5.24.2016

Make Me an Artist and Let Me Drink Wine



I don't have an artistic bone in my body.  I can't sing.  I can't dance, unless you count the adult ballet classes I used to take.  Actually, I was kind of good.  I can't draw, and I'm not crafty.  I can't do anything Pinterest worthy.  Maybe I can write, but that's about it, so when MJ organized a painting class for date night at Pinot's Palette in Liberty Station I was pretty sure it would be a total fail.

Maybe it's paint my numbers.  It has to be, because when I saw what we were supposed to be painting that night I just knew there wasn't any other way it was possible to get people who haven't held a paint brush since middle school art class to replicate a beautiful painting.  Painting the walls in your house doesn't count.  There was no overlay, nothing to trace.  We showed up to rows of blank white canvas and I figured that whatever I did would look like kindergarten finger painting.   My fate was sealed.  There was nothing else to do but drown my sorrows in a glass of wine...or two.

I was too busy drinking and nibbling off of the fancy meat and cheese platter MJ prepared to pay too much attention at first, but eventually I hit my stride.  It went a little something like this.  Sip wine.  Brush paint onto canvas.  Sip wine.  Dip paint brush in water.  Blot.  Brush strokes on canvas.  Sip wine.  Mix black and white paint.  Flip the canvas upside down.  Sip wine.  Add a little bit of white paint to the blue paint.  Eat cheese.  Brush strokes.  Blend.  Sip wine.  Sip wine.  It was so much fun! 
Mine on the left, the one I was copying on the right.  I added more leaves after MJ pointed out my bare branches
The trees were the scariest part, because they would be the center piece of the whole thing.  After adding the first set, MJ's canvas looked really good.  Mine was still looking pretty hopeless, so I drank more wine and persevered.  The music was pumping.  Nothing classical for us budding Picasso's.  It was all Biggie Smalls and Justin Bieber...you know, for inspiration.  By the time we got to dotting on the leaves I was having a lot of fun, and really excited to that it wasn't going to be a hot mess.  All it took was two hours, wine, and step by step instructions to make me feel like a legit artist. You don't have to have any talent whatsoever.  They tell you exactly what to do, you do it, and you will have a decent painting.  It's brilliant!  I'm actually pretty proud of my painting, and I still can't believe I did it.

Now.  What to do with our masterpieces?  They are not allowed in MJ's room, because the contemporary Neo-Classic aesthetic clashes with the Buffalo Bills motif, but I must find a home for them somewhere in our house.


5.19.2016

16 First Date Don'ts

I meant to post this a few weeks ago, but I went off on this tangent about how I fell in love with MJ at Souplantation on our 3rd date, and it turned into that post instead.  Then, we went to Temecula Wine Country, and I blogged about that, then work got busy and I was too tired to even read blogs let alone write a post, then the longer you go without blogging the easier it is to...not blog.

Anyway.

I listen to this radio segment called Second Try or is it Good-Bye? on Channel 94.1 that usually comes on during my commute to work.  I don't even get mad about traffic those days because it means I won't miss the conclusion.  If I hear the first part I have to know what happens! The basic idea is that people who have been jilted after a first date call in to see if the radio station can find out why, and/or try to get them a second date.  When it first started, I couldn't believe they were going to embarrass people like that on the radio.  So cringe worthy! So awkward!  I mean, how sad for a person to hear why another person doesn't like them and never wants to see them again blasted over the radio.  I certainly wouldn't have the guts to call in for that information and be publicly rejected.  It's still very awkward when people get all defensive or if it turns into an argument, but I've gotten used to it and now I just  look forward to the juicy details.


I am very fascinated by relationships in general, which is why it's no surprise that I love Married at First Sight.  Never mind how it's gone off the deep end.   I find it so interesting to see how relationships are as unique as the individuals themselves and how each person introduces personality and viewpoints that have such a huge impact on whether the relationship works, or doesn't even start.  First impressions are huge and some things are deal breakers.  The track record is not good.  Most people don't get second dates.

And here you have it, 16 things not to do on a first date as discovered by single people of San Diego.  Single or married, it's a fun read.
1.  Don't talk excessively, non-stop and exclusively about Music.  This probably goes for anything.  It's okay to be passionate about it and excited that you share something in common, but if she has no clue who you are because you made her listen to song after song on your phone and sang a few of them at the top of your lungs you are probably overdoing it. YES
2.  Don't hate excessively on the restaurant that your date chooses.  You never know if it is owned by one of her family members.  Even if it isn't there is no need to make your date feel bad with a running commentary of everything you hate about it. NO
3.  Don't hate excessively on children, even if you are out at night in an adult atmosphere.  I get it.  As a single and ready to mingle kind of person, riding an elevator in your skin tight party dress with a few toddlers is probably not your cup of tea.  A comment is no big deal, but refrain from complaining and expressing how insulted you are over it the entire night.   Kids are part of the world and your date may be part of a gigantic Italian family with kids everywhere, and very accepting of them even if you aren't. NO

4.  Don't order any fun foods that might might get attention at restaurants.  Stay away from sizzling fajitas or big ass Margaritas the size of your head or else your date may think that you are an attention monger just like his ex girlfriend. NO

5.  Don't wear too much over the top make up when he's already seen you at the gym looking perfect as ever au natural.  If you show up with fake lashes, show girl make-up, tons of jewelry, and a short tight dress he might feel like he's dating an entirely different girl than the one he asked out. YES

6.  Don't make too much money and choose a restaurant for the first date that is way out of his price range.  If he's a barista, and you are a lawyer it is not going to work.  He's tried it before and he knows that at some point your friends and family will be talking crap behind his back and he doesn't want to go through that again. NO

7.  Don't spit on the ground excessively.  I think a gal can understand if you are sick with a cold or just happen to have a bit of phlegm that can't wait, but do not spit consistently throughout the date.  It's really a turn off. NO

8.  Don't stalk your date on every form of social media and then talk to him about things that you would only know if you had done that.  It might make a cute story after  you've  been together for a while, but on your first date.  Creepy.  When you express concern over this don't be surprised if he says, "Well, good luck dating people who don't like you." NO

9.  Don't insist that your dog is basically the same thing as a child. Don't claim that you understand her struggle as a single mom because you are single and  you have a dog.  If she insists that it's actually different, don't dig in your heels and say that it's the same exact thing, because you also have to get a babysitter when you go out of town or on a date. NO

10.  Don't talk about all the hot guys you've dated. Name dropping is also not necessary.  You might think it is making you appear more desirable and amazing, but it gives the impression that you are superficial, and it makes him feel insecure and like he couldn't possibly measure up to the hunks that have kissed your lips. NO
 
11.  Don't invite your ex boyfriend to join you while you are on your first date with another guy, if you happen to see him sitting alone at the bar. NO

12.  Don't assume that just because you blew up the bathroom with your unexpected and totally inconvenient post dinner poops after she invited you into her tiny apartment for a drink that she never wants to talk to you again.  She and her roommate were not laughing at you, and don't  find you the most disgusting person on earth.  They actually had no idea that it even happened.  YES

13.  Don't drop your phone in the toilet, switch to a temporary flip phone, and lose her number. YES

14.  Don't be "just a bartender" when your date is only interested in men with an established career or actively pursuing an established career.  You might find out later, that he is actually in grad school and change your mind when he calls into a radio station to find out why you didn't want a second date, but by then it's too late because he's already extremely offended by your attitude.  NO

15.  Don't spend half the date talking on the phone to your twelve year old daughter who is perfectly capable and self sufficient.  He may think that you don't have room in your life for a man right now.   YES

16.  Don't deny being a smoker when you pick him up in your car that reeks of cigarette smoke.  All the mints in the world won't hide the taste of tobacco when he goes in for a good-night kiss.  Smoking can be a deal breaker and even though you say you would be willing to quit for the right person, you've already shown yourself to be a liar.  NO

Only 5 out of 16 got second dates proving once again that first impressions really are everything.  Make it count. 
  

5.05.2016

When You Can't Make it to Napa

What do you want to do for your Birthday?
I don't know.
It's in two weeks.  What do you want to do?
I don't know.
Then I'm planning something.

The next day I said, consider your Birthday planned, and that is how we ended up in Temecula for a surprise Birthday mini getaway.

I took Friday off because he was off Friday, his Birthday was on a Monday and I can always use a five day weekend.  We hit the road much later than I planned for two reasons.  One, I have packing anxiety.  I packed the night before, but I get this anxiety about forgetting something which makes it hard to leave the house, because once I leave I can no longer throw any last minute items into my suitcase.  Two, somebody waits until the last minute to do everything.  Hint.  That somebody is not me.  Then, he realized he forgot his wallet the minute we got on the highway so we had to turn around.  I should have set a specific time, but I didn't because we really didn't have specific time commitments. 

We got there later than I wanted to, but once we made it we had so much fun.  Like, every single moment was perfection and my only regret is that I got a little more wine drunk than I should have and that we didn't stay an extra night.
Temecula Wine Country
The weather was looking kind of sketchy, but by the time we got into Temecula it was all sun.  We were able to check into our room at South Coast Winery and then, immediately go to the tasting room for our four complimentary tastings.  The second stop was Ponte Winery next door.  Mainly, we were hungry and needed something in our bellies.  We were going to eat then taste, but found out that they had wine flights in the basement lounge so we did it all at once.  We got two wine flights.  We did not need two flights of wine because each pour was a big old glass of wine.  I drank it all, and it did me in, but it was seriously the best wine I've ever had in my life.  I'm partial to sweet wines, which were all amazing, but even the non-sweets were so good.  We went back the next day and took home two bottles. 

I was feeling it.  Even MJ was feeling it.  The yummy burger and chicken sandwich we ordered and split wasn't enough to fully absorb what we were putting down.  We absolutely did not need a 3rd tastings after the huge pours at Ponte, but I planned on three wine tastings and I wanted to do them all.  It was a short walk to Wiens Family Cellars where they do six tasting per set.  We looked at each other. 

Should we split it?  
No.  Let's get our own.  

We did not need our own.  Going into the Jacuzzi right after that allowed the wine to completely marinate my insides.  I brought games, our little Bose sound bar, and cheese/salami/crackers for us to enjoy that night with wine, but it was not happening.  I took a shower and dropped into bed like a pile of bricks.  I will say that being wine drunk feels a lot better than being Tequila drunk.  It was more relaxing than anything else, and I felt fine, but I was so sleepy.  We did get to enjoy the room for a little while in the morning in our matching complimentary white bathrobes, which feels so decadent by the way.  I don't know why, but there is something luxurious about prancing around a hotel in white robes.

The next surprise was the spa.  I haven't had a facial in a million years (not really, less than 1) so I went with that, and I booked a massage for MJ.  It was the perfect way to end our time at the winery.

At the Grape Seed Spa
I really love staying at a Winery.  When we checked in we got a bottle of wine and from now on, I would like a bottle of wine anytime I check in anywhere!  Also, there aren't any silly no alcohol rules.   The winery is there to make wine and people are there because they love it, so you can drink it anywhere you want without feeling like a party animal alcoholic.  Napa is on the must do travel list.  We haven't made it there yet, but Temecula is really the next best thing, since it's right in our backyard just an hour away. It's beautiful and serene, and there is some really good wine to be had.  There are many more wineries out there to visit and we'll definitely be back.  MJ was really happy with his surprise, and we had a great time.  Mission accomplished.

I got so caught up in the planning that I never got around to securing a gift.  I finally asked him.

What do you want for your Birthday?
I don't know.

I should have known better than to ask.

4.27.2016

I Fell in Love With My Husband at Souplantation

I've been dating my husband for eight years.  I love it.  I don't have to worry about not liking him and figuring out a way to get him to stop calling me. I don't have to worry about doing something stupid and being embarrassed or whether or not he likes me.   I don't have to wonder if we will kiss at the end of the night, or if I should go to bed with him.  The best thing about dating your own husband is that it's a sure thing.  You know exactly what you are getting, yet sometimes he surprises you and you already know the date is going to be great just because you are with him.  Dating for singles?  Not so much.  I look back on my dating days with a mixture of fondness and aversion. Yes, it was fun sometimes.  The free dinners, the flirtation, the anticipation; but it was also exhausting and annoying.  I was a late bloomer and spent a ridiculously long time in my very first relationship.  I was only part of the dating world for exactly three years of my life.  It was plenty.
Date #4 and our first picture together:  April 12, 2008
Back in the old days before Tinder and Snap Chat, when online dating was still a brave new frontier I met my husband the old fashioned way.  A blind date.  It was raining that night.  I waited under an overhang of the convention center, until I saw his silver SUV pull up to the Marriott hotel and made a mad dash to his car huddled under my umbrella so as not to ruin my professionally done hair and airbrush make-up.  I had just finished a modeling gig so the first time he laid eyes on me, I was the hottest version of myself.

I opened the door and jumped in.  "Hello."  And I found myself sitting next to a man with a boat load of crap in the back of his SUV who would later become my husband.  He had just returned to California after three months in Arizona.  We made a quick decision to go to T.G.I. Friday's downtown because it was close.  We both ordered dinner salads.  We laughed.  He checked out my butt when I got up to go to the bathroom.  I didn't find that out until later, but I was hoping because I knew I looked good that night, and who doesn't want to be admired?  After the check came, he dropped me off where I'd parked my car.

They say first impressions are everything and I agree.   The one and done thing was not new to me.  There were guys I would go on one dinner date with and know that I didn't want to ever see them again.  It didn't even have to be anything major. If I wasn't as attracted to him in person as I was to his online profile, or if he was geographically undesirable, there was a good chance it wasn't going to work.  If the conversation was forced, or I just wasn't that interested for whatever reasons, it probably wasn't going to work.  I was quick to judge, but I had a heart.  I felt guilty having him treat me a second time for no reason.  I was living alone, and working part-time while modeling part time.  I didn't have the desire to spend time and money or burn through gas for just anyone.  It just wasn't that serious.  If I wasn't feeling it, your calls would be ignored, and there would not be a second date.

I wasn't so sure about a second date with MJ, but it wasn't a hard no.  I also wasn't that sure about an all day date, but he called and I said yes.  He planned everything.  There was go cart racing, pizza eating, kite flying and an almost movie.  We held hands briefly in Walmart.  It was great.  He was great, but it was a long day, and the homebody in me was ready to go home.  I liked him, but I didn't know if I liked him, liked him.  I wasn't ready to commit to three more hours, or a third date.  We sat in the parking lot of the movie theater and talked for an hour instead, and then he took me home.  It was the sweetest, and funnest date I'd ever been on, and yet still, I wasn't sold.

I distinctly remember telling my parents that I didn't feel like going on that third date.

It was my Birthday, and they had taken me to Outback Steakhouse for dinner.  "I don't know mom.  I think I just want to go home after work.  It will be such a long day."

He was cute; and I genuinely laughed when I was with him like I had not done with anyone else, but I was sort of just dating to date.  I really didn't care all that much about having a boyfriend.  I'd been through a lot, was still going through a lot, and felt like damaged goods; better off alone.  It was a Wednesday.  April 2nd to be exact.  I stopped at Walmart to get some grocery shopping done, because there was time to kill between work and our second date which was to be a basketball game and dinner.  Recreational Basketball; and he was playing.  I sat in the bleachers and watched him run up and down the court with a bunch of other guys in their twenties and thirties.  I don't remember if they won or lost.  I wonder if he does?  Afterwards we went straight to Souplantation, because it was close.  It was actually a step down from T.G.I. Friday if anything.  Him in his basketball gear, and me in whatever it was I wore to work that day, minus the glamour shot look.

Precisely nine days after Souplantation I was in my car on a Friday night driving 1 1/2 hours and almost 100 miles to his house.  I actually wasn't supposed to go up there until the next day, but I'd packed a bag before meeting up with my girlfriends secretly hoping that when I called he would say yes.  Little did I know that his apartment was a mess and the second he hung up with me, he scrambled around his apartment in a mad dash to clean up.
Date #384 something...I lost count (2016)
Needless to say, that third date went exceedingly well, and to this day I can't really explain why.  It was just Souplantation.  There are so many things that can go wrong on those first few dates, but also so much that can go right. He could have been turned off my my heavy make-up  on the first date, or disappointed by my lack thereof on the second.  I could have thought it weird that he ordered a salad, or offended that he would invite me to Souplantation in his sweaty gym clothes.  I could have bailed on that third date because I was tired.  I never called him during those early days.  He could have sensed my reluctance and backed off.  I could have listened to that voice in my head telling me I didn't deserve a man so kind.  He could have given up when I tried to run.  I could have sent him to the place where most men who dated me at that time ended up.  Away.  But I didn't.  Because I fell in love with him at Souplantation, and thank goodness because I would have missed out on so much.  I didn't know it was happening at the time, but we talked and talked in between helpings from the buffet, and something shifted.  Not only did I want to see this guy again.  I needed to.

The fourth date was a romantic gondola ride through the canals of Long Beach while we sipped wine and nibbled from an antipasto platter.  It was BYOB, and we searched and searched for a liquor store to buy the wine.  He carried me on his back for a few blocks when my feet got tired, and we laughed in relief when we made it to the boat on time.  It was our fanciest date yet, but from the beginning none of that mattered.  I didn't care if date night was eating chicken and rice bowls with beer and watching movies at home or making homemade Mexican pizza from one of his recipe books.  I didn't care how much money I spent driving to Orange County every weekend.  I had an SUV.  I couldn't afford it, but I did it anyway.  I didn't care how early I had to get up on Monday morning to get to work, if it meant I could stay an extra night.  It didn't bother me anymore that he was four years younger than me.  I was no longer dating just to date.  This man had stolen my heart, and there was nothing I could do about it.

He was hooked on day one (baby, you know its true).  It took me eighteen days from blind date to smitten, and my only regret is that instead of just sitting back and enjoying the ride, I tried to push him away.  We've traveled Europe, Hawaii times three, dined on rooftops, danced on cruise ships, and eaten $100 steaks, but I fell in love with him at Souplantation, and it doesn't get any better than that.


4.13.2016

Writing Class

When MJ told me he was going to be sent overseas for a year I was very upset.  Time is precious and a year is a long time.   We've done it before, so I knew we could do it again if we had to, but I didn't want to.  My next thought was how am I going to fill my time?  What am I going to do to pass the time on my own for an entire year without him?

I'm kind of obsessed with my husband.  I do things separately from him, not only because I know it's not healthy to be joined at the hip, but also because I do want to.  If he's gonna be at home, I want to be home.  If he's not at home, I'm glad he's out doing fun things and enjoying life, but I miss him.  If I go to bed, I want him to go to bed too, and if I'm up I want him to be up too.  Creepy?  Maybe, but I can't help it.  He's not like me.  He likes to be with me, but not the way I need to be with him, and that's fine.  This works because I don't take it personally if he doesn't miss me during the two hours I'm out running errands, and I give him his space.   Sometimes he does have to tell me to back up off him, especially when he shaves, and he's just so cute.  Heart eye emoji.  I have to remind myself that I'm not his blanket, I'm his wife! I'm not here to smother him, and I think we have a pretty nice balance of togetherness and space.

He is a welcome distraction.  My favorite distraction, but a distraction nonetheless through no fault of his own, so when I found out he was leaving I did something I've always wanted to do.  I enrolled in a writing class at a community college.  Monday nights from 7:00-9:55pm from mid January through May is a big time commitment.  I did two semesters of two classes per semester a few years ago, and it kicked my butt.  I don't know how full time workers/students do it, but I hoped this would be different because it's only one class and it's something I'm truly passionate about.  I was right.  I love it.  My teacher Tammy is a real live author. She has eleven published books, an agent, an editor and everything.  I value her insight so much, because she's successfully done it herself.  The assigned books are two really helpful books on writing and a short fiction novel that I would be interested in reading anyway.   I'm learning a lot from her lectures, and we do group work shopping afterwards.  Not my favorite part, because it is hard for me to share my writing, but it's good for me, and I know I need to do it.  Monday's are so long, Tuesday morning comes way too fast, but being passionate about the class makes it worth it.     

Some of you know that I'm writing a novel.  Well, I guess you could say I wrote it.  It was done, until I fell down the rabbit hole of editing, which never seemed to end.  Then when that was done, I walked away from it unsure of what my next step would be, if anything.  Then I decided to to sign up for a writing class, and editing mode has transitioned back to writing mode.  I'm learning all of these fun things about Premise, inciting incident, and plot structure.  All of these elements are key factors in novel writing and things that readers want to see.  Some I had, others I didn't, and still others were there, but not fully formed.  Taking a hard look at my novel through the  technical lens of what a novel is supposed to have has been really eye opening.  It's inspired me to make a lot of changes and I've even come up with a title.  I've been using a working title that I didn't like, but I finally have one that feels right.  The changes I've made led to a lot of edits, which led to having new material to write.  I am grateful not to be at ground zero, but I had a really hard time motivating myself to create new words.  My novel is done! Why am I still messing with this thing?   

Perhaps it would have been a good idea to take the writing class before I got the bright idea to write a novel, but sometimes the timing on things don't make all the sense in the world. I wanted to write a novel, so I wrote one.  If I had waited until I'd taken a proper writing class, who knows if or when it would have ever gotten written.  The flip side of that is, I've probably done a lot of extra work on it than I would have because I went into it blindly.  I just started writing.  I didn't even have an outline, and here I am five years later still hammering away at it.  The thing is though, that I don't really care.  Sure, I would like closure on this novel, but maybe it's just meant to be a fun hobby.  I love writing for the sake of writing and I'm not doing it just to get published.  I mean, it would be nice, and it has been really hard at times, but I can honestly say I have enjoyed the entire process so far.  All the hours spent searching for words that won't come, cutting and pasting, and adding and moving things around has been so much fun.   I think that's how I win no matter what happens in the end.  I love what I'm doing and sometimes that's enough.

My husband did not get deployed, although it is still a possibility that he will.  I'm so annoyed at how they played with my emotions, but something good did come out of it.  He's still hereThrilled about that, and I'm in writing class. I'd like to think I would have done it anyway, at some point, but it was the push I needed to quit beating around the bush.

And with that, I will leave you with another excerpt from my novel.  I'm getting really brave, because I shared a different one on Instagram @MahoganyDrive.  It's actually my favorite one, and very meaningful to me because I wrote it before I started working on my novel.  I love that I was able to use it.  The only other bit I've shared is on the blog here



4.05.2016

Bouncing Around

My birthday fell on a work holiday, so I guess you could say my birthday is a national holiday.  Regional?  Local?  Okay, not quite, but it sure was nice to have a long weekend, and get my birthday off without having to use up a precious vacation day.  It was our so called Spring Break, but I'll take what I can get.  I don't need a lot of hoopla on my Birthday. These days it is 100% about not going to work that day, and doing things I like with people I love.  That's  it.  This year, what I wanted to do most was bounce around, not only from place to place, but literally.  Bounce. 
 
I also love movies, so we started the day out there.  Gotta love those cheapo matinee prices.  We saw The Revenant for $6.50.  Loved the movie.  I can see why it's been in the theater for so long.  We knew there would be no crowd and we wouldn't have to worry about seating so we showed up after the marathon of previews which was great.  After that we bounced over to Target, because I have been eyeing their active wear for a while.  Normally, I am so distracted by all the cute clothes that I don't make it, but this time I went directly to the active wear section and picked out two cute tops.
A video posted by Cece (@mahoganydrive) on

Maybe it's weird to want to go to a trampoline park for your birthday at my age, but I don't care. That is what I wanted to do, so that it what we did, and it was so much fun.  I think I enjoyed it as much as, if not more than any ten year old kid in the place.  During the first few minutes, I was laughing so hard, I could barely stop.  It felt so good to feel my body flying through the air again.  I used to be able to do back flips with my eyes closed.  Well, that was then, and this is  now.  I was scared at first.  I started with a front tuck and didn't kill myself, so I did a few more of those and then went for the back tuck.  Once I knew I could still do it without landing on my head, it all came back to me and the gymnast in me came out to play.  I did tuck after tuck in a row, and it felt so good to flip again.  I did back handsprings, straddle jumps, seat bounces, and swivel hips.  I taught MJ this fun move we used to do as kids where you time your bounce with someone else to launch them into the air.  I kind of regretted that later! MJ ate it on a front tuck, but his full twist was not too shabby.

We weren't sure how much jump time to buy.  Two hours?  Ninety minutes? One hour was plenty!  We were sweaty and exhausted after 50 minutes, and it was absolutely my favorite workout of the week.  I burned 350 calories, had a blast and my knees didn't hate me afterwards.  I'm on a real exercise kick right now and if I'm off work, you can bet I'm going to wake up and exercise before 12pm.  I didn't want to wake up and exercise that day.  I wanted to spend my time doing other things, but I got in my exercise anyway.  We went to Rockin Jump, but there are about four different trampoline parks in San Diego.  I want to try them all.  
I also love dining out, so we bounced on over to Bo-Beau Kitchen + Garden in La Mesa for dinner.  It's a favorite restaurant for both of us.  The roasted brussel sprouts there are amazing, but we had to save room for burgers so most of them were boxed up. The burgers are big and juicy and so full of flavor.  I miss wine! I haven't been drinking it as much as I used to so I really enjoyed that glass of wine, and it was a great end to a perfect day.  And you know what I just realized?  Not once was the word cake ever mentioned!  I didn't think about it.  I didn't want it, and nothing was missing without it. Cake was so five years ago. I've moved onto trampoline. 

There isn't a thing about the day that bothered me, and getting to spend it with MJ made it so special.  I wish every day could be like that.  No cooking.  No cleaning.  No errands.  Just fun.  It was perfect, perfect, perfect, and I couldn't ask for anything more for my Birthday.