I had a birthday last week. I am now forty-three. What a year it has been! My hope for this year was that by my birthday we would be living in Colorado in our very own home. It didn't really seem possible at the time, but I still hoped. Hope. What a beautiful word.
I decided I wanted a Boston Cream Pie for my birthday cake this year, especially after I saw that Megan at High Altitude Bakes had posted a recipe for one. Mmmm...cake, custard, and chocolate. What's not to love?! There wasn't a crumb left. The boys indulged me and ate off of my vintage dessert plates. Emma was thrilled and even "made" and brought to the table her wooden Melissa & Doug Birthday Cake and shared a pot of tea with me. So cute!
It has become a birthday tradition of ours to go out for an Italian birthday dinner at Mazzola's in Old Town. White Bean Hummus, the best Fried Cheese Sticks and Marinara anywhere ever, a large Walkin' in Memphis Pizza (topped with bbq chicken and apple butter), and this time, the Roasted Carrot Ravioli with Baby Spinach, Carmelized Onions, and Toasted Walnuts in a Butter Sage Sauce. Wow.
I ate real good on my birthday. :)
But even better than the good food were the sweet notes, cards, facebook messages, and gifts that I got from the most special people. I got dragonfly garden lights (eep!) to hang under the kitchen deck for our someday pizza-oven-under-the-stars-patio from one friend and an adorable knit Mickey Mouse (exactly like the one I saw and desperately wanted at DisneyWorld last year!) from another friend. (You'd think they KNOW me or something.) I am truly blessed.
I treated myself to a couple of balls of yarn for a warm winter hat (I finally get to wear knit hats!) and the just released season of Foyle's War on DVD. If you've never seen Foyle's War, and you love British period television (Downton Abbey, anyone?), please do yourself a favor and stream it today. It's got everything: mystery, romance, England during WWII, British accents, humor. It is so well done. The costumes, the fashion, the hair and make-up, the home decor are all so spot on, and I get so engaged in the story that I sometimes forget I'm watching a currently filmed television show. Each episode is around an hour and a half long, like its own little movie. Pass the popcorn!
In a complete change of subject...I got the sweetest comments here and on facebook from friends after my last post. Thank you. I really do believe that I have the best friends, those I have met in person and those that I have met and am meeting online.
I was touched and a little surprised by everyone's encouragement and comments about my perspective during the midst of our home repairs and maintenance. Yes, lots of unforeseen surprises and expenses. No, we don't use our master bathtub or shower yet. John and I walk down the hall and use the kids' bathroom until we can fix ours. Sure, it's an inconvenience, but it's a very small one. We really felt like we were camping at the rented townhouse at times, so things already feel much more settled here at home even with things not finished. I cannot complain.
The fact is, I open my eyes and wake up every morning to breezes blowing through aspen trees right outside my bedroom windows. The sky is the bluest of blue, the clouds the puffiest white, and the mountains are covered in shades of yellows and greens (and snow on their peaks one morning this week!). Some mornings the clouds are so low that they seem to roll through the center of the mountains. It is beautiful and calm.
The days are full of so many new experiences and sights, and when they are over, I climb into bed and look out those same bedroom windows and see the silhouettes of the aspens, a few lights across the mountains, countless brilliantly twinkling stars in the black night sky. I fall asleep with moonlight pouring in through the windows onto the bed. Sometimes it is so bright I wonder if I will be able to fall asleep.
The challenges we are facing pale in comparison to the beauty that I see and experience every day here. We have only been here three and a half months, and it has already been worth every struggle it took to get here.
I have known times of deep sadness in this life. A little more than some, a lot less than others. This isn't sadness. There are challenges and adjustments to be sure, some big and some small, but we believe that we are exactly where we are meant to be. Things will get done, just not as quickly as we had hoped. Some of our ideas and plans for the house will have to be put on hold. We're okay with that.
And really, how can you not laugh at mushrooms growing through your driveway?! Bizarre! "What are you gonna do?" John and I say this to each other often these days. Thank you for that, Kevin Nealon.
Now hear me out, Boss. Am I glad to have fungus growing up through my asphalt driveway? No. No, I'm not. Do I want to be rushing about spending money on countless projects to get the house ready for winter? No. No, I don't. Do I wish I could make it all go away? Yes. Yes, I do. But, I can't. It's neither here nor there. *sigh* What are you gonna do? What are you gonna do?