Not really about MY birthday, but about my middle daughter's. She turns 5 on Wednesday, when the family will have pain au chocolat for breakfast, pizza after school, and a quiet night together. But as well as a party tomorrow, TODAY she has persuaded her Gran to take her to make a birthday bear at Build a Bear (well, Gran did ask her directly what she wanted for her birthday!). Now I'm not sure how I feel about the place. My girls love it, and I don't mind paying for the materials to make a bear, but the cost of accessories can be extortionate. Luckily we have a £10 gift card to contribute to the cost. I suspect the best part of the trip will be getting the bus with Gran and having that special time together, rather than having a new bear to bring home :-)
As I said, tomorrow we are taking 20 children to a soft play centre to celebrate with running around, party food, and cake. Imogen also wants to take a cake to Church to share after the service. It sounds a lot, but we have money set aside. Imogen is my most extrovert, social child. Doing things and playing with people is pretty much her love language. It's going to be a party week!
As well as speaking the party language, Imogen loves to give and receive. She is so excited that a parcel arrived from her Godfather in London. She has chosen cakes for her party that she thinks her friends (mainly boys) will prefer. I have advised anyone who asks to buy her something that she would most appreciate a small plastic toy to unwrap as a gift. But while we can host a party and feed others, we will. The notion of hospitality is important to our family. It's not exactly Jesus at Cana, but it goes side by side with things like having tea and biscuits or cake on hand for when people drop round - giving the best that we can in the name of relationships.
Speaking of cake, I made a sponge cake with glace cherries Friday morning - nom nom nom. I try to take some 'me' time, and me & God time, on Fridays - I also posted a religious blog entry, and completed my part of the application form for a lay ministry specialism in the Diocese. But c'mon - cherry cake!!! There's something so satisfying (even spiritual?) in baking all those wet ingredients into something....cakey :-)
I've put all the blogs I follow into Google Reader this week, which can make the feed overwhelming, but does make things easier to find. It also reminds me of the people to pray for. And who to rejoice for - this week I got to share in Courtney's Special Needs Prom, and learn how someone in the USA might celebrate our Royal Wedding. Although I have to say the week's online highlight was Jen sharing the existentialist Star Wars video.
The Royal Wedding itself was wonderful for us. Most of the people in the UK don't seem to be particularly royalist, but were happy to celebrate the happy event. I thought seeing Kate in that frock, and watching the children wave flags, was a beautiful moment. It also reminded me of the marriage vows I made with my husband. I was a little teary! Afterwards we went to a church party to celebrate, and I even had a little time to myself while the baby slept in her buggy and the two big girls enjoyed the disco. Just a few simple pleasures. A lovely way to remember the day.
Although now I do find myself looking at what Kate Middleton (sorry, the Duchess of Cambridge) is wearing. She went to the (gasp!) supermarket wearing an olive green shrug and if I were the kind of person who popped to the boutique every time I wanted something, I'd have wanted it. As it is, let's celebrate that I purchased some long overdue new underwear this week and got to fling some existing specimens . (Why is it I get the kids socks, pants, shoes and school uniform sorted but neglect my own underwear drawer?)
There's another reason for celebration this week - my 36th birthday. A few months ago I was overjoyed to read Sarah Reinhard's post about how she didn't enjoy birthday attention, as I feel the same. I don't publicise my birthday - I'm more than happy to be growing older (and hopefully wiser!) but receiving birthday wishes and gifts and celebrating my birth and existence just seems a bit much to me, somehow! (Who knows, maybe my 5 year old will feel like this one day....although I doubt it.) Many posters on Sarah's blog suggested we be a bit more gracious in accepting birthday love from others. I promise to try....
*Love to all and thanks to Jen @ Conversion Diary for hosting.