Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Best Birthday Ever: A 40th Memoir

Is it just me or does every human dream of having a blog post with the word "memoir" in the title?

My scheming husband devised a plan with my BFF to convince me that she and I were going to take a girls only trip to Glenwood Hot Springs Resort for my 40th birthday.
 I planned this event for 3 whole weeks. I had a shopping list composed of road trip snacks, drinks and I even knew that my BFF didn't want mayo on the sandwich I was going to pack for her lunch on the day were scheduled to leave. 
Two days prior to our trip, Jason and the boys took me out for a birthday dinner at BJ's restaurant where he proceeded to give me my birthday present. A box with my cell phone in it. I thought this was him being clever because he's always telling me not to bring my phone when we go out to eat because I'm always entering sweepstakes. Instead, he quickly sent me a text that was a picture of a flight to Ft Wayne, Indiana beginning on April 20th. The same day my BFF was picking me up to go to Glenwood Springs.
As you can imagine, I was terribly disturbed by the text and the only thing my mind could compute was that I was NOT going on a girls trip to a resort nestled in the mountains with hot springs. Jason captured my reaction on video and I'm refusing to post it because it makes me seem like a spoiled brat. Which I am. But no one needs to actually have physical evidence of that. Finally he said "you're going home to Indiana for your birthday to see your family" and then I  started to tear up. I was still in the throes of brokenheartedness over my anti-hotsprings situation but I had been missing my family terribly and I couldn't wait to get home. Of course I was a miserable train wreck of a person until I landed in Ft Wayne -not because I'm afraid of flying, but because I'm afraid of flying by myself.
When my plane landed at the Ft Wayne airport (I rejected the chocolate chip cookie the kind old lady passes out, but really, they just aren't any good) I exited the building and I immediately knew my sister B was ready to pick me up.
She told me the birthday balloons were for someone else though. I'm just kidding about that.
Our first stop was WalMart where I bought Jason 2 boxes of his favorite Entenmann's Devil's Food Frosted Doughnuts (are you reading this Entenmann's?) and promptly mailed them to him via a medium flat rate box through the post office.
When dinner time rolled around, she and my brother-in-law took me to Adams Lake Pub restaurant.
On our way through the parking lot, I spotted the ultimate kidnap van.
We had a splendid view of the lake from our seat.
I ordered fish and a baked potato in case you were wondering. 
On the drive home I was mesmerized by the sunset. I would pay the sun to set this way in Colorado.
We stopped at Redbox to pick out a movie. And I really do feel that I deserve compensation in some form for this picture.
I was not given any details whatsoever regarding my Indiana stay. Information was divulged to me on a need to know basis. That being said, Friday morning I discovered that B and me had plans to shop at an antique store near her house followed by a surprise lunch with my momma and Aunt G.
This was followed by a trip to a trailer park Estate Park (as they're known in Colorado) to find a garage sale which was filled with toys that were brand new in damaged boxes that were owned by a man with 2 teeth and a broken wrist. We didn't purchase any of the stolen goods. Then we went to another antique shop where we walked around and I got on FaceBook long enough to see that my mom had posted this as her status and I laughed so loud that the store manager gave me the stink eye.
As we perused the merchandise in the store, my mom found this sign and I covertly took a picture of it and then sent it to my bestie.
She immediately responded. "Yes, but I would also get a picture of you."

The only bit of information I received regarding the rest of this day was that I was to bring my suitcase. So I did. 
Eventually my brother-in-law dropped me and my sister off at a hotel where my sister suspiciously withdrew LARGE bags of clothes from a huge Yeti cooler that was contained in the back of their truck. I said nothing but made sure I got a selfie just in case one of the large bags was ever used to collect the remains of my dead body. Is everyone noticing that I drink my coffee straight black now? I'm officially an adult.
B went inside and handled the business end of things and then she and I went up to our room. 
Within minutes, my other family members came pouring in to surprise me. We were having a girls night sleep over. This was the first time I got to meet and hold my new great nephew Seylan. I thought I wasn't ever going to get to see him or hold him until he turned 21.
It took several tries to get him to warm up to a selfie with Aunt Joy.
I was extremely excited to be surrounded by my family. So much so that I stood up on top of the bed to capture the moment.
We went swimming in the pool, had a long conversation about predestination in the hot tub,
  and then we went to the lobby where I got to eat Jim's Pizza. The greasiest, best pizza in the whole U-S-OF-A.
Of course we stayed up late and talked and tried to decide on a movie but decisions are not made easily in our family. Just ask my sisters if they are EVER going to make it to Colorado.
The next morning was Saturday April 22nd. My 40th birthday. I took a screenshot on my phone so that I would remember.
I was awakened by a car alarm that had gone off right outside our window so I used the opportunity to get myself outside for a 40th birthday run. I ran 4 miles, and earned my "Earth Day" activity badge which rhymes with "Birthday" so I really do think it was a scheme by Apple to wish me a happy birthday worldwide without me being suspicious.
42 degrees! 

When I got back from my run, I ate breakfast in the lobby with 2 of my sisters. 
And this is where we saw a stranger that I asked if I could have her picture because I was absolutely intending to copy her outfit.
She totally doesn't think I'm a stalker. 
After breakfast, my sisters B and K took me shopping at my favorite Indiana store: Meijer.
How I managed to not get a selfie in Meijer I'll never know. But I did walk out with 4 shirts, a swimsuit, a pair of running leggings and 1 lip liner. Happy Birthday to me. While we were shopping, B got a call and she said "Okay, we have to go". So we left. Of course I didn't know where we were going. 
We arrived at St. James restaurant in Avilla where I walked into the most massive surprise I've ever encountered in all of my 40 years (this does not include the 3 times I've been nearly kidnapped or the time I tried using a brand new $100 Visa gift card I was given for my birthday just to find out  the transaction was denied due to the fact there was only 40 cents left on it because the number had been stolen).
It was my very own surprise party! An event I made VERY CLEAR to my husband I was NOT to have. But this party brought me to tears. 2 of my college roommates whom I never get to see were able to make it (one even rearranged a family trip to TX in order to be at my party!) as well as my friend Kelly -the longest friendship I've maintained -we've been friends since youth group age and we even went to elementary school together. 
I forgave my husband. This time.
It was then time for my birthday cake to be presented.
Oh. Am I the only living person who has a received a poop emoji cake for her 40th birthday?
My niece Felicia took it upon herself to make said cake. 
It actually did taste splendid and not a bit like poop at all. A minor disappointment.
They brought me my sister's iPad so that I could watch a video of Jason and the boys singing happy birthday to me.
Afterward I could have cried all over again when it was time to say good-bye but I wanted to look good in pictures so I held back.
That's the way to party my friends. 
I completed my birthday with a sleepover at my sister K's house.
The top of the poop fell over in the car on the way.
We sat down to relax and watch Hidden Figures. Excellent movie.
My only picture I got with my sister A in it!
Look at the view through the large picture window at my sister's house the next morning:
On my last full day with my family we went to my mom's apartment in order to reminisce and look through old pictures. My mom made this picture collage board.
Then we watched War Room and and sat in a circle together to sing worship songs that Felicia's husband Daniel played for us on his guitar. 
And K changed a real life non-cake poop.
When it was time to leave to come home my heart was full.
I said good-bye at the airport and could have cried the entire trip home, but my cousin Debbie gave me an excellent book to read which mercifully captivated my attention the entire time.

That's the story of my 40th birthday. And now I'm wondering if there's any possible way it can be outdone. 
Like maybe with a trip to Paris.