I successfully pulled off a surprise birthday party for my husband on Saturday!
I didn't want to attempt the delicate dance of timing it such that everyone arrived while he was away, however. Instead, I just didn't tell him about it. He did know that his mom was coming over, but she usually does for a birthday, so that wouldn't give it away.
He commented several times on how hard I was working that day... he wondered about the size of the pots I was using, but I wouldn't let him look and told him I was making something special for his birthday dinner. (It was really just spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread, but enough to feed over 20.)
Eventually, one of Doug's brothers showed up with his wife and kids. At that point, I think he figured that maybe I'd invited them for dinner without telling him. He did make a comment about that explaining the large pots on the stove. The next to arrive was our pastor and his family, and that is when the light bulb turned on... I heard him exclaiming, "My wife is a sneak."
Happy 45th birthday, Sweetie. I love you.