Forty: My new favorite

When I last left you, on November 8th, I had gone to lunch and a movie with some new friends here in Texas.

What I did not know was that hours later, I would be in for the surprise of my life.

As I drove home from the movie, I thought about all the movies and lunches I used to have back in the Lou.  I felt the all-too familiar melancholy ache for my St. Louis girls.  So I picked up the phone and tried calling them.  I got voicemail each and every time, which was a bit unusual.  But I thought nothing of it and went home.

I wrote the blog post and looked forward to a night out with the Husband.

A few hours later, the kids started trickling in from school.

As is my usual routine, I started gently nudging Chase out the door to go on his run.   Dude likes to procrastinate, so it's always a lengthy process to get him out there.

In the meantime, the Husband came home and we started chatting.  Banter, happy talk, and excitement over the upcoming weekend.  

I heard a noise behind me, and figured it was that tall boy of mine who STILL had not left on his run yet.  Turning to tell him to GET HIS BUTT OUT THE DOOR, I saw my four best girls.


For a half a second, I wondered what was wrong.  Why were they here?  What had happened?  HOW?

Then I immediately burst into tears and ran screaming into their arms.  It was caught on video, but I assure you, no one wants to see that hysterical chubby mess.

My dear, darling Husband had got them all here to help me turn 40 in style.

It was no small feat.  As per his usual life, there were missed flights, late meetings, and scrambled travel plans.  But he got them all here and made sure HE was home to see the look on my face.

The next best part of the surprise?  He and the boys were leaving to fly to the BYU game in Wisconsin.  We would have the entire house to ourselves for an entire weekend.

As we walked out to the car to grab the luggage, there was yet ONE more surprise.

Maren had brought her daughter, Jilian, to hang with Hannah.

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Seriously.  So many surprises, I would have not been shocked to see Hugh Jackman walk in the door next.  It was absolute happiness all around.

First order of business was grabbing some Mexican food at Chuy's.  Because one should never leave Texas without some of their divine creamy jalepeno dip.

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The weekend was absolutely perfect (even without Hugh Jackman coming).  The Husband sent gorgeous flowers that arrived Saturday morning - enough for every room in the house.  

We laughed, we ate, we shopped, we stayed up late.  I could not have imaged a better way to celebrate my big birthday.

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These women have been a part of my life for the past six years, and I was beyond thrilled and touched to have them here.  The Husband knocked it out of the park on this one and I can never tell him just how much it meant.  I love these girls like sisters.

It was JUST what I needed, right when I needed it most.

I'd say that 40 is feeling pretty darn good.