Intangible 34th Birthday Gifts

As these posts seem to get fewer and farther between, they get harder to write. The ideas are always rolling around in my head, but they don't usually make it to my typing fingers. Actually, I don't know when the last time I've used this laptop was...these days between Faith's activities, Gabby's plea for my undivided attention and Rob claiming that he needs clean pants to wear to work (diva!) I haven't had the time or energy to blog.

But I recently turned the ole 3-4, and there's nothing like a birthday to remind a writer to write before they forget. And here I am with some me time, so I thought I'd talk about what made this year's birthday so special.

Let me begin with my hatred of even numbers. I despise turning even numbers. It makes me feel two years older instead of one. So when this year's even birthday fell on a Monday, it wasn't exactly lining up to be a memorable one.

Still, my family just knows the way to my heart. Below are the birthday gifts I'll treasure long after the flowers are dead (OK, they already died - this post is more than a month after Sept. 19th).

From Rob: As mentioned in the previous sentence, Rob sent me flowers at work. I am not even a huge flower woman, but knowing that your special someone wants to surprise you gets me every time. He could send a loaf of bread and a stick of butter from Hy-Vees Online Aisles delivery service and I would still swoon. But, that's not what hit me right in the feels from him. One night before my birthday I arrived home with both girls only to be greeted by a yappy dog and no husband. In my haze to get out of my work clothes, I went directly to the bedroom and walked right past the giant new painting on the living room wall. Now, some might see the painting as the gift. While it's beautiful, and I love the way it fits with our colors and aesthetic, I was happier that he finally just went ahead and picked something out and hung it up rather than wait for me to make a decision by the time I'm 54 and hang it up a year after that. He took something off my to do list I've been wanting to do for so long and for that, I love the man I married even more.

From Faith: Now here's a girl who cannot sleep past 6 a.m. Most days she comes in our bedroom and I'll tell her to go back to bed, or if it's at least 6:30, she can watch a cartoon. One morning she came in around 5:45 and I told her she could go back to sleep on the couch. When I awoke 30 minutes later to take the dog for a walk, I came out to this picture. The flash ruined it, but essentially I walked out of my bedroom to see a small green light illuminating a 6-year-old girls face. "Faith, what are you doing?" I asked, and upon closer inspection, I noticed that she was reading her children's bible and had been for about 30 minutes. It immediately brought tears to my eyes and I felt like I actually had some cred at this parenting gig. Most of all, it was my chance to learn from her. Reading scripture in the morning is something I want to make a habit of doing. My anxiety tends to run high in the mornings, with everything from doubts about getting to work on time to making sure the girls have everything they need for the day and I think reading would help. My firstborn is setting the example for me!

From Gabby: This little lady has been attending performances at the Rose children's theatre in Omaha since she was an infant. Not alone (that would be weird) but when big sis went, lil sis got to come too. Faith always enjoys staying after the show for the Q &A session with the actors, and has frequently been called upon as she sits in the front row with her hand held high. Well, at the most recent show Gabby decided she wanted to ask a question for the first time. As protector of her feelings, self-worth and toddler dignity, this made me nervous. I envisioned her not getting called on and being devastated, forgetting her question or just completely freezing and not knowing what to do. Well, wouldn't you know it. She raised her hand high, and when the actor called on her, she called out her question. "How did the cow jump over the moon?" loud enough for everyone to hear. My heart absolutely SOARED. This kid is 3. Most of the kids who participate are double that. So my gift from her wasn't going to the show together, but just seeing her with the confidence to speak out in front of her older peers. It's just another one of the little things.

I also have to thank my parents for the thoughtful cards and meals and my sisters for a coffee cup that describes my personality a little too well. Happy 34th birthday to me!

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