Sadly/happily, he'd made me promise a bunch of things in his effort to avoid actually acknowledging that yesterday was an important day: No surprise parties - in fact, no parties and no surprises at all; no flamingos in the front lawn; no surprise visit to his workplace with cake in hand; etc etc etc. All he wanted was for me to cook him a healthy dinner at home, with my parents and my sister with her family.
So that's what we did. But I started the day by cooking him breakfast for Geoff (which I usually don't do b/c he wakes up a bit earlier than me to get ready for work and I wait upstairs for the kiddos to wake up so that we can have cuddles) and he and I ate it together while the kids (to their sheer delight) watched tv first thing in the morning. Breakfast wasn't fancy but it was nice to eat it together and I even bought orange juice for the occasion and served it up in wine glasses, along with eggs and parmesan-topped grilled tomatoes. We even used napkins for breakfast...the true sign of something special happening!
Then Geoff was off to work and I spent the day getting ready for the evening. The kids and I ran some errands for fish and other groceries, and picked up balloons and a few other decorations; then I basically prepped dinner all afternoon while the kids played outside and listened to audio books and watched tv.
I cooked dinner for eleven and tried to make it both delicious and mostly healthy (the exceptions were one of the appetizers and, of course, the b-day cake). Here was the menu:
- Black bean fritters with a cilantro dipping sauce
- 7-Layer dip with Geoff's favourite multi-grain chips on the side (one of the less healthy items on the menu)
- Kale salad (with brussel sprouts, broccoli, etc) with poppyseed dressing, cranberries, and pumpkin seeds (this mixture was from Costco, which made life a little easier)
- Southwestern salad with a delish Cilantro Lime dressing
- Sprouted brown rice
- Baked salmon, cooked in Geoff's favourite way and everyone loved it...Matthew had two helpings and my nephew had four!
- Platter of fresh fruit: Cherries (Geoff's favourite); raspberries (everyone else's favourite); and blueberries.
- Triple layer chocolate cake with frosting between the layers and a made-with-real-chocolate icing (that took a full 25 minutes to make!). This is Geoff's favourite cake, served up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
And, despite my horrible inner debates about what to buy Geoff for his b-day gift, he seemed to quite like what I decided on: Golf lessons; and a subscription to Sirius XM Satellite radio for his car (thx, Lianne, for the confirmation of this choice...it helped!).
Thank God, I whispered as the day was done and I fell into bed. It was a good day, and it was over.
Next up: Lizzie's birthday party with friends (later today); Lizzie's family dinner out (tomorrow evening). And tomorrow, Geoff is taking the day off of work so that the kids and I can kidnap him (or, as Lizzie always says, arrest him!) and celebrate his b-day a little more. I've planned breakfast out, mini golf, a picnic and, for Geoff, a golf lesson in the afternoon.