Happy Birthday to ME!

I felt a mighty fine birthday coming on this year, and I was not disappointed! It was the best birthday in memory. Most of the birthdays in my 20s kinda sucked, some to the point of making me want to abandon the practice altogether. But, 29, you have redeemed birthdays for me! I figure if the next 11 years of being 29 are as good as the first day, I've got it made.

All of the best birthdays are not confined to a single day, and mine was more of a birthday weekend. Friday I met two friends at Hammond's Candy Factory for a free tour, which the kids loved. I loved the part afterward, or would have loved it if Finn wasn't doing his best to wreck the store and Asher wasn't so handsy. Let's put it this way: I bought way too much chocolate and I WILL enjoy its consumption. 

 Asher and his buddy Nathan Duncan

Asher and his buddy Nathan Duncan

 "Wook! Dey're making candy for us!"

"Wook! Dey're making candy for us!"

 Just when I think he's past that stage, he surprises me and licks the floor because "It's candy!"

Just when I think he's past that stage, he surprises me and licks the floor because "It's candy!"

After the tour, we met Dave for a little family lunch at an Indian place, and that night I went out for a girls' night at my friend Miranda's house. All of us mormon mommies had a grand time playing goofy games that should not be so amusing sans alcohol, gorging ourselves on all things pumpkin, and staying out way too late.

Saturday, my actual birthday, I woke to Dave whispering that he was going to Kneaders to get me something delicious. (Kneaders is a recent discovery, a fantastic bakery that makes incredible French toast, and I don't even like French Toast. Basically, they are cinnamon rolls in caramel syrup.) I passed out again and woke to a smorgasbord of French toast with all the fixins and muffins. That alone was enough to leave me grinning the rest of the day, but as soon as breakfast was over we packed up the boys for the museum. We met my friend Kaci and her family for an IMAX movie. Then the boys played in City Park, chasing geese and trying to catch falling leaves. The weather was warm and clear, and I felt so lucky to be born this time of year. 



Shaybee's Totally Awesome Day continued with a nap while Dave cooked my requested meal of this and this. Oh, and he got me a cheesecake and made two kinds of delicious berry topping. Normally we go out for my birthday dinner, but this meal rivaled anything we could have ordered.

 

After dinner Kaci and I went to the Fort Collins temple cultural celebration, a performance put on by over 4,000 teenagers in the area to honor the dedication of the new Fort Collins temple. I'd heard months ago that the cultural celebration would take place on my birthday, but was also told that tickets would only be available to the youth and their families. But by a stroke of luck, I landed a ticket the day before and felt like Cinderella going to the ball! Kaci and I barely squeaked in before it started, but miraculously got close seats. Best part of the night: President Uchtdorf and Elder Renlund were there! I know we're not supposed to have favorites, but they are definitely favorites for me. We were close enough that I could hear President Uchtdorf without his microphone. Partway through the performance we were joined by my friend Sarah, who had been there all day as a youth leader. For months she and the youth have met once or twice a week to rehearse, and I know it was exhausting. I so appreciated all the effort that went into it—Dave (watching via home broadcast) said you could hear the collective sigh of relief from all the leaders present. :)

 President Uchtdorf! Elder Renlund is seated right behind him.

President Uchtdorf! Elder Renlund is seated right behind him.

 The replica of the temple was REALLY cool!

The replica of the temple was REALLY cool!

 Not a great pic, but what can ya do with stadium lighting?

Not a great pic, but what can ya do with stadium lighting?



I went to bed that night as one happy girl. Dave really put himself out there to make sure I had a perfect day, even changing all of Finn's poopy diapers/wiping Asher. It's the little things, I tell ya.

Sunday was the wonderful day of the Fort Collins temple dedication. Sarah and her family spent the day at our house, swapping kids so that she and her husband could go to one session together and Dave and I could also. It was such an uplifting experience, with really touching talks that made Dave and I recommit to attending the temple more often. My favorite speaker asked, "Which way does your tent face?" We were reminded that our tent must face the temple. I was reminded of how essential regular temple attendance is. Crazy thing: Whenever I plan to go to the temple, it seems like a big pain and I come up with lots of excuses not to go. And whenever I go, I come home feeling so happy and so spiritually FULL. Nothing rivals that feeling. I know that I carry that joy and blessing home with me to my family, and our home/"tent" will be blessed if Dave and I attend regularly.

So yeah, 29 was pretty great. I'll have no problem turning 29 again next year.

 I give this birthday two thumbs up! Or, I would if I wasn't using the other to take a bathroom selfie, something strictly relegated to the 29-and-under crowd.

I give this birthday two thumbs up! Or, I would if I wasn't using the other to take a bathroom selfie, something strictly relegated to the 29-and-under crowd.