Today is my birthday. I apologize if my title is a bit obnoxious, but I do want to remember today and the best way to do that is to get it on my blog.
The day started with Neal bringing me fried eggs on a homemade english muffin with a slice of fresh pineapple. He didn’t make the english muffins, but he did a great job frying the eggs. And I really do enjoy the simple pleasure of breakfast in bed. Particularly because after a night with the AC running in our room, it is the coolest room in the house! After breakfast, Neal, Trae and Tobi went to a softball game at the school. Tanika stayed home and made me a peanut butter cake – yep, homemade, right down to using peanuts ground into peanut butter in the the open market. Then I almost talked myself out of doing my workout but thought better of it and made the right choice – like I’m always telling my kids to do. Working out is somewhat time consuming. Not so much because of the workout (I do between 43 and 52 minutes each day) but because of the time it takes to cool down afterward. If I shower right away – as anyone who comes near me wishes I would do- I just keep right on sweating for the next hour or so. So I have to stop sweating first (not an easy assignment given our relatively high temperatures) and then take my shower. But now I’m going down a rabbit trail. Back to my birthday…
The guys came home and we got ready to go to a nice French restaurant for lunch. One might be surprised that Niger would have a ‘nice French restaurant’. It really is. Niger was colonized by the French, so they do have some influence. It was great to have my in-laws with us as well. Ya know, I don’t really like the term ‘in-law’. It sounds so cold and impersonal. I would just say Mom and Dad, but then those who read this and know me would be confused and think that my parents were here. That would have been great too… So just to be clear, we had lunch with Neal’s parents. It was really nice to have them around on my birthday. It’s been many, many years since I’ve been with any parents on my birthday, so it was really nice to have some around to help celebrate. I will also remember this birthday as one I had to share with the end of Ramadan – a huge Muslim holiday signifying the end of a month of fasting. It was busy everywhere. No shops/stores/markets were open but the roads were way crowded with vehicles and people and animals and many other various and sundry things. But again – a rabbit trail.
After lunch, we came back home to enjoy cake and open presents. Mom and Dad gave me some cloth and a beautiful bracelet that I had been admiring at our gold/silver guy’s shop. When I opened it I commented on how much I liked it, and that Neal doesn’t like getting me jewelry so I count on mom and dad for that. Tanika got me some really cool wire picture holder thingys that I haven’t seen around here before. Trae printed out and is going to bind for me many, many pages of songs with chords so I can practice them on the keyboard. I had hinted about wanting that. Tobi then handed me he and dad’s gift. It was a combo effort on the part of them both. What was inside? Another beautiful silver and gold bracelet with a matching ring. Jewelry! Bite my tongue! Tobi made sure I knew the ring was from him, and told me exactly how much he spent on it. (Dad had to kick in quite a few bucks too). I was really surprised that he went with jewelry and he has such good taste. I might stick up a picture up of my new jewelry but I don’t want anyone to get jealous. They are both silver/gold but different styles that really look gorgeous together. So – kudos to them all. What wonderful gifts. I am blessed.
Later we went to the American Rec Center and had a chocolate shake and just hung out in what is lovingly called ‘the cold room’. It has a great AC, and Armed Forces Network TV. Back home we were going to play Blokus, a brain challenging strategy game but opted instead for a game we haven’t tried yet. That game proved to be not at all challenging so we chose the much more stimulating task of watching TV.
When I was putting Tobi to bed he brought up my age. I might as well just get it out of the way. I’m 43. Now, I know I can hear many of you saying something along the lines of “she’s not really that old, is she?” Right? I know that’s what you’re thinking…. Anyway, Tobi asked me if when I’m 50 if my skin will look like Grama’s. I reminded him that Grama is almost 70 and has very nice skin. He said, “I know she does, but will it be white and brown together?” I said I didn’t know. He asked why that happened. I told him it was changes that take place as you get older. “Like a disease?” he asked. Of course I told him no. I said like me – you can see some wrinkles around my eyes. Now this is precious. He said “Really? Where?” while examining my face from a distance of about 2 inches. He claimed he could see no wrinkles. I don’t think he was trying to be sweet, he just couldn’t see the wrinkles. I didn’t point out that we were sitting in very reduced lighting. What a wonderful end to a wonderful day. I am blessed. Did I already say that?