The Monday before last, my dad emailed me with a great idea - surprise my mom by flying out for mothers's day. Unfortunately, I had a wedding that weekend, so it was a no go. Fortunately, I was free that weekend, as in 4 days from then. Too short notice and crazy? With some free flights from all my dad's traveling and a surprisingly open schedule, we decided to go for it, and by Tuesday I was booked on a flight!
Now, I am not the calmest of fliers, so it was a good think my flight was midday and I could justify a glass of wine. I was very proud of myself though, despite mild turbulence, I didn't freak out and in less thank two hours, I was safely on the ground in Orange County.
My dad picked me up and snuck me into the house, where my mom was taking a nap. I sat next to her on the bed and gently shook her awake. She was so surprised to see me sitting there above her! Very happy as well :). My dad did a great job setting this up - she had no idea.
My dad had already made sure the day's plans would be lovely, and could include me. First off, we headed to a lovely design house in Laguna Beach (I'll do a full post on that later - suffice to say, it was spectacular!).
We were joined by our next door neighbors that our family has been close friends with since I was in 2nd grade! So, a very long time.
After spending a few hours imagining we were living in an almost $19 million dollar house with ocean views, it was time to head to dinner.
This was where my mom got her second surprise - my sister, brother in law, and niece drove down from LA to join us! Unfortunately, they hit traffic, to the surprise was broken with, "table of 8 and a high chair" rather than them in person, but that just built up the anticipation :).
Pictures came out a bit blurry, but look how big my niece is getting!
She was so so cute saying, "ba-ba" for bread and then saying "peas" and making her little please hand motion.
My mom and I may have sent my sister and her husband to the other end of the table so that we could soak in Amelia cuteness.
I even got to take her outside and carry her around for a while. Such bliss. She also loves saying "bub-bles" which is what she called all the birds she excitedly saw flying by.
In between niece cuteness, we did also eat delicious food.
As did Ameila.
She totally hooked the wait staff around her little finger and got a bowl of craisens to eat in addition to mom packed snacks.
Of course, she may have played with them more than eat them, but they were a very welcome distraction.
Of course, we got to celebrate my mom's birthday/mother's day early, complete with a very yummy dessert.
I got amazing bread pudding!
And, before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye. I am so so glad I got to see my sister and her family, since our time together seems few and far between. Luckily, Ash and Amelia will be helping us move, so we only have to wait 45ish days to see them again :) (Sad brother in law James can't join us, but not everyone has teacher summers...)
Seeing Amelia walking around in all her confidence, with her oh so cute converse was icing on the cake.
The next day, I took my parents out for brunch, after a nice walk around the lake with friends and a trip to church.
We continued the celebration with a bottle of wine and a bracelet for my mom - a spontaneous gift purchase at the design house that my mom seems to really like. So nice when gift ideas present themselves so perfectly.
Afterwards, my mom and I hit up the festival of art, and checked out all the beautiful chalk art.
There were also some interesting garden art displays, including this 60's retro garden,
And this possibly education Sonoran garden (in case you forgot, we are moving to the Sonoran dessert, so apparently we can grow all of this!).
Just over 24 hours after I arrived, it was time to leave again. It had been since probably college at some point that I'd celebrated my mom's birthday and mother's day.
I'm so glad that I had those 24ish hours and that they were so perfectly spent.
Happy (early and belated) Birthday and Mother's Day mom!