Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fantasies and Surprises

So last Monday, Uberman drops the bomb that he has graciously volunteered our house for his annual fantasy football draft. He gave me 5 days notice that our house would be invaded by 12 guys who take sports way too seriously. Of course I went into full on party planning mode. What kind of food should he serve? Should I go get cute football plates and napkins? Would the guys enjoy a plate of brownies and rice crispy treats?

And normally, Ubes just shrugs his shoulders and says he doesn't care. But this time was different. His biggest concern was having enough tables for the guys to sit at during the draft.


Why can't they just sit on the couch and the floor like always? But he explained they needed to spread out and some of them would have computers and a bunch of papers and blah blah blah... "Can you call my mom and see if we can borrow her card tables?"

I didn't get it. Why do twelve guys need five tables plus our kitchen table? And where was he going to put all those tables? I went through the whole week wondering what the heck was up with all the tables. I complained non stop about it. To my Ubes. To my MIL. To my friends. I couldn't understand why these guys couldn't just squeeze in. I even tried to talk him into telling everyone to go to a pizza place instead. No dice.

Saturday morning I got up and made sure the house was clean. Clean enough for a bunch of guys anyway. I made some dip and set out serving bowls for chips. I set out cups and paper plates and napkins and some two liters of coke. And then I got the hell out of there for a few hours. I went to my MIL's house to hang out and do my laundry. (Oh, did I tell you my dryer broke? Yeah. So not cool. I mean it is 17 years old, but still.)

Around 5:00, Junior said he was ready to go home so I told him to text his father to make sure the coast was clear. It was. So off we went back home, leaving Mac and Boo behind to spend the night with Granny.

When we came down our street, it was filled with cars. "Someone's having a party," Junior said. There were still cars in my driveway, which I recognized as friends from the fantasy draft. "Bummer," I said to Junior. "I was hoping they would be gone so we could go get some Mexican food. Mama needs a margarita some chips and salsa!"

And then I opened the door and walked in to my 40th Birthday Surprise Party.

I was in shock. And so touched that all of my favorite people were standing in front of me screaming "SURPRISE!!" My amazing husband went to so much trouble, making sure to invite everyone who mattered most to me. I'm till so blown away that he pulled it off. He enlisted the help of my good friends Brooke, Erin and Jovina, who took care of the yummy food and adorable decorations (y'all should see the banner Jovina made me from paint chips. The chick is unbelievable) and the most amazing cake you have ever seen.

Get it? It's my beloved watch!! Isn't it FABULOUS!!! I didn't want anyone to eat it because it was so pretty.

All in all, it was a perfect night. I missed those who could not come, but I was so beyond touched by all of the people who were there, and all of the thoughtful, beautiful gifts I received. I really do feel like I am one of the luckiest people in the world to have such amazing people in my life.

I am so excited about being 40. And so thankful for everyone who is sharing this time with me.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Dream Boy

My mom comes from a large family. She has 5 sisters and 3 brothers. (It gets cold in Utah in the winters, people. Wink wink.) My aunties have always been a huge part of my life. All of them are strong willed, hilarious and crazy, just like their mother and her sisters, and my great grandmother, and her mother and sisters, and so on and so on.

My mom's oldest sister, Nellie, is one of the most amazing women I have ever met. She can do anything. I mean anything. She is feisty and competitive and loud and funny and has really high expectations of people. Basically I am just like her.

So of course she is married to a man who is wise, quiet, patient and incredibly appreciative of his strong, crazy wife. Basically he is just like Ubes.

My uncle Milford was voted the Dream Boy of his high school in 1949. I found this out when I stayed with them a few years ago and I went through his scrapbook. It tickled me pink to see the old black and white pictures of the high school basketball star standing in the middle of 5 or 6 girls staring at him so adoringly. It was straight out of Leave it to Beaver.

Milford is one of the kindest men I ever met. Once, when they were visiting us, as they did every winter until a few years ago, I watched him give up his seat on a bench at the mall. He was still recovering from a stroke he had only a few months before. He was sitting on the bench waiting for Nellie to come out of a department store, something he spent a lot of time doing, I'm sure. A woman stood by with her cane, she was not much older than he, and he stood, heavily leaning on the arm support of the bench so he could pull himself out of the seat, and offered the bench to her. This man, who could barely stand himself. I'll never forget that.

He graciously lived his life for everyone around him. It was so important to make everyone else comfortable and happy. He was a genuinely nice guy. You know those guys? The ones who are just so nice and kind and you are always so surprised when you meet them? He just found so much happiness in bringing joy to others.

We lost Milford to cancer last week. His final act of selflessness was donating his body to science. Aunt Nellie was hesitant when he told her his wishes. His response?

"I would not be alive now if it were not for the people who had done this before me. And with your heart valve replacements, neither would you."

I am so honored that I had him in my life for so long. So happy that my boys got to spend time with him and could be influenced by his spirit and generosity. And so thankful that my Aunt Nellie had such an amazing man who took such good care of her.

His obituary said: "In lieu of flowers, please just do something nice for someone today."

So I challenge you, think of all the kind people you have loved and lost. And in their memory, just do something nice for someone today.

Farewell Dream Boy, you are missed.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I'm still here. And I haven't given up.

Things have been super interesting around these parts. I have been busy helping Uberman with our newest adventure.

Yes. We are that crazy. Take a look at the site and let me know your thoughts. We are uber excited. And please like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter and all that jazz.

Lots of change in the works for us. It's scary and exciting all at the same time. Isn't that how you feel while you're standing in line for a roller coaster? Excited, yet scared and nervous? That's me. Right now. I have butterflies in my stomach constantly. And I can't sleep.

But it's all good. I am just so excited about the future right now. And I am so hoping you guys will be part of it. There will be a few more announcements coming up and we will be begging you to get involved. But it's gonna be fun, I promise.

I just re-read this and realized I used the word excited about a billion times. I am too exhausted to break out the thesaurus so I hope you guys will forgive me.

I'll be posting more, too. Ubes is setting up another blog for me that will be devoted to setting up the brewery. I'll link it when it's up and running. Fun times, am I right?? In the mean time though, later this week I'll post about helicopter mom, my appalling experience at the movies this weekend and how the power of social media got that fixed, and maybe, just maybe, I will finish the post I started a million months ago about overrated/underrated actors.

But I miss you. That has to count for something.