Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Celebrating a Milestone~ My 40th Birthday

It came and it went. 
It wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it might be.
We document all sorts of milestones for our children, 
why not do it for myself?

You may remember here where I had some apprehension about stepping into this next decade. Some jump in with two feet. I, myself,  just wanted to tip-toe in. It turned out to be such a fabulous day I knew I had to record it. Both to relive it over and over in my mind and also to remind myself that anxiety is such a useless waste of energy. 

As you know, we were in Thailand on the big day. I would just like to put on the record that we were NOT in Thailand FOR my is a pretty sweet convenience that my birthday falls on Chinese National Week where we leave town because Beijing gets pretty crazy. It is a win-win situation though. It takes pressure off of hubby to plan anything...something...above and beyond to celebrate my special day. And I get the lucky reward of ringing in a new year of my life in some far-off, exotic locale. However, it just shows the grass is always greener because I would slightly prefer having all of my friends and family with me on my big day...I am just like that. Not complaining though!

A few nights earlier, before hubby arrived, we were walking through some stalls at the resort. These local vendors come once or twice a week to sell their often hand-made items. I had spotted a Thai style piece of pottery. I walked away from it but could not stop thinking of it over dinner. When the kids and I passed by it again, little D said, "Mom, buy that and I will tell dad to take the money out of my bank account to pay for it for your birthday. I wanted to get it for you as a surprise but I don't know how to do it since Dad is not here." He is my sweetie that always thinks of my feelings. So I bought it and knew, inside, I would not tell Dad to deduct the money. His heartfelt thoughtfulness was all I needed. This is the same kid as last year, while on our cruise, asked me to dance for my birthday gift. He will make a great husband someday. I am also calling this new indoor fountain my birthday gift.

Thai Pottery compliments of the son.

Someday I might want to know what this pottery is all about.

My big day began at midnight. I was sitting in our gorgeous villa, listening to the waves crash just outside the door, anticipating our adventures the next day. Of course I was on the computer. Right at the stroke of twelve an e-card popped up from my husband. This is  BIG for him. It was sweet. I also was able to chat with a good friend in the US for a bit. I then read a birthday email from my parents. Any email from them is a treat, this one no different. My heartstrings were being tugged for my family and friends back home. Nevertheless, I settled into our feather light 300 count sheeted (oh how I love) Marriott bed

We woke early as it was the last dive day for hubby and kids to become fully SCUBA certified. With "Happy Birthday" rolling off of their lips we set out on the boat for the day. Since I was not diving, my day was a relaxing mix of sun, fresh air and salt water. We stopped at two locations where I snorkeled above the three of them diving at the bottom of the sea. When I think back to this day, that image of them happily cohorting with sea life will be what I envision. Our day on the open waters of the Indian Ocean was a wonderful way to celebrate my day.

Beautiful day for water sports!

This cute girl posted about me on Facebook for my birthday.
So proud to be her mom!

Hopefully he puts up with me for another forty years!
We arrived back at the hotel just in time to shower and make our dinner reservation. One of the highlights of my entire day was when D snuck out for a few minutes. He came back with a flower and a handwritten birthday note written on Marriott stationery. I noticed he carried this little bag to dinner. After we ordered he took out the flower and note and gave it to me. His note said; "Handle with Care", "Top Secret Mom Only" (ooops), "Sorry this is really different from a normal card! But it carries the same message: wo ai ni!" (That means I love you in mandarin), "Happy Birthday Mom!" I love that kid!

I chose the steak and seafood restaurant at the resort. It is an open-air restaurant that is steps from the sand. We planned it perfectly to see the sunset. Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I love a good steak! Pair it with half of a lobster and I am in heaven, which is exactly what all four of us did when each of us ordered the surf and turf. Is it terrible to admit that I made my own dinner reservations and I told the concierge it was my birthday? Yea, pretty shameless...But it did ensure some singing and a cake. Unfortunately, we have few pictures of this wonderful dinner because hubby wanted to go back to get the "good" camera and I wouldn't let him because he would've missed the sunset. We took some iPhone pics that resulted in red eyes and no view of the ocean or sunset due to bad lighting. 
Oh how I love to see our name in print.
The only half-way decent picture of the evening.
That white shine in the background is the sea with a gorgeous sunset.
Only in our memory sadly.
Steak and lobster baby!

Nice thought Thai people...but where's the rest of the chocolate?

When we arrived back to the villa there was another cake on our dining room table with a nice note from the resort. Hubby had made sure to mention my birthday when he checked in. That made me happy. I settled on to the computer to literally hundreds of Facebook posts and emails from loved ones near and far. As I lay my head on the pillow, I was content with this new number and anxiously awaiting what other adventures this decade will bring. 
Again, A+ for thought. C for lack of chocolate.

 Since I am now in my mid-life I bought a sun hat to protect my skin. Younger friends: start early! It took multiple try-ons, at multiple tropical destinations, to find a hat that both kids approved of. Somehow I did not miraculously turn into Lauren Conrad when the hat went on. She looks so good in big floppy hats.
Can you tell I am not sure how I feel about this hat?
Maybe my Giants hat is more me.


Leslie said...

So happy your birthday was fabulous!

Anonymous said...

So glad you had a great day, and a great trip. So envious!! The piece of pottery is gorgeous, and even more so, because of your sweet thoughtful young man, Dayton. I love that boy!!
and....steak and lobster...YUM!

Liz R. said...

looks like a fun day! and dayton... so sweet... ah, boys.

how funny you mention the hat thing. i've got a giant sun freckle on my face and i think i should start carrying an umbrella around like all the old asian women that walk their grandkids to school...