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We about caught fire from my cake!

This year’s birthday snuck up in the middle of the week, and like a lot of birthdays nowadays, was filled with the normal, everyday routines before we got to the party.

Pip showing off again.

After getting the fire started and making lunches, I hurried to drop the girls off at school. Henry and Zoey helped me check on the animals, feed, and water them, and make sure they were all as happy as possible in the cold weather.


When we went in, more snow started falling, which is always kind of magical in anticipation of Christmas, even if it makes everything more challenging–slick roads and frozen water troughs isn’t exactly fun.

The final holiday decorations were put up, making the house feel warm and festive.
The warmth comes from that burning hot wood stove, too.
(That thing gives off some heat!)

As a treat after lunch, I sat down and watched a sappy Christmas romance–the kind Jack makes fun of me for watching, so I have to sneak them in during the day if I want to enjoy them in peace. I see it as studying for future books I might write.


And, because Jack brings me a cake for my birthday so I don’t have bake my own, Henry, Zoey, and I might have had our sweet tooth satisfied with a squirt of RediWhip earlier in the day.


Insisting Henry and Zoey still take their naps, even though they don’t think they need them anymore, I got in a solid chunk of writing time. Unfortunately, my setup had become a bit precarious–several of the keys had started falling off, the memory was always teetering on the brink of dangerously full, a section of pixels had started dying and going black on the screen, then, to top it all off, Zoey tried to share a cup of water with me and ended up dumping it all over the keyboard. After all was said and done, the S key was kaput, which, to a writer, is a pretty important key (why couldn’t it have been the X?!?). So Jack suggested I hook up our desktop keyboard to it as a short-term fix. It worked fine, although even that slowed down my productivity. Oh, well. Can’t really be upset with a one-year-old for sharing, can I?


One of the gifts I gave myself for my birthday was that of a clean house. I really don’t do well with clutter and messes, so after a nap myself, I tidied up the kitchen. Then, when the girls got home, I had them help me clean up the living room because if we’re being honest, I’m not the one making 98% of the messes in the first place.


One of the best parts of my birthday at this age is that Jack gives me a break from cooking. He brought home some pizza and decorated a cake for me, complete with 35 blazing candles, “Happy Birthday” written in squiggly cream cheese frosting, and “geriatric” on the side, an inside joke he likes to tease me about now that I’m thirty-five and pregnant. 


Even if Jack will never let me live down that I’m a year and four months older than him (I’m a cradle robber, according to him),  he always wins at gift giving. He surprised me with a brand new laptop, that’s a definite upgrade from the last. I don’t know how intuitive of a surprise it was necessarily, seeing as I literally cried after Zoey ruined my other computer and I let him know full-well how upset I was, but I appreciate that he did the research and took the plunge for me. If I don’t have a kid on my lap, I probably have the laptop on it.


And, of course, the kids left me all kinds of trinkets, pictures, and open displays of affection for my special day.

Though my birthday wasn’t all perfect–there were still irrational toddler meltdowns, bickering between the kids for the most ridiculous reasons, chores and cleaning that couldn’t be put off, and commitments that took me away from home, it was still a really fantastic birthday. I think that’s the way thirty-five goes, and honestly, I’m happy about that. A busy house and people to celebrate with is the best gift of all.

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True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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