As shared in Tuesday's post, yesterday was my 50th birthday. Even so, I had expected it to be a quiet day. This is because I thought my husband was out of town. Now, before you start crying foul, please know that I encouraged him to be out of town. For a Lutheran cantor, summer affords more time for worthwhile non-parish activities and projects. This July proved to be pretty busy in that regard for Phillip. First, he was asked to serve as musician for a Doxology gathering, a program with which he has had a long association and strongly believes in but that also contributes a few extra clinks to our family piggy bank. Second, it happens that this summer is the occasion of triennial worship conferences for both the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). Phillip was asked to teach a seminar at the LCMS event. He has previously presented at the WELS conference and has many friends and professional contacts in WELS, so I encouraged him to attend that one, too, since it was conveniently sandwiched between the Doxology and LCMS gatherings. I thought it would be an opportunity for him to recharge, connect with friends, and promote Liturgy Solutions on the eve of its 10-year-anniversary. He resisted because to do so would cause him to be away for my birthday. I pushed. He resisted. I pushed some more. Finally, he relented.
Only he didn't relent. As it happens, that crazy cantor had other plans.
This past Friday night we had what I thought was my 50th birthday party. It was wonderful. It did not bother me that it was not on my birthday on the calendar. I don't get too caught up in those kinds of details. What mattered to me was having my family all together. We went out to a delicious meal at a nearby German restaurant, then came home to presents and dessert. And what presents and dessert they were! I received some Estée Lauder eye shadow I've been wanting, both the original and the updated Broadway soundtrack recordings of Pippin (which Caitlin and I saw in New York), some new Birkenstock sandals, and . . . wait for it . . . a voucher for a 3-1/2 hour spa treatment. I was blown away!
See? Blown away. (I actually have no idea what I'm doing in this picture.)
So you can see why, in my mind, I had been sufficiently fêted. Who cares whether it was on the 19th or the 23rd? Not I. Yesterday, on my actual birthday, I woke up to hugs from my children, had a leisurely morning at home, and after lunch went out to do some shopping (my mom wanted me to pick out something from her since she can't shop for me). Then I stopped off at Starbucks for some coffee and computer time. It was while I was there that I received a call from my daughter. "Mom, we were just wondering where you were. It looks like there's a storm coming." I scratched my head a little because Caitlin is usually not a worrier and the weather didn't seem that ominous, but I told her I had one more stop to make and would be home directly. When I got home I went to my room to rest a while, having been instructed that I didn't need to worry about supper.
A short time later the door bell rang. I wondered who it could be, since I wasn't expecting any visitors or deliveries. I headed for the front door, which had already been opened by my children, and lo and behold, there was my husband, arms full of flowers, grocery bags, and cards. !!!!!!!!!!
Yes, I cried.
I was promptly informed that I was silly to think he would not be here on the day I actually turned 50. Then I was told to relax and open cards (solicited and collected on Facebook from many friends and family by the aforementioned husband) and enjoy a kir while supper was cooked for me. Supper turned out to be cheese and crackers, shrimp cocktail, Thai coconut salmon with basil on a bed of spinach and rice, green beans almondine, and strawberry-rhubarb pie. After supper, my dear ones around the table took turns sharing fond memories of their wife, mom, and daughter.
Did I mention the crying?
After a supper that was better in every way than Friday's, I looked at a few more of my Facebook birthday messages while the clean-up crew got busy. Then we settled in for a movie (this one--if you haven't watched it, you should).
Here are a few pictures from my Second Birthday.
Two of my cooks (the bartender also cooked)
The table almost set (many of my readers will appreciate the microscope in the background ☺).
My plate of deliciousness
If you're wondering about the rest of the story, it is that Phillip left Doxology a day early. He got to Oklahoma Tuesday night--Tuesday night! (the little stinker)--and stayed in a hotel. He's not going to Wisconsin (sorry, WELS). He will be here through Sunday, at which point he will head to Nebraska for the LCMS Institute.
My spa day is scheduled for next week, and will include an aromatherapy wrap with a 15-minute scalp massage, a one-hour hot stone massage, one-hour spa facial, and a spa foot treatment with paraffin. I told Caitlin she needed to come and take pictures for the blog (JUST KIDDING).
I love words, and I tend to pile them on, but words and pictures are insufficient to capture the emotions of a day that I will never forget. So let me wrap this up with a nice, pithy cliché (hey, clichés are full of time-tested truth):
(and my family is the best)