Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Celebration

Last week I turned fifty. Yes, it’s a very big deal! Every birthday of life should be a big deal, especially this one. I was determined to celebrate for at least one entire week (mentally and emotionally, that is; not necessarily physically.) Early in the week, Randy disappointedly explained that his plans for my birthday had fallen to pieces. Too many family members committed to going too many places. It was okay... our children were very busy with their own lives and families. Celebrating is a frame of mind, as I said. So anyway, my birthday week played out like this:

The day prior to "my big day" was wonderful in its own right. Michael and Desiree treated me to lunch at the famous and delicious diner at Mike's place of work, 1-800 Contacts. Randy took me out for a movie "City of Ember" and a quiet dinner at Ruby River where I enjoyed the first of many complimentary birthday desserts.

Jenni used her own birthday money to fly with her two babies to join me on my actual day.
We met Katie and Desiree and their young ones to enjoy a beautiful morning at Gardner Village.
This was the first these small cousins had been together in one place at one time.
I spent the evening of my birthday performing in the pit of Capital Theater for "Madame Butterfly." When I returned home Randy presented me with a wrapped gift - two pair of socks and some Christmas earrings (a very odd present, if I may say so myself).

The day after, in leu of Randy's previously proposed Saturday celebration, we enjoyed a quick family dinner at Macaroni Grill (second complimentary birthday dessert) before we each headed off to our prior commitments. Everyone was able to make it except Emily who was involved in performances at BYU-Idaho and was unable to make it, and Jenni's significant other, Mark. We missed them both.
And that was that, or so it seemed until I awoke on Saturday morning. As is customary, I was the first one up. Randy asked me to climb back into bed to give him a big hug. There on his chest was a card with the caption, Kathryn Slaughter, Born October 22, 1958 to Del and Julienne Slaughter. Inside it read,

Welcome to the world, my baby Mary Sunshine.
How is my little Katiedid? I think you look just fine.
Let's get up and get out of bed and have a sip of wine... or... orange juice.
Being born into this world... let's diaper that caboose.

Obviously, a Randy poem! Attached was a silver charm of a baby buggy. So... the prior events during the week were just a decoy! We followed our noses downstairs to a Jenni-made breakfast for two.
I opened another card entitled, Growing... which read,

Now that meal is over... let us clean up your face
Go put on something cute
We're going to your daddy's place.
Imagine that you're ten again
With brothers, oh so weird
Remember what is was like back then
Before they both could grow a beard.

Attached was a new sterling silver bracelet for charms. (My other one is filled with memories of my first 50 years. Randy thought it would be nice to begin a new one.) We drove to Papa's house.
My brother, Mark, and his wife Alice were there waiting for us.
David was unable to make it. Linda was ill, but had written answers to questions about our childhood. We sat together and reminisced about life at 805 Walnut North in Twin Falls.

Another card... "Love This!"
You're growing up so fast my dear
Your dating life began
So many boys - so many boys
But only just one man.
Let's stroll down memory lane my dear
With the man you dream about
The afro, dear, and the mustache too
What were you thinking?... Shout it out!

The charm? A flower. Randy proceeded to dawn a big wig and fake mustache to replicate the way he looked thirty years ago. He surely would have worn them on our next excursion, if I had asked him to.
But frankly, I like him just the way he is.... now. On this absolutely beautiful and warm Autumn day, we drove downtown to relive our engagement and wedding days. In August of 1980 he sat me down under an umbrella tree on the Salt Lake Temple grounds and asked me to marry him.
That exact tree happens to be gone now, but this one will do.
After proposing he asked me to meet him by the Christus in 10 minutes to give him my answer. That is where I said "yes".
We enjoyed lunch at the new Nauvoo Cafe. I opened card number four."Bellies...Babies ...Beebop" Tied to it was another charm, "World's Greatest Mom"

The kiddies come and they grow so fast
I can't believe this time has past
They sing and dance (some better than the other)
They got their talents from their.... Dad.

Back home, I was led to the back yard where I was greeted by the kids (Emily came home! - on the shuttle bus at 1:00 in the morning!) complete with costumes and singing a medley of Nostalgic tunes
they used to perform while in grade school.
Michael chose to be the sound man. A "sound" and safe choice indeed! tee hee.
Card Number Five - "Gammie it is!"

The kids grew up and some are married
What came next? our grandson Harry ed?
Payton, Lily, Evylee, too
Sadie, Kylie whoop de doo

It's time to remember these little bugs
Let's take some pictures in their cutest duds
Off to the studio we must go
On dasher, on dancer, on Comet, on Vickson
On Kathryn, (put your sweater on) It is time to Jettison...

Randy had a makeshift studio set up at his corporate office. One by one, a grandchild was placed next to me. The babies had charms tied with ribbons on their wrists. The bigger children gave me little boxes with charms inside.
Kylie gave me a little star. In her baby blessing she was blessed to be a light to her family and friends.

Sadie's was a tiny Ladie Bug. She is our "Sadie Bug."

Evylee gave me two charms, a cow and an ear of corn. It took me a minute to figure out the significance; when she was just three months old, I could coax a smile from her each time I said the words, "Corned Beef". So she gave me corn and beef. Clever.

Lily's addition to my bracelet was a Cinderella Carriage. Lily is my little princess, "Ella" complete with life's magic and a happy-ever-after.

Payton is our one and only boy. I gave him a "real" glove and baseball for his birthday. He gave me a miniature baseball for mine. We love playing ball together.

We all had a good laugh when Randy described me as a "Giant of a Woman." That was a nice thing to say on my birthday!

Here is a photo I will cherish -

Card number six - "Food and Family"

Now dinner, it's time to it for real.
Emily's here and she needs a good meal.
Let's jump in the car, like the gingerbread man
Put on those cute earrings and go use the can...
(Take Payton along, he always needs to go potty!)

The REAL birthday dinner was at Wingers. All of us were there this time. (With the exception of Mark.) We ate and laughed and enjoyed my third complimentary birthday treat!

Card number seven - "Today we Enjoy!" with two charms - the number 5 and the number 0

Now the night is over, or so it seems
It's time to go home and have sweet dreams
But first there's a treat in store just for you
But oops... we need ice cream
and toilet paper too.

Night over? I don't think so! I opened our door to find family and friends galore. Seems Jenni had sent invitations via snail mail and the internet.
And yes, it was a complete surprise! My children had been preparing all day with a homemade cake, and quite the spread of food.
Audrey put together an audio video presentation of my life. I feel so loved! (and a bit embarrassed.)

And last but not least, card number eight -

I hope it has been fun
To look over your life
You're about half way
And still a terrific wife

Your kids and grandkids all really love you
Let's get this party started... Whoopty doo!
When the night is over and everyone leaves,
It's you babe... and me... and our doggy makes three(s)

with a dog bowl charm attached...
I've been on a high for days. Turning 50 really isn't that bad - thanks to a terrific family and caring friends. I really was happy with the two pairs of socks and Christmas earrings; but this gave me a day I will certainly remember for the next fifty years. I love and appreciate all of you more than words can ever express!


  1. I just need to copy and paste this into my blog. I love your journaling. Your blog is going to be so fun to read. I'm so glad you're doing this and our trip home couldn't have been more memorable. Love you mom!

  2. Wow! What a fun day! The whole set-up was very clever! I love the pictures, and I'm so glad you have a blog!