It was the perfect storm.

My birthday expectation this year was the same as every year — Jeff and I would go eat somewhere we like to celebrate our birthdays, which are a week apart. We never make a big deal out of either of our birthdays, and we hadn’t made any plans — so that was that.

Then last Thursday, Jeff’s car wouldn’t start after work and he knew he’d have to take it in Friday morning. Friday morning, I had to be at a downtown Fayetteville hotel at 7:30 for an all-day work meeting. So Friday was an earlier-than-usual morning made tricky with preschool drop-off and car dealership. My meeting made for a long day and I was pretty ready to get home —
maybe stop for some drive-thru comfort food — and go to bed early.

Painting the picture?

Then late Friday afternoon I got a text from Jeff. He had made plans for us to go eat with another couple. (Should’ve-been-a-RED-FLAG #1: We have been married for 6 years. He has never made plans for us to go out with another couple…) I agreed to go, but mentioned that it had been a long day and I’d probably want to skip the work happy hour and grab a quick nap at home. We had a plan.

I got home around 4:30 and climbed in bed with my clothes on. T-I-R-E-D. Next thing I knew it was 6:00 and the boys were home. I woke up, we got ready, and we headed to dinner. (Should’ve-been-a-RED-FLAG #2: Jeff drove. I almost always drive when we’re around town because we usually take my car.)

So he drove and we headed to a local BBQ place called Sassy’s. We were nearly there when he pulled into a shopping center instead. He started to tell me a story about a sporting goods store that carried a specific Razorback shirt he’d seen — and that our friends were running 10 minutes late and we needed to kill time.

Fine. We parked and got out of the car. And instead of the sporting goods store, Jeff and Colt walked right into the shop next door. A little irritated that we were just aimlessly wandering around, I followed…

Surprise! from Sarah Hood on Vimeo.

Surprise!!! (Video courtesy of Amanda’s phone.)

That look on my face? That’s what I’ll call Groggy Shock. I was COMPLETELY surprised. My we-don’t-do-birthdays husband had gathered my church friends, work friends, my sister! and running buddies and planned a VERY successful surprise for my birthday. At my favorite place! Painting with a Twist!






After the shock wore off slightly, I was ready to dive in. This place is my favorite. Becky, Laura, and I came here a few months ago and had a ball — I couldn’t wait to do it again. And Becky chose a really fun, abstract painting for us.

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This is Alex, our instructor. He was great when we went the first time — and Becky requested him for my party!

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We ate pizza and cupcakes (homemade by Autumn!), drank wine, danced a little, and had SO MUCH FUN. This place really knows how to get people to relax and smile. Some of these girls had never met before that night — and everyone had a great time. (Nancy, Autumn, Amanda, Marian, Amy, Becky, Jennifer, Katie, Brianne, and Tena — you have officially been “blogged”! Love you.)

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Even the little guy got in on the action. They had an extra canvas and let him make his own masterpiece! Daddy helped with the letters, but the rest is a Colt Hood original.

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We haven’t hung it yet, but he’s told me the exact spot in his room he wants his new painting to go. He’s pretty proud.

And here’s my finished product!

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This whole birthday thing has been a little overwhelming this year — what with the amplification social media provides and the whole ‘turning 30’ thing. I have had such an incredible birthday because I have so many incredible people in my life. I typically show love and respect for Jeff by NOT talking about him much on the blog, but he outdid himself this time and I can’t help myself. And these friends. These sneaky, sneaky friends. They are pretty great, too.


2 thoughts on “Surprise!

  1. I love being your sneaky friend. Hopefully I’ll graduate to ninja someday. ;)

  2. This place looks awesome! Is it local? I need to go there. In about a year and a half. ;)

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