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I really didn't know what to do for my birthday, but then I thought about how tough this winter and 2016 has been for me and for so many of the people in my life. This has been a hard season. And so, for my birthday I wanted to focus on JOY. I wanted to have a joint birthday/Valentine's celebration that celebrated life, because it is so precious and such a gift.

The day started with Stephen coming in the room at o-dark thirty announcing, "Good thing I'm half cat." This was followed by Taylor walking in declaring, "This is an activity for the whole family." Bob quickly made sounds to indicate that both of them needed to leave the room quickly and let us sleep, but I found myself laying in bed laughing out loud. I started my day with deep authentic laughter that told me it would be a good day.

Bob made my favorite breakfast: pancakes, eggs, and turkey sausage, while I enjoyed Dunkin Donuts coffee and a virgin mimosa I concocted that was so tasty. As I told the boys about our plans for the day, their eyes filled with excitement and it set the tone for the rest of the day.

We started our activities by having the whole family go to church (which meant a lot to me), then we headed to Frank's Cinebowl, where we proceeded to play air hockey and arcade games. This was followed by bowling and a buffet of my favorite menu items, as well as my favorite fountain drink: diet vanilla ginger ale. Then we headed in to Kung Fu Panda 3. I have to admit, I wasn't excited about this movie, but it was the only animated movie playing. But I was pleasantly surprised. It was actually very well done, and then I had to wonder, what did I have against pandas in the first place? Plus, the kids loved it! These days, whenever we watch a funny kids' movie, I mostly enjoy watching their faces during the funny parts. It makes my heart so happy to see them laugh with such abandon.

After the movie, we made a quick stop to get provisions for the snow storm and then headed home to decorate my cake and order pizza. The rest of the evening was spent chillaxing, and after the boys went to bed Bob and I talked and binge watched episodes of VEEP.

In the midst of everything yesterday was chocolates, hearts, love notes, smiles, glitter glue, play doh, singing, laughter, hugs, and kisses.

What I thought about most as the day wound to an end was what made it so special. We did a lot of fun activities, but we didn't do anything that we couldn't do on most any given Saturday or Sunday. Beyond the activities, what really made it special was my attitude from the moment I started laughing in bed to the moment when I kissed Stephen's forehead Good Night. I started the day knowing that I wanted to nurture and revel in Joy. What would it mean for my life if I started every day that way? To choose joy in every moment; to try to instill it in others.

It's a good reminder, and a worthy aspiration.  Every day is a gift and an opportunity to choose Joy.

Mom
2/15/2016 10:48:38

We're constantly amazed at your wisdom.

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