Surprise! I was home for the Holidays!
Trip Start Aug 28, 2012
30Trip End Jun 06, 2013
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Anyway, how did it work?! Well let me tell you. After dropping me off at his house, I spent the day wrapping some South African gifts for my family and an even longer portion of the day wrapping a HUGE box. Complete with a big, gold bow. Once Joey arrived home from work, we grabbed Pei Wei and were on our way to my house, Santa hat included
So we pulled up in the cal-de-sac and parked conveniently on the other side of the circle where my parents couldn't see the vehicle from our windows (side note for later: yes, this was in front of a fire hydrant). I heard my mom greet Joey (gave me the goose bumps and butterflies hearing her voice and realizing that this was ACTUALLY going to work). I then heard her yelling for our dog Duke, and ducked when I saw him go running to the neighbor's yard. After waiting about three minutes for everyone to get back inside, I then pulled out the huge box from the back of the truck and waddled up to the path in front of my house. The bottom was cut out so I just squatted down and sat there, waiting... After two minutes, Joey sent me a text saying my dad wasn't home, he was at LA playing racquetball still. Crap. How long can I wait in this cold box? And how much longer can Joey keep it a secret, I kept thinking. Then two minutes later, I heard the garage opening. I thought for sure my dad would see the huge, obvious box sitting on our front walkway! I was freaking out! He could easily walk over and pick it up! Then what?! AHHH. My legs were shaking. To our luck, my dad didn't see the box. Nope. He was too occupied with thinking how "dumb" Joey was for parking in front of that fire hydrant! haha. Things do happen for a reason I guess.
Joey then convinced the entire family that it was a gift they had to help carry in. I could hear them all coming outside and saying things like "Joey, seriously... you didn't need to get us anything." - Dad and "Oohh is that a new TV?!"- Jenna, "What is THAT!?"- mom and "Jeez
Then, Brandt slowly started to pick up the box, bracing himself for a heavy gift. I thought for sure they'd see my feet so I pushed the box up and yelled "Merry Christmas!!!" From there it was kind of a blur. Everyone including myself had tears in our eyes (Okay, my brother Brandt didn't... he just complained about how he spent his day running all over town to stores to get me the things I needed, including new running shoes. Thank you Brandt!) Haha! Anyway, I couldn't believe I actually pulled it off. It was SO good to be at home with my family again.
While this popping-out-of-a-box repeated for both sets of grandparents... it didn't quite make it to the aunts and uncles. Grandma Schrankler was just too excited and had her cell phone and home phone out calling everyone the second we left. :)p haha. The other side of my family is just to Facebook savvy. I must say, I appreciate that box for all the traveling it did and good surprises it helped create!
Lastly, it was also so much fun surprising different sets of friends too. Dang Facebook gave it away to others though (sorry!). I did my best to delete any posts each day, I promise.
I hope that someday you will all forgive Joey and I for lying for nearly two months, but it was a good surprise, right?! It was such a blessed Christmas for me to be home in a winter wonderland with all of those I love in the states. Definitely going back to South Africa refreshed and re-energized from all of you support. I can not thank you enough for that.
Much Love and Happy New Year!