It all started the week before Easter. I kid you not. Lu and her family were coming to spend Easter with us as has become our tradition. I toyed with going to South Carolina for the holiday since we haven't visited since February (life gets so busy!). Lu said she wanted to come here and The Man said he wanted to hang at home. I shrugged and agreed, wasn't a big deal to me. I found out that week that The Man's cousin from Tennessee was coming for a visit as her son is stationed here at the local army base and she wanted to see him. Shoot, the more the merrier is what I say! Thing is, H. (said cousin's name) is a "clean 'em up" kind of gal. If you got a mess? She'll clean it. It used to bother me years ago, but I know it's how she rolls and I have come to accept it. Still, I wanted my house clean as possible so she wouldn't feel compelled to do much while she was here. It became necessary for my dining room to be painted and finished before Easter weekend.
So began a hard 4 days of work to paint and get it all straight while cleaning house. That Man took off a couple of days from work so he could focus on the dining room. He was like a man possessed, I tell ya! I was totally impressed with how dedicated he was to finishing this room because he's not usually in the same frame of mind as I am when it comes to getting projects done. Makenna stayed home from school (because she had plenty of days) to help me clean on Friday before everyone arrived. People started rolling in that evening and the good times started! It was noisy and loud and full of kids and adults laughing. Perfect. (And just so you know? I find it kind of but not really funny that I ended up cleaning for my own party. Just sayin'.)
That Saturday, Lu and I had made plans for an afternoon just for us. We haven't had any time just to ourselves in a very long time and we were hitting the town. Evening plans were for us to come back, grab the men and head to Carrabas as that's our "date" place to go when she and her husband are in town. Let me tell you, I was right excited because I do love that place with good eating. We spent an hour or so getting manicures and pedicures then headed out to shop. I mentioned a few times that we needed to head back around 4 so we could get to the restaurant early before the crowd hit. Little did I know she was texting the men like crazy telling them to help her stall me. My husband called and said he had called the restaurant and we had reservations for 6 p.m. Cool, that meant more time to shop!
Finally, it was time to head back to the house. When we drove up, I saw many vehicles, but really didn't think much of it. We had a lot of people staying that weekend. When I walked in, I didn't see anyone but my husband sitting in his recliner. I made the comment that it looked like there was a party at my house with all the cars when I glanced into the kitchen. I saw my friend Kim standing there and I thought "That's Kim. What is she doing here?" That's when a huge group of people jumped out and yelled SURPRISE! My husband had thrown me a surprise 40th birthday party. I was floored. I had no clue whatsoever. Apparently, he had been planning this party for a month and a half with all my friends in cahoots with him. It was surreal and just awesome. Want to be even more impressed? Dude got it catered. There was a spread of food in my kitchen from a favorite restaurant of ours (Sticky Fingers- ribs, chicken, slaw, mac-n-cheese...good stuff). He had ordered five cheesecakes from a place that makes the best cheesecakes in the world instead of a birthday cake. He had seriously thought of everything. I could not have asked for a better party, Internets.
I would like to also state that maybe a few times during the party I loudly made the comment: "You do all realize that I am 39 years and 49 week-ish old, right? RIGHT?" Everyone was kind and gracious and conceded that I was still a lovely 39 and looking nowhere near 40.
The party was held early because my husband had to leave for a class up North on Mother's Day for two weeks. He missed my actual birthday (and, yes, I was sad), but when duty calls and the paycheck depends on it, you do what you have to do. (I am SO ready for him to get home this Friday!) He is still right smug over pulling this over on me and I'm letting him be as smug as he wants to be because he totally earned it.
That wasn't the end of The Celebration. Oh, no no no. If you thought it was? Then you must not know Miss Hope. No sir, I claim at least two days for a birthday. Three if my birthday falls on Mother's Day (and it will yet again next year). It only seemed fitting that turning 40 should claim at least four days, don't you agree?
Friday the 13th dawned clear with promise of a good day ahead of me. Carla Girl was claiming me for a lunch date with a little bit of shopping thrown in for good measure. First, I had to go to my son's school to see him perform in a classroom play where he had a speaking part! I had to record every single minute so Dad can see it when he gets home. I took my job seriously and did my best to get every single cute second. After that, I had to roll over to the middle school to rescue my daughter's cell phone. She forgot to put it on vibrate and it went off in class. Fair enough. While I was there, I found out she had to serve an hour of detention for having the phone. Do you know how I feel about kids having phones at school? Mine will. I'm still haunted by Columbine all those years ago. Makenna was devastated she had to do ~shudder~ DETENTION, but I told her to buck up and serve. It wasn't like the end of the world. Just remember to turn the thing off from here on out (as I handed it back to her all ninja-like). *She has since served detention with the P.E. Coach in charge who talked golf with her and then made her write about golf, then stopped her after she hit four pages. I think she had a good time?*
Back to the Birthday Story. (I tried to tell you my life has been crazy busy!) I finally finished my business at the schools and met Carla Girl at my house where we took off for some fine lunch dining. For you golf fans out there, I waved at the Augusta National as we drove by on the way to the restaurant near by. She had a hat for me to wear, with awesome glasses. As we ordered our diet cokes, she proceeded to bring out the napkins from her purse, along with another little table topper. I laughed and just enjoyed the meal. We headed to Macy's afterwards where I did, indeed, wear the hat with glasses perched on top all through the store. I even had the Happy Birthday Song sung to me in the middle of Macy's. Can YOU say that's ever happened to you? We hit a few more stores before I headed back to the house.
Neighbor Debbie rolled in that evening. She had been asking me for months what I wanted for my birthday and I just kept telling her all I wanted was for her to be here to share it with me. She threatened that she was going to give me a bucket full of circus peanuts if I didn't get my act together and tell her something. Wait until you see the pictures. Lu, Tiffany, and kids rolled in Saturday morning to share the rest of the weekend. This would be day three of celebration. Let's see......Neighbor Debbie, Paige, Lu, Tiffany, and myself headed out to get ourselves a pedicure. I'm so glad we caught the salon at a good time because we owned that place for a couple of hours. We all got funky designs on our toes, a few brows got waxed, and SOME people who will remain nameless will be getting more pedicures in the future since they shaved enough dead skin off the bottom of feet to make at least 3 small children. *ewww* There was lots of laughter and smack talk going around.
That evening we took all 13 people who were in this house to a local pizza place. The kids were thrilled and the smaller ones got to play in the game room. The adults sat around the table gabbing until we had to leave or someone was going bust a gut from laughing or over eating. We ended the evening with the adults around the kitchen table telling tales from our childhood and past. Neighbor Greg was a good sport about being around all the women and even had a few stories of his own to share. We went to bed late but tired and happy. I'll claim Sunday as my 4th day of celebration because we woke up to drink coffee and even more talking and laughing over breakfast. Man, that was a good weekend. It would have been perfect had my husband been here.
So, now I'm 40. I celebrated it thoroughly from beginning to end and then some. Did I mention that when I got home from lunch with Carla Girl, I then donned the tiara Paige wore to her party? Yeah, and I wore it to pick up my son's prescription and through the McDonald's drive-thru to pick up some supper. That's how I roll, man. I don't have pictures from my party because there's none on my camera! I know some pictures were taken, I just have to find out who took them and get copies.
Just so you know, I don't feel old. I feel seasoned. Heh heh. Yeah, seasoned. That's it. We're still not going to talk about how reading fine print is almost not an option for me anymore.
Enjoy the few pictures I managed to get!