Friday, August 16, 2013

Twenty-Five Years

I was paying my credit card bill online August 5th when I decided to review my recent transactions.  Imagine my dismay when I saw a transaction for a local hotel dated August 2nd - and the realization that my credit card number had quite possibly been stolen!  I immediately called my card company and, nearly in tears, haltingly explained the situation.  Patrick, the young man who answered, was most helpful and proceeded to take care of the situation.  During our discussion, I had a sudden thought.  I said, "Oh ... tomorrow is my 25th wedding anniversary!"  Patrick said, "Ohhh."  I looked at my son, Chad, who was in the room and said, "Do you think your Dad did this?"  We all started laughing, and I went from being stressed to being overjoyed - what a roller coaster!  Patrick called the hotel and spoke to reservations.  Sure enough, Todd did it, making reservations for the night of the 6th.  Patrick thought it was really great and wished us a happy anniversary.  I thanked him profusely for his time and effort.  I was so thrilled it wasn't a false charge to my card and totally surprised and pleased that Todd planned this for our special day.  I was concerned that I would have to tell him that I found out because, as far as I knew, our current credit card wouldn't work since the first thing they do is cancel that number and send out a new card in fraud cases.  I wasn't entirely certain about this as I had been rather dazzled by the whole incident.  Anyway, later that night at dinner, Todd told me about the hotel plans and I guess I didn't fool him, he could tell I knew something was up.  He thought maybe the hotel had sent an email to confirm the reservation.  I told him the whole story and he found it amusing.  I did stress how surprised I was when I first found out - I really was!  He was pleased with himself and didn't mind how the situation worked out.

We left around 4:00 pm, drove down the coast to the hotel (in a resort town 25 miles south of us) and settled in.  It was a boutique hotel in an old historic building with a view of the beach and a major rock formation that this town is famous for.  It was really terrific.  The room was nicely decorated (even to my husband's sharp eye for design!) and had a separate room the held just a stand-alone bathtub.  Such a great idea, I'd like to incorporate that design in our home - a room with just a tub and a heated towel bar.  We looked out the window and saw that a restaurant we had eaten at before was within walking distance.  We ate outdoors, watching the sunset.  The weather was perfect - warm with no wind!  Wind is such the norm here - it was definitely God's hand keeping it still.  We walked on the beach until sundown.  Picked up coffee on our way back to the room and turned on the gas fireplace.  Another design element I want in our house - a gas fireplace that turns on with the flip of a switch.  No firewood (speaking of which, it's that time of year again, to place our wood order)!  Made good use of that bathtub.  Relaxed for the first time in who-knows how long.  Stayed awake for a long time, listening to the waves.  An awesome evening.  Breakfast was in the cafe attached to the hotel, blueberry scones and yogurt was my choice, coffee and the front page (not too much news to spoil our day!)  We spent the morning visiting the art galleries and little shops that line this beautiful beach town.  Mid-week is a good time to go during the busy summer here.  We ate lunch in a small restaurant and visited with the waiter a bit.  We came into this particular place because Todd had installed a good deal of woodwork 20 years ago when he was first working as a cabinet builder.  Most of his work was still there, still in good shape.  I remembered this job because one night, he had to work late there and I went to be with him.  We were there until 2:00 a.m., headed back home and got up early the next day to go to work.  Those were the days, young, energetic and no children!  It was so fun, sitting there and reminiscing about that time.  I forgot to mention that the restaurant we ate at the night before had a lot of Todd's woodwork in it also.  His work is all over this resort town, both in residences, second homes and commercial establishments.  He was (and still is in some circles) well-known for his woodworking talent. I've always been proud of him, whatever career he has had.  Now as a nurse, he is known and liked by his patients.  Everywhere we go, people stop and talk to him and I'll ask later "Was that a patient?"  One reason I married him - I knew a good thing when I saw it.

We had checked in with the kids several times the night before and also the next day.  They were fine and it was such a blessing to know I can trust these kids completely.  They had never spent the night without one of us there - never!  This was the first time Todd and I had gone away for the night since a few months before Chad was born, 18 years ago!  It was so nice to be able to relax and know that the kids were o.k.  I prayed for God to keep them safe and really, I didn't worry about them at all.  They made their own dinner as well (a first!)  We got home in the afternoon, staying away less than 24 hours but it seemed a lot longer than that.  It was so fun to just be with my husband again, without my attention being divided.  I love my kids, of course, but I also love my husband and really enjoyed being together.  I can't wait for the next time we can go out alone!  I made sure I thanked my kids for being trustworthy and reliable.  They were very glad we were home, especially Carmen.  It was good to see them, too!

Thanks, Todd, for a terrific 25th wedding anniversary!  It was so fun, what a great surprise!  He apologized for not getting me a card - who needs a card?!  His surprise was one of the best gifts he's ever given me.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Happy Birthday To Me

I turned 50 on May 8th.  That was easier to type than I thought it would be.  My husband spent the days between my birthday and Mother's Day doing dishes and laundry for me (he took a few days off of work - just for me!)  My family took me out to dinner at my favorite restaurant, which is spendy so it remains a once or twice a year thing.  We had a terrific time and I'm so thankful for each of them.  I am so blessed.

Mother's Day was very nice as well.  Todd made blueberry pancakes and presented me with a platter of pancakes shaped into the word "MOM" - very clever.  I got cards from everyone and then I was lead out into the front yard, where a magnolia tree stood waiting for me.  I had been admiring the few magnolia trees in our area and Todd thought I'd like one on our property.  I was so surprised and pleased!  Can't wait to get it planted.  Again, I feel so blessed to have this family.  Thank you, Lord!

Happy Birthday to all the May birthdays that I know are out there!  It's a great month to celebrate.  

Friday, April 5, 2013

He Won!

Happy news!  Chad was one of three winners of the essay contest he entered!  His was a 30-page essay on Palestine and Israel, failed attempts at peace, the players, and so forth.  Each winner will receive a nice cash prize.  We are so happy for him and very proud of his work.  I am still so amazed at his continued good fortune at this community college.  It's been a good fit for him and I am thankful.  Chad definitely has a talent for writing - hopefully it will serve him well in whatever field he chooses to pursue.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

First Blog for 2013

Spring is here!  Spring break for Chad.  He's had a very good year at college so far.  Todd has spent many weekend hours on the largest of the concrete counter tops for the kitchen which we finally put in place last weekend.  (Oh, yes, remember the kitchen remodel, a work-in-progress.)  It's beautiful and I'll put up a photo when I can.  Time has slipped by so fast since last fall.  Not much time to blog (obviously).  So nice to have warmer days finally, will help us get through all the rainy days to come.  Chad has entered an essay contest at the college, at the suggestion of his writing teacher.  It would be cool if he won!  I hope to blog again soon, especially if I'm inspired to write something more than an update!