Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Happy 40th Matt!

Matt and I both hit the big 4.0. this summer (Matt’s birthday is in early June, I’ll be joining the club in August).

About a week before Matt’s birthday, I was talking to a college friend who said, “WHAT? 40? We have to throw an old person party for him!!” (this person is 21, so…)

I got to thinking about it – there’s NO WAY I’m throwing an “old person” party, since I’ll be joining him at 40 in just 2 short months. Also: 40 is not old, and age is not bad. I refuse to decorate with black and buy into the cultural message that aging = death. Aging = 1 day closer to Jesus :). But 40 is a great reason to celebrate, so we did throw a party.

People kept asking if it was a surprise: I can’t even keep Christmas presents secret, how in the world would I pull off a surprise party? (Seriously. Every year as soon as I’ve bought his present, I start asking Matt, “Want to know what I got you???” I can’t stand it, and always end up telling him or giving early. :D)  Plus: I’m not really a fan of surprise parties myself. Too much of a planner, plus expectation is half the fun. I don’t enjoy the feeling of everyone else knowing that was going on, while I’ve been in the dark.

Anyway… I think it came off pretty well, considering I didn't start planning until 6 days before.
I made this happy birthday banner , and some of Matt’s favorite foods.

For his birthday every year, I make him a banana cream pie, using this recipe. It’s from scratch as I don’t like banana flavored jello pudding, and it’s surprisingly easy to make a vanilla custard. Except you have to stand over the stove without interruption for about 20 minutes, which means I have to make it after the kids are in bed. And also, you shouldn’t get distracted by the TV show you’re watching while cooking and accidentally put in the egg whites instead of the egg yolks. Because then you’ll have to start all over again. Oops.

Instead of a full pie this year, I made a double batch of little individual banana cream pies in muffin cups. I used crushed Nilla Wafers for the crust and real whipped cream on top – delish.

We also had  Reese's Peanut Butter cups, chocolate chip cookies and snickerdoodles (which I’ve never made before, and haven’t liked much – they’re usually kind of dry and brittle. But since they’re one of Matt’s favorites I went looking for a good recipe, and found this one. It is a WINNER. Amazingly soft and wonderful. Yum. I had to make Matt take the leftovers to work so I wouldn’t eat them all.)

Matt’s mom brought peanut butter balls (which I really appreciated, since he loves them, but they are a mess to make), plus we had queso and chips, a delicious dip from Betsy, and yummy ham/cream cheese rolls from Matt’s stepmom.

Matt’s mom brought me pictures of him as a kid, which were awesome.

We finished it off with lemon water, lots of pop (yes, I live in Nebraska now, I call it pop.), and sweet tea using my dear friend Wendy McCord’s recipe (Which Matt will now be requesting regularly! So delicious!)

It was fun to have so many friends and family around us on Matt’s special day, and the kids had a BLAST. Luke played basketball out front almost the entire time – he wanted to put up a “no parking” sign in the driveway, he was so excited about getting to play ball with a bunch of friends.

Tobin was of course in the middle of all the action outside until the mosquitoes drove us all inside. He had to be dragged kicking and screaming to bed hours past his bedtime where he immediately collapsed from exhaustion.

Good times. And here’s Matt’s gift from his (younger) sister: