Thursday, November 18, 2010

Birthday Finale

Sorry this post is a few days late.  Here is the conclusion to my birthday weekend.

One present I knew about in August was the concert tickets. Friday evening in State College, PA the a capella group “Straight No Chaser” was performing. We first heard of this group in May when the Moms group at our church had some of our local guys lip-sync to a couple of their songs at our Mother’s Day Dinner. This group is made up of 10 guys from Indiana University. They formed this group while in college. When they graduated, they went their separate ways. A video on You Tube went viral and the rest as they say is history. Now they travel around and give fantastic concerts with only their voices and microphones.

So after the boys were delivered to school, I headed out to do a little shopping. I needed a new dress for the concert. After two and a half hours of searching, the dress was found and we were packed. The boys were being picked up from the bus stop by Mimi and Papa and would stay the night with them. The dog was being cared for by a fabulous neighbor and friend.

My wonderful honey and I enjoyed the two-hour trip and got checked into our hotel. We had just enough time to change our clothes and get “gussied” up then head out the door if we were going to eat before the concert. After I had my dress on, I realized I had forgotten three things: a necklace, not a big deal – the front of my dress had beading on it and really didn’t need a necklace; fancy earrings, again not a big deal, I had worn small gold hoops, they would do; my curling iron, big deal.

My hair was not in the best shape after the shopping and the car ride. I called the front desk in hopes they had a spare curling iron tucked away somewhere. No such luck. I struggled on. I ran my hands through my short locks hoping it would help but it only made matters worse. Then I remembered the “Turtleneck Hairdo” of 1996.

My man and I had only been dating a short time and he invited me to go to the first annual company Christmas party with him. My mom and I ran to the mall the day of the event to find a dress. I was wearing a turtleneck shirt and pulled it off and on so many times I thought my cheeks were going to have friction burns. We found a dress at the very last minute and rushed home to get ready. The doorbell rang just as my mom said, “Your Hair!!” We had been focusing on the makeup, dress, and accessories and had not thought about my hair. After her moment of panic, she looked at my head and said, “It actually looks pretty good.” I glanced in the mirror and saw it did look really good. I grabbed my coat and had a great time at the party.

Knowing I only had a minute or two, I tried the turtleneck gamble (without the turtleneck). I gave my head a good shake and nervously opened one eye and peaked in the mirror. Voila! I had done it once again. My hair looked like I had spent at least 15 minutes on it. It was dinner out and concert ready.

After dinner at The Tavern (delicious does not do the meal justice) we headed to the Eisenhower Theater where The Straight No Chaser guys sang for two hours with three encores. We laughed, sang along quietly when we could, and loved every minute of it.

With a birthday like this, maybe I will turn 37 again next year.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

Friday, November 12, 2010 was my 37th birthday but my guys started the celebration early. The festivities began Thursday evening as I arrived home from karate. As I climbed the stairs, I noticed all the lights in the kitchen and living room were turned off. There was a faint glow on the table. It was coming from three candles that were stuck in a chocolate frosted chocolate cake my guys had made and decorated for me. As the sight before me registered, the little Ms jumped out and started singing “Happy Birthday” and the big M took a couple of quick pictures.

As the traditional song ended with a few “cha cha chas”, I blew out the candles and we all had a piece before the little Ms headed off to bed.

The next day (Friday) when I came down to breakfast, there were a couple of gifts were waiting for me in the kitchen. My wonderful honey had noticed my favorite sweatshirt was looking a little frayed around the edges. It was given to me on my 20th birthday by my aunt. I have worn it often and it has been with me in each of the five states I have lived in since. Now I will admit when an article of clothing reaches a certain age and worn in look, it should not leave the house. My sweatshirt is reaching this stage but it is not there yet. That said, the first gift I opened was a new comfy sweatshirt from my college alma mater, WVU. I am looking forward to wearing it just as much as my first sweatshirt.

The second gift was a new technological wonder. My laptop has been running slow lately. The internal disc space was running low. I use my laptop for blogging, my iTunes account, and playing the occasional game. I needed a little more storage space. So my wonderful thoughtful husband got me a passport. A passport-sized device that can store 500 GB of memory (yes, Mom, that’s A LOT).

But the celebration did not end there. Tomorrow will be part two of the birthday extravaganza.

Technology Today

My wonderful honey is taking me to State College to attend a concert. As we drive down the highway, I am typing on my laptop while we listen to an audio book. A GPS guides us so we don’t get lost and my cell phone pings reminders of weekly karate classes none of us will be attending this weekend.

So many things have changed in just my lifetime. Cell phones used to be called bag phones and pretty much stayed in your car. Most phones for that matter were actually attached to the wall with a cord that tangled around you the longer you talked. Computers sat on your desk and if you did have a computer that traveled with you it was the size and weight of a full briefcase complete with its own handle.

Audio books were for those who had vision problems and were recorded on cassette tapes. Directions were written down or traced on a map with a yellow highlighter (think AAA Triptik). If you wanted to remember an appointment or activities, a paper calendar hung on the kitchen wall or you carried a notebook sized day planner to write it all in with your favorite colored pen.

Now days, computers are getting smaller with bigger memories and more apps. Phones can do almost everything the computers can, and the maps have voices of their own. During the intermission of the concert, I look down at the crowd (we had balcony seats we had picked out on-line when we purchased our tickets using our debit card – another change in recent years) and saw MANY people texting, checking facebook, taking pictures, and surfing the web as they waited for the concert to resume.

I had actually left my cell phone at the hotel as I had no pockets in my dress and forgot to grab a purse to match. Instead of sitting there bored and discontent, I took a moment to enjoy one of my favorite hobbies, I people watched. Yes, I will admit it. I gawked at strange wardrobe choices, the lady down front who carried in four bags (three tote bags and a purse), the teen packs that giggled and flirted (while texting and facebooking). I wondered at the older couples whispering quietly holding hands, and was amazed a the one gentleman who actually stood in the aisle and did stretches for a full ten minutes of the fifteen minute break.

I like my low-tech activity. It made for some fun conversation when my wonderful honey came back from stretching his legs. I got to point out my favorite outfits, groups of people and tell my made-up stories about a few of the concert goers.

With all the technology at our fingertips today, I think sometimes we need to not reach out and grab it but take the time to go without it.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Halloween at our house

About the time school starts, I begin asking the little m's what they want to be for Halloween.  If I don't start early, October creeps up on us and next thing you know, it is October 30 and they have no idea what they want to dress up as.

Mikey, age 4 months
 In past years, both boys have been a giraffe.
Matt, age 2 months

They have also chosen to be...
A firefighter (2005)

A baseball player and a doctor (2006)
A Pirate baseball player and a Steeler football player (2007)
A police officer and a puppy (2008)
Darth Vader and a Clone Trooper (2009)
Transformer Bumblebee and a zombie baseball player (2010)
I am sure that in the years to come, there will be many more costumes and a lot more candy on Halloween.