Birthweek Surprises

There was a lot of talk and work around the Williams house about a special golden birthday that was happening on March 2, 2014, but not a lot of buzz about the other early March birthday coming up. I'd be lying if I didn't say that I'm a little jealous that Rooney swooped into our lives three days before my big day. And it's been tough for me to hand over the attention the past few years. I'd pretty much accepted it this year though, knowing that this coming weekend Kelsey and I would be getting away to Omaha for three days to reconnect at the Weekend to Remember marriage conference. (Yes, I consider this a great investment in our marriage and there's nothing I would rather do to celebrate my 30th birthday.)

But, to my delight, Kelsey had some awesome surprises up her sleeve. On March 1, while we were in a mad dash to put the finishing touches on Rooney's golden birthday party, Kelsey handed me an envelope starting a daily surprise leading up to my birthday on the 5th.

Day 1

Day 1 birthday surprise

hey! it's your birth month! and we're gonna celebrate! for the next five days, you will receive an envelope with that day's surprise! day 1: tonight we are going on a date! our parents have agreed to hold down the fort while we get away after Roo goes to bed. be thinking about what you'd like to do!

A date night! Which was an awesome surprise. But, we took a slight detour on Day 1 because Kelsey's parents and my mom and nephew were planning on staying at our house after Rooney's birthday party, so we decided to delay the date night until the following weekend (this past weekend). My mom was already planning on coming down, so we planned to go to a movie. We saw 12 Years a Slave. Whoa! Intense.

Thanks to my mom for babysitting while we were able to get out to a movie.

Day 2

Day 2 birthday surprise

day 2: our favorite 2:00 am snack from two years ago... check the oven!

What a surprise! They're just not the same when we make them on our own, so Kelsey had our friend Erin bake 30 monster cookies. They are seriously the best. I'll be enjoying and sharing these throughout the month. You can't really eat them all at once like, say... Thin Mints.

This was such a thoughtful gift, and I'll add now that each one of these letters made me cry. And thanks to Erin for helping make this day special.

Day 3

Day 3 birthday surprise

day 3: take a load off! i'll do ALL the dishes this week! (yes, i'm serious!) that's how much i love you.

What a relief! Kelsey cashed in one of my own Datevitation coupons to do the dishes for the week.

Day 4

Day 4 birthday surprie

day 4: tonight you are going on a MAN DATE. meet at tommy's house at 5:30 pm for an evening of fun!

Opening this one up was almost over the top. I couldn't believe she pulled this off. She knows how much I enjoy getting out with other guys to hang out and how hard it is for guys to organize such occasions. Despite fighting off a sinus infection, I was really excited all day wondering what was in store for the evening with Tommy.

When I got home from work, Kelsey handed me a small bag with cash and coins in it. I kissed my girls goodbye and headed to Tommy's house.


I was a little curious about what he had planned but was surprised as Tommy chauffeured me downtown to Zombie Burger where a group of friends already had a table. Sneaky friends!


I really thought Tommy and I were just hanging out that night. It wasn't until we were pulling into the parking lot that I wondered if anyone else might be there. Well played, Kels and Tommy, well played.

After dinner, we were off to be boys as we walked into a retro barcade, Up Down. An arcade tributing all the great video games from my childhood era. It. Was. Awesome! We ended the last 1.5 hours of the night at a four-man Pac-man table.

Up Down - Des Moines Arcade 1

Up Down - Des Moines Arcade 2

Thanks to all the guys that made it out. You really made me feel special.

Day 5 (My Birthday)

Day 5 birthday surprise

day 5: today's the big day! welcome to 30! let's have a day of adventure -- whatever you want! p.s. go to to receive your birthday card.

We've been planning a day on the town for awhile, so that wasn't so much a surprise, but this was...

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Seriously... how hilarious was this? The back story to this is that when Adam Levine was named sexiest man alive, I gently reminded Kelsey how lucky she is. (I've been told by a handful of people that I look like Adam Levine... just less musically talented.)

I had a good chuckle to start my birthday.

After dropping Rooney off at daycare, we were off to La Mie for breakfast.

La Mie - Des Moines

Then we checked out the Red Wing shoe store to try on some boots I've had my eye on. I'm going to have to save up my money before I can make that kind of investment. But they sure were nice.

Red Wings 1907

The ones on the left...


We then spent the rest of the morning scouring some antique stores for basement inspiration and hoping to find some gems. We didn't find much, but did manage to come home with a brass pig (pictured above in the Day 5 photo).

We had lunch at my favorite BBQ joint, Smokey D's, and then checked out Costco (my first time) since we just purchased a membership a few weeks ago.

Then we stopped into Best Buy to drool over some Sonos speakers. Seriously amazing sound.


And we added some green snake plants to our house from Walmart, too.

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We were so full from lunch that we just enjoyed a monster cookie for supper. All in all a great birthday and even more special four days leading up to it.

I'm so thankful and grateful for Kelsey and the thought she put into the last days of my 20s. She was speaking all of my love languages. It was a very special five days that I'll never forget.

What was your favorite video game growing up? Mine was Track & Field on the Nintendo.