Saturday, May 1, 2010


What a day! I never saw it coming... I thought we were just going to the park for a playdate.

My mom and step-dad stopped by yesterday for a visit on their way to Shelton, Washington to get some more of their stuff. They have a house there, which is being sold to his oldest daughter. They now live in Olney, Montana, and have been slowly moving their belongings to Montana for a couple of years now. This trip was one of many to take back a load.

They stayed the night with us, it was really nice having my mom here for even this short time. I miss her, and am grateful to be able to talk to her on the phone almost daily. Seeing her and being able to give her a hug was wonderful to me.

Tiffany told me that Michelle wanted to meet with us at the park for a playdate, so they could see their grandparents before they left for Washington. It seemed like a fun idea to me, I didn't think anything else of it. I asked if Bridgette and her family would be there too, but Tiffany told me Bridgette had already made other plans. Danny had already told me he was busy. Tiffany also told me that Michelle had chosen this particular park in Hillsboro, because she did not think it would be crowded.

The playdate included lunch, so Tiffany made a chicken Alfredo lasagna that I could eat. Michelle was to bring the vegetables. Again, it seemed normal to me. We loaded up the kids and food and headed for the park Michelle had chosen.

When we got to the park, I looked around for Michelle. I saw her coming towards us from the gazebo. It looked like a birthday party was set up and I thought "Oh no, I thought it wouldn't be crowded. I wonder if they were able to get a table for us?"

Then Chloe took off for the play structure and I chased after her. After I retrieved her, I turned around and saw Michelle again, carrying her youngest son, Jamison. As I approached her, I heard some people yell "Surprise!!" and I thought, "that's cool, somebody got a surprise party", but the voices were familiar. Then I saw my

sister Judy, and

my son Danny,

and Bridgette. I recognized Casey's voice in the "surprise!" I looked around. Then it hit me.... the surprise was for ME!! I thought, "These stinkers,they didn't tell me they were going to be here. Mom will be so surprised!" Then I thought, "They are going to have to hide again when she comes up, so they can yell 'Surprise!' to her."

At this point I thought they were all together to surprise my mom for her birthday. My birthday is the day before my mom's. May was always a crazy month for my family. My sister's birthday is May 4th, mine is May 6th, and Mom's is May 7th. Growing up, we either celebrated my birthday with Judy's on her birthday, or mine with Mom's on either mine or hers. I honestly didn't know when my birthday was until I was about 10 or so! I just knew it was one of those days in May.

I looked around for my mom. She was still in the parking lot, having just found a place to park their truck and trailer. I started towards her, then thought I should just wait until they came over. I was still thinking what a happy surprise it would be for her and how special my kids were, that they would plan a surprise party for her.

I walked over to my sister and gave her a hug. She said "Happy Birthday!" and then it hit me. This party wasn't for mom, it was for ME!

I feel rather dense. I didn't catch on right away. They had to show me the "50's" that Katherine made with construction paper for her grandma. I was stunned. I started to cry. This was the best birthday I have ever had.

I also feel very grateful. I have the most incredible children on the earth!! At least that is how I see it. Even Bobby, who hates family get togethers was there.

The table was spread with foods I could eat. Even the cake was gluten free. Did you know Betty Crocker makes an incredibly delicious chocolate cake mix that is gluten free? We found it at Winco right before Tiffany's birthday. Danny baked and decorated the cake. Michelle put on the candles. It seems Bridgette didn't have candles so she called Michelle to see if she had 50 candles or a "5" and a "0". Michelle only had candles that looked like crayons and pink stripped ones. So, she placed the candles on the cake to make "50". It was perfect. It was made with such love.

On top of everything else, they gave me a food processor!!

I had a wonderful afternoon. My family that I love so dearly was all around me. It would have been perfect had Chris, Crystal and Kullie been there too. I was sorry to see it end, to say "goodbye" to Mom and Clay, who headed off to Shelton. Then to Michelle, John, Katherine, Andrew, and Jamison. Last I said my "goodbye's" to Bridgette, (Adam couldn't make it), Danny, Bobby, Casey, Daphne, and Eric. My heart is full. I feel joy in my family.

HAPPY 50TH BIRTHDAY TO ME!! It is one I will not forget. I love you guys!!

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