I’ve been feeling down lately…really missing Maddie, Jackie, and Rigby. There are times when I feel their absences more acutely than others, and this is one of those times. I wasn’t even all that excited about my birthday, which if you know me, is out of character. Knowing this, Mike really went out to make sure I had a great weekend.

On Friday night, he took me out to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants. He told me to get all gussied up, something I rarely do these days. I have to admit, getting dressed up was nice.

birthday dinner

He also encouraged me to have friends over on Saturday. I didn’t want it to be a birthday party, but I was definitely excited by the idea of having friends over. We decided to have a backyard movie night (we rented everything from this cool LA company, Joymode), and I decided to try to get some of my creative mojo back by making little cars for the kids to sit in so they could pretend they were at a drive in movie.

drive in cars

(SO easy to make – just a cardboard box, with glued on paper plates as wheels and headlights).

We also arranged a little concession area:

movie night!

The movie set up was great – very comfortable for everyone. I was so happy that the kids loved their cars!

movie night!

movie night!

After a lot of back and forth, we decided to show “Rookie of the Year,” perfect for our group of baseball-loving kids.

movie night

Although, the three year olds were WAY more into watching the popcorn pop.


Also, even though I’d been adamant about it NOT being a birthday party, Mike still surprised me with birthday pie:

birthday pie!

Pie is superior to cake, and I cannot be convinced otherwise.

After our guests left, we let Annie and James watch more of the movie while Mike and I cleaned up.

movie night!

…but they didn’t last long:


Mike was right – having friends over was just what I needed.

movie night!

It’s a great start to another year of my life – hopefully this one¬†improves (a lot) upon the last.