I turned 38 this week. Wow! 38 … I’m almost 40! ummmm … SURREAL is the only word that is working for me right now. I have led a blessed life, but it wasn’t all that long ago when I didn’t – for a multitude of reasons – think that I would see 25, much less make it to 38 and have the amazing life that I possess!
I thoroughly enjoy getting older. I have no fear or reticence when it comes to welcoming another birthday. But I am not a big birthday-celebrator. A perfect birthday celebration for me is fairly quiet and low-key. I would prefer to be at home with my family and the peeps that are closest to us. As much as I love a big-‘ole gathering of people having a potluck and catching up with one another, my birthdays are meant for quiet appreciation, laughter, favorite foods and small indulgences. And this year was no exception. As I well know, I am blessed to have married a woman who knows my soul so well. One of the difficulties of being married to me is I’m not big on birthday gifts (or gifts in general for that matter) because I will usually buy whatever it is I find myself truly wanting. I am partial to gifts that are sentimental and thoughtful and I usually ask Panda not to gift me anything (she rarely listens – thankfully! Because, good god, she is an AMAZING gift-giver!!). This year, she and shortstack took my breath away. After waking up to her sweet bday wishes and kisses and cuddles (unsolicited! thank you very much!!) from the shortstack, they led me out to the living room so that I could open my gift before the craziness of the day began. OH MY! crap – I’m starting to tear up just thinking about it! My beautiful family created a memory box for me with a pair of shortstack’s little-boy-tennis-shoes and a pair of his baby slippers. Now, I’m a ridiculously sentimental mama who has fully admitted that my downfall and weakness in mamahood is that shortstack is growing up far too quickly for my comfort. Seeing his little tennis shoes and slippers displayed as a sweet reminder of his baby-and-little-boy-ness simply struck me speechless (a condition that rarely happens) and brought me to tears. People – I am telling you … it was worth all the insanity that life threw at me to find my mate who knows me so well that she creates a gift so simple in it’s concept, but so eloquent and valuable to me that it is and always will be one of the most cherished items in our home.
The daily grind kept me going at work. As frustrating as my professional life has been, this week has thrown me into a whole new loop of dissatisfaction and frustration, but as I was driving into the office, I reflected on my need to shift the energy-sapping ickiness of work to happiness-generation in the rest of my life. So, the day passed fairly quickly for me (yes, I thank my angels for all those little mercies!)
To continue the birthday festivities, our hanai family came over for a total sushi feast! I have been craving two meals lately: Spaghetti Factory Mizithra Cheese/Meat Sauce Manager’s Special and sushi! This week, both were supremely satisfied! Shortstack and Mama Panda ran out on a birthday errand that I was informed I did not get to know about (there are times when shortstack can be very forceful) and the returned with a beautiful tray of sushi that made my mouth water. When Aunty Nelda, Joy and Michi made it over a bit later, they were toting along spicy ahi suchi, garlic fried chicken, kalua pork and chocolate-covered-ice-cream-bars … oh my! what a FEAST! We sat around the kitchen table with chopstick, pupu-sized-paper-plates, wine and other drinks and talked story, laughed a lot and had a generally perfect time! OH! and my aunty and cousins spoiled me rotten!
Okay … now, I need to go back to that whole statement about not wanting gifts and buying what I want when I want it … there are a few items that I covet but simply don’t fit into our budget and so I forego out of rational decision making and a checkbook that would chew me up and spit me out if I made a purchase of this sort. Okay, disclosure complete … almost. I have a bit of an … hmmm … I suppose you could call it an obsession – with Kitchenaid stand mixers. I have literally dreamt about owning a Kitchenaid. Sexy, huh? Well, last night I was gifted the Kitchenaid of my dreams … it’s red … and pretty … and has a dough hook and a flat paddle … guess what I’m doing this weekend? Yeppers! It’s is bread-making, egg-whipping, recipe-testing time in the APLS house! I got a lot of pleasure from telling my wife that she will need to continue to step up her workouts if she doesn’t want the culinary goodies to take a toll on the fitness progress that she’s been enjoying.
Seriously SPOILED … that’s what I was on my birthday. And overwhelmingly grateful for all the love that I felt – from my family, my friends and all the people who cared enough to send birthday thoughts and wishes my way.
I have a few projects that I hope to complete in my 39th year … and I am looking forward to all of the adventures and changes that my 39th year will present to me and our family … oh! and just to keep y’all laughing, I just spent 2 minutes trying to figure out if I was going into my 38th or my 39th year … yes, it is very possible that math will never become a strength of mine. *sigh*
To you and yours … have a blessed and laughter-filled day … and thank you for being in my life and with us on this journey in my 39th year!