I love the way J walking away looks like a Christmas tree. I wonder if that was intentional. I've had conversations like this.
Speaking of things we don't tell our mothers, remind me not to show her this: http://www.argusleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071126/LIFE/711260317/1004. But at least it's not my fault!
It was a good birthday. Now I'm going to be boring and detail it.
My birthday kicked off with me sleeping in a little bit. Then Robin called to wish me a happy birthday. Then began a shopping period. During the shopping period Lori and Daddy both called (at separate times) to wish me a happy birthday. Mom is sick and refused to talk on the phone. She's been sick for two weeks and seems to be a dreadful patient. Poor dad sounds a little worn down too. Then I bought him a bunch of shirts at Kohls. I think they had a goodly number of shirts he could stand, which was a bonus after his failed trip to Target for shirts last week. Then I went to <href="http://www.lushbeads.com">Lush Beads</a> where I sorta goofed around for a few hours. I did a make a pair of earrings, and I showed off the stuff I bought from FMG. I was showered with birthday greetings when I got there. lizzielizzie told me it was because after reading my post about how I hate birthdays and fuss, she told everyone she could think of that it was my birthday and fuss was requested and required. Thanks, Liz. 8-P
But it was fun. Jean and Bailey gave me a card and warned me that there was a present to follow. Bailey wasn't there for reasons I've now forgotten. Then I went home, reclaimed Hoppie, demonstrated that my super power is functioning normally, and headed off to Cambridge to pick up cousins Eric and Zoe.
We all went over to my in-laws and had a birthday party. Heather and Kevin were dead terrified of Eric. He has "the scary beard." (See pictures. Guess (without using comments!) which one is Eric). I have the leftovers from dinner at the house and totally forgot to bring them for lunch. We had veggie lasagne and white cake with chocolate frosting, which hoppie tried to convince me was mocha frosting: like his mother hasn't met me or something.
I got a stud finder (thanks for the idea, Sissy). We played with it on Christmas because hoppie's dad was dying for a go at it. He's not convinced it's useful yet. We'll see. I also got a shirt, a book on tying Celtic knots (which Brian, my brother, would probably mock because I've barely made a start on quilling, and now I'm into knotting, but it's a continuation of the Chinese knotting I was already doing, yeah, yeah, that's it.), chocolate, yummmm, chocolate, bookends like you wouldn't believe (see pic!), and this: Do you like green eggs and ham? Try them! Try them, Sam-I-Am!".
Looking at the pics above makes me think I probably don't need to upload full-sized images of this. No one needs that level of detail. The only reason I did it was because I've been downloading pics from the website for digital picture frames, and I was thinking it would be nice for that to use the full sized images. Maybe I could just stop using the website like that.
While we were at the in-laws, Brian called to wish me a happy birthday, and I could hear Sissy and Asher in the background. And then Brian, newzie, called to wish me a happy birthday and claim his own birthday wishes. I wouldn't mind being 26 again, but he's not happy with it. I probably wasn't when I turned 26 either.
The next day, I worked from home and took a three hour lunch to go to Mary Chung's with Eric, Zoe, Betsy, Zoe's mom, and Hoppie. I know you're all jealous as hell. It was a hot day. It took about 30 minutes after I stopped eating for my mouth to regain normal feeling. Normally it's 10 minutes tops. Hoppie finally got his Make Way for Dumplings Tshirt. His is maroon. Ironically, I just gave Heather a copy of The Story About Ping that served at the model inspiration for the wait staff. Before you ask, she already has a copy of Make Way for Ducklings.
The conversation was interesting and thought-provoking. Also I learned about at least two presidential candidates I'd not heard of before.
Went home, worked more. Don't remember what I did that night. I think I stopped working at some point so I'm not sure what I did do. Oh, yes, I do. I spent the evening trying to copy pictures to an SD card. I think I broke the SD card. I have to remember to return it. Then after trying a few more things, I gave us in disgust and went to bed.
Woke up at 6. Went downstairs. Went to backup digital picture plan, using one of hoppie's under-used memory sticks. (I might have gone to Walgreens, but they don't open until 8 and I had things to do. Had this failed, that was my next stop.) Took an hour to put on pictures, many of which I downloaded last night. Created a contact sheet/index of pictures. Left that printing while I went off and wrapped, and wrapped, and wrapped presents. Woke Hoppie (8:30). Then tested the card in the camera, added batteries to the remote control, cut the contact sheet which was automatically formatted 4*6 (grrrr) total waste of 81/2*11 photo paper, but I decided I was not going to dwell on that, to printed area size and inserted those in the box, and closed everything up. Woke hoppie (9:15). Finished wrapping presents. Thought about how to transport them. Decided that was hoppie's responsibility. Got dressed. Sat down on the couch to contemplate making a pair of earrings. Stared at beads a long time willing inspiration to come. Then hoppie came downstairs. I told him it was his responsibility to determine transportation. We left the two larger packages loose, but bagged everything else in a large trash bag. On the way down, I grabbed Hoppie's dad's Bourbon off the shelf and wrapped it too. (Just tissue paper around the bottles and placed in a bag.) We gave him a bottle of the 2007 Birthday Bourbon and a bottle of the Old Forester select (read: high octane) bourbon.
We got there just as his parents and Betsy finished breakfast, which is later than we wanted, but it was before the kids got there, so it was good. We had some breakfast while they finished getting ready. We were just finishing our breakfast when the kids, and their parents got there. Then we adjourned to the living room to open presents. Betsy gave out gifts with some minor assistance from Kevin, who has really gotten into the gift unwrapping thing. I mostly took pictures while everyone else unwrapped and then unwrapped at the same time as Betsy which accounts for why there are nearly no pictures of her unwrapping things.
Now I have to remember what I got. I'm not sure all this gift lifting is entirely healthy, but here we go: I got a pink shirt which is lovely. It's soft and well, pink. I love pink. In bookage, I got The Annotated Huckleberry Finn which weighs like 800 pounds, a book on crochet motifs, a Splenda cookbook (because I have a "five pound" bag of Splenda* which I would would like to use more than once a year.), a Crochet-a-day calendar, and collection of silly or stupid signs from Aunt Meredith and Uncle Vern. Also, a AAA renewal, our own vat of Aunt Meredith's delicious butter crunch, sandstone coasters (speaking of things that weigh 800 pounds) from Uncle Sam and Aunt Sandy, and a genuine IOU for one custom-designed, hand-made lightbox, which would have been done earlier, except for "SNOWIEST DECEMBER ON RECORD (so far)". I should scan the note in because it was amusing. I feel like I've missed something, but I don't know what. Hoppie got (amoung other things) a collection of 80s music sheet music, and a musical notebook to compose in. Oh, I know what I've missed. Hoppie bought me some Tshirts and a Mac cooking book program. It's not one of the ones I've tried before, but according to the packaging, it does what I want. I'll install it up and see how it goes.
One of the ovens, the one holding, but apparently not cooking, the turkey broke, so we had a late dinner which was actually nice. It gave us a little decompression time, including time to listen to the Richard Cheese album we bought for Betsy. She LOVED it. She was laughing so hard she was crying, particularly during Jingle Bells. (You win, darocker) and play with the stud finder.
On the way to Barbie's house, it occurred to me that I was content. No mind racing, no dreading people around people, no psychotic preparing myself, nothing like that. I was relaxed and, dare I say it? (Dare! Dare!) Happy. Not like manic happy, on a high, but generally, happy. A comfortable feeling of contentment generally.
This isn't long. Mostly it's told in pictures, but I was more social than usual. The kids are growing up fast, and for like the first time ever, I wasn't the only one breaking out the electronics. Some notes:
Heather's hand-eye coordination is really something. She's so much better than Nyia (who's older than Heather) at Star Pop, it's scary. I've created a monster.
PalmPilots, still very cool with kids, no matter how much more advanced portable game systems get.
Dawn and Armi weren't there or we missed them on account of being so late.
Rum and Ginger Ale isn't bad. This may be the first time I've had that particular combination. Hoppie's dad was giddy that I had a drink at Buddy's. I don't generally. Of course I immediately lost it when I went off to take pictures. Then hoppie got me a new one instead of giving my old one (but the ice was all melted!)
I think that's all I wanted to say.
My coworkers must stop giving me gifts. 1. I feel like a jerk because I didn't think to get anyone anything and 2. I'm running out of space to put them!
Go me! I have officially used all the money in my cafeteria plan!
*It actually weighs more like 5 oz. Splenda is very light-weight. But it's the volume equivalent to a 5 pound bag of sugar.