binary girl: the secret blog



aging gracefully

August 19th, 2014 at 9:24

Brandon turns 40 this month. My hubby! Forty!

I remember when my parents turned 40 (5 years apart). In our old neighborhood, there was a kit that would go from person to person each year, and as they turned 40 they would add to it. It had all the requisite “middle age” stuff — adult diapers, vitamins, a cane, and as a kid I was a bit confused as to why my parents, who seemed pretty young to me, would need any of that stuff. I remember that for my dad’s 40th birthday, my mom threw him a huge surprise party luau. So, this age has been pretty iconic in my mind from the get-go… it’s nearly impossible to consider the fact that we’re approaching it. But, my acceptance doesn’t change it, I guess! :D

In the tradition of my mother, I was considering, and actually began to plan, throwing a surprise luau in our yard — it’s big enough and I doubt anyone would complain :) But, when Brandon got wind of my plans (I am terrible at secrets), he told me that if he had his druthers, he would much rather throw himself a party and spend the entire time cooking. This is awesome and yet problematic… awesome because it means that I don’t have to spend money on catering, but problematic because all of the money I would save on catering, Brandon would spend on assorted party stuff that he considered important. Oh, that, and the fact that he is a miserable, horrible person to be around in advance of any big event he is throwing because he turns into a stressjob. And, as predicted, all of these things came to pass! :)

I rented a huge bounce house for the kids, and then I splurged on a margarita machine (also rented). Brandon took the week in advance of the party to start cleaning the house, the yard, and buying supplies… enough alcohol to make sure we get through the next 3-5 years (this is probably an overstatement of how long it will take us to decide to drink this stuff, because of the children), a pop-up tent that works to cover the outdoor kitchen when it’s super sunny, a new table and some chairs, a bunch of new chair pads, etc., etc. He also took an opportunity to ride the fancy new custom Trek Domane that I “bought” him (he calls it his midlife crisis bike, and I just signed the check for it). He also got a ton of food and then even bought himself a cake (I don’t even know how to explain the fact that I overlooked that. I am seriously a bad person). I handled inviting the people:


So the day of the actual party, I took the kids to gymnastics and swimming (which I moved an hour earlier) while B dropped the pups off for a day of doggy daycare and an overnight (to help them avoid the stress of being locked up in the house while people were coming and going) and finished setting things up. When we returned, the bouncy house and margarita machine were already delivered, so I got to follow through on the punishment I had to unfortunately dole out earlier in the day (each kid had to wait 5 minutes before going in: Max because he was fake crying, and Katie because she was sass-talking to her mama). Then, the kids went crazy while we finished cleaning and putting things out.

Overall, the party was SUPER fun. We have an outdoor speaker that has a microphone, so a few of the kids spent some time singing to Frozen — most notably Riley, who has a karaoke machine at home and was VERY into her performance. Our friend Alex is an accomplished mixologist so he did a lot of the drinks that helped Brandon get pretty happy as the night went on. We ate ribs, hot dogs, hamburgers, and assorted other goodies, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves; the kids either did bouncing, slip-n-slide, some sprinklers, water table, or hung out in the hot tub. (Some spent some time inside, but at one point I forced them all outside telling them that this was not a kid party so it wasn’t fair to make an adult stay inside with them when the adults wanted to be outside and together.) Lots of our favorite friends were there, including my family, some of Brandon’s coworkers, my friend Casey, Ava, Nina (Martha) and Carlos, Valerie and Blaise, Tharanga and Rajith, and our old neighbor Susanne. And, of course, Caroline brought Ruby, which brought everyone no end of joy because having an adorable little puppy around is always a nice thing. (Max in particular could not get enough of her and spent most of the time before she arrived asking about her, and then most of the time after she arrived either petting her asking me if I could help him hold her, or talking about her.)

Brandon, I think, had a good time. He was super cheery at the end and … possibly had a rough night and a rough recovery day the next, but we spent most of it hanging out inside and watching TV with two kids who got a good amount of sleep but were still marginally wiped out. And, he said he had fun, so that’s good, too! :D

Oh, and in 8 hours, the margarita machine never froze. So.

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