Yesterday, I turned thirty-six. We spent the day relaxing, taking a hike, working in the garden, picking blackberries, canning blackberry jam, then out to dinner and a movie with Paul. It was pleasantly normal and exceptionally special, all at the same time, if that makes sense. However, a few days earlier, on the last night that we were all together as a family before the boys headed off to their mom's house for a couple of weeks, we partied it up right.
The kids, particularly Elizabeth, spent most of the morning in the library decorating, then forbidding me from entering.
Elizabeth spent about a month planning the things she wanted to do for my birthday, buying a present with her own money, decorating the library, and making the cake herself.
After the kids surprised me with the decorations and gifts, we headed outside to the firepit for a grilled veggie dog dinner. The skies were threatening all day, but we had just enough time to grill our veggie dogs before the rain started.
Homemade ketchup and mustard on the red picnic table makes me smile.
Before we had a chance to eat the delicious angel food cake with strawberries and fresh whipped cream that Elizabeth made, the rain started in earnest and we had to retire back to the kitchen for dessert. She cut everyone generous slices, of course, and we stuffed ourselves with a little taste of summer.
Paul outdid himself, as usual, and bought me a juicer that I'd been eyeing. We've thoroughly enjoyed fresh juice multiple times a day ever since. He also bought me a 5 qt cast iron stock pot for camping, along with a tripod for hanging it over the fire. The kids were so excited about our new "witch's cauldron" and can't wait to see what "witch's brew" we concoct on our next trip.
I also received a handsome stack of lovely books, a knitting book from Elizabeth, an ice cream recipe book from all of the kids, and a lovely cookbook, Home Made Summer, that Paul knew would be a hit just from the lovely photos inside. I also received a little book that I saw on Ginny's blog. A Line A Day sounds like manageable journaling and I can't wait to look back over the years to see the previous year's entry as I'm writing.