So birthdays in the Stephens' family are usually a pretty big deal. For some reason my mom always made a huge production out of every birthday. Every year on July 24th before I fell asleep my mom and dad would climb in bed with me and tell me the story of how I was such a sick little baby. They would tell me all about their experience from the time I was delivered to when I was driven in an NICU ambulance to Des Moines to when my heart stopped beating, to my blood transfusion and on and on. Every year I just sort of sat there and listened because I obviously don't remember any of it. It all seems so weird to me now. Needless to say, my birthday is a time when I really REALLY miss my mom. Moms have a way of making you feel special unlike anyone else in the world. This year my friends did a really good job of making me feel special. It ended up being three days of celebration, starting with line dancing on Thursday night with Jess and Deb.
They had been telling me for a week not to make any plans on Thursday night because they had a surprise for me. They wouldn't tell me where we were going or what we were doing. The only hint I got was that I needed to dress like a cowgirl. We all met at Jess's house on Thursday night after work. It was kind of funny because I had to drive so Jess was telling me directions and I blindly followed her commands. We ended up at the 8 Second Saloon in a part of Indianapolis that I have never even seen before. As we pulled up we saw a couple in their mid-fifties walking out in their western get-ups. We were giggling the entire time! The last time I went line dancing was in a sketchy looking farmer hang out off the interstate 380 in Iowa. That place was a little less than glamorous but we had a good time. It was a couple of years ago and the main thing I remember is that I was TERRIBLE at the steps. I don't know how my mom was a professional dancer and I can hardly handle the hokey pokey. My shyness definitely comes out on the dance floor and Thursday night was no exception. Finally the girls made me go out and join in the choreographed cowboy steps and I managed to do a pretty decent job. It ended up being a night full of surprises and lots of laughs. We had such a good time being girls and enjoying each other. It was fun to dress up and pretend to be somebody else for a night. This kind of thing is so far out of my comfort zone but I always ended up loving it when I'm done. I even two-stepped! That was probably the funniest part of the night because my poor partner didn't know what to do with my extreme clumsiness. It ended up being ok though because he made up for my mistakes.
Throwin' the deuces for my 22nd birthday.
Doing the 22 Two Step.
Deb and I.
All week long I had been asking my daycare kids, "Who's birthday is on Friday?!" And they would all say, "It's yours, Miss Cady!" I promised them that I would bring treats for their afternoon snack so I went out and bought popsicles and cookies and brought them in on Friday afternoon. I bopped into the room with my crazy star hat on and yelled, "It's party time!" They all SCREAMED and dropped what they were doing to join me at the snack table. They sang happy birthday and ate way too much sugar. I looked around after we were done and half of them had bright blue mouths. Their teeth, lips, and tongues were stained from their birthday treats. I think that partying with kids is the most fun. The simplest thing ends up being such a big deal to them!
My sister came into town on Friday night and was at my apartment when I got home from work. She did my hair and we laughed as we talked about our lives and the funny things that have happened to us lately. Then we went to dinner at the Melting Pot and enjoyed some birthday fondue. I got us incredibly lost on our way there and we ended up driving up and down 82nd street for 20 minutes before I realized we were supposed to be on 86th. Oops. We ended our night at the movie theater where we saw the late showing of "Mamma Mia!" We were both so tired by the end of it that we came home and went straight to bed. The next day we went to breakfast, bought books at Target, and laid out by the pool until Crissa had to go. It was a perfect day.
Cammi and I had a bunch of friends over on Saturday night. There ended up being about 10 people here and it was a great time hanging out and story telling. A bunch of our friends from Indy came along with my friend Jess from school. My friend Tim called and said he was in town from Nashville so he ended up coming over too. It was the perfect end to a perfect birthday!
Until next year...