Monday, August 3, 2009

The Highs and Lows

So yesterday was my birthday. As much as I would like to hide the age, I cannot since I do the birthday blessing list each year. 38. I am not really excited about that age. I don't think I will age gracefully. I preferred being younger. Now I am nearing another big "milestone"...ugh. Plus, I like odd numbers, not even numbers. 37 was okay. 38 is not...

But since I cannot stop time from marching on (across my face), I just have to go with the flow. Yesterday morning we slept in. It is just so sweet to truly sleep in without anyone coming in to ask if you are up yet. I checked e-mail and was touched to have receive some birthday greetings on e-mail and Facebook both...gotta love the tech age! We enjoyed a little breakfast, packed up, and checked out. Then we went on the final Arkansas' highest point. Before we headed up the hill, we took one last picture by the lodge. Sadly this was the only waterfall we found...right in front of the lodge, totally manmade. :) (We are always in search of beautiful waterfalls and have yet to find one via a matter what the brochures say!) On our way up the hill, we (okay, Mark) spotted a doe having some dinner. It was up the hill from us. We just stood and watched it for a bit, staying as quiet as possible. The picture is a bit blurry, but you can see it behind the tree looking down at us. It must have decided we were just went on munching.
Thankfully this was the shortest hike of all, and other than being on an incline, the easiest. When you get to the "high point", it is a bit anti-climactic. Thankfully I had been warned, or I could have been VERY disappointed. It is int he middle of the woods. I always think of a mountaintop experience as being at the top of a mountain looking all around to the valley below. Nope, all we could see was trees. There was a neat map of Arkansas made out of stone though. In this picture, Mark is standing on a little dome that shows where the highpoint is on the map.

There happened to be another family at the high point also, so they snapped a picture of the two of us...
After that, we hiked back down (much easier) and headed back home.

We celebrated my "big day" at my parents' house.

We were greeted at the door by most of the kids. A big surprise for me was the treasure hunt that my two oldest children had "planned" for me. They gave me a clue then sent me off around the house and yard looking for more clues. Occasionally I would find a homemade card with a clue. My mom said they had planned the whole thing themselves. The clues were really cute and clever. My kids don't typically do things like that on their own, so that was a sweet treat.

For dinner, my mom (even after having the kids all weekend) made one of my favorite meals...mostaccioli. Oh, yum. It was SOOO yummy. After dinner, we went out to the backyard for a while to just enjoy the cooler weather. It started off just being Child 1 and I; he wanted all the details about Mt. Magazine. (We thought about him the whole weekend knowing he would love it there) However, soon it was everyone out there, swinging, playing football, etc. It was a nice time.

Afterwards we went inside for presents. I have mentioned before that looking at the Five Love Languages (encouraging words, acts of service, physical touch, gifts, and quality time), I probably fall into all five categories. I am not ashamed to say that I love gifts. Doesn't have to be big is the thought behind them. Anyway, every year, my husband asks my parents for a gift card so he can go choose his own things (he is really picky with clothes). I am the opposite...I like to unwrap presents. :)

There aren't a lot of pics of me, not really out of modesty or anything. I am the prime photographer in our family and I have yet to figure out how to take my own pictures. Mark tried and got a few but there is always so much action, it is hard to get many that are not blurry...

I did get some Target pjs, a motherhood book, a dock for my i-touch, an armband for my i-touch, a Wii game as well as a DS game, some bath gels, and flash drives that I can never have too much of...I take a lot of pictures to store. :) The gift opening was quite an experience. The girls kept shoving presents in my face to open (and I like to open SLOWLY), while Child 4 screamed for much of the time because they weren't his presents. It never is quite what I envision it will be...

As soon as presents were done, Child 1 performed a "fly over" of a toy jet for me. That is a huge honor coming from him. :)
We ended the celebration with my favorite strawberry cake...yum! I only get it once a year...on my birthday. Thankfully my mom didn't insist on using all 38 candles. She put 3 on one side and 8 on the other. What did I wish for? I will never tell. :)

So, those were the highs of the day.Add Video

The lows? Well, more of those were today. Child 4has been on a roll. He is wearing me out today. I am madly trying to do that final clean up before we start back. It is like a never ending process because when I am cleaning, the kids are playing and getting things out. And my ankle is pretty sore and stiff. I think I am getting old...


  1. You are as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside! Age is just a number and you wear it well!! (and its better than the alternative!! :)

    I was gonna tell you that if you ever get to Gatlinburg we found a BEAUTIFUL waterfall on a hiking trail in the national park... I beleive it was called Rainbow Falls trail.. 125 foot falls that you can climb to and sit behind!! If you talk Mark into a trip to the Smokies you must hike that trail!!

    Glad you had a good birthday! The strawberry cake looks GREAT! Strawberry cake is my favorite too!! YUM

  2. Happy Birthday. You are an amazing lady. I wish you a happy and healthy 38 birthday year! I stopped counting birthdays at 32-

  3. It's good to see some pics of you. Just keep trying to take them of yourself. Your kids will appreciate it one day. And you do look great. I would never guess you to be 38 in a million years! Much younger...:)

  4. I love the picture of you with your cake! That is a GREAT picture!

    It sounds like y'all had a very nice trip and that your birthday was extra special. I am so glad. You are so deserving!


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