Did I say something yesterday about having deep and melancholic thoughts about my birthday?

By the way, it’s tomorrow, and I know you are all ready for it to be over so you won’t be subjected to my narcissism any longer.

Those thoughts have been banished after my very fun night last night. I was in a funk last week and Kellie called and asked if I had made birthday plans yet and, of course, I had no plans because HELLO, CHRISTMAS EVE BIRTHDAY?  ANYONE WANT TO LEAVE THEIR FAMILY FESTIVITIES AND GO TO ONE MORE PARTY?  Kellie informed me that her schedule had freed up and she wanted to take me out to dinner to celebrate, and I jumped at the chance.

She showed up around 6 last night, said “hi” and “bye” to Mr. CPQ (that was the first time they had met – weird, huh?) and off we went.  Reservations weren’t until 7:30, so we stopped for a quick drink before heading over to the restaurant.  Kel didn’t waste any time totally throwing me under the bus by telling the server I was turning 40.

He didn’t even have a chance to say, “Good evening.”  She just blurted it right out.  Hmpphhhh….I’m totally going to pretend I saw admiration in his eyes instead of sympathy.

Kel said she was taking me to Winston’s for dinner and I was very excited about that because they have good Creme Brulee, and I think we can all agree that it speaks volumes that I know and can opine on every restaurant’s version of creme brulee.  It’s a sickness, I tell you, a SICKNESS that I cannot pass up creme brulee if it’s on the menu.

It’s my absolute favorite dessert and I never make it at home because I’m deathly afraid of the blow torch. Actually, let me rephrase that.  I’m not personally afraid of it.  I’m afraid of the ramifications of keeping a weapon of mass destruction in close proximity to my ten year old terrorists.

I started to get an inkling that something might be up when we arrived at the restaurant and Kel wanted to sit in the freezing cold car and tell me some random high school story that had NOTHING to do with creme brulee, and those suspicions were confirmed when I walked into the back room and there, at the table, were four of my precious friends, appropriately dressed in mourning clothes, waiting for me.

It was a party.

At Christmas.

For me.

Let’s not speak of my double chin or my flyaway hair.

And what appears to be gray in my hair is just reflecting light from the blazing candles.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Can you see the depths of my joy as I sat at the table with my people, laughing, sharing stories, eating shrimp and grits, and opening presents (yes, there was loot!)?

It was a great way to end my thirtiessurrounded by friends, smiling broadly, laughing loudly.

And eating creme brulee.

Have a nice day.

P.S. Thank you, Kellie, for pulling this all together.  You are an amazingly thoughtful friend.

Thank you, Heather, Gretchen, Amy, and Sandy for ditching your families to celebrate with me and for making it such a memorable evening.  I am so honored to know and share life with you.


28 responses to “Surprise!!

  1. aw happy birthday to you! 🙂 I totally know how that goes, and I’m so glad your sweet friends threw you a proper celebration!! I wish I could have been there too!

  2. So I take it you didn’t get I.D’d…

    I shudder to think what my kids could “accomplish” with a blow torch around our house. I think at the very least I’d have less to clean…ha ha.

    I am glad you had a much deserved good time with much deserved friends…


  3. What a wonderful story! You must be feeling so loved.

    Happy birthday a day early! 😉

    No, see, 40 is pretty painless. It’s the new 30 after all.

    Oh, and I never see it as 40 anyway. It’s the 10th anniversary of your 30th birthday. …A very very special day. 🙂

  4. NOW, see, 40 is…

    (See what happens at 45? You lose your spelling skills!) 😉

  5. I love surprises! Happy Birthday! I once heard someone say they were 39.95 plus tax. (Chuckle)

  6. Okay, 2 of us “photo officianadoes” forgot our cameras & the 1 facing the door didn’t have hers ready or there would have been 1 of the “surprised face”! But what fun we had! I love to be in on a party for someone who really loves parties, & you definitely fit the bill!

  7. Happy Birthday! I’ll join you on that side of the hill soon about the time your boys become teenagers. Thanks for making 40 look much better than I had anticipated.

    So glad you got a nice surprise. You deserve it! I’ll be thinking about you and wishing you a happy birthday tomorrow as we travel to Oklahoma!

  8. How wonderful for you! Hooray for good friends who take the time to celebrate YOU during a busy time. You are blessed!

  9. Oh we’re for sure kindred spirits (well, except I’m slightly, ahem, older than you)…I am also a creme brulee junkie (my daughter ordered a pistachio brulee in NYC the other day and it was yummy!)…my family got me the whole kit from Williams Sonoma just before we moved overseas and it went into storage so I haven’t tried it at home yet. I’m a little frightened of the fire thing but thats pretty much essential so I guess I need to get over it. Happy Birthday! My sisters is the day after Christmas and we always make a fuss. She insists : )

  10. Wish I could have been there!! And there was creme brulee?! I bought blow torch. And collected thirty eleventy creme brulee recipes. And bought ramekins (that also double as Chex Mix portion bowls). Get the torch and hide it! I’ll send recipes!

  11. Oh how perfect…friends who know how to be friends are the best!!!

  12. How wonderful!!! I’m so glad you two are friends…and that you’re both my friends as well.

    Happy 40th…I’m not far behind ya.

  13. What a joy to celebrate with you last night. We won’t mention the fact that I inhaled my Butterscotch Creme Brulee before you had finished blowing out the candles. 😉

    Love you, friend. You make life a celebration!

  14. What a wonderful surprise! It is such a blessing to celebrate life and birthdays! I hope you have a very special birthday tomorrow filled with even more surprises! 🙂

  15. Happy Birthday! (a day early!) and you don’t look a day over 32!!! And, I definitely think that you need to get yourself a little mini-kitchen blow-torch. I have had one of the William Sonoma versions for years, and the little maniacs at my house have yet to discover its very well-maintained hiding place! And creme brulee is actually quite easy to make, and delicious at home! (you can treat yourself and Mr. CPQ on regular occasions!) Enjoy your day and so glad your friends planned such a special surprise!

  16. Not that that bartender cared that she was forty. He was quite chatty with her. Quite chatty.

    It was so fun!

  17. So glad you had a great birthday! And what a wonderful surprise!

    I, too, share your love of creme brulee. I have to order it whenever I see it on the menu. I’ve never been to Winston’s, now I’ll have to try it! My favorite creme brulee up to this point has been at Sullivan’s downtown. Its probably less than an inch thick, but very wide, so there is plenty of crunchy topping!! YUMMMMM, now I want some!! Thanks!! 😉

  18. I absolutely love this- almost as much as I love that happy CPQ face in the picture.

    Happy Happy Happy Birthday friend!

    May the next decade bring you blessing upon blessing.

    Much love!
    CDC 🙂

  19. PS- I’m the same way with bananas foster. You’d better get out of my way if I start seeing some flaming rum and sugary bananas. Mmmmm…

  20. thelumberjackswife

    Happy Birthday! Merry Christmas!

  21. The look on my face? Admiration. You’re lookin’ good, lady.

    happy birthday!

    So glad you had a party. So glad you have a kellie.


  22. Happy Birthday!!!

  23. Happy Birthday!!

    What a sweet and special evening….that’s my kind of birthday dinner!

  24. Happy Birthday!!! It sounds like a really great way to celebrate your special day!

    I cannot pass up creme brulee either. My hubby makes it at home and we do have one of those torches – hidden for sure!

  25. Y’know I read this last week and didn’t comment…I get so tied up tweeting to my tweeps that I forget to “say” something to them on their blogs!!


    looks like a super fun party, my dear…I would NOT love having my b’day close to’s bad enough in Feb.

    That LVCG is a keeper!!

  26. Happy belated b’day. Don’t worry about Kellie. We have time to get her back. And paybacks are…

  27. Sweet. And happy, happy birthday. When I turned 40, a fellow from church told me it was one of the best decades — you’re still healthy, the demands on you from family were less, blah blah blah. And ya know what? He was right. Good decade. Hope yours is good, too 🙂

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