Let's start with the most important thing...my birthday. Hehe. On January 13th, I turned 29 years old. It was a fantastic birthday! I claimed the whole week, and Ethan pampered me a ton. So sweet. I received some awesome gifts, cards, and happy birthday calls and 'facebooks'. My actual birthday was on a Wednesday, the night I am in charge of "Activity Night" for 8-11 year old girls at my church. They had a little surprise party for me, which was so much fun! There were balloons, and one of the moms (and my visiting teacher) brought in a delicious cake for me, part of a slice is pictured above. It was Divine! Since we were only together as a family for one hour on Wed., we decided to have a little family party the Friday after. It's something that could have been skipped, but Anna is big on helping people celebrate their birthday. So, Ethan made a special dinner, we played games, I blew out candles, etc. Ooo, but on Wednesday we went out to dinner...to McDonalds. Hehe. Because - a) we didn't have much time. b) we don't have much $. And c) it really was exciting going to McD's because we don't go out much, and that means I didn't have to cook, serve, or clean up a dinner on my b-day. Yay!!! It's the little things. Hehe. And don't feel too bad, both Chuck and my parents took us out when they came to visit...to nicer places than the golden arches.
Okay, I promise I'm almost done talking about my birthday. I know, so self-centered of me, right? Hehe. So, I've decided that January is the perfect time to have a birthday...because there are tons of sales! I received some birthday money from a few people this year, and was soooooooo excited to go shopping, just for me. It had been awhile...a long while. To add to the excitement, everything was on clearance! (Making room for spring items.) I got so many "just for fun" things, it was AWESOME! Funny thing, it took me a bit to get into the groove of shopping, and trying not to talk myself out of every purchase, like under normal circumstances. Hehe. Oh my, a few of my favs - two new books (The Book Thief and an Encyclopedia of Mythology), a colorful scarf, new bracelets and hair accessories, new jeans!!! (I've been needing some for about six months), beautiful tops for only a few dollars each, a new DVD...okay, I'll stop. It was seriously so exciting. And yeah, I got a few more items, because everything was so dang cheap right now. Ahhh...
Detroit Auto Show - All Benjamin wanted to do was find little ramps to run up and down, and up and down, and up and down, the whole time. Anna liked finding models to talk to or wave at. All of the car models were very sleek - dark dresses, dark features, tight clothes, etc. Except this one Korean brand of car (not Kia), where their models were dressed...in costume? Hmmm, this one above was very friendly with Anna and talked to her for a bit.
First pic - Grandpa Chuck and Anna posing by the race car. Anna kept wanting to try out all the red vehicles...our favorite color. In the picture above, we are driving to China in our red truck...but we don't make it all the way there, so we have to get out and walk. (Anna is so imaginative...it cracks me up!) And the last picture is another smart car. Anna loved these because she thought they were just her size.
Grandpa Chuck came for a quick trip this past weekend. We were all very excited he came! Even though Ben-Ben doesn't look very excited in this picture, he just LOVED having his 'Boo-pa' Chuck here. He followed him everywhere, gave him lots of hugs and kisses, and was just giddy with excitement. The same with Anna. Both days she got up super early, pretty much unheard of for her, and went right into Grandpa's room and started chatting away. She also made sure there were chocolate chip cookies waiting for his arrival. So sweet. I love how excited my kiddies are to see family. I hope that never changes. Family is so important to me, and I want my kids to feel the same way. We had tons of fun at the Auto show, and after, Chuck drove us around downtown Detroit for a bit. I'd never been, so I loved looking around...it was intense. Ooo, one last high light of the trip - Ethan and Chuck's late night run to Church's Chicken. Hmm, so yummy. So dangerous. Hehe. Thanks, Chuck!!! Come back soon Boo-pa...we miss you already! (And bring Gramma with you next time! :)
My dad had a meeting in Ann Arbor on Monday. So, Grandpa Chuck left early Sunday, and before bedtime, the babies had more grandparents visiting. Nice! The only picture I got was the one above of Anna and Grandma Susan. We went to story time at the library, and one of the stories was about a man with a mustache. All the kids got to go home with a mustache of their very own. Fun, fun! Anna absolutely loves it, and has been wearing it around the house non stop lately. A very exciting event on Monday night - Ethan and I went on a date....out...alone....no kids. It. Was. Amazing!!! For my 'birthday dinner' from my parents, they offered to take the kids out else where, and pay for Ethan and I to go out alone to one of my favorite restaurants. Mmmm, Red Lobster....I hadn't been in a year and a half. Too long. It was the best idea ever! I actually got to enjoy my dinner, uninterrupted. And Ethan and I actually got to talk to each other while we ate. Thanks mom and dad! After we got home, my mom was telling me about their dinner. Anna wanted the girls to sit at a separate table. So, my dad had Ben-Ben all to himself. He said it was the most stressful dinner he's ever had. My mom thought it was hilarious, because Grandpa Dewey is 60 years old, and he is just now experiencing a stressful dinner with a toddler. (My mom always took care of that kind of thing when we were little.) A growing experience for my dad. Yay! And yes, we all miss you both already too! Come back soon Boo-pa and Moo-ma!
Thought I'd throw a few more pics of Anna on here, since it's such a long entry already. The first one shows Anna's creativity. A dinner of chicken tacos turns into a bird. Anna really did eat most of her dinner...and we told her it was okay. The second one shows Anna's concentration while coloring. Auntie Ashley gave Anna some of these for Christmas, and Anna loves them. Anna is a bit of a perfectionist, and she loves that you can't see mistakes. And the last one is when Anna fell asleep on the way back from the car show. Sweet little squishy face was exhausted! Love her!
Final picture - Ben-Ben getting into more mischief. Seriously, he learns something new every day. The baby proofing is just never done. He can push chairs over, and pull them around now. It opens a whole new, long list of things that need to be moved out of his reach...and pretty much means he just shouldn't be left alone...ever...even for a minute...like NEVER. Love him!
Okay, really this post should have ended by now, but I have one more thing to write about...more about my birthday. Hehe! I know, when will it end? :) So, I've gotten lots of comments about my last year in my twenties, that I must be dreading my next birthday, that getting older stinks, etc. Am I the only girl out there that doesn't care about the natural progression of time?! Sure, maybe I'll get weird about it down the road, but I doubt it. I can maybe see myself, 20 or 30 years from now, getting a little melancholy about time time going by too fast, but that's it. And maybe not.
So this is what I think - EVERYONE ages at the same rate. There's nothing anyone can do about it. Plus, life is exciting, all the different stages. The only way to experience it is to get older!!! This problem with aging really confuses me. And just to clarify - I feel young, people often assume I am younger than I am, and 29 isn't really old anyway. I've experienced and accomplished most of the things I've hoped to by this point in my life. And I'm happy. I hope that all of you, especially you women, give it some thought, and then come to embrace your age! It's just a number! Alright, I'm done. For real. Love to all!