I have always loved birthdays - probably because my momma just did them right. She and my dad did everything they could to make us feel special every day but especially on our special day. This year was no exception - I wanted to pinch myself because the celebrating started early with the weekend before and crept on in to the week. My students surprised me with the most beautiful flowers on Monday because they knew I was taking my actual birthday off.
PRO TIP: ALWAYS TAKE A VACATION DAY ON YOUR BIRTHDAY
Ryan usually leaves super early on Tuesday mornings, so I got up and dressed per my usual routine. The music was blaring in the bathroom as I was getting dressed so I was completely shocked when I walked out to him and the kids singing me "happy birthday" with breakfast and cake.
Like I screamed because they scared me. :)
You know what makes you feel loved? When people want to celebrate you. Ryan and the kids were just so eager for me to wake up and open their hand picked gifts. My day was made well before 7am.
I mean, there isn't a luckier girl in the world.
Fresh flowers, double mirror ("MOM...look how big it makes your face!"), "softie" blanket, handmade card, bubble gum pink lipstick, juicy perfume, and a make-up bag.
I hit the jackpot.
Emersyn insisted I put the lipstick on immediately.
(I'm insisting that I do something about those wrinkles under my eyes.)
Cake for breakfast is always a win.
A quick selfie before we dropped them for school...
And an extended morning with this guy. I could have gone to bed happy right then.
BUT, one of my gifts was a membership to a local spa and they had an available 10am slot for a massage so I totally treated myself. Seriously, perfect. then I headed to the mall because I need a new pair of nude flats, but I somehow found these floral heels instead.
And this cold-shoulder top...
I left without the shoes but definitely took advantage of the BOGO half-off on those tops.
And then. I did something I never would have done in my twenties.
I ate lunch.
I ordered my favorite appetizer and favorite wine, sat on the patio with a book and just enjoyed two hours of doing something for myself.
In my 20s, I always wanted to be the center of noise and excitement and energy. Then I had three kids and every minute became filled with noise and excitement and energy. So now I savor these moments alone. The gift of filling your own tank is priceless. It enables you to then fill the tank for others. So, take a moment and do something for yourself. Throw away the guilt. Drink the wine and celebrate you.
I headed to pick up the kids for the last adventure of the day - we hit the movies and watched MY pick - Hidden Figures. I can't tell you how excited they were for a mid-day, mid-week movie. I was, too... I think we should do this more often. Just slow down and enjoy the day... for no other reason than because we can.
Radley even snapped a selfie to document our "sweet seats"... these recliners are life-changing movie experience. Hidden Figures was actually great for all three of them - they each got and understood what they needed from the movie. No bad language, no violence, nothing I wouldn't want them to see. Lessons of compassion and seeing what's right when we still face what's wrong. 38 candles up!
And as if that day wasn't perfect enough... God outdid himself with the sunset. As I was taking my neighbors trashcans back up to her house, I walked back across the street and just stopped. This - this life is such a gift to me. It is not perfect, but it is fulfilling. It is merciful. It is plentiful. It is mine.
38 years later and I still want the life that I have lead and the one that I continue to lead. My story is filled with imperfections ,snafus, memory-making mistakes.Most of all, it is filled with love. And I am so grateful.