November 21, 2004


At last I can spill the secret I've been keeping for months. I couldn't tell Beth and I couldn't even tell the Internet! As a movie title once proclaimed, its about last night...

You see, last evening we were supposed to go to Beth's parents for a nice family dinner, to celebrate her recent 30th birthday. At least, that's what she thought we were going to do. Our families all get along very well, which is wonderful. My parents were supposed to be there along with her brother and his wife. As we left to drive to her parent's place, imagine her surprise when the doorbell rang and a strange person told us "your car is here." Beth looked at me funny, I smiled and said "trust me." She seemed even more shocked when she saw an incredibly long stretch limo waiting in front of our house. And, once she stepped into the limo, our entire families were already inside.

We kept our destinations a secret but we soon arrived in downtown Washington at Ten Penh, a swanky, hip restaurant that happens to be one of our favorites. The restaurant menus had been changed for the evening to read "Happy 30th Birthday Beth" at the top. The dinner was spectacular and the birthday cake that followed caused us all to nearly explode.

After dinner, we hopped back in the limo and took a tour of the monuments. The earlier rain had subsided and we found ourselves visiting the Lincoln Memorial on what turned into a spectacular and unusually warm November evening.

Beth, still unaware of what was to come if anything, and the rest of us piled back into the limo and headed to the DC Improv to see Jake Johannsen. For nearly two hours we laughed our asses off, so much so that my throat is killing me and voice is about 27 octaves lower this morning...somewhere in Barry White territory.

We made it home and into bed by 2:00 this morning, after what was a sneaky yet amazing evening. I'm still amazed I didn't blow the surprise - I have no poker face - but it was well worth the pains of keeping such a secret.

Posted by Chris at November 21, 2004 11:10 AM

Oh,The sweetness!

Posted by: y at November 21, 2004 11:18 AM

Kudos - it's not easy to keep that kind of thing a secret.

We just went to a 40th birthday surprise on Friday, and the birthday girl figured it out the day of the party.

Her grandmother had gone to get her hair done (for a wedding, she's not overly good in the memory department), and she called Celeste and asked her what she was wearing to the wedding.

Oops - there goes the surprise. But it was a terrific party.

Posted by: cassie-b at November 21, 2004 11:27 AM

Sheesh, now I feel even worse about The Boy's day. Must remember all this stuff for his 30th!

You all rock. :) So does Jake Johannsen.

Posted by: alektra at November 21, 2004 11:36 AM

Beth is one of the luckiest girls ever!

Posted by: JuJuBee at November 21, 2004 11:51 AM

Suhwaaaankeeee! Looks like you all had an awesome time! Kudos to you for nice job! And Happy Birthday to Beth :)

Posted by: Colby at November 21, 2004 12:21 PM

That looks like an incredible evening! Congrats on not blowing the surprise. :) Also, I had no idea Jake Johanssen was still around. Unfortunately the last time I saw him out here he was heckled by a drunk woman sitting by the stage. They threw her out but it really ruined his whole night. You could tell he just didn't want to be on stage after that and I couldn't blame him.

Posted by: groovebunny at November 21, 2004 12:27 PM

OMG what a wonderful evening! How thoughtful! I had a surprise party for Laura last year with 80 people at a restaurant with a deejay , it was great! Looks like a perfect birthday!

Posted by: debby at November 21, 2004 12:31 PM

Dude. You are awesome. But I am sure Beth deserved every minute of it!

Posted by: Ginny at November 21, 2004 01:05 PM

you have got to be theorld's sweetest husband! beth is so lucky!

Posted by: Em at November 21, 2004 01:53 PM

awww, how sweet! sounds totally awesome

Posted by: tiffanie at November 21, 2004 02:06 PM

Keeping secrets is sooo hard. I stink at it. I am so glad it all went off spectacularly. You guys are made for each other!

Posted by: Michelle at November 21, 2004 02:10 PM

Beth is incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful husband and a family. It's incredible that you all were able to keep such an involved plan a secret from her. I am in awe of your thoughtfulness and love towards Beth.

Posted by: myllissa at November 21, 2004 02:19 PM

ohmygoodness. rock on to all of you for keeping the secret. i can't keep gifts or surprises for the life of me, because when i figure something out for the person the gift/surprise is intended for, i get all "EEK! CAN I TELL YOU!?" lol. that's pretty cool, though. :D

Posted by: Manda at November 21, 2004 03:18 PM

I seriously doubt I could've kept the secret. We planned a surprise 50th for my mom, and it was going well, until the spa phoned to confirm her appointment. They knew it was supposed to be a surprise, so GR to them.

Posted by: Heather at November 21, 2004 03:28 PM

you rock!
(after looking at those pictures i can't decide if you look like someone i know, or if you just look familiar from looking at your pictures)

Posted by: monique at November 21, 2004 03:49 PM

Dude. Beth so copied my outfit from Friday night! :)

What a fantastic surprise...looks like an amazing night!

Posted by: Anne at November 21, 2004 03:59 PM

Nice! *pats you on the back*

Posted by: Casey at November 21, 2004 04:37 PM

Wow. That IS awesome. I'm jealous!! ;-)

Posted by: Dawn (webmiztris) at November 21, 2004 05:55 PM

Wow, that is incredible. Well done on planning such a cool night out, and happy birthday to Beth!

Posted by: supine at November 21, 2004 06:53 PM

aww you are sweet ... pics came out great ... sounds like yall had a blast ... and happy birthday to beth ... have good evening :)

Posted by: Rosie at November 21, 2004 07:03 PM

Well done on keeping the secret-- not an easy task, I know. The night sounded like it went off with out a hitch-- Congratulations on such great planning, too!!

Posted by: bmh at November 21, 2004 07:58 PM

That is awesome! Happy Birthday Beth. 30th is next year. Think you can give some pointers to TJ? ;)

Posted by: Nicole at November 21, 2004 10:12 PM

You are an amazing secret keeper! I could never do that, because I hate keeping my own secrets. It's impossible for me, I think.

But it's so awesome that it was all a surprise. Beth must have had the best time!

Posted by: DeAnn at November 22, 2004 03:42 AM

Happy Birthday Beth! And well done Chris. You'll surely get a jewel in your 'good husband crown' for this one!

Posted by: Amber at November 22, 2004 07:42 AM

WOW! That is the best birthday story Chris! YOu are such a sweet husband!

Posted by: Kimmer at November 22, 2004 08:28 AM

Aw, that's so sweet! And fun!

Posted by: Fraulein N at November 22, 2004 08:43 AM

R, been reading your site for awhile and have never commented until now. Just wanted to quickly tell you how cool that evening sounded. Yay for both you and Beth.

Stay cool

Posted by: wn at November 22, 2004 09:12 AM

You really need to talk to my husband.


His idea of romance is to buy me new tupperware!!!! I'm actually scared for Christmas!

Posted by: Randi at November 22, 2004 09:58 AM

You absolutely rock, Chris! You need to start a school for men on "How to Romance Your Woman"!

Too cute :)

Posted by: Kristi at November 22, 2004 10:25 AM

Chris, you rock. I think you are missing your true calling though. You could make a fortune as a consultant, training boyfriends and husbands to be wonderful companions. No, seriously.

Posted by: Sabine at November 22, 2004 11:05 AM

That is a damn fine surprise!

Posted by: Bond Girl at November 22, 2004 11:28 AM

I am amazed that you kept the secret for so long.
I am jealous she's got such an amazing man! (Yes, I shall burn in hell for that one..)
Lest we refer back to another comment I made once...
The question remains if we can find a cactus clone somewhere in the depths of yer amazing mind?
Birthday blessings on the tops of the menus!
That took a lot of thought and planning!

I got a vacuum.

Posted by: Jade at November 22, 2004 11:43 AM

Wow, you are pretty awesome, Chris. Good job!

Posted by: Heather at November 22, 2004 11:48 AM

Excellent job on the birthday surprise! The Aggie threw a surprise party for me on my 40th and kept it a secret too. I was totally shocked because he can't keep a secret either.

Posted by: Kelley at November 22, 2004 12:04 PM

that is awesome :)

Posted by: laura at November 22, 2004 01:25 PM

I completely agree with whoever - you are missing your true calling to help MEN be thoughtful and considerate and plan-able - not that so many don't TRY - but sometimes just a few pointers would be great. I know Beth enjoyed her wonderful surprise, and what a great job you did, dude! Because you know, she totally deserved it!

Posted by: lady jane at November 22, 2004 04:01 PM

Wow. You're the best. Care to give lessons to my Chris? lol

Posted by: amy at November 22, 2004 05:01 PM

Okay, I'm so kicking my husband's ass after seeing this. I've never had a damn suprise party and I better get one soon damn it! Or someone is gonna pay!!!

Looks like you guys had a blast! And limo rides? Always fun... especially when you do the 'Big' thing. ;P

Posted by: RockStar Mommy at November 22, 2004 08:10 PM

And a finalist for Best Husband of the Century award, as voted on by the board of directors of Chow-Chow Chicken, is...


Winners will be announced during a ceremony next year.

Posted by: PinkStiletto at November 23, 2004 10:27 AM