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