Birthday Surprise for my Daughter

Birthday Surprise for my Daughter

So I wake up Friday morning and while still staggering about with no coffee yet on board, my husband mentions that our daughter’s 26th birthday is in two days. Indeed I knew that, although I was not clear on the actual dates since I tend to lose track of such things (another story!) Amid my mild surprise that it was already the 7th of March, my husband casually suggests hopping into the car, driving to Virginia, and popping in as a big birthday surprise. Whoa!

The wild idea took all of two minutes to entrench. Arrangements were secretly organized with Emily’s husband Neil, diverting messages were sent to Emily, and by early afternoon we were in the car. We drove the distance in two stages, there being no need to push it since Emily was working on Saturday anyway. The drive through West Virginia into Virginia was beautiful so we were happy to leisurely meander into the Washington DC area.

As per our plotting with Neil, we walked up to their church on Sunday morning. Our hope was to stroll in ever so casually, but Emily spied us through the window first. It didn’t matter, of course, since she was stunned to see us so the surprise was perfect! Steve caught the moment on video.


For six wonderful days we visited. This was our first trip to the metro DC area, our first time seeing the quaint house our daughter and son-in-law live in, our introduction to their cats Lily and Therman, and our first long trip abroad since moving to Kentucky last September. We can now add three more States to those we have seen!

Best of all, we added to the specialness of Emmy’s birthday AND got to do a bit of sightseeing. Top on our list was the Smithsonian, but first we hit the National Rifle Association headquarters and museum in Fairfax, VA, just miles from where we were staying. A ton of walking and photos later — and more firearms than I have seen in the whole of my life — and we ended with a nice taste of the touristy stuff. Not all, of course, as that would probably take weeks. Here are a few highlights:

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Most of our time was passed at their home watching TV and visiting. I got Emily hooked on Sleepy Hollow. Yeah! Another Tom Mison fan! We watched several episodes of Downton Abbey, which served to entice my skeptical husband to now want to watch from the beginning. We played a card & dice game called “Fill or Bust” that Neil played when a kid, and it was terrific fun!

As our eight designated day visit drew near, I unfortunately grew ill. Our day at the Air & Space Museum was agony, to be honest, and by later that night I was in the ER hooked up to an IV. Bad case of the flu and a kidney infection. Yikes! Sadly, between my health and a reputed “big snow storm” coming into the area, we departed a day early. I literally slept the entire eight hour drive back to Kentucky other than staggering steps for bathroom breaks. Fortunately I am now mended, although it took a week! Hence my two-week near silence from the blog and Facebook.

But now I am back to normal, or close to, so watch out! Time to get back to writing the next book!




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What a wonderful idea to surprise your beautiful daughter Emily! You have such an amazing life Sharon! Your family is such an inspiration. I’m so glad to hear you are feeling better now too!
Even though it’s a bit late I wish Emily a wonderful and very happy birthday! Xox

Stephanie L

I had H1N1 in January and wound up in the ER as well; that flu stuff is NOT any fun. I’m so very glad you are on the mend and feeling up to writing! Love the pictures from your trip. I’ve been to DC but never with any time of mine own. Smithsonian is on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing!

CJ Fosdick

Love your Smithsonian choices! There is so much history to see in Washington. So great for researching historical times to add those little details that make our books so authentic– and make readers do a little “armchair time travel.”

It’s kinda like a kid in a candy store, eh? Congrats on your new series. Are you going to any WC’s this year?



Am rereading “Season of Courtship” because it’s such a great book. I inhaled it the first time but have slowed down the second time to get all the details. Great cover art!

Georgia Boone

I agree!! Great book!! Have to retread myself for the same reason!!!!


The video of you surprising your daughter was great!!! I love the cat!!! I am glad you are feeling better.

Georgia Boone

Oh my gosh….so sorry you were ill!!!! Praise God you are better!!

Selfishly, get busy on book 2!! So ready to read the second prequel!! You did such a fantastic job on the first one!!! What a blessed writer you are!!!!

Stay well!! Blessings!!!

Georgia Boone

You Are welcome! Those darn taxes…every year!! Have to do mine as well!!!

Anna Bartels

Just finished the “Season of Courtship”. So wonderful. Filled in a lot of gaps and made me laugh at Lizzie’s smart mouth. Looking forward to Book 2.

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