Birthday Bash

Today we celebrated Kathy’s birthday, and also Sarah’s birthday. This year Sarah showed her colors as a birthday ‘player’ — aware that the day is personally special and able to anticipate it, days in advance. On the first of July, she woke up early and tip-toed around the house, turning all the wall calendars to July, giggling happily. She even snuck into the boys’ room as they slept, and turned their calendar forward from June.

Sarah received a number of delightful presents, and was overjoyed to receive each and every one. She is a very satisfying gift recipient, gasping and wide-eyed with wonder almost before she knows what it is.


Kathy has been hinting for quite a while that she would really like to have a set of patio furniture.

“I’d really like a set of patio furniture. Here’s the specific one; I clipped the ad from Fred Meyer (they’re open until 9), and here are your keys,” she hinted. She’s always been a little coy and hard to read about these kind of things. Choosing patio furniture can be a little overwhelming because there are several material types and hundreds or possibly thousands of styles made from those materials. The type of materials that you choose should depend on your personal preference but also on the climate where you live, whether your patio is covered or uncovered, your budget and several other factors. Furniture in the modern home comprises items of furniture, usually relatively small in comparison with the other pieces furnishing a room, which can be used on occasion when required. Such items need not be placed in a permanent position, but can be moved around according to its needs. It is not optional, but usually comprises useful items such as coffee tables and side tables. Click here if you want to know more about the antique table furniture.

“Hmmmm. Are you sure we really need it?” My first line of defense is usually to pretend that I didn’t hear her, but I could sense that wouldn’t work in this case. “That’s an awful lot of money … what would Dave Ramsey say?”

Kathy was unimpressed by my attempt to name-drop. “Dave who? So, anyway, wouldn’t a new set of patio furniture be a better use for that money you’ve been hoarding, than for some stupid computer?”

This was the crux of the matter. I earned about $600 recently doing some side work for a friend, and I’ve been, for lack of a better word, hoarding it to buy a new computer. Our newest computer is almost three years old, which is shameful for a person in my line of work. Besides, there are a lot of games I can’t play with my current setup.

Kathy and her girls

“There is no way I’m giving up that new computer! I’ve scrimped and hoarded at least three or four times, and each time, something more important comes up. Not this time!” The children had gathered as I bellowed, admiring my example of selfless sacrifice. Undaunted, I was firm in my resolve: nothing was going to stop me from buying that new computer.

Several weeks later, I stood in the garden department of a Fred Meyer, across town. My stonewalling had produced one effect: the stores near me had all gleefully sold out of the patio furniture Kathy wanted. “Curses!” I groused. With the help of a friendly clerk, I found one remaining set of patio furniture in a store in the next city over. Using a borrowed van, I bought it and thoughtfully stored the roomful of boxes in a friend’s living room. “It’ll be great,” I enthused, ignoring the way the boxed furniture hid the couch. “You’ll hardly even notice its there, har har.” Later, I heard that my friend’s children used the boxes to make a big fort, so maybe it was OK.

This morning I quietly unloaded the seats from the van and retrieved the patio set from my friend’s house under cover of early-morning mist. I must have been rather convincing in my bluster about not buying the furniture, because Kathy seemed pretty surprised. Joshua and I spent a good bit of the day assembling it, but it seems to have been well-appreciated. We lined up the first four chairs as though they were the thrones at Cair Paravel, and there was much squabbling among the children about which seat was King Peter’s, or Lucy’s.

Kathy’s friend Michelle generously took her out for a pedicure and lunch at their favorite Thai restaurant, which rounded out the day nicely.

Later in the day a few of Kathy’s friends came over for a low-key garden party that I had secretly engineered via Evite. I served fruit and cookies, and Joshua officiated as a Viking waiter. We both agreed that his horned helmet lent a certain dignity to the proceedings.

let them eat cake

In the evening Kathy made us a delicious steak and potato dinner, and finished decorating a cake for Sarah. A good day was had by all.

Project 366, Day 198

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12 thoughts on “Birthday Bash”

  1. Lovely celebration and all, very thoughtful of you, Tim, to use your precious computer hoard for the furniture. I know how painful that must have been for you. That is “twue wuv”, laying down your hoard for your wife. Yet one more step to ultimate good husband birthday fete-ing of the wife: provide a dinner chef for her. I bet the Viking can cook as well as he can waiter.

  2. Happy Birthday Kathy and Sarah! Miss you both lots. Sounds like it was a wonderful day. :)
    Love you,
    Aunt Emily

  3. On my way to work this morning, I realized that in my effort to add some humor, this post was the tiniest bit disloyal. Just to set the record straight:

    Kathy didn’t nag me into buying her the patio furniture. She is supportive of my computer fund (as is any good wife) and didn’t try to guilt me into spending the money in this way. Truth be told, she thinks I should buy a pink laptop (yes, they make them in all kinds of colors these days). I totally scored by surprising her, which was fun and very satisfying. I think she’s already had more fun with the patio set than I could hope or expect.


  4. Name dropping for your children. (tsk tsk) [laughing]

    But I hear ya: Giving up the dream of a new computer is a hard thing to do. Mine is currently three years old as well, and I’m starting to feel it.

    So glad everything turned out so well.


  5. Happy B-day Kathy! Happy B-day Sarah! love that patio furniture. (gotta love freddies) and just look at you, in your sweater! on a nice summery WA day. i’m sweating like a pig here in Idaho and would love a dose of western WA summer weather. hee hee

    tim, you are hoot with your wit and humor. love the pics!

  6. Wow! sounds like lots of fun! of course, birthdays always are, especially double birthdays! Happy Birthday to both of you! :]

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