Saturday, January 10, 2009

My 44th Birthday

Well, thanks everyone, for all the birthday good wishes!

It was kinda nice to get a "day off" from posting on my birthday!

It was a nice, low-key day at home. The kids had Schoolhouse Rock rehearsals in the evening, so Papa Rooster came with me to go out to dinner. Because the roads were bad--we got about 9 inches yesterday and another 9 last night!--we decided to just go to Panera and stay there, like I always do, instead of going somewhere else for dinner and then ending up there for decaf coffee by the fireplace until rehearsal ended at 9. He had a sermon to write, and I had a book and my trusty pink laptop, so it was a quiet evening. I loved it.

Not so quiet was my other celebration! But I loved it too:

On Thursday nights, the women of our church try to get together every week at a centrally-located coffee shop. Some weeks we're all there, some weeks just a few meet, but it's been a great way to get to know one another outside of church.

This week, I emailed all the ladies and told them that back in Illinois, it had been a birthday tradition to plan a ladies' night out for dinner in honor of my birthday. I suggested that our Thursday night coffee shop date would be perfect, if they could all make a special effort to come on the same week. And if they could find a few moments to write me an encouraging note, I'd be really blessed.

Well, seven gals were there, with cards, notes, balloons, a cake, and some brought "44's" as well. I got 44 candles on my cake, a 44-chocolate chip muffin, and 88 M&M's! They sang Happy Birthday and then one gal sang it again for me--in Chinese! We talked and laughed till the place closed. A wonderful time indeed.

I got wonderful notes from Papa Rooster and two of my older kids, some perfume, body lotion, a bracelet, a book, AND I have authorization to buy the new blender I've been eying, plus an electric can opener. My 44-year-old knuckles are starting to complain when I use the handheld one, so it's an appropriate gift to myself, I thought!

I'm sure not complaining. Our friend Annie was just about my age. Her memorial service is today, and I wish we could go. Between hating to ask if three kids could leave rehearsal 1.5 hours early, and hating to ask Blondechick's babysitting job if they had any wiggle room in their plans for the evening, and now with all the snow...I guess we're not going to try.

But my thoughts and prayers are with Annie's family and friends...especially her husband, who I know well. We were often on the makeup committee together, since he's an artist and so good at animal faces. He's going to be lost without her. And I can't imagine her kids, losing their mother at 13, 8 and 4.

I think, How would I live my life differently if I knew my time here was coming to an end? I know I would look for extraneous stuff to cut out...I would read more books to my youngest two...I would play more board games with Bantam9...I would have more heart to heart conversations with my teenagers and my husband.

But those are all things I am seriously striving to do, right now. (Okay, maybe not the board games.) But as I think honestly, I'm not sure I really would change very much about the way I do life. Except maybe to hire a cleaning service and a cook, if I could find one!

It's good to know that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing, for now, at least--as God grants me another year.

Onward and upward into it!


Rosa said...

Happy Birthday, Jeanne!

It was my 18th birthday yesterday!

Annie's family will be in my prayers, how very sad.

I'm glad to hear that your day was nice. =)

Bethany said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Jeanne. You are such a special friend and role model in my life! I love you very much. I am thrilled that you had such a great time with girlfriends- women need each other even more as they are required to give more.

I am so sad to hear about Annie, I didn't know her well, but her kids, yes. I am grieved for them, as I know that she will be greatly missed.

Thank you for the note on my blog, that means a lot! much love, bethany

Lillian said...

Happy Birthday Jeanne! Glad you had a relaxing birthday. Thanks for all your encouragement and support on my journey!I appreciate you!

I'm still hoping to make it to Kenosha for a visit...but it will have to wait for you think this snow will stop by May???

Melinda said...

Happy Birthday! I had my 39th today. Glad you had such a great day.

Jessica said...

Happy Birthday!

martha said...

Hope you had a wonderful day. Pray you will have a blessed year!

DebD said...

I've been reading *about* your blog for a couple of years but only visited a few time. Just popped in today and HAD to say Happy Birthday- especially because you are exactly 2 days older than me :)

Hope your day was special.

DebD said...

Ack!! Hit the comment too soon. You're actually 1 year younger (minus those 2 days) *blush*.... its hard to remember exactly which birth year I'm celebrating now that I'm past 40.

Megan (FriedOkra) said...

Happy Birthday a little late. I'm so glad it was a good one for you. I will keep Annie's family in my prayers.