07 April 2013

The Big 3-0

For David's birthday, since it was kind of a big one I wanted to do something special. But throwing a big party wasn't an option for several reasons, the least of which wasn't that I felt pretty sure that David wouldn't appreciate being put in the spotlight. So when I saw this idea on one of the blogs I follow I knew it was an idea I wanted to use for my love. I sent off 30+ balloons to high school friends & coaches, former missionary companions, family, and current friends for them to write a message to David on along with a postage-paid envelope to mail back to me. It was funny when I pulled out my collected envelopes and started blowing up balloons. David knew I had a surprise planned, so after I'd blown up a few and he saw that they weren't just plain balloons he said, "So, what you have thirty of those?" I answered in the affirmative (basically, I didn't actually get 30 back, but close enough) and he was like, "Really?" He's not at all a demonstrative person so I wasn't expecting a huge reaction, but I could tell he was pleased with all of the great messages he got. Good enough for me! We actually weren't at home on his birthday since it was Spring break, but we were at his parents' home. If you think this sounds like an idea you'd like to use sometime, I'll share some tips with you later in the post. But check out the pics!

The kids sure thought all of the balloons were fun!

David transferring all of the messages to paper. :)
Balloons all gather together - you can partially see David underneath.

There's the old man! ;)

Me and my love.

Probably should have cropped this one, but here's all of us on the great day.

Make a wish!
I also took him out on a little picnic on his birthday, just the two of us. It wasn't fantastic weather for that kind of an outing, but not bad - and certainly better than it would have been any later in the afternoon (it rained). At least we got some alone time. :)
Okay, so some tips with the balloons:
  • Strongly encourage your participants to use metallic sharpies, or to do something to make sure that the balloon is really dry before they deflate it. Some of the messages were really hard to read because the ink smeared, but only one of the them was almost completely illegible.
  • If you have little people, it may be less frustrating if the balloons are inflated for reading when they're busy doing something else. :) David was irritated more than once because he was trying to transfer the messages all onto one paper, and the kids kept messing around with his pile that hadn't been transferred yet. hahaha
  • I started out trying to use an air pump to blow up the balloons, but my hot air was much faster . . . so I had to inflate all these balloons with my mouth when all of these other friends had previously. Which I didn't love. Don't know quite what could have been done about that except for give yourself more time than I did to get balloons inflated with a pump. Or have more than one pump going. I did see a pump available specifically for balloons at Walmart, and I laughed b/c I figured a bike pump would be just as good. But in retrospect, I kind of wish I'd purchased it. :)
Update: In the comments my sister suggested that you could write the message on paper, and then put it in the balloon. So, that's one idea to address the smearing issue. :)


  1. Yep, Adam deflated his balloon before the ink had a chance to dry. Whoops! Hopefully his wasn't the one that was completely illegible.

  2. why not just slip papers into the balloons?

  3. Sooo....Gavin did his, stuck it in his work backpack to mail at work, he gets home and I ask (read: nag) him, "did you mail your balloon to Rachael?" and he assures me MULTIPLE TIMES that he did. 2 weeks later I find it in his backpack. :) Haha, sorry about that!

  4. Also, I just loved this idea, such a fun treasure!

  5. What a great idea! I too was thinking messages on paper would be great, just roll them up and stick them in the balloons. Then you wouldn't have to share germs with thirty other people ;)


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