Today we got up with nothing on the radar, so we went... car shopping! Actually, car looking, if you will. As I said here, the cars we have are getting a little tight. So we checked out the Nissan Murano and the Acura RDX. Both are mid-sized SUV style cars and both were pretty dang cool. Afterwards, we hit up Best Buy to spend some of the gift card $$$ we received. Following that, it was to meet some friends at the local skating rink for some good ol' Family Fun.
A few weeks ago, I was on Marci's computer and noticed that there was an email from a friend of ours from church. The email said something about a 35th birthday. Well, I didn't and wasn't snooping and Marci told me it was for someone else in our church group. Plus, that person it was from isn't someone we normally hang with, so I didn't pay it any mind.
A little after that, I heard from a family member that they would be attending my party. ???
So, as my birthday came and went, no party happened. I figured nothing was up and just went about my business.
Anyway, at Skate King, we met up with our friends and were waiting to get in. I turned around and happened to see Rich, a guy that works for me. Now, Rich is someone who definitely has no business being at a roller rink, so that basically gave away the surprise. I figured something was up. Plus, I saw a few cars outside that looked like cars I knew.
So, the big surprise was up. But, as I entered the main room and heard, "SURPRISE!", well, I was quite surprised. Marci and Julie had cooked this up for about a month and there were about 25 people there for me. Let's see if I can get them all.
Marci, Haley, Riley, Knight, Shannon, Dung, Megan, Michael, Julie, Rick, Ed B. Aaron C., Nuria, Eliana, Sydney, Ed H., Nancy, Aaron H., Rich, Marcia, Dan, Emily, Allison, Rachel, Rob, Tomoko, and Chuck. I think that was everyone. I guess there was one no-show and some people that would've come, but were out of town. It was a huge surprise to see all these people for me. Much fun.
Onto the skating. I haven't skated on rollerskates for, I don't know, 20 years? I ice skated 1.5 years ago, but the two are different beasts. Haley and Rye had never been skating before today, and after today, I think Skate King will be a huge fixture in our lives for the next several years.
Haley was hilarious. She's usually quite athletic and good at these kinds of things. But once she got those skates on, she might as well have been walking on a floor covered with marbles and ice. She was all over the place.
I started off skating with her, hand in hand. It was fun and I think her left arm is now 1" longer than her right. Everytime she fell, I was yanking her arm to keep her upright. She must've fallen 10-20 times on every lap around the rink. What was amazing, though, was that she kept going. She never got frustrated, and she totally enjoyed it. As me and other parents and adults cruised around and tired, I kept asking if she wanted a break and she'd tell me know, that she wanted to keep plugging away. There was a time when none of my party was on the rink. We were all in the seating area with Haley nowhere to be found. I looked on the rink and there she was, a little blue dot on the far side, shuffling along on her own, arms and legs flailing when she'd hit the deck. It was so damn cute and I was just so proud and amazed by her perserverance. I couldn't tear her from that rink! Over time, though, she did tire and I finally got her to take a rest.
I got to catch up with my man Chuck for a bit. He's a big dude, 6'5" or so. When I got to the party, many people already had skates on. As I said hi to him, I thought he had 'em on too. Then I remembered that he's one big dude and he actually didn't need the 3" skate lift. I guess it'd been awhile since I'd seen him.
My friend Aaron C., whom I've known since middle school, was there and I hadn't seen him for about 6-8 months? He's someone that's always working super hard at anything he does. His ambition and energy are limitless and if I could have just a little of that rub off on me, I'd be a better dude.
It was great to see friends and family, even if it wasn't a party for me. It's funny how it's always so much fun to do something like that; I wish we'd do that more often just for the hell of it. But, we're busy, you're busy, everyone's busy. It's amazing that people would take time out of their schedules for something like this.