Tag Archives: surprise

Bridal Shower

bridal shower

Today I am going to a bridal shower for my good friend and coworker Stef.  It is not a surprise, so I can write this before going!!

Her mom and bridesmaids have put a lot of time and effort into making this shower flawless and I am sure it is going to be beautiful. I am going with some of my other coworkers and it will be so nice to be out with them in a social setting rather than a working one.

I realized this morning, that Stef, (who was born the year I graduated from college,) would have started Kindergarten the year that I began TEACHING Kindergarten!!  I was 23.  I had just gotten married myself.  I remember my own bridal shower so clearly.  It was a complete surprise.  My bridesmaids, who did not all live in New Jersey, had all come in for the weekend, so I knew it was going to be that weekend, but it was not at all the way I had expected it to happen.  I had assumed my mom and sister had planned something for later in the day.  We had a big lunch all set up so of course I thought it was going to be then.  The family who’s daughter was my flower girl had asked me to help set up for a morning brunch for her parents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary.  Since it was early so I decided to go – fully expecting that I’d come home, get dressed and pretend to be surprised when they took me for lunch.

That’s why when I went to help set up for the “anniversary party,” I went in my pajamas, no makeup, hair up in a messy ponytail and I wore my glasses rather than my contacts. My mom always said that’s when she knew I had no idea that I was on my way to my own shower!!   I hated going out without contacts in but it was so early, I did not want to go through the hassle figuring no one would see me but the kids.  I got to the reception hall, fully expecting to help set up but instead, walked into a room filled with people who were there to celebrate ME!  My mom, in her typical fashion was laughing and was just so happy that she had pulled this off.  I was flabbergasted, embarrassed, elated and truly beside myself with emotions!  In retrospect, I wish she had at least brought my contacts for me to slip in quickly.  Thank goodness this was all before social media.  There are plenty of photos, but all of them are stored in a box in the basement.  I can look back at them and see all of my loved ones who came to celebrate with me that day.  I can see my mom and the pride and joy in her eyes and family and relatives who are no longer with us – but thankfully, there is no record of those photos anywhere on the internet!  Even though it was one of the happiest days, I am happy keeping the pictures safely stored in my mind and in that box in the basement!



Earlier this week, my best friend Kelly sent me a text message, inviting Dave and myself to dinner on Friday night to celebrate my birthday.  The four of us rarely go out on Friday nights.  Mostly because of work and family commitments.  So at first, I was surprised, but when she told me we had to wait till 8:00, to give Andrew time to get home from work, and their babysitter time to get there, I didn’t think about it again.  I was looking forward to it all week.

Dave and I are known for being early to everything.  I despise being late and would rather sit outside and wait till the right time than show up late for something.  Kelly sent me a text and said they were actually running early…and that they’d be there closer to 7:45. “ Better for us”, I thought.

We got to the restaurant, a great little place that Dave had never been to, and walked in.  It was quite crowded and I told that hostess that we were meeting another couple, and would be four for dinner.   Then I heard, “SURPRISE”, looked over and a table, filled with friends was there, waiting for me.  Dave smiled sheepishly and giggled.  I was completely surprised.  Surprised to the point of tears.  Truly, overcome with emotion.  It wasn’t my 40th, or 45th, birthday, not a “big one” to celebrate but they all told me, that after the months I have been through recently, it was a good reason to celebrate.

Kelly had thought of friends from all different phases of my life.  My best friends from childhood, JoyLynn and Tricia who have been through their own emotional few months, (with their mom suffering a severe heart attack and going through extensive rehabilitation) were there.  Tracy and Nicole, wives of Dave’s friends since childhood, who are now some of my closest friends, were too.  My former next door neighbor Lisa, who I love and wish I saw more often, my cousins Jody and Lisa who I am so incredibly close with and Maureen and Lynn, teacher friends, neighborhood friends and simply just two of my closest friends were there as well.  My sister, who I know was a big part of this, could not be there, as she was still out of state attending the funeral of her father-in-law.

I don’t think I have ever been as completely surprised as I was last night.  Even at my bridal and baby showers, there was an inkling of something that was going to happen.  Some people might wonder if surprises are overrated.  Not me!! Walking into the restaurant and seeing all of these friends was just amazing.  I was speechless at the incredible outpouring of love from these women that I love so much, many who I see all of the time, who went to the trouble to plan and keep this secret from me, just to offer me a night that was finally just about me.  A night where I could focus on nothing else, but the love that they all have for me!  It was truly a night I will not forget and I thank them all with all of my heart.