Remember that special feeling that came on your birthday when you were a kid? That feeling inside that screamed, "TODAY IS A SPECIAL DAY! IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!" And, strangely, the feeling seemed to seep out of your eyes and skin so it was detectable by others... I noticed this in a cute little girl at the park last week. She was running around with an extra vibrant smile that caused me to consciously think, "Wow - she's in a great mood today!" And when I found out that it was her 4th birthday, it all made sense.
Those were fun days. I felt the same way for about a week after I got engaged, and then again for three days when I found out I was pregnant with McKenzie.
But I haven't felt it on my birthday for many, many years...so I wasn't surprised or disappointed when my 27th birthday came and went without the same childlike excitement. But this birthday was seriously one of the best I've had because I was surrounded by people I love, and I was happily surprised to see that my kids seemed to feel that 'special feeling' for me!
I won't go into too much detail - just because it probably wouldn't be quite as fun for you to read as it was for me to experience, but I do want to tell you a little about it, anyway.
First of all, how could it not have started out wonderfully when I woke up in the comfy covers of a beach house, knowing that I could head out to the beach at any moment? Yes...it started out fantastically. :) I had been instructed the night before by my husband to 'stay asleep' for a while the next morning while they were making ... preparations. (This, of course, was not surprising to me, because McKenzie's traditional surprise for ANY special event such as this is breakfast in bed.) So, when I awoke, I pulled my scriptures onto my lap and had a nice, relaxing scripture study before my tray of cereal, milk, orange juice, a banana, and a broken branch of some sort in a beautiful vase arrived, carried by McKenzie (and Daddy) and accompanied by a chorus of 4 small voices singing "Happy Birthday" from some of my favorite kids in the world (including, of course, my own).
That night, Brian surprised me by taking me out to one of my new favorite restaurants, "Treasure Island Restaurant" with delicious chicken bog from the chef, Katie Aldrich, and over-eager waiters/waitresses/water boys who kept our food coming promptly, our glasses filled with lemonade, and smiles on our faces.
Some of my favorite images from the night include: walking up to the restaurant (that looked suspiciously like our beach house...) to be greeted by the waiters, McKenzie and little Eric, who were dressed in their Sunday best, delivered fantastically memorized lines (welcome to Treasure Island Restaurant! If you will come with me this way, I will show you to your seat), and then enthusiastically skipped all the way up the stairs to show us to our table; turning around a corner to see my little Carson dressed up in a white button-up shirt and a bow-tie that was almost the size of his head (he was SO cute!); asking one of the waiters (Carson) to please not lick the salt off our table...or Brian's hands; reading the menu; listening to McKenzie deliver her lines about what was coming out next; encouraging two other waiters (Harrison and Brigham) to work together as they poured our lemonade S...L...O...W...L...Y; and, of course, eating Katie's cheesecake after the meal was all finished.
Treasure Island Restaurant, huh? A pretty fitting name for a place that will feed you good food and send you home with memories that will be treasured for a lifetime. :)