Wordful Wednesday: A Very Benihana Birthday

Ok…so it wasn’t Benihana. The restaurant is called Kyoto Japanese Steakhouse. And we go there as a family a lot.

But Michael keeps calling it Benihana. Even though we’ve never actually been to a Benihana, because of that episode of The Office. A Very Benihana Christmas. It’s when The Office was still funny. One of our favorite episodes of television ever. If you have Netflix it’s Season 3 Episode 10. But I digress.

Friday night was my birthday. Whoop whoop! Another year under my belt. And for those that are wondering it was lucky number 34.

34 isn’t lucky, is it? Didn’t think so. But a lady dame madam girl can dream right? I like to dream that I’ll turn 35 and all my wrinkle and pimples and weird saggy areas have magically melted away. I’ve got an entire year to work on that vision board…

I have always liked making birthdays a big deal. I think cake, flowers, cards, extravagant gifts and parties are all par for the course. After all, this is the day you (or me) was born!

My favorite thing to tell those that I really and truly love is that I am “so happy you were born today”. Because it’s true. Being born is something magical and special and amazing. Something to celebrate.

When it comes to birthdays my expectations have been, historically, pretty high.

And then I met a guy who doesn’t dig making a big deal out of most occasions and holidays, let alone birthdays. He doesn’t dig cake. Doesn’t care at all about cards (not even painstakingly handmade collage cards that his girlfriend slaved over for days). Plans and parties just sound like hassles and chaos to him.

But one day he made a plan ::gasp:: and surprised the hell outta me when he proposed in front of a big group of friends on New Years Eve.

So I married him. :)

Now? We’re back to no surprises, no plans and no big deals.

For the past few years since living in Lansing we’ve made my birthday into our annual trip to the cider mill & pumpkin patch.

But this year? Nada. No cider. No pumpkins. No family day. No plans.

And guys? It hurt.

I was sitting at home on Friday afternoon, while everyone, including my husband, took a nap. Drinking a birthday beer, watching Friday Night Lights, balling like a baby.

Granted, he’s been working so incredibly hard. So hard that he barely sleeps, let alone have the time to make plans. He also thought I said I didn’t want to go, though what I said was that I wanted to go to a new place, not scrap the idea all together.

Did he get the flowers and the extravagant gift and the card? Yep. All three. But all I really wanted, really needed, was a day to spend alone, doing something fun with our little family.

We haven’t had that in months.

I need to accept that this is just the busy time of year for him at the store. That this won’t last forever.

Until then I will need to work on lower my expectations and being in the moment.

Despite the pity-party I had for myself all afternoon, we actually did go out on the night of my birthday.

With the girls with babysitters we were free to enjoy an adult night out. My sis Tracey braved rush hour traffic while wearing a dress, just to spend my birthday with me.

So me, Michael and Tracey went out and about around downtown Lansing for dinner and drinks. We met a few friends at the local dive bar. I even ran into a friend that I hadn’t seen in a while. We rocked out to the jukebox and drank like fishes.

And all we got was this one grainy picture of me and Tre in our awesome dresses.

When I say that I had an “awesome Friday night” it is code for a “wickedly hungover Saturday”. Like “I’m going to die” wicked. Tracey helped with the girls while I recovered. Now THAT’S a birthday present! Thanks Tracey. *Also someone please remind me that shots are for 21 year olds and not 30-somethings, ok? Thanks in advance!

Sunday, thankfully I was totally recovered by then, we headed down to the Benihana Kyoto restaurant for the Sims Kid Trifecta Birthday party.

My sister, brother and I are all born within two weeks of each other in late September-early October. Yes, people, do the math. Our parents always had really lively New Year Eve parties.

That being said, we’ve always ALWAYS had a big family gathering for all of us at once. It’s just much easier that way. Why would we shirk tradition for this birthday then? We wouldn’t. So bring on the group meal & cake.

So Kyoto, like Benihana, is a restaurant where the table centers around a grill where the chef cooks your food in front of you. Dinner and a show. There’s something about the meal being cooked in front of you that is at once fascinating and kind of awkward. Though it doesn’t seem to bother Grandpa at all.

Like Japanese-chef-accidentally-cracking-a-raw-egg-into-your-water-glass awkward. True story. Happened to Tracey this time.

Something about the crazy exhaust fans and clanking spatulas really bothered Cedella. She had her hands on her ears the entire time he was at our table.

Izzie on the other hand? Totally fine. Not bothered by the noise as long as she had rice or noodles or carrots in her mouth. This baby loves food.

Finally a family shot. Though it’s not in focus, and it looks like Michael and I are being posed by someone in the Sears Portrait Studio, I still love it. It’s US!!! We ARE a family!

And Cedella with chopsticks? So cute.

She actually got them to work for her. Genius child that she is.

Though I may complain and may expect more than what I’m given I am truly thankful. Because these lovely, crazy, silly, smart people? They are mine. And I adore them so. *Someone please remind me of this at Christmas time, will ya?

So now it’s your turn. How do you celebrate birthdays in your family? Big deal or no big deal? Any special traditions? Any suggestions on how to make birthdays more important to someone who doesn’t think they are?

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Happy WW!!

Why it’s Not JUST Chicken

I just read a blog the other day written by a momma (who’s also a lawyer) about her take on the issue. She is admittedly quite a fan of Chick-Fil-A which doean’t bother me. She will not stop eating there. Again, doesn’t bother me. She recognized that the Constitution protects our right to free speech and the owner of the company is protected by that. Agreed. However then she went on to say that she “admire(s) the owner’s bravery” for standing up for his beliefs.


It’s been a while since I’ve written about being a multi-cultural family and despite feeling like I wanted to refocus on those aspects of our family on this blog, nothing has jumped out and I don’t want to force it.

And then I read this. And though I’m way behind the news cycle I just couldn’t bite my tongue on this one.

And though we are not a LGBT family we have many friends that are and this is something that effects the world that our children will inherit. This IS the civil rights issue of our time.

Many may argue that being LGBT is not cultural. Many more may argue that gay rights are not the same as the historic Civil Rights movement. But I am not one of those people.

Dan Cathy, COO of Chick-Fil-A, is absolutely entitled to his opinions and voicing those opinions are within his rights. However his bigoted views should not be admired. And he certainly should not be held up as being “brave” for being a bigot.

That’s like calling George Wallace brave for saying that Alabama will always be segregated. Think about it. It’s the same type and amount of bigotry. And because one man is a politician and one is a businessman is no different. Using their platforms, be it the state capitol or thousands of drive-thru windows in America, their are using their power and position to promote hate.

The city aldermans and mayors that have publicly blocked Chick-Fil-A  in Boston, Chicago and San Francisco are the brave ones in my book. These politicians will be on the right side of history when the dust settles and the inevitable occurs. Because make no mistake, the equal rights of all individuals, be they black, white, Hispanic, gay, straight, male, female, Muslim or Christian will be confirmed. And though it will take hard work and time to get there, it is inevitable that we recognize equality for all.

In reality ours is a family that would not have been possible only a generation ago. My parents weren’t even legally able to marry in some states until the 1970’s. That’s only 30-something years ago. Michael’s parents, being from two very different cultures, though not illegal, was certainly not the norm or widely accepted.

For us, diversity is not just something you train for. It is our entire lives. Our entire families. Our wonderfully, beautifully blended children.

These same beautiful children who will grow up with multi-cultural friends. With friends that have two moms or two dads. With friends that speak different languages or eat different foods. Because that is the reality of the world that we live in.

Can you imagine if you couldn’t marry someone you loved? Because the law said so. Because of rich bigots that sell chicken tell you that God said you can’t marry? And pay for political representation to reflect their bigoted views?

I cannot. And I will not and cannot support such a business. Nor will I teach my children that it is brave to stand up for your beliefs when your beliefs have such hateful and negative effects on people. Not in my house.

Shit, I don’t shop at Walmart for less than what this man is saying.

Thankfully there are no Chick-Fil-A restaurants near us. And if there is one, well, they will not be getting our dollars until they change their tunes.


I Won an Award?!

I can hardly believe it but I am so incredibly honored to have won an ‘Honest Scrap’ award from my friend Eliza at Postcards from Parenthood which really means a lot to me.  Not only has Eliza been one of the few blogging Mamas to totally embrace me, but I take pride in the fact that honesty is my one and only policy when it comes to writing this blog.  Thanks Eliza!! 

Being the recipient of this award entitles me not only to pass this on to other bloggers I admire, but to share 10 things about me with you, my faithful readers.

1.  I was a teenage Girl Scout.  Seriously.  Until I was 17.  I’ll have to blog about it some time…
2.  I left my job in December.  4 months is by far the longest I’ve gone without working since I was 13 years old.  
3.  I’ve been a telephone operator, mail clerk, cashier, pizza delivery girl, department store sales girl, hair salon receptionist, production coordinator, film director, vintage clothing store manager, and a library clerk.
4.  Super proud of my all-natural labor with Cedella!  No drugs at all, not even a Tylenol.  From my water breaking to holding my baby took a grand total of 7 hours.
5.  Can still recite almost all of the words to ‘Sixteen Candles’ and ‘Pulp Fiction’.
6.  I collect the following vintage items:  cameras, lamps, souvenir scarves, postcards, biographies, things with JFK on them and baby clothes from the 70’s.
7.  I was married a year ago in the same room where my parents first met.  Then it was a library, now it’s a ballroom.
8.  I once pushed Chaka Khan through Detroit Metro Airport in a wheelchair.  No really, it wasn’t a dream…
9.  I wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up and went to Space Camp 3 times.  Then I discovered shopping and decided to be a fashion designer instead.  Way to switch gears, huh?
10.  If I don’t eat a piece of chocolate in a day I am not a happy camper.  But in case there’s no chocolate in the house ice cream will suffice.  

Now I pass the torch to some of my other blogging sisters…

Teresha at Marlie and Me for being so down to earth and being such a big support and great friend to me since I started blogging.
Metta at365 days: 30+Mommyhood for the honesty and love she pours into each and every blog post.
Diana at Hormonal Imbalances for keeping it very real with all the hard choices she’s having to make.
Mrs. F at As the Forest{e} Grows for talking about everything from sex to church with honesty and humor.
Care at The Exposed Mom for her beautiful photographs that are the epitome of honesty.

I know…it’s supposed to be 10 but these are the only bloggers I know aside from Eliza!