Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tedious and Introspective Birthday Ramblings.

I have to admit to indulging in just a little bit of self-pity no my birthday. I wasn't really feeling sorry for myself, but just a little bummed out and maybe I felt the martyr just a bit. You know how once you're a mother your birthday just loses some of it's sheen? I'm still the mother of a 2-year old, and I still have to wipe her butt countless times a day, wipe sticky fingers, negotiate, and occasionally pander to her. Even though she is a very good girl and generally pretty easy, the household rule that we applied as children no longer holds it power: The rule that you don't have to do anything you don't want. Apparently Bella is not aware of mom's clemency on June 18th. So there's that, and then there are the facts that Michelle was still in Paris, and all of my other family strewn about the country. Timm had to work and go to classes all day, Bella was sick so I didn't want to hang out with any of my friends and infect their children, so it turned out to be a pretty normal day. I put on a cute outfit that made me feel pretty and just did some errands. While Bella napped I read a book. Woowoo.

{Documenting my solitary birthday fun that morning}
Incidentally, although I wish I did, I don't think I actually look like this- I have merely perfected the art of self-portraiture.

{Documenting my fun and cute outfit}

But things picked up, thanks to the generous people I am blessed to have in my life. Rachelle came by and brought me the prettiest yellow roses. How can those not lift your spirits? I can't remember the last time I ever got a dozen roses...Maybe never, actually.

Then I talked to Michelle for a long time and even my brother for a bit. After Bella woke up Timm came home and I enlisted him to go do a couple errands with me. (I find this a real treat because the 3 of us never go anywhere as a family owing to Timm's demanding schedule that generally keeps him from 'family' time outside of the house.) When we got back Hannah came by and brought me a gift and some balloons. It was the book 'She' that some of you are familiar with. I have wanted this for a while and never actually read through the whole thing, so I immediately sat down and pored over it. Even better was the sweet letter she wrote to me- I am always a little amazed when people I love express such sentiments to me, just a little unbelieving that those I admire can share the same feelings for me. Timm took care of Bella and put her to bed, then prepared my favorite meal, MooShu Chicken from P.F. Changs. That always tastes good. He favored me by watching the newer Pride and Prejudice and gave me gift cards to Target, iTunes, and 2Peas! (On Friday I celebrated with Book Club and they gave me a treasured gift card to Impress, which I promptly spent on covetous stamps.Now I anxiously await their arrival!) Maybe best of all though, was Michelle's post for my birthday. Honestly, I think I am most grateful for that above all the other generosities and love bestowed upon me. For a few years now I have thought of Michelle as my best friend and feel greatly indebted and blessed by the service she has shown me. I am often awe-inspired and filled with a calm assurance when witnessing Shell's easy demeanor. She is many things I am not, but wish to be a little more like. She is the model for a sister and friend which I wish to follow. So as I said before, I was (and still am) awed and amazed at her sentiments. It seems impossible to me that she really believes the praises she expressed, yet feel buoyed up by the possibility that I could reach some of those heights in my lifetime. Between Shell and Hannah's sweet words and the thoughtfulness and generosity of others in my life, I was left feeling very grateful and thoughtful. It seems no small miracle that we should be blessed by people who can see us apart from the way we often see ourselves. To see mutual admiration and love mirrored by those that I hold in high esteem is a little staggering. It gives me hope that I could actually be the person that they see someday. One of life's great blessings: friends and family who can give you a picture of another version of our self- one to strive for.
So in the end, it was a good day. The slight self-pity quickly fell away and I fell asleep contented with the vast blessings in my life. (And feeling a little giddy about my impending Impress delivery.)


charlotte said...

I'm glad your birthday got better because birthdays are most definitely meant to be enjoyed :) I think sometimes that one of Heavenly Father's tender mercies is allowing us to see ourselve or at least become aware of how others see us. It's truly humbling and inspiring.

I hope you know what a great influence and friend you are in my life--I never could have made it through the school year without you there! I'm excited for you and Timm and your opportunities in NC, but I'll most definitely miss you. :)

Can't wait to see you tomorrow!

Diana said...

Happy Birthday Jessie. I'm glad we got to talk through my window :) Sorry I didn't come over I was nervous with Bella being sick and you know Josh he picks up every cold and flu.
You are such a dear friend, sorry I didn't make your birthday more special for you, know I thought about you all day.

mom said...

It sounds like a good day indeed!Birthdays definitely are different as you age. Only a few times when I made a special effort to be with my sisters during birthday week (4 siblings have birthdays in one week in my family!) has my birthday been REALLY a wonderful day set apart from everyday life. Not too many people except your immediate family make a big deal of it around here and I usually work as usual. I'm glad your day turned out to be wonderful. I loved Michelle's words and agreed with them all. I have a few treats stashed for you when I see you in TWO days!!! You'll always be my baby. Loving you.....see you soon.

Jen said...

hi jessie-
i hope you don't mind me commenting on your blog! i found you through michelle's blog and i'm kind of new to the whole blogging with people thing! happy birthday! i loved michelle's post about you. how blessed you are to have each other. :) your posts are seriously witty- i love them!

Kim said...

Happy birthday Jessie! Reading your blog is a treat!
(Cute birthday outfit, by the way...)

Anonymous said...

I loved what you were wearing when I came by- but now I want to see the outfit you have posted here. LOVE the skirt- so fun and cute and so very YOU!

Being the mom on your birthday does suck a lot of the fun out of it- esp when plans are squashed because of a runny nose on a cute Bella. I am so glad you are loving the SHE book. It is inspiring and I know you are going to do so much with its wisdom. Love ya!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and you totally look like that. It amazes me that you can be that photogenic in a self portrait.


Karli said...

Hope you had a great day! You look darling in your pictures and I don't know where you get the idea that you need to lose weight because I think you are perfect and have a great shape. Such a cute outfit!

Sorry you had a sick little on your birthday, I hope you still enjoyed yourself!

Jill said...

This is a very well written birthday introspection post Jessie, I'm so delighted that you're blogging again.

You said it well when you said that the sheen of birthdays is lost after becoming a mother. I totally agree. I thought it was just part of adulthood, but maybe it is more to do with motherhood.

Your outfit is darling and you have definitely perfected the art of taking self-portraits.

I'm sorry I forgot to bring your present to you. I was so pleased with myself for having it ready and wrapped, but then in the chaos of getting 5 kids to Seven Peaks I totally spaced it. #$@!% Hopefully you'll forgive the delay. (I mailed it yesterday.)

michelle said...

I was sad indeed when I talked to you and your day was so ordinary. I'm so happy that it improved! It is hard when you've been spoiled to think that your birthday is all yours and then the responsibilities of motherhood intrude...

I completely know what you mean about reading the words your loved ones write about you -- just how I feel when you do the same for me! (What? Is that how I am? Hmmm... well, maybe someday!)

You have definitely perfected the art of self-portraiture, but you also do really look like that. That skirt is about the cutest thing in the world!!

Crystalyn said...

you must share your self-portrait techniques. your picture is lovely.

birthdays as a mother are definitely birthdays of a different sort. i just spent my last birthday 1 week post-partum. needless to say there was no sheen there.

i'm glad it ended up being a good day after all. how delightful to have the SHE book in hand.

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