Thursday, December 3, 2009

My Best Birthday Yet

Tuesday was my birthday.

This year, for the first time in recorded history, there was no hoopla. There were no packages to open and no cake.

Believe it or not, that was my choice.

Instead of gifts this year, I asked my husband if we could travel to see my parents at Thanksgiving. So, that was my present.

We stayed in New Hampshire for an entire week, taking two days to drive each way. (Hence the reason for my silence here at Midwest Moms.)

And it was wonderful.

The whole family had a fantastic time. We went candlepin bowling and hiking. The weather was unusually warm, so the kids and their cousins spent plenty of time rock climbing and exploring the woods behind my parent's house.

There were chores, too, to be sure. After all, there were sixteen people in my parents home, so someone had to clean the bathroom! But we also stacked wood, baked pies, my husband did some woodworking for my dad, and we helped with heaps and heaps of dishes.

It was a delight to spend the time with my Mom, especially. But we also enjoyed sharing our family with my brother's and sisters' families for an unprecedented second time in one year.

We made our way home on Sunday, pausing only to let the kids play on the expressway when we were caught in a 1-hour traffic jam (I-70 Westbound in Ohio, if you must know... exit 132.) Fortunately, our fellow drivers also unloaded their kids and the weather was brilliant. The couple in the SUV in front of us even had two little dogs that knew dozens of tricks. It was like a pet circus right in the middle of the interstate.

After that hiccup, we made our way home easily, arriving right on time.

So, when my birthday actually came, I was content to ooh and ahh over the home-made cards my children had made and relax with a strawberry margarita at our favorite Mexican restaurant in the evening.

A day without dishes was the icing on the (non-existent) cake. We bought our children some sweets at the restaurant and called it a night.

Still, as I look back, I feel satisfied. The trip made it undoubtedly one of my best birthdays yet.

(Now... to get started on the holidays!)

- Midwest Mom

8 comments:

  1. What a wonderful way to celebrate! Sounds like you had a great birthday, now time to focus on Christmas and New Years. Hope those are as much fun for you and your family.

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  2. What a treat. Glad to hear you had a wonderful birthday.

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  3. Oh, that sounds like a great way to spend a birthday! I think special "experiences" are better than "gifts" any day. Happy belated!

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  4. Glad you had a good one! I never do presents either..I just put my hubs to work instead!

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  5. You were half an hour from us in that traffic jam. ;-) What a mess, but what a fun memory for your kids.

    Your trip sounds fabulous. I'm very jealous of your close extended family. That's what I'm hoping for for my children.

    I'm glad you got your perfect birthday wish.

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  6. Sounds absolutely perfect. Happy Belated Birthday to you.

    -Abby

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  7. Sara -- I'm hoping so, too. I usually get so much holiday 'work' done over the Thanksgiving holiday. (Like the cards?!?) Now, I feel behind. But it was *so* worth it.

    Laura, Lesley & Beth (MM) -- Thanks for the good wishes! You're right. A birthday without presents was actually easier on all of us. (And more fun!)

    Mom24 -- You know, I thought of you when we were stopped on the the expressway and wondered whether there was a chance your family would be on the road too. Most of the people stopped around us were from the Columbus area. Thanks for the birthday wishes. :)

    Abby (SB) -- It was. Thanks.

    Hope you all have a great day!

    - Julia

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  8. Well many happy returns of the day--I'm glad you got such a lovely present!

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