I struggled with this because a) In my mind, he is perpetually 26. I blame the flawless olive skin and the sparkly brown eyes (neither of which I was blessed with, thankyouverymuch); and b) If the baby of the family is 30, then that makes me, the oldest child, a lot older than 30.
He’s lived a pretty full life in the last 30 years. He has been in some dark places and seen more than his share of struggles. It has not been sunshine and roses for him, but he has grown up into the most loving, nurturing, incredible human bean. He’s a keeper.
He’s also kind of quiet and soft-spoken, and he shares his big sister’s introvert genes. So we decided to have a low-key little par-tay. Here’s the breakdown of awesomeness:
1. The theme. One of our longest running family jokes is my little brother’s fear of beavers. No one remembers when it started, but for as long as I can remember, we have teased him about it. Every Christmas, he unwraps something beaver-themed. I post random beaver stories on his Facebook wall. This party was destined to be beaver fever. I made a banner o’ beaverness.
And we plastered beavers on everything that wasn’t moving. I just love that little beaver guy. He’s so enthusiastic!
2. The cake. It’s not a birthday party without a cake. And it’s not really beaver fever without…you guessed it…
… a giant beaver cake! Please overlook the puddling frosting. The three-hour drive from Iowa resulted in some troubling face-melting. Face-melting aside, he’s pretty freaking cute. I think he’s almost as cute as the owls I made for Moo’s second birthday.
3. Presents! When my dad turned 40, my mom enlisted our help putting together 40 of 40 things for him. I always thought it was the coolest thing, so I knew we had to do the same for my brother. Behold, the table of goodness:
This is what 30 things of 30 look like. I spent the better part of two hours wandering around Target looking for things that come packaged in 30s. We did lots of little things–30 Doritos, 30 Q-tips, 30 bandaids, 30 lawn and leaf bags. You get the point. I loved shopping for and prepping this stuff. And he was floored by it. So much fun!
4. Family. As part of the surprise, my other brother flew in from Colorado. He rarely gets to come home, so it was amazing to have him there for the parties. He also helped us keep the party under wraps. It was super low-key, just hanging out and eating and playing with Moo.
Jeffy is her second favorite person in the world (after Grandma, obviously). So she showered affection on the birthday boy.
5. The surprise factor. We parked our cars down the street. We had the decoy party the night before. We lied to his face about why he needed to come to my sister’s house on Sunday. And, judging by his face, mission accomplished.
He couldn’t believe that we would go to so much trouble to do that for him. It made me want to squeeze him tight and remind him that we would do anything for him.
That boy deserves every single bit of love and goodness he receives. And even though each Jeffy birthday means I’m also getting a year older, I wish him many, many, many more (beaver-free) birthdays.