Monday, November 28, 2011

Giving Thanks, A rebirthday, and a birthday

I've slept really well the past few nights and I must assume it's from the insanely busy time we've had over the holiday weekend. Wednesday night I stayed home while the rest of the family went to have Thanksgiving with the Captain's family. I worked solid for four hours preparing our Thanksgiving day feast. We had to get up super early Thursday morning. We bundled up, went across town to the university, and volunteered in the children's play area during the BoroDash (a Thanksgiving Day race created by a friend from church). We provided boffer swords and people with whom kids could sword fight. After the race, we came back home, I finished cooking the huge feast (Rosemary turkey meatloaf, lemony garlic green beans, Ezekiel dressing, iced blueberry tea, pumpkin pie from scratch sweetened with agave and stevia, topped with homemade organic whipped cream sweetened with agave), and we were eating by 11:30. We TiVoed the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and Thanksgiving Live on Food Network and we watched those while we let our huge meal settle. Finally, we headed to the playground for some play time. Once we were home, we cleaned the house and started preparing for Hunter's Rebirthday Open House.

The Open House was a bit of a bust. Don't get me wrong, we were THRILLED to welcome our good friends the Schusters and the Trails and a few family members into our home but Hunter was disappointed because a lot of folks who said they were coming didn't show up. It was fantastic to share Hunter's rebirthday with Lydia Schuster and her family... my friends from college who walked the leukemia/bone marrow transplant journey before we did. Friday was the four anniversary of her diagnosis. I tried to get pictures of the kids but it's hard to shoot a moving target. Let me assure you that Lydia is a gorgeous little girl and she is doing very very well. She inspires me so much.

After the open house was over, Hunter and Ronin had some money burning a hole in their piggy banks. They had both been saving for something special... Hunter was saving for the Queen Anne's Revenge (a ship from "Pirates of the Caribbean") and Ronin had been saving for a makeup artist set. Well, Hunter had been selling art on his facebook page, earning money for watching his brother, helping to sell chocolate at the Farmer's Market, and maybe even by just hitting grandparents up for cash. After his grandpa Charles (my dad) left Friday, he had enough to buy his ship and the last figurine that he needed... Gunnar. And Ronin had enough to buy her makeup set as well. Yes, it was Good Friday but we let the kids convince us to take them to Toys R Us and Walmart so that they could buy their goodies.

After Friday, I've decided that I'd prefer to just gloss over any future rebirthdays. Hunter wanted to celebrate and was really excited about it but Ronin had a super hard time dealing with the emotions of the donation/transplant. She seemed to be experiencing a resurgence of the PTSD from last year and that's just not cool. It was a really difficult anniversary for her. And for me... well... I'm still waiting on biopsy results. Waiting for the call is hard for me. Now it's been 11 days since his surgery and not a word.

The following day was my birthday. Hunter, Ronin and I stayed in bed and watched a cool new movie on Netflix called "The Christmas Bunny". We all loved it. Then we got out of bed and started our day. We had a lovely lunch at Newk's where I treated myself to a shrimp Po Boy (shrimp is something that I love love love but never ever eat). Then to the Parent Teacher Store where I finished up Hunter's stocking stuffers. After that, the library where Hunter checked out six of his own books (which he finished up that evening).

And finally, a family hike at Barfield Crescent Park... my favorite place to hike because the long walk is well worth the work: And it's only about five minutes from our house. So it's a place that we can visit frequently and get to know really really well.

I don't remember ever spending my birthday outside, in short sleeves and flip flops. But that is my most beloved state and so I was sublimely pleased to get to enjoy such niceties on my 34th birthday. Of course, the best part was that I was with my husband and my son as well as my other chillens for my special day. God is so good.

So now the Captain and I are both 34. And I looked at a photo of us on our 22nd birthday (or somewhere near that date) and we definitely look better now than we did then.

I spent the evening with my good friend Leslie, her daughter, and my daughter. We did dinner, wine (and sparkling juice for the girls), facials, manicures, pedicures, Barbie movie, and lots of talking. All things good for the soul.

As per my new tradition, I will list my birthday resolutions:

1. Take a class: Improv, sewing, or yoga preferably. I received some money for my birthday which I will stashing away for just this purpose.

2. Complete "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron: I will be starting December 5th. I'll be leading a Facebook group discussion. Join us?

3. Do theater: Some of my intentions for doing theater include... writing the play that I have in my head about childhood leukemia, beginning a drama ministry at my church (this is already in the works), audition a couple more times and just see what happens, and be involved with Hunter and Ronin's theatrical journey. Also, read plays. That is important.

I feel like it's pointless for me to tell you the things for which I am thankful this year. Surely, you already know what they are.

Hoping your Thanksgiving was relaxing, rejuvenating, and filled your cup.

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