So remember last week when I wrote the most vague post about all time and complained that I have all sorts of things that I wanted to tell you but that I couldn't tell you because it wasn't the right time? Well GUESS WHAT!? Now is the time I can tell and SHOW you some of those things! And I have been SO FREAKING EXCITED to share this with you!

And I should probably wait for another day or two to get a more full story. But guys, there's no way I'm waiting. Waiting is not a thing that I'm good at doing.

About a month ago Daniel's employer, the Ministry of Health of Palau, decided they wanted to send him to some health conference in Montana. I know. What on Earth is in Montana? Health conferences for people who live on the equatorial Pacific, apparently.

That health conference took place all of last week, which means, Daniel flew out of Palau ten days ago. Much to discuss on that topic later, but for now, we're going to focus on his birthday.

When Daniel found out that he would be going to the U.S. he decided that he would make the most of the trip and stick around for a little longer to visit family and friends in Salt Lake City and New Mexico (which is where his parents live). This makes sense because Palau is twelve hundred light years away from the United States of America so when you make that journey, it's important to stick around a bit.

And as we got talking about it, we thought it would be a great idea to not tell anyone that Daniel was coming so he could just surprise everybody. And it just so happened that he would be going to Salt Lake City the weekend before his birthday for two days and then would fly into New Mexico on his birthday to surprise his parents.

Let me just tell you: keeping this a secret was the most difficult thing I've ever had to do in my life. The Ironman seemed like getting a full body massage compared to not telling everyone the biggest secret I have come across in a long time.

To make the surprise in Salt Lake as consolidated as possible, I emailed a bunch of our closest friends and asked them if they would get together for a surprise Skype birthday party for Daniel on Friday night. I told them I was going to hide the laptop in our apartment and have them sing "happy birthday" to Daniel and just let him hear it and go searching for the source of the sound. For days and days I spun this web of lies. They don't call me E-LI for nothing!

I also made up some excuse to get them to record themselves singing. It went PERFECTLY. They gathered at 8:00, just one hour after Daniel's plane landed in Salt Lake. He got to their house and messaged me as I sat nervously at my computer, Skyping with the friends and telling them that Daniel had slipped out and that he would be back any minute. Then I told them that he was about to come into the apartment so they should start singing.

Last year for Daniel's birthday we all made "Daniel" shirts and wore them. The Salt Lake friends brought their Daniel shirts and creepily held them in front of their faces as they sang happy birthday. And the moment they finished the song, Daniel came through the door and pandemonium broke out. Initially they stared in shock, and then they all started screaming, and then they attacked and brutally beat him. Thinking that you are Skyping with someone thousands and thousands of miles away and then seeing that person walk into your house=mind blown.

Guys, I have watched this video seven million times in the last couple of days. I cannot stop smiling at it. And fortunately Daniel recorded a video of the exact same moment from his own perspective so be sure to check out this one too.

Daniel hung around Salt Lake until Monday morning, his actual birthday, when he took off to New Mexico to surprise his family. Before he left Palau I repeatedly voiced concern that maybe he should give someone in his family a heads up just to make sure they weren't all going to be out of town. Because if I had been the one going to the U.S. to surprise my family, I would have made laminated books detailing every step of the plan and I would pay the federal government to station military in front of Bob and Cathie's house to keep them from going anywhere.

But in Daniel fashion, he infuriatingly insisted that it would all work out and that if they were going to be out of town, he didn't want to put pressure on them to change their plans anyway. And then he swallowed a bucket of potato salad that had been sitting in the car all day.

Sometimes I think Mr. Daniel shouldn't be allowed to make his own decisions.

But fortunately, everything went according to his very risky plan.

Daniel had not seen his parents for about a year, and they were not expecting to see him for at least a few more months or maybe even much longer. And they truly had NO idea that he was in the U.S.

He surprised his dad at his office and then his mom at home. His mom cried her eyes out. And you can see a freaking adorable video of that surprise here (and if this video doesn't make you grin like an idiot, you need to get checked out). And I'm sure his family couldn't contain their excitement when they heard that Daniel will be visiting them for two whole weeks.

I, on the other hand, have started talking to a volley ball named Wilson.

~It Just Gets Stranger