Thursday, January 24, 2013

Christmas Surprises--My Turn

I already mentioned how Christmas 2012 was one of my best Christmases ever, right?

Well, three days after Christmas, we drove up to Utah for a week of cold and snow (and a tow truck experience).  Brad kept telling me daily that the big surprise he'd ordered for me for Christmas would be delivered while we were gone.  He insisted that he'd procrastinated ordering it, but it would be here when we got back home.

All of this taunting and baiting got my imagination running.  What could it be?  Was it this beautiful Pottery Barn glass cabinet that I had been drooling over for months, and I had happened to leave the catalog open to this page on his sink?
I had no other guesses in mind, so I was convinced this was the surprise.  It fit all the criteria--takes a while to order, could have been delayed for numerous reasons. He told everyone else what the final surprise gift was--and no one was caving in on hints or details for me.

On the drive home, I kept pestering for hints or for a complete revelation, but Brad wouldn't budge.  The only concession he would make was this:  It wasn't my cabinet. Now did I not only NOT know what it was, the one thing I wanted it to be--wasn't it.

As we got closer to Mesa the surprise evaporated from my consciousness.  We had, after all, just spent eleven hours in the car with all of our kids and it was dinner time.  We pulled into the garage and everyone picked up an armload of stuff to take into the house--but it was locked.  I don't even have a house key on my ring, and Brad didn't have one either--lent his out, as you will soon see.  Luckily, my cousin's wife (who lives in our guesthouse and has identical locks) was home, and she let Brad and Lily in through the back door.

Oblivious to anything around me, I started shepherding kids into the house, directing where stuff should be put away, and mentally concocting something fast to make for dinner. The faint odor of paint didn't even trigger any alarm in my head--until I walked into the kitchen.

In order for this surprise to have its full impact, I must include a little back story.

When we built our house almost six years ago, I had wanted white cabinets in the kitchen, but Brad's practical side won out, and we installed a dark cherry Shaker style cabinet with chrome pulls.  Ironically enough, I took a picture of part of my kitchen just a few weeks ago.  Here is what part of it used to look like--a fluke photo on my phone:

And this is what I saw when I got home from a week's vacation:
Yeah.  I know.  Wow, huh?
After we left for Utah on Friday morning, my nephew arrived to empty all of the cabinets and drawers in preparation for the painters' arrival later that day.
Over the next seven days, they redid the entire kitchen except the island--I think I'm going to have it painted a soft grey to match one of the colors in the tile backsplash.
This may be the biggest and best surprise ever.  Not only did I get the kitchen I've always wanted, but I also did not have to live through a non-functioning kitchen--and my nephew unloaded and reloaded all of the cabinets and drawers.

All the joy--none of the misery.

I think I got the better end of the deal, that's for sure.

I don't know what he's got planned to top this one.  I don't know if it's even possible, really.


  1. All I can say is wow.

    Beautiful change. I thought your kitchen was beautiful before!
    White is stunning.

  2. Oh my gosh! It's gorgeous! and so different...I can't get over it. Can't wait to see it in person!

  3. How fun!! Definetly hard to top that one!!

  4. What an amazing and wonderful surprise. And the kitchen looks super!!


  5. That man of yours has a great imagination, one to match yours.

  6. That has to be the most original Christmas gift ever! Kudos to your husband for being so inventive.

  7. Wow wow wow! Your kitchen looks amazing! What an awesome suprise...not sure he will ever be able to top that!
    Sorry you didn't get the glass cabinet you wanted. :)

  8. Wow - what a beautiful surprise, Jenny! It's like the stork really bringing the baby! I love the look of it. Just lovely.