Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Surprise! Mom turns the big 5-0

Two weekends ago, while my wonderful husband stayed behind with our three little men (thank you sooooo much, babe--you are the best!), I surprised my mom with a weekend getaway to the Windy City--one of her favorite spots on earth.

Shane and I had been planning this trip for her for several months. I knew that she wasn't into the idea of a big 50th birthday bash, so I had the idea of taking her somewhere instead. It was actually Shane's idea to take her to Chicago, because he knows how much she loves it there. So, I decided to plan the trip for one month before her actual birthday, to throw her off. I am TERRIBLE at keeping surprises, and I didn't want to let the cat out of the bag early and ruin everything! I knew it was likely that I would drop some sort of comment, and she might begin to put the pieces I picked the weekend of October 6. The sooner I could get it out, the better!

Shane and I had it all planned out--we were going to come home EARLY from our date night, and tell her to go home and pack her bags--that we were leaving for somewhere special in the morning! But, FORTUNATELY, it didn't work out exactly like that.....

It just so happened that WBGL was giving away tickets to see one of my mom's all time favorite artists in concert--Steven Curtis Chapman. I have always loved him as well, and the Wednesday night before our big weekend, in the car, the DJ came on and stated that the first caller who could unscramble the following three song titles was the winner! I immediately began dialing (right--like I had a chance at actually getting through, let along winning?) and to my surprise, I got through!

Then--just my luck--my stupid 'never-more-than-one-bar-at-a-time-connection cell phone' disconnected me! No Service, it said. I couldn't believe it. So, I sat there, listening to the lady who got through right behind me. I was disappointed....until I listened to her totally flubbing the answer! I knew that she had no clue, so I picked up the phone and dialed again...and got through again! AND, the DJ picked up the phone and I WON THE TICKETS!! You talk about family sat and listened to me on the radio while I answered the questions correctly and won four great tickets to the concert and three free CD's!

So, plans had changed....when mom came for date night, I got to surprise her instead! I arranged for babysitters for the boys (THANKS Emily and Rebekah, if you are reading this!) and we headed out to dinner at the Olive Garden and then the concert. She was in disbelief, to say the least. She couldn't believe the concert, let alone the fact that I was telling her to pack her bags!

Dinner at the Olive Garden
It was a great concert!
Shane, Mom, and me
I was very vague with her about where we were going--and I loved the fact that it was driving her crazy! :-) It was really funny. We headed out of town around 9:30 (after we ate breakfast at a little place we love called 'Le Peep' over in Champaign). I didn't actually even tell her until we pulled off the exit and were at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg--her favorite! We got there around noon, and didn't leave until almost 9! Now, to our credit, it is like the biggest mall ever (three floors) but I have never shopped so long in once place in my life! We had a great time though, that's for sure. We ate dinner and headed back to our hotel....just to get up and do it all again in the morning! Well, sort of....same activity, different locations. We went to Ikea, Old Navy, and tons of other places, and shopped until around 6 p.m. We decided to head downtown for dinner and sightseeing! Mom loves the lights, and loves to walk Michigan Ave.
Mom and I at Gino's East--FAMOUS for deep dish pizza!
How's the pizza?
How do you really feel about turning 50 mom??
In front of the Hard Rock and Rainforest Cafes
The beautiful city at night

On Michigan Ave (see the street sign above her?)

We had an amazing time! It was so great getting to spend time with my Mom--just the two of us! We don't have a ton of quality time like that anymore, and it sure was special.

Mom--you sure don't look or seem your age! The years keep improving you! I love you, and Happy 50th!


Karie said...

I wish you could have told us more about your trip when we were there, that looks like so much fun
!!!!!!!! How cool to be able to do that with your mom. Talk to you soon.

jillybean said...

That is a really cool surprise! Was Steven Curtis Chapman at the Assembly Hall? Great fun!