Originally L and I had agreed not to take a day off on my actual birthday as it was a Friday and we thought we would be able to chill out at work together - that plan was ruined on the day Laura found out her contract wasn't being renewed - if you missed that story, it's HERE! So the new plan was that we would meet for lunch and then celebrate my birthday officially that evening.
Lunch was interesting, as the English summer decided that wet weather was in order, so we took the party inside. Chris and Martha from work joined us as we tucked into the very typical English food of battered sausage, chips and curry sauce!!!!
We continued the evening at Bella Italia for desserts, indulged in cookie dough lava cake and entertained the ladies next to us with stories of our latest antics - L couldn't end the night before bringing out the presents though. This cute pink union jack bag appeared and inside were gifts from Sarah & Lauren! The first gift out was a London themed passport & cardholder (both already in use), a heart mobile photo frame (that we will have fun filling) and a chocolate Olympic medal from the amazing Cadburys - who doesn't love chocolate on their birthday!?
Laura, however, held off the surprise of the evening.....and I believe with a little help from Jemma.....we have tickets to see Singing In the Rain in the West End - in the Grand Circle!!!! It was a great way to spend the evening of my birthday.
After our amazing Friday night - which was SO good!!! - I was packed off home on Saturday morning. I arrived at 12ish and had a really nice afternoon getting my hair cut, I got presents that will come in handy in Thailand and enjoyed dinner at a really cute pub before heading back to London. I was told to be back for 7:30 and as I am usually late I did my utmost to be back for that time. I ended up driving in at 7:28 and essentially surprising my surprise party guests. Lauren & Sarah (from 2bridesto2mummies), Megan & Whitney (from What Wegan did next) were all getting out the car and froze - and I was just like 'What are you guys doing here!?!?!' - Lauren & Sarah as they are from BIRMINGHAM - that's like 2 hours away!!! And Wegan as they don't drive!
So after my shock, and I'm guessing theirs, subsided, I sat in my car texting my Mum to say I was back and I'm guessing they went into the flat. Little did I know that Laura had seen the whole thing from the kitchen window - so she saw everyone's reaction in the car park. :D
So I was sat texting and oblivious to the outside world, singing loudly and badly in the car and Lauren opened my car door - I jumped out of my skin!!! But it was so amazing to see them, I always feel sad when they leave and as we got last weekend with them - I didn't think we'd see them until after Thailand so I was SO happy.
I went back into the flat and to my surprise 1) it was spotless - and the way I had left it it was VERY far from that! (it must have taken L hours!!!) 2) It had wonderful Wegan there - in all their fabulous-ness and it's always lovely to see them! 3) Wally was there from Brighton and I hadn't seen him since last November and had really been missing him of late!
So everyone sat, drank, chatted - enjoyed the novelty of red solo cups - why don't we use them here!? It was such a great mix of people and with Martha coming along a bit later it was a lot of fun.
At present time I got:
From Wegan: a beach towel for Thailand, Easy A DVD (love that movie!!), House Bunny DVD & 1 other, and a really cute heart that said 'People walk through our lives but only true friends leave footprints on our hearts' - really, really sweet (and tear inducing :))
From Marth & her flatmate Jules: £20 nando's voucher - hell yeah - we all know I love my Nandos!!
From L: well, well, i'm still in shock........
I was handed this handmade book and it was a story / poem that said I am going to NEW YORK for NEW YEAR'S - I'm crying just writing this!!!! And not for a night, or a weekend or a long weekend - 6 WHOLE NIGHTS!!!! And in our own upper west side flat!! And OMG OMG OMG OMG NEW YORK at NEW YEAR - TIME SQUARE, Statue of Liberty, BROADWAY = OMG!! L's parents got me a guide book so it will be PLANNED and OMG NEW YORK here we come - can you believe it??!!!!
So yeah, not only am I going to Singing in the Rain - set in New York right?! I had New York cheese cakes, sparklers, bagels the whole thing - I CANNOT WAIT!!!! It will be AMAZING!!!
The rest of the party was a blur - probably because of alcohol, but other key moments included:
Sarah & Lauren bringing in Willow - there oh-so-cute dog who fitted in like any other guest, snuggled in between people on the couches, making friends with everyone and generally meeting my need to own a dog! She even stayed Sunday (with S&L) so we could go on a walk and hang out! It's a good job she stayed as I wouldn't have spoken to anyone else if I knew I was on a dog countdown :)
Sarah and Lauren made cupcakes with PURPLE icing, PURPLE glitter and PURPLE stars - that tasted delicious!
Wally was the only guy in a room where almost every girl was gay - seriously the things I get Wally involved in :)
Megan & Whitney got me champagne! A first on any birthday I think!
Laura had rosy cheeks and looked so proud (very rightly so) ALL night until we realised we had NO idea how to shut down a party!!!
Martha ended up sharing a bottle of Smirnoff Ice with the table instead of the cups and Jules looked more stable with Sarah's support than on her own so Wally offered to escort them home and that was that party over. Sarah, Lauren & Willow stayed and we probably ended up in bed at 3!
Did I mention LAURA got me a TRIP to NEW YORK!!!!! BEST present yet Miss Smith - it'll be hard to top I can tell you now!!! Before I even read the book the effort and thought was so evident that I immediately said - maybe you should have saved this for my 30th!!! :)
After all was said and done I can NOT thank everyone enough who texted, tweeted, facebooked and emailed their wishes. To L's Nan who almost gave the surprise away when she rang to check I had my card and caused L to make up an excuse that I bought hook-line and sinker! To L's parents who I know had more than a little something to do with my impending trip! To Chrissie and Steph for such a great and thoughtful gift(s). To the girls and Wally who made the journey - to Willow who sat and accepted my petting for an entire day (and S&L for training her to be the best behaved dog I've ever met)!
And of course to Laura - the most amazing, fantastic, brilliant, wonderful, marvelous, tremendous girlfriend I can ask for! I am SO SO SO lucky and so so so grateful for EVERYTHING that she organised and for making this the birthday yet!!!
I am a little nervous about L's upcoming birthday but that's a WHOLE other story!!!