You know it's a good story when I post pictures of myself. Heh. This is me with my best "Um, what's going on here?" look, walking in from the three hour trip home from Cincinnati on Sunday night (just me with the kids, where we endured only one potty stop in a gross gas station bathroom, one fit from the three year old, and one Starbucks stop for a Pumpkin Spice Latte for my reward for surviving the trip solo...). Clearly I grabbed all of the essentials out of the van so I could get the kids to bed immediately - pillows, the Elmo potty seat, and Tess's favorite sleeping buddy (Lord, please don't ever let anything happen to that crazy monkey). It was 8:30pm, and with school the next day, I had directed the boys to head upstairs and get their jammies on ASAP.
But instead of catching Daddy watching Sunday night football like we expected, we walked into a party! My birthday was a couple of days away, and Tyler had been scheming all weekend so he could surprise me when we returned. I thought he was being a little obscure when I asked him what he had been doing with the house all to himself for a couple of days. :)
We waded through a sea of pink streamers and lit candles in the kitchen (and a super clean house, by the way, which gets major points), and made it to the table full of presents (doesn't his wrapping paper pick crack you up?!), cake and ice cream. At first I was a little hesitant - all smart daddies should know that you don't ever mess with a tired momma's planned bedtime routine.
Unless you're throwing her a party, that is. I am totally laughing here because every kid is whining about wanting to be the one to blow out the candle. When you're a mom, that is sort of how birthdays go. Thank goodness for Tyler's sweet effort, because my actual birthday was full of exhaustion and kid drama. For every birthday phone call I got, there were four needy little people lined up one behind the other, waiting to ask me the most important question of their life. I finally just stopped answering the phone because that just meant that everyone might need something all over again. And even though moms try to act like they don't need someone to make a big fuss over them (and busy themselves with doing the fussing over everyone else), it sure is nice to feel appreciated every once in a while. If you look closely, you can see tears running down my face in this picture. Duh. I seriously must be getting old if cried over a dumb pair of tennis shoes. But when I opened them, plus other boxes filled with brand new workout clothes, I didn't see just the neatly wrapped gifts.
I saw a husband who has listened to my words, and who cares about what I care about.
I heard him supporting my efforts to work hard so I can stay fit and feel young.
I felt him encouraging me to take the time to work out, even when I battle the guilt of feeling like I should be doing something else that would seem to benefit my family more as a whole.
I saw shoes and clothes that I would never buy for myself, and felt so loved that he would take the time to figure out just what I would need.
Another year incredibly blessed by such loyal and sacrificial love... noticed in the perfect pair of Nike tennis shoes.