With life largely revolving around school, soccer and other kid activities, it's sometimes hard to recognize any kind of milestones Daddy and I make ourselves. Then, of course, there's the fact that some milestones are better off ignored. That was Daddy's goal for his 40th birthday...pretend it never happened. As he likes to mention, however, turning 40 (or any milestone age) is better than the alternative.
In my typical fashion, I agonized over whether I should try and throw a party. See, I'm not the greatest party-thrower. I feel a strong need to have everything "just so". It's never "just so", so I get really stressed out and make other people miserable. I'm getting better though and I found that when I'm really motivated...and not out at Starbucks sipping lattes with my friends...I can get a heck of a lot done during the three hours Mam is at school on the weekdays. I chose to have most of the food catered at Whole Foods and managed to keep myself down to cakes, veggies, fruit and cheese...oh, and cheese sandwiches and those little cocktail weiners wrapped in crescent rolls for the kids.
I made Daddy's very favorite cake from a recipe I picked up from Epicurious.com last year. This Lemon Lattice White Chocolate Cake is awesome. I made three batches, with each one being good for a layer of sheet cake and one 9" round. That made for two cakes, but I figured that was O.K. Either we'd need more than just the sheet cake and we'd cut into the round one too, or I'd save it for his real birthday the next day (which happily turned out to be the case).The weather was supposed to be hot, so we had plenty of beer and soda. I picked up a couple big boxes of popsicles for the kids. It didn't turn out to be quite as horrible as advertised, so it was a lovely afternoon in the backyard...and the popsicles were entirely forgotten.That was especially important because I'd flogged Daddy and myself to make up for years of neglect out in the yard. He dug and overhauled while I planted flowers and ornamental cabbages. Many of the guests probably didn't know the difference, but the general lack of child-related garbage and plethora of living plants, with FLOWERS! was a huge improvement.
There was food. There was LOTS of food and I was pleased that I'd lied to the catering guy and told him I only expected 30. I didn't love all the things I'd ordered either, but there was so much, it really didn't matter. I'd spent an entire couple of weeks worrying about plates, utensils, food, guests, balloons, cakes and I managed not to get totally stressed out. I was pretty proud of myself for that alone.
Most importantly, of course, the guest of honor seemed pleased.Good cake, good company, beer. Friends from work came, friends from high school, his dad, my parents, old family friends, most of our neighbors. What more could a dad ask for from a family-themed birthday party? Happy birthday to my awesome husband who proves that some guys really do get better and better as they age.