Surprise!!! Rand McNally’s 30th Birthday Party!

So I can finally spill the beans since it has come and gone! Let me start by saying this was my first surprise party I have ever planned. It was super hard for a couple of reasons. 1. We keep NOTHING a secret in our marriage. So keeping this a secret for nearly 2 months was a HUGE challenge to say the least. 2. We have a preschooler. Do I need to say anything else? I mean she wants to share every detail about everything with everyone.

But we all managed by the grace of God to keep it a surprise.

When planning this party I thought it was awesome at first… Then I panicked and thought “oh no what if he HATES surprises” (In nearly 7 years of marriage I haven’t really done anything this huge!).  I figured my saving grace was that his best friend from his childhood was in on it. Rand thought they were coming to use up free airfare mileage and rental car points :).

The Plan:

Rand McNally and his friend ‘D’ were going to a brewery WAY across town. I told ‘D’ I don’t care what crazy excuses/lies you have to do… but don’t get back until 5! I stayed home with D’s wife and our kids  (who actually napped!). Once, he was out of the house it was time to get busy!

The Menu:

Earlier in the week I had dropped ingredients to be cooked at several friends houses. Most were crock pot recipes because I figured that would make it easier for transport and less work on my them for cooking!

Apple Cider Punch -I made this kid friendly because it was easier since there were a bunch of Munchkin’s friends coming over.  (side note: I wanted to make Ecto cooler but could NOT find tangerine Kool Aid?!?!)

Brie En Croute– OK this is must have for pretty much any party, well if you like Brie. It was easy to make and tastes amazing!! Brie, pecans toasted in some butter, brown sugar and puff pastry sheets!!

Bacon Appetizers- Now this is a Pioneer Woman Recipe! I love her stuff… seriously she is amazing! These are apparently a recipe from circa 1980 which worked well with my 80’s theme party! Bacon, club crackers, and parm cheese… slow baked… they were SO good! Thanks to my friend ‘A’ for your help!

Crock-Pot Meatballs– This is usually a crowd favorite kids and adults love them! I was lazy (ok I had  like NO time!!) so I bought premade meatballs but they were still great! Meatballs, Chili Sauce, and grape Jelly cook until warm! Thanks ‘L’ for your help on these!

Crock-Pot Mini Wieners Now this is seriously another favorite. I used my Mother-in-Law’s BBQ sauce recipe and put it over two packages of cocktail wieners.  Thanks to my sweet friend ‘N’ for taking care of this appetizer for me!

McNally Family BBQ Sauce

1 cup Ketchup

1 cup Brown Sugar

1 tb horseradish

1 tb cider vinegar

i tb prepare mustard

Stir and use on anything that BBQ sauce tastes amazing on!!!

Apple slices with caramel dip

Carrots with Veggie Dip

Cupcakes- stay tuned for the post on them!!

Here is a look at them though!!!

Mocha and Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with White Chocolate Pac Man pieces








So all in all the party was a huge success and I did manage to surprise him. He didn’t hate it and a good time was had by all.  I am so blessed to have had so many friends help out and attend! Thanks everyone!! 🙂

Food all Ended up on Here! Notice the timeline all things from his birth year.


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