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Happy Birthday To Me

December 4, 2009

Oh, it has surely started out that way – wait, it’s is HAPPY birthday, not funny birthday… right?  Not around here! 

Picture this.  I get a nice sized box delivered on Monday and tell the sender, my daughter and family, that I’ve received it.  Now these are people who buy Christmas presents, put them in a closet where they seem to grow and ripen, sending out irresistible “tell” hormones which compel the adult Johnsons to make the intended recipient open them immediately, thereby creating a need for the purchase of MORE things in the hope these may actually make it under the tree OR wrapping up the already-received gift and acting surprised upon their reopening.  So anyway, Adrienne tells me to go ahead and open the largest of 3 packages. 

I say hesitantly, “Really, are you sure?  But it’s not my birthday yet and I want to have things to open on that day…”  But she insists.  Starting with the card, I open. 

“Well I should’ve waited”, I wail, “it’s from the kids and they aren’t there to hear me make my happy sounds!?” 

“It’s okay” says my impatient daughter, “Maija wrapped them all herself, by the way.” 

I melt at that thought, and reluctantly, but with that eager anticipation of the unknown rising in my midsection, I tear into the gift.  Ahem:

Crazy-Cat-Lady-GameCrazy Cat Lady Board Game

You can never have too many cats? Or can you? In this exciting board game you attempt to collect more cats than your fellow competitors as you make your way around the board. Gain more cats by landing on spaces like “Save a Cat Stuck in a Tree” and “Rescue Grumpy Old Cat From Pound.” But watch out for spaces that take cats from you like “Beware of Dog” and “Kitten Distracted by Bit of Fluff.” Fantastic feline fun for the whole family! Includes game board with spinner, four game pieces with plastic stands, fifty 5/8" tall plastic cats and four Wildcat cards.

This should be expected I guess.  I do bring it upon myself what with my abject adoration for Frankie, Myrrh, Cleo and Sassy.  As well as the other unnamed hundreds I’ve been owned by throughout my life. 

My husband came home and saw the ripped paper, not the item mind you, just the paper.  Without missing a beat, as he dropped his keys on the entryway table and walked toward the bedroom (where his awaiting PJ’s lay, draped over the chair), he quipped, “more crazy cat lady stuff?”  Is he psychic???  No.  A past present says it all:

This “Crazy Cat Lady Action Figure Set” (also given to me by the aforementioned naughty Adrienne) was dutifully passed on to my sister, Princess Running Lips, who is ALSO a crazy cat lady.  She does things even I don’t do, but that is her story to tell.

My husband apparently couldn’t not get me something, even though I thought we’d agreed, no birthday and no Christmas this year!  He claims he’d already ordered this, so he had to give it to me.  It made the antsy delight even sweeter as it was a forbidden treasure; Pandora’s box had nothing on the two pink tissue wrapped items in that pretty birthday bag. 

“Here, open this one” He said, squishing the presents to make sure he handed me the correct one.  “Oh, card first!” 

I opened the card which had – what else? – a kitty drawing on the front.  “♫ MEOW MEOW MEOW OW OW OW ♪ ♪” screamed what sounded like a dozen tortured felines (and one obviously lost dog) to the tune of “Happy Birthday to You”.  There to capture the ripped tissue paper, was one of my beloved cats.  Sassy’s eyes were enormous and she cautiously crouched and sidled closer to see what ailed me.

The card done, it was time for the goodies – what is it, what is it?  My impatience was warmed by the fact that he had so thoughtfully done something “anyway”. 

Ooooo – Delicious chocolates, DARK chocolates, my favorite!  “YUM”, I think, along with that “oh I’m so fat” regretful internal moan I kick to the back of my consciousness.  Those thoughts have no business here on my birthday!  The second gift in my hand, I ripped away.  I looked up at him and laughed:

tj_ball_largeChalene Johnson’s Get on the Ball Kickin’ Core & Turbo Jam Total Body Blast

Hint-Hint honey??? Now to be fair he knows I Love, Love, Love Chalene and her crew.  I lost 25 pounds with them by following her diet plan and working out every single day, for a year.  Then, well, I stopped, really we stopped as we were doing this together.  Don’t ask why, life I guess.  David knows I’ve missed her tons, to the tune of 20+ pounds!  So, you see he was getting me something I loved.  A little chocolate, and a LOT of Chalene! 

Meanwhile Adrienne called to wish me a Happy Birthday. 

“We have violin and viola tonight” she said, meaning my grand-naughties had lessons, and she had to take them, “so you kind of HAVE to open your presents now.”

It was 7:17 a.m. and they were at Byerly’s getting their lattes or some-such.  “I’m putting you on speaker.” 

I said what a fabulous job Maija did wrapping grandma’s presents, and I heard the little “thank you” in the iPhone background.  I opened up this:

Nintendo Wii - Sports Resort w/Wii Motion Plus - 1 ea and this Wii Remote with MotionPlus.jpg

Isn’t that awesome? Another something to get mom moving! Hey, I wonder if they are all conspiring together…?  Nah, coincidence.

My morning continues with the birthday cards that came in the mail (which I did NOT open until today, my actual birthday).  They were nice and appropriate – expounding my virtues (see, I am not EITHER quirky) and bemoaning the distance between the sender and me.  I concur in my heart as I read the bittersweet sentiments.

So far I’ve had a long, sweet chat with my boy Collin, and spoke with his brother Jesse on HIS birthday (12/2) for “our” birthday.  I talked to my dad and Tina and received their warm and welcomed wishes. It’s not yet noon as I write this, so just imagine I have the rest of the day to look forward to.  Even on FaceBook (I supposed I’m going to get “Crazy FaceBook Lady Action Figures” now too…) I’ve had countless greetings from near and far.  It is just so nice!

Tonight I’ll talk to my mom as is our habit.  We’ll laugh about all of the silliness, share in the “thank you for bearing me all of those years ago today” moment, and enjoy our usual hour-long conversation.  Then it will be dinner with MIL, FIL, and some of their friends – tomorrow night is the actual birthday dinner, and then Sunday, well it’s the birthday brunch of course! 

I want to leave you with this, as you’ve made it this far, please bear with me.  Many people have said to me “you’re so lucky!” for one reason or another.  They see my shades, or art; my studio/workspace, home, writing, music, business, the store I had, they’ve been keeping up on our move, see the quick ‘sale’ of our house; they see my relationship with David – on and on are these events and things, held up as proof of my “luck”.  Even my curly hair!  They see the challenges in my life work out for the better over and over.  They can’t help but witness the good things, the positive results often times flying in the face of personal adversity. 

I have to tell you what I tell them. 

“Luck”, I say, “Has nothing to do with it.”

I mean this with all that I am, “It is God, my Heavenly Father, it is Jesus, the Holy Spirit working.  He is in control of my life, it isn’t luck, it is His divine blessing!” 

Now I’m sure I’ve made you uncomfortable.  But admit it, I don’t do this often.  It’s okay, go ahead.  Roll your eyes and write it off as another one of my ‘things’ or however you cat-agorize (LOL, couldn’t resist) Christians who say the “G or J” words right out loud.  But I am compelled to give credit where credit is due and it is my birthday, therefore I can if I want.  So today I’m going to Praise The Lord, writing it plain for all to see, for this day, my day, and for all of His goodness to me. 

Happy Birthday to me, Thank You Father, ILY – xJ


8 Comments leave one →
  1. December 4, 2009 12:44 pm

    Happy Birthday! Sounds like it is off to a great start and you got some great presents too. Hope the rest of the day is a wonderful one!

  2. December 4, 2009 12:59 pm

    Have a wonderful day! The resort wii looks like fun. I have to ask my son which wii game he wants. I don’t think it will be exercise, though.

    I have an exhausted blank mind, or I’d write more. Let me just say, “good for you”! and happy b’day.

  3. December 4, 2009 7:02 pm

    Hi Jennifer!
    First let me say, happy birthday to you!
    Second, how hysterical about the cat lady! My daughter and I ALWAYS talk about that because she….she wants every stray in the world! I’m telling her that she will be the all time model for the cat lady!
    Enjoy your wii, they are too fun!

  4. December 4, 2009 8:17 pm

    Happy Birthday Jennifer! Your family sounds like a hoot! I guess if you can’t beat em, join em. You’ll have to play that game and let me know how it goes!

  5. December 5, 2009 1:15 am

    Oh my goodness I loved your birthday post. I read it all and laughed so mny times. Thank you for sharing your birthday with us and your son’s too. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU BOTH I love your kids and their sense of humor. They must get it from you. Your hubby got into the spirit too. Jennifer, I really do love the way your tell a story. I get impatient and keep it short. Like now, I haven’t done my pinkie post yet.LOL. I can’t miss that.

    Saying good night, Hugs, Jeanne

  6. princessrunninglips permalink
    December 5, 2009 9:11 am

    …is late with birthday wishes…tho they were in my heart all day…road to womanhood? cripes, the freeway and going agains traffic…jennifer is my lttle sister…in many ways, but coming into my life after me is most important…beautiful in so many ways…she’s always been amazingly talented, from her angelic voice that always made me cry, to her creative thoughtfulness, and her explosion into her fabulous shades, collages and lovely stories of magic…tho she has always been a storyteller, these are cloudwalking meanders of fun…happiest of days, my sometimes bane of childhood, oh…and, teehee, unfortunate victim of our torture…but, god, i do love you. we laugh until we cry and at this age maybe we should be wearing depends….i love you happpy birthday and yes, i am thankful god for sending this gem of love into our lives….prl

  7. Jodi D. permalink
    December 5, 2009 11:13 am

    I am loving you are loved CCL! xoxo I’m starting a new workout program myself…you say you love Chalene??? Hmmmmmm…..


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