Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My wonderful birthday!

Wow...this week has been crazy!

Last week, on Monday, I turned 23. Growing up, birthdays were a HUGE deal in my family. We were allowed to pick the meal for the night, and I (unlike my other siblings, I believe) have never had to go to school on my birthday (except for college!)

Well, this year, I was blessed with an amazing day! I did not have to work (Thank you Lord) but Danny did, or so I thought. I was expecting a fairly normal day at home, with a nice evening out with my husband. A few weeks before, my dear friend Shelbie asked if I could spend the day with her. I was excited to do so, but not excited about being picked up at 8 o'clock! Shouldn't a girl get to sleep in on her birthday!?

Well, Danny and I got up together, got ready, and he left for work. He was overly happy all morning, so I thought something was up. At 8 o'clock, the doorbell rang, and I opened it to find my husband with a big smile, two cups of coffee and muffins for us! Shelbie's getting together with me was just a placeholder for the day, so I wouldn't plan something else!

My wonderful hubby took me to Lancaster PA for the day to spend time at the outlets. I LOVE outlet malls, WAY more than a regular mall. We had a wonderful day, the weather was wonderful, and the sales were great too!

Mid-afternoon, we went to an Amish bakery that he had found for a snack, and we ate dinner on our way home at Smokey Joe's in York PA. I had my favorite dinner of ribs and a baked potato. The day was way over my points - but I decided to write them off for the day and just enjoy my time.

We had a wonderful day - it was a wonderful gift! I got tons of phone calls from family and friends, and was very blessed to have such a great day.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Tribute to Mom

Mom, these are my thoughts and thanks for you, on (or the day after!) your birthday.

~ Mom, I can not thank you enough for the countless hours you spent in the car when I was growing up. Every day for at least two years, you or Dad drove me to school and picked me up, so that I could go to school with Elisabeth, and be in a more comfortable environment. For countless years, you drove me 45 minutes to and from the barn. You usually brought a book, and in good weather, you sat in your lawn chair, or went to the park, while I spent hours at the barn. In bad weather, you sat in the car with your book, so I could spend time doing what I loved.
~ You threw yourself into every activity I wanted to be a part of, supporting me every step of the way. When it was soccer, I could count on you to always be on the sidelines, cheering me on. When it was chorus, you were at every large concert and small performance, even spending the weekend in Pittsburgh with a bunch of kids you didn't know, just to be by my side. When it was the school musical, I could find you every afternoon in the "sweat shop" alongside other moms, sewing our costumes for our big day. For home ec. in 8th grade, when our teacher barely knew what to do with a sewing machine, you came in to volunteer, so we could actually learn something. In 10th grade history, you drove half an hour each way (an extra time) and came to my class with your sewing machine so I could have an example for my "connections" presentation. For dance, you made our skirts, and pants, and helped us shop for matching tanktops, overalls, shoes, everything we needed for what we pictured. In 12th grade, when Elisabeth and I decided for some reason to put on a production with 150 kids from our daycare, you led a team of 4 other moms, sewing uniforms for our production, and helped backstage in so many other ways that day.
~ You showed me your love in so many ways, that you may think I never noticed. You packed complicated lunches for me, because I was a picky eater, and sandwiches just never were my thing. When I had knee surgery my freshman year, you spent countless nights awake with me, bring me pain meds along with applesauce or crackers every three hours so I wouldn't end up in tears, again. Then, for a month, you drove me back and forth to Towson for class, so I could still go and do well. When I busted it again my sophomore year, you drove my crutches all the way to Towson one morning that you didn't plan to, just so I wouldn't have to lose my decent spot and have to "crutch" all the way across the campus. All through college, you edited every single paper I wrote, often at 2:00 or 3:00 the morning that it's due, because I "just didn't have time" to finish before then. You drove things to me at college in the middle of the night, because I forgot them at home over the weekend.
~ You've listened to me vent for countless phone calls. You've heard my heart when I didn't even know what it was saying, and also helped me to recognize when I'm being a brat about something ridiculous! You helped me work through the hardest year I had, between high school and college, when everything around me was crumbling. You've helped me let go of friendships, and pushed me to find new ones, or restore old ones, when I just didn't think I could.
~Last year, you gave me one of the best gifts you ever could. When I fell in love with an extremely complicated wedding dress, instead of the simple one I thought I wanted, you took a deep breath, smiled, and said "We'll make it work!" You spent countless hours looking for the perfect beads for the dress, at an affordable price. You drove all over, read tons of books, and learned how to hand bead, just so I could have the gorgeous dress that you gave to me. Most of these hours, you were alone, and I was in class, or with Danny, or sometimes with you. You found a church and an affordable caterer for me, so I could have the day of my dreams.

I know we had our rough times, (as I believe every mother and daughter do), but you mean the world to me Mom. I see the things you do for me, although I'm sure there are thousands of others that I will never know. The sacrifices you've made, and continue to make, are not pointless. I walk through every day, knowing that I am loved, and my Mom is there, whenever I need her, for whatever ridiculous thing I ask. We've laughed together, and cried together.

I love you Mom, with all my heart. Thank you for the gifts you give me, every day, in the way you love me.