I love my birthday. Why wouldn’t I, it is a celebration of me! But when you grow up, which, technically, I think I might have, birthdays can be a little trickier. First off there is work, my current employer is not fond of any type of time off. Then there is the budget and a host of other annoying things that fall into the category of ‘adult type responsiblities’ that can take away from one’s birthday. In my 20’s I had the pleasure of having colonoscopy three years in a row, on my birthday. Other than that, I have very fond memories of my birthday. My mom was awesome at making me feel like the most important thing in the world on my birthday. I always got corned beef and cabbage made just for me, alright, it was St. Pat’s Day anyway, but I do love that feast! The last few years have been less exciting. I imagine that I am not the only person out there who has had disappointment from a spouse’s failure to adequately celebrate the birthday. Add young kids with some other random complications and it is pretty easy to not have much energy to celebrate, it happens. This year was different, it was exceptional! It started getting to cuddle with my Claire Bear and she gave me a card and a necklace that she had made just for me, priceless! It wasn’t long before Chloe joined the party and things were rolling. Jared took her out to get cat food as we can completely neglected to remember that we were entirely out, oops! When they returned home, Chloe came running into my room yelling, “mommy, mommy, birthday cake!” It was brilliant! I don’t think that I had ever conceived in my mind just how great it would be to have a little girl run in and ruin a surprise, it was bliss! Even the best birthday ever had a little blip in it, Claire had a pretty major episode where she stopped breathing and got super floppy following. I was so proud of Jared for rolling with it and staying calm, I had no idea that we had reservations, more or less at the greatest restaurant ever and Claire needed to be dropped off so that we could get there. Our friend came to stay with Chloe and we left to take Claire to Kid Quest, both with pretty heavy hearts. Watching Claire stop breathing isn’t fun. Even with her doing it almost daily, it does not get any easier, but it is our lot, no use fighting it. We dropped her off and started our journey to the still unknown destination. It was nice to have some time to talk about how hard the whole Claire thing can be but quickly the conversation turned to the crazy weather and our destination. About 20 minutes into the drive I started narrowing down options as we passed exits and freeways. In typical Captain Awesome fashion, I was given a clue, wonderland streams. It took me half a second to figure out, ALICE WATERS! It never even occurred to me that I would be going to Chez Panisse. That Jared had reservations and had gone to great lengths to keep the secret spoke volumes to me. I pretty much giggled in the car the rest of the way there, despite gale force winds and massive amounts of rain, all I could do is grin. We were seated at a very cozy table (they pull it out for you to sit down and push it back, small space!) and given the days menu. I didn’t think it could get better until I read that today’s menu featured dishes inspired by Julia Child, one of my other heroes. I won’t do the food the injustice of my words, I will just say that it was marvelous. The company was also very nice and I am amazed at the fun grown up, non kid things that we can talk about when given the chance to eat at a time that we are also not completely exhausted, again marvelous is the best I can do to sum it up, but that really is an understatement. Eventually we had to leave and journey home, again through crazy wind and rain, but I was so content that I drifted off to sleep. We finished the day off with a princess movie, pizza and a birthday cake with two of the greatest little girls ever. Huge props to Captain Awesome, I felt like the luckiest girl in the world that day, probably because I am.