I tried to think of ways I could sneak down to Midland on the night of Mom's birthday without arousing suspicion. I could visit Pauline, I thought to myself. I could send a minion (read: Scott) to get Wendy. No, I'm a Nazi when it comes to tradition, and that means that we always celebrate birthdays and eat a big dinner and I'm cooking the cake and you're going to like it or else! It would definitely be weird if I decided to up and go to Midland on the day of Mom's birthday.
So I decided that we would go down to Midland under the guise of trying a fabulous restaurant down there to do something out of the ordinary for Mom's birthday. Why the heck not? Wendy's flight got into Midland at 10:50pm, so I had to stall our arrival in Midland until about 9, which was a little awkward. And if the six of us, plus Wendy, plus Wendy's luggage were going to fit in one vehicle, we were going to have to drive the old Suburban. It seemingly being the least fabulous option among the seven vehicles in the family, that could also arouse suspicion. "Let's take the Suburban so we have lots of room and can lie down on the drive back." Pretty believable. Here we are at Venezia. It was worth the trip.
After dinner, I stalled some more, made everyone take bathroom breaks, and set the GPS to take us to the airport. Now Mom's no dummy. When we pulled up at the airport, she started asking questions.
"Surprise! We're sending you and dad on a trip. We couldn't get a flight out of Lubbock, so we had to come down here. We packed your bags for you. Aren't you excited? Have fun!"
She was shocked.
Then we parked and started walking towards the entrance of the airport, with no bags, mind you, and at that time Mom yelled, "Hey, we're here to get Wendy!" She swore that she hadn't known about the plans.
That weekend we had a party for Mom. And yes, Kimberly the dictator came out and said we always celebrate birthdays and I'm cooking the cake and you're going to like it or else! We had the Pepper Cake. One of these days I'm going to tally up exactly how many batches of that cake I've made in the last two years. Also: Goat Cheese and Lemon Cheesecake with Hazelnut Crust, Chocolate Amaretto & Chocolate Raspberry Truffles, shakes made to order, etc.
Mom's affinity for goats in mind, we had some goat-themed games. We had a goat piñata that was decapitated and then beaten to a pulp. Good clean fun.
Then we played "Pin the Beard on the Goat." Even cheating didn't help me win.
I think the only casualty of the night, besides the goat piñata, was my trusty plastic-handled ice cream scoop. There was a lot of excitement about those shakes, because we had Daddy's commercial grade shake mixer ready for action. A little thing like the ice cream being too hard to scoop wasn't going to deter anyone. Since the ice cream wouldn't give, the plastic handle of the scoop snapped and cracked. I bought a very superior replacement that I've had my eye on for awhile. The Rösle stainless steel scoop is perfect for a girl that takes ice cream as seriously as I do.