On Saturday night, Jeremy got down on his hands and knees and scrubbed the bathroom floor. He did this for two reasons:

1. We are silly people who put our mop into storage a year ago and refuse to purchase a new one when the one that we have is perfectly good.

2. It was my Birthday Party Day! In this house, on your Birthday and/or your Birthday Party Day, you do not have to do anything that you don't want to do (within reason).

Isn't he wonderful?

Since my Birthday was on Monday, and my Birthday Party Day was on Saturday, I had a wonderful Birthday Week to savor in-between. It all started where you would expect it to start, bright and early Monday morning. "Happy birthday, Wonderful," my husband's deep voice rumbled gently into my ear. "I love you!" When my eyes finally opened, the bedroom was empty, and the sound of the front door thumping closed informed me that my husband had left for work. I smiled a happy, loved, contented smile and let my eyes slowly drift closed, and that is how they remained for the next twelve seconds until Liberty shouted in her room, "GOOD MORNING, MEECEE DANE!"

And the day was off!

Friends and family blessed me with birthday greetings on Facebook and lovely phone calls. Jeremy called me several times during the day just to shout out, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" He sent me several celebratory emails, and when he arrived home from work, he led the girls in a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday to me. Each day of the week brought something new. A homemade card from Liberty Grace on Tuesday, a night off on Wednesday so that I could go to Bible Study with my ladies' group without children in tow, and when I returned home, Jeremy had done the dishes! A special family night out for supper at a local Mexican place on Thursday, and on Friday a hilarious game of Monopoly Cards that lasted late into the night.

And here, I must interrupt my story to tell you a cuter story: While at La Limas on Thursday, I discovered Jeremy's covert operation involving his secret agent Mercy Jane - Operation: Happy Birthday. Anytime I was out of hearing range, he would coach her to shout out "Happy Birthday, Mommy!" when I returned. However, his plan kept backfiring. Whenever I would return, he would whisper, "What do you say, Mercy Jane?" and she would respond, "THANK YOU!" Laughingly frustrated, he would say, "No, what do you SAY, Mercy Jane?" And she would hesitate..."Thank you! DADDY!" After several rounds of this occurring throughout the week, I finally discovered the operation when Jeremy misjudged my hearing distance at the restaurant table. Oh, how we laughed!

Saturday was the day set aside to be called Birthday Party Day, and as such, it had a reputation to live up to. After a lazy morning, we left the house around eleven o'clock, and stopped off at KFC for a picnic lunch. Then we headed for the zoo! I have been wanting to take the girls to the zoo ever since we arrived in Indiana, and finally, my dream has been realized. It is such a large zoo that although we spent three hours there, we only saw an eighth of it, but it was an action-packed, hands-on fraction. The girls petted so many animals that I couldn't even begin to recount them to you. The Ball Python does stands out in my mind, however. At one point, the snake handler glanced at a thermometer and mentioned that it was about 92 degrees, and I had to agree with her assessment. We all splashed in "spraygrounds" throughout the park, but for Jeremy and I that wasn't enough, until finally God opened the skies and it POURED down on us for twenty minutes or longer. Relief! We walked the rest of the eighth sopping wet and wonderfully cool.

We drove home with the intention of changing our clothes and getting a quick nap in before suppertime, but Liberty and Mercy both fell asleep during the ride back. Now, anyone who has had toddlers knows that if you rescue a sleeping child from the extremely uncomfortable contortionistic nap they are suffering through in the car and carry them gently into the house and successfully tuck them into their very own soft and comfortable bed without waking them, once the rescuer takes one step back from the child's bed, said child will immediately terminate any inklings that their systems might have had of taking a nap, and they will bound forth from their mattress with rejuvenated glee. Thereby, robbing all parents from any respite they might have wanted to enjoy.

Luckily, we have toddlers, so we are able to make informed decisions.

We decided to remain in the car for the duration of the napping period, and that is how Jeremy and I joined the ranks of the extremely uncomfortable contortionistic car nappers. The four of us slept in our van, in the parking lot, in front of our apartment building, for a little more than an hour. And what a restful sleep it was! After our refresher, I ran into the apartment, grabbed a change of clothes for everyone, did a little freshening up of myself and ran back out to the van. We then chose a fancy Italian restaurant in town that we had never been to, and indulged in the most exquisite flavor explosions known to mankind.

Sandra D's has become my new favorite restaurant. Replete with luxurious ambiance and what could have been the swelling soundtrack for the movie Return to Me (one of my favorites), our dining experience left NOTHING to be desired. Oh, it was wonderful!

Finally sated, we left the building and performed a lazy family-hand-holding dance to our van. After a waiter and then the chef himself brought Liberty's pink doggie and my black camera out to us, we backed out of our spot and pointed Wynni towards home, but a little orange light began flashing at us.

"A door is ajar." "A door is ajar."

I despise vehicles that state obvious inaccuracies. Everyone knows that doors are not jars. Who do they think they're fooling, anyway?

Both Jeremy and I got out and performed various operations on the sliding door on Mercy's side of the van, but it didn't do any good. As we stood out there, bent over, peering into the bottom door track, the downpour started again with a vengeance. We scurried back to our dry seats inside the vehicle, and Jeremy drove with one hand bent behind him, holding the door handle so that it would not blow open. Thankfully, we were only a few blocks from home.

Whew, this is getting long! I'll make it short. We waited out the storm in our van; Jeremy heroically repaired the door; we put the girls to bed, and then Jeremy scrubbed the bathroom floor.

What more could you ask of a Birthday Week?

But you see, it wasn't over yet.

(Did I surprise you?)


(Because I got surprised, too.)

Last night, Jeremy made Secret Ingredient Crock Pot Roast, Buttered Lima Beans, and his World Famous Mashed Potatoes for our supper. (Don't tell me you've never heard of his World Famous Mashed Potatoes. That would not be right.) He told me it was for my Birthday, but this did not compute to me because my Birthday, my Birthday Party Day and even my Birthday Week were all over. Nevertheless, he insisted that I was wonderful enough to have an extra day of celebration, and therefore he made a special supper for me.

And after supper, he delivered a birthday card signed by Liberty and Mercy and Daddy. It was purple with silver glitter, the words on it said Another year older; Another year hotter, and it sang when I opened it. Of course, Liberty claimed the card immediately so she could dance, and then Mercy handed me yet another present, the DVD of JULIE AND JULIA!

Then we put the girls to bed and sat side by side dunking oreos into milk and playing Monopoly Cards -- wherein I trounced him.
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3 Responses
  1. Suanna Says:

    Happy Birthday week. I'm glad you had so much fun.

  2. Que Says:

    I want to tell you Happy Birthday but I'm a little upset. I know it's not your fault but I didn't get any of the WORLD FAMOUS Mashed Potatoes!!! I'm a little bit upset. It's been a good 48 seconds and I still can't shake it. So I know I'm gonna be upset for a while. I guess i will have to get over it sooner or later. Or he could send me the lovely mashed goodness and I will forget the whole thing!

    Oh, and BTW... Tell your daughter I said "You're Welcome." LOL! I got your message on my blog.

    On another note: Tell you hubby that Starcraft 2 comes out next month (I'm sure he already knows). If he gets it, WE MUST PLAY! :)

  3. Tiffany Says:

    Happy birthday week, Missy!

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