Ten years ago last week, before the advent of Facebook (can you believe it?), I tried to cry in secret as I drove through the canyons between Colorado and Utah with a work colleague. No one had remembered, and possibly rightly so: I had spent most of the year working furiously on a start-up non profit (www.ConSource.org) at the expense of most things, including relationships.
Facebook always makes birthdays wonderful, and I had a few family members and friends text or call, yet no one physically present in New Hampshire did anything special for me on my birthday - we are too new here in New Hampshire for anyone to know, and Lance was traveling (his present came last month in the form of a trip out for my ten year law reunion last month - pretty great present!).
Yet unlike that difficult canyon drive, I had one of the best birthdays ever last week.
The secret lay in my attitude. I planned the day with care, filled and focused on the things I love.
I got up quite early (as is my habit), and got all of my work out of the way and took care in getting ready, dressing in new (to me - they were all purchased at second hand stores) clothes that I love. I then made a breakfast I would enjoy - bacon, French toast, and roasted parsnips.
After dropping Lance off at the airport, I drove through the beautiful New England fall colors to Charmingfare Farm. This was a farm we looked at on a map before moving here, complete with its petting zoo and year-round events and shop and thought it and the name quaint.
As the name implies, in real life it is very charming. It's a bit more than a petting zoo. It is a beautiful, tranquil place filled with beautiful vistas and many rides and things to do for the children.
The best part was that they were closed, but allowed us to enter for whatever change I had on my person because it was my birthday. We loved having the place to ourselves. We got on every "ride" and saw many animals, though I don't think we even saw half before settling down for lunch by their quaint ship play structure.
As we explored, I was particularly grateful for my kiddos. I spent a decade wondering when I would be able to have children. Now I have two healthy, beautiful babes. I had always dreamed of having 10 as a teenager, but am just grateful for what has been given me.
I was also grateful for the beauty of the day - clear, crisp, but not too cold, and the colors and surrounds were breathtaking. My heart was full of gratitude for my mid-air husband, wonderful children, interesting and compelling work opportunities, and the promise of our new life here in New Hampshire (I have been able to say goodbye to London - post forthcoming).
Later, I spent nap time doing things I enjoyed rather than working - I finished Alice in Wonderland (the first book of a classics book group I'm helping to start in Hopkinton), napped, and watched an episode of "Call the Midwife" while I ironed Esther's dresses (yes, I love ironing vintage baby clothes!).
After the kids were down for the night, a neighbor came over to listen for them while I snuck over to Barnes & Noble for a book signing by Anne Romney. I missed her talk - Gideon took too long to get to sleep - but caught her and chatted for a bit about the campaign, my wonderful cousin and her daughter-in-law, and the granola recipe she loves and survived on during the campaign that actually comes from my mom. Then I took my newly signed copy and read it in the café while sipping peppermint tea and eating pumpkin cheesecake.
There was no birthday cake and no fuss made over me, but I went to bed contented and extremely happy - I had created my own wonderful birthday, and was grateful for all of the heavenly gifts in my life.
|he got into every single car and said "A big can!"|
More pics from Charmingfare Farm from the birthday trip.
|G called the Llamas "mammas," and eventually just called one "daddy" and the other "mommy"|
* Gideon's prayers include being grateful for trains in at least four different ways - train song, trains, Thomas the Train, and train shows. At least he's specific!
* Overheard in the living room: "Wow, that's crazy!"
* Gideon's latest explitive: "Oh my goodness!"
* After ascending our steep antique external staircase by himself, Gideon said, "That was hard."
* On the way to church, Gideon said, "Mamma looks great!"
* Esther is really good at mimicking words and, one time, a phrase. At Charmingfare, Esther even mimicked the lambs - I could barely tell the difference between bleets.
* Esther is not only standing, she is scooting along furniture like a pro!
* Esther will play games whenever she gets a chance - peek a Bo and putting all toys on her head (one time I showed her how a cup could be a hat and she could balance it on her head) are favorites.