Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dracula's Bride

As a little bonus for you who read me here and at 4P, may I present the most hideous and embarrassing formal dress I have ever worn... but at least I have the hand positioning right. (Junior Prom, 1989)


It's prom season around these parts. Add that to the fact that I received an invitation for the 20-year reunion of my high school graduation recently and all sorts of crazy memories have been coming back to me.

I am so glad that the prom which Coolister went to was more focused on having fun than making the biggest (and most expensive) impression.

I'll tell you all about the night(s) of my senior prom(s) at Four Perspectives today.

A Tale of Two Proms


Actually, this was going to be a tale of THREE proms, but I decided that you'd think I was making all of this up if I told you about my junior prom with the boy who thought he was a vampire, the mortuary limo and my dress that was a perfect example of what NOT to wear.

On to the real story...

Twenty years ago (that dang reunion invitation has dredged up all sorts of things!) I was a high school senior who wanted to attend a senior prom with every fiber of my hormonal being. There was a certain boy who I had been in love with (meaning: We were friends, but I would call his house, hear him answer, then hang up. Also I would drive past his house under cover of darkness in hopes of catching a glimpse of him in the kitchen window making a peanut butter and honey sandwich.) and I hoped beyond hope that he was going to ask me. No dice. I found out that he had inquired of my brother whether he should ask me or another girl. My brother, not wanting to appear biased (or SO HE SAYS!!), chose her. (Traitor!)

One can only drown their sorrows in Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia for so long. Prom was less than a month away! I knew I needed to take action.

There was another boy, from another school, who had shown some interest in me. He did not share my standards and was not my type; he rode a bullet bike and confidently carried out the bad-boy-who-looks-good persona. I was desperate for a prom date. Despite what my gut (and all of my friends) told me, I called him. We went out a number of times before I subtly mentioned his senior prom. He asked, I accepted. He promised me a night that I would never forget - and he was right.

I went all out for this date. I found the perfect dress, had my hair done... I even wore lipstick. This was serious business. He arrived in a stretch limousine, perfectly dashing in his tuxedo and full of compliments for me. We looked great together. It was all like a dream. The dinner, the dancing, the flowers, the pictures - everything was perfect. Regardless of the cliche, I felt like a princess.

On the way home, my date told me that he had another surprise in store. A room - in a very nice hotel. At first it would be a large gathering, but eventually it would be just the two of us. My smile faded. The dream abruptly ended. I told him that I would absolutely not do any such thing. He became obviously agitated, but maintained his cool. "You know, tonight wasn't cheap," he told me, reaching for my hand. I pulled it away and responded, "It is now." He ignored me for the remainder of our drive to the hotel.

My date still went to the hotel room to meet up with friends (who had similar plans for their dates) and sent me home in the limo without a word. I later found out that he had a back-up plan in place in case I didn't work out as expected. Nice. What was I thinking?!

I cried myself to sleep that night, yet I had learned some valuable and important lessons - no guy, no dance, no longing to be loved was worth lowering my standards for. Gut instincts are almost always right. Outward appearances are not as important as what's on the inside. And, most importantly, if it slithers like a snake and hisses like a snake and looks like a snake, it's a SNAKE.

The next morning I awoke to a sad realization - it was the day of my school's senior prom. I tried to get some friends to go to the beach with me (the ocean has always had a way of washing away my melancholy) but they were all busy getting ready for the big dance later that evening. In a completely uncharacteristic move, I went to the beach by myself and soaked up the sun's warmth while rollerskating along the strand.

After I returned home I received a phone call. It was my friend Mike who had graduated the previous year, just calling to catch up. In the course of our conversation I told him all about my experience the night before - how everything had seemed so perfect and ended so terribly. I tried to joke about the whole matter being no big deal but Mike knew me well enough to understand that I was hurting. "West's (my high school) prom is tonight, right?" he said, not really asking. "You're going."

I tried to argue with him that it was starting in a couple of hours and I didn't have a date or a prom ticket. "All you need is a dress and a date," he told me. "You have both. I'll be there in an hour."

True to his word, he showed up - sharply dressed all in black. "I couldn't get a tux," he informed me, "Too last-minute. But I did get these." He handed me two clear floral boxes, one with a corsage and one with a boutonniere. "The big one's for you. The little one's for me." I stood there, unsure of what to say. I couldn't believe he would go to all of this trouble for me. "Well, come on! Pin that little flower on my shirt, Cinderella!" he instructed me. "We've got to get going or we'll be late for the ball!"

The whole way to the hotel where our prom was being held, we talked, sang to the tunes being played on his radio and laughed.

When we walked into the hotel lobby I asked him how he was able to secure a prom ticket. "Um... I didn't. But it's going to work out," he told me. We walked to the table where various teachers were admitting students to the dance and Mike began to strike up conversations with the ones he knew from his previous years at the school. One teacher finally said, "You two better get in to the dance before you miss dinner!" So we did. Easy as that. He winked at me. "What did I tell you?" he whispered as we rode up the escalator to the hotel's ballroom.

I could not, in good conscience, eat dinner knowing we had not paid for it. But we danced and talked and enjoyed spending a wonderful evening with many great friends. As Mike drove me home, he apologized that I would likely get into trouble for crashing the prom without having purchased a ticket. I told him that it was worth it to have the terrible experience of the previous night replaced with a much happier one. (Disclaimer: I am in no way promoting the crashing of a prom. If you are my kid and you even attempt such a thing you will be clipping my toenails and massaging my feet for the rest of eternity.)

Mike was right. I did get into trouble when some teachers reviewed the guest list and discovered that we had snuck into the dance without a ticket. I was called in to the office, I apologized and worked out a plan to eventually pay for my ticket. I was forgiven. It was worth the embarrassment.

This second dance taught me a lesson as well: Happiness can come in the most unexpected ways, from the most unexpected people.

And it's a lot more enjoyable to go to the prom with a friend... than with a snake.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

National Pretzel Day


It's National Pretzel Day tomorrow! To celebrate, Pretzelmaker & Pretzel Time stores will be giving away free pretzels all day!

Of course, there's a slight catch... they are asking for customers to sing for their snack.

Can you say: Awesome!

All you have to do is visit your local Pretzelmaker on Monday, April 26th and sing a snippet from any song of your choice in exchange for a free pretzel. Get your vocal chords ready & go show 'em what the world is missing since you never followed your dreams and made it to the stages of Broadway.

Honestly, if you're like me, this could just be a great excuse to break out in song in a public place. It will be like LIVING IN A MUSICAL!!

Rock the house! Maybe you'll be discovered.

Oh yeah... and enjoy your free pretzel, too. (Whatever. Like that's really what it's all about.)


(Okay, if you don't want to sing you only have to mention National Pretzel Day. But where's the fun in that?)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Reunion

What is this strange building? It's where I spent 4 years of my life.



It's Wednesday... you know the drill.

I'd love to have you come visit me here.

Alma Mater

(My alma mater)

This week I received an invitation in the mail for my 20-year high school reunion.

This brought about some mixed feelings. I want to attend, but I also don't want to attend. I've reconnected on Facebook with most of the people who I would want to see again; however, it would be fun to visit some of my old stomping grounds and see others face-to-face. For sure I'd enjoy reminiscing with a handful of friends, but some of the memories that can be dredged up at such gatherings of my past are painful. The verdict is still out on whether or not I'll make the trip to be there.

You know what, though? I think that reunions are sort of like blogs. No one wears their comfiest jeans paired with a favorite bleach-stained t-shirt to a reunion. Everyone comes dressed in an outfit that makes them look their best - perhaps even clothes that were purchased specifically for the occasion. People put extra effort into what they look like when they're becoming re-acquainted with acquaintances they haven't seen for years. Hair is trimmed and styled, nails are done. No one is disheveled or unkempt. Children are perfect, marriages are happy and jobs are secure... unless someone chooses to present themselves otherwise.

Blogs are much the same way. Most people put their best-self forward and portray their lives as much more awesome than they may be in reality. There are usually not pictures of the holes in the wall or the skeletons in the closet. Everyone puts their best self out there - their funniest and most sarcastic stories, the pictures of their adorable family dressed in the latest modern-yet-retro clothing, their cleverest observations on the things we all encounter each day. Of course, there are always a few bloggers who feel comfortable sharing the intimate details of their life with these people who they haven't ever met. And that's okay, too. It's a matter of choice.

My point (and I think I have one) is that we all choose the way which we want others to perceive us by the way that we present ourselves, whether it be in the choices we make daily or weekly or even once every twenty years at a high school reunion.

If I choose to venture out to California for the reunion this summer I'd love to say that I'm going to show up in my favorite Levis, a comfortable sweatshirt and my black Converse. I wish I had the confidence to show up with my hair in braids and my face make-up free, but I know that I won't.

Either way, it's all good - because I know who I am, and I'm good with that.

Friday, April 16, 2010

It's RAD!

Waaaaaay back when I first discovered blogs one of my favorite bloggers would occasionally hold a Reader Appreciation Day wherein she would answer any and all questions from her readers for a 24-hour period of time just to show how much she appreciated every single comment she received with each post.

It was awesome.

In fact, I can't believe I never thought of borrowing that idea until now.

From now until tomorrow morning at 9:00 am I will gladly answer any questions you would like to ask.

Ready?

Ask away!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Quick Quips

From the mouths of my kids...



"Um...I fink maybe a monster ate your girl scout cookies, mom."

(spoken loudly) "Is that lady fat p-cause she's going to have a baby?"

"Do people who go to heaven get to ride there in spaceships?"

Hubba: "Don't you ever just feel like you want to go outside and burn stuff?"
Me: "Um, no. Never."
Hubba: "Huh. That's weird."

(pointing at a man who is smoking) "Hey, you are going to DIE!"

"Why doesn't Spock ever smile? It makes him creepy."

"When I go on a mission I want to go to Endor and teach the Ewoks. Or maybe just Chewbacca. P-cause it would be fun to see them at church. "

(After farting) "I think I ran out of gas now."

"Stop saying happy words, mom. It's freaking me out."

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Gerb's Eye View

photo from thrivesmart.com
When you take a look around you, what do you see?

I like to look at the world through dark-tinted glasses.

If you're interested, I'll tell you more about it at Four Perspectives today.

The World Through Dark-Tinted Glasses

photo found at thrivesmart.com

I like to wear my sunglasses for many reasons, the main one being that my eyes are a very light color, which makes them ultra sensitive to sunlight. However, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. My favorite reason for wearing sunglasses is that they allow me to be more observant of the people I encounter each day.

I was thinking about this recently and wondered why it is that strangers tend to avoid eye contact with each other. In my opinion, human beings are the most interesting entity on our planet. I mean sure, nature has its beauty and intricacies. Architecture has lines and shapes which can be striking and fascinating. Technology also never ceases to impress me. But the individuality and personality reflected in every human being alive is absolutely amazing if we take the time to notice each other.

Behind every face is a story to be told. A lifetime of stories, really. Each person we encounter is a walking shell which encompasses so much more! Our bodies are simply containers for the hopes, fears, dreams, disappointments and experiences that we carry within us. Just one look into a person's eyes is all I need to get a feel for the life that exists inside the exterior. The whole idea that 'the eyes are a window to the soul'? I totally buy into that. I love to look into people's eyes and get some idea of what's really there.

I think it's why most of us enjoy people-watching. Do you ever create stories for the people who pass you by? We are some pretty amazing creations, and no two are exactly alike! Think about that.

Check us out! We're incredible!

Another point of view that comes to mind in regard to all of this is how technology comes into play with the increasing lack of actual human interaction these days. That, my friends, is a whole other post. For now I'll just say that I miss the days where letters and a knock on the door were the primary ways we communicated with each other. Don't get me wrong - I love my computer and cell phone as much as the next guy. But when there is a flesh-and-blood person, a real-life human being around, how could people be more interested in typing abbreviated messages into some handheld technology than enjoying a little face to face conversation?

Actually, come to think of it, I may not need to hide behind my sunglasses anymore as an excuse to enjoy the diversity of my fellow earth-inhabitants. Most of them would likely not even notice my curiosity. Maybe I'll just smile and boldly look into each of the multitude of faces I come across each day. And if someone happens to find the time to meet my gaze?

I think I'll start with a simple, "Hello."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

About A Boy



there was a boy named Coolister.



Coolister was a fun and happy boy. One year, he was a junior in high school and he wanted to go to the prom. He knew which girl he wanted to ask, he even knew how he wanted to ask her, but Coolister had a problem. Part of the asking required running like crazy from the girl's house (twice), yet Coolister had a large black boot on his leg which only enabled him to quickly limp.

He surely would be caught!

Well, Coolister had a mother and his mother loved him very much. So much, in fact, that she was willing to do the running like crazy for him (twice) so that he could ask the girl to the prom.

Coolister and his mother gathered the needed items and drove to the girl's house. They parked just down the street. Coolister's mother stealthily made her way to the girl's front porch as Coolister watched the scene unfold from behind the front windshield of the car.

Coolister's mother carefully approached the home, placed the churned emulsion of sweet cream, air, and salt at the girl's front door...


...rang her doorbell, and then turned and ran to the safety of the shadows on the side of the girl's cottage so as not to be detected.

The girl's porch light came on and Coolister's mother heard a frenzy of footsteps and voices as the gift was discovered. Coolister's mother smiled and readied herself for an undetected escape back to the waiting vehicle.

But, alas, this was not yet to be.

A scattering of young boys made themselves known on the front step and yard as vehicles began to approach the girl's abode. You see, the girl's father was a scoutmaster for a group of 11-year-old boys and the appointed time had come for the parental stewards to collect their active boys.

Coolister's mother tried to become invisible.

It did not work.

Coolister's mother pressed her body as flat against the side of the girl's dwelling as she possibly could and stood as still as a statue while waiting for the boys to leave. It was almost as if time stood still. She watched, holding her breath, as the boys would come alarmingly close to where she was hidden but breathed a sigh of relief as the last boy finally departed.

At last, the coast was clear. Coolister's mother swiftly ran through the downy flakes that were softly falling from the skies and, quick as a wink, found herself in the safety of their transport.

Oh, how Coolister laughed as he recounted the story from his point of view! They drove to the safety of a local institution of elementary learning and prepared the second (and final) item which was to be delivered to the girl.

Coolister's mother loved him so, but she was now apprehensive about approaching the girl's residence yet again. She expressed her concern to Coolister, who simply looked to his mother and used a magical phrase to convince her to carry on with the plan. Can you guess what the phrase was?

He said: Mom, this is too legit to quit. You can do it.

And how can any mother refuse such words? Coolister and Coolister's mother drove back to the street where the girl lived. Coolister's mother insisted that they watch the dwelling for some time for assurance that she would not be caught. They watched. They waited. They saw a young girl in the front room, lingering near the large window beside the door. They saw a young boy walk from their main living accommodations to their parking garage. They saw movement and anticipation.

And then they saw quiet.

Coolister's mother, nervously this time, gathered the bowl full of popped corn ...


...which also concealed tiny, crumpled papers with letters on them which revealed Coolister's name, and slowly made her way to the girl's door. She rang the bell, and then froze in fear - but only for a moment. However, that one simple delay brought to her mind the realization that she would not make it back to the shadows that had hidden her so well earlier in the evening. She would have to find another place... and promptly! Glancing around she realized that her only hope would be to crouch in the fetal position in front of a low wall at the bottom of the stairs which led to her porch.

And so she did.

Again, the door opened. She waited, crouched and with eyes closed (because everyone knows that if your eyes are shut it means there is less chance of your being seen) as she heard excited voices gather the bowl and its contents and carry them into the house.

The door closed.

Coolister's mother had no desire to linger in such a position. She peeked up, her head showing just above the wall, and noticed a face in the window of the door, scanning the yard and surrounding area for any sign of the one who had delivered these treasures. Again, she dropped her head to her knees and silently prayed that her escape would come soon. She heard drumming and looked up just enough to see a boy standing sentinel at the window, drumsticks in hand. Coolister's mother knew then that once the drumming had ceased she could make her getaway.

It was then that a vehicle turned onto the girl's street, its headlights growing nearer and nearer to the place where Coolister's mother was attempting to conceal herself - in plain sight at the front of the girl's residence. Her heart began to beat faster and faster until she realized that, of all the homes on the street, the approaching van was indeed destined for the girl's.

Oh, what could she do?!

Coolister's mother immediately jumped up and casually walked toward her only hope for escape - the waiting suburban near the end of the block. She did not look towards the van as it passed her by. In fact, she even closed her eyes in the moment that they crossed paths on the road so that the occupants of the van would not be able to see her.

It worked.

Coolister and his mother laughed as they drove home.

They spoke of how this was, indeed, a mission that was 'too legit to quit'.

Even though she had almost been caught. Actually, especially because she had almost been caught. (Twice!)

The next day, when the girl answered YES to Coolister's clever query, all was indeed well.

And although Coolister's mother said that such things were not in her job description, deep in her heart she knew that she would do it all again if asked.

Such is the love of a mother for her boy.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring Break: A Photo Journey

This week was Spring Break.

That means my kids were all home from school for a week.

Lots of people around here go on trips or take their kids to do fun things.

Not around our house.

Who needs a va-cation? We spent the week at home on stay-cation.

We (minus Allen, who still has to work this week) all slept in until at least 9:00 a.m. every day.

I worked for a few hours this week, which is seriously fun for me.


Coolister went to physical therapy, a 'breakfast party thing' and made plans for prom. He also studied for the ACT all week because tomorrow is The Big Day.


ElemenoB bought a new dress and painted her bedroom. She's having friends over on Saturday. She also went running.


Thumbelina went shopping and spent some time with a friend. She wore her pajamas more than anything and watched her collection of Barbie movies a few times each. (I wish I was kidding.)


All-a-Boy played Lego Star Wars on the Wii almost everyday. The one day that I banned the Wii he had some adventures with a friend. He also worked on creating a unique Pinewood Derby car all on his own which allowed for plenty of feeling-sorry-for-himself (we are all fairly certain that he secretly enjoys this).


Cowgirl locked herself in the bathroom and cut her own bangs. Good news: They're almost straight. Bad news: She kind of looks like Spock. Good news: I'm taking her to the salon on Saturday.


Princess got to have a friend over one day. But the real treat for her was the sleeping in every morning and running around in the backyard without shoes once the snow went away and the sun came to visit.


For Hubba, Curly and Little O, it was business as usual - but with bigger friends around to make it more exciting.

Life is good.

Happy Spring Break.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Better Safe Than Sorry


Safety pins and I are pretty much BFFs.

We go waaaaaay back.

Come read about our history together at 4P.

To Be Safe


From the time I was around 15 years old I have always worn a safety pin on my clothing.

The favored place is around a belt loop on my jeans, but they have been pinned to other places as needed; a tag on the underside of a skirt, through shoelaces, just inside a pocket. The location of the safety pin is not important, what IS important is what they do for me.

They keep me safe.

This habit started with a friend who did the same thing. His name was Jason Killilea and I noticed his safety pins along the bottom seam of his Jimmy'Z shorts for weeks before asking why he wore them. "To keep me safe!" he countered, and it made perfect sense.

Safety pins = safety.

Their name suddenly opened up a whole new mindset. And so I borrowed his unique idea and made it my own.

Safety pins along the seams of my favorite jean jacket. Safety pins as jewelry. Safety pins adorning my shoes. Safety pins everywhere! And when asked why I wear them, I have always echoed the answer that Jason gave to me decades ago: to keep me safe.

An added bonus is that I am amazed at how often someone is in need of a safety pin - and I get to be the hero who happens to have one handy.

I never would have imagined that this was something I would carry into my adult years. The funny thing is, though, I have remained safe.

Is it because of the safety pins?

Well, who am I to say that it's not?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I've Got Gall (For Now)

Cartoon from iheartguts.com, which I encourage you to take a look at. It's my kind of funny.

Saturday evening treated me to an internal surprise the likes of which I had never before experienced. One minute I was happily minding my own beeswax and the next I was hit with an indescribable pain I could not pinpoint. It started in my upper back, just between the shoulder blades, and quickly spread to my shoulders, chest, rib cage and stomach. I began to feel queasy and panicked and exhausted all at the same time. The pain was unbearable and nothing worked to help it subside.

Allen and I took a little drive to the Instacare where they had us sit and fill out some paperwork and then wait for 15 minutes (which seemed closer to ETERNITY) before calling us back. The doctor asked me to describe my pain, asked a few other questions and determined that I was in excellent health. The doctor asked what my pain was on a scale of 1 to 10, and although I wanted to scream TEN!!TEN!!TEN!! I couldn't help but think of Brian Regan's comedy bit about the pain scale so I settled on an 8. I was immediately sorry I did not give myself a higher number. I was not crying (at least not on the outside) and I worried that this may have been misleading so I calmly told the doctor something along these lines:

It hurts when I stand, it hurts when I sit, it hurts even more when I lay down - and I really, really want to lay down because I am exhausted beyond comprehension. Something is wrong, and I really want to do whatever is possible to make this excruciating, constant pain go away so I can go to sleep and stop feeling like I'm going to throw up. I have had NINE babies, two of them without pain medication, and this hurt I am now experiencing is the worst possible pain I have ever felt. I feel like my entire upper body is in labor pain times INFINITY. If it were possible for me to have an upper-body epidural right now, I would donate a kidney and chop off my left foot for that to happen.

I think he got the gist of what I was saying. He started to press along the bones and muscles in the various areas where I was feeling pain, searching for the central location of it, to no avail... until he pushed beneath the right side of my rib cage: BINGO. It was my gallbladder. Unless I wanted to take a trip to the ER (I did NOT) he said they could give me some medicine for the pain and the nausea and I could get an ultrasound on Sunday morning. I could not fathom there being any possible medication that would reduce the pain enough that I would make it until morning, but I was willing to give anything a try to avoid the dreaded ER.

The medicine was administered via shot (oh, how I hate needles!) along with a dose of stupid, apparently, because as the night progressed I got stupider and stupider. Initially, the pain slowly ceased - enough that I could function normally and foresee eventually falling asleep. Except that my arms and legs were restless, enough so that I could not resist flailing them around every so often. At one point I said something to one of the kids and Allen laughed and asked if I had cotton in my mouth. The stupid was taking effect, and between my blathering nonsense and my body doing the hokey-pokey spontaneously, I had some small understanding of my stupidness so I put myself to bed.

The next morning I went for my ultrasound, feeling pain-free but still extremely exhausted. Nothing out-of-the-ordinary was discovered, except that I had 8 gallstones. The doctor told me that 1/3 of all people would have gallstones if they went for an ultrasound so it was not absolutely necessary to have it removed; however, this was something I should consider in the future. He left the choice entirely up to me.

I chose to keep my gall. (You go, Gall!)

I plan to test myself out. See if it was a fluke or if it happens again. Because I'm not a big fan of removing stuff from my innards that doesn't necessarily have to be removed.

However, I can pretty much guarantee you this... if I have another Attack Of The Gallbladder episode that is anything like the one I had on Saturday, that sucker's history.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Michael Buble LIVE!


After hearing for the past couple of years that it was worth getting a second mortgage on your home just to see Michael Buble perform live, we jumped at the chance to purchase tickets last December. I may have even joined his fan club simply for the opportunity to purchase advance tickets before they were available to the general public. (I totally did.)

The seats were secured and looked up online. We found a picture which showed that our seats were here:

Just to the right of the stage in the upper concourse, only 3 rows back. Best seats we'd ever had at a concert!

The night of the concert we dragged out my birthday a bit more by leaving early and seeing "How To Train Your Dragon" in 3D. Loved it. If it had some political agenda or underlying message, I didn't catch it. This is a fun flick to take your kids to - although the scarier dragons might freak them out a bit at first...

I realized after we left the house that I had forgotten my camera. Blast it all!! However Allen reminded me that I now had a fancy-schmancy phone with picture-taking abilities, so all was not lost. However, the photo quality is not super awesome. But, alas, there are pictures. AND video.

We went for dinner and then headed to the venue. And here I'd like to give a little (sarcastic) shout-out to the architect who designed the E-Center and its parking lot. Can we say CONGESTION?! Holy mackerel... there were cars lining every road to the E-Center for MILES! We were starting to wonder if we'd even make it in before the crooning began. Luckily my friend Cami had arrived plenty early and was giving me updates via cell phone. We had not missed Mr. Buble yet. The opening act took nearly a full hour, thank goodness, and we got in for their last 2 songs before the lights came back up and we had to wait a bit for the MB show to begin.

Here is a picture of the opening-act guys. I can't remember their name except that it was (Something) 7. And they were full of energy and super talented.

But, wait, Gerb... you're wondering, how did you get such great pictures of the stage with seats on the third row in the upper concourse?

Maybe because it turns out that our seats were on the third row in the LOWER CONCOURSE!! As in, right by the stage! As in, Michael Buble could LOOK RIGHT AT US if he wanted to! Happy birthday to me from the E-Center!! (I may even forgive them for the parking fiasco. Because these seats were AWESOME!!)

The lights went down, the music started and the crowd went crazy!

video

And then, there he was. Just singing and talking to all 10,000+ of us like we were a couple of his friends. To start off he made a couple of off-color jokes but as soon as he noticed a young girl in the front row, he switched gears. He asked her name, introduced himself as 'Mike' and thanked her for coming to his concert.

He talked to the crowd quite a bit, telling us about his newest engagement and about how much he hated concerts as a kid because they were always so boring and stuffy. Which is why he does his best to make the crowd a part of his concerts. About halfway through he proved his point by making his way out through the audience...

video

And ending up on a stage near the back of the venue. He started by saying, "Everyone back here paid for their tickets, too." He then sang a couple of songs there with his guitar player accompanying.


He made his way back to the main stage and shared a few more songs with us. Michael sang one of my favorite of his songs, Everything. If you listen closely, you will be rewarded at the end with Allen's "la la la la laaaaaa la la la" solo.

video

I didn't want to post a bunch of his songs since you can watch the videos on YouTube, minus the screaming fans, but I decided to post another one. You don't have to watch it, I'll never know. But here he is singing Haven't Met You Yet.

video

Just when we thought it couldn't get any better, he pulled off this little impression of someone he claimed to always have wished he could sing and dance like...

video

Before we knew it, he was leaving the stage.


And of course, after the crowd screamed for an encore, he returned for a couple more songs.

And confetti for everybody!

This concert ranks among my favorites. I think that part of what made it so great was the AWESOME SEATS!! (in case you forgot about that little tidbit) but also the full orchestra onstage with him. It's one of the reasons I used to love (old-school) Oingo Boingo. Their concerts were amazing with the varied live accompaniment. You don't get a whole lot of that anymore, and I love it.

This concludes my awesome birthday.

Thanks for enjoying it with me.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Birthday Recap

My birthday was... amazing. It lasted almost a full week, which made it even better.

I woke up the morning of my birthday just after 9:00 a.m. Can you believe I slept that long?! I smelled fire and quickly jumped out of bed to investigate. Allen was in the bathroom, lighting candles. Hubba saw me first and said, "Shhh... we're getting things set up." Allen turned and nicely asked me to please go back to bed.

I laid there for a few minutes, wondering if it would be permissible to grab a book to pass the time, when my alarm went off.

"Does this mean I can get out of bed now?" I called. There was no answer. Everyone was gone. I turned off the alarm and ventured into the bathroom for a nice soak in the tub without kids asking when I'd be done or notes written in crayon being passed under the door.


Right about the time I was draining the tub some music began to play from somewhere on the bathroom counter. It was coming from some strange device I was unfamiliar with. I grabbed it and attempted to follow the instructions on the front but could not figure it out for the life of me. (Technologically smart, I am not.)


He had gotten me a fancy-schmancy phone, the abilities of which I can still not fully comprehend. (P.S. My one request was NO texting, so don't try. That's a whole separate post in and of itself.)


Finally, after 2 more songs, I found the lock and answered. It was my friend Jenny calling. Arrangements had been made for us to go for breakfast at Mimi's Cafe. She picked me up and we enjoyed some omelets, potatoes and muffins along with some great conversation. (It's always a good time with Jenny!) The waiter came to our table and asked which of us was Gerberta then handed me a card.

(like son, like father...)

The note inside explained that we were next going for pedicures & manicures. Can I add that the only thing better than doing all of this on my birthday was being able to do it all with a friend? We both lamented over our lack of recently-shaved legs but decided that they were used to such things at pedicure places. My hands and feet have never been so happy.

(No picture because I did not bring my camera and did not realize that my phone could take pictures. And besides that, my funky feet would likely frighten you. You're welcome.)

We made our way back to Jenny's house where Allen and the kids were hanging out with her family and then headed home for a bit.

Once the kids had returned from school and their dinner was ready, Allen and I met up with Dave and Jenny again, this time for a trip to our favorite local second-hand store. I had mentioned to Allen before that it would be fun to find some awesome outfits there and then go on a date wearing the newly acquired outfits sometime... so this is what we did.

We spent more time than we had originally planned in putting our outfits together but the selection was huge and the end result was well worth it. (My favorite? The shoes. On everyone.)

(He IS BYU. For reals.)


(Have you ever seen a more awesome pair of twinner jackets?! If only they'd had time to grow their hair into mullets...)


(They're having twins. One for each.)

(If those shiny jackets are hurting your eyes, I know.)

As we checked out with our awesome clothing purchases the cashier handed me an envelope with my name on it. Inside was a note from the store itself, thanking me for my hours of time and hoards of cash that have been spent there over the years:

Along with this card:


(Those D.I. workers can get a little risque!)

And then it was time for dinner.

Everyone at Olive Garden was obviously unsure if we were serious or not. Our waitress came to the table with a huge smile every time, as if she was thinking, If you're trying to be funny, I'm thinking you're funny. If you're really like this, then my smile means bless your dear, sweet hearts.

Once dinner was enjoyed we told them it was my birthday so that we could all share the dessert. Smiley-Waitress informed us, "We don't do dessert for birthdays, but we can sing you a rousing birthday song!" We had already (painfully) witnessed that at another table and decided to pass. Besides, the kids were waiting with treats at home. (Just thought y'all would like to know that before you head to Olive Garden for your birthday... they don't do birthday desserts anymore. But you still get an Andes Mint after dinner, which may qualify as dessert. You make the call.)

After modeling our new threads for Dave & Jenny's kids, Allen and I went home to celebrate with the kiddos. They had arranged my favorite treats into this, complete with 38 candles:

Can you say: awesome?

First off, I want to say that my husband ROCKS my world. All of the thoughtful planning that went into making my birthday so memorable was pulled off without my knowing one thing. I am so loved by he and my sweet kids. Thanks, family.


I had also received a plethora of treats, cards and surprises throughout the day and in the days following the anniversary of my day of birth...



Yes, I am spoiled. And I love it. Thanks to everyone who made my birthday awesome. From the 80+ birthday wishes on Facebook (!!) to the comments on my birth-day post to the treats and phone calls not mentioned or pictured here, my birthday was

A-W-E-S-O-M-E.
You people rule.

So, this seems like a good place to end things. But oh, no... it is not over yet. Because on Wednesday of this week, specifically March 31st, Allen and I celebrated with a gift I purchased for myself back in 2009... along with a couple of surprises thrown in.

I think that those deserve a post all their own.

(stay tuned...)