pass on your comment! πŸ™‚

  8. Aunt Kathy · · Reply

    I agree!! Wish I could have been there. And what a beautiful quilt. You are a terrific daughter!!! I know both of your parents are proud of the beautiful young woman you are.

    1. Aw, thanks Aunt Kathy. I wish you could have been here too!

  9. Sounds like a great party!! πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks, it was!

  10. What a fun surprise for your parents! So wonderful that so many of your family members were able to be a part of it!

    1. It was! I was so happy so many of my family members could make it. πŸ™‚

  11. How fun and such a nice surprise! It looks like you had a great time πŸ˜€

    1. Thanks! We really did. πŸ™‚

  12. […] favorite (or at the very least, most exciting) lunch recently was the one we had during my parents’ surprise party. So much good […]

  13. What a great thing to do for your parents. I’m glad to hear the party was a resounding success.

  14. […] threw my parents a surprise 50th birthday party, which was a great success, and so much […]

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