Since being in Ireland, Ross and I have had the chance to see our friends and family in San Diego many times, but we haven't seen some of our closest friends, Julie and Dustin, who live in Minnesota, for four years! Not only this, but they have had two babies in that time frame who we hadn't been able to meet. We were soooo missing the precious Gott family so Ross and I devised a sneaky plan with Dustin to shock the socks off of Julie for her 30th birthday. With two weeks off for Easter Break, we thought it would be the perfect time to make our dreams a reality. Since January, we have been scheming with Dustin to come up with the perfect surprise for Julie... and if I must say so myself, we did an AMAZING job keeping the secret and with its execution!
So on Tuesday, April 3rd we boarded the plane with a very sneaky package in hand, complete with authentic postage, customs declaration, and the perfect crinkled international package look. That evening Dustin told Julie he was "watching a game" with the boys, but really came and picked us up from the airport instead. As we approached the house, I was SOOO nervous! Questions like, "Does she know?" "Did she see an email?" "Did she suspect something when Dustin started vacumming today?" (Sorry I had to throw that one in there Dustin!) We slipped out of the car and quietly tip-toed to the front porch behind a pillar. Crouching in the dark on the grass for almost 30 minutes we were afraid nervous neighbors would call the cops on the creepers outside! Unsuspecting Julie was chatting away to her mom on the phone! Hee! Hee!
Meanwhile, Dustin brought in the mail from the day along with the sneaky package that we had given him. Finally, after Julie got off the phone she opened her birthday package. Inside she found a CD with a song that Ross and I had recorded for her. We rewrote the lyrics to Katy Perry's song, "Teenage Dream" telling Julie how fabulous and wonderful her life is living the "Woodbury Dream" (the city in MN where they live)!
Listen and enjoy! And pay careful attention to the last bridge of the song ...
So after listening to this song, and Ross' soulful remix to "Woodbury Dream" Julie had NO clue that we were quite serious about "coming so far to be her Irish Dream tonight!" Click on the You Tube link below to enjoy the surprise reveal that occurs only after MUCH prodding from Dustin!
Surprise view from the outside
This is honestly the best reaction I could have ever imagined possible! I have officially decided that Julie is the funnest person to surprise! If that one moment was all I got flying all the way from Ireland, it would have been worth it! But thankfully we had eight days to soak up Julie, Dustin, and the four kiddos!
I had such precious time living life with Julie and seeing her as a mom of four. She truly is a woman to be admired! Logan, Landon, Layton, and January have endeared themselves to our hearts forever! It is precious now knowing their little quarks and personalities that skype just doesn't allow you to experience. Ross and I feel so blessed that we had the opportunity and resources to make this trip. Here are some of the many pictures taken to capture the highlights.
Driving in the backseat with the boys
It's the little details :)
At tea for Julie's birthday
Going to tea
January's easter egg
The boys after their Easter egg hunt
January in her cute Easter dress
The boys ready to find their Easter eggs
January's new Easter glasses
January in her new butterfly towel, glasses, and swimsuit
Everyone in their matching Easter gifts
Well, we wanted to have fun in them too!
Mall of America
Taking the boys on a roller coaster
Ross teaching the boys the proper way to eat a cone
Ross playing Rugby with the boys with the ball we brought from Ireland