if you follow along on facebook, you would have seen some of these photos already
wednesday the 6th was my actual birthday but because i live on a different continent to so many
family and friends, i often end up having a birthday week ... thanks to time differences
not that i mind. seriously. it's fun !
birthday week, day one started with a friend buying me a mug of hot chocolate
here's birthday week, day two ... card, cafe, chocolate con leche ... at work.
my actual birthday ...
i get to work and find this !
so much fun !
and then, while i'm there, i get a phone call from my best friend Shay
and then a facetime from my sister and her boys
and then a video arrives from Shay and her family ... signing and singing happy birthday to me
that made me cry
half way through the morning, my lovely friend Jodie poked her head into my office
(i love it when she does that)
she came bearing delicious treats ...
for lunch, the girls in my department and i hit the local sushi joint
i probably don't need to tell you that sushi is my ALL TIME favorite food
i could live on it.
three meals a day, every day, til the end of my days
if only i could afford it
after lunch, i didn't go back to work
i wandered the mall a bit, i NEVER get to do that
i went to a kitchen shop
i LOVE to do that
i went to a little lolly shop to get a Dr Pepper ( this lolly shop is the only place you can get it ! )
and while i was there, i discovered that they had (ALL NEW) candy corn
i love them
when it was time to get the kids, my friend toni greeted me with a present from smiggle
i could spend a fortune in that shop
i LOVE stationary
we got totally drenched walking into the school
happy birthday to me !
and then on the walk back to the car, she and her youngest boy cam treated me to a couple
renditions of happy birthday
once we got home, i'm sitting outside, watching the kids play ...
catching up on the 123 (yep, i counted) facebook birthday greetings (!!),
when my neighbors came over with birthday cocktails
we had a lovely time chatting !
knowing that i didn't need to get dinner started because rory was coming home
to cook burgers, when offered a 2nd cocktail, i thought 'why not?'
then rory gets home and says
'would you be totally disappointed if i told you i've made a reservation for us at a restaurant ?'
ummmm ... let me think about this for a minute ?!
i still don't have to cook ?
i get to go out ?
yeah ... i'm good !
so ... the kids gave me their presents ...
we are saving to go to the states so i told rory not to buy me presents
and i told the kids too
they got quite creative, making me cards and coupons and a poster
i love their little (big!) hearts !!
here's Alia's coupons ... the yellow that you can't see on the new iPhone game ...
that says "out of my own money"
i said, 'wow, really?'
and she says 'yeah ! daddy says they only cost $1'
ha ha !
free shoulder massage ... my favorite of jono's coupons !
that is me in the picture ... and his hands.
jono drew this poster
i love it
and on the back ...
i love the bit about the giant mutated sun flower.
and then just this morning, rory was looking at the photos my dad posted of me
on his blog
and he noticed this one, it's me on my 7th birthday
(the year that my birthday fell on Easter Sunday)
and look at the poster hanging on the wall behind me ...
do you see it ?
the giant mutated sunflower ?!?!
this is getting pretty long but i'm just getting to the good bit !
rory got a phone call just as we were getting ready to go out, from our friend craig
he said 'we've got a present for bonnie,
would you guys swing by and pick it up on your way to dinner ?'
up until that phone call, i had NO IDEA anything suspicious might be happening
after that ... i wondered if all wasn't as it appeared !
but ... i had NO IDEA of the amazing surprise that lay in wait for me
weeks of planning, international conversations, importing of food
so ... we get to C & J's place to 'pick up the present'
and the house is all decorated
and something smells incredible ... (and very familiar)
and then there were shouts of surprise and the faces of other friends i love
rory hands me an envelope and says
'this is my present to you'
inside the envelope is this menu .........
the foods of my childhood !
and VONGOLE !
(my requested birthday dinner every year since we had lived in Italy !)
now ... this is no easy feat ... because in my little girls mind, the vongole (clams)
HAVE TO BE IN THEIR SHELL
well ... you can't get that here ...
in fact, you can't get clams here at all, unless they are in a can
so Rory IMPORTED them from New Zealand
can you believe that ?!
the food was amazing.
APPARENTLY, they had been cooking all afternoon ... I thought Rory was 'working late' !
Here's the Patatas Alioli and the Champinones Al Ajillo con pan, of course.
And then came the never ending supply of Gambas Al Ajillo ... OH YUM !!
Master Chefs in action ...
Amazing team work ...
And here's the Traditional Vongole ... with homemade fettucine ...
And the Vongole like my Mom used to make, only with a spicy Casa de Ross twist.
Do you know one thing I loved about this night ?
There were so many things I loved ... but here's just one.
I loved that I was the only known clam lover of the bunch but they still cooked this for me !
And (almost) everyone tried the clams ! Some even liked them !
All of these dishes were new to everyone besides me and Rory, and everyone tried them !
And again ... liked (and even loved) them !
I love the adventurous nature of this group of friends !
And I love that they love to celebrate life.
Mom ... Rory insisted that I take this photo for you ....
Empty shells !!
When we were little, it was tradition in our house that all birthday cakes had to be chocolate.
So ... we have gazillions of birthday pictures of us COVERED IN CHOCOLATE !
BUT, once we were old enough to request our own birthday cake preference ... mine was
ALWAYS cheesecake (with cherries on top) !
My sweet friend Donna recently learned this about me and though she had never made one
before, she baked me the most wonderful birthday cheesecake ! with berries ! oh my !
and Jodie made cupcakes
that I have yet to try
but some came home with us and I will be having one for breakfast !
I was crowned 'birthday queen' and actually wore my 'crown' for a good hour.
Not the mask though ... it was way too hot for that !
Spoiled ? Yeah ... I can't disagree.
I have an amazing, thoughtful, selfless husband,
kind, encouraging and giving children,
enthusiastic, creative and (SNEAKY!!) friends,
an extended family like none other,
friends all over the world (thanks to the Navy and now facebook !) that i love
to top it all off ....
my very own website !!
I cannot wait for you all to see it !
Well ... you can sort of see it here but I've crossed off it's name (which you are going to LOVE)
because I don't want you to go there just yet.
I'll let you know when you can !
Craig and I are going to play with it a bit more first ...
by the way, Craig ... who is a music lover, not a web guru, designed this !
Look out world !
All in all ... this has been my best, most favorite birthday ever.
Thanks to everyone who was a part of it !
~ bon ~