What an amazing birthday weekend! I am just overwhelmed with gratitude for the wonderful friends God has put into my life and the gift of an amazing, loving, family.
Last Saturday was my 50th birthday, and also my 28th wedding anniversary! Moving from the 40's to the big 5-0 is a little tough --- as I have been reminded on a couple of occasions, I have now lived half a century! And this is a decade of moving into a very different season of life! In the next 10 years, all our children will be grown and we'll be "empty nesters" and no longer homeschooling! My kids will be getting married and starting families of their own - and possibly moving far away. gulp. ( I'm praying they'll decide NC is the best place in the world to live!) So anyway, I haven't been too excited about this birthday.
Since Mark turns 50 on Tuesday, 3 days after me, our kids offered to take US out to dinner, their treat. That's pretty nice. So Mark said that he wanted to take me out for our anniversary on Friday night, nothing fancy, but just the two of us. Okay, that sounded good too. It meant missing Amanda's volleyball game against Franklin Academy - she's a SENIOR and I hate missing any of my kids' games, and especially her last one against F.A. But hey.... it's my anniversary! So Mark and I decided on the The Cheesecake Factory and got ready to go out, and then he said he had to get on one phone call for work before we left ( this happens all the time... nothing unusual about that ). Amanda was at her v'ball game, Sarah had taken J to his baseball practice. Mark was in the bedroom on the phone, and I was sitting at the computer in the living room, when I hear the kitchen door open . "Sarah must have come back to get a book or something", I thought. But then I saw my 3 friends, Eve, Eileen, and Carla tiptoeing through my kitchen! huh???????? They didn't see me, so I said, "hey there", and Eileen swoooooped down and grabbed my arm and said, " YOU ARE COMING WITH US!" I was flabbergasted.
"What??? Wait!!! I can't!!!! "
Now these 3 friends are the moms of Amanda's 3 besties, and the girls are big-time into "kidnapping" each other for surprise outings! So I was being Kidnapped, but all I could think was, " But we're going out to dinner! Mark isn't going to be happy with this!!!" Then, of course, my dear hubby came out of the bedroom smiling and gave us money for dinner, saying, "Have good time!" He's just the best. That's all I can say.
So my girlfriends and I had a fantastic dinner at The Cheesecake Factory, sitting outside on the patio on a beautiful night, talking and laughing until midnight! The poor busboy was starting to hover.
Eric came home from college for the weekend, and Saturday evening we all got ready to go out for our family celebration dinner. But as we went to get in the car, out whips 2 blindfolds, and Mark and I are sent to the backseat of the van.
It is sometimes hard to tell when the car is moving and when it is standing still when you cannot see. About 10 minutes later, after driving down a long gravel road/drive ( and now we have a pretty good idea where we are ) , we get out of the van, are instructed to take off our blindfolds - and SURPRISE! We are at our friends, the Nemitzes, house and there are about 100 friends wishing us Happy Birthday & Happy Anniversary! Awwwwwww.
Hot dogs & hamburgers, salads and all the fixin's, a beautiful 3 tier cake - half wedding/ half birthday - made by Miss Morgan Craig, cheesecake ( Mark's favorite) and Boston Cream Pie ( my favorite). The Nemitzes have a huge yard that slopes down from the street, and is PERFECT for Slip N Slide!! Water and baby shampoo on big plastic sheeting makes for really fast sliding! It was so fun to watch - the kids had a blast and the adults had a blast watching them have a blast.
There were a LOT of candles when it was time for dessert. My 50 plus Mark's 50 - if they had added the 28 for the anniversary we would have needed a bonfire permit.
The kids had put together a scrapbook, asking family and friends to submit a page with pictures and messages to us. It is sooooooooo amazing and of course, brings tears to my eyes. And then they made a slide show of pictures of us - from our first date to our Senior Prom, to our wedding, to new babies, and moves to different states and 5 kids!
My kids are wonderful, amazing, terrific, and a huge huge huge blessing in my life. And now I'm sorry for reading Amanda the riot act after Co-op on Friday, for not being prepared and not paying attention.... I didn't know she'd been up until about 4 am every night getting stuff done for the party, plus trying to do school work, plus painting Jason's bedroom ( her gift to him for his birthday last week). Guess I'll have to cut her some slack for a few days so she can rest up. And Sarah, who has been stressing over getting packed and ready to leave for CT tomorrow - where she's living for the next 4 months. Hmm... no wonder she's been stressed.
And Alex, we so missed you, but we enjoyed the phone call. TX is just too far away!! ( oh, I sound like MY mom there )
One more story..... as we were driving home from the party, we saw that the van was VERRRRRRRY low on gas. As a matter of fact, I distinctly remember mentioning it to someone about 2 days ago, before they took the van somewhere, that they needed to put gas in the car. Well, here we are, driving up Holden Rd, knowing that Sheetz is just ahead, and as we head up the last hill.... the car stalls. No kidding. WE RAN OUT OF GAS. We had enough momentum to get over the crest of the hill and literally coast into the Sheetz parking lot and right up to the gas pump!!! ( not quite that easily, since the power steering and power breaks don't work when the engine quits)
So, thank you, Jesus for that!!!!
Just a great story to end a great birthday.
**pictures are coming!! once again, I need Amanda's camera, and the battery is dead.... blah