Monday, January 18, 2010
36 year old Birthdays on the cheap....
This is me pretending like it's really ELIZABETH'S bday when they were singing the Happy Birthday song. :)
Yesterday was my 36th birthday. It started well. On Saturday evening we got the chance to go out to dinner at a favorite resturant with some good friends. We both had coupons and the balance for me and B's split burger and all-you-can-eat fries was $0.00. I actually made B purchase another drink -- so we could tip the waitress. Total = $7.76
On Sunday (my acutal bday), my teenage girls brought me breakfast-in-bed. It was sweet, complete with english muffin, scrambled eggs, pancakes, bacon and fruit. Not to mention, yogurt and milk (skim for me, whole for B). They claimed that they left behind a "clean kitchen". As it turned out, this was "mostly true". As a mother of 5 children, my request for my bday was a "clean house and total family harmony for a day" -- and all mothers realize -- this is a big, if not near impossible, request. I can dream however. The morning buzzed along. My oldest daughter took responsibility for helping her 2 youngest siblings pick out church clothes and dress. Benjamin tucked in his shirt and brushed his hair for the occasion. Before we walked out the door to church, he even vaccumned the kitchen floor without being asked (all this being proof that they do have the ability to do this daily if they so wanted).
Church was good as usual...oldest daughter serving the nursery, 13 year old daughter participating in worship at the altar, 10 year old son sitting by his father underlining things in his Bible (this bc he got in trouble the week before in Children's Church, but hey, it was going well THIS week), 9 year old singing her lungs out and enjoying the worship set, Eli on our laps also seemingly enjoying just being there, Godly husband and in-laws.....and I enjoyed a brief moment where all seemed right in my world.
Then enter: The Crown. The Thorn and The Crown are two HUGE Easter productions put on by our church. Really, the magnitude of these productions can't be over stated. 1,000 plus volunteers. Weeks of rehearsals. Tons of prayer. Live animals. Crazy schedules. Anyhow...I could live without the extra stress and busyness of having a crazier than usual schedule, but keeping my kids away from this is nearly impossible. They LOVE it and this will be our 5th year participating (and yes, every year I say "I won't do THAT again" -- and there I am the next year right back on the participants list!). The "kick off" meeting was scheduled at 1pm -- and whereas it wasn't set in stone, in the back of our minds, we knew that the possiblilty of a surprise, and extend "audition" was there. Surprise! The kids auditioned for everything from main characters to angels and demons (Elizabeth is ALWAYS a demon and Hosanna is ALWAYS an angel -- but they are all open to other parts). We were done....at 5pm. Yes, that's right -- on my bday -- we were at church from 10:30am - 5pm.
Once we were done, we were all pretty much exhausted. Long gone were my hopes of grilling steaks for lunch (we ate bags of popcorn at the church), a bday hike through Garden of the God's and catching a dollar movie. I sucked in my disapointment and tried to remember the joy I experienced during those hours where little Eli ran all over the church's Theatre acting like he owned the place.
After much deliberation, we decided to scratch any plans we might have had -- and go out to dinner. It was fun -- we don't go out as a family much anymore -- and I was happy for a nice ending to what became a very LONG day.
Cost of spontaneous family dinner out = $43.00.
At dinner, Billy gave me my gift. Knowing I've been wanting a weekend away, he used our Frequent Flyer miles to get us a nice hotel room in Denver and a few resturant gift cards. I loved it. Cost = $0.00.
After dinner, we took my bday cake ("Banana Split Cake" -- my Granga's receipe which, incase you doubted I'm from the South, contains 3 sticks of butter) over to my in-laws where I took 2 Advil and watched Extreme Home Makeover. Cost = $0.00
Finally, we came home and watched a movie. FAME was checked out, so I had to settle on Terminator Salvation. Beings that Terminator is a hard movie to follow (in my opinion), I feel asleep before it ended. Cost $1.
So -- there ya have it. A 36 year old bday party on the cheap (all in all, gift included we spent $51). My special day included 5 kids, breakfast in bed, a little less house work, one husband who tried real hard, a church I love, about 150 virtual Happy Bdays, real life flexibility, 6 and 1/2 hour stint up at Thron/Crown rehearsals, a change of plans, an unexpected dinner at a resturant, an evening with friends, one with family and well...you get the point.
My life is filled with all kinds of things...I've experienced some tradegy, loss and dissapointment. I reguarly experience a messy house, sassy kids, financial ups and downs (I prefer the "up" times), and job changes. I've gone through years of finishing college (no small task) and years of dieting and working out -- and still have 40 lbs to go before I'm satisified. I sometimes fight with my great husband, kids and friends. We've moved, we've loved and laughed. We work very, very hard MOST of the time. Then we play and vacation with all our hearts as well. I've now known Billy for as many years as I didn't know him. All and all it's a life that I love and am willing to work of -- even when it's really, really hard -- and even when special days don't go just as plan.