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I never liked celebrating my birthday -  and no - not because I was a year older, or because I had less time left to do the things I wanted. Every year brought challenges, triumphs, happiness and sorrow, and I took it all in stride. The reason I never liked celebrating was because it was an obligation for others to show up, bring gifts, and say toasts - and that always made me uncomfortable.

This year was no different, but this time I was upset. My oldest daughter was going on her first business trip to Nashville, TN. She felt bad and was sad about it, but I brushed it off as no big deal. My middle daughter was starting a special course on Saturday and Sundays at 8:30 am.  Even though she said she would drive up just for dinner, I insisted she didn't as it would be exhausting.  

The night before my birthday I sat at the dinner table with two kids missing – I was sad. I was looking at my baby girl sitting in front of me, babbling about her college acceptance letters, and thinking to myself, where did the time go? When did this all happen? I'm going to be 45 tomorrow. Just as I was thinking how depressed I'm going to be tomorrow with half of the table missing, the back door flew open and a head perked up asking if we she was too late for dinner.  

Shocked, speechless and shaken up I was holding Stephanie in my arms as tears streamed down my face trying to ask what happened with her business trip. Why is she here? As she sat at the table telling me that it was a "set up" and dad was in on the deal, I felt special and happy. Both of them made up stories and fed me white lies just to pull this off...

As we returned to the table, I couldn't eat. When one is so happy, who needs food? About fifteen minutes went by and Stoli began to bark. We heard someone knock on the back door, and before I could ask who it was, Daisy appeared. By then I was bawling.  As I sat there looking at my now complete table, I knew that this would be the best birthday ever. Little did I know...

The next morning I was told to vacate the premises. Steph was in charge of my day. She took me to a spa, lunch, shopping, and when I begged to come home, she called her brother who instructed her that it would only be possible if I walked straight upstairs. After arriving in my bedroom, I was told to take a nap and not worry about anything. Stephanie mentioned that she may not know how to cook well,  but she could make a killer "take out" meal.

At 7:30 I walked downstairs and was stunned - the table was beautifully set. There were so many flowers all over the house that it was eerie. My son and his best friend who grew up in our house were cooking up a storm in the kitchen, and from the amount of table settings I knew it wasn't going to be just "us".

I knew my mom was coming, she wouldn't take no for an answer, but what I didn't know was that she was bringing our kids nanny – a woman that helped me raise my kids while I worked grueling hours.  

Amanda

Amanda is a special person in my life, so the minute I saw her I felt tears streaming down my face, a pattern that followed through out the night.  


Amanda  

Through tears I saw my best friend Julia, her husband and all of my other friends that reside near me.  


As we sat down to eat this incredible feast, I got up to say a toast. Everyone at the table was patiently waiting as I sobbed through my speech. Having my children, my family and friends at the table made me so happy. Right there and then I knew that it did not get better than this. That’s when I had an epiphany....this table is only going to get longer and noisier in the years to come.  That's when I raised my glass and said, “Hell yea! I'm 45 and I’m just getting started.”

Cheers!!!!

All my kids and few more that consider me their mama.

Here is a link to more pics 

p.s. BIG THANK YOU to everyone for the wishes, cards, gifts and hugs.

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