She didn’t have a clue… really. No clue.  She had a Dr.’s appointment and after she got off work she ran home, met up with my dad, and they went to town together for the appointment. I was home. She didn’t know. I was at my brothers next door with my best friend Shea, my brother, and my sweet nieces hiding out, watching through the window…waiting. The second she and my father drove away (he was in on it, of course)… we bolted. All of us start running out of the house in different directions. I’m running to my grandmothers next door to grab all the balloons that are hidden out, Shea is frantically hanging “luau” decor and blending Pina Colada’s, my brother and uncle David are firing up the grill and prepping the food. It was stressful. Parties always are and surprise parties are particularly stressful but she deserved it all, and more.

At first we thought she needed a big party, rent out some place, have dancing, have it catered, the works. Then we sort of had to stop and ask ourselves, who are we throwing this party for again? My mom is laid back, she doesn’t worry about looking perfect or wearing the right thing. She would rather have an honest meaningful conversation with a few people dear to her heart then to make small talk with a room full of acquaintances. I actually don’t know that she actually knows how to have small talk, give her about 3-5 minutes and she has to tell you what’s on her heart, she has to say something of substance.

She is real. The is the best way to describe her, she is authentic, sincere, and real. She doesn’t talk bad about people, she lives a kind, honest, God centered life, and doesn’t have a fake bone in her body. So…we had a cook out and a luau and I think it was just right.

My mom does everything for everyone else, always above herself. I know people always say that about people, and maybe it’s true, but with my mom I know it’s true. I’ve seen it with my own eyes my entire life.
She was surprised, she teared up a little, and fun was had by all. Actually watching her face when she turned the corner and saw everyone was probably the most beautiful thing I’ve photographed in ages.

She is love.

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