Because the meeting began at 7:30 AM and didn't end until 6 PM and I would have been faced with an hour of traffic coming and going each day - I opted to
I left Tuesday morning for my meeting.
Tuesday afternoon, Charlie took the children to their first dance class. But not just any dance class ... A Mommy & Me creative dance class.
Apparently, Elizabeth did great. Carolyn and William, however, hung to his legs and wailed the entire time. Charlie cut out of the class after 20 minutes because he was wearing attire that was not conducive to remaining up, and quickly succumbed to the forces of gravity as two toddlers pulled on each leg.
Wednesday afternoon, Charlie took the children to their third pediatric dentist appointment.
Wednesday evening, the kids came down sick with the first cold they've had in several months - undoubtedly picked up while at church, this past weekend. When I called Charlie, from a major league baseball game, he didn't mention that the kids were sick - because he knew that I would have come home.
Thursday morning, Charlie cleared away all of our clutter to prepare for the cleaning women who were due to arrive later in the morning. While the women cleaned the house, Charlie took off with the kids, and hit several stores to prepare for a scavenger hunt he was secretly planning, for my birthday.
Thursday afternoon, the kids had finally settled down for a nap and were sleeping soundly - and because Charlie didn't want to disturb them - they missed an arts & crafts class I had signed them up for Thursday afternoon.
While they slept, he baked.
I returned home Thursday evening after having learned a great deal of new information and having spent some quality time with my co-workers, that I only see once a quarter.
The house was spit-spot clean, the children were fed and ready for bed - dinner was waiting on the stove.
This morning, when I woke up, Charlie handed me a birthday card. Inside was a poem he had composed full of clues ... leading me on a scavenger hunt to collect the numerous birthday presents he had strategically placed around the house.
A new book.
A new movie.
A set of tiny booties and several onesies for our baby that is due to arrive in a few months.
A new pair of Maui Jim sunglasses to replace the pair that Carolyn snapped in two. Hidden in the same location were a multitude of birthday cards and presents that had been arriving all week from friends and family.
While I was eagerly opening my cards and presents, Charlie was making breakfast, getting the kids dressed, packing a diaper bag - and preparing for a day out.
This afternoon, we had lunch at a 50's burger joint, we then took the kids to the science museum and to their first 360-degree IMAX movie. The children sat open-mouthed and completely transfixed by the experience until the huge fish came swimming out of the screen.
And then ... there was screaming.
Lots and lots of screaming.
Fortunately the tickets were free, because we only got to see the first 10 minutes of the movie before making our hasty exit. And fortunately, it was extremely dark in the theatre, so the other 200 moviegoers didn't catch the free show when William pulled my top down to my protruding navel as he scrambled on to my lap in a state of hysteria.
We drove home. In the rain. We pulled in to our neighborhood and saw the most beautiful rainbow stretch across the sky.
We all took a nap in the car, in the driveway, because we were too tired to walk the 15 feet in to the house.
Tonight, we had a spaghetti dinner and a birthday cake - brought to me by our dear friend, Virginia.
The children sang happy birthday. We ate cake. We ate ice cream.
We ate more cake - even after I accidentally flipped it upside down and it landed on the floor.
We watched the rain sputter out pea-sized hail, that coated our entire backyard. We stood outside, shivering, and questioned if we could ever live in a climate where it dropped below 50 degrees.
We got the children dressed and put them down to bed.
We hosted our small group and we talked about how God is working in our lives. We discussed that as crazy as our circumstances can be - we must always look for the good.
As is always the case on my birthday, I reflected on my life circumstances. Tonight, when I looked at my husband, I know that on this - my 36th birthday - I have been blessed beyond measure and the majority of my wishes have been far exceeded.
Now, if only we could refrain our children from disrobing us, in public...