Unless it's my mom or dad. I will forgive them.
But before I tell you much more about my birthday, we ought to talk about Santa coming yesterday.
Grace is eight. She's a great kid. And the husband's family has a tradition of hiding in the bedroom after dinner while Santa brings the presents and bumps around the house. Two years ago, she got a little scared. This year she was so nervous she was working her tummy into fits.
So she and I went into the bathroom amidst all the excitement. She was actually so worked up she was crying. The poor thing. I made an executive decision. Sorry, Brent.
Grace, come sit on my lap. We need to talk.
She comes and sits on my lap and I wrap my arms around her. She's getting so big and I don't get to do that very often any more.
Can you keep a secret?
A super secret secret?
Do you know who Santa is?
**pregnant pause while she thinks**
I smiled at this point. She gets it. She's a smart kid.
Yup. And your sneaky uncles. Notice how one or more of them is always missing when we hide in the bedroom?
She nods. I can feel her relax some. We talk about it some more. She is feeling better.
I go out to the kitchen. They all know something is up. She's perked up pretty fast. Daddy gives me the evil eye and says something like, "How can you make a decision like that without my input?" He's a little hurt, but I had begun wondering if Santa needed a little helper this year.
So I went back in the bathroom where she was still mulling all this new information around in her smart little head.
I'm wondering if maybe you want to ask Santa if he needs a little helper this year.
But I don't want to eat the cookies.
Santa's suddenly changed his tune, too. I think he's liking the idea of a little helper.
So they "went for a walk" to "get her some fresh air."
The bells Santa brings every year have never been so cheery. She did a great job.
Violet was pretty cute after Santa had come and gone. She ran to the door looking out to find Grace. "GRACE!! SANTA CAME!"
They got all sorts of awesome stuff:
Hanging chairs that I'll get pictures of when they aren't just a pile of fabric on the floor. Good stuff.
The little Mister really enjoyed the egg nog. He calls it "nawww" and goes to the fridge asking for it.
And then today they kicked me out of the house because it's my birthday and they had to get my present all ready. They've been working on it for weeks. Brent would call from work to talk to Grace about super secret stuff. They would work on it in the back bedroom and come out asking for a pile of buttons and an empty beer bottle. Crazy kids.
A treasure hunt. That's what they put together. So I opened the present to find a beer bottle with a map rolled up and stuffed in it and a page of clues. Fifteen clues.
They sent me all over the house collecting pieces to a puzzle they had made.
And out to the back yard to the big X in the flower bed. There was even a shovel very conveniently located.
It says "Treasure Box" if you can't read it.
One of the main instigators with all the puzzle pieces.
Putting the puzzle together. Proved to be quite a task.
Well, holy cow. BOOTS!
I've been lusting after a pair of boots for a while. Brent actually went so far as to go into my pinterest account, find the photo in the board I call "Mama needs some style" and print out the picture. The treasure hunt theme was finding mama some style. So funny. And fun.
But they know how I am about shoes, so the actual treasure was cash wrapped in foil with "TREASURE" written on it. And now I get to go shopping. I'm sure I'll take some kids and it'll be fun.
I love my kids.
They are so fun.
I love their daddy, too. But I didn't get any good pictures of him during the hunt. Though two of the clues required that I kiss him. Sometimes he has to be sneaky like that.
But here's a good picture of him with the little ones. Violet is so excited about her tricycle. She isn't so great with it yet, but wants to practice. So we went out and pushed her around the block. Carsten came along for a ride, too.
I have a feeling that trike is going to get a lot of miles on it in the coming years. A lot of miles.
Then we came in the house and it started pouring rain and hailing. So we made huckleberry sauce to put on my annual birthday cheesecake. It was good.
Merry Christmas, everyone!