The White House

The White House

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Most Amazing Birthday

I'm going to start right off with the truth: I am dog tired. Exhausted. But I can't go to bed without sharing what a wonderful birthday I had with the most beautiful family ever.

Today was very relaxing and all the things I should have done were pushed out of my mind. I spent the entire day with a smile on my face.

It was a slow morning with a little laundry and a bath for Olivia. Lucas and I drove her to school after which I was going to vote, but had left my purse at home. We came back, I showered, we lingered and then were off. (I have photos, but they are on the internal memory and I am too tired to remember how to transfer them to the memory card).

First stop was to vote. A perfect time of day because there was only one other person there. I've had to stand in line before! Then we went to Fred Meyer for lunch. Lucas likes to get the mac 'n cheese, I get General Tao's Chicken with Fried Rice and we sit on the upper food court to watch the shoppers. I used to do the same thing with Nick when he was three.

Originally I was going to shop for a little something for myself, but I never end up doing that. It's just the way I roll. Lucas picked out a couple of cars from the movie "Cars", we got a new puzzle for Olivia and we got a few things for Grandma Claudia's birthday (which I am late for...that is so me!). We grabbed a few groceries and raced home to meet the bus.

Emily was allowed to ride the bus home to my house and stay until after 8:00pm for my birthday. That really meant a lot to have all my kids here even if it was only for this photo. (The boys left for their basketball game that I skipped to stay with Em).

I am so blessed with these kiddos. (Yes, that is me. I cut all my hair off and colored the grey. The kids prefer it long, but I am loving the no hassle. Feels so free.).

We put some frozen pizzas in the oven and played our new Sequence game. (Lori is always blogging about it so I just had to pick it up today. Of course, it was way too hard for The Wee People, but Em and I included them. There is a younger version for them that we just have to get. All those photos are on the camera, too).

Dad showed up with some surprises. He brought a cake and the kids immediately forgot about their pizza. Emily got me a new geeky bird for my garden. Dad also brought home some new bowls for baking, gloves for chores and a Wii! The dear man does listen even if I think he isn't.

The older boys and I were talking the other night. We have an xBox 360 that does more than you could imagine, but the games are too hard for me. I was saying how I should have gotten the Wii instead (when I got this for them a couple years ago) so the whole family could play together. They, of course, thought I was crazy and really just want to get a PS3! Anyhow, Dad was listening and he brought one home. What a hoot it was.

Look at Olivia's joy and Lucas sharing nicely. I love it!

Our first game was bowling. Olivia and Lucas have never played a Wii. They immediately knew how to work the controls and Olivia kicked our butts with a score of 177 on her first game. Can you believe that?

Then we gave baseball a try. Dad got in on this one.

We also played tennis before Emily was picked up. She'll be back tomorrow after school though! Nick and Elijah returned from their game (lost by 7) and couldn't believe what Homer had gotten me. They played a game of bowling with Olivia and Lucas. The Wee People were winning and the boys were in disbelief. It was so funny. (I'll share my other photos tomorrow).

I don't know what is different about this birthday, but my mind sure did a lot of thinking. I woke up deciding it would be a good day. I smiled even while I was driving. I soaked in my surroundings and my children. I chose to be happy. And I was.

Then I realized that I can chose to be this way every day if I want to. Attitude is a choice. I can let things bug me, I can chose to be grumpy, I can whine about this and that or I can not. Nick always tells me to be happy with what I have rather than unhappy about what I don't have. (Pretty profound for a teenager). But I never listen. I am never satisfied. No matter how hard I work, I feel I should have done more. No matter what the kids do, I want more. Oh, and my poor husband. We won't even go there.

I'm not sure why it took 43 years to finally get it, but I do. I'm no longer going to waste my time wishing and wanting and whining. I am going to chose to be happy. And productive. I know I do a lot, but I also know I could do a lot more. And doing more makes me feel better. If I put a spring in my step it will lead to accomplishments. And on those days that it doesn' will be okay. I guess I've always felt that the "world was going to end" if we didn't do this or that or I didn't have this or that by a certain age. The reality is even if everything were perfect...the house was done, the yard was done...that isn't what brings peace. Peace is being happy where you are at. And when I look back at that first photo of my five beautiful children and I think of my amazing husband I have peace. Just sorry it took me so long to open my eyes.

If this is what birthdays can do for me, I can't wait until the next one! :)


FlowerLady said...

Belated Happy Birthday greetings dear Gayle. It sounds like it was a great day, and we can see that everyone was having fun. I love the pictures, especially the one of you with your kids. I miss your long hair though, it was beautiful! You look lovely and happy and had some great insights about being happy. I'd say it was a wonderful birthday.

Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

Lori Skoog said...

Happy Birthday Gayle! Let me say that you look sensational with that haircut. I thought you were a kid!

So glad that you were able to smile and find some peace on this special day. Our oldest daughter is going to
be 43 in could be my kid!

Thanks for being such a steady reader.

Gail said...

Happy late birthday wishes!

Sounds like yours was perfect.

Bonnie said...

Great post Gayle. It's amazing when it finally hits us. I struggle daily too...serve, serve, serve..seems like it's all I do. In fact I had a breakdown lastnight and just left the house. Went Christmas shopping so I guess I was still productive but feel rotten for yelling and melting down in front of the kids.


Little Black Scrap Cat said...

Happy (Belated) Birthday!! And you look MARVELOUS!!! I absolutely LOVE your hair cut!! I wish I was brave enough to cut mine short like that. I'd love it for the ease of it. But it would be dead straight and I'm not sure I can handle that.

You all look like you had a GREAT day! And Homer bringing home exactly what you asked for, without you knowing it! Love that guy! I'm thinking we need to get a Wii too.

Your insights as to happiness and how we can chose to be happy are wonderful. I need to take your advice and face up to it myself. Some days the challenges are so great and I wish for things to be different. Maybe if I made them different, the rest would follow suit! I'm going to work on that....

Again - Happy Birthday, my friend!!

sue in mexico mo said...

Love the haricut! You look like a teenager!!!

Lisa L said...

happy birthday! i'm so glad you had a lovely day. its always amazing when insights hit you like *that* (snapping fingers..) such a peace comes with coming to terms with stuff and emerging the other side in a good place..

Bethany said...

Sounds like it was a great birthday altogether! Happy (late) Birthday! :-)

Janie said...

Happy birthday! Sounds like the whole family had fun on your special day.
I like your new short haircut. I'll bet you'll love the easy care.

RottenMom said...

Happy Belated Birthday!

Gayle, you look amazing! I love your haircut!

You are so blessed to have such a wonderful family. Your family is equally blessed to have you.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Happy Belated Birthday!!!