Friday, May 18, 2012

How to Have a Happy Birthday

If you want to have a Happy Birthday, decide ahead of time that you will. Attitude is 90 percent of having a happy day.

If your husband happens to be home and agreeable, kick off the celebration by going out - alone! - for an hour on your Birthday Eve. Enjoy the quiet drive to the electronics store. Return the tablet that you bought to replace your deceased laptop, and pick out a shiny new Samsung laptop instead. The tablet is a neat piece of technology, but not very functional for managing a home, school, business, and social life at the same time. Don't waste time mourning the death of your old laptop, even if it did eat your baby's six month pictures and all of your documents when the hard drive crashed. Your blog readers will understand why they'll never see those image-laden posts you had intended to write last week. Take this as a reminder to back up anything important. Right now. (I'm talking to you. Stop reading and go back up your pictures!)

Before heading to bed, change your earrings. If your husband has turned you into a girlie-girl (and he has), he'll want you to have a girl's best friend, and you'll want to look a little extra special for your special day.

On your birthday morning, wake up early - even if you think you could use another hour of sleep. You don't want to waste your birthday lying around in bed. Enjoy your husband's presence, since he is usually at work long before you open your eyes in the morning. Graciously remind him and your children what day it is. Never resent others for not being as date-conscious as you are. If the day matters to you, tell them, smile, and return their birthday hugs.

Check in with your Bible study group on Facebook. Spend some time in the Word, remembering Who gave you this day and every other. Read messages and emails from friends. You just might have a message inviting you to a tour of a local dairy farm on that very day. Since the sun is shining, everyone is healthy, and you have a vehicle for the first time this week, you should go! Plus, you love cows. (Don't you?)

Don't skip your workout; exercise will help keep you happy, and burn off a few of those birthday treat calories too. Shower, eat, and pack up the children for a fun field trip adventure. Meet up with your friend Nancy and her little ones, known by your children as "the family we met in the bikes," because she recognized you from your blog posts and introduced herself when your families were both shopping at WalMart one day. Meet some other homeschooling families, a farmer, and lots of cows.

Learn alongside your children about how the cows are cared for and the milk is processed. Buy plenty of goodies at the farm store - it is your birthday, after all. Rare treats of ice cream, pie, and honey sticks will make the day so much sweeter.

When you arrive home in the afternoon, watch with delight as a monarch butterfly flits arounds your front door. Let the children stay outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. Accept and cherish their offerings of weeds, wildflowers, and a heart-shaped leaf. Then send the older ones to your mother-in-law's. They'll have fun playing with relatives while you enjoy some relative peace and quiet.

Snuggle up with baby in your favorite nursing chair and take a nap together. You won't get much done, you might not even get much rest, but you'll want to savor this moment. Remember doing the same thing half a year ago with your tiny newborn? Before you know it, a few more half-years will go by, and she will be too big for nursing and snuggly afternoon naps in your arms.

If you have time, send a few emails so you can feel like you were productive. Smile that birthday cards and the book you pre-ordered a few weeks ago arrived in the mail. Share your testimony with friends, and reflect on God's grace in your life. Bake the chicken pie (that you bought at the farm) to share with your family when they come home. Finish the day with apple pie, Bible stories, and hugs. Contemplate writing a blog post to recount all of the little blessings of the day. You have had a simple but wonderful birthday, and you are thankful!

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17

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