The Big 4-OH!

Birthdays have been celebrated by a phone call, card in the mail, or silly emails amongst friends and family. This year, however, while I was hoping for my birthday to fly under the radar…yeah, like THAT was going to happen!

Turning a milestone age is like having a bright neon arrow pointing at you for the entire world to see. Or in this case, black crate paper twisting around the ceiling the entire length of the hallway.

I arrived at work to a doorway of black…around the office was strung signs of old age…literally. “Over the Hill” and “Entering the Golden Years” were hanging from the door, window, walls, and desk.

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“Over the Hill” and “Entering the Golden Years” were among the signs hanging around my office.

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Yeah, I heard them all. Right down to the box of Polygrip and corn cushions my boss gave me.

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The highlight of the day was the cake – my good friend made sure I had THE perfect one. Who else would argue with a baker for a Christmas cake in March?

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Though we don’t usually celebrate birthday’s in outrageous ways, I must say this one is among my favorites. The birthday celebration carried on through the week and officially ended this past Sunday – after a trip to Kentucky which was given as a birthday gift! More about that trip later…

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Two Zero

Once upon a time, I thought those two digits together were some type of magical age.

Boy was I wrong! When I was 20, I had a child in tow and a husband. I still have the husband, but now that child is 20 years and no longer the sweet, innocent, adorable, little two-year old she once was.

Don’t get me wrong, she is still a sweet kid young woman. It’s just that her interests are no longer wearing frilly dresses while climbing trees. She has progressed towards gaming, jewelry, books, and guys. Or rather a single particular guy. Not that I have a problem with said guy, I have a problem with her no longer being the child I can command and dictate rules and regulations to guide to the right path and she would listen.

Yeah, I wasn’t a dictator or tyrant. But I did have some strict rules – according to her as she compared every rule to those of her friends. Silly me, I have this wish to know who and where and why and how and what is going on in my children’s lives. I mean, weren’t we all taught the 5 W’s in elementary school for a reason?

Where are they going? When are they going and when will they return? Who are they going with and who are the parents? Why are they going? What are they will be doing once they get there? How are they getting there and/or back?

Okay, so back to the 20-year-old.

For her birthday, the family (and boy friend) had dinner at the Texas Roadhouse (seems to becoming a “birthday theme” around here). This lovely child-no-more did not want anyone to know it was her big day.

She made her two brothers promise on their Bibles that they would not so much as utter anything resembling a comment to the waitress/waiter that it was her birthday.

The silly kid forgot about her parents…sad, isn’t it? Not to worry though because while she couldn’t decide what to have for a drink (a non-alcoholic type, thanks!), her dear father turned to the waitress and said: “You’ll have to excuse her. This is her first day of being twenty.” To which the birthday girl immediately looked up, shocked that he said something. She even made “dad” into a two-syllable word as she flushed ever so slightly.

I reassured her that he did not tell the waitress it was her birthday. Do you see where this is going? Can you imagine the look of horror on her face as I spoke those “forbidden” words out loud? It was well worth it.

After dinner, the crew came to the table and did their little “Texas Roadhouse Birthday Wish” and brought out the famous saddle for the birthday person to pose on. And believe me, my husband made sure there were ample amounts of photos taken of the 20-year-old posing on this sad little saddle.

As we were heading back towards home, she did admit she had a great time, despite the worn little saddle she sat on. She was glad we made her day a little extra special.

I’m glad she is a 20-year-old, independent thinker and able to function on her own. But there is a part of me, ever so small, that misses the 2-year-old who was full of questions.

Warning: Christmas Talk…

For those of you who don’t want to hear about Christmas until after Thanksgiving, you may want to leave as I will be speaking about the upcoming Birthday Bash in December. 

A few weeks ago, my church hosted a Trunk o’ Treat for the kids in the community. Having a strong dislike for Halloween, I opted to be a little different in decorating my truck. My oldest son and I decked the back of the truck in Christmas. I had my 2 foot battery operated tree, the regular 6 foot pencil tree (my $5 yard sale find last year!) and a ton of other Christmas decorations to get the kids all warm and fuzzy. 

But that’s not the point of this post. The point of today’s post is why my house is decorated for Christmas. Having had a good portion of my decorations jostled about in the garage due to the Trunk o’ Treat, I decided to decorate the inside of the house instead of putting everything back in their respective boxes and bins. 

Now I know it might seem like a sacrifice to put Christmas out before the end of October, because, lets face it, the majority of people put it up the weekend of Thanksgiving or the beginning of December. That would be the “normal” people, as my husband likes to remind me. (Thank you, dearest!) However, I took a deep breath and pushed forward to rearrange the furniture, dust, vacuum, and rotate pictures and the general “dust collecting” nick knacks that we all love. And now the house is complete. Well, the inside is – including the bedrooms and bathroom, which I hadn’t planned on finishing as my daughter doesn’t usually put her bedroom tree up until after her birthday. (Refer to the normal persons decorating schedule I mentioned before.)    

So why do I decorate for Christmas weeks earlier than most people? To put it simply, it’s a giant birthday party for Christ. I mean as a parent, I decorate my house for each of my children’s birthdays. I hang a huge banner, announcing Happy Birthday to all who walk in the door. I have helium filled balloons tied to their beds before they wake. These same balloons are then transferred to the kitchen chairs once the child starts moving around. I have a birthday centerpiece for the table and crape paper dangling from the ceiling. The point is, when someone walks into my house, they know something exciting is taking place. That is what I try to present when people come into my house in the weeks building up before Christmas – only on a larger scale. After all, without the birth of Christ, there wouldn’t have been the crucifixion or the resurrection. It’s amazing how a single baby thousands of years ago can change the entire world. 

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