Tag Archives: surprise

I Love Surprises!

Those of you who know me or who have read my slices in the past know I love surprises. When someone goes out of their way to surprise me, it lights up my day. But you know what I love even more than getting surprises? Being the one to surprise someone else!

I’ve been planning a surprise for my cousin Katy for about a year now. The surprise was going to be for our fortieth birthdays (we are three days apart, y’all!), but since I’m not sure what will be going on in my life 2+ years from now and because I’m impatient, I figured why not, let’s make it a 38th birthday surprise. Not exactly the same ring to it, but what the heck, a surprise is a surprise, right?

Last summer, Katy and I were texting as I wandered the streets of Mandalay on my solo trip to Myanmar. I snuck in an question that would have normally raised suspicion, but since I was traveling and we were talking about “travely” stuff, it seemed innocent enough. I asked her where she would go if she could go anywhere in the world. Her top five places were Italy, New Zealand, France, Brazil, and the Maldives. This information stayed tucked away in my mind.

Seeing as I went to both New Zealand and Italy last year, the Maldives are more of a romantic getaway, and Brazil is just too far away (for now), that left France. Paris is one of my favorite cities in the world, and as they say, Paris is always a good idea. So, after talking to my aunt (Katy’s mom) about whether she could help watch Katy’s kids this summer (she will!), I called Katy up this morning.

After catching up for a bit since we hadn’t talked in a while, I hit her with the surprise.

“Remember when I asked you last summer about where you’d like to go if you could go anywhere?”


“Well, I was gonna wait to do this for our fortieth, but I figured it’s a good idea to do it now. How would you like to go to Paris with me?”


“I’d like to take you on a trip to Paris this summer. Would you like to go?”

With tears in her eyes, she excitedly said, “Yes! I’d have to be crazy to say no to that! Are you sure?”

Laughing, “Yes, I’m sure.”

Since she was so shocked, it took a little more convincing to make her understand I was actually serious.

At the end of the conversation, she said, “You’re the coolest cousin ever!”

Right back atcha Katy! Love you so much and can’t wait to explore one of the most dynamic and beautiful cities in the world with you. Paris, we’re coming for ya! 🙂

Photo credit: travelandleisure Instagram post

A Sweet Surprise

“Good morning, Ms Kesler,” Marson said when he came into my office this morning carrying a bag.

“Good morning, Marson. How are you? What do you have there?” I replied.

Smiling, he handed me the bag. “This is from my mom.”

“Thank you. What’s it for?” I asked, wondering why I would possibly be given a gift when my birthday isn’t for another two months.

Marson shrugged his shoulders, then turned around, smiled and left my office.

Opening up the bag, I was greeted with a bunch of goodies! Along with a fashion magazine, I was given some fancy crackers, a bottle of wine, chocolates, and some delicious cookies from a fancy bakery in town. In addition to the goodies, there was a handwritten note thanking me for my help on the Primary Production last week.

Nothing brings a smile to my face more than a surprise. What a great start to the week!


The furniture was in place, the congratulations banner hung for all to see, and the smorgasbord of food was calling to us. As everyone was gathered in the library awaiting the guest of honor and chatting about the day, I overheard snippets of conversations. “Do you think she knows?…She has to know!…I hope she’s going to be surprised…”

“She’s on her way!” I shout. With the music turned down, and all eyes on the door, we collectively shout, “SURPRISE!” when she walks in the door. Stunned, she gives a quick smile and nod and begins surveying the room. She scans the room, trying to process what’s happening when her eyes stop on the banner. “Congrats Rebecca and Alex” it reads, complete with glittery hearts and swirls. Tears swell in her eyes as she says, “But I have a big agenda for today!” We all giggle and assure her that there will be no faculty meeting today. I take away her iPad and pen, setting it aside as I guide her to the guest of honor’s chair.

After welcoming everyone, Franco reads a mad lib about her impending pregnancy disguised as a heart-warming story. Eyebrows raise when he reads, “As Rebecca went into labor, she was suddenly aroused and began craving pickles.” Glances between friends and giggles abound as we listen to his tale. Next up was Christina, who shared that she has found the *perfect* song that she feels describes the beauty of birth…

As we ready ourselves behind the stage, making sure our bellies were just right, we hear the familiar intro, “Ahhh…Push It…” That’s our cue. We all bound onto the stage for our dance number to Salt-n- Pepa’s classic “Push It.” All of us, including a few guys, wore pillows under our shirts so that we looked pregnant, while we danced in unison. It was hilarious! I’ve got to get a copy of the video and load it to YouTube!

After that, everyone dug into the yummy food, and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon. Rebecca, our principal, was truly surprised by the baby shower. I can’t believe everyone was able to keep it a secret! Good onya guys! 😉 

Operation Christmas Surprise

So, as many of you know, I surprised my parents by going home for Christmas. Even though it was tricky keeping such a BIG secret for so looooonnnnngggg, it was definitely worth it! Seeing my family’s reactions is a memory that will be forever etched into my mind.

Basically, I led my parents to believe that I was traveling around China for the 3 week winter break from school. It broke my heart every time my mom mentioned how sad Christmas would be without me, but my secret afforded me the opportunity to be flippant about the whole thing. “Mom, you’ll be fine,” I’d say. As my departure date approached, I was frantic and, frankly, a bit paranoid. What if she knows? They aren’t even going to be surprised! and other similar thoughts raced through my head. Sitting in the Pudong airport, I called my mom to tell her one last lie before I would see her in person. Luckily, I got her voice mail to which I left a short and sweet farewell as I got on the “train for my trip around China.”

After landing in Houston, my amazingly sweet friend Anela picked me up from the airport, sans luggage I’m afraid (that’s a whole other story!). We went out for a yummy dinner and then stayed at her place for the night. The next morning, we made our way to Bryan. The entire ride my stomach was filled with butterflies and I couldn’t shake the nervousness that rose inside me. The last part of my plan was assisted by our family friend, Susie. She, Anela, and I crashed my parents’ work Christmas party at their house. I hid outside on the porch with Anela while Susie went in to tell my mom one final lie- that she needed to come outside for a Christmas present that was in her car. As I stepped out from behind the pillar, my mom almost fell over as she exclaimed, “What happened?!?” because for all she knew I was 8,000 miles away on a trip around China with my friends! Smiling sweetly, I said, “Nothing happened. Surprise! Merry Christmas!” Then came the waterworks. My mom grabbed me in a bear hug, sobbing and shaking uncontrollably. I have only seen her act like that one other time in my life, so it was a big deal!

After she calmed down, I went in to see my dad and brother. My dad’s reaction was shock. His mouth hung open and I faintly remember him saying, “Is this for real?” Yes, dad. This is real life. 🙂 Walking into the garage as my brother played ping pong, I noticed him bending down to pick up a ball. I cleared my throat to get his attention, and he did a double-take when he looked up. He was surprised, but his reaction was definitely more subdued than my parents’ reactions. All in all, I’d say Operation Christmas Surprise was a success! I would not have changed a thing. I will forever have those memories, and as they say, you can’t put a price on memories!