Happy 45th Birthday to the MAN OF MY DREAMS - and I mean that in every sense. From the moment I meant him, I was drawn to him and his positive spirit - and overwhelming love for the Lord that made me want to be a better person and draw closer to God as well. At the very least, I longed to be his friend, but in my heart, I dreamed of so much more - it took a while.... - but, eventually, my fairy tale ending occurred when we tied the know and made a lifetime of love and commitment official. John Riley, I am so proud of you and the husband, father, and friend you are - Happy 45th my love!— with John Riley.
That's the tribute I paid John on Facebook. I figured I'd start the post with that - as that's what the whole point of it is. And, after our surprise last year, I was struggling with how to appropriately honor him this year. The timing of his birthday is so hard for me. I'm just depleted with "planning and doing" after the holidays, and usually weighing so much more than I want to be - so the idea of putting on one more social event that would involve a lot of people and eating delicious foods goes against my ambitions in the midst of January. Enter Heather. As she had a big roll in last year's gathering (and year's prior too) - she volunteered to see what she could put together for him. Boy, did she pull it off. She managed to find a day where her, Cully, Michael Chase, and the Whites could all get together which happened to land on the one day of his birthday week we were available. (The day before his birthday). I threw him off as best as I could. We already had a dinner date scheduled at Red Robin with his mom on his Birthday - so when I suggested we celebrate his day with my parents (as well as Mikayla's birthday) on that Tuesday, he didn't blink an eye. The only potential give-away was that the house was really clean when he came home. Ooops....couldn't be avoided. It was more important for me to have a clean house than to cover up a potential surprise by leaving it trashed when company would be coming later.
The whole gang was already waiting for us when we got there - so perfect. John was indeed surprised!
Kenjon was the biggest surprise. We knew he was done with his season and back on the west coast, but he'd been planning to go from Washington down to California that week. Heather talked him into switching course... It had been since September since we'd seen him last.
The evening was full of stories and fun expressions and antics.
Because of Whitley's bedtime, the Whites parted ways after dinner. The rest of us headed back to our house for some delicious carrot cake cupcakes that Heather made - and a little Wii Fit U for entertainment.
In order to calibrate the movement games, each person needs their own "Mii" to be created. You can make it look like you by taking a picture with the hand-held console - some of the interpretations are eerily close and others are like "Is that really how people see me?" Of course, the worst is the weigh in. You can hide the actual weight from being shown on the screen, but it does publicly declare your BMI and show what range you are in (underweight, normal, overweight, obese). Let's just say, I was so glad I'd already established my Mii ahead of time.
So, the end result, both Cully and Kenjon's Mii characters inflated a bit after the BMI was established to look "portly". With Kenjon's skin coloring as dark, and him in a stocking cap - his character reminded me of "Fat Albert" - we all got a big kick out of it!!!
Of course, the competition was HEATED - particularly between Michael, Heather, and Kenjon - somehow, Kenjon finds a way to beat Heather by just a point, percentage, or margin so tiny - I know it infuriates her! (And, if he doesn't, he plays again until he does).
But, Mikayla kicked everyone's butt when it comes to ski jumping - proving just how wise it was for the Olympics to bring Womens' Ski Jumping into the events this year.
What a great way to celebrate John... thank you SO MUCH Heather for making it all happen!