December 30, 2022

Happy Birthday to me . . .

**first off, I survived covid and we were able to host my side on Christmas day. Everyone masked in order to be cautious around my folks. It was honestly a wonderful party that my dad hasn't stopped raving about**

I don't usually post on Fridays, but it's my birthday, damn it, and I always enjoy a good birthday post followed by comments from all of you (wink, wink). I'm drafting this on the 29th. My house needs a good cleaning and I'm refusing - explanation forthcoming. 

Kari likes to celebrate by shouting IT'S MY BIRTHDAY MONTH, BITCHES. Hi Kari, hope you don't mind that I'm quoting you here. 

I can't really celebrate that way, because I don't think it would be right to steal baby Jesus' thunder and all. This year I'm hosting Coach's side on my birthday. I'm not thrilled about it, but it's a party so I'm rolling with it. 

I was supposed to host his side Dec. 23rd and then my side on Dec. 25th. December 23rd promised to be crazy cold here. There were blizzard conditions on the 22nd, but the 23rd was just going to be freakishly cold. My brother in law asked us to move our party. 

Well, that didn't appeal to me, but I took one for the team. We rescheduled to Dec. 30th - my birthday.

My high school kids start back to school on Monday and I start babysitting again, after a VERY short break, so hosting  Sunday, Jan. 1st didn't feel relaxing. We had basketball tournaments all week, and those schedules are determined depending on how the team does the day before - not conducive to party planning, or life in general. Finally, we couldn't ask our kids to give up NYE. As a result, my family might need to deal with me quoting Kari for the next month. If I give up my birth-DAY, then I think month long celebrations are in order

I doubled much of the food before Christmas when I was baking for my side's Christmas gathering. I froze whatever I could freeze and I made the fresh food Wed. evening. I was dreading it as I knew it would be exhausting. 

I announced that I would be writing Thursday prior to attending Reg's last tournament game at 4:30, and I stuck to my guns. Coach texted me Thursday morning to let me know that he was bringing me my favorite Portillos salad for lunch. 'Happy Birthday Eve.'

Perhaps he reads Kari's blog and he knows about the month long celebration. The yummy salad was much appreciated. I felt seen, and full. 

On Thursday, I decided not to care what the house looked like. I left a list of chores that needed to be done, which the kids managed to ignore. The 3 oldest boys were at work. The other kids watched a movie and sorted laundry, allegedly. It looked more likely that they tossed some laundry around the family room, shrugged, and walked away. 

There was much that should've been done. I promise you this - after I toss the dinner in the crockpot in the morning (when you read this), I'll be holed up in my study  while they all figure out how to make the place presentable. 

The kids hate it when I get panicked and I start ordering them around with a specific 'voice', so I  won't. Fingers crossed that they figure it out. Coach comes home around 1 pm. Maybe he can utilize a voice before the guests arrive at 3:30.


Notre Dame prepares a huge feast of a meal for the students right before exams. Mini texted me a photo of her meal:

A moment later she texted me this: 

*** is it wrong that I was more concerned that she might miss out on the excellent meal, if her first plate was 'tossed'?

A DISCOUNT WITH AN INSULT:  I think I forgot to tell you this . . .  in late August, our local pool was closed and Curly and I really wanted to go to the pool. I agreed to take her and a friend to a nearby water park/pool. The fee to enter is a tad steep unless you're a resident of that town. We could only go for a few hours.

Delilah is a resident of that town, so I had Curly memorize Delilah's address. Curly is young enough to not have a drivers license, so I figured she could rattle off an address if asked, and be charged the resident rate. 

I dropped Curly and her friend off at the entrance and I parked the car. When I walked up to pay for myself, I was surprised that I was only charged $5. When I entered, I asked Curly for my changed. She said I didn't get any, because it was $7 a person. 


** then it dawned on me, I'D BEEN CHARGED A SENIOR RATE. Curly's friend insisted that I don't look elderly, if you can believe a 14 year old's idea of old. That's what I get for looking for a deal. 

THAT'S YOU NOW:  At the end of summer, I saw a grandma pushing a stroller at a very slow jog near our house. Curly and I were driving by.



The two of us proceeded to cackle for several minutes in the car. She wasn't wrong. 

*** I jog crazy slow. I push strollers. Apparently, I sometimes look like an old woman. 

Hoping you all had a wonderful, peace filled Christmas/or whatever it is that you celebrate - with much laughter, cherished family, and beautiful memories. I have a post ready for Monday . . . back to regular posts. This one is called ON THE 18TH OF DECEMBER, MY TRUE LOVES DID THESE THINGS  . . . I'd ask you to guess, but it wouldn't be fair. It's be like asking the impossible. 

Happy New Year - and I am aware that it is going to be 2023, not 2024 - as I previously reported. 


Charlie said...

Happy birthday lovely Ernie! I hope your party is as fabulous as you. I’m glad Covid didn’t ruin Christmas and you had a great time with your folks. Christmas for us was good, first one without my mum but we got through it ok. Except my fridge broke down in the week before (good job I wasn’t hosting) and I’ve got a chest infection. But roll on 2023 (so happy you know it’s not 2024 yet ;) ) and to happier times for all. Looking forward to reading about your shenanigans over the next year xx

Debbie said...

Happy birthday Ernie! Thanks for all the company during the roller coaster of 22! Happy New Year!

Nicole MacPherson said...

Happy birthday Ernie! I am 100% Team Kari on this - you need a birthday month and since December isn't feasible, then I think you should celebrate Dec 30- Jan 30. Oh hell, let's throw Jan 31 in there too. Good idea? Yes it is!

I hope that your party today goes well and that everyone showers you in gifts and GF cake.

Once I got asked if I wanted the seniors' discount at Shoppers Drug Mart, and then I said sure, and SHE ASKED ME FOR ID. I mean, if you're going to ask if you need the discount, which is rough enough, then you should just GIVE the discount.

Curly cracked me up! Happy birthday!

Pat Birnie said...

Happy Birthday Ernie! I hope your party goes well today and that all your kids & coach jump in to do all the work while you relax. Well, here's hoping.....Glad you posted today - we missed all the Shenanigans over the past couple of weeks. Curly continues to be hilarious!

Suzanne said...

Thanks for the laughs, Ernie -- love the image of you in a slow motion jog behind a stroller.

Have a wonderful birthday! I hope the kids get it together but if they don't, The Voice is justifiable!

Nance said...

Happy Birthday! My family also detest my Voice. Since I'm a mom AND a former teacher, it's really quite something.

Good luck with everything. (Better you than me, LOL.)

mbmom11 said...

Have a glorious birthday!

I can't believe your kids have to go back to school on Monday - usually Fed holidays in IL are off. That stinks. My public school kids are off until the 10th - which is too too long - the holiday spirit ends and boredom begins.

ccr in MA said...

Happy, happy birthday! I hope that your family gets things done for the party without you having to break out The Voice, that would be a great birthday present for you. Hope the party is fun! And yes, you definitely get to celebrate an extended birthday now.

Kara said...

Happy Birthday! Hopefully it's wonderful and stress-free.

My kids (including the one in college) start back on Monday, 01/09. I have my niece in town until 01/06. My parents come in for two or three weeks on 01/05. My husband just shared that he's going to California on the 4th or 5th for a week, for work. It's going to be a lot of trips to the airport.

We have at least one Portillo's in Arizona! Because the Cubs Spring Training is out here, and there's a whole bunch of Chicago people who come here for Spring Training or retire out here. We also have Lou Malnati's and a whole bunch of pizza chains that originated in the Chicago area that have branches here.

Anonymous said...

Glad you survived Covid, a very happy birthday to you.

Kari said...


I'm so glad you felt seen during your birthday week with the Portillo's salad.

I'm also happy you're feeling better.

I do have specific birthday month addendums that I don't think you're aware of.


1- If your birthday occurs during a holiday month, you receive an extra week to celebrate the following month.

2- If you are sick during your birthday month, you receive an extra week to celebrate the following month.

As a result, you have two weeks in January to accomplish everything you want with regard to birthday celebrations. As a result, in the month of January, you may also shout IT'S BIRTHDAY MONTH BITCHES to avoid offending any newborns named Jesus.

Happy Belated Birthday, my friend. XOXO

Cheryl said...

Happy Birthday! 29, right?

Glad your family party went well and you are getting the recognition from your dad that you totally deserve!

Hope the other-side-of-the-family-party goes just as well.

Don't you lift your finger cleaning on your birthday...crack that whip or use that voice, whatever it takes to get those kids to tidy up! As my dad used to say, "why the hell did you think we had all you kids?"..."so you could do some work around here!" lol.

Jenny in WV said...

Happy Birthday Ernie! Be sure to follow all of Keri’s rules, you deserve to celebrate all month long!

Gigi said...

Happy Birthday, Ernie! And yes, celebrate for an entire month; you deserve it!

joymariecooks said...

Happy birthday Ernie! Thanks for all the smiles you've brought me when I read your posts.

Ernie said...

Charlie - Thank you so much, Charlie. You are so sweet.

I imagine this was a difficult Christmas without your mom. That sounds so hard. I'm sorry.

There were many moments when I thought covid was going to ruin Christmas. Mini started a sore throat, but tested negative for days. My folks initially refused to come even though I was no longer contagious, but I convinced them - then I worried that they would get sick from us and I'd never forgive myself. Eek - it was tough and go. All went well and everyone is healthy now.

A broken fridge is a pain in the pitussie no matter when it happens. But I'm glad you weren't hosting. Hope you are feeling better soon.

The party last night was fun. My kids did all of the work - especially Ed, who made the dinner for me.

Ernie said...

Debbie - Thank you. Hoping that 2023 holds many good times and great memories - plus lots of fun adventures to write about here.

Ernie said...

Nicole - I have alerted the family that I will be imposing extra days of celebrating my birthday. They looked confused, but I will be enforcing their embracing of it. ;)

The party was good. There were plenty of GF desserts. Not really the gifting crowd, but that's fine. The two SILs enjoyed their towels. I was hoping we'd sit around longer and chat for hours, but I think everyone needed to get home at a decent time so they could be bright eyed for NYE. Not like they left early, but good parties always fly by and I could've done with a few more hours of partying.

I remember reading this story, but I did not remember that she then asked you for ID. What on earth?

Curly cracked herself up big time with that little one-liner, and I died laughing too. Thanks.

Ernie said...

Pat - The party was fun - all went well. Ed made the main course and it was awesome. I honestly did very little to prep for the party on my b-day. I made food in advance, but yesterday I worked at my computer for hours. The kids stepped in and Coach raced in from work and did the rest. Hooray.

I really thought I'd end up posting next week, but I'm glad I took the time. There are always things to post about. Shenanigans abound. Thanks!

Ernie said...

Suzanne - I cannot call myself a runner because I know that I am too slow to consider what I do as running or even jogging. Curly was dead on that I am already looking like a granny with a stroller. Ha.

I laughed that you've decided that the voice is justifiable. I whole heartily agree, but fortunately the kids stepped up to the plate and I did very little. Thanks for the b-day wishes.

Ernie said...

Nance - My mom taught and if we asked for help with our homework, she slipped into teacher voice. It used to drive us nuts. So loud - we were like I'M RIGHT HERE. WHY ARE YOU SHOUTING?

All went well with the party and I didn't need to utilize the voice.

Ernie said...

mbmom - Thanks - I did have a very nice day. My kids and Coach did most of the work. Even my hair cooperated. ;)

Yep - it seems unlawful to send kids back to school so early. Coach has the day off and the kids will be in school and I'm babysitting. That just bites. I might leave Mini in charge of the few kids that I have so Coach and I can go on a date.

Ernie said...

ccr - I had a nice day and my prepping for the party duties were minimal, which was a nice departure from the norm. No voice necessary. I will be milking the 'but we skipped my birthday' sentiment for weeks. Promise.

Ernie said...

Kara - the 9th sounds more reasonable for a back to school date. That is usually when we go back - because it is Reg's bday. Poor kid - always ends up going back to school on his birthday.

I didn't know that about Portillos or the other Chicago chains. Interesting. I will be in AZ in April. Reg is playing in a b-ball tournament there. Coach's sister and her husband just bought a place in Scottsdale. They're from KC.

Ernie said...

Anonymous - Thank you- covid was badly timed but not too terrible, thankfully.

Ernie said...

Kari - I declared loudly in the kitchen this morning IT'S BIRTHDAY MONTH BITCHES. My kids looked at me like I had 4 heads. I appreciate your sharing the rules with me. Duly noted. I will be milking my day for as long as possible.

Happy birthday Jesus.

My turn is up.

Ernie said...

Cheryl - Yeah, I'm 29 and I don't look a day over 52. Ha.

It was very nice of my dad to go on and on about the party that I hosted. I could tell he was having a great time. So did Mom. Great memories.

I did very little before our guests arrived. Didn't think it was possible. My dad used to say the same thing - usually when referencing snow shoveling.

Ernie said...

Anonymous - Thanks for saying hello - so happy to have you reading for 18 months now. I will tell my people the next time that they complain about something I've done that Anonymous said that I am good to all of you! Nothing like confusing them when they are upset with me. At the very least, I will be sending my offspring to the grocery store for a few more weeks while they're home from college.

Ernie said...

Jenny - Thank you. I will do my best to enforce those rules. It's my birthday and I'll be demanding if I want to be. ;)

Ernie said...

Gigi - Thanks. Just having the house clean is a great feeling. I will be insisting that they keep up the chores so things stay in order. I'm hosting a pasta party next week, so I'll expect them to keep up the work.

Ernie said...

joymarie - Thank you. Well, you have no idea how much my day is made knowing that you enjoy my posts. I appreciate that.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Happy belated birthday my special friend!
I love that your honey brought you your favorite salad Pre Birthday---you are seen and loved.

Um....I started getting that Senior Discount at TJ Maxx too; it turns out that on Wednesday, anyone over 30 gets it so I felt a tad better, BUT STILL!

I hope your day was extraordinary even though you had to have people over, and it wasn't ALL ABOUT YOU. I say you make ALL of January about you. XO

Amie said...

Happy Birthday!

Ernie said...

Suz - Thank you for the birthday wishes. I'm working to make January about me. Our family party was nice and we really don't usually do a ton on my b-day anyway. Last year it was still Reg's b-ball tournament and we left a game a few minutes early to get to our dinner reservations.

I wonder if TJ Maxx offers that here too. Hmmm.

It has taken Coach awhile, but he has learned what matters to me. If I could have someone else make/buy my daily salad - well, that's huge.

Ernie said...

Amie - Thank you!

Amy said...

Happy birthday!!! And thank you for the Friday post - I always enjoy your writing.

Ernie said...

Amy - Thank you. I appreciate the compliment.

Beth Cotell said...

Happy happy birthday!! I definitely think you get to continue to celebrate since you were hosting a party on your actual birthday!

Ernie said...

Beth - Thank you. If nothing else, I'm enjoying a few more weeks of having a college kid or two home so they can run to the store for me and switch the laundry, etc.