My Coded Surprise

My blog has become like my journal.  My "daily" journal where I record all sorts of adorable, you must write that down things the kids have done, said or written in permanent marker on a window sill.

The journal where each entry begins with, "Wow, the last time I wrote in this I was still pregnant with my first baby."  I have the best intentions when it comes to the written word.  It's my follow-through that apparently never developed past a 2nd grade level. 

And now my blog is falling prey to my grade school inconsistencies.  But, I think all of that is about to change.  Ooohh, that sounded quite lofty.  I mean to say, it might change.  I think.  At least, I'm really optimistic that with a certain package I hope to receive in the next week, I will try really, really hard to keep up with my weekly posts. 

Here's the story.  It's my birthday on Thursday.  Woo-hoo for birthdays!  And Tuesday night I received a text message from my husband at 10:30 PM.  He's away on a business trip.

Check your e-mail.

Okay.  I run downstairs to check my e-mail.  What is he e-mailing me about that he couldn't just call me about?  Will he be traveling on business indefinitely?  Does he actually hate my new haircut?  Does he know about those cute tank tops I secretly keep buying every time I go to Costco?

Waiting for me in my inbox I see:
Subject:  Happy Birthday & Mother's Day

Inside this message is a code.  Perhaps you will find it, perhaps you will not.  All we can say is that we love you and appreciate everything you do for us.  Decipher the code and you will find your gift; it does not ship for one to two weeks.  

If you have already figured out what my gift was, please stop reading as I don't think we have anything in common.  For those of you still left, here's what happened.

"Hey babe.  I got your e-mail.  So, can you give me a hint?"

"No. You can figure it out.  It's all in the e-mail.  It's easy."

Does this man, who I have known for 17 years, know me at all?  I am not a code-decipher kinda girl.  I will take the most simple, straightforward puzzle and turn it into a complicated, tangled mess in my head.  These things just get under my skin and drive me batty.  For obvious reasons, I did not sleep well that night as the coded e-mail went round and round my head.  During one waking dream I fancied myself as a female Russel Crowe in A Beautiful Mind.  I just let the words float around my head hoping they would suddenly fall into place, spelling out my gift.

That didn't happen.  So 7:30 AM, yesterday morning.  The kids need to go to school.  They need to eat breakfast.  Someone needs to brush their hair.  But all I can think about is that blasted e-mail and all the words.  It was maddening.  So I brushed off one hungry kid and called my mom.

"Help me, mom."  I pester her for help until the hungry sounds of my kids prompt her to hang-up the phone so I will feed them.

I ask one of my hungry children, "Hey sweetie!  Do you know what Daddy got Mommy for her birthday?"

Without even pausing, my 5-year-old looks me straight in the eye and says, "He got you a trophy of a running girl."  We are in serious trouble with that girl.  Making up answers is just way too easy for her. 

I stare at the e-mail, willing it to tell me anything.  It doesn't.  It says the same thing over and over again.  I send a text to Max,

7:29 AM   
Losing my mind.  Hint on how to decipher please, pretty please?

         Negative.  You can figure it out.

7:30 AM  
I'm not that smart, you meany. 

8:15 AM  
If I guess right, will u tell me?

        Yes, if you can decipher, it will be obvious. 

9:09 AM  
I'm going crazy. 


My mom and sister have already advised me to give it a break and come back to it later. Since that is never going to happen, I am thrilled when my friend Heidi comes over for a visit.  A fresh set of eyes is surely all I need to crack this code. 

12:35 PM
Is this a clue that only I would recognize?

         No.  The clue is something we all did in grade school and it involved the 50 states.  Once you figure out what the grade school exercise was, then look at the e-mail again.

The 50 states?  Maybe a song we learned to memorize the states?  So I Google "grade school song to learn states" and spend 20 minutes singing the e-mail to the tune of Do Your Ears Hang Low?  Still nada.

As Heidi is studying the e-mail, I say brilliantly, "Maybe Max meant that song we learned in grade school about how a bill turns into a law!"

Heidi suddenly blurts out, "Capitals!"

"Right!" I agree excitedly.  "The bill goes to the Capitol, or something like that, so that means...."  I stop abruptly as I have no idea what that could possibly mean to the code.  But Heidi is furiously writing down letters,

I........P......A......IPA is not a word.  I know that much.  Too bad, she really seemed to be onto something.


Heidi jumps up and screams, "You're getting an iPad!  You're getting an iPad!!"

Just like a girl, I start jumping up and down, clap my hands and hug Heidi, all at the same time.  "Aaaack!!  I'm getting an iPad!  I'm getting an iPad!!"

It was a total girly girl moment.  You would have thought I was Kate Middleton on the day Prince William proposed.

But, it wasn't Prince William.  It was Max.  It was my almost birthday and almost Mother's Day.  It was a code decipher surprise thing.  And it was AWESOME!! 



  1. I would have never figured that out - ever. Awesome present though - I would have had a totally girly moment too!

  2. What a fun way to learn your birthday present! I never would have figured that out either! Tell Max he did good! :)

  3. OMG, that is the cutest thing ever!!! I'm teary. Adorable. and a rad gift.

  4. That was tough! Happy Birthday to You! And Happy Mother's day too. Enjoy the iPad!!!

  5. I just love reading your blogs! They are SO funny!! I told Max last night (at the pool) that he did a great job w/ getting you this present. ;) But told him how him being home early was even better!!!!!! :)) (I hope you don't mind...) So glad your Birthday was special for you... because you are definitely a special woman!! XOXOXO

  6. This is so stinkin adorable, what a guy!! An ipad, score!!! So happy for you and your wonderful weekend, you so deserve it!! I have eight costco tank tops, shhh don't tell, sorry I got you hooked!!!

  7. Nice work! It's rather scary how our kids are usually so much smarter than we are. Should make the teenage years that much more interesting.

    Hope you are enjoying your ipad--I am SO jealous.

    Just discovered you on Funny Moms/Bloggy Moms. Love your stuff!



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