Friday, October 12, 2012


My dear husband turned 40 on Tuesday, and I wanted to share a recap of all the festivities!

We kicked things off with our tradition of serving breakfast (apple puff pancake) in bed. Shortly after Eric got to work, he called to inform me that all of his coworkers had dressed in black for the occasion, and his office was filled with black balloons and confetti. Eric's brother, in cahoots with the other siblings, hung a huge poster outside of Eric's office window. Because Eric works in the most prominent building on our college campus, the news of Eric's birthday was highly visible! (Unfortunately, we had rain that morning, and it washed away the paint on the sign, so it was less effective than had been hoped. Funny!)
Eric wanted to bring Scotcheroos to the office, so I couldn't help but add a little embellishment to each one. I also rented a ten-foot-tall flag that said "Happy Birthday" for our yard. I'd intended to get a picture, but the day flew by.
We had Chinese takeout for supper, and then I sent Eric and the kids on a little scavenger hunt around the house to find Eric's gift. They had fun searching and then Eric opened a Shutterfly book I'd made for him. I had contacted 40 friends and family members and asked them to send a photo and note about memories and things they love about Eric, and then I compiled it all in a book. I love how it came together, and Eric was very touched and pleased. He had a few other things to open, including a fun 40-themed gift from my parents, full of random packages of 40 things (envelopes, cough drops, etc.) Cute idea, and the kids thought it was hilarious because there was a 40-count package of wipes!

Lest you think the day was over, the biggest activity was yet to come. I knew Eric wouldn't want a party (surprise or otherwise), so I invited his brother and two close friends to come over here after the kids were in bed. My thought was that they'd hang out and play games, but Eric said he'd rather go out. Many jokes were made about the possible destination, but when Eric shared what he wanted to do, I was stunned. Eric said he'd been thinking about the past year, and how our hospital journey was such a huge piece of that. We stayed in two different Ronald McDonald Houses during those 40 days, and Eric had the idea to go to the one that's 75 miles away and bake a cake for the residents there to celebrate his birthday. I burst into tears. Who thinks of something like that?! My husband. I was as blown away that he had the idea as I was that 4 men drove 150 miles round-trip and made dessert for other people. Late at night, I might add. Isn't that so cool? It's a testimony to Eric and to his brother and great friends that they would do something so thoughtful.

It was a happy 40th birthday, indeed.


Milissa said...

I almost cried when I read that last paragraph about how Eric wanted to celebrate his birthday. Maybe only a family that has lived it can understand what that really family also lived through something like that last I was literally almost moved to tears this morning by this blog post. Eric sounds like an amazing person. And it sounds like his loved ones celebrated his birthday well. Wishing all the best for your family in the next year of his life.

Lisa said...

Happy Birthday, Eric! May God bless you with many more!

Sounds like a lot of fun was had by all. And the late-night-cake-baking cool! You're right, Carrie, that's quite a testimony to the kind of heart he has.

Mom said...

What a guy! And what an incredible finish to his special day -- we're proud of you, Eric! Love, Mom O

thehomespunheart said...

Oh wow! How cool - what a great idea and so neat that they followed through and DID it! :)

Carrie said...

:D That's so awesome.


What a special post, and special memories of a very special birthday!

Kendra said...

Yes, that is my bro, through and through. I was also in tears the next morning when Ryan told me what they did.

Talk to you soon! :)

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! That is SO like Eric! Always thinking of others.
I too was moved almost to tears. I have a lump in my throat even now.

God Bless you dear Eric for your thoughtfulness and self-less-ness.
I'm so proud of you!
My you have the best year, ever, this next year. Love, Grandma S.

Speaky1013 said...

What a beautiful birthday for Eric. I am touched by all of it. But I shouldn't say beautiful - I mean "tough" birthday...or something more manly... :) Glad it was awesome for him!!

Sara said...

That's so sweet, it made me cry! What a blessing to the people at Ronald McDonald house, and what a wonderful way to show the love of Jesus. Happy Birthday, Eric!