My mom was born in Denmark. Like many Scandinavians during the 1950's, her parents decided to move to America. They left everything behind...their house, friends and family to come to America. They had four kids in tow and one chest of possessions—my mother was the youngest and only one year old at the time.  When they got to America they didn't know the language, so my grandfather worked as a milkman, delivering milk in the early morning hours. It provided a very modest income without requiring him to know much English. Slowly they settled into their new life. They learned English, sent their kids to American schools, and eventually my mom met my dad. They obviously married, but my dad, who prefers to go boating or ride on his Harley when vacationing, had never been to Denmark. So for my mothers 60th birthday he planned a trip to Denmark for both of them!

One day, my siblings and I were all talking about how fun it would be to show up in Denmark and surprise my mom, but we shrugged it off knowing it would be too hard to get all our schedules to work. Especially because we have 10 kids between us. We randomly mentioned it to my dad when we were together without my mom, but again said logistically it would never work. Then for a split second we all stopped talking and looked at each other and we knew we had to make this happen. It was our Mom's 60th birthday! So we all went home and talked to our spouses, who agreed it would be a fabulous gift to my mom and said they would stay home to hold down the fort and kids. We couldn't believe it! So we planned and planned and told no one. We couldn't compromise a secret this big! In the end we kept the secret nice and tight until my dad accidentally sent a group text wishing us all safe travels and included my mom on the group text. Luckily him and my mom were together so he snatched her phone and deleted the text before she saw it. It's extremely nerve wracking to pull off a surprise this big, but it was worth it to see her reaction. She cried, I cried, we all cried.

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And now you know, when people ask why I want a big family, it's because of mine. I couldn't love my siblings and parents more and I want my kids to be around their siblings and my husband and I for as long as possible. #familyfirst

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  • Oh, I cried too seeing your mom’s reaction. I love your mom and dad so much and miss them.

    Rita Ford on
  • That is so fun!! Who filmed it for you? What a cool idea! So glad you could make it work out!

    Nancy Hermansen on
  • That is so fun!! Who filmed it for you? What a cool idea! So glad you could make it work out!

    Nancy Hermansen on
  • This is just the sweetest and best suprise ever!

    Kate Carter on

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