My Birthday

“Hi Mom. Happy Birthday! It’s already your birthday in France,” my younger daughter’s voice sweetly said as I answered my cell phone. I glanced at my clock and quickly did the math – 6pm for me but midnight and the next day for Anne. I muted the Gilmore Girl rerun I was mindlessly watching in the TV room. For me it was that time after-making-dinner but before-Brian-gets-home to eat with me. So I was watching a rerun and glancing through the daily newspaper. But now I wasn’t alone. The perfect birthday gift – a phone call from France.

After a 45 minute chat, I hung up Then minutes later the phone rang again and again a voice said, “Happy Birthday, a day early!” This time it was my oldest daughter, Bridgit. She was heading home from her job in Manhattan and the sounds of a busy city could be heard in the background. She caught me up on all her lastest work news and we exchanged info for when we’d be together in 2 weeks in New York and she listened to how my school work was going. Before I knew it, another 45 minutes had gone by, Brian was home and it was time for dinner.

Having 2 kids  – one living in another time zone and one living many miles North, it made me happy that they took time to wish me a happy day via a cell phone chat.

The next day, at 7:10am, my own mom sent me a birthday wish text. At 7:19am I saw a teacher friend from years ago posted her wishes for me to my facebook timeline. Two cards arrived by the postman and one card was given in person by my sister along with a restaurant luncheon.

All through the school day, I passed out Smartie candies as a Birthday treat! I also shared a video version of the picture book, Where the Wild Things Are. “This book and me are the same age – 54 years,”  I told me students!

Then at 7:10pm my husband and I headed to a nearby restaurant. I ordered a cocktail, had the soup of the day,  and enjoyed time to chat, catch-up, and reminiscence with my husband. After I enjoyed my yummy steak and potatoes meal prepared Spanish-style and he devoured his Salmon, a lovely plate of flan surrounded by rasberries and blackberries was placed at the table. One lone candle, stuck into a berry, was aglow. I blew it out, making a wish.

So many ways to celebrate a birthday!

 

 

Monday Date Night

It was Monday.
It was also my husband’s birthday – 53 now!
It helps to have a 28 year old daughter who can ask her friends and then suggest the a restaurant.
It was fun to end the yummy meal sharing this:

FullSizeRender 2

I look back and see 35 years of fun with this man I call my a great friend/husband/father.
Here’s to many, many more fun years partying together!

IMG_8833

My birthday – halfway to 104

It is still Tuesday, barely. I still have time to make a post and my personal writing goal is to make a post every Tuesday. All day I wondered if I had anything to write about. But I did just have a birthday and today at school, I celebrated it with my students. So that is what I’ll write about.

A week ago Friday, I found myself unexpectedly watching The Kelly Ripa Show. It was her birthday and she announced, “I’m halfway to 90.” Her comment stuck with me and here is what I wrote as my Morning Meeting Message today at school:

Dear 3rd graders,
Over the weekend I celebrated my birthday.
I am now halfway to 104.
How old am I?

In the bin, I collected books that are as old as me.
Let’s collectively try to read as many books as my age right now.
Get a book and read it. Then add a tally mark below.
Then get another book and repeat.
Have fun reading books written in 1963!

Love,
Mrs. Donnelly

In the bin I placed:
Where the Wild Things Are (it’s copyright  is 1963 and it won the Caldecott in 1964)
The Snowy Day (1963 Caldecott winner) and other Keats books
Swimmy by Leo Lionni (1963 Caldecott Honor winner)
Amelia Bedela books (as the first one in the series came out in 1963)
Clifford The Big Red Dog books (as the first one in the series came out in 1963)

Along with gathering GREAT children’s books published the year I was born, I made a poster showing images of the following,  also “born” in 1963:
Poptarts
Captain Crunch
Oreos
The St. Louis Arc
The NYC MetLife Building
The first push button phone
The smiley face 🙂
and ME!!

As a read-aloud, I typed up Where the Wild Things Are as a Readers Theater and after I read it through once, I divided the 22 students up into three teams and asked them to decide who would be Max, who would be The Wild Things and who would be the narrators. Our goal is to practice all week and then on Friday, perform it for the Kindergarten classes!

Celebrating my birthday with third graders is fun, even when I suddenly find myself halfway to 104!!

March 27 – Birthday Letter to Brian

Dear Brian,

Happy Birthday!!

Last year, on your 50th birthday, this picture was taken of our project:

Today, on your 51st birthday, these pictures were taken of our project:

 

Neither of us expected that our project would still be a work in progress after a full year.
However, I truly believe that in another year, we WILL live in our project, our completed project.

We will awake on the 3rd floor each morning when the sun streams into the big, bedroom window.
We will slink out of bed and walk across the radiant floor for a morning shower.
We will sip coffee on the rooftop deck as we read the morning paper.
We will watch Jeopardy after work in the 2nd floor TV room.
We will prep and cook and grab a beer from the street-facing kitchen.
We will entertain in the double-height dining room space and onto the backyard deck.
We will retire to read before bed in front of the living room fireplace.

Neither of us expected that our project would take so long to complete.
This whole past year, you were architect, designer, project manager, quality controller, lawyer, bank negotiator, tour-guide, dad, and calm husband. Soon, we WILL inhabit 5218 N 12th Street.

May all your wishes come true this birthday!
This amazing house you are creating for us is making mine come true!
Happy Birthday!

Love,
Sally

* photos from http://www.whiteouthouse.tumblr.com

March 27 – Happy 50th Birthday to my husband

At 18, he was my date to the Senior prom.
The next two years, he filled my college mailbox with hand-written letters.
We walked The Lawn as graduates in ’86, married in ’87 and had our own Wahoos in ’88 and ’92.
The 90s were spent raising the girls and renovating our townhouse.
The 00s were about supporting our girls through High School and College and relaxing at the beach.
Now the 10s. We both are in our 50s, he just joining this decade today.
Both have good jobs.
Both enjoy our time with our grown girls.
Both still like each other.
The 20s…I can’t wait!

March 4 – Mom’s 70th Birthday!

 

“Brring…brring….brring…The alarm sounded and Mom and I awoke. We were still tired from taking the evening train last night from Washington, DC to NYC but we had a big day planned, so we quickly dressed and hurried out the hotel door.

First stop – The Today Show at Rockerfeller Center!! Holding the sign I made, we entered the outside courtyard and joined a large crowd of people. Suddenly, the crowd cheered very loudly and walking onto the platform in front of us was the Today Show host, Matt Lauher. He was speaking to the home TV audience and we were his live audience. His segment ended and the TV went to a commercial break and Matt walked right to where we were in the crowd. He began shaking hands and once in front of us, with his left hand, he signed his autograph to our poster!! WOW! What a great start to my mom’s 70th birthday.

(Though this “slice of life” happened on May 6, 2005, it is fun to recall it today and share this blog entry with my mom. I am reminded that I have just over a year to plan an even better 80th birthday celebration for her!)