As you are all by now well aware, my birthday was yesterday. Let me start by telling you about some birthdays past.
When I was little, I used to have "In-Between Parties" with my little sister. We are exactly 14 months apart and have always had a lot of the same friends so one month after my birthday and one month before hers (October 3rd) we would have a party for the two of us. That was all well and good except that we almost always got one present for the two of us instead of individual presents and there wasn't really any acknowledgement on the actual day of our births.
I spent half of the day in the doctors office one year because I had gotten a cold sore on my lip and it had gotten infected and spread halfway across my mouth. I couldn't talk very well and spent many hours in the waiting room. Silver lining...my hubby (then boyfriend) brought me a big teddy bear in that waiting room and it made me smile.
School always starts really close to my birthday and that means that I never really got a class celebration of my birthday because everyone was dealing with first week orientations.
In college, my husband went to school full time and then spent his evenings building a salon for his sister. On my birthday (when I was pregnant with my son), he worked all day and then built late into the evening and didn't recognize my birthday at all. No silver lining to be found there.
What's my point? I always have high expectations for my birthday...but am usually let down tremendously by unthoughful presents or bad circumstances.
This year was extremely different. It was probably the best birthday that I have had......maybe ever.....because the people around me are wonderful!
I woke up this morning to two pajama clad children and a smiling husband surrounding my bed with breakfast (cinnamon pull-aparts) and presents. My little Teensy picked out an adorable card and got me three movies (all in one case...all girly romantic comedies). Bubba bought me the second book in a series that I haven't had a chance to start reading yet (but will as soon as I finish the book I am reading right now) and a card. My dear hubby bought me a pair of Sketchers shoes (clunky like boots but don't go over the ankle) just like I wanted and got me a wonderful card. Although he doesn't know it, one of the best things that dear hubby did for me was take pictures while I was opening the presents. That in itself was a gift. :)
So, we all got ready to go for the day because although it was my birthday I still had to work. I kissed the kids goodbye at their schools, visited my mother-in-laws grave to tell her about how my father-in-law came to my office on Tuesday, gave me a hug and handed me the gift card (she had started a tradition of giving each of us kids a $50.00 gift card to the local mall for our birthdays), and then came to work where my boss brought me flowers...pink carnations...and took me (and the rest of the office) out to Pizza Hut for lunch. She also made me some homemade brownies.
My dear little sister gave me a most wonderful surprise, too. She told everyone she knew to text me a Happy Birthday wish! I received a text from my best friend, 7 texts from people I don't know that live in other states, a text from my little sister and one from her husband, a call from my big brother, a text from my other big brother and one from his daughter, one from my big sister and a call from her daughter, a text from my cousin and a text from my mom. On top of that, I got a text from a local number. When I texted back a thank you, I asked who it was and the text I got back said "I had a crush on you in high school". After a little guessing, it turned out to be an old friend (who I never knew had a crush on me!) that I have talked to recently but not in the past several months. That was a great surprise. With all the texts and calls, my phone was vibrating all day long!!!
On my MySpace page, I got four comments (one from a cousin, one from my sister's friend, one from my husband's friend, and one from a guy I graduated with) that wished me a happy birthday and three birthday gifts (two from little sister and one from a cousin). On my e-mail I got birthday wishes from my best friend in Iraq, my sister-in-law and her family, my aunt and my godmother. On our family webpage, I got messages from the same sister-in-law (in Guam) and from the sister-in-law in Germany!
When I arrived home, after dropping off both kids at my mom's house, I found a few more surprises. There was a huge bouquet of flowers with a balloon from my best friend in Iraq and a gift of pajamas in a cute class pumpkin bowl from my mom. Dear hubby took me out for dinner at Applebee's for a long overdue and much needed date night. We ate faster than expected so we drove around a bit after finishing up dinner. When we went to pick up the kids, they had more surprises for me...a strawberry cheesecake with 28 candles burning in it, and chocolate cupcakes with ice cream. Since then I have recieved two more birthday cards from siblings.
All in all, the little things made my birthday a wonderful one. The cake plastered smiles on the faces of my kids, the twinkle in my hubby's eye when he knew that he had surprised me and made me smile, my family and friends...the things that make me realize that this life is a good one and times can be good if we make them that way. :)