Surprising My Wife at 40


An interesting number.

According to Wikipedia:

Forty is an octagonal number, and as the sum of the first four pentagonal numbers, it is a pentagonal pyramidal number. Adding up some subsets of its divisors (e.g., 1, 4, 5, 10 and 20) gives 40, hence 40 is a semiperfect number.

Some say turning 40 is a milestone in ones life. What do you think?

In the Bible there was a guy named Moses. He lived to be 120. His defining moments happened in 40 year segments. At 40 he fled for his life, leaving Egypt after killing an Egyptian.  At 80, after 40 years estranged, he returned to lead God’s people our of Egypt, only to die 40 years later.

Recently my wife turned 40.

Surprising My Wife at 40

Her background is such that birthday’s are important. Very important. As a result, she spoils myself and our sons with every passing birthday, like the despicable me birthday cake she made earlier this year.

Over the years, trying to outdo her…has fallen flat on it’s face.

It was time to do something about that. It had to be big.

Planning the 40th

One mistake I made in past years?

Waiting to late to get started.

This year, the planning for her September birthday began in January.

The goal? Go as big as she can tolerate, and consider what you know she likes from birthday’s past. Oh, and do so on a budget. It couldn’t be that big, as the surprise would take place in our apartment.

My wife is probably the most easy going woman I’ve ever met. She’s not a big shopper, nor does she like extravagant things. Anyone who knows her well, knows her favorite thing on her birthday is receiving phone calls.

How could some of those people greet her for her birthday, without having to call?

The Attempt

  • To have multiple family members from her homeland, Brazil.
  • To have family here in the US in attendance.
  • To have friends near and far here.
  • To involve those who cannot attend.

The Result

  • Try as I might, her mom did not make the trip from Brazil. Her sister did (she’s photographed at the start of the video below).
  • My Mom made the trip from Ohio.
  • My sister, and brother-in-law made it from Arizona.
  • A few friends from the local area made the trip as well.
  • The best part? Everyone who wanted to emailed stories, photos, and all kinds of birthday wishes from all over the world. Ended up being a 35 page booklet.

The Video

Won’t bore you with the details, but even though I was committed to making a video for the party, time was not on my side. Ended up using software to bail me out (read more in this muvee reveal review). There was a “through the years” video for the surprise party and an after party video for those around the world who couldn’t be there, many of whom participated in the memory booklet (3:35 in the video).

Here is the after party video. As you can tell she was surprised. My favorite part? Her response to a gift at about 6:40. Classic.

Ana Helena, not sure if your life will be as turbulent as Moses’ was, but I’m grateful to get to spend it with you. Have a great next 40 years dear.

What do you find significant about 40? Welcome your comments below.