Birthdays: As Good as It Gets…But, It’s a Wonderful Life

Aaron and Giles asleep Aaron and I share a birthday in October, and Michael’s follows just 5 days later. I think we all had great birthdays, but they were…shall we say “real”?! Aaron called me on his way to work, and we sang “Happy Birthday” to each other while waiting for his train to pull into the station. I asked if he had any plans for the day, and he said, “I don’t think so.” Here’s what his precious wife had to say about Aaron’s celebration late that night when he finally got back from NYC:Aaron's Birthday“So much fun to celebrate this guy this week and see his new, deep gratitude for whatever totally human, little party touches we pulled together for him. Real life together is so beautiful.” DSCN9328My birthday was super hectic because I was packing and doing all the last minute prep for my trip to South Korea the next morning. Alan left for work before I even woke up, due to his own need to prep for a big meeting at work, and I didn’t even see him until suppertime. But, Dan and Brianna made the day very special by having Stephen, Alan, and me over for dinner and a party. DSCN9323Brianna is 5 months pregnant and still has no appetite, but she made an amazing DSCN9321                      ham dinner with home made rolls and all the trimmings, DSCN9329 plus a pumpkin cheesecake for dessert. I felt very blessed! After bedtime, I got an automated call saying my flight to South Korea had been canceled, and it was almost midnight before I was able to reschedule a flight for 2 days later. A hard day but also a very good day! I’m reading a book about life in North Korea, and it makes me acutely aware that any day I’m not starving, persecuted, or in pain is a GREAT day! Life isn’t perfect, but “as good as it gets” is—relatively speaking— awesome. IMG_1676                                                      Michael turned 37 yesterday. Reading Cards                                  The kids made home made cards for him… Presents                  even Judah and 9-day-old Paladin  (with help from Grace). DSC00464Although Mike spent a grueling day at his clinic, working on his 125-page application for security re-certification, and trying to pull apart balls of red tape, we got to meet him for lunch, and he just happened to be at the right placeDSC00468 at the right time to be invited to participate in a television production for Christmas. (Michael loves making videos!)   🙂 Michael's "Three Girls"While Mike was slugging it out at work all day, his three girls scurried about
shopping, buying and wrapping presents. IMG_1678 We also had to go to “just the right” Korean market to buy “just the right” apples Birthday Apple Pie                     and made two big apple pies (Mike’s favorite birthday treat). Korean Flaming Dinner We took Mike out to a really fun Korean restaurant where the food was great, Blowing out the birthday candlesand then we returned home for the birthday party. The kids had so much fun picking out presents for their daddy, including new legos, a matchbox car, IMG_1719                and all sorts of fun stuff  you just know a dad is going to love! DSCN9334Of course, Mike had to break up a few squabbles. I think it takes the patience of Job to be a parent… especially if you Wanna Hang Out?  with a little monkeyIMG_1717 like Judah. (Thank heaven for little boys!) Still, the kids are wonderful kids. Definitely “as good as they get!” Perfect? No. So adorable you wouldn’t trade them for a barrel of monkeys? For sure!  Michael holding PaladinSo, we had really happy birthdays…full of the real stuff of dealing with lots of challenging work and frustrations as well as the deep joy of sharing love. Is life hard? You bet. Is life worth it? For sure, and it’s worth celebrating every day!

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18
(The first two pictures, of Aaron and kids, were taken by his wife, Carleen.)


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