Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

{I turned 35 a couple of weeks ago, and I'm behind on everything - including blogging.}

35. That's my new number. I had a hard time with 35 for some reason. Hopefully 40 won't be so bad. My birthday was a great day though.

It started with me answering the door to find this...

And then later, I opened the door to find this...

Pete came home to pick me up for us to have lunch with Sam and had a little surprise. When I opened the door, he had the cupcake in his hand with the candle in it. He sang "Happy Birthday" to me. And had this...

A dozen cupcakes from Gigi's...

Birthday Surpise, Cherry Cordial, German Chocolate, Red Velvet...and I don't remember the names of all of that chocolate goodness. If you aren't familiar with Gigi's Cupcakes, you should be. Gigi doesn't mess around. These are some SERIOUS cupcakes.

Later that afternoon, we took the kids to Mom's and celebrated with them. I got a basket with some goodies and a Cricut. And a date night with Pete.

We had dinner at Pauli's and then went to the movie...

Between movie options and just being busy, we don't go to the movie very often. The more I heard about The Blind Side, the more I knew we had to go & see it. And if you have been living under a rock and don't know about it, let me just say...grab someone, spend the 20ish bucks and go see it. It is worth it. We will own it when it comes out on dvd/blu-ray. The story is touching, and it stirred up memories and emotions from when we had our foster daughter 6 years ago {in fact, she was with us on my birthday 6 years ago}. It left me wondering if we might get back into fostering once the kids are a little bit older. Or do something to help in some way...

I enjoyed the day full of surprises - from the goodies to the night out with Pete and the tug at my heart with the reminder of that sweet foster baby.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What I learned on my trip to Gulf Shores (& Birmingham)

Pete recently decided that it would be a good idea if I went down to the condo when our last renter left to check everything out and collect keys from our property management company. We drove down Monday afternoon. We spent Tuesday running around - getting keys, furniture shopping, eating, meeting with the cleaning company we planned to hire. And we did a few things around the condo too. We drove back to Birmingham Wednesday afternoon for Mom's doctor appointments Thursday morning. {She is good!} Here are some things I learned on the trip...

1. The property management company that you fire due to bad service will even screw up the termination. While the condo looked clean overall, the crew left some dirty linens behind. Which kind of makes you wonder. Not to mention the fact that they were suppose to take EVERYTHING out before you arrived. You fired them, remember?

2. Lambert's - home of Throwed Rolls - closes when people stop showing up. That means when you show up in December at 6:30, you might be one of the last tables they seat. And you might have to ask them to bring you passarounds.

3. The property management company that you fire due to bad service will screw up again. After I complained about the dirty linens, they sent someone out to clean the condo. Twice. In 2 days. After they were fired. I have never seen them so anxious to clean something.

4. Riding out a what would be a tropical storm in December makes it a winter storm. A 45 mph wind is still a 45 mph wind whether it is summer or winter. And when you are sitting safe in your condo it feels kind of like being on a cruise ship.

5. If you turn on the light in your van when it is dark, crazy windy and threatening rain to get your stuff together before you get out - and leave it on - it will kill your battery. DEAD.

6. When the AAA man comes to jump start your battery and he puts the cables on the battery, it will set off the alarm and cause your horn to blare. Repeatedly.

7. Taking a shower while your horn is blaring makes for a less than relaxing experience.

8. Resetting your alarm is hard to do when your battery is basically dead and you only have one key.

9. Any time you open the door with the car in this state, the horn will start blaring again.

10. And you can drive down the road with the horn blaring.

11. The locals will look at you like you are a crazy woman when you pull up to the Walmart service department & get out and your horn starts blaring. And being men, they will think they know how to fix it without knowing that your battery was as dead as a doornail just a few short minutes ago.

12. When you are driving down the interstate and wave your hand back & forth to demonstrate how the 18 wheeler you just passed was handling the wind - or not, the 18 wheeler you are approaching might take it as an invitation to pull out in front of you. And slow you down.

13. You never know what you'll see or hear on the road. Or when you stop for a bathroom/snack break. While I was in the restroom at Priester's Pecans, a lady was using the restroom and had her car keys hanging out of her pocket. They fell out into the toilet just as the auto flusher started, and they were flushed away. The kind people at Priester's helped her call & arrange to get a new key. Not sure what happened with their plumbing.

14. Grace likes dogs. Particularly stuffed ones or statues. From the one in Lambert's to the polka dotted dogs in the Victoria's Secret window at a mall in Birmingham. And she will ask you to take her picture with one every time she finds one.