If you wanna feel better about your family, just read about ours...

Starring: a dad, a mom, a son & daughter-in-law, a daughter & son-in-law, a teen, a tween, a grandson, a granddaughter, 3 dogs, 2 rabbits, 2 dwarf frogs, an unfortunate number of tadpoles, and a whole lot of love.




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Saturday, December 18, 2010

From "Pity" to "Surprise".....ya gotta love a party.

I turned 39 last week. Let me tell you something about turning 39.....it sucks. And it all started with a simple question from my husband a few weeks ago that went something like this:

"I was thinking about throwing you a surprise party this year, but decided not to. Would you have liked it?"

What the heck is that? Who makes an announcement like that and then bothers to ask if you would have liked it?!? And with that, my downward emotional spiral began.....as did a new obsession with wearing thick white face moisturizer to bed each night, made worse by my husband's facial expression and his second question of the month to send me spiraling: "Crap. Are you entering that phase of life?" (Some men should not be allowed to ask their wives questions.)

For 3 weeks, I threw myself a kick-butt pity party. It was huge. Getting bothered each time my husband would seem surprised at the mention of my approaching birthday and hearing that Z and A signed up for an all-night Christmas party with the church youth group on my actual birthday. (What kind of youth group celebrates Christmas in December?!? Come on!) I spent countless hours in the bathroom studying my face closely in the mirror....with tweezers in hand. And spent way too much (wasted) time contemplating the people who don't acknowledge my birthday anymore. Do I know how to throw a party, or what?

I wasn't miserable the entire time. Similar to a heart monitor that has a flat line running across it with occasional spikes indicating signs of life. I had plenty of spikes. My in-laws came over for dinner, cake and games a couple days before my birthday. (Spike!) My husband took me and our 2 youngest to dinner at Texas Roadhouse on my actual day, made complete by getting to straddle the saddle while everyone in the restaurant yelled, "Yee Haw!!" while bordering on being embarrassed and secretly relishing every minute of it. (Spike!) The following day, the girls and I joined my Aunt & Uncle to see the movie 'Tangled.' (Spike!) A lunch date with my sister Susan. (Spike!)

In the meantime, my husband was working away planning a massive surprise. Lots of secret phone calls, passing out fliers and buying and stashing away bags and bags of snacks and drinks kept hidden in the back of his car.

All I knew was that my best friend from massage school sent me a message a few weeks ago demanding a double date for the 17th. (Spike!) We love getting together with them and I blindly jumped at her invite. It would take too long to tell you the many lies that my husband and children told me over the past few weeks but I will tell you that it worries me how really good they are at it.

Normally a double date with Andy and Lissa lasts well into the night, so when they wolfed down their food like animals and I hadn't even swallowed my last bite when my husband said, "Well, we better get going," I was stunned. After he practically bolted from the restaurant to get the car, I turned to Lissa and offered up the only explanation that came to mind: "Maybe he has diarrhea."

I got in the car and his erratic driving began. Slow. Really fast. Slow. Really fast. I said, "What the heck is wrong with you?" Then he offered up the only explanation that popped into his head: "I slow down when I see Christmas lights I like." (Yikes. Somebody's been hittin the eggnog.) What I didn't know was that Andy and Lissa were following us to the next stop and he was trying to make sure they were behind us while still trying to make it to the party we were late to.

Next stop: Our church. His story: To pick up the generator he loaned for the Christmas parade. The problem: There's currently a situation with thieves in the neighborhood stealing batteries from cars. My question: "Will anybody be there? If not, I'll stay in the car and protect the battery." His response (Lie number I-lost-count): "People will be there practicing the Christmas play." Me: "We're having a Christmas play?!?" Him: "Yep." (I need to read the bulletin more often.)

But the problem arose when we pulled into the parking lot and there were no cars (all parked in the back), the church was pitch black and the front door was wide open. My first thought: "THIEVES!!!" and not only was I refusing to go in but was considering calling 911. He was finally able to talk me out of the car and I fought thoughts of disgust when he pushed me in front to go in first. (Nice protector.)

I can't remember what went through my mind when the lights flipped on and our 3 year old came bolting out of the bathroom! And there in the foyer stood our children and 60 wonderful friends and extended family members yelling surprise and singing happy birthday to me. (SPIKE! SPIKE! SPIKE! And we have a heartbeat, ladies and gentlemen!) And an awesome volleyball tournament ensued for the rest of the evening!!

As an added bonus, he asked my sister Susan, who made our wedding cake 18 years ago (when she was only 16, mind you) to make the cakes and he even remembered and requested she use our wedding colors again....Black & Teal.

Moral of the story:
1. Give that hubby of mine a lot more credit! (And try to forgive the fact that he told everyone it was my 40th.)
2. I am loved.
3. Don't be so quick to throw the pity party. Playing the martyr is miserable for everyone involved.
4. Keep using that face cream. My skin has never felt so fabulous.

Thank you to all of the wonderful people in my life who shared the evening with me! I love you all!

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