My husband turned 40 this week; which meant we could listen to Coach Mike Gundy’s sound bite incessantly, “I’m a Man! I’m 40!” (Are you familiar with the speech from a couple years ago? He was defending one of his young Oklahoma State players…) I think Owen even made it his ring tone for part of the day, because it was finally legitimate. It also meant that an event I had been planning for about a year was finally ready to come to fruition. I didn’t tell a soul until about 3 months ago, which was my mother, when I was confirming a babysitter. It seems like I plan a lot of events throughout the year, but this had to be special. I wanted it to be memorable (and something to commemorate his manhood, thank you Coach Gundy. -Honestly, I don’t think we could wear it out.) So when I was struck with the idea of a surprise private hot air balloon ride, I didn’t waiver!


The other details took a little thought. Owen’s favorite food is pizza. I needed a place that could hold a crowd and be conveniently located by our landing site. I also needed a cake place that could pull off my Pinterest find and wouldn’t be far from the restaurant, because I wouldn’t be able to store it. Thankfully my sister offered to pick it up before dinner. There was the small issue of having the kids ready for the party before we left… but all of that could be worked out, no problem.


So it was hard to believe that my parents were ill (exposed to Shingles/Chicken Pox), and couldn’t babysit. As well as my sister’s kids, so they couldn’t come and I would have to pick up the cake. The wind was too strong to go on the planned ride (a chance I knew I was taking). And the pizza place that we were supposed to meet everyone at afterwards had an oven fire and sprinkler situation. They called me the morning of to say they couldn’t serve us… What are the odds?


However, our very accommodating friends made the switch to a different location without issue. (And BTW a huge shout-out to the Moosejaw employee who will never read this and who was working at the store when I received the phone call about the restaurant mishap. You are dear to my heart for making phone calls and getting us relocated, while keeping our children entertained with the store video games none-the-less!!) I’d also like to thank my in-laws who offered to watch our children in place of my parents, and although our flight was cancelled allowed us to have a lunch date. And last but not least I’d like to publicly express my gratitude for “Money” and “Clutch” (aka Nanny Tara and Molly O) who once again came through like champions on a perfect windless night so we could balloon high in the sky and I could actually give my gift to my husband on his actual birthday! (Not a bad ending after all.)


Happy Birthday Owen, I love you!!



  1. I had not even put all those mishaps together! Poor Sadie:( but it looks like it was amazing anyway! HAPPY BIRTHDAY OWEN and congratulations on becoming a man;)

  2. Sarah, you’re a very sweet wife! Seems like Owen had a great birthday, and Praise God everything worked out for you guys:) I’m always so impressed with your positive attitude, something comes up, and you put on a smile and roll with it! God bless you guys!
    P.S. That’s a great picture of the two of you in the balloon;)

  3. Sadie, what a wonderful birthday you planned for Owen! Happy birthday Owen! I am so glad it all worked out in the end but you sure had some obstacles each step of the way! I have never heard the speech.

  4. I LOVE this story! Lol. I didn’t realize the extent of all the things that went wrong, but it makes for an adorable story (I think you nailed the “memorable” part), and it sure is precious how it turned out.

  5. You know that when “they” say that some day you will laugh about this? This is so funny I have not stopped. You handled all this and more very well Sarah. Good job!

Comments are closed.