I had been meaning to recap my birthday for quite some time now. When I opened up the draft I had written about my birthday I found this piece...already completed. Apparently I thought it was incomplete at the time but now that it's nearly 2 months later I think this summary does it justice perfectly well. Enjoy!
For many years my birthday could have been considered synonymous with "final exams." Without fail it seemed that all throughout high school and college my birthday was filled with studying for and/or taking exams before Christmas break. Even during those fortunate years in college that I didn't have an exam on my birthday it seemed that all my friends did. Anyway, I've already had a few birthdays post-college but you'd better believe that each time my birthday rolls around and I'm not taking any sort of exam I am so so grateful!
This year's birthday was nothing crazy, yet it has already managed to go down in the books as one of the best ones I think I have ever had. And it wasn't because of presents or cake (although those things are nice, too!)...but because of mi familia.
Living in Florida means my husband and I are far away from all of our immediate family...and none of our extended family members that live down south are that close (geographically speaking) to South Florida. You can imagine my joy a few months back when my older sister called to inform me that her husband would be coming to South Florida for school/work in December (more on that later - in another post perhaps) and asked if it would be alright for her to visit with my nieces for a week. Um, yes yes yes yes yes YES, of COURSE was probably my immediate response (at least in my head).
So the day before my birthday we had the joy of welcoming my sister, brother-in-law, and 2 nieces into our home. The next day we all had fun rejoicing together because 1) it was Gaudete Sunday (get it? Rejoicing!) and 2) it was my birthday!
After Mass we went out to eat a "birthday" lunch at a nearby restaurant that is completely outdoors (an amazing December concept this "northerner" still has difficulty wrapping her head around...). That evening my sister babysat (what a treasure all of you mothers close to family hopefully never take for granted!) and I went out in public sans baby for only the second time ever since his birth. Michael and I enjoyed our time alone together with a movie date (we saw the second Hobbit movie) then ran inside the nearby grocery store to pick up a 6-pack of beer...because I realized I hadn't had one in over a year. Livin' on the wild side, I tell ya.
When we got home we learned that our son still refuses to take breast milk from a bottle, ate the delicious cake my sister baked for me, drank a beer, and just enjoyed having time with one another.
The next morning my sister drove her husband further south to the place he needed to be for work all week then returned to us for a week filled with sister (and niece/nephew) fun!
Honestly the entire week is kind of a blur but I do know that it was the most exciting week with the most outings in my short life as a stay at home mom. We took my nieces to see some local sea turtles, took a couple successful trips to the mall, played at the beach, and I caught a glimpse of how amazing it must be to actually have mom friends to do things with (especially now that Gabriel is finally no longer nursing every.single.hour of the day).
I could go on and on but the gist is the same: I love love love love love love my family and I feel so blessed to have had such precious time with my older sister and my nieces. It was the best birthday week I think I could imagine at this point in my life (unless, of course, more of my loved ones could have been here as well).
Hooray for birthdays with loved ones and happy memories!
Side note: two years ago on this day (February 12) Michael asked me to marry him! Can you believe how much has happened in two year's time? Hint: engagement, wedding, honeymoon, pregnancy, baby...and living in 3 different states in a 6-month time span. God is good!
"People give one another things that can't be gift wrapped."