But the cowboy WAS competing (and took home a 4th place ribbon in the "In Hand" division), so instead of sushi with Mike & Sara and my kids, I found myself eating bbq and reading a good book in the back of a horse arena. :o)
But even in the midst of Mustangs, Manure and Belt Buckles the size of Rhode Island, I was reminded how blessed I am in the friendship department. Aside from the innumerable obligatory Facebook birthday wishes and dozens of texts and phone calls from friends, family and youth group kiddos:
* The High School girls all left fun little ego-boosting sticky notes on my desk, utilizing the words "best, amazing, favorite, beautiful and fantasticle", and who am I to argue with those adjectives?! :o)
* Lindsay and Parker met me for lunch at Wolfgang's while Kevin was taking his ACT at Lipscomb. Pumpkin Ravioli. Yum.
* Mike & Sara called and sang to me, and you can't not smile when people sing to you. Unless it's strange people singing to you in front of other strange people, like at restaurants, which I hate, but Mike and Sara aren't strange people . . . well, they aren't STRANGERS, and I was quite entertained by the serenade.
* Many of my lovely friends bestowed sweet and very appropriate gifts upon me - everything from organic dark chocolate and cute clicky pens to books and earrings and homemade Cranberry-Walnut Bread (accompanied with a "God story" from Sara M. that made me cry and feel, oh, so special.)
* Boy Jr. gave me a nifty little iPod amplifier and other musical goodies.
* My parents took us out for AMAZING crab legs, (after the weekend) and are gifting me with curtains for the very large, very bare living room windows. (That is, once I find curtains that work with the Texas Longhorn wallcolor. . . like maybe Dallas Cowboy blue.)
* Daughter-face drove down from Indy so she wouldn't miss my birthday. She also brought a big bag filled with jewelry and some strange fabric things she called "PA JA MAS" (I've heard of them, just not quite sure I've figured out how to properly use them!)
* Preceeding the Cranberry-Walnut Bread, was this photo, which Philip brought with him when he also drove to Murfreesboro so he wouldn't miss my birthday! (Or maybe it was because he actually came to see the mustang competition!) Anyway, when he handed me this picture, my reaction was 3-fold:
1) "OOOOHHHH, pictures of the kids!"
2) "OH! They are holding birthday wishes for me!"
3) "Oh my goodness! They got all dressed up for the pictures!"
Let me tell ya, kids just don't get any cuter than these two. They just don't. Seriously.
The birthday is ongoing and will not be considered official until there is sushi. And there will be sushi.
Thanks to all of you for going out of your way to bless me and make my Birthday Week special. Having you as friends is the best present of all.