It's my birthday. I'm so old.

It's that time of year again! Christmas! Wassail! Turkey, ham, cheeseballs, cake. Yes, cake. Because it's my birthday.

I worked all freakin' day on Saturday, which was a bit of a drag. Every other Saturday I've worked so far (this round), people get cut early. We fully staff the store to deal with the morning and mid-day rushes, but then we're typically dead by the afternoon.

Not this last Saturday. Apparently the 18th of December is in competition with Black Friday as our busiest day of the year at Starbucks.

So I drug my feet for 8 hours, and made it abundantly clear to my assistant manager that it was my birthday. I rubbed it in bad. Tim and I had had a quick conversation just before opening one morning back in November about my birthday. I asked him if I could work that day but just get my hours in earlier rather than later. He flipped through the time requests book and then shut it and shoved it back on the shelf.

"Your birthday is on a Thursday and you don't work Thursdays."

"Oh, uh, well, no it's not..." But by the time I finished saying that I was talking to his back. Heck, it was 4:30a.m. - no one is putting their best foot forward at that time of day.

And so I worked on my birthday, 8:30a.m. to 4p.m. Talk about a sucky shift. I really really wanted to go home. The hours between noon and 3p.m. were particularly torturous. I saw Nate in the morning before heading to work and asked him if he would bring the girls in to say hi. He didn't understand why it was so important to me - it was about then that I realized he had forgotten it was my birthday. I didn't say anything, resolving to not be upset until 24 hours had passed: I'd give him all day to remember.

I kept texting with him throughout the morning, asking him to bring the girls in. He was hesitant (knowing that I don't exactly have huge windows of time to say hi when we're in the middle of a rush at work). It was around 12:30 that I realized I had the car with the carseats. There would be no visits from little ones. I was so sad! I had spent all morning looking expectantly at the door every time it opened. Around 3:15 Nate wished me a happy birthday via text. And without a reminder; he was redeemed.

After work, Nate and I got ready for our first ever ugly Christmas sweater party. It was awe-some. Of course Goodwill was out of ugly sweaters when I went in the other day, so we looked nice rather than ridiculous.

I was so blessed/touched/tickled/reduced to near tears when the host and hostess surprised me with a birthday cake. I can't even begin to really define what it meant to me...It was so special and meaningful! It's been ages since a surprise like that! The other fun thing about it was that I knew the host and hostess and Rae Ann - everyone else at the party was a stranger to me, so when the lights went out and the cake came in and everyone began to sing "Happy Birthday" (with much gusto and bravado), well, it was pretty much awesome.

After eating cake, we played a game called Cutthroat Maffia. Ever heard of it? I rarely get to play games any more. Nate won't play with me. The bum. He says it's because I'm too enthusiastic or something or other. He might have used the word competitive but I can't remember.

I was maffia twice and a townsperson three times. Nate was maffia twice. I killed him the two times I was maffia but he graciously only killed me once. I died the other two rounds also, and I think I was killed both times by the host. I was never rightfully accused of murdering the person I actually killed, but I did get sent away for murders I didn't commit. The justice system is messy. Good times!

Since I worked all day on Saturday, we got down to the business of celebrating as a family on Sunday. We started out the day by sleeping in and then heading off to Joe's Donuts in Sandy. I made the mistake of mentioning donuts with sprinkles to Hazel while I was dressing her, so we had to listen to her chatter in anticipation for another two hours before we actually sat down to eat the donuts.

After Joe's, we headed home and put the girls down for naps. Nate had to make a quick trip to Portland to pick up his mom so I puttered around the room doing dishes and laundry, waiting for him to get home. Turns out he got a call from his mom on his way out the door - she didn't need a ride any longer so instead of driving to Portland, he went to the store and bought me flowers and a card. He left them in the car for me so that I was surprised by them when we finally headed out for our evening together.

We took I-205 North toward Gresham but realized pretty quickly that the freeway was a mess. It had started to snow and all the crazy Oregonians forgot how to drive in the cold and wet conditions. Who can blame them, though, really? It had already been two days since the last rain. Anyway, we took back roads into Gresham. The closer we got, the bigger the snowflakes. It was awesome! When we arrived at Starbucks for a pick-me-up, the flakes were huge and coming down fast. We ran in and bought our coffee; by the time we got back to the car, there was quite an accumulation of flakes. It was so beautiful!

We drove into Sandy (again) for dinner at Calamity Jane's (a really fattening and tasty dinner of chili cheese fries and burgers) and then we went to the movies and saw "Tron." Nate loved it immediately. The whole '80s vibe had him stoked. I ran to the bathroom during the movie and I think I picked the most vital part because I'm still a little confused by the movie...

We were home by 11p.m., which was a perfect end to the day. Now it's Monday and I'm still old.

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