Post Edit: I wrote this little number last night around midnight after a lot of wine. I apologize in advance for my blabbering.
So, tonight I have just turned another corner in my life . . . another year, another 365 days in front of me.
I wouldn't even be posting this except for the fact that I went out with friends and we had wine, tonight.
A lot of wine.
But, here's what I have to say, especially to all you young mommy bloggers.
I have always lived a life full of fun and adventure and ridiculousness and I thought I couldn't live life more to the hilt and then I met this man who took life and just blew it up and made it grander than I ever thought possible. Even when we had no cash. Even when we were working in restaurants and relying on tips and the beginning of our dreams.
We lived life hard. Always.
I remember turning 28 years old. And at 28, I had a tiny house and a solid job. We filled that thimble sized house with friends and family as much as possible. There was always a reason to have a party. There was always fun to be had. There was always the stuff of nonsense going on in our home.
My Hubby gave me a party on my 28th birthday. It was a surprise party. But I shouldn't have been surprised. The year before, he'd given me a surprise party and he kept at it until after my 30th birthday.
He excels at parties and surprises. Life should always be celebrated in his eyes.
Anyway, at my 28th birthday party, someone knocked over my plant stand. It held one of those constantly burgeoning spider plants in a wrought iron stand. Someone barged into it and over it went.
And when it toppled over, everyone at the party stopped their conversation to watch.
The plant stand crashed to the ground and as it hit, an object came flying out of the plant, like a missile.
I had no idea what it was, but immediately people started whooping and cheering and exploding with laughter.
I walked over to the spilled plant and I couldn't believe my eyes.
It was a dried up piece of pizza, certainly put in the plant from one of the many parties before this one.
I was mortified. A freakin-ass dried out piece of pizza had come flying out of my plant during a party.
It nearly ruined me as I pretended to go along, laughing with the maniacal crowd.
But I was mortified. How long had there been a piece of pizza in my plant? And now a houseful of people thought I kept my pizza leftovers in my plants.
One of my dearest friends noticed my humiliation. She came up to me and I'll never forget what she said, "Don't be embarrassed. So big deal, during one of the zillions of parties you have, someone in a full house, slipped a piece of pizza in your plant and you never noticed. Another great story to add to the stories of your life. And you have the best stories of anyone I know. And that is s sign of a life well lived. So you need to celebrate that damn pizza."
Even though my friend's words were well intentioned, it still bothered me. So I kept that story to myself.
But tonight, I'm freeing my pizza story.
I don't know why, but that memory popped up in my brain tonight and after all these years of living this zany, madcap adventure of a life, I realized my friend was right. I will go out to dinner with my family on my birthday and I will raise a glass to myself and say, "To a life well lived."
So for today, on this the day of my birth, in the midst of my 40's, I say to all of you, but mostly to you young ones, may your life overflow with overturned plant stands full of dried up pizza. Because, that is what every bit of this is about.
Have fun. And never, ever take your life too seriously.
Another Post Edit:
It is now morning and I'm in my bed, a bed filled with dogs and daughters and one amazing man who made me a fried egg and gouda croissant sandwich and stuck a candle in it and as I sit here ending this post, my inbox is filling at a fast and furious rate with all kinds of birthday wishes.
I am blessed beyond measure.
And I will be forever grateful for a life and pizza that flies out of plant stands.
I had a very special shout out this morning from a dear friend of mine.
Joseph Husslein is riding his bike across the country, 3,240 miles in 41 days, in an endeavor to raise money for the foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters.
He's calling it the Little Big Ride and you can read all about his incredible feat here on his website, littlebigride.org. You can follow along with him as he blogs about his daily rides across the country.
Today, he begins his ride and he has dedicated the first day of his ride to me. MEEEE!!! I say with a Justin Bieber adolescent girl type squeal.
Remember Joseph in the next 41 days as he treks through 11 different states, riding his heart out and if you can, you can donate to his worthy cause at littlebigride.org.
Ride hard, Joe. My prayers and good wishes go with you.
Today's Birthday Download: A long time ago, I will admit, I loved Kenny Loggins. That's right. Me. Kenny Loggins. I know, surprising. But I liked him well before his days of the awfulness of "Footloose" and all those other bad, bad movie soundtracks. I was his fan when it was just him and his melodious voice and his brilliant songwriting. This is my favorite Kenny Loggins' song—"Celebrate Me Home". It is just so heartfelt and sweet and lovely.
I went over to youtube in search of a good Kenny Loggins video of him singing this song live, but I stumbled upon this, instead. A video of soldiers coming home from war set to Kenny's song. And I thought this was more appropriate for the day after 9/11. A heady reminder of those who sacrifice so much for our freedom. No matter which side of the fence you stand on, we all need to keep in our hearts and prayers our troops and the thousands of innocent lives lost 9 years ago, yesterday.