I sent out an email update on the kids to several friends, one of whom is a dean of a law school in North Carolina. I first came to know her and her husband when they were Young Life Committee members in the college town where I was a Young Life leader. She wrote back to tell me that their eldest daughter had yet to decide where it was she was going to college, even though she is graduating from high school in just a few months. And I might have empathized which such uncertainty were it not that I was trying to wrap my head around the fact that the child she was referring to was the same child I STARTED BABYSITTING WHEN SHE WAS SIX MONTHS OLD.

Now, if someone just out of the blue asked me how long ago I was in college, I’d say it was about five years ago. That’s certainly what it feels like. And then I’d start calculating backwards and realize that five years ago I WAS WORKING FOR THE SAME COMPANY I AM NOW. Same with the year before that, and the year before that. And for two years prior to that, I was working in a different industry, after having completed my Master’s degree TWO YEARS BEFORE THAT. And that gets me to ELEVEN years ago, which was SIX YEARS after I finished high school.

WHAT???

So you can imagine my surprise when I turned thirty-five over the weekend. It’s not that I didn’t know my birthday was coming, or that I’m depressed about my age, or the fact that I’m closer to 40 now than I am to 30. It’s just that I can’t believe I’m not 26! Even if it IS true that my preferred commuting station is National Public Radio. And I look forward to the segment on Engines Of Ingeniuty. For real.

On Saturday, my Mothers Of Multiples group had its bi-annual garage sale. I agreed to co-chair the event and was there from 5-10p on Friday and 8a-12p on Saturday. One of the advantages of working the sale is being able to early-shop, and that’s where I got this steal of a deal on our new coffee table for the room that used to be our living room.

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It’s been a crazy three weeks at the office with long hours resulting in days at a time when I would not see either of my kids awake. So I was very much looking forward to soaking in some time with them post-sale. So sapped of mental energy and creativity, that each time Jennifer would ask what I wanted to do for my birthday, I would respond “nothing, just hang out with you and the kids.”

And of course, she never listens to me.

Behind the scenes, over the previous few weeks, Jennifer had been conspiring with our nanny and the kids, the result of which was a facial and massage at my favorite spa, dinner at our favorite steakhouse, and one night’s stay at the best hotel in town. Needless to say, Jennifer was a bit taken aback when, you know, I CRIED when she showed me the bag, told me to get my purse and get in the car. My sister had apparently warned her I might react this way, but Jennifer kinda forgot to give me even an hour’s heads-up. I can’t even say it was just one thing that opened up the waterworks, more like a combination of spending my first night away from the kids, not having had any control over the planning, and really really really looking forward to it.

It didn’t take me the duration of the facial to be totally fine with spending a night away from home, though. And this comfort was made more certain when I got a text message from the nanny before dinner that both kids went to sleep just fine. Speaking of text messaging, look at what the kids are doing in these photos. How hilarious is this?!

Texting

Texting

(As an aside, as you can see by Harper’s face, you will never really know what she’s up to. As for Mateo, he cannot help but look guilty when he’s up to something.)

The personal pampering and dinner were so indulgent that upon our return to the hotel, we promptly collapsed into deep slumber and had the gift of sleeping in a dark, quiet room until nearly 10:00 a.m. It was decadent and refreshing and something neither of us have done in nearly a year (and probably won’t be repeated for another 18 years, or as Jennifer said, not until HER birthday).

I was itching to get home and see the kids so we checked out, grabbed some breakfast, and drove the 10 minutes to the house, able to spend the remainder of the day enjoying more daylight and two of the best gifts of all.

I leave you with a little video of the kids.

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