My birthday is basically my favorite day of the year.
Occasionally, Thanksgiving falls on my birthday. Those years, when we're going around the table, saying what we're thankful for, y'all better say "Lo-lo" or more than the turkey is going to get cut. ( ;) )
And don't think that you can just put a candle in the pumpkin pie and call it my birthday cake. I want the Real Deal Funfetti layer cake, hand-crafted for the special occasion.
Also, I get to sleep in until at least 9am.
The Lions, preferably, should win. They often disappoint.
Anyway, Thanksgiving falls a week after my birthday this year, so there's plenty of days a surprise party can be thrown in my honor without being invaded by green bean casserole or cranberry sauce.
I definitely love my birthday.
I'm starting to feel old.
I know, I'm not old. I'm really quite young compared to the majority of the American population. But strange phenomena are happening lately. I need two cups of coffee just to function. Two beers give me a headache the next day. I enjoy shopping for dishes!
Possibly worst of all, I'm realizing there are adults, who have actual jobs and families and real lives, who are YOUNGER than I am!!!
I know, it's an abomination.
The only way I've found to cope is to just accept it, bake cupcakes and say whatever the heck I want. Because I realized that even though I'm not that young and adorable new nurse at work, I no longer care what people think about me! So what if I'm starting to get wrinkles? They're awesome! They show that I know how to smile so much that it's being permanently etched around my eyes! Your young eyes are framed by your super-cute designer glasses? Ha! My are framed by wisdom and excellence! And a couple gray hairs!
And while I can't remember a time I was actually asked for ID at the bar, they always ask at Meijer.
Great news is, I put off fall clothes shopping for a good 12 months by the convenience of gestating last year.
Bad news is, I've been wearing maternity jeans for the last 9 months or so.... There's just nowhere to store this fashionable fanny-pack of skin my children have so lovingly bestowed upon me.
So I find my quarter-century-or-so self hating the task of shopping. Not in general. I actually really enjoy looking at dishes or coffee tables or nail polish. Those things always fit.
Why am I going to spend hundreds of dollars on things that will be threadbare, faded and probably out of style in a matter of months? (I say "probably" because you think I can keep up with fashion these days? Girl, please. I ain't no Kate)
Not to mention that that money could be used on any of the more important and necessary purchases I need to make (i.e. fixing the furnace, hiring a maid, getting a pint of Blue Moon at the local public house...)
I could try to save a few bucks and go the the thrift store, but that requires effort (and about three less children). People think I have my hands full when I've piled three children into one behemoth Target shopping cart: one asleep and the other two silently clutching a package of Oreos as if it's the ring of power to their Gollum???? You better believe those people will make an about-face as they approach the crazed woman with her feral children making animal sounds from the bowels of the "women's casual" clothing rack at Value World. They wouldn't know whether to call 911, CPS or animal control.
I suppose I shall have to brave the treacherous waters of retail one of these days. Until then, it looks like a lot of cardigans and elastic in my future.
Sorry, have to go, Alfred Dunner just called.....
The husband and I occasionally have conversations about a parallel universe in which we never met and therefore are not married (because clearly I would never have found anyone with nearly as perfect of eyebrows as the ones my darling sports).
Many times this conversation points out the fun things we would do or have with the disposable income we would presumably have. Things like: the husband would probably eat at Mexican Fiesta for most meals, or that I would live in a super cute townhouse in a fun city and own WAY more shoes than I presently do.
However, we usually end up noticing the things we wouldn't have. I certainly don't know how I would decorate my house without all of the adorable pictures of my children, and the husband probably wouldn't have the fantastic beard I make him wear (Seriously, the man's beard is phenomenal. So gorgeous. So manly).
You better believe I would not have had season tickets to the Lions 2008 season (best wedding gift ever).
I mean there are some things I could do without: C-section scars, alopecia and crumbs. Everywhere, crumbs. Why. I think I'm sitting on half of a cookie right now that isn't mine, and maybe a grape from three weeks ago that's been ground into the carpet.
Mostly, though, I'd miss out on the most obvious thing we wouldn't have.
Also the husband, all of his love, and his efforts to bring me and our family to Heaven right along with him, but that's the answer you expected.
I had been suspecting it for years based on my inability to sleep if there's even the slightest wrinkle in my bed sheets, or if my pillow is lumpy (AKA Princess and the Pea syndrome)
I came to realize my status while driving my children around town in my complete-with-third-row-seating SUVhorsedrawncarriage and listening to the family favorite "Tangled Songs."
As Rapunzel was describing her day, wondering when her life will begin, I commiserated greatly with the young lass. Both of us, living life, waking up at 7am, cleaning and cooking and baking all day, playing hide and seek with little green creatures with sticky tongues....
I got to thinking about the other Disney princesses, and how they lived their lives in the rising action of their films. It appeared most of them were restricted women, locked in towers and homes, forced to complete domestic duties and stick to familial obligations.
Then they met the men of their dreams, ran away and ruled kingdoms or something.
Little girls of the world: That's real life. Only backwards.
First you're swept away by Prince Charming, THEN you're locked in a tower with a hairy beast and what seems like seven small people, talking to birds, eating rotten apples, and hiding your trinkets in a secret cove to protect them from being demolished by irate mermen.
Don't worry, ladies. It's actually a lot better than it seems. Every day my Prince comes and sweeps me off my feet, and the next day I get to do it all over again. What those Disney movies didn't tell you, is that you find much more joy in serving a family that you love and doing the daily tasks together, than in dancing the night away with some strange man with a foot fetish.
And now if you'll excuse me, I have some royal doodies to which I must attend.
If I could live off of banana nut muffins for the rest of my life, I totally would.
These things are probably the best thing I've ever made. I figure they have to have some sort of nutritional value. They're vegan, so there's that, right?
Forget that I'm mildly allergic to bananas. And nuts.
I have no idea where I'm going with this.
Oh yeah, so my husband and I will be married for five years this week! (don't judge, there's a connection. The husband likes bananas, and I'm a nut)
The poor husband. I've been considering opening up his cause for sainthood.
He has to listen to my endless bellyaching day after day after day.... and then come home from work and listen to it some more while I demand that he spend "Quality Time" with the kids, wash the dishes, take out the garbage and for goodness sake open that box of wine before I just poke some holes in it, get a straw and go to town!!!
Then there's the fact that I'm terrible at buying gifts for him. The only thing I have working for me for anniversaries is that we go by the traditional gift guidelines.
Looking for this season's hottest vacation spot? Look no further than Lower Crooked Lake.
This luxurious location has been a family favorite for generations (at least four!) and provides a relaxing environment for you and your loved ones. When you arrive, be sure to say "Hello!" to the family, ready to greet you with a smile!
Perhaps you'd like to take a fanciful cruise on the pontoon with some of your dearest friends at hand? (Don't forget your life pacifier! Er... preserver!)
Or maybe you'd rather gather around the campfire for a gourmet dessert consisting of toasted marshmallows, crispy graham crackers and the finest chocolate, stacked into a sinfully sweet heap?
Maybe looking for the catch of the day is more your pace. If so, get your spinner bait and jig and head out to the dock to take your chances with the bass and bluegill. Catch something worth keeping? "That's awesome!"
You can always recline near the trailer with every camper's best friend (the beer, I mean).
However, remain vigilant for the dangers ever-present. Loose planks on the dock, risk of falling into the lake from a drifting boat or not wearing shoes in front of Grandpa are minor compared to the threat of Buno. Hold on to your eyeglasses, because this dude will snatch them up quicker than you can say Jim and Billie if you dare to dive into the murky depths where his despair festers from the pain of unrequited love. Don't wander too far onto Buno Island, for you may run into the shrine he built in an effort to impress his beloved, bringing inexplicable horrors upon yourself (mainly inexplicable because we haven't actually met anyone who has been tormented by Buno. We're guessing he doesn't leave survivors).
For your reference, artisic rendering of Buno pictured below:
It's best to arm yourself as heavily as possible.
On second thought, just stay home. I don't think there's enough room for dabofofus.
No, I did not try to climb another mountain and actually fall off the face of it to my demise, never to write again. My absence of words can merely be explained by an everlasting bout of monotony.
Actually, the monotony only recently started. Let me give you an update:
In my hiatus I managed to carry and deliver my third child, a bouncing baby boy, L. He's fabulous, adorable, and serious like his dad. He smells like his own baby-ness and I love him just like my two other rowdy rascals. He reminds me a little bit of his great-grandpa: napping all day, and waking up a little too early in the morning, wondering where the coffee is.
I also started, and quit, a new job. It was a fun little excursion of rebellion from my previous job, to which I will be returning in a few weeks.
The husband got a new job, a M-F 9-5 kind of deal, and therefore I have discovered I am not a morning person, yet all three of my children are.
My hydrangeas survived the heat last summer and blossomed gloriously this year. Somehow one bush has both purple and pink hydrangeas: a real miracle considering those are the best colors. It's living the Hannah Montana life and getting the best of both worlds.
However, I have now slipped into a world where every day melds into the next and I wonder how long my sanity will hold.
But truly, it's the best gift.
The more the days are the same, the easier it is for me to notice the small changes. How L is learning to smile reluctantly, and would rather gaze into my eyes with the cutest furrowed brow you can image. Or how precious Batman can be with the squealing voice of a two-year old. And how somehow Z managed to transform from a baby into a little boy, full of love and care for his little sister and brother. When I'm not worrying about how the day will go, I can sit back and relax and watch how fun it is to be growing up, rather than grown up.