A Birthday Tale in Four Parts



My birthday is coming up. This particular birthday is a difficult one, by far the most difficult I've had so far, for various reasons. I tell myself that it is only a day, like the day before, there is nothing special about the day in the cosmic sense...

And still, I struggle.


We have a rule in my family, and by "my family" I mean "all the incarnations of my family," that you don't buy anything for yourself in the month before your birthday, nor do you buy anything for yourself after Halloween. You can express desire for items, but the purchase is left to your loved ones to gift to you on the oh-so-auspicious holiday.


Birthday party with Mom!


Mom and I celebrated my birthday today. She told me about the surprise party she had planned, how both my brothers were going to be there, and how Kris was going to fly in, and Sam and Jackson were going to be there, and how everyone was going to meet up at a sports bar where we were "waiting for Eric to come over after work." My nose flushed and I, once again, started crying at just what I had messed up by not flying out. Stupid stomach flu / food poisoning / sympathetic pains!

This evening, to celebrate, I made Mom (and Andy who came over - yay!) chocolate souffle, as I had, to my surprise, never made a souffle for her, and she was craving chocolate cake. I have to say that tonight's souffles were probably the best I'd ever made.

While various parts of dinner and dessert were cooking, Mom asked me if I wanted to celebrate my birthday exactly now, and open up the various gifts she brought with her. Gifties? Sure!

She handed me the first one from Eric, which was, I have to say, a little rumpled from the travel.


Giftie from Eric, at Mom's house


Giftie from Eric

To Kris' completely honest statement about his wife being a shaker, I shook the box. I noticed it looked smaller than its before picture from earlier this week. Wondering if I mis-remembered the picture she had sent earlier, I felt the box's shape, tested its indentations, sniffed it, and, just to make sure it was really mine, licked it. I then started to open it.

As soon as the box was exposed, I started laughing. Mom started to say something, but I was completely incapable of answering, as I was laughing so hard at the box. Yes, it was smaller than the before picture, because it was cut in half:

Half a box!

When I pulled out the gift, I noticed I had one of a pair of earrings. "It's a pearl earring," I said looking up at Mom, who was sitting there smiling ear to pearl-earring'd ear. She tilted her head and my new pearl earring's twin flashed on her ear. "Yes," she answered.

Eric had given Mom and me matching earrings. Mom often wears singleton earrings of matching styles, a single pearl possibly being a singleton. The earrings were different than any other set she has. I pulled out the alcohol to clean my ear lobe and the earring stem, received a lesson in pearl care, and popped the earring in.

I have to say, we are quite the matched set.

My earring from Eric

Our earrings in our ears!

I love this picture of us.

Mom and I may have to work out a timeshare on the full pair, but for the moment, when I wear my earring, I'm going to think of both the wonderful woman wearing its match, and Eric for the reminder of how amazing she is.

Thanks, Eric!

Danger turns 3, begins jump house domination



Danger, er, Alex turned three today. To celebrate his continued, non-stop march toward complete world domination, he mind-jedi'd his parents into renting him a jump house. Of course, he didn't jedi just jump house, he jedi'd a jump house so large that not only is it better than my house, but also visible from the space shuttle flying by in orbit.

My plan was to show up after all of the sugar was consumed by the small people running around, then swoop in and play with them. My plan failed when Katie let me know there were cupcakes left, and I should partake.

Partake I did. Damn and dang, those cupcakes from Kara's Cupcakes are amazing. My mini cupcake lasted as long as it takes to blink twice. Fast. Which is to say, I hoovered it.


I was able to chat with Pickett and fam today, which was awesome. Doubly awesome was getting to meet Jesus. Sophie is incredibly cute. Pickett commented that she has a very outgoing personality, willing to say hello to every one. After learning "stranger danger," I think Pickett should start grooming her for politics. With her looks and personality, she'll go far.



Best birthday gift


So, today is my birthday.

Right. Not something I usually go around saying in a public place. Hey, everyone, I share the same birthday (day, people, not year) as John the Baptist! Nearly the best day every to maximize present distribution (the best day theoretically being the 25th, or six months from Christmas), but not for maximum presents (since school is out, and birthday parties less well attended).

Today is the my first birthday in ten years that I haven't spent with Kris.

That's the downer.

The upper is that this is the first birthday in 20 years that I've spent with my dad.

And that's the BEST gift a girl could receive.



11:38 Kris McQueen:

that's your shriekenade

11:38 Kitt Hodsden:


Birthday ice cream, number 1


Since I won't be around here for my birthday, Kris allowed me to have a small birthday celebration tonight. Andy came over after practice, as did Mark, Megan, Mirabelle and Meter. We ordered in food. Andy and I went to pick it up. After consuming, we all drove California Carpool style to Coldstone for ice cream. My birthday ice cream.

I (unsurprisingly) brought my camera. After walking into Coldstone, I lifted up the camera and said, "Smile!"

This is what I received in response:

Megan? Quick on the draw.

Andy? Not so much.

Mirabelle? Well, she knows how to smile and laugh. Oh boy!

The whole trip was fabulous. Like Coldstone would ever be anything but fabulous.

I licked it





Kris missed practice today. He's been working brutal hours for the last month and a half, and let me know he wasn't going to be at practice tonight either. I dropped Mike, Kate, Liza and Maeryn (hmmm... need to start calling that girl Maen, so that she has a four letter [nick]name like the rest of the family) off at the airport, drove to the office, and tried very, very hard to get the work done that I needed to get done.

I soon discovered there's a reason Mike is always stressed.

He has too much work to do.

We need to raise our rates. Clearly if we're this busy, it's because we're not charging enough. This level of work is insane for one person, much less the work of two for one person. Crazy.

So, late afternoon, my brain was fried, and I needed to leave if I was going to make practice on time. When I arrived home, I was too tired to do much more than wander to my bedroom to collapse and sleep for a couple hours. As I was collapsing, Heather (recall: best roommate EVER!) asked me if I was going to practice. She had the choice of heading to practice and play ultimate, or go a running workout, where she would just run, run, run. What fun is that? Running without a disc? Bah.

She rallyed me from my near-nap, and off we went to practice. The team was working on a horizontal stack. Contrasting to the previous three practices combined, I touched the disc a lot in the scrimmages at practice and had a really good time. I didn't think the stack explanations were so great, but I did okay, past experience clearly helping.

The biggest help, I think, was the iron supplements I've been taking. Instead of thinking, I. am. so. out. of. shape, I was able to work on ultimate, instead of noticing my legs, my lungs, my chest. Absolutely wonderful to be able to concentrate on the right things.

Kris was home when I returned. We dashed out to Hawaiian BBQ for dinner (Mmmmmmmm!), and went back home to eat. At the restaurant, Kris noticed I wasn't wearing my rings, and commented on them. I replied they were on my desk, I didn't want to play with them on, and the desk is the approved location for my rings when I remove them at home. I thought the question odd, as he removes his ring, too, but hey, I was spending time with him, he wasn't at work, so, yay!

After eating, I told Kris actually, I had to work, expecting him to be working this evening, so I committed to some work. He said, okay, did I want to work in the office? Nah, I wanted to be near him. Okay. So, I started working in the livingroom, and he watched TV for a bit. After a while, he said he wanted to play his (computer) game, so I stood up to move to the office.

When I opened the office door, the first thing I thought was, uh oh, something plastic has melted. The room smelled slightly of plastic, and my fear was the room was too warm during the day and something had melted. When I turned on the light and looked up, however, I realized just how wrong I was:

First thing I did after screaming and thanking Kris for it?

I licked it.