When Kris’s birthday started getting closer, I didn’t know what to do. Last year, I planned an elaborate birthday for him, but this year I’ve been pregnant and busy. How do you plan your husband’s birthday under stress?
This year, he didn’t really know what he wanted and was completely fine not doing anything, but there was no way I could let that happen as his wife. I feel birthdays are important and the idea of not celebrating my husband just felt wrong. He mentioned a getaway, so I started scrambling to plan something extravagant. Nothing was working out or falling into place. By Thursday, I was on the phone with him and had a complete crying meltdown driving on the freeway because I didn’t have anything planned for that weekend. Of course, he was so soothing and sweet assuring me he was fine and was content having a night with me…all the more reason he deserved something more!
I have to say, his graciousness and our friendships are what made this weekend happen. I was at the end of my rope with pregnancy, my schedule and an overload of stress. If you’re feeling this way and have a special occasion to plan, it’s time to let rowboats of assistance come in to help the ship in distress. Since an overnight resort stay wasn’t in the cards, one of our closest couple friends took it upon themselves to get an action plan rolling. Another place Kris had been wanting to go forever was Salvation Mountain, situated just south of Coachella and Palm Springs.
On Friday evening, we all confirmed plans to get up in the morning and take a road trip to Salvation Mountain and the Salton Sea. Saturday morning, Kris woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed, excited for our adventure. Our friend, Brittany, drove the whole six hours there and back. We stopped at Chick-Fil-A for lunch. Kris wouldn’t have had it any other way. We all love Chick-Fil-A!
What Kris didn’t know is I had made surprise plans for Sunday evening as well. On Friday, I went to my friend Sherry’s house exhausted and in need of prayer. As I was processing with her everything going on in my life, she said, “What if we do a surprise dinner for Kris with his closest friends on Sunday evening? I’ll cook the dinner and provide everything. You just send out the guest list.” A flood of relief and release came over me. YES! That is exactly, perfectly, what he would want. He hates dining, especially in large groups. He loves a good home cooked meal and he cherishes quality friendships. So while I was there on her couch, I sent out the text to his sweet friends. Twelve was the final headcount, which was symbolic for a few reasons.
You have to understand that Kris and I are prettttty cheesy. I think Kris is actually cheesier than me. So the fact that I chose Superman as the theme for his birthday is not weird for us.
On our drive home from Salvation Mountain and Salton Sea, I saw Kris write a friend and told him that he didn’t have any other plans for his birthday. This made it so hard for me not to tell him, but more excited to surprise him. I am terrible at surprises and keeping secrets, so it worked out perfectly that we had only made the plan two days in advance.
We got home from church on Sunday and we usually spend the whole day together. I had no clue how I was going to explain to him why I needed to leave the house the whole afternoon. I somehow pulled it off and drove to Party City to pick up decorations. Then I called every bakery in town inquiring if they carried pumpkin cupcakes. Kris doesn’t really care for sweets, but he loves pumpkin anything (except pumpkin pie oddly), so I was trying to make it work. No one had pumpkin cupcakes because they’re out of season and they don’t know Kris Wolfe would consume enough to make carrying them worth it. So, I called one of my favorite vegan restaurants because they have incredible deserts there. They happened to have enough raw, vegan, gluten free, organic cupcakes for me to pick up in the next 15 minutes.
I arrived to Sherry’s, set up and then raced home to get ready in a casual enough way that he wouldn’t suspect there was anything happening. Kris thought we were just going to our friend’s house for dinner with the three of us, which is not out of the ordinary. When we walked in, all our friends were sitting in the dining room quietly. As we turned the corner, they all blew their Superman blowers and cheered happy birthday!
The reason I chose Superman as the theme is a few reasons. It was the first movie Kris’s dad every took him to in theaters. We recently watched it together. So much symbolism runs throughout the movie. Superman truly represents Jesus. It wrecked both of us.
On our third date, we had our first kiss. He picked me up and I told him he was like Superman. The store didn’t have Superman decor as a stand alone, but they did have the Justice League. It actually made perfect sense considering the friends joining us were those he’d consider in his justice league.
We dined, had great conversation, and then enjoyed a couple hours of game playing in the living room. It was a relaxing, perfect evening.
I was such a mess that I wouldn’t be able to give Kris a great birthday. But friends like Brittany, Kellan, and Sherry came in and alleviated the pressure. They came alongside me and nine others said YES to a last minute surprise dinner. I think this was Kris’s best birthday yet because it was intimate, meaningful and heartfelt.
If you’re planning a special occasion and feeling incredibly overwhelmed, maybe let a friend in on how you’re feeling. I don’t like asking for help. But I did confide about my stress and friends offered up their generosity.
Know your man too. Details like the Superman theme, vegan cupcakes and a chicken based meal spoke to Kris’s heart. Driving in the car for hours pregnant somewhere as smelly and gross as Salton Sea was definitely an act of love on my part too. Kris knew I was sacrificing for him and he appreciated it.
Ultimately let God’s power be made perfect in your weakness. At the end of the day, God wants His child celebrated more than you do…so you can trust that He will make a way where there is a will.
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