Monday, May 24, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my birthday. (Well, technically yesterday, since it's after midnight... but I digress...)

I love birthdays. And not just because I can wear a "birthday princess" crown (which I totally put on this morning and then pretended to forget that I was still wearing it for the rest of the day -- "oh, silly me, is this still on?").

And not just because I can eat Carvel ice cream cake. (No birthday is complete without Carvel ice cream cake -- this is actually a tra
dition to the point of being a superstition with me. I am half convinced that I will not age if I don't eat the cake, which come to think of it may not be such a terrible thing... hmm...)

I love birthdays because it means lots of hugs and kisses and phone calls from the people that I love.

And I won't deny it: birthdays also mean presents. To be clear, it's not that I care about getting stuff. I don't. What I like is the thought behind a clever present. "It's the thought that counts" is not a cliche. Well, yes, it's a total cliche, but it's TRUE.

Awesome Gift #1

It started with a box.

Husband said, "Don't look in the box in the closet."

I didn't.

But I did open the closet door just to see what kind of box I wasn't looking in. (This was totally legit because looking "at" a box is not the same as looking "in" the box, right?) Well, I was looking at a BIG box. Way
too big to hold a book. Way too big to be wrapped. He'd cleverly covered it with a bed sheet.

Predictably, this became all I could think about for the last two days, leading to many reenactments of the classic DUNE moment:

"What's in the box?"


I failed to guess what was in the box. Unicorn? No. Dragon? No. Griffin? No. Gryphon-spelled-fancy? No. But as it turns out, I wa
s pretty close. It was a magical present.

This morning (my birthday morning), out came the box. Here's what it held:

And here, after a few hours of assembly that included (oddly enough) a sledgehammer, this is what it transformed into:

My very own wishing well! How perfect is that?
For one thing... INTO THE WILD! For another... my husband knows how much I love to make wishes. During our vacation in Disney World, I made a point of visiting the wishing well next to Cinderella's castle just so I could make a few wishes at the well.

Anyway, we placed this wishing well next to our very own Wild (a completely overgrown hill), and I'm planning to plant lots of flowers all around it. Also, I'm planning to make lots of wishes. Already started, in fact.

First wish in the well: 100 unicorns.

Second wish in the well: enough food for 100 unicorns.

Third wish... can't tell you that or it might not come true. (I'm okay with jinxing the unicorn wish. I have no idea where I'd put a herd that size. Things are already crowded enough around here with all the gryphons.)

Awesome Gift #2

Okay, this next gift wasn't a birthday present. It was a thank-you present, but I'm going to tell you about it anyway because it was awesome (and the timing was close enough to pass for a birthday present)...

Last March, I did a virtual school visit to Randall Middle School in Lithia, Florida. It turned out to be one of my all-time favorite visits. When the video conference kicked in, I saw the best sight: 65+ kids all wearing golden crowns and waving magic wands at me.

All the kids had fantastic questions, and the hour flew by so fast that I think I made them late for their next class. I closed out the video conference thinking, "Wow, really cool."

I'd now like to amend that to say, "WOW, REALLY CO
OL!" Randall Middle School students (led by their fabulous media specialist Darlene Meginnis) deserve all caps. This week, a giant box arrived for me. In it was a T-shirt from their book club, three of my very own magic wands (which I promptly used to turn my husband into a frog -- don't worry; he got better), and a wonderful collage that included the cover art from Into the Wild, a picture of their library, and a poem written by one of the students. On the frame's matte, all the students had added notes in gold ink. I absolutely treasure it.

How awesome is that? So awesome. Thank you to Dar
lene and the students at RMS! You guys rock!

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At 3:00 AM, Blogger Bunny B said...

Happy Birthday Sarah!!! Wow, your gifts are all awesome! Hope all your wishes come true! (Unicorns included! I love them too!!!)

At 5:39 AM, Blogger Laura said...

I hope you had a great day Sarah. =)

I guess you deleted my presant to you, its not really that good anyway..

Happy birthday anyway xx

At 6:09 AM, Blogger Joanna said...

Happy Birthday! I just read 'Into the Wild' and 'Out of the Wild' over the weekend - you've definately got a new fan:-)

At 8:57 AM, Blogger Kirthi said...

Oh my gosh, Happy B-Day! I won't ask you how old you are :D You're so lucky, a wishing well?! That's like, amazing.

At 1:56 PM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Bunny: Thanks! Not sure my residential area is zoned for unicorn herds. I know we can’t have chickens, but I’m optimistic that the law won’t mention mythological creatures.

Laura: The picture you made is great. Thanks so much!

Joanna: Yay! So happy you liked them!

Kirthi: Thanks! I feel very lucky to have a husband who understands the importance of wishes.

At 3:32 PM, Blogger Jay Asher said...

Happy Birthday!!!

Those are a couple of beautiful presents. I'm glad they added to your special day!

At 3:35 PM, Blogger Laura said...

Aw, thats ok. What else did you get for your b-day? =D

At 5:53 PM, Blogger Lauren said...

Happy Birthday! Hope it was a good one! That was sweet of those middle schoolers. :)

At 10:54 PM, Blogger Bookworm said...

Happy Birthday Sarah! Adorable wishing well, might I add....

At 8:24 PM, Blogger Phebe H.L. said...

Happy Birthday, Sarah ! (Late Bday :( )

Anyway hope you had fun!!

At 9:57 PM, Blogger Sarah Beth Durst said...

Jay: Thank you! And so happy for you for your latest news! Congratulations again!

Laura: Books. :)

Lauren: Really sweet of them. Until I decide where to hang it, I'm leaving it sitting right here on my desk so I can look at it while I write.

Bookworm: Thanks! I now have it surrounded by lots of flowers.

Phebe: Thanks! It was a lot of fun. I love birthdays.

At 2:28 PM, Blogger Laura said...

GREAT! What books did you get?

*Hurrys and gets a pen and paper to write the titles down.*


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