Tuesday, September 3, 2013


1 Sept 2013: Sarah (age 23) and her mom, Mary,
on Mary's 59th birthday, getting a pedicure at Sassy's! 

Sunday was a bittersweet day for me.  The bitter was not being with my husband, Ed, who was born on September 1st like me.  Since we met in April 2010, we have spent our mutual birthday together every year.  With our birthday falling on or near Labor Day, we always booked a resort condo, usually in Tucson, and spent a wonderful weekend alone together.
This year, though, we are separated.  Family problems came to a head and we have been apart for almost 2 months.  I deeply love the good man who is my husband and I miss him terribly.  I hope we will be together again someday.  For now, this special weekend has been very difficult emotionally.

Glittery blue-and-silver toenails on Mary.

Thank goodness for my sweet children, who went the extra mile to cheer up their heartbroken mom.  On Saturday, my daughter Sarah took me to get a pedicure (my first ever) and to see a movie: Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.  The movie was pretty good and getting a pedicure with my daughter was fun.

Purple toenails for Sarah.

While waiting for our toenails to dry, the lady sitting in the chair next to Sarah commented to us, "You two must be related; you have the same toes."  Hmmm.  Our feet are so different, with mine being long and bony while Sarah's are short and chubby, that I never thought our toes might be the same!  I don't know, what do you think? 

Jacob grills my favorite meat, bone-in chicken breasts!

After church on Sunday, the day of my birthday, Jacob prepared my birthday dinner with the foods I requested (so I wouldn't have to cheat on my diet).

Grilled chicken breasts...

Fresh corn-on-the-cob from a neighbor's garden...
(Which I did not eat, by the way.  Too many carbs!)

Green salad with fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, and bell peppers
from Ed's beautiful garden. 
(I so wish he were here to enjoy the fruits of his labors.)

Joining Jacob, Dylan, and I for dinner were Chris, Sarah, and our dear friend Gwen. 

My birthday dinner guests (left to right):
Chris, Sarah, Gwen, Dylan, and Jacob.

After dinner I opened the gifts.  The kids were very excited for me to open them, especially the large one that Jacob, Sarah, and Chris went in on together.

Gwen needlepointed the beautiful "Friends Forever" trinket.  I know just where it will hang in my office.  Jacob bought me the nativity to enjoy at Christmas.  Sarah gave me another lovely Willow Tree figurine for my Willow Tree collection.  This one features a girl releasing a white dove, and it's called "Soar."  I love it.

What was in the large package?  I was so delighted to find it was a weed-eater!  In Ed's absence, I had been lamenting the raggedy state of my front yard, so I felt it was an extremely thoughtful gift (even though I, personally, am unlikely to ever use it).  On Monday Jacob went out and made the front yard look presentable again.

Another thoughtful gift was this adorable hanging from my good friend Debbie, who took me to lunch at Persnikkity's on Friday.  I love the sentiment on the sign!

The 4 cards I received look nice on the entertainment center.
We ended the night with my all-time favorite dessert, a sugar-free cheesecake with sugar-free chocolate chips, homemade by my talented son Jacob.  It was delicious.  The secret?  A teaspoon of orange extract!
Not only did a nice wedge of this cheesecake not make me regain any weight, but I also lost another one-fifth of a pound the next morning!  My total loss today is 31.6 lbs, which is nice to report after a birthday weekend.
Mary with her birthday (cheese)cake.
Getting ready to blow out the candles.
Thank goodness for families who rally around during the tough times.  It was truly a bittersweet birthday, but the sweet parts made all the difference.