Sunday, February 24, 2013


I tend to get sentimental and nostalgic on my blog, which is probably annoying at times, but sometimes I just can’t help it. My cup truly does overflow. I have so many things to be thankful for in my life.

I’m also a serious bitch sometimes.

I was not in a good mood yesterday. On Friday evening, we stayed up playing Kinect bowling and then I made the mistake of getting completely engrossed in a book. I stayed up way too late, and even when Dusty came to bed, I read under my covers just like I did when I was ten. It was after 2 when I fell asleep, and before I knew it, my alarm had gone off. I had to get up early because Jake had his districts individual speech contest, where he was performing a poetry reading. He had an early morning performance about half an hour away.

After the performance (it went great! He made it to the state competition!) I took him to the DOT to sit for his driver’s permit test. I am convinced that the DOT is some sort of homing station for the rudest, most oblivious, self-absorbed, shower-deprived people in my county. We sat scrunched up next to these charming degenerates for an hour, and then when Jake went to take the test (it’s a computerized written exam) he didn’t pass. Brie failed her test the first time she took it too. In their defense, it’s a nitpicky test that I’m not certain I could pass today, but it still made me grumpy to think that I will have to take him back there again until he passes.

We got home and Dusty handed the baby to me. I get that. When I’m home with her for long periods of time and he comes home, I like the break too. She’s going through a phase where nothing pleases her for more than ten seconds, and the constant effort of keeping her entertained is exhausting. I began to get grumpier by the second.

I was also starting to feel sorry for myself. Dusty had mentioned earlier in the week that we’d go out last night to celebrate my birthday, but he hadn’t said anything else about it. I was stewing, thinking I’d have to plan something, pick the restaurant and whatever we did after we ate, if we didn’t come straight back home. Sometimes a girl wants someone to take charge and just plan something nice for her, you know?

Eventually I threw a temper tantrum at Dusty. “What are we doing tonight?!” I hollered. He said we’d go eat somewhere – he didn’t care where. At this point, it was 6 pm and I was wearing a scrubby old Iowa State sweatshirt and jeans, I had no idea what we were going to do, because he wouldn’t plan anything, and I lost my temper. “Would it kill you to make a birthday outing ‘special?’” I yelled after complaining that I didn’t want to have to plan everything all the time and that he was waiting until the last minute to decide what we were going to do.

I sat there and tried to give myself a pep talk, telling myself that only I could reverse this bad mood. But it wasn’t working. Natalie was starting to get cranky, so I snuggled up with her on the couch and was slowly getting her to sleep when I heard music coming from the basement. Then Vali and Jake got into a screaming match downstairs and Dusty came up and asked me if I could come break it up, because ‘they wouldn’t listen to him.’

I started thinking something was up around this time, because Vali’s screams sounded a bit more energetic than normal, and if anything, my kids listen to Dusty better than me when they’re told to stop fighting. I walked downstairs and saw the door to the family room was closed, I opened it a crack, and saw this:


(Except, they looked more animated than this. My camera appears to have stunned them.)

It was my family. My mother-in-law, my dad, brothers and their families, Brie home from college. They were all there and then it made sense. I ducked behind Dusty, flushed with embarrassment. Not because I was the center of attention, but because I was mortified about my outburst earlier. I should have given my husband the benefit of the doubt, but I let my bad mood spawn a temper tantrum. He was gracious about it, and didn’t make me feel worse than I already did

Of course the kids were in on it – the plan was that Dusty was going to take me out somewhere and on the way, Jake (who was going to be home babysitting) was going to call with an excuse to get us back home where we’d walk in on the party. No wonder he didn’t care what restaurant we went to! We weren’t ever going to go to one! Since I was sulking and not really in the mood to go out anymore, Dusty offered to go pick up something for dinner. Meanwhile, my family, who had gathered at my brother’s house a few miles away, came over and parked in the driveway of the vacant house next door. They trudged through the snow and came in the basement the back way, and I had no idea they were there.

It was done very well, and I was humbled and ashamed of my bitchiness. But my bad mood vanished because we did my favorite thing in the world, which is to hang out together and eat and drink and talk and watch the kids run around. It was a nice, low key party with the family I am so very thankful for.

Kissing cousins, who will hate this picture someday, but oh gosh, isn't it cute?





Some cool bowling moves:



Blurry picture alert. The person operating the camera may have had too much wine to drink to properly focus the lens, but it's too cute not to share:







Lisa Lavia Ryan said...

OK ... I told you so!! So glad you had a special weekend.

Melanie said...

Every birthday girl deserves a tiara! Happy birthday!

Lindsay said...

Aww so sweet. The party and this post.