and my day immediately brightened. It was OFFICIALLY the 12th Day of Sara! I LOVE pink roses - they're my favorite color of rose when we're talking about one color roses. I opened the card and it was a happy birthday wish from my "Secret Sister". I'm going to guess that it was my church Secret Sister - but then again...it could be my homeschool Secret Sister. If you have some inside information, I'd appreciate knowing which.
So then the delivery guy says, "OK - I'll be right back with the other one." HUH? The other one? Wow - can the first day of your 41st year get any better?
Yup. He came back to the door with THIS...
This time the card was happy birthday wishes from "my favorite Aunts". No mistaking who those two are... My twin Aunts that I got to spend a big chunk of my summer with in Missouri. (I know - I know... I still need to post photos of our summer vacation...)
Well now I'm completely gobsmacked and overwhelmed - but at the same time, totally blessed cuz I have a decorating direction for the Breast Cancer Awareness themed Women In Touch dinner slash meeting I'm hosting at church the following evening. Thanks, Lord for this blessing!
Let's step back a little further so you can see the progression... First there was the little "surprise - it's only about you" evening that my darling husband had me plan, (that was the 1st day of Sara - 10 days before my birthday,) then a few days later (on the 6th day of Sara) I took the kids to Sea World, San Antonio, for homeschool education days. Imagine my surprise when they had this special sign up for me.
We had a very quick but tiring day walking from exhibit to exhibit in the morning. The kids were very well behaved, which is always a treat, but I suspect it was because we had a "tag along" friend with us. Works for me...
After Sea World, we cashed in my "free birthday burger" coupon at Red Robin. If you're not signed up for this you should be... The burgers there are "super-duper-cooper" (Michaela speak) yummy, the fries are bottomless, and they will do any burger with a Boca Burger or Garden Burger patty for you. It's one of those places my entire (vegetarian) family can find something they like - even if they only eat the fries and drink the freckled lemonade...
The one sacrifice you make when cashing in a "free birthday burger" coupon is enduring the restaurant staff "singing" birthday wishes to you. Actually - it wasn't that bad, and even delivered with some humor, which I always appreciate.
One interesting side note which I found quite disturbing and disgusting, (but fortunately had my camera phone with me to record the occasion...) was this woman in the stall next to me in the restroom. You can't see well in this photo, but those are her keys, sunglasses and phone on the FLOOR between her shoes. On the PUBLIC BATHROOM floor, I said! In the potentially drippiest part of the floor at that. Can you say "EWWWWW!"?? Thankfully, I'd already eaten.
After a few more errands in "the Big City", as my covert bloggy friends put it, we high-tailed it home in record time. Why the rush? We were having a "mom's night out" and there's no way I can miss that.
I met a few dear homeschooling mom's at the local theatre (see that culture there) and we saw The Women. It was eh - not too bad, had some pretty funny parts. My mom, who came along, said the 1939 original is very worth watching and funnier. Wonder if Netflix has that one?...
Then on to a late dinner at Chili's and more laughter with my friends. Unfortunately, I ended up missing the season opener of Grey's Anatomy because DH missed the memo, text message, e-mail and voicemail reminding him to record it for me...
Then on the 8th Day of Sara, my babies' daddy and I attended a dance" at a real live ranch. This might not seem like a big deal to most, but we don't DANCE. Or at least, we didn't used to. So this was a huge leap out of the comfort zone for us. It made it much easier that the dancing was within our parameters of "acceptable", meaning husbands and wives only dancing with each other - and nobody was dancin "inappropriately". But we had fun and it was like we were back in our dating days again. We are thankful for grandparents nearby that kids can sleep over with. (So much for no inappropriate dancing...wink, wink).
There was a little "happy-birthdaying" here too. Our host and I share the same day, and our hostess provided the yummiest magic cookie bars set aflame.
The morning after is what I'd been looking forward to for a long time. It was the 9th Day of Sara and an official party in my honor would commence in a few hours. First my dear hubbs and I dropped kids with other grandparents and headed to the theatre (see that culture again...?) to see Fireproof. We really enjoyed it and maybe I'll do a whole other blog post about it later. We recommend it to all couples. And singles too, why not?
Then on to my party.
My Perfect Friend was hostess for the perfect party. It was a beautiful fall themed tea with such yummy food and pampering in her beautiful welcoming home. The table was perfectly set for 15 with great hand stitched and machine embroidered leaf placemats and fall colored linens. My favorite was the white pumpkin centerpiece and the little handmade paper baskets of chocolates at each place setting. She used a portion of her luncheon plate and punch cup collection to serve us. First was the most wonderful butternut squash soup. I'm so glad she made it. It was on my list of "recipes I wanna try" last fall, but now I KNOW a great recipe and can just repeat it :0) There were also very delicious egg salad sandwiches on buttery croissants, miniature pumpkin muffins, various chocolate dipped cookies, dried cranberries and nuts, and a vegetable tray. All topped off with Esther Bolick's Orange Marmalade Cake of Mitford book fame. I thought it was simply fabulous! The sour cream frosting was just the perfect touch for the dense cake crowned with homemade (yes...she does this herself...) orange marmalade.
Following the wonderful late afternoon festivities, a few of us were hanging around talking (and maybe partaking in just a touch more of that butternut squash soup...) when I mentioned that I'd missed my guilty pleasure of Grey's the Thursday before. Well, my Perfect Friend had actually "accidentally" recorded it on her DVR and offered to have me and another dear friend watch out in her guest house before heading home, just asking us to turn out the lights on our way out, as she was worn out and headed down for the count. But let the record show that ever the hostess, she brought the rest of the birthday cake out for us to enjoy while we watched (the disappointing) season premier.
And that brings us up to the 10th Day of Sara... It was looking very much like my sweet hubbs was going to be out of town on my actual birthday. So of course we needed to have an official birthday dinner out at the best Mexican restaurant in town. It wouldn't have been my first pick, but it's the affordable(er) pick right now. And the kids always like it. What could be greater on mom's birthday than a big funny hat and free dessert?
Nothing says "fabulous" quite like a potentially lice infested sombrero.
When my "actual" birthday arrived (officially the 11th Day of Sara) we had a very busy schedule. I of course started my day by checking my e-mail and found reference to a very sweet tribute from a churchmate. I will confirm that I have been compared to Streisand before - but not on a political level. (Just wanted to be clear...) Thanks, PS, for the kind words.
Next we had Co-Op classes with our homeschool association, then lunch at the park with our same homeschooling friends, and then chess club (again, with our HS buds.) While we were at the park, my friend Grateful grabbed my camera to commemorate this obvious senior moment. Everyone nearby decided this must be what happens when you're an "old lady", you crochet...
Bring it girls... I can take it. (Although - it does look like I should shop for some Barbara Bush pearls...)
DH did end up out of town, but he was only going to be gone until about midnight. Well, I couldn't let this day go by and not celebrate! So I invited everyone that wanted to come over to do so. Four ladies took me up on my offer and we just sat around talking about "life". It was a great evening, complete with ice cream and underbaked brownies. Nobody sang Happy Birthday though... maybe they just forgot. ;0)
As birthdays go, I'd say this was probably my best ever. I know it's taken me forever to get this post up and I'm sorry about that. Life gets in the way sometimes. I haven't even written my thank yous yet - How does one possibly thank a dear friend for recycled elephant dung greeting cards - especially after being warned that they might still be a little wet??? (upon clarrification we found out she meant the glue...) Be assured - it was one of my most favorite gifts. How it could ever be topped, I've no idea.
In case you were wondering, no, I didn't make my weight loss goal, but I'm still working on that. Look for more motivational posts soon. Who knows... Maybe I'll be even MORE fabulous at 41! Could it be possible???