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California Vacay: I Surprised Isaiah! Part 1

January 23, 2014 in I Adore What I Love, The Travel Bug


That’s the sound of me feeling very relieved and as if I have a little (actually a lot) of my life back! You see, for the past 7 months, myself, along with one of my best friend’s, Jen, have been planning a pretty big and majorly secret surprise party for our husbands’ 30th birthdays! (Side note: they’re best friends too)

To make a very long (but kind of awesome) story short(er), I will give you the Cliff’s Notes version of how this came about:

Jen: I really want to do something for Erik’s 30th but I don’t know what to do.
Me: OMG same with me for Isaiah – and he keeps bringing it up to me.
Jen and Me at the same time: OMG their birthdays are only a couple weeks apart, let’s do something together!!
Jen: Should we have a surprise party for them?
Me: Umm, YES! They’ll only turn 30 once… let’s start planning!

Since that conversation in July of 2013, Jen and I have been ridiculously busy organizing for this special weekend.  First we made a guest list and soon after we sent out a save-the-date email to all of Erik and Isaiah’s friends asking if anyone would even be interested in coming. Then, once all the responses kept rolling in with a resounding YES in the subject line, we knew we had to follow through and not only do this… but do this right!  From there, we decided on a date, venue and a time for the surprise, we planned other outings for the weekend as well (hey, if people were planning on coming to LA for this, we had to make it worthwhile!) and emailed with each other constantly for 7 months straight.

But let me tell you, every time my husband touched my computer or my iPhone I was literally on edge to the 100th degree. What if he saw an email or a text about the weekend?  My heart would pound and I’m pretty sure I developed permanent anxiety… but as I type this now, I must admit that it was all worth it in the end :)

29 of Isaiah and Erik’s really good friends ended up coming out to Hermosa Beach, California this past 3-day weekend (thanks MLK) and the surprise basically went off without a hitch!  I’m pretty sure my husband never snapped out of his shock for the whole remainder of our trip. It was crazy to see him so happy yet so perturbed all at the same time!

There were SO many moving parts though that I’m still in disbelief that Jen and I were able to pull this entire thing off!  One example is that I had to coordinate our flight that left on Friday with all of the other people leaving from Chicago on Friday.  I had to make sure that none of Isaiah’s friends were on our plane!  Because if they were… it would have been surprise-fail-central and that would’ve made me cry.

Oh and can we talk about the time that Erik and Isaiah randomly decided to go to Trader Joe’s on Saturday morning before their surprise and we told them to be back by 10:50 but they weren’t back until 11:20?!?!  All our guests were waiting patiently at the restaurant while Jen and I were home freaking out!  The original plan was that we’d be there by 11 but obviously our husband’s didn’t mind taking their sweet ‘ol time at the grocery store.  All for 6 random things from TJ’s.  (Hey – I guess it makes for a good story now!)

All in all, I’m happy to announce that the surprise went perfectly! And the boys were in serious disbelief!
Here are some picture highlights from celebrating the big three-oh this weekend:

California Vacay: I Surprised Isaiah! Part 1 - via  SURPRISE BRUNCH! Happy Birthday Boys!

California Vacay: I Surprised Isaiah! Part 1 - via www.iadorewhatilove.comWe did it Jen!!

California Vacay: I Surprised Isaiah! Part 1 - via www.iadorewhatilove.comCelebrating 30 years of wishing… hope this was the best one yet!

California Vacay: I Surprised Isaiah! Part 1 - via www.iadorewhatilove.comLet’s Eat! 
(Wish I thought to get pictures of the food… it was insanely delish!)

California Vacay: I Surprised Isaiah! Part 1 - via www.iadorewhatilove.comLet’s Drink! Note the “Erisaiah Mimosa” and the “Dirty 30 Bloody Mary” :)

California Vacay: I Surprised Isaiah! Part 1 - via www.iadorewhatilove.comOur hubbies have amazing friends!

California Vacay: I Surprised Isaiah! Part 1 - via www.iadorewhatilove.comAfter the party, we headed down to the beach :)

California Vacay: I Surprised Isaiah! Part 1 - via www.iadorewhatilove.comPicturesque Sunset
Click HERE for my hands-down favorite pic from the beach that day which I posted on my Instagram!

California Vacay: I Surprised Isaiah! Part 1 - via www.iadorewhatilove.comJen and I being silly, letting loose, and taking in our successful surprise!

California Vacay: I Surprised Isaiah! Part 1 - via www.iadorewhatilove.comGuys being guys.

California Vacay: I Surprised Isaiah! Part 1 - via www.iadorewhatilove.comYAY for 30! The celebration continued with dinner at SUR Lounge in West Hollywood.

Have you ever thrown a surprise party before?  I would love to hear all about it!! 
Click on “Leave A Comment” under the title of this post and let me know your thoughts!!


  • JILL January 24, 2014 at 12:49 pm


  • JILL January 24, 2014 at 12:51 pm


    • Dana Ivy January 24, 2014 at 6:01 pm

      It was pretty awesome! Can’t deny that!!

  • Cassie January 24, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Looks like you all had a great time!!! Way to pull of such a big surprise!

    • Dana Ivy January 24, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      Thanks Cassie! It was such a good time… I’m still pinching myself thinking about it!! Xo

  • J COOP BROOK January 24, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    WOOOO!!!! WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE BEST PARTNER IN CRIME EVER!! LOVE THE POST AND LOVE YOU MORE!!!!! :) I would do it all over again in a heart beat!!! :)

    • Dana Ivy January 24, 2014 at 9:37 pm

      Ahhhh I’m still in awe of everythinggggg. We honestly made the best planning team imaginable! I guess that’s why we’re #bffaeae bc duhhh

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    My Name is Dana Ivy.

    Hey hey! I’m a MOM of three, here to share and I’m so happy you found me!! As a Chicago lifer {currently settled in the North Shore ‘burbs}, self-admitted shopping addict, and foodie, at the core I’m really just a mom {and a wife, gotta give a shout-out to my hubby!} just trying to balance it all! My 3 kids are my whole entire world and while being their mom is the BEST thing ever, it ain’t always easy! I created this space for all the moms out there who are just trying to get by... WE are all in this together! Read More.

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