Throwback Thursday: Surprise Edition

I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Millennial Central for Marriott Rewards®. I received Marriott Points to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Surprise parties may be one of my favorite things ever. In fact, throwing an awesome surprise party for someone I love is on my bucket list. Let’s take a trip down memory lane to some of the best surprise parties in my family’s history:

For my mom’s 30th birthday, I vividly remember as a 5-year-old, sitting on my parent’s back deck watching grown men lead my mom into our backyard blindfolded. I thought she was getting kidnapped! Turns out, she was walking into her own 30th surprise birthday party – Hawaiian themed – with all of her family and friends there. Good job, dad! (After presents, etc., I believe I was promptly kicked out and sent to my grandma/pa’s house for the night.)

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Ten years later, my mom surprised my dad with a 40th birthday party. I believe he thought he was going to his work’s poker night, and when he walked in, everyone there held up a cardboard face of pictures of my dad throughout the years. It was too great. Like the last one, I was kicked out of this party early too.

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I’m a lucky duck and have had a few surprise parties in my day. For my 9th birthday, my parents threw me a surprise party. photo 1 (3)

Let’s get a close-up of that “Do the Macarena” shirt. And yes, I’m still obsessed with Hanson.

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And for my 16th birthday, I remember wanting to go out to eat at Casa Gallardo and my parents pulled up to a hotel and I was so mad that they changed plans. Well, as soon as I walked in, all of my best high school friends jumped up and surprised me! Coolest 16th birthday party ever. (You can ignore the emo necklace.)

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But perhaps my favorite surprise of all was when Kevin proposed. I have never been more shocked or filled with happy emotions in my life.


My parent’s just turned 50 last year, and for as long as I could remember, I wanted to throw them a joint 50th birthday party (and also 25th anniversary because the timing was just perfect!). I remember when I was 18 or so thinking, “Yes I’ll get it catered and it will be the best surprise party ever and maybe even I can afford to send them on vacation somewhere because I’ll be 24 and I’ll have a job and be rich, clearly.” Oh, how so naive I was.

When I found out I was getting to work with Marriott Rewards®, I was so pumped because I absolutely love being a part of big fat surprises. In honor of Marriott Rewards 30th birthday, they are celebrating with members all year long with a Year of Surprises. 

This means that you get to nominate a deserving friend or family member and Marriott Rewards will throw the winner a surprise party they’ll never forget. This program, voted “Program of the Year” six years in a row, is accepting its first round of nominations Feb. 1-Feb. 28. Three winners will be awarded and announced in March, with parties scheduled each month throughout the year. The second nomination period is during the month of May and the third is during the month of August. There is a limit of one entry per person/email address per nomination period. To nominate someone, visit for the entry form and requirements.

And lastly, you don’t need to be a Marriott Rewards member to submit a nomination, but if your nomination is chosen, you and the nominee will need to enroll. For more details, check out the official rules at

I absolutely love staying at their hotels and when I travel for both work and fun, I always make Marriott Rewards hotels my first choice, if at all possible. I’ve been a Marriott Rewards member for a few years now and have been building up the points stay-by-stay. To join their free rewards program, visit

I am so excited to work with them on this program, and I’ll be back again two more times this year to post about a Year of Surprises. Good luck to all who enter!


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