Forty is a big deal. But then again, this guy is a pretty big deal. Forty seems so old, yet I feel like it was just yesterday Jason was cruising up to my dorm in his Honda Accord hatchback with his baggy jeans and baseball cap. Yet somehow that twenty-something Jason, who would strum Smashing Pumpkins on his guitar and live to board, has grown into an amazing husband, father and man. He has so much to show for his 40 years of life and I'm so grateful for the family and life we've created, the adventures we share and for the chance we have to grow old together. His birthday was pretty low key. Work, cake and dinner date to Joe's Farm Grill. I didn't feel too bad though, because I've had something in the works for the last couple of months...
Jason isn't one that likes to make a big deal out of birthdays or have a big fuss made for him, but turning 40 is a big deal. Two of his best friends that he's known since high school were also turning 40 within a week of him, so us wives decided to throw them a surprise dinner party in Vegas with all their old high school friends. It was hard keeping the party a surprise, but the biggest surprise for him was all the people that showed up. We had quite a few people travel from out of state to be there, even as far as Alabama and Texas. We ended up with about 50 friends and family, and there were probably just as many who wanted to come but weren't able to make it. That says a lot about Jason, Shawn and Dave and the kind of friends they are and influence they have. I'll be honest, if Jason were to throw a surprise party for me with my high school friends, there would be like 2 or 3 people that would come! It's just amazing that even after 20 years there are so many people they have remained close to. But if you know them, it's easy to see why. We had a catered dinner at a country club then spent the evening sharing stories from the good old days. We played a "who knows them best" game and had 90's memorabilia as prizes. Garbage Pail kids collector cards, mood rings, the Goonies DVD...all the good stuff. We also had a slide show, it was so fun putting it together and going through all the old photos. It was such a fun and memorable night celebrating these crazy guys, I hope they know how much they are loved! Besides the party, the rest of the weekend was filled with golfing and shooting at a gun range with the boys, dinner and hanging out with friends and family and enjoying just being together (thanks to Melissa who watched the kids for us all weekend!). One of my favorite parts of the weekend was the drive home. Usually we run out of things to talk about on road trips, getting lost in our own thoughts while lip syncing to Ed Sheeran. This time we filled the time talking about everything we had put off and said we would talk about "later". For one, I decided to take a more active role in the budget, and that was like the best present ever. Jason was so excited and said, "I've always wanted to show you my spread sheet!" It doesn't take much to excite him (wink). We talked about changes we wanted to make as parents, set up a whole new allowance and chore system (which 2 months later is still going strong!), revamped Family Home Evening nights and just talked about goals and life in general. It was so so good. It was like a flood gate was opened and we couldn't stop talking and sharing our thoughts, pausing only for brunch at the Cracker Barrel. I sure love this man of mine, he makes 40 look ever so good!
Here are just a couple of Jason's pictures from the slide show...
And here is the view from the resort we were staying at. Melinda and I enjoyed lounging around, eating a poolside lunch and laying out while the boys were off shooting.
We met up with Jason's family (the Howards were so nice to come from Utah to be here) for a birthday dinner at the park to celebrate the October/November birthdays in the family. I was sad the kids couldn't be here for this, they always love the chance to hang out with their cousins.
And we went out for Thai with some of our favorite people. So grateful for everyone who came and showed some love for these old men!