the big three-oh

Last week my dearest darling Benjamin turned thirty, and since so many people have asked about how we celebrated I thought I would put together a quick blog post about the epic adventure that was his birthday! If you follow our blog you know that Ben is just about the most thoughtful surpriser ever (after all it’s not just anyone who can pull of an entire surprise vacation) so I had a preeeettty high bar for myself when it came to making this milestone birthday special!

The birthday celebrations started the month before his birthday, because when you’re turning thirty it’s only appropriate that you get thirty gifts to celebrate. Every day, Ben would find an envelope somewhere with a random gift by it (some where super small like a favorite candy, and they got progressively larger as it got closer to his birthday).

Which brings us to big birthday surprise number one . . . .

Ben Folds & the Atlanta Symphony

On the Friday before his birthday I woke Ben up at 6:00 in the morning, put a few  bags in the car, and told him to drive North.

Ben is a pretty good sport about these sorts of things, so he didn’t ask too many questions or even demand a stop for coffee (but we got some anyways).

When we got to the Florida/Georgia border I had him pull over for the big reveal!

Sidenote: He has that bag because the big reveal was inside, he isn’t actually moving to Georgia ; )

When we got to Atlanta and stopped at a red light, I made siren noises a  la Cash Cab

(I’m not the only one who watches this, right?!)

I told Ben it was time for a choosy challenge! He could pick an afternoon at the Coca Cola Museum or the Aquarium.

Afterwards it was time for dinner, and it was an absolute must that I take him to this place . . .

 . . . because Ben is a huge fan of chicken and waffles.

But THIS, this my friends was no mere serving of fried chicken and breakfast pastry.


We checked in at our super cute hotel . . .

Just in time to take a few hotel room selfies.

(Which Ben decided to turn into an all out tickle fight)

And then we got guessed up for the main event!

(Sidenote, I may be slightly biased, but I am pretty sure I am married to the most adorable 30 year old there is.)

The concert was absolutely amazing, and was the perfect surprise for a pretty perfect guy.

And then next morning it was time to make the 7 hour trek back home from Atlanta.

Which for me was 7 hours of trying my hardest not to tell Ben about the amazing surprise party he was driving to.

Bring on big birthday surprise number two:

A Lost Themed Surprise Party

This is where I am going to give the disclaimer that if you did not watch Lost, things are about to get nerdy.

No, they are going to get nerdier than nerdy, and I am embracing every bit of it.

Because Lost is one of Ben’s (and my) most favorite shows of all time, and this was EPIC.

The week leading up to the party was full of putting Dharma labels on EVERYTHING. And even though I don’t want to see another label for at least a year, it turned out so amazing!

It was an intimate group of our family and closest friends, and Ben was so happy to see everyone there

(and excited to board the flight ; )

Everyone got tickets for flight 815 (because they had to get to the island somehow)

And we made sure to include tons of embarrassing photos of Ben through the years . . .

There were polar bear and plane crash cupcakes (because YES)

And a birthday cheesecake since he doesn’t like cake (which means more for me!)

But friends, the real reason this party needed to be island themed, is because Charlotte has been DYING for an opportunity to sport her new bikini!

Her and Ben both had a pretty rockin’ time!

There was an actual countdown just like in the hatch, that would show a collage of embarrassing pictures every time it reached zero.

(For those of you wondering, yes, he had to type in the numbers to make the pictures go away)

Our friends Caroline & Evan couldn’t make it, but in their place they sent an AMAZING Hanso training video that included some fun rules for Ben’s time at his party.

Ben absolutely LOVED it!

And we had a time capsule station set up for everyone to leave Ben a note about what the next year would hold.

And this, this would be one of my favorites from Ben’s birthday.

Because too much Tequila apparently leads to hat-on-face-naps.

After all of this, Ben was pretty positive that his birthday surprises were over. But on his actual birthday, it was time for big birthday surprise number three:

Surprise Visit from Friends!

Two of his best friends flew in from Chicago on the morning of his birthday, to spend a few days with us, and Ben was beyond excited to see them!

( I was going to put the video of him being surprise by them on here, but in his excitement an expletive or two just may have slipped out ; )

They did a brewery tour, went fishing, rode some roller coasters, and generally bro-ed out. It was the perfect finale to a perfect birthday.

And because by this time I was slightly tired, I didn’t document this part as well as I should have. But I DO have this iPhone pic of the three of them at Busch Gardens : )

To all of our friends and family who helped make this birthday so incredibly special for him I absolutely cannot thank you guys enough!

This was absolutely the best birthday celebration ever and I couldn’t have pulled it off with you all!

Love + Laughs,



  1. Ashley M Davis says:

    You’re so adorable, Sarah! This is perfect. Glad you enjoyed everything, Ben!

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