I can't believe it is almost 2011. Wowzers. 2010 was a great year, and the last two weeks will be weeks to remember.
Let me rewind.
Brett said his birthday was perfect =-) I felt a little wah-wah, because we didn't go anywhere grand, but since we are pretty laid back people, he wasn't disappointed. The bummer for him was that he had to work on his birthday, but it was SUPER helpful for me because it let me finish up his final present.
So. He turned 40, right? That's a big one! How can I not make a big deal out of a 40th birthday? But his birthday is December 23, and it's just a busy time of year for people. I started thinking months ago about what I should do for his birthday, and I really wanted to have a party. But with all of Brett's best friends living a good distance away, I felt like the only way to have a party would be to have it early... like pre-Thanksgiving. And even then, I couldn't guarantee all of the key players being able to come. When Scott's son passed away in October, I nixed the party idea. I just couldn't ask people to travel during such a crazy time.
So here is what I ended up doing: I knew that what Brett really wanted was the birthday recognition. For people that he loves and that love him to say "Happy Birthday Brett". So last Sunday morning was the first birthday surprise. I sang in our church's Christmas program, and we had to sing in the 8:45 service last Monday. Well, Brett and I don't go to church until 10:00, so I had a window of time to work with. I told Brett that I had to be at church at 8:00 (I didn't have to be there until 8:30) and I snuck out dishes to my car while he was still in bed, and then headed to Kroger to buy breakfast. I had bought decorations on Saturday after Weight Watchers and just left them in my car. So I went from Kroger to church and unloaded my car before we sang. Then after we sang I went up stairs and decorated the room, laying out breakfast for the class. I hung streamers from the door, so as soon as we walked up the stairs Brett saw them and said "Hey, who else has a birthday?". It was great =-) The class enjoyed breakfast, and everyone got to tell him happy birthday.
Surprise number 2 was lunch with my family. We love my family. We also love the burgers at Pappa's Brothers BBQ. They are the best in town, in our humble opinion. So mid-week I told him I had a craving for a good burger, and as luck would have it, my entire family was free to meet us there. So that was fun! My parents gave him a little birthday money and the Throwdown cookbook, which he was SO excited about!
That was it until birthday. My final surprise, other than his presents, was a birthday book. Since I couldn't throw a party, a few weeks ago I sent an email to tons of his friends asking for birthday wishes. Wow. He has amazing friends. They totally came through. Most of his best friends, and lots of good friends, and all of my family of course, sent the sweetest messages. I had pictures printed of everyone who sent messages and printed all of the messages in fun fonts and put them in a book. It is nothing fancy, but he said it is the greatest gift he has ever gotten. It made him feel younger =-) I had long lunch breaks on Tuesday and Wednesday because I opened and closed the school, so I worked on it then, and then I got up on Thursday at 6:40 when Brett left for work. I was finished by 11:30.
Other than the birthday book, I gave him 3 graphic novels that he wanted, a book of our favorite graphic artist's sketches, 2 movies that he wanted on Blu-Ray, 2 Dr. Pepper t-shirts and 2 Bill Cosby cds. The cds were kind of random, but I bought them because when we had satellite radio, Brett always had the comedian station playing on his way home from work. It wasn't worth it for us to pay for satellite, but I thought he might miss the comedy. Bill is his favorite, so I got him a couple cds.
When he got off work Thursday, he opened his gifts (all except the book) and then we went to Joe's Crab Shack for lunch. He wasn't thrilled with his meal. He chose a seasoning for his crab that ended up not being a winner. We had talked about going to see Tron, but he was pretty tired, and it came up during lunch that there was another gift at home, so we headed home. He opened his book and loved it, and then we had some ice cream cake. He has always wanted an ice cream cake, so I got a little one at Baskin Robbins. We finished it last night! Then later we picked up his fav for dinner: Hooters Hot Wings. And that was that.
Christmas was awesome. My dad's side of the family always gets together for a big dinner on Christmas Eve. This year my sister Melanie was the hostess. The kids had a blast! The adults (as in my parents, aunts and uncles) draw names and buy gifts for one person. The kids (as in my sisters and cousins and me) bring a $40 gift card and a $10 movie and do a gift exchange. And everyone buys for the grandkids. When I was a kid, it was SO fun to open that many presents. Now that I am grown, it is SO fun to be able to provide that feeling for the kids in the family. I love it.
Christmas day we slept in and went to my parent's house at 11:00. We opened presents and ate a light lunch. Then we headed to Brett's mom's house to open presents with her and have light lunch number 2. Haha. Last night we just rested. Brett played Epic Mickey while I sorted through my gift cards and made a list of where I wanted to shop and what I wanted to buy. I am about to head that way. I think one load of laundry today will be sufficient. Brett has decided to stay home and not shop today, but I feel like I can get a LOT done in a couple of hours, so I am still going out.
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with people they love. Mine was ridiculously blessed. One last time... Merry Christmas =-)