Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Memories (Happy New Year, take two.)

1980-1(?): Got "fake drunk" with Josh.  We drank a bottle of sparkling cider and were convinced we were drunk.

1992-3: Went into debt for the first time... borrowed money from my mom to take my boyfriend out to eat for his birthday before a lock-in with his church youth group.

1999-2000: Was at Bub's with a holy host of others standin' around me.  Laho convinced some guy to spend his new year taking our picture.

2006-7: Rang in the new year with a 2 month old baby in the "Teen Room" at the RMH.  We'd already moved out of our apartment and were staying in the Weekend Manager's room until my tenure at the house was over.

2008-9: Watched some of my favorite ladies run their first ever 5K.  Was supposed to run with them.  Cried more than I care to admit.

2010-2011: Will be going to bed early to prepare for going to the Passion Conference in Atlanta with 15 people I like a lot.  Already overwhelmed at how God has gotten us this far... can't wait to see what's next.

And here's how the other New Years tie in to my next year:
-Dan and I will pay our only credit card in a few short weeks.  Bye, bye debt.
-I plan to be more intentional about some of those folks from Bub's in 2011.  It's really in my best interest.
-We're trying to figure out how to get reacquainted with the RMH in 2011.  Our whole family needs it.
-I've signed up to re-train to run my first 5K.  Training starts the week we get back from Disney.

And getting fake drunk?  Well, that's just a given that it will happen in 2011... E and I are opening a bottle of Fizzy Welch's in about one hour...

See you on the other side of ATL.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010- a recap.

4:36pm, sitting on the couch watching Snow White with E.

And that about sums up 2010.  It's been a year of Snow White... and some other things.

Where we've been:
-Asheville
-Wilmington
-Disney
-Kure Beach
-Sunset Beach
-Myrtle Beach
-Hilton Head
-Baptist Hospital
-Washington, DC

What we've gained:
-a tumor
-stepsisters
-weight
-clutter
-perspective

What we've lost:
-a tumor
-a stepmother
-patience
-it
-perspective

What we've learned:
-relationships are what matters most
-Elizabeth is who she is, not necessarily who I want her to be (and I usually like who she is)
-God gets us where we are by protecting us in years gone by
-we are selfish
-we are not as important as we think we should be
-we would not make it without our friends

What we've dropped the ball on:
-sending thank you notes
-sending prompt "other" notes
-most other things

What we're most thankful for:
-a relationship with Jesus that continues to be new and renew
-a child who did not come to us easily, but easily makes our life complete
-family who are friends and friends who are family







Happy New Year, Y'all....

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mary vs. Martha (for discussion)

A bit of Bible background: Jesus went to visit some gals- Mary and Martha.  Mary "got it", and spent time sitting at the feet of Jesus and enjoying being with Him.  Martha, however, was more pre-occupied with making sure "stuff" was ready for Jesus' visit.  She wasted time she could have spent in the presence of God by cooking and cleaning.  More info?  Check the story out here or here.

*************
I live with a schizophrenic view of neatness.  I was raised in a home that was BEYOND clean and organized.  I tend to think that my cluttered-ness is a form of childhood rebellion.

On the flip side, I can't stand clutter.  (See above: raised in a home that was BEYOND clean and organized.)  I feel like I handle life better when everything is in it's place.  I have a love affair with my label maker and Rubbermaid bins that is often unhealthy.  No shopping experience brings me greater joy than stores like "The Container Store" or "Hold Your Own"... and when Oprah gave away new closet systems?  Sigh... a dream.

But in reality, I am a cluttered girl.  I am a hoarder of memories... I have boxes and boxes of pictures, old letters, and things from days gone by.  I have realized recently how silly some of my hoarding is and have purged loads- purses I won't use again, things I was saving for projects I honestly know I won't complete (that topic alone is a post for another day), shoes that aren't going to be worn, magazines I thought I would re-read... stuff like that.  But honestly?  I have a LOT of stuff.  As my heart has realigned in the last few years, my love of "things" has shifted- but I've still got a lot of them.

Herein lies the problem...  I have a lot of junk in my house... but I hate the junk.  I also let it pile up, but can't stand that it piles up, and I go on a bender cleaning.  And such benders put me in horrible moods in the moment (sometimes), but leave me with great moods when I'm done cleaning.  My friend Krista said today (while we were talking about this whole phenomenon) that maybe it's possible to have a Mary-Heart while I'm doing Martha-Activities... and honestly, y'all, I don't.  Sometimes in the moment of the routine (dishes, laundry) I can be in that zone... but when I tend to clutter that has gotten overwhelming, the Mary-Heart is gone.

So here is my question to you- how do you deal with mess?  How is your heart in the midst of it?  Do you like it?  Loathe it?

Fill me in people... I need your wisdom.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Gifts

*No worries... this is not a blog post about how people should or should not "do" Christmas gifts.  There are loads of you who are likely still unwrapping the piles of gifts at your home.  There are also some of you have chosen to forgo traditional gifts and instead spent today making homemade soap and weaving baskets for the needy.  I am equally jealous of both traditions.*

Merry Christmas, Bloggitty Blog World.

Today has been for us, well, near perfect.  Many of you have felt the same way.  (Thanks to FB, I feel like I celebrated Christmas with many of you, too.)  The snow in NC set the stage for some magical Christmas moments.

This year, the Johnston family took a new spin on Christmas gifts.  Because of my love of all things gift-giving (like, seriously, I lurve giving and receiving gifts), we decided it was time to reign things in before they got out of control with Miss E.  While I am not disciplined enough to subscribe to the soap-making bent, I whole-heartedly understood my need to reel things in a bit.  We stole borrowed this idea from someone else, and it fit our family perfectly.  Each of us (E, Dan, and myself) received 4 gifts: Something you want, Something you need, Something to wear, and Something to read.  Glory.  Shopping with a purpose?  A theme?  Bring it on.

The majority of gifts for E and Dan centered around our upcoming Disney trip (or their mutual love of all things Disney).  My gifts were, quite honestly, some of the most special- and thoughtful- that I've gotten.  The surprise gift (Dan and E both totally had me fooled on this!) was my first (and second, and third) piece(s) of art from Sam, The Dot Man.  Super.  Tears.  Perfect.

So, given that there were only 12 gifts to open amongst us (and Santa brought the 2 things E'd asked for), the frenzy of present opening in our house was over rather quickly.  It's amazing to me that when the last gift is opened my heart immediately reverts to how it did when I was E's age and realized the last gift had been opened... in full disclosure, I have a moment of sadness.

We inventoried our "loot", ate breakfast with my mom, then sadly told her goodbye as she headed west in hopes of beating the snow.  Before I even had a chance to feel sad with our quiet house... it happened.  My Christmas Gift began:

Peace.

Rest.

Joy.

Through the drama and the fun of the last few weeks, God knew I needed some rest.  And today, of all days, He gave me the gift of it.  We laid on the couch.  We watched movies.  We organized our purses... okay, that was just me.  We bathed our dogs.  We listened to a Snow White CD in E's room... multiple times.  We snacked.  We ate.  We laughed.  We kissed.  We hugged.

And that, my friends, was a gift.

I have always longed for a big family.... a house full at the holidays.  And, yes, over a period of time, we've had that full-house.  But today- on the day of my Lord's birth- He gave me what I needed rather than what I thought I wanted.  He gave me peace.  And with it I got rest.  And with that, I got joy.

My delightful daughter was the perfect picture of a child on Christmas today.  She wore her PJs all day and played with her toys 'til she could hardly play anymore.  My Christmas gift to you is to share with you some of her loveliness... butt crack and all.  In this scene, she was taking her new "Tangled" doll outside to play with her.  Well, that's what I thought was happening, which is why I asked her if she needed a coat.

video


After the shot ended, she told me that was all she wanted to do... she just needed to take her doll outside because (she thought) it sings "now I see the sun"... and she wanted God to hear it.  (Hence, the raising to doll toward heaven.)

Joy to the world.  Merry Christmas to all.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Exam Time

In college, my roommate and I had a GREAT diversion tactic.  When it was exam time, that was obviously the best time of the semester to rearrange our dorm furniture.  By the end of the Reading Day(s), our room was newly arranged and fairly clean.  Completely logical.  Who cares that instead of said-arranging and cleaning we should have been studying, right?

The last week of my life has felt that same "crunch" as exam time.  I hosted Book Club last week, prepared for a large Christmas Party, had the College Students over on Sunday night, spent a super fun day playing with my child yesterday, not to mention shopping and wrapping presents in the mix.  We are fortunate enough to host both sides of our family in the next 2 weeks for Christmas, so the house is in the midst of getting ready.  Oh, and that party we had?  When things weren't quite ready for guests to arrive, we did the appropriate Martha Stewart cleaning method of shoving stuff in the guest bedroom.  Now, we have the dilemma that people will be staying in that cluttered room in 48 hours.

This past week I've been fairly diligent with my time.  I've cleaned when I needed to, not because I'm that "on the ball", but because there was no other option.  I've stayed on top of food prep, keeping our main level clean, and kept up with what was important.

Today, it's a different story.

In two hours, I will head to Asheville for Mary's Celebration of Life.  Both she and my Daddy had decided they didn't want traditional funerals, nor did they want to do any sort of "visitation" at the funeral home.  Having participated in too many in their past where families were forced to publicly grieve with people they may or may not have been close to... well... it just wasn't "for them".  Now, six weeks later, there are those of us who have felt like "something" needed to be done.  There is no intention to go against Mary's wishes- yet we all need to celebrate her life in a way she would love... with a party.

As I've sorted through the pictures we'll share in a slide show, my heart hurts and is full all at the same time.  And while I now sit here blogging in my pajamas rather than getting ready to go, I feel a little like it's exam time.  I *should* be cleaning my house.  I *should* be putting away laundry.  I *should* be doing lots of things... according to my to-do list.

Looking back on college, maybe rearranging our dorm room wasn't as important as, oh, I don't know, studying for my exams.  But today, I've learned enough to realize that my to-do list is not as important as looking at those pictures... remembering those moments... enjoying looking at Mary's sweet smile.

For those of you who will be there today, you'll see all of the gems that we "borrowed" from her computer and photo stash.  But for the rest of you, here are some of the moments I'm enjoying this morning.

my Step-sister, Leigh, with her daughter Charlotte ("Charlie"), Mary's Mom, and Mary

Mary's Red Hat ladies... who also are some of Candler Elementary's best ladies

Mary in co-pilot status on her way to Hilton Head... 
not many of us are lucky enough to be flown to vacation!

in March of this year, giving "Bibby" a late Christmas present...
her very own Coach purse!  
(she needed a treat to be a big girl since Mommy was going to have surgery the next week)

E and Dadaw at their pond

Mary's FB perfect profile pic

Mrs. Morgan and Mrs. Piercy
(Mary and her teaching partner, Sandy... we found LOADS of great shots of these two)

Stan's new girlfriend with the roses he sent to school

Mary's last trip to Charleston, Sept 2010

It's funny to think that a two and a half hour segment of time will be "enough" time to celebrate this lady's life.  We could gather for days and days and still think of more stories to share.  But, just like exams, the rest of the world continues to move at a pace that the rest of us are expected to keep up with.  My house will need to be cleaned and laundry will need to be put away.  But for today, it's all about Mary.

Tears, laughter, and all.

How I miss that lady.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wait... was that about me?

I have laughed lots over this season of blogging at comments many of you have made to me-
"I better answer my phone or you'll blog about me being a bad friend."
"I was going to tell you that, but I was worried you'd blog about me."
"If I tell you this, swear it won't go on your blog."

People... puh-lease.

This magical space on the interwebs is for me to get out my junk.  Not for me to rat you out for your junk, criticize you, or make fun of you publicly.  (Unless you are Wes, then it's fair to mock you in any forum possible.)  Yes, some of you spark the responses I give... when I'm hurt by your words or actions, though, it doesn't make me want to talk bad about you, it makes me want to figure out why I responded the way the I did.  I have said on multiple occasions this year that people's lack of attention to my needy self has caused me to realize I am just that- needy.  It's not always about you, people... it's about me.

One of the things I am learning is to not be passive aggressive in life.  This has been my language of choice (or by default) for seasons of my life: you wrong me, I'll sit and wait for you to figure out what you did wrong before I talk to you again.  You don't include me, fine... I won't include you either.  You hurt my feelings, I'll pout or ignore it completely rather than not confront it.

That, my friends, is crap.

It's wrong, it's juvenile, and it's wholly not holy.

While I am still working out the kinks in this, I am here to tell you this is not what this site is for.  I may choose to be passive in moments when it is appropriate... but my days of being passive aggressive are done.

So when you read something I wrote and wonder "is that about me?"... it may be.  But in all honesty and total disclosure... it's way more likely about me.

Carry on with your life, friends... and, again... Jenny?  Answer your phone or I'll write a full piece about you.  It will be titled "Why Jenny continues to hurt my feelings" or "Why am I still friends with Jenny?"  (I said I would be less passive aggressive... I never promised to be less sarcastic.)

Monday, December 13, 2010

This I know...

In college, my roommate pointed out that I broke my day down into segments.  When she asked "How was your day?", a 'normal' person would say "good" or "bad".  Not me.  I'd say "well, my morning kinda sucked, but lunch was fun, then the afternoon I was super sad, but I went to Franklin Street and ran into Eric Farmer, and that made is wonderful!"  Yep.  Not normal.  But it's kinda always been how I've seen things... in segments.

I'm feeling now like that was part of God's plan for getting me through this season in life.  While I'm generally a "glass half full" kind of girl, today I've been living in the "half empty" part.  I'm well aware that His mercy and grace is still abundant in my life.  But to be completely candid, this has been a hard day.

It's hard for me to grasp that Mary's only been gone one month... but yet this is the first of a lifetime of months without her.

It's hard for me to hear my Dad cry on the phone.

It's hard for me to clean my house when all I want to do is sit and smell one of the sweaters I brought home from her closet.

It's hard for me to want to talk about anything but... well... her.

This is not a cry for help.  This is not a cry for sympathy.  This is not a cry for anything other than... a cry.  While my heart hurts, I'm still surrounded with joy, love, and friendship.  My Birthday Bubble continues this week.  My Christmas Bubble started this past week and I'm super excited about all the events that are upcoming.  Seeing family and friends... having parties... wrapping presents?  Those are all segments I look forward to and long for.  Yet my heart hurts for my Dad, my family, for me.

On a good note, my sweet E has returned.  After a week of pure hell for her (and me), she's back.  Today was near perfect.  We started our day with the discovery of Fisbee- our Elf on a Shelf- which made her laugh hysterically before school.  He was sitting on top of our kitchen cabinets in a feed box from my grandparent's barn along with another one of our good buddies.


Her laughter is infectious.

E wanted to have a "sleep over" tonight on the floor in front of the fireplace.  From the looks of my sleepy eyes, you'll not be surprised that I fell asleep just after we laid down.  She then proceeded to cover me up with every blanket she could find and pretend to give me oxygen so that I could have a baby (Cinderella doll.)  (We just looked at all of her hospital pictures- complete with the boob picture- and she's all about having a baby.)


I put her to bed, came back downstairs, and she came down just a second later to tell me I'd forgotten to put lotion on her.  (She recently re-discovered the Johnson & Johnson Calming Baby Lotion and is a wee bit obsessed with it.)  She told me that I really needed to put lotion on her so she could be calm.  Anything for you, Baby Girl... especially when you have accessorized your pajamas.


Even during the last week when she was a pain, she had some precious moments.  One day she told me she wished she lived in Asheville so that she would have known Nanny as long as I'd had a chance to.  Me too, Baby Girl, me too.

I don't imagine the days will get easier for a while.  Things like Elizabeth Edward's death set me back in ways I can't even describe.  And I don't expect them to get easier.  Shoot, I don't even know that I want them to completely... the hurt in my heart causes me to remember Mary's laugh and to continue to fall into the arms of Jesus.  So in moments like this, I will cry when I cry and laugh when I laugh.  I will continue to break my days and weeks up into segments.  In the good, God is there.  In the bad, He's there with even fiercer love.

And in moments like these when I don't know what emotion is next, this I know:

It is well with my soul.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Best Dinner Conversation Ever

Tonight we enjoyed a fully logical conversation with our four year old about which college she should attend---

Me: Well... it depends on what you want to do when you grow up, really.
E: I want to be a Mommy.
Dan: Then go to Carolina.  They make the best Mommies there.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I'm going to throw up now.

Warning... this post is not for the faint at heart.

I have vivid memories of embarrassing moments in life.  6th grade, tripping in front of the boy who would later be my first kiss.  7th grade, falling in front of the entire 7th grade UP a set of bleachers.  College, well, just college.  (Seriously... were group dates a good idea?  And why did I cut my own bangs that time?)

Then tonight... the mother (ha) of all embarrassing moments.

Earlier tonight I was going through some CDs looking for some Christmas music for a friend.  In my attempt to be all things organized in 2011, I found some photo CDs in the midst of music CDs.  Not only did I have to move them, I had to look at them, right?

I got sucked into over an hour of old memories... baby showers, E's first days, tailgates from long ago, old college retreats.  So, the logical thing to do was share these old memories with Facebook... and tag people.

Thanks to FB's new photo loading deal, several would load at a time, then magically on my end, they would be there.  Who knows how it looks in FB Land during the upload.  And, you know, given how I was searching through CDs as they were uploading... well... it took me a while to go back and forth between the CDs and Facebook.

On one of these "brief" moments... I saw it.

Seriously.

My boob.

Seriously.

On Facebook.

Seriously.

In a moment that would make Jesus and my Momma blush, I hit delete on that picture then immediately IM'd my BFF "bleep! bleep! bleep! my boob was just on Facebook!!!!"

Yep.

Apparently, when I thought I was uploading picture number 246 of my Dad meeting Elizabeth, I was actually uploading 146 of... me... nursing for the first time... in the hospital.

(I just threw up a little in my mouth reliving the moment when I discovered this had hit the mainstream.)

Obviously, the first question would LOGICALLY be, why would one have a picture of said-boob when no one EVER should see such a thing.  Best I can remember, Dan took non-stop pictures that first 24 hours.  Later, when my screen saver would randomly show things I didn't remember ever being taken and I questioned him on it, I *think* he said some bull-crap along the lines of "It's natural" or "One day Elizabeth will enjoy seeing this."

What he did not say was "Someday you'll accidentally upload this to Facebook and will relive every moment of horror in your life all rolled into one as you realize that someone, somewhere saw your boob.  On Facebook."

While I agree with him that it's natural and all that junk... it was NOT. MEANT. TO. EVER. BE. SEEN.

So, to the unknowing person(s) who saw more of me than was bargained for, I recommend going to your living room, picking up your Christmas tree, putting just the tip of it in your fireplace, then taking that flaming tree and shoving it straight in your eye.  Gouge out that image... just as I try to burn this day out of my memory, too.

Let it be known that there is NO irony in this happening on the day that I professed love for Facebook.

Let it be known that there is NO irony in this happening after I mocked a college student last summer for accidentally showing her goods to us on the river.

Let it be known that my life is officially over.

It was so much easier falling up the bleachers.

a stalking I will go...

None of you who know me will be surprised that I am a professional stalker... in Facebook-land and real life, too.  And, as my buddy Martin pointed out last night... it's totally what the invention of Google was all about, right?

So here is the question of the day: what is the line between stalking and... ummm... getting to know someone?

I'll explain...

I have a new friend.  At this point, she's only my friend on Facebook.  Well, that's not totally true... our girls have dance together.  Anyone who has daughters/children in any sort of extra-curricular activities knows the joy of "Dance Moms" (read: Preschool Moms, Church Moms, whatever.)  If you aren't in the inner loop, then while your child is enjoying that activity, you sit... cleaning out your purse, sending texts, reading a book.

Some days, that's heaven.

Some days, that's lonely.

E has been at her dance studio "full-time" since August.  There's one mom I know in there from a previous Kindermusik experience.  When she's there, we chat.  It's nice.  One other mom I've thoroughly enjoyed talking to, but quite honestly, I don't even know her name.  The Kindermusik Mom knows another mom there, and the three of us have chatted in the past about books, church, and church books.

Then last Saturday while we were at "Tangled", I saw "other mom" leaving the theater with her kids... and I didn't even know how to address her.  "Hi, Dance Mom who I've talked to about books!"  Yeah, no... so I didn't say anything.

Until Tuesday.

Tuesday, once sweet E was in her precious pink outfit (without shoes, because we'd left them in Dan's car), I went up to that mom and said "This is ridiculous.  I saw you on Saturday and didn't even know your name.  My name's Becky.  What's yours?"

Yep.  Just like that.  Just like any normal person should have done months ago.

Then, because my new friend had a name easy to find on FB (me: hmmm... I'll just check and see if she's on here)... now we are Facebook friends.  Shocking, I know.  But my friend request to her said "Please be my friend on here so I can know someone at Dance."  (The other 2 moms I talk to there aren't on FB.  I've asked.)

New Friend, if you are reading this, don't worry.  Now that we are friends, I will not attack your precious hour of time without your little one.  I will not sit beside you each week and make you tell me all the fun things you've been doing.  But, I will like knowing you by name.

And, people, let's be honest... I won't have to interrupt your precious time... because I will know all the fun things you've been doing... because I'm a professional stalker.

Therein lies the question: is reading someone's wall truly stalking?  That's the whole point of Facebook, right? It's a public forum to post what you want people to know about you, right?

Don't hear me say I read everyone's page... I'll be honest, I don't have time for that.  I read my News Feed.  If you post fun pictures, sometimes I see them.  If you send me a message, I read it.  And sometimes, when I have a moment, that leads me to go to your page and see what you've been doing.  Then I'm all "I didn't know you know her!" or "I have always wanted to eat there... was it good?" or "Who knew you were from the mountains!"... and then a beautiful virtual relationship is born.

But is that not the point?

So help me process this, friends... when is it stalking and when is it using FB for what it was intended- the sharing of social information?

All of this to say that this morning while I should be polishing up my Ice Breaker for MOMS at church, I've been "stalking" my New Friend's page.  Who knew she just ran a 5K?  Amazing.  And, she had Chicken Pie for dinner.  Lord, help me, I love Facebook....

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Birthday Bubble

(Seriously, Wes... the next, like, 3 posts will be about my birthday.  Deal with it.)

Yesterday I had the unexpected good fortune of a perfect day.

Recently I let my brain wander to the "When did I have a 'normal' week?" category and came up with "The beginning of October."  Quickly intent on starting a "wow, my life is overwhelming" Pity Party, I went the other direction.  I decided to claim it for what it was... a-typical... and move on.

Later, I realized that if anyone has met me in to 2010 year, they must think I am one giant train wreck.  A (random) tumor that leaves me debilitated for months from March-May... then a fall season of grieving and death... wow, this girl comes with some junk.  (And "new" friends?  I am a giant train wreck.  Just usually, the issues are only major because I make them so.  This year, however, the issues have been legit... and large.)  I started claiming in that moment that I am looking forward to New Years Day, when the promise of a new year- and some new "normalcy"- brightens my mood.

Then, in the midst of planning for that "future", God does what He so often does... He redeems my "present".  With just a shift of my attitude and the entrance of The Birthday Bubble, 2010 seems like it may end in the positive.

My gal pal, Leigh, introduced me to the magic of The Birthday Bubble back in 2002.  Before that, I'd just celebrated my birthday a wee bit before the 7th and a wee bit after, calling it all "My Birthday".  Once Leigh showed me the glorious spirit that comes with owning all of those wee bits and encompassing them in a segment of time known as "The Birthday Bubble"- thus making each moment in said Bubble exciting and not just a tag-on- a new beautiful tradition was born.

It was fitting that this, my 35th Birthday Bubble, was christened by none other than Leigh herself.  After our family's Christmas tradition of getting out all of our decorations then ordering Chinese Take-out, Leigh came to pick me up for a girl date.  A few hours of conversation and a couple of chocolate covered cherry martinis later... The Bubble had begun.

Yesterday would have been one for the books, Bubble or no Bubble.  But the beauty that it occurred IN The Bubble makes it even more festive.

Dan had a meeting in Raleigh, so Miss E and I were taking on the duty of finishing our decorating.  She woke me up BRIGHT and early ("Mommy, do you want to see the sunrise?!?!") ready to put ornaments on the tree.  As we were decorating (read: Mommy was doing the "boring" parts), we (read: E) watched a Playhouse Disney Christmas DVD... only to look outside and see massive snowflakes.  Seriously?  Snow while decorating your tree?  Unbelievable.  After the Disney DVD went off, I immediately introduced E to Buddy the Elf as she watched a super fun Christmas selection I hadn't seen in far too long.

We took a break from decorating and went outside to play in the snow.  Buddy had inspired us to throw snowballs, after all.  We came in, took baths to get warm, then cuddled up back on the couch to watch Rudolph... certain that Dan (read: Captain Cautious) would not want to go out later for our previously arranged evening plans.

Was I in for a shock when he got home and said "Come on girls!  Let's go!!"

We went to see Tangled (super. just super) and then, thanks to the kindness of dear friends, enjoyed dinner at the Village Tavern.  Complete with Birthday Ice Cream and an amazing server who sent me home with a new salad- since mine came dressed and would be soggy, therefore not good for leftovers.

Seriously.

Perfection.

Christmas decorations and movies... Snow... Snowball fights... Warm baths... 3-D movies... Yummy dinner... what's a girl gotta do to live like this all the time?

Oh, right... I remember... not expect it all time.  And just enjoy it when it happens.  Especially when it happens in The Birthday Bubble.

(My fave "bubble" pic... even if it's non-birthday.
Thanks, Elise, for capturing it.)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I don't have a single original idea.

To stick with the theme that Wes loves, let's talk about my birthday.

I've mentioned before that my best birthday gifts back in 2001 were when my friends wrote me letters about how fabulous I am.  (Or, at least in my mind, that's what I read.)

Well, last April, I discovered something magical that happened in one of my favorite Kindergartener's rooms.  For my first trip out post-surgery, my gal pal took me with her to her daughter's school party.  There, a magical Kindergarten teacher (who now is in my Book Club!  woot for Book Club!) celebrated each child's birthday by having everyone in the class draw a picture and write a blurb about what they would give the birthday child if they could give them anything.  Said-teacher put all of the birthday "wishes" together in a book to give to the child.  Brilliant!!

Recently, one of my blogger pals invited me to her Virtual Birthday Party.  If I accepted the invitation (which y'all know I did), I had to tell her what guest I was bringing with me and what gift I was giving her.  All virtually.  Now, she is cooler than I am and is going to Photoshop all of her guests having a kickin' time at her party.  Again... brilliant.

So I'm going to jump on the Fake Party/Gift Bandwagon.  Comment below and tell me a.What you'd love to give me, b.Who you are bringing with you, and c.What fabulous thing the 2 of us are going to do together in my next year of life.  I will, as a result, a.Not write you a thank you note but b.Write a super blog post about all of my attendees to my Fake-Party, what gift I received, and what super plans I have with all of you for the next year.

I'm giddy just thinking about it.  This is going to be rawesome.


(Please RSVP for my Fake Party by December 7.  A day that will live in infamy.)