Belated Birthday Lunch

On Friday, Justine’s last day at Sage, Terry, Justine, Bridgitte, Janet, Brent and I went our for lunch at True Foods Kitchen.

I asked the waitress to surprise me on my order (it’s my new thing I Do) and got a yummy mushroom pizza; something I would have never ordered myself. Also got surprised with a little flour-less chocolate cake treat at the end, along with a really nice card from Bridgitte. Thanks, everyone.

PS: Still not ready/willing to process that Justine’s actually gone. Hmph.

The Big 3-0

Well, yesterday was pretty awesome. It went by way too fast. Terry made me the traditional freshly baked Cinnamon Rolls with a slice of birthday cake with the “3” and “0” candles on top. Gee thanks, Terry, I needed to be reminded of that first thing in the morning.

After a cinnamon roll and a cup of coffee, he brought in cards and presents that he’d been (very successfully) hiding from me over the past few weeks. In no particular order, here’s what my friends and family so graciously showered upon me:

  • Libby: A very cute card with a sticker on the back of a little guy with glasses on. I can actually picture her looking over a sheet of stickers and thinking to herself how appropriate the little blue guy with black glasses is. She’s beyond adorable and the card was very sweet. Love you, Libby.
  • Leah: I wasn’t expecting anything. Neither was Terry. He nor I had any idea who this box from was from. On Leah’s last visit several weeks ago to Arizona, she and I took a visit to Michael’s and I was looking for one of those kid activity sets where you get a loom and bands to make your own colorful potholders. They didn’t have anything. So, I open the first flap of the box and see the picture of the potholder and loops and immediately close the box back and start sobbing, snotting and drooling all over the cardboard box. It’s simple gestures like that that mean so much to me – that show me she’s paying attention and that I matter to her. She knows truly how dorky I am and how bad I want to enjoy a quiet evening at home with a glass of wine making own pot holder.
  • Mom: This was a three-staged gift. There were clear instructions on the order in which to open each and the request to have her on the phone when I opened them. I got her on the phone and started with a manila envelope. Inside was a full page magazine article of a Q&A style interview with Alanis Morissette. She told me to read it and I started to quick read it – it’s wasn’t exactly short, but she chimed in with “out loud, silly!”. The article covered her recent life developments, being married, having a baby, releasing a new record and starting out on a tour. The questions covered how each of those components were working with one another and how that differed from her experience with the 1995 thrust into stardom from Jagged Little Pill and what she does to maintain her sanity. Amongst carving out “mandatory” time with her baby and date nights with her husband, the one thing she never leaves for tour without is her Barefoot Dreams blanket. “It’s the softest thing in the world”. It clicked at that moment. I was pretty sure what was in the next box; and I was right. As if Leah’s present hadn’t already had me in a hyper-emotional, sloppy-sobby state, I b.r.o.k.e. down bawling when I opened the blanket and experienced just how soft it was. Alanis wasn’t joking. It’s mysteriously soft and comforting. It means the world to me that she had been that thoughtful and knows how much it means to me to know that I’ll be able to snuggle up with Terry under the blanket and know that it’s a common bond I now get to share with Alanis. #3 was a touching card that kept the tears coming (enough already, people!) with some birthday spending money. Her thoughtfulness and generosity was humbling beyond measure.
  • Terry: Terry actually had already given me a present. About two months ago, I realized how I was starving creatively. Years ago I had sold my old keyboard when we were downsizing when moving out of the house and into an apartment. I used to spend hours on my keyboard with my CD’s or iPod listening to favorite artists (ok, mostly Alanis) and playing along. I’ll give myself credit for having a good ear – I can’t read music very well at all, so I just ‘feel’ it out. I realized I was starving for that creative outlet back in my life and we went to a Best Buy in Tempe that had a huge music department. I found a MIDI Controller that was exactly what I had in mind. A MIDI Controller is like a keyboard, but you have to connect it to a computer to play/record – there’s no onboard speakers; it’s meant to control a program like Garage Band. I couldn’t justify the expense and after spending 45 minutes in there, we walked out to the parking lot empty handed, only to have Terry wisk me back in there and buy it for me as an early birthday present. It’s been great to have that back in my life and great timing with the new Alanis material to learn.
    He handed me a card, and when I opened it, inside was simply written: Trip to Orlando to see Family. Okay, who needs extra convincing I started crying again? He knows me too well and he knows how much I miss my mom and sister and my nephews and what good it would do for me to see them. I’m actually writing this blog on the airplane right now. Long story short, but with Justine leaving Sage next week, Boot Camp coming up and holiday craziness coming up – this is the best weekend for it to happen or it won’t happen for months. Janet, my boss, green lit the idea to take a last-minute trip and it’s booked and best of all, Kevin and I are working together to surprise Mom and Aubrey. They both have no clue I’m on my way to see them for the weekend. Can’t wait

The rest of the day was great. Justine had a gorgeous bouquet of flowers waiting on me along with chocolates and an iTunes gift card. Got a lot done in the morning at the office and then the whole team went out on a lunch to Pita Jungle: a hybrid birthday lunch for me and a bon-voyage lunch for Justine. I love my work family so much and it was great to spend some time with them and we all took a moment to share favorite memories of Justine and did our best to make sure she knew how much we’re going to miss her – not only professionally but personally; she might not have realized what an impact she’s had on all of us. I managed not to cry, but I was definitely a little misty.

Afterwards, we had some yummy cake Kristin brought in and then did a really fun project for Sage SalesLogix Boot Camp, but I’m not going to share that here for now – it’s a bit of a surprise and there’ll be a video I can post up here about it closer or after the event. Had a blast and laughed a ton.

Once I got home and got cleaned up from our project (I was a mess! Oh, the suspsnse!) Terry and I were free to have the evening to ourselves which is exactly what I wanted. We had intentions of going out to a nice dinner alone, but that just didn’t feel right somehow and taking a peek at the yoga calendar, there was a 5:30 hot Vinyasa class with Julie Blew at Life Power…. Perfect. Even though I haven’t taken a ton of her classes, she’s got a very special presence and energy that I just eat up and she manages to fill my cup every class I take with her; plus, I hadn’t managed to attend one of her classes since Terry and I got back to AZ. The class was great, even with having to modify some poses and navigate around the wrist pain, it was a great class and I ended up in a huge puddle of sweat and had one of the best Savasanas ever. I felt full. I felt amazing. I felt loved. I felt alive.

As a side note – I’ve had a chance recently to reconnect with my Big Brother: Scott. Not a biological brother, but from the Big Brothers / Big Sisters of America program. He was a mentor to me growing up and we lost touch 15ish years ago. I found him on Facebook recently and we’ve been catching up. He sent me a picture, below, of us back from 1993. Looking forward to reconnecting with him more.

To each of you – thank you. Thanks for putting up with my constant tears, my quirks, my temper, my hyper-sensitivity, my need for control and for taking all the bad that comes with the good. I have the most loving, giving, thoughtful, amazing friends and family in the world and the only wish I have in my heart right now is that I make you feel even fractionally as amazing as you make me feel.