I am one of those people who feels that the world should stop turning just a little bit on your birthday. I blame this on my eternal camp counselor party-planning mother, and my gift loving father, together the perfect combination for birthday madness. We didn’t do extravagantly expensive things, or get overly lavish gifts, but we always grew up making a huge deal out of birthdays.
James’ birthday was last weekend, and we decided that instead of just celebrating for one day, why not drag it out for the entire weekend? This meant that all weekend things did or didn’t happen because of his birthday. Birthday milkshakes? YES. Multiple episodes of 30Rock instead of productive housework because it was his birthday? OF COURSE. Getting a Good Stuff burger even though we had just eaten a meal of all his favorite foods? A birthday necessity. (For the record, we both felt birthday sick halfway through and tossed half in the trash. )
On Saturday night, we had a laid back birthday cookout at my brother’s place. I say laid back, because my extroverted self desperately wanted to invite everyone I had ever met and make an entire canopy of bunting while forcing everyone into party hats while they made birthday speeches about James. But I know my introverted husband, and he wanted burgers and a very short guest list. I did sneak some balloons though, because I cannot deny my true self. I also conceded to his desire for peach cobbler over cake. Now, you know how I feel about people who claim to hate cake, but I also believe in letting the birthday person call the shots, so gooey wonderful peach cobbler it was. It started raining right after we took this picture and we had to flee inside, but it was still a perfect evening of friends and food.
For his birthday, I gave James a quilted sham pillow cover from the clearance bin at Marshalls so that he will stop accusing me of stealing his pillow, and give up trying to sleep on the shams. I also made up some lie about his other gift being in the mail. James is really hard to get gifts for because he honestly doesn’t want lots of stuff. Me? I’m actually kind of a materialistic want-it-all, so I can be placated with clothes, pretty things that have no use, books I may or may not read, or specialty bottles of balsamic vinegar. But James wants experiences. He also wants the Pittsburgh Pirates to finally have a winning season, which is why I lied about a gift being in the mail and then shook him awake early Sunday morning with the announcement that he had 15 minutes to get in the car so that we could make it to Pittsburgh for a game.
It was, officially, the best birthday surprise ever. Pretty sure I will have to actually rig the World Series to top it.
If you have been reading this blog for more than five minutes, you have probably figured out that I am not exactly athletic or sports inclined. But I do love this man and he loves baseball, so I love it by association. His day was a success because he watched the Pirates win from awesome seats, and my day was a success because I participated in two full-park rounds of the wave and ate myself almost sick on ballpark snacks. Oh, and it was also pretty successful to spend the day on a crazy trip together. We have come back to a rough week of multiple car repairs, exhaustion, and way too much to do before we both go back out of town this coming weekend. But I don’t regret any of this past weekend. It was indeed the happiest of birthdays.
Happy birthday to your husband!
I found you via the twitterverse and wanted to say hi. I love this post, especially the picture with the birthday candles. Lovely.
Thanks! We were dashing to get it before the rain came in full force, but it was successful! : ) Thanks for stopping in from the twitterverse!
That is the best birthday surprise ever! You get extra wife points for that one. I’m sure he loved it. Glad you guys had such a great time and that the Pirates won!! Also that view of Pittsburgh from the stadium is pretty sweet.
I am planning on cashing in all my wife points for a ballet at some point — have to stockpile a lot for that. : ) The view is the best part! We actually took some pictures so that we can hang a black and white one on our wall because we love the skyline so much.
Great post. I, too, am a huge lover of birthdays…it doesn’t even have to be my own! (Although that is the best, I must say.) So I get you. Totally.
Any birthday is an awesome birthday!!! (Though, of course, I too get pretty pumped about mine.)
I love this. Mostly just how much you’ve embraced baseball on behalf of James. It makes my heart happy. Happy birthday James!
And you of all people understand how much loving sports was a leap from my normal self! Oh the things we do for love…
I so agree on the Universe needing to recognize the vital importance of birthdays. They were a huge deal in our house too, and I’m slowly convincing my husband that everything’s more fun that way. Watching him walk out of our bedroom every year into a living room of balloons and streamers is so fun…it turns him into such a giddy little kid.
This I know to be true: streamers make EVERY situation better.
Years ago our family (with 3 teens, post-teens working and still at home) was so tight financially that we could only buy gifts or do birthday activities as we got paid…so events would spread out over several days… We broke thru the cultural norm of “it having to be on the day” and are comfortable with gifts and activities spontaneously over a couple weeks,,,and no ones offended…so liberating and fun!
Your previous post about soul mates reminded me of a couple truths we learned in marriage class:
“Love is not a feeling… it is an act of the will.”
“If it’s important to you, it’s important to me.”
So beautiful and true!
That sounds like an AMAZING birthday!
Birthday celebrations are a pretty big deal in my family, too. As in, we celebrate till we are done celebrating…be that a month after the actual day because one last gift must be given 🙂
Oh, and way to go Pirate! (We are also a Pittsburgh family!)
Hooray for more Pirates fans!!! AND for celebrating as long as we please!
We, too, believe in birthdays being extravaganzas, but in practice they’re pretty low key. Oh well…the anticipated, excited, totally impossible planning is part of all the fun. 🙂
Planning totally is. And sometimes the extravaganza just means declaring that normal happy things are birthday things if they happen to fall on that day. : )
It makes my heart smile to know that you remember the progression of birthday parties…but with such fantastic kids as you 3 were, what mother would not want to celebrate!
Best. Birthday. Parties. Ever.
This post. This blog. Perfect. Thanks for the inspiration.
You just prompted this Midwesterner to google map DC to Pittsburgh to figure out how far you drove. What a great bday present.
It’s only about four hours, but you do have to go through The World’s Worst Idea, otherwise known as the interchange in Breezewood, PA, which always adds on about an hour and takes two years off your life.
I am a new reader of your blog but I love it. You guys are adorable. My boyfriend loves the Saint Louis Cardinals so I was going to take him to a game on his birthday but plans fell through unfortunately. We ended up at a nice restaurant instead but I’m the same way. I wish we could have had such a nice party. look forward to more updates!
I hope you make it to a game soon! (Although, James just explained to me that the Cardinals are the enemy of all teams trying to make it in baseball… ; ) )
Me too. Birthdays ARE something to celebrate
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