I didn’t actually throw a surprise party for Jill last Saturday because she knew she was having a party and she knew who was coming.  She just didn’t know anything else about it!

This is one of those parties that I’d filed away in my brain for more than four years.  I’d heard of another mom doing this for her 13 year old and I loved the idea!  What we did was Allen and I got a room at the local Embassy Suites Hotel just for her party and we set up a Girls Weekend.

Every good girls weekend has certain characteristics.  A hotel with a pool?  Check!  Trashy magazines?  Check!  Sinful snacks?  Check!  Manicures and Pedicures?  Check!  Rented movies and jammie time?  Check!  The only nod to a 13th birthday party was the 13 balloons.

Given all the power outages and crazy weather we’d had that week I wasn’t sure I could pull it off, but everything went off without a hitch.  I spent the afternoon setting up the suite and then headed home to pick up Jill and her friends.  Jill didn’t find out until we were on our way what our final destination was.  This is what the girls saw when we got there:

Just know that I don’t have many pictures of the party itself.  This was supposed to be a teen party and I figured they didn’t want me around.  That is the beauty in the set up at the Embassy Suites.  I holed myself up in the bedroom and the girls took over the living room and only stuck their heads in to ask occasional questions.

Shortly after we arrived the girls decided to go for a swim.  They had a lovely time with the 40 other people in the tiny indoor pool and then headed back to the room to get changed for pizza.  When the pizza guy knocked on the door they were only mildly surprised to see that it was Mr. Fun.  They were confused about how I would know exactly when the Pizza Guy was going to get there but once they saw him they understood.  (I later explained that it was ‘because I was sleeping with the pizza guy’ to which my new teenager exclaimed ‘Inappropriate!’.)

After pizza we gave the girls their first clue for the annual scavenger hunt.  They were giddy with excitement but they should have known that Mr. Fun would write hard questions now that they were teenagers.  Allen and I enjoyed our complimentary glass of wine in the lobby while we watched the girls criss crossing around the hotel looking for clues.  After an hour the last clue led them back to our room where they found new pajamas hidden behind the pillows on my bed.

One of the clues was in the elevator.  It took them forever to find the right one!

After that I am not sure what happened except a movie was purchased (saw that on the bill), popcorn was popped (heard that through the door) and toes were polished (I could smell that one).  From the giggling through the door it sounds like it was lots of fun.

The next day we all enjoyed the brunch downstairs and Mr. Fun brought Ellie and Kate (and their good friends) for a quick swim before we checked out.  Jill is not as effusive now that she is a teenager, but I can tell she loved her surprise.  And while it won’t be a surprise for Ellie and Kate they have already told me how excited they are for their 13th birthdays too!