The 30/30/30 Project (Day #3)

On October 5, my countdown began: 30 days until my 30th birthday. In honor of this, on each of the 30 days leading up to my birthday I will recount one memory from the past 30 years… either one that has helped define me, one that makes me laugh, one that makes me think, one that encourages me…  or maybe a little of everything. If possible, I will post a photo to go along with the memory.

It’s my 30/30/30 Project: 30 years. 30 memories. 30 days.

Here is my memory for Day #3:

I am a big snoop am pretty nosy have keen senses, so it’s pretty hard to surprise me. That’s probably why I’ve only ever had one surprise party thrown for me (that, or people just don’t want to put in the effort. For my ego’s sake, I’ll go with the former).

It was way back in 1993, for my 13th birthday. After swim practice on a Friday night, my dad took me to my Nana and Papa’s apartment under the guise that we were picking them up and taking them out to eat with us for my birthday. Audrey and my mom were in a separate car and had gone directly to the restaurant so they could “hold a table” or something like that. It was already decided that we were going to eat at my favorite Chinese restaurant, Yan & Yan’s (seriously, I was obsessed with this place), so we would just pick up Nana and Papa and meet there.

We got to Nana and Papa’s apartment, went inside and hung out for a few minutes, which I did think was kind of odd, given that Audrey and Mom would presumably be waiting for us at the restaurant. But I didn’t catch on to anything.

Then we left and headed to the restaurant. When we walked inside, my Dad said he saw Audrey and Mom in the back and he started walking in. I didn’t see them, but I followed him. When he kept walking towards the back of the restaurant, insisting he saw them, I was puzzled, but still didn’t catch on.

Finally, we got to the door that led into the restaurant’s back room. It all happened very fast – Dad opened the door, still insisting Mom and Audrey were in his sight, which was all very confusing. But as soon as I walked through the door, it all made sense. I saw the smiling faces of a bunch of my friends (many of whom I had just seen at swim practice) and they all yelled, “Surprise!”

My family did a great job pulling this off. It was a big surprise, and it ended up being a wonderful party. Great memories.

There are a few things I love about this picture, which was taken as I walked through the door. I love the expression on my face – it’s genuine shock. I love the expression on my Nana’s face. Nana LOVED a good pah-ty and I can just see the delight she took in being a part of the surprise, and seeing the outcome. And I also love the pile of my friends’ jackets on the chair. I don’t know why, it just makes me laugh because I cannot imagine my mom being cool with that!

About Audrey

Audrey McClelland has been a digital influencer since 2005. She’s a mom of 5 and shares tips on her three favorite things: parenting, fashion and beauty. She’s also a Contemporary Romance Author.

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  1. 10.8.10
    Kim said:

    Well that was one of the big birthdays – you entered the teenage years! Yes, your Nana definitely looks like she is ready for the party. Another great memory and photo. Looking forward to reading the rest 🙂

  2. 10.8.10
    admin said:

    Yep… that was the most difficult surprise pah-ty ever… keeping a bunch of 13-year old girls to keep a secret THAT big! And the jackets? I was like… let’s just get all set for when Janie comes!! This is the most wonderful photo of both you and Nana… wonderful, wonderful, wonderful… Love you! Mom

  3. 10.8.10

    What a great memory Jane. You can totally see the surprised look on your face and that beautiful smile on your Nana’s face is priceless!!

  4. 10.9.10
    Michelle said:

    Are you so sure no one is throwing you a surprise party this year?!

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