Me (six weeks old) and my dad
So far, today has been everything I had hoped. Calm, quiet, and yet peppered with small celebrations. I took myself to get a pedicure this morning, wearing my summer flip flops through the snow. There is something so luxurious about seeing clean, soft feet with bright red polish. It is a rare treat! Afterwards, Lucas and I met Mike for lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. It's nearby his office and it seemed like a special place to go. Of course, we shared a slice of Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake for dessert. Yum. Lucas fell asleep in the van on the way home, and mercifully stayed asleep as I transferred him to his bed. The boy stayed home from school today after two nights this weekend of him waking up with a serious "seal bark" croupy cough. No fever, but the cough alone sounds bad enough to stay home. So, he blessed me with a two hour nap on my birthday! And although I could have spent those hours folding the three full baskets of clean clothes that have been sitting on my bedroom floor since Friday, I chose to lay on the couch and read my book for an hour until my eyelids were heavy and I curled up under an afghan and slept for another 45 minutes or so. It felt so good.
Looking out my window, the sky is gray and there is snow on the grass although the streets are clear. At least for today. Two more rounds of snow are set to come in to OKC Tuesday and Thursday. This is typical weather for my birthday. Gray and dreary. And these last few years it has sort of matched a part of my heart that finds celebrating this day a little hard without the person who brought me into this world. A person's birthday is really two-fold. It's a celebration of the person born-- their life, their value, who they are. And it is equally a celebration for the mother who remembers the pain and sacrifice of birth and mothering. Who loves fully, completely, and reflects upon that day with special fondness in her heart. I never knew this of course, until I became a mom myself. December 16, 2004 and July 24, 2009 are two days that will forever remain special to me. I will always remember the details of those days. The way my heart nearly split in two when I first looked at my precious babies and hear their first cries. I will always celebrate along with my children on those days too.
While I don't dwell on this sort of gray feeling, it is there none the less. Covered under layers of many happy things-- enjoying a pedicure, chatting over a yummy lunch with my husband, opening the homemade cards from my daughters after school, lazily reading a book by the fireside. I really do celebrate all the many blessings I have, and am so happy God chose me to be brought up by my two wonderful parents and to have my own awesome family now.
Birthday Cards from Hannah and Leah
Tonight I am heading out to celebrate with a group of girlfriends, one of whom has my exact same birthday (how dare her? just kidding!). Good friendships are yet another thing that brings so much sunlight into my life, and I pause to thank God for them.
So here's to celebrating another year. And here's to 37 + more!
Birthday Girls' Night Out!
Me, Beth, Tracy, Nikki and Jacquelyn