Monthly Archives: September 2012

38 Years.

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Did I {actually} just share my age with all my bloggy friends?

Today is my birthday.  And I am feeling nostalgic.

I asked my Mom to snap a few kid-shots of me from the family photo albums with her iPhone and email them to me.

Note: {My MOM has an iPhone, while my poor little phone is still not so ‘smaht’. ::sigh::}

Another Note: {Family photo albums are absolutely priceless.  A few months ago while my Mom and Dad were visiting, they brought all the old albums I used to love to peer through when I was a kid, and five of my own children sat in a row on the couch and gleefully flipped through them while we told them things like, “that was Mommy on her first day of school.… that was Aunt Sarah when she was five-years-old…. no, that’s not Mommy, that’s Nai Nai!”}

Anyway, my Mom sent mew a few images and I thrill as I can see my own daughters’ faces in my childhood face.

I was 3 or 4 maybe?  My Mom said she can see Maggie.

First Grade, I believe.  Just color me blonde and call me Lilly.

First day of school. Lilly cocks her head to the side just like this.  All the time.

At midnight last night my Mom texted me a birthday message. She does this every year. Love her!

Today my sweet husband made me coffee ready to brew when I got up.  (He has to leave the house at 4:30 every morning.  Shudder.)

There was also a cute little gift bag waiting for me.  And I smiled a little extra because wrapping presents is one of those little extra things that Jeff has learned over the years.

 I love the presentation of a gift as much as the gift.

I love the thoughtfulness of a gift as much as the gift itself.

Jeff comes from a family that – when birthdays roll around – everyone says “what do you want?” And usually you end up getting money so you can just buy yourself exactly what you want.  It’s something I’ve come to appreciate over the years, I mean I just spent some of my birthday money last night on some pretty new window panels for our bedroom.  Exactly what I wanted.  This practice is so thoughtful on a different level.  But it is definitely different from my own upbringing.

I grew up in a family where – when birthdays roll around – family members put a lot of thought into something you might really, really like.  Or they might ask someone close to you for ideas… then they secretly go out and buy/make it for you and wrap it especially for you.  When I was growing up, birthday presents – in beautiful wrapping – would suddenly ‘appear’ in a special spot in the living room a few days before the actual birthday.  This was a way of stretching out the celebration.

So seeing the cute little gift bag on the dining room bar this morning was extra sweet.  Some of the kids were quick to tell me they had helped pick out the bag and tissue.  Other kids were actually there with Daddy when they picked out the present.  (A Timex Weekender watch, with a bright pink strap.)

Self Portraits of a Blogger

After breakfast – and with lots of prodding from their Mama – my kids helped pick up a little around the house and cleaned both bathrooms for me.  Lena made my bed, of course. 

For years, it’s been my dream to wake up on my birthday to a cleaned-up (read: mostly clutter-free) house, with the laundry all done.  Then I could just enjoy a peaceful house with the kids all day… The dream lives on.  I guess I have 364 days to work on making it happen for next year.

Some of the kids gave me cards, which were quite good, actually.  Both Christopher and Maggie had drawn humming birds, my favorite.

Lena shared her fingernail art stickers with me.  She put one on each of her big toenails, and matching ones on mine.  She smiled as we shared that sweet moment.

We went on an outing to find some chocolate chips at Target so I could make my own birthday cookie cake.  But alas, Target didn’t have the good kind.  (Read: Ghiardeli bittersweet chips). And an outing to Walmart with six kids was not what I wanted to do today, so we came back home – chocolate-chipless.

But when I walked in the door, to my surprise, I found that Jeff had come home on his lunch break and brought me chocolate chips, and a dozen roses. That man!

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**Update** A few minutes after originally posting this, I got a text from Jeff, asking if I was having a ‘cool and refreshing’ afternoon… for those of you not local, it feels like a hundred degrees outside.  Knowing my cryptic husband, I immediately went to look in the freezer, and then the fridge, where I found a Venti Cool Lime Refresher, my new obsession favorite from Starbucks, sitting beside a bag of chocolate-covered roasted almonds!  Again, I say, that man!!
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Thirty-eight years.  I swear it goes by faster all the time.  But I promise I don’t feel a bit older than twenty-five.  I still like to jump on the trampoline and paint my nails fun colors and drive my mini-van like it’s still my little red, two-door Honda Civic.

Yes, I still feel like I’m in my twenties.  And my fifty-something year old Mom (sporting her Starbucks and iPhone), says I probably always will.

So much life.  God has bestowed so many blessings.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul,

And all that is within me,

Bless His Holy name!”