Dave Matthews has written several songs that received a simple title – the number of the song that they were.

I think that this is fabulous; thus, this birthday has been dubbed, “Number 43”.  And the lyrics to this Number 43 are these, put together by a team effort in a Mad Libs birthday card on the night of my SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY (and by the way, I’ve never HAD a surprise birthday party and omygosh was it ever fun):

 Dear MARY,

Happy birthday to the most SPICY BANANA in the whole wide HOCKEYPUCK. I hope all your BALLS come true on this GREASY day. May your year be filled with joy and CAJONES. I hope you know how proud I am of what a GNARLY POOP you have become. I can hardly believe you’re turning THIRTY-SEVEN years old! My, how the KNUCKLES have flown. I hope you spend your special day doing something that will make you feel SWEATY. With any luck, you’ll get that newfangled FLOWER you’ve been saving for! Happy birthday, my darling FANGS!


Your friend Hank

Happy Birthday

I mentioned in my last post how busy I’d let myself (and our family) become over the last few weeks. So busy, in fact, that Hank had to sandwich planning and executing this party somewhere in the middle of several photo shoots and sports practices and games, in particular on a Saturday that included this schedule:

9:15-10:45 team pictures + soccer game for the 7yo

10:45-noon birthday gift shopping for a family friend (it’s a great time of year to be born – what can I say?)

1:15-3:00 team pictures + football game for the 7yo

4:30-7:00 photo shoot for a senior session

In the meantime, Hank met a friend at a range to sight-in rifles for elk hunting season from noon-4. C.H.A.O.S. And there’s more. The moment I left for my shoot, Hank called two friends who came over to help CLEAN MY HOUSE, knowing that I would fall over like a fainting goat if people came to our home and it was the wreck that it was. They vacuumed, wiped down the bathroom, cleaned the kitchen, and picked up after my family. Oh my WORD, what awesome people we have in our friend-family.

And wouldn’t you know it, but the mom-in-charge at my photo shoot was also in on this, sweetly stalling me a little bit along the way.

So there I was, taking my precious time on my drive home because of THE MOON that was gloriously full and bright and heavy, nearly wrecking several times trying to take one-handed pictures of the darn thing while leaning out of the car window with the 70-200 zoom lens loaded on my camera (don’t try that), and then remembering that Hank had mentioned wanting to cook me dinner while the boys were at a birthday party at a friend’s house (also staged). I pull in, saunter in the house, while chimping out on my camera, and Hank meets me at the door.

I go on and on about this beautiful boy I had just met and oh just look at his eyes, and wow doesn’t he just have SOMETHING? and I then I noticed. Fresh flowers on the counter. Wine decanting. Several glasses. And then PEOPLE. PEOPLE everywhere – on the couch, coming up from the basement, at the kitchen island.

Hugging. Lots of hugging, which happens to be my favorite.

And Hank drags me outside, where it got EVEN BETTER.

Theo. Outside making things on the grill.

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My most favorite chef and hilarious, loud, vile, maniac and yummy food cooker. :) Can you believe it? He cooked everything. Fresh, delicious, and so so so worthy of the food hangover that I had the next day.

(And keep in mind that I cannot take nice and pretty indoor pictures. I have a mental block, what can I say? I know it can’t be that hard, but oy my learning curve and its stubbornness. C’est la vie.)

My crew.

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Theo spanks the pony, maybe? I die.



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Jersey Susi came out. This is, “DyaknowwhatImean? Yeah yeah yeah.”


One candle for each DECADE. Oy.

Oh. And the swiped part of the frosting where I tried to sneak a quick taste.

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And me and my birthday cake, taken by Ali. Omyword I nearly peed my pants at this picture. I changed my buttons all around on my camera (back button focusing), and try as she might, she couldn’t get it to focus.

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It’s creative, no?

So thank you. Thank you to Sous Chef Sammy The Guy & Jersey Susi for cleaning our home and the very funny and distasteful card (my favorite kind); Ali & Scott for the wine and chocolate and letting your mom/MIL be your secret scout on that photo shoot; Jeff & Shawna for the also yummy wine (both bottles – my favorite vineyard! yay!) and super fun Number 43 lyrics a la birthday card; and Jay & Beth for the flowers and babysitter and fake birthday party so you could come to my real one. And mostly, to Theo and Hank. I cannot believe you two pulled that off and my heart still flips over every time I think about that evening. It was the best night of my life, I tell you.

Number 43, ya’ll. Hells to the yeah.