40 yEARS: Surprise!!!!

Y’all… after nearly a year of planning and being so excited I could bust, last week I surprised the one that cannot be surprised – HONEY!!!!  I do these things with the littles all the time, but have never had the thought nor opportunity to do the same for their daddy.  And besides, the man cannot be tricked.  So, when he arrived home from work last Tuesday, a home spun crossword puzzle was waiting on the table.  He LOVES a good puzzle, but was pretty puzzled by this one.  He thought it was something for the good old blog so he sat right down and sorted it out.


Every clue was related to Disney… a resort, park, restaurant, etc.  At the end he had to use the letters in yellow to fill in the puzzle stating “Pack your bag, we leave Thursday!”  At this point he said I think it’s cute and will be fine for Dixie Delights.  I just stared at him and he says “wait, are we going somewhere?”  I nod and he asks where.  “Where do you think?”  “Disney?  When?  This Thursday?  We can’t go Thursday.  I’ve got a huge meeting.  And a baseball tournament to coach.  And John can’t miss his first track meet.  And I have to coach soccer for Shawn Saturday.”  I’m about to bust with excitement and tell him not to worry that it’s all been sorted out and he CAN in fact leave Thursday and that the littles AREN’T coming.  You see, I had been in cahoots with his manager since January!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The head baseball coach too.  And track was sorted out as well.  And Mother and Daddy-O would be arriving momentarily to watch the littles.  (The only thing I didn’t see coming was the soccer coaching job, but that was quickly sorted out.)  And he could NOT believe it!!!!!!!  I tell him that there’s SO MUCH MORE and lead him outside to the porch.


Our trip was four full days and totally planned out!!  Each of the four buckets included the day’s itinerary and birthday gifts corresponding to that day’s activities.  Oh, and of course I had to get out the littles’ Disney countdown chalkboard for my Happy Everything plate.  Because sometimes it’s fun to celebrate like a kid!!


Day 1: We would put the littles on the bus and head to the airport!  I splurged on flights because I know how he hates the drive to Orlando, and I finally made him a bag tag!  The Magical Express would deliver us to our Club Level room at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.  The details of the trip wrote themselves… when we were staying at Animal Kingdom last September, Honey and the boys were obsessed with curiosity about what amazing things must lie on the sixth floor club level.  I knew then and there that I had to make it possible.  That night we would dine at the esteemed Victoria and Albert’s – one of the top 50 restaurants in the world – and then we would hop over to the Magic Kingdom for a few favorite fast pass rides and fireworks.  The shirt is Vineyard Vines and the Lilly bow tie is Palmetto & Pine.

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Day 2: Honey loves to sleep in, so I never planned anything before lunch.  He has mentioned at least a thousand times how much he would love to stroll around the world without littles – eating and drinking himself into oblivion along the way.  Well, that’s just what I planned and with Flower & Garden Festival going on it was perfect timing!  And after all of that eating and drinking, we were to eat again at Le Cellier in Canada.  I picked the polo up on clearance at the Disney Store last year and the custom birthday button is from Park Bound.  Since we’re amassing quite the collection of Magic Bands this year, I’ve started customizing them with what the trip was for.  These read HONEYis40 and 40yEARS.

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Day 3: After sleeping in again, day 3 brings a relaxing lunch on the patio at Hollywood & Vine and a few favorite fast pass rides in Hollywood Studios.  After dinner at one of his very favorite restaurants (Sanaa), he was in for a real treat and something he has expressed interest in multiple times – a RunDisney race.  Team 40yEARS was registered and geared up for the last go of the Expedition Everest Challenge!!!!  I picked up the Yeti running shirt at Raw Threads and have been saving the Yeti poster from Old Try as a momento from this trip!

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Day 4: Our last day was to be spent back in the Magic Kingdom with lunch at Be Our Guest (he loves the roast beef) and a few favorite rides. The afternoon allowed for loads of relaxing at the Animal Kingdom Lodge pool and in the Kilimanjaro Club lounge while catching up on one of his favorite authors (per his 40×42 list).  Our flights would deliver us back to Atlanta just before midnight.

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He was completely blown away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It was such a wonderful feeling to finally share with him all of the plans that had been made over the last year.


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Disney has become a very special place for our family, and Honey says pretty much every time we are there that he’d love to come without the boys.  Gasp :-).  When I started thinking about an amazing and memorable way to celebrate his birthday, it just made sense!  I have saved money ALL YEAR from gifts and from my blog earnings to completely fund the trip, and was able to keep it all a secret by charging everything to the card I use for Dixie Delights. 

I also want to sincerely thank Mother and Daddy-O for making this trip possible.  Four days with my littles is not for the weak at heart, considering they had ALL SORTS of sports, tests, homework and the likes.  I also must thank Honey’s mama and my sweet friends JS and TC for helping cart the boys around when Mother and Daddy-O couldn’t be on opposite ends of Atlanta at the same time.

I cannot wait to share every single detail with y’all over the coming days, as it surpassed all expectation. 

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20 thoughts on “40 yEARS: Surprise!!!!

  1. Wow! Your parents are wonderful! How did the boys react when they found out they weren't going? Happy Birthday to Honey. Glad you had a memorable trip.

    1. HAHA! John pulled out all the stops to convince us why he should get to go and why we didn't really need to worry about taking Whit. Meanwhile, Whit was totally unphased by the whole thing.

  2. Your creativity is amazing! Congrats on pulling off such an awesome surprise! Now you have me thinking for my husbands big 5-0 in a couple years…I saw some of your fun on Instragram and am looking forward to the details.
    Cheers to the birthday boy! – Shelley

  3. That would be my husband's dream trip, except that he just turned 40 so maybe when he turns 50! We honeymooned at Disney and have been there twice without the kids and it's so much fun, but tons of fun with them too!

  4. WOW!!! How much FUN! Happy Birthday to Honey & job well done on keeping the secret & pulling it all off without a hitch. I know that was a memorable trip. On a side note, may I adopt your parents, we're about the halfway point between Savannah & Atlanta. Hope you have a wonderful week!

  5. My husband will turn 40 in January so this gives me some great ideas! Hope you had a wonderful trip!

  6. You are amazing!!! All that planning and you didn't spill the beans for a whole year! That's impressive. My hubby is super hard to surprise and I would love to plan something like this for him one day. On his 40th birthday (last year) I had our daughter. I actually had our daughter on his actual birthday! It's really cool in the long term that they share a birthday but he didn't get to have a big 40th because we were having a baby. Maybe one day I can surprise him with a thoughtful and fun trip like you did. Good job gal!! Can't wait to hear more. :-)

  7. What a wonderful surprise. We always stay at club level at the Grand Floridian and LOVE it. In fact, we come back early some nights just for the hor d'oeurves and wine! I'll be anxious to hear how it was at Animal Kingdom.

  8. That is fabulous!! What a great surprise. Loved following along on IG. And, just noticed who got that sweet set of notecards. ;-) Miss her!!!

  9. What a wonderful surprise!!! You really thought of every single detail. I loved following along your trip via Instagram and can't wait to read all about it here!!!

  10. What a delightful, heartwarming story! I too love Disney and your trip sounds wonderful! I hope you and Honey have a FABULOUS time!!! Shari

  11. I adore everything about this!! My hubby has talked about the same thing, Disney without the kids. I am going to have to steal all of your ideas: the surprise, the trip, the VV goodies, and the great eats!!

  12. awwww!!! omg!!! i just teared up!!! this is soooo cute and sweet!!!! what an amazing surprise! love the pic of your husband being surprised- he looks so happy! happy birthday to your husband! you are a beautiful couple! and how awesome that you have a husband that loves disney so much too! great, memorable and creative idea!! cant wait to see your upcoming posts on all the details :) youre such a sweet wife!

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