The Birthday Week

I turned 42 on Sunday. Not a big deal, really…it’s just another birthday. However, because Sunshine was so overjoyed with her 40th-birthday surprise party that I threw for her, she felt pressure to come up with something equally as awesome. I told her that I didn’t care…that I’d be happy with ANYTHING because being with her and the girls is already like a present to me.

She didn’t like that answer. She wanted to know what I wanted.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything in mind that we could afford (darn you, iPhone!!) so that put her into “creative mode”. She and the girls conspired together to come up with a “Birthday Week” celebration. And I gotta tell you…I don’t know if I’ve ever felt this loved.


Sunshine and the girls each made their own little “countdown calendar”, where I would tear off a decorative flap and see a message underneath (similar to an advent calendar). The messages were very cute. Sunshine’s envelope had a $10 Tim Card inside of it…so needless to say I was a happy boy.

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As the afternoon wore on, I told Sunshine that I was craving ice cream from Marble Slab Creamery as a treat for the evening. This place is normally an occasional treat for us because of the cost (and calories!) involved. She immediately said “sure” because it was my “Birthday Week”.

We came home and, after supper, watched Mad Men in our pj’s while eating ice cream.

Yeah…we were off to a flying start!


I opened up Sunshine’s envelope and found a coupon for a back massage. We didn’t have the kids that night so I was ALL about that! In addition, when I got back from lunch I found the following note on my desk at the office:

Note 1

Intrigued, I opened it up to find this:

Note 2

Bramoso Pizzeria is our favourite pizza place is the entire city. We love it so much, in fact, that we had them cater our wedding reception. So after seeing I could have pizza or a Panini, I decided to go with something different and try a Chicken Club Panini with a side of kettle chips.

Chicken club panini

The Panini was “okay” but it didn’t matter…I was hangin’ out with Sunshine watching Mad Men and I ended up getting a back massage before going to sleep.

Everything was coming up CBG!!


Sunshine wore an incredible dress to the office and put a smile on my face all day long. The real gift was going to be the “birthday dinner” with Sunshine and the girls. The girls like the occasional “fancy dinner” where there are linen napkins, nice dishes, and we all dress up for the meal. I was asked what I wanted for my birthday dinner and I thought about what the girls would like, so we ended up having tacos for the entrée and chocolate mousse for the dessert. I’ll tell you…you can’t go wrong with “fancy taco night”!

Mmmmm…Sunshine makes the BEST chocolate mousse. In this case, she even  made some cinnamon maple whipped cream to go on top. YUM!!

Chocolate mousse

We then watched some TV as a family and called it a day.


Today was a “mixed bag”. I woke up feeling miserable…sickness was taking over. I do my best to not let a cold get me down, but this was a flu-like “thing” and hit me like a ton of bricks. I took the day off from work so I could stay home and relax and try to feel better.

When I picked up Sunshine from the office, she had a package under her arm. It was a gift from my good friend, Random Esquire. While I waited until Sunday to open it, I can tell you it was something completely unexpected: the Archer Board Game. Awesome!

My step-daughters were excited about my gift on this day. The hint was that it was “my favourite things”. They happily brought out a box of items that were, in fact, some of my favourite things.

Favourite things

Inside were Reece’s Pieces, chocolate covered almonds, Skor bites, Dr. Pepper, peanut M&M’s, Bottlecaps, a Starbucks Moka cappucino drink, and some Old Spice bodywash (Zanzibar!!). This was a VERY cool gift and, to be honest, could have been the only thing I received all week and it would have been awesome. My family knows that the way to my heart is through my stomach. Heh…


The big surprise today? It was “Beer & Wings” night!! I was home from work again because I was still sick, but I went out and picked up medication to help me make it through the day and be “up to the task” of consuming two of my favourite things that night.

Needless to say, I was feeling good enough by 6pm to enjoy the meal and watch “Pulp Fiction” with my awesome wife!

Beer & wings


Today was a “surprise” day, where Sunshine was taking me out to a restaurant of my own choosing for dinner but then there was going to be a special surprise after that.

We spent the day doing what we normally do on our Saturdays together…hitting up the local farmers’ market, getting some errands done…but then mid-afternoon we ended up packing for the night. Why? The surprise was that we were going to use a wedding gift of an overnight “Do Not Disturb” package from the Halliburton Inn. It’s funny…we had been talking about using it, but never could find the time. Sunshine found the perfect time and I was really happy.

We checked in and found some champagne on ice waiting for us, along with a plate of grapes, cheese, and crackers. That was going to be consumed later…

Do Not Disturb package

2 Doors DownThe two of us got changed and walked down the street to 2 Doors Down, a restaurant that I had heard about but never had the opportunity to try before. They had a number of gluten-free options so I knew that Sunshine could pick something for herself to eat. The meal was quite good and reasonably priced. I think we would both recommend going back again.

After a quick trip to pick up some munchies and water for the evening, we made our way back to the hotel. The evening was spent in our pjs, drinking champagne, eating potato chips, and watching Mad Men on my laptop while in bed. It was relaxing and fun…a really good way to spend the evening together.

SUNDAY (i.e. my actual birthday)

It was a rough night on the bed. We both woke up multiple times and when we finally got up for the day, I was aching all over and Sunshine had quite a bit of pain down her left side (i.e. her sciatic). We showered and head down to the inn’s restaurant for a continental breakfast. A piece of toast, a hard boiled egg, and some water later we were checking out and heading back to reality.

The next morning saw rain hit the city, but I got a couple pics of the back courtyard of the inn before we left. The inn was nice. I don’t know if it was worth the money they were asking, but it was still a nice place to visit.

Halliburton Inn back area Halliburton Inn back area

I asked what the plan was for the day and was told that because today was my actual birthday, I could choose to do whatever I wanted to. I thought about it and quickly decided that I would have an “old school NFL day”.

Wait…what’s that? Well, before I started my relationship with Sunshine I would spend Sundays in front of the television watching football. Not just that, but I would begin by watching the “preview” shows in the morning and stay up to watch the late game, resulting in over 12 hours of NFL greatness all to myself. I’d eat and snack and lounge around. It really was a good day for me.

So while I didn’t quite go THAT hardcore, I decided that I wanted to watch some football games (normally on our weekends together, I have no problem spending that time WITH my wife because she’s definitely more important to me than football…y’know…for the record). She was totally fine with that so my day was set.

We went out quickly to pick up a final birthday gift: my New York Jets cap. I’ve been wanting to get a new hat for awhile, but just didn’t have the time or saw one that I liked. A new all-black series arrived at the store the previous week, so that’s what I ended up going with.


I got home, threw on some pj’s, and watched football’s afternoon games. I took a break during supper so we could sit on the couch, eat pizza, and watch a couple episodes of Mad Men (I wasn’t going to make her suffer through football) before going back to the late afternoon games.

By 9pm, we were both pretty tired from the night before so off to bed we went.

All told, this was a fantastic week. No, I didn’t get any “big” presents…but I didn’t want any. The real gift was the showering of love I received from my amazing wife and my incredible step-daughters (their “calendars” are below). Why would I want anything more than that?

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