Try to follow me here...
When we lived in Albuquerque, we became very close friends with Brent and Edie. They had previously lived in Los Angeles, and we now attend the church that they used to attend. So we're friends with people that they were friends with. Got it?
Also while we were in Albuquerque, we were friends with Andy and Megan (who now live in San Diego) and Oliver and Summer (who now live in Michigan). Got that?
Rewind about a year...I'm at church here in California, and Florianne (a mutual friend of mine and Edie's) said that Edie was turning 40 next year, and we should all go out and surprise her. I told her I was in!
So for the past year, there has been preparations for this epic surprise. And epic it was!
Most of the planning has happened just over the last few months. Megan and I were planning on flying out from California, and we were planning on staying with Summer, who was still in Albuquerque at the time. Summer told me there may be a chance that her family was moving to Michigan, so we would need to have a back up plan as far as a place to stay. But she assured me that if they moved, she would still come out for the surprise. That did happen, so we made arrangements to stay with someone else, and Summer booked a ticket to Albuquerque.
Are you following? I feel like I need a chart.
Marchelle, who is another mutual friend of Edie's who lives here in California, booked the same flight as me. Florianne, Deb, and another Kelly all planned to drive to Albuquerque from California.
I definitely need a chart.
In the meantime, I'm the link between the "Albuquerque people" and the "California people," since I'm the one that actually knew everyone involved. There was a secret Facebook page, Facebook chats, Facebook messages, emails, phone conversations...ALOT of communication!
Summer came up with a pretty elaborate plan to surprise Edie. I can't remember what she named it, but it was something like the "Magical Mall Surprise." And that's what it was!
The day of Edie's birthday, we were all going to one of the malls in Albuquerque where all of the out-of-towners were going to be spread throughout. Susan (an Albuquerque person, and the one who's house me, Megan, and Summer ended up staying at) found a way to get Edie and her kids to the mall. They first went to Forever 21, which is where Marchelle was. Then it was the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, where Florianne was handing out chocolate. About that time, Boo (Edie's 10 year old son) said something to the effect of, "This is getting kinda creepy). Then they came to Aeropostale, where I jumped out behind a couple of mannequins. Then it was on to a kiosk outside of American Eagle, where Megan was trying on sunglasses, and Deb was a mannequin in the window of American Eagle. Then we went to some kind of strange store where they sold belly dancing outfits, and the other Kelly came out from the back. Then we went to storytime at Barnes and Noble, where Summer was reading to some random (scared?) little girl. Each time Edie came across one of us, she was super surprised! Oh, and Erika (another Albuquerque girl) was dressed in disguise, and she hopped around to all of the places with a camcorder, to document all of the surprises.
After meeting up with Summer, we promised Edie that was the end of the surprises, and we wanted to take her to dinner. Little did she know, that we had reserved the private room at Savoy Bar & Grill, and there was a whole bunch of local people there to surprise her, as well!
What we realized throughout this process, is that for a group of Christians, we are really good liars! That's usually not a good thing, but it came in handy for this elaborate plan.
The next day, after everything had settled down, Edie got a few more surprises - Joanna and Jana, two of Florianne's daughters flew in from California. She also got a great little scrapbook that Marchelle put together, with pictures and messages from friends from all over.
Needless to say, I don't think anyone will or can ever top this!
A fun little fact that we came up with while we were all together - the number of kids represented by all of us who were there with Edie was 28!
It was a great weekend. Edie and I are now not the links bridging everyone together - all of the "Albuquerque people" and the "California people" are now friends, which is a great thing! There were a few Albuquerque people who had moved away and weren't able to make it for various reasons, but everyone who didn't make it was thought about and talked about and missed!
For some of us, it was the first time we left our kids behind. I personally thought it would be difficult, and the night before I left, I was a little bit of a wreck. But while I was there, I never really had the urge to be home. I fully enjoyed my time away!
I hope this all made sense. If it didn't, that's okay - just enjoy some pictures...