That’s what I heard this afternoon when I was greeted by a room full of my favorite Tampa Bay girls.
Sneaky! Sneaky! They got me good.
Let’s back up for a minute.
A few weeks ago, this mysterious activity appeared on my calendar for September.
Derek and I share calendars via gmail so he has the the power to add, remove, or edit calendar events. When I saw this random event pop up, I immediately asked him what was up. He told me not to worry about it. I dug around a little, but honestly I was too busy with other upcoming activities to worry about it.
The weeks went by and I almost forgot about the mysterious calendar addition. Then it got to be Thursday and Derek reminded me he was taking me away on Saturday. He told me to pack a bag and be prepared for a nice dinner out. I asked him what we were doing about Maddie and he told me a friend had agreed to watch her. He said he gave the friend a key so the friend could retrieve Maddie later (he never gave the friend’s name.).
This morning Derek started packing a suitcase and I followed his lead; packing running stuff, my swim suit, and a nice outfit for dinner. I was told we had to be out the door at 3:00P on the dot, which felt really late to be leaving on a trip, but I just went with the flow. When we walked out, Derek mentioned something about the Sarasota area and I joked that we were going to the Trader Joe’s that had just opened there (ha!).
We got on the interstate and started heading south towards Sarasota. Only instead of staying straight, we veered right at the downtown exit. That was strange. When I asked why we were taking the exit, he told me not worry about it. Ugh.
A few more turns and I started to recognize Mary and Marcus’ neighborhood, that’s when Derek mentioned Marcus had something he needed to borrow – a rewards card or something. Parking was limited so Derek had me get out of the car to help him parallel park in a tight spot and, since I was already out of the car, he asked if I wanted to go upstairs with him to retrieve the card.
We met Marcus at the door and followed him upstairs. We had just seen each other the night and had some good stories to tell regarding the evening. As we walked up, Derek and Marcus had the lead on the stairs, while I took up the back. They made it up first and both fell silent, that’s when I looked up and heard a big “SURPRISE” coming from the living room.
It took a minute for me to figure out what was going on. There were 12 beautiful faces staring back at me, and each one belonged to a friend I love dearly. They had all gathered to throw me a surprise bridal shower party – I couldn’t believe it.
All this time I thought Derek was secretly planning a trip away, when really he was working with Mary on a surprise shower.
And a surprise it was! Once I realized what was happening, I started tearing up trying to take everything in. Not only was the room filled with some of my favorite people (who had traveled from all over Tampa Bay and across the state to be there!), but also filled with beautiful snowflake and navy touches.
(All photos are courtesy of Diana or Mary – they were kind enough to snap away while my camera stayed in its bag )
LOVED the snowflake mason jars.
And an amazing spread of food.
The buffalo chicken quinoa bites were da bomb (dot) com.
Mary seriously outdid herself planning the party and opening up her home. I’m not sure know how she managed to pull off keeping it a secret from me, or gathering everyone in one place, at the same time, but she did it and I love her to pieces for it.
I think the biggest shock was walking in and seeing my sister and sister-in-law in the room!
They drove all the way from the east coast for the party. (and didn’t give anything away – even Derek didn’t know they were going to be there!)
The rest of the shower was perfect. We ate, we laughed, we played games, and there were a few presents thrown in there, too. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect way to celebrate with friends.
As I sat in the room, surrounded by friends, I felt truly blessed to have all of these amazing girls in my life.
I start to tear up all over again, just thinking about all the love and effort that went into creating this special day. Thank you for the beautiful shower, but – most importantly – thank you for being my friend. I love you guys!
And, thank you, to my hubby-to-be for being in on the surprise.
I still can’t believe I get to marry this guy in less than 4 month!
I am one lucky girl.