Thursday, August 22, 2013

mission: czech surprise. check!

so yesterday was jeff's anniversary (yes, another anniversary) of being home from his mission for 2 years.
he has been home for as long as he was there! i know this is an emotional thing for him.
his mission means SO much to him and he still misses it all the time.
so i decided to have a quaint little celebration for it.
and to make it a surprise.

let me just tell you- he is the hardest person to surprise. because he hates surprises.
he wants to pick out his own gifts to ensure they are exactly what he wants.
i've never been able to surprise him with something he loves, because I'm always hesitant.
i can NEVER predict whether or not he will like something.
but i figured recreating memories from his mission would make him happy. foolproof idea, right?

so i got in contact with some of his old mission buddies, and some people he taught on the mission.
i got a few of them to write letters to him.
i ordered a czech republic onesie for jane.
i found 2 czech recipes that can be recreated in the united states. (one of his old companions was kind enough to give me the recipes and be SO helpful. i would've been done for if it weren't for him!)
i got him his favorite chocolate he used to eat all the time as a missionary.
i decorated with old mission stuff.

so i was scared out of my mind to try to recreate 2 of his favorite recipes that he always raves about.
first of all, i had no idea how they were supposed to taste. NONE.
also, since this was a surprise, jeff wasn't there to correct my mistakes.
i decided to give it a try anyways.
i was fully expecting to give it my best effort, end up destroying the recipes, and finally just resorting to picking up a $5 pizza from little caesars.

conveniently, jeff had to leave for about 5 hours for an army thing.
the second he walked out of the door i started getting ready, running around the house and trying to find anything mission related to put up.
i made the halusky and jahodove knedliky.
it took a LONG time.
i have never been so precise, exact, and paranoid when following a recipe in my life.
i finally finished making the halusky (kind of like potato noodles with a creamy cheese sauce & bacon)
after sweating up a storm, cutting my thumb, and stopping to soothe/feed/change a baby every ten minutes, i tasted the cheese sauce.
almost threw up. it was so gross.
i started to panic- there is no way that his favorite czech dish that he raves about tastes like a mix between feet and B.O.

but i trudged on.  
i finished the knedliky
 (basically just strawberries wrapped in homemade dough, boiled in water, then drenched in powdered sugar. seriously. it was a powdered sugar AVALANCH.)
i wanted it all to be warm and delicious and beautiful. and i wanted it to be done right before he got home.
only problem was i had no idea when he would be home.
ten minutes before he got home though, he called me to tell me he was on his way.
so i did the last minute things and right as i set the last plate on the table, i heard the key turn.
the timing literally could not have been more perfect.
it was a miracle.
so everything was done and i put it all out on the table.
he came home to this little set up.

 he saw it and went crazy. his eyes got big, his voice got loud, and his smile stretched across his whole face.
now...the food just needed to taste right.
i was so worried.
he ate it, and i winced while crossing my fingers.
"YUMMMMM!!!!!" he loved it.
he then scarfed down two big plates of halusky and 3 of the knedliky.
(when i tasted the final product it wasn't bad, just the cheese mix by itself was nasty)
my life was made and i had a very happy husband.
he read the letter (3 pages long) from his dear friend tomas whom he met, baptized, and became best friends with on the mission. his whole countenance was lit up and i don't know if i've ever seen him so happy. it made my heart swell.

and of course jane had to get in on some of the action.
 some jeff quotes later that night:
"my eyes almost EXPLODED when i saw halusky!"
"you are the best wife EVER" (i'd blush, but I'm also the only wife ever- in his life anyway)
"how did you do this?!?!" (about 17 different times)
"let's go to kim's house (his sister) so she can try it"
"jane, don't poop on this onesie so all your other brothers and sisters can wear it too"

i'd say it was a success!
and my life long goal of surprising jeff with something he LOVES has finally been achieved :)


  1. You are basically the cutest wife ever. Such a great idea!!

  2. you are so thoughtful! what a fun idea.. and of course baby jane looks so adorable :) her little leg chub is the greatest.

  3. Super cute, and so thoughtful! So glad that you were able to pull off the surprise.

  4. That is so cute of you!! Well done Kerri!

  5. How great!! That is such a good idea.

  6. Kerri you definitely win the cutest wife in the world award!!! What a fantastic surprise! I feel the exact same way as you about not being able to surprise Kenny cuz he's so picky and he always would've chosen something different for himself. I have returned/exchanged many a gift! :)

  7. I was so nervous reading towards the end if he liked it or not!!!!! this is a great idea though :) you are an awesome wife!!!

    1. you are both so sweet...but i am definitely not the best wife- trust me! i was just able to pull off one good thing. haha :)



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