The Element of Surprise

I never understood people who don’t like surprises. I know bad surprises are never fun, but the great ones can certainly turn around your whole mood!

Let me tell you about these two lovely ladies in my life, (yes, you two right there, I’m talking about you) Tiff and Bree. When our time isn’t being filled with discussing Vegan recipes, Theocratic duties and the funny dreams we had the night before, we talk A LOT about the future. The goal is to “release our ropes” deep into Jehovah’s service. Just know, they have helped me in so many ways and have only catapulted the motivation and inspiration to keep chasing after my goals! Clearly, they love Jehovah and it only makes me love him even more.

That’s another thing, Jehovah shows you his love through those who love him.

Alright, so the girls are Tiny Home enthusiasts, and future Tiny House owners (after need greating goals have been satisfied of course). We took a road trip to Oregon last week where I had booked a one night stay in one of Portland’s famous Tiny homes through AirBnB. You guessed it, it was going to be a surprise. They claim that it’s too hard to surprise them because they always accidentally ruin their surprise. Challenge accepted! Well… here’s how it went:

I have a super cool friend in Oregon who was going to be my cover (shout out to Cezanne!) and I kept telling the girls, “for the last night, we will go with Cezanne…” Because, well, we were going to go with her, but just to hang out. They filled in the rest. I had this feeling of is it right to lie even though it’s a surprise? I kept it up anyway.

Since we drove from Southern California to Portland, Oregon and were going to drive back, Tiff was keeping track of the weather and road conditions and realized that on the Monday we were going to drive home, there would be a terrible snow storm through some of the cities we would pass (and as natural Southern Californians, driving in snow or ice is not an inborn ability). The morning of the day we were set to check into the Tiny House (which was also going to be our last night), the girls were anxious. They had a hard time sleeping because they were worried about getting caught in that nasty storm since there were reports of car accidents from a previous storm. They began to suggest we leave THAT night so that we could make it safely a day before the storm arrived. For me, however, this would not be according to plan!

I kept calm to whole time with my mini “It’ll be fine you’ll see…” comments and “Let’s just pray that we make it…” While I prayed in my head if I could please be able to still surprise them. We were SOOO CLOSE. I was NOT going to agree to leaving that night and thus, ruining their surprise! I was also already really excited to stay the night at the Tiny House.

We agreed to just leave early the next day (Sunday) and go non-stop without stopping half-way for one night at my cousin’s house like we had originally planned. After coming up with that plan for the next day, we got up, got ready and went out for breakfast. “Yes! I have convinced them to stay! Everything can continue as planned” I thought to myself. Meanwhile, Tiff was praying, “If Andrea goes along with the idea of leaving tonight then we’ll go…” Once again, Bree brought it up as we walked to breakfast, “What if we left after the meeting?” Nope. I wasn’t going to agree to anything. I just kept making excuses.

During the meeting, I was super nervous. It hit me, “what if they’re right? What if we get into a car accident because we didn’t leave earlier?” No! I kept telling myself it would all be okay. We would just leave the next day and drive all… the way… home. We will NOT leave that same day, even if I had to throw a tantrum, they will forget all about it once they see the house… Yes, I know. Throwing a tantrum is a bit over the top, but I am a very stubb…I mean, determined human being that will do whatever is needed to make real whatever I already have visualized. They were going to see that tiny house and they were going to like it whether they wanted to or not!

After meeting, the moment of surprise was fast approaching. My original plan was to insist I drive us to Cezanne’s, but then Tiff insisted. In the end, this was perfect because that meant I could record footage of the whole thing. Had I driven, then started to record, they might wonder what was up before time. So off we went.

Here’s what my plan was. Surprise them with a mini surprise that a tiny house owner was going to let us tour his tiny house. They would look around, thinking “oh nice! We got to tour this!” and be happy we got to see a Tiny House before we left Oregon. I would then break to them that we weren’t just going to tour, but spend the night, which would be the final surprise!

When we were about 30 seconds away, it was time I came up with the initial mini surprise. Now me, always being “clever” with my words and “always knowing what to say”… Start off my story with:

“So I don’t like to feel like I’m lying to you… but…” Yes… I started with that “brilliant” opening phrase which they later told me made their heart drop. I told them I watched this YouTube video and messaged the guy to see if we could tour his place. I was trying to make it sound like it was a nice person letting us look around his tiny house. I realize now I should have at least included the words “tiny house” in that, but nope. It’s like my mind was trying so hard to keep this surprise for so long that I couldn’t find it in my vocabulary at that moment because they had not yet seen it so I said “…look around his place.”

The poor girls. They thought I was either chatting with an online YouTube stranger that we were now going to meet or secretly dating such stranger who was inviting us to his house, or maybe I had been upset and the truth was finally going to come out. They thought unpleasant scenarios and didn’t know what to expect.

The car parked and I get out. Cezanne was already there. I tell them to follow me quickly. At this point I’m already recording but they seem unsure about what to expect since I hadn’t told them everything 100%. They followed me and after a few steps, we all see this Tiny House poking above the fence of this random home’s backyard.

We walk into the backyard and into the house. Let me just say, it was so charming and beautiful in person! At this point my excitement levels were through the roof! This is it! The plan is falling into place! I turn to look and they’re both looking around, still slightly confused, still cautious. They start asking the owner questions about the house as we all stand in there together.

I start recording again and tell them, “Cezanne and I have something to tell you… we are not staying the night with her… we’re staying the night here!”

So I realize that my surprise came more in the form of shock, but I can tell you with 110% certainty that by the time the full realization had settled in, their anxiety from earlier had gone away. We were spending the night in a cute tiny house in celebration of upcoming goals and dreams! It was the cherry on top for this awesome road trip.

So, why make it a surprise? Well, why not? Surprises are fun. Whether big or small, a surprise is a surprise. With their friendship, Tiff and Bree have given me much much more than something that compares to a night in a tiny house. It was truly the least I could do. I guess the shortest word that could answer that question is quite simple: appreciation.

Appreciation noun recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.

Hanging out… quite literally.
Making Tea

By the way, this tiny home is called S’more Life. Check out their Video!


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