Welcome back, folks! Today, I’m going to tell you a story.
There is an annual interpersonal relationship and communication skill-building conference that Cali and I have attended for 2 years now. It is 3 days of workshops over a weekend in Feb held in Dallas, TX. The first time We attended was the weekend that a serious commitment was made by Us to each other and We gave an intense presentation to a large audience that people still talk about. We decided to make it a yearly occurrence.
Last year, a very close friend (think-family member) named Jaden joined her destiny-determined-family living 4 hours away from Austin…in Dallas…and the conference is right by her birthday which makes going to Dallas that much more exciting! This has been planned for quite some time, right? Yes.
February is also the month for Valentines Day! We made reservations in early January for a Valentine’s Day dinner date at The Melting Pot in downtown Austin. For those that don’t know, The Melting Pot is a fancy shmancy fondue restaurant that We lovelovelove and visit as often as possible. Often enough that when I called to make the reservation, the guy asked for a name and when I said Cali, he asked about Our trip! If you’ve never been (or never heard of it), click the link and check it out for real. February looked to be an exciting month.
Enter, stage left, the aforementioned amazingly priced airline tickets to Australia.
The large trip related purchase for the month of Feb was supposed to be an $850 camera to replace Calis drowned camera for Him to be able to continue on His photo blog journey. The airfare was almost $1400. Difference=about $500 which meant that things like $275 registration for conference plus hotel were no longer in the cards. Since We couldn’t afford the conference, that would mean not seeing my Jaden for her birthday 😦 all of the sudden, I’m about to become an international traveller (yay!), but that exciting February had just been butchered (boo!). I told Jaden We wouldn’t be able to go to conference and that We got Our plane tickets and we expressed our mutual excitement and disappointment in not being around for her birthday. 50% happy, 50% suck. As Cali and I were rebudgeting the month, We decided that instead of going to The Melting Pot, We wanted to roadtrip out to Jaden for some surprise bday time. That girl means way more to Us than a dinner We could easily have at a later date, ya know?
After some coordination with Aaron (the amazing man in her life), he and Tiff (the lovely lady in their life) agreed to keep the secret and coordinate Our visit! We were invited to surprise her from this past Sunday until Tuesday which meant leaving just before my Packers were scheduled to start the super bowl and drive through it to knock on their door and say SURPRISE! For the couple days leading up to leaving I was super excited about getting to not only see her, but surprise her. While that’s cute and all, here’s where it gets interesting…
The day We are leaving to go to Dallas, Aaron texts saying that Jaden had wanted Melting Pot for her bday, and that he would like to reschedule it for while We are there and treat Us as well. For those of you that are slower than others, let me explain this awesomeness…We cancelled Our Melting Pot date in order to afford to visit Jaden and co. Without knowing anything about that, Aaron asked if he could treat Us to Jadens bday dinner at THE EXACT SAME PLACE. Holy crap I think I just almost shed a tear, right? Awesome. Just awesome. But wait, there’s more.
We arrive to a migrained Jaden 😦 and I walk in with a bow on my head carrying a sappy card, her fave soda and fave beer 🙂 luckily her medicine (and some smiles) kicked that migraines ass and We all sat around talking for a couple hours.
The 5 of Us are pretty happy sitting around firing off at each other for long periods of time.
On the way to their house, I had seen a sign on the Dallas Zoo that said “Penguin Days, $5” and mentioned that maybe We could take Jaden to the zoo. I brought it up after We got there and Jaden was so excited-apparently she had been wanting to go to the zoo for a while! It became a group discussion and the next day even Aaron and Tiff were able to join Us which was a happy happy surprise. After delicious migas for breffist, family field trip to the Dallas Zoo was in full effect 🙂 Due to the cold and very low attendance, the zoo had reduced their admission to $5 per person through Feb and they call it Penguin Days. We all got to the zoo (wearing coats and armed with cameras- it was 42 degrees…) and NOBODY was there. We maybe saw 15 people besides Us in the zoo that didn’t work there. It was pretty awesome to have the whole giant zoo to Ourselves! It was one of the first sunny days in over a week so most of the animals were enjoying the outdoors and very visible. It made for an amazing afternoon and some fun pictures 😉
After the field trip, We all went back to the house to just kind of hang out together before Jadens bday dinner. Us girls got dressed up fancy in black and white and the boys looked pretty smooth too.
Aaron and Tiff had never been to The MPot before so Us veterans ‘splained them 🙂 Dinner was full of fun, smiles, pictures, amazing food and a happy bday girl.
During dinner, Tiff and Cali disappear to the bar (where you can smoke INSIDE!) and come back with more amazingness. Tiff had decided that she wanted Us to be able to attend the conference (the 3 of them were attending as well) and all spend that weekend together. She informed Us that she would be registering Us for the conference and wanted Us to stay with them during the event. SAY WHAT??!?! Yes, that’s right. True to her word (duh) she registered Us this morning before We left.
We had made a responsible financial decision to buy the plane tix on sale and also made the heartfelt decision to visit J instead of treat Ourselves to dinner, and in the end-the universe presented Us with everything. It’s events like these that confirm that We are correctly ordering Our priorities. Karma. Never did We expect anything from Our decision besides being able to surprise Jaden, and We ended up being happily surprised Ourselves.
The dinner was a nice surprise, a fun coincidence and a lovely time and I can’t thank Aaron enough. The gift of the conference is a dear to my heart and sincerely appreciated shock to my system that I can’t thank Tiff enough for either 🙂 We are fortunate to know these people and Im proud to call them a part of Our Family.
The moral of this story: expectations arent real, life is, love accordingly.