I've got some very sneaky and NICE people in my family.
So I agreed long ago to spend my big fat birthday teaching classes on motherhood at BYUI Education Week because I really do love teaching and because I wanted to sort of avoid the whole birthday thing. I'd hoped that maybe my mom or one of my sisters might be able to come along to make it more fun. But it turned out that everyone had big things going on. My mom needed to be there to get the Bear Lake house ready for renters arriving right on my birthday. My sister Shawni had her 20 year high school reunion on my birthday. Charity had her best friend's wedding shower on the 31st. Saydi had her little kids to tend to. Everyone had very good reasons why they couldn't come with me. And that was OK - sort of - I did maybe slightly mention (well, OK, I did get a bit obviously sad about it) that I wished someone could come with me since Jared and the kids wouldn't be able to be with me since I was teaching classes all day....
Well, bless their hearts, my sisters Charity and Saydi figured out how to squeeze in a trip up here to be with me on the big day. They (along with Saydi's kids) arrived here in Ashton Idaho (we've been staying at Jared's mom's house while I teach classes at BYU Idaho Education Week nearby) just as my birthday began (at 12:30am). I was so excited to see them! What a great birthday surprise.
The next morning, my sweet kids woke me up (not too early, thankfully) with a birthday song and cute cards and lots of hugs when I woke up. Jared made me a wonderful breakfast complete with a beautifully set table and lovely flowers and he had everyone go around the table and say what they love about me.
Then Saydi, Charity and I went on a beautiful walk to enjoy the green fields with cows and Tetons in the distance - so fun to share a place I love so much with people I love so much.
After our walk, I was wanting to hurry to get ready to go teach my classes but Saydi and Charity told me I'd better check my email first. I saw a few nice emailed birthday wishes - then I saw that there were all these birthday wishes on blog comments, clicked over to my blog and found the NICEST hacked post along with the biggest tear-jerker of a video ever. The tears are coming again just thinking about it! I've got some seriously thoughtful and kind and wonderful family members. I don't even know who all orchestrated the whole thing but I'm SO grateful. I don't know if I quite deserve so much praise and adoration - but I'll take it! I learned a lot about the specifics of what people think of me and it sure makes me feel good.
After enjoying the video and pulling myself together, we headed off to Rexburg so I could do my classes. Here's how the car looked:
My classes at Education Week went very well (largely due to having Charity and Saydi there on the front row to offer moral support plus lots of great comments that really helped my presentations. I so love presenting with family members!) After my 3 classes (I had 3 to teach each day), we got to go to a great devotional by Elder Bednar and an excellent workshop by my friend Allyson. My dear sisters helped everyone in all my classes know it was my birthday (they had all the people in my classes sing me happy birthday, made me wear a tiara, and my friend April brought balloons for all the class members to blow up and throw at me on cue). When classes were over, Jared brought all the kids (he took care of 7 kids all day - bless his heart - mine plus Saydi's - what a birthday present!) and we went out to dinner and said goodbye to Saydi and Charity who had to head back to Bear Lake.
|And here's how it really looked and felt as we waited for our table...|
After saying goodbye to my sisters, as we drove back to Jared's mom's house, one of my favorite songs came on - 1, 2, 3, 4 by the Plain White T's and the kids all started singing along as we drove into a beautiful orange sunset (yes, we were literally "riding off into the sunset"). As they sang, Ashton said, "Mom, we're singing this to you special for today" and then all the kids started singing extra loud with their cute little voices - "there's only 1 way 2 say 3 words 4 you - I love you...I'm so glad I found you. I love being around you...:"
Perfect end to a perfect day. How amazing blessed am I?!!!
It's SO beautiful here in Ashton right now - the grain is just starting to turn from green to gold. Here's a shot from today:
Life is good.