The Importance of Surprises for Your Husband

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if you know me or have been reading for a while, you know i don’t love surprises. i am a planner and a huge processor of upcoming events so surprise activities can throw me for a loop. my idea of a great surprise is getting a cocktail cheaper than i thought it would be or my husband bringing me home a cookie. i am fun in other ways, i promise!

my husband on the other hand, loves surprises. it’s his dream for me to throw some things in a suitcase, book a flight, drive him to airport and off we go! if anyone ever packed my suitcase besides me, i think it could very well ruin my whole trip so let’s not get me started on an unknown destination by plane, k thanks.

since i don’t love surprises, i’m not usually very aware about planning them for my husband since they stress me out. i decided this needed to change because they do bring him great joy. i tried thinking of different ideas but they all seemed kind of boring.

then something glorious happened and toyota reached out to me and offered to loan me a vehicle to test out for a week (i know, it’s totally crazy) and i ran around all 700 feet of my apartment until i found my husband and blurted out the news! so much for that surprise.

side note: i learned how to drive in the cornfields and graveyards of iowa on my grandpa’s huge suburban so i always love being in big, hefty SUVs. that’s why i opted for the amazing, newly redesigned 4Runner! who says ladies can’t drive big SUVs? no one, especially when dressed in glittery dresses.

car dress

after i got the dates figured out for the loan, i started talking with my friend alison about it. our significant others are also besties and there have been many double dates where both of them talk about doing wild and new things but usually i have to go to bed by 10pm it’s too late in the night and we part ways. plus, neither alison and i are super adventurous and we are quite content watching harry potter and cross-stitching (no judging) while our guys go do scavenger hunts through portland.

this was our chance to totally surprise the guys! we started thinking of what we could do and decided that since the sweet 4Runner has 4-wheel drive we should pay a visit to mt. hood in oregon! not only just a visit but we should also take them snow shoeing since neither of them had been before.

there was some slight panic this week as we learned the first place we were going to go had most of their snow wash away with the rains since it’s been warmer than usual. this panic resulted in me suggesting we just sit in the 4Runner, near wifi and just watch netflix. thankfully it didn’t come to that and it all came to fruition yesterday for a double date day!



we were really proud of ourselves, if you can’t tell.

all i told my husband was that he couldn’t schedule anything. i told him to dress warm-ish and wear comfy shoes and to bring his scuba diving mask. the scuba mask was my attempt of throwing him off but i don’t think it worked.

we left early yesterday morning with my husband giddy with excitement about not knowing where we were going or what we were doing (my personal nightmare) as i drove us the back way to their house.

he was super surprised to end up there again, then alison grabbed the snow shoes from the basement and we told them we’d be having our double date on top of trekking up a mountain!


there was lots of kissing and hugging with impressed looks on our guys’ faces since we actually pulled it off! alison and i high-fived a lot.

i loved having this huge car for the mini-road trip instead of our still lovely (and more fuel efficient) camry-hybrid because there was so much space!

it has fancy navigation, sirius radio and let me tell you, when you turn up the bass in it, taylor swifts new album gets even better, which i didn’t think possible.

surprise date mt hood oregon storage

i drove the 1.25 hour drive from portland to mt. hood in our new slick ride up the mountain. the weather was good but as we got up on the mountain itself, we did have to turn on the 4-wheel drive because it got icy in spots.

surprise date mt hood oregon drive upwe arrived in one piece and totally felt like we fit right in with all the other sports utility vehicles (that’s what SUV stands for, did you know that!?)

we strapped on our fancy $10/pair rented snow shoes and hopped on the mountain.
surprise date mt hood oregon snow shoeof course not before we asked a fellow snow bunny to snap a picture of the four of us.


since we live in portland, where it rarely drops below 30 degrees, hardly ever snows and there is only one mountain nearby, i don’t have any of my snow gear here. i’m sure it’s doing a great job keeping my closet warm at my dad’s house back in colorado. that’s the reason it looks like i’m visiting from florida.

we had such a fun time climbing the equivilent of 82 flights of stairs according to alison’s fitbit.

surprise date mt hood oregon snowshoeingthe only downside was the crazy wind that was whipping around and trying its darndest to shred our clothes and skin. i spent much of my time walking like this:

surprise date mt hood oregon wind storm

you can’t complain too much when that’s the view behind you, i get it.

the guys kept saying every few feet (mostly because i stopped quite often because altitude, wind and asthma don’t mess around) that they were having so much fun and were highly impressed with the surprise. go team alisea/chelison!

surprise date mt hood oregon planners

cute pictures also occurred because blue skies, bright white snow and solid people make the best photos.


surprise date mt hood oregon hiking

typically where there are snow activities, there is hot cocoa nearby. other adults at the table opted for coffee (and clam chowder…gross matt) and i was surprised with a half whipped cream and half sugar water concoction. mmmm.

hot cocoathe windchill with the snow made it feel like it was only about 19 degrees out so one of my favorite things about the 4Runner is the adjustable seat heaters because 19 degrees will freeze your buns right off. i loved the rear camera for backing up and the overall ride was super smooth. on a very superficial level, i just felt like a badass driving it. it kind of looks like a transformer!

my husband also loved driving it but we found at 6’4, he was almost too tall when he sat in the backseat with this head touching the roof. he fit fine while driving and there were multiple rock/paper/scissor games to decide who gets to drive it.

mt hood oregon 4runnerwhen we got back home, i overheard my husband on the phone with his mom telling him about the day. he still had so much excitement in voice telling her about it and how much he loved the surprise. hearing that made me feel like only what i can assume gabby douglas felt like when she landed perfectly on the balance beam in the olympics: NAILED IT.

it also made me realize i need to plan more things like this because it shows him extra love because of the effort i put in for planning a fun day he would enjoy. maybe his love language is really surprise acts of service!

maybe surprises for your husband isn’t the exact thing he wants, but think about a new and unique way you can show him (or your partner) that you know him well enough and care enough to do something out of the ordinary. the satisfaction you will feel seeing your spouse feeling loved, appreciated and having fun is worth it.

1) does your spouse like surprises? what’s an idea you have to show you love them in a unique way?
2) do you participate in any snow activities in the winter?
3) are you a planner or ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ type of person?
4) bonus: where did you learn to drive??

if you’re interested, the toyota i was driving is the fully tricked out 4Runner limited. it gets 17 mpg around the city and 22 mpg on the highway. the engine features a 4×4 4.OL v6 5-speed automatic (my dad knows what that means) and is offered at $41, 365. the middle console is also large enough to fit a small dog or 2 bags of chips.

this post was supported by toyota but all opinions are my very own.


  1. Paula Howley

    December 15, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    1. My hubby likes surprises too but my big surprises for him are cutting the grass for him once in a while. Sometimes I also make his favourite meals which I HATE because they are ridiculously labour intensive and I have a kid to home school, a business to run, a home to manage and dreams to fulfill. Like I REALLY want to throw a freakin’ lasagna or beef stroganoff on top of that. But I guess that’s the way to make him happy.
    2. I’m really not a fan of snow Chelsea. I liked it when I was a kid but now I like it better from the inside. I do love to walk in it when it’s coming down though- probably one of my favourite things to do because it just feels so magical and pretty. Meg always wants to have a snowball fight which I also hate but will do for a while usually until I take one in the head at which point I quit to go in and make hot chocolate.
    3. TOTALLY a planner. I absolutely HATE surprises. I mean HATE. My mother in law planned a ‘surprise’ extra TWO VIP people for my wedding at the LAST minute which meant re-organizing ALL the tables and freaking out- it actually threw things into a mess which escalated badly and ended in a fight with MY parents. Lotsa fun. Thanks for the surprise!
    On my 40th bday my husband was planning a surprise party for me which he kept secret until the day before when TWO people accidentally kind of let it slip so I KNEW about my party which was great because I could dress properly for it and look awesome. Also, it was planned for the beach and it was actually RAINING the next day and I NEVER would have agreed to go to the beach in the rain on my birthday if I hadn’t KNOWN about it.
    Lloyd was REALLY bummed about it but I thought it couldn’t possibly have turned out any better- plus it stopped raining and we got to enjoy the day.
    Paula Howley recently posted…Head Start Public Speaking For Kids- Week 10- Opening and Closing Your Speech! p.s. no Snorefests!

    • chelsea

      December 15, 2014 at 3:35 pm

      haha i could perfectly hear you saying “like i want to throw lasagna or beef stroganoff on top of that!”but it’s true that’s what sweet and makes him happy 🙂

      i totally miss the snow but i don’t miss driving in it that is for sure and those magical snow walks are really the best!

      sounds like a horrible “surprise” with wedding guests paula-ahhhh no surprises with weddings jeeeeeez!

      glad your semi-surprise birthday party worked out too! yay thanks for the stories always love them 🙂

  2. Rachel G

    December 15, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    We’re the opposite. I’m the one who will go crazy over surprises, and Angel is not so much like that, though I’ve noticed he seems to be getting more adventurous as time goes on–he was the one who suggested out rather impromptu stopover in Oahu this year, and a quick weekend trip to Hong Kong planned only a few days before we left. This looks like a “cool” adventure, low temperatures included. I think I would have needed a heavier coat to withstand the wind!
    Rachel G recently posted…Wearing Dresses in Winter

    • chelsea

      December 15, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      interested rachel! i am also getting slightly more adventurous as time goes on too…good thing angel and i have spouses that push us in a good way 🙂 that’s pretty impressive that he suggested the stop over in oahu AND the hong kong trip!

      yeah the wind was terrible….i wanted a jacket just to put over my whole head.

  3. Melissa Camacho

    December 16, 2014 at 11:00 am

    My hubby doesn’t really care for surprises. Plus I almost always end up telling him anyway because I get more excited about it. The only time I’ve EVER been able to pull anything off was for his 30th birthday party. Way to go for you for pulling it off!! YAY
    Melissa Camacho recently posted…Shop Until You Drop

    • chelsea

      December 19, 2014 at 8:37 am

      haha that’s totally how i felt, melissa! i wanted to badly to tell him so many times. 30th birthday party surprise sounds like an awesome surprise! well done!
      chelsea recently posted…Happy Friday + White Plum Giveaway!

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