Friday, December 07, 2007

Happy 40th Birthday Eric!

The day started with a blizzard.

Not the kind of blizzard you could see or shovel, either. Instead it was the kind of blizzard that happens far away from you and yet has terrible consequences in your immediate future. This blizzard closed down Monarch Pass which meant Grammy wasn't comin' down the mountain to watch the twins and Caitlin. That meant there would be no fancy-pants dinner for our heroes. It also meant that when the phone rang early in the morning and Kansas was on the line, that the disappointments were going to rack up today.

So there we were: Linda wasn't coming so dinner out was over unless we could find a replacement and Ed & Val aren't coming to visit this weekend due to worsening weather conditions between Colorado and Kansas. Sadness fell over the household like an ugly grey woolen blanket - sopping wet and smelly with disappointment. Eric was ready to call and cancel our reservation, but I made him hold off, just in case I could work a miracle. Eric ran off to run his Very Important errands while I worked on the Birthday Miracle.

It came in the form of Nana-Sue and Pop-Pop. They stepped into the Grammy-shaped hole in our lives and filled it: watching the twins and Caitlin for our very first Night Out. Because, really, how often does one turn 40? Thirty-nine may come around a few times before we get the hang of it, but 40? Only once. So on this Day of Infamy we applaud Sue & Herb for making our dream of dinner out a reality.

After Eric completed his errands, we got ready to go.

What errands? Oh...just a few related to his birthday purchase. He got one of these:
Not enough detail for you? Try this:
He got a what?!
He got a used, 2003, Porsche Boxster.

Why not something more...practical? Well, if you were given the choice between a new 4 door Honda Accord or a Porsche for the same exact price what would you choose?

Yeah, I thought so!

Besides, we have my Accord, which fits all 5 of us (luckily enough) and his car has always been the fun, impractical one anyway. We couldn't fit all of us in his Integra either (which has reached the point where repairing it will cost more than it's worth), so this change made no difference. Also, he's been lusting over these cars since before Caitlin was born and couldn't get up the guts to buy one. When he saw this was time.

Call it his mid-life crisis car, if you like.

We got ready to go. I nursed Logan before getting dressed - just in case - while Emma was sleeping. I thought if she was heavily asleep we might be able to sneak out without nursing her again. No luck. I pulled a towel across my lap and draped her with a Vomit Deflection Device (aka a receiving blanket) and warned her that she wasn't to throw up on me or at least give me plenty of warning. Well...she gave me warning, but it turns out that our ideas of "plenty" don't match.


The one nice outfit I can fit into was a mess. I stripped down and Eric attempted to clean the skirt and shirt up while I finished nursing the Vomiting Varmint. I sat there, in my skivvies and sexy boots, looking like something out of the MILF edition of some lad mag and thought dark thoughts about my luck and my daughter.

I came up with an alternate outfit, after rejecting several others that just don't fit right now. I went from cute to corporate as I pulled out one of my suits from my days of working for The Man. Moving fast, we hightailed it outta there and not in the shiny new car, either. It was snowing and Pretty New Car only has summer tires. Bummer!

Dinner at L'Atelier made up for all of it.

We had the 8 course tasting menu and loved every bite.
  1. Smoked salmon with capers and a large, rectangular potato chip thingy.
  2. Mike's well fleet clams in chowder. A clam chowder to make your taste buds weep!
  3. Lobster in potato foam. Potatoes never tasted so gooooood!
  4. Bibb lettuce, red beets and goat cheese. Ehn. Nothing to write home about, although I liked the goat cheese.
  5. Sorbet to cleanse our pallets. I liked Eric's orange sorbet best.
  6. Filet mignon don Eduardo. OMG! YUMMM!
  7. L'Atelier dessert. A pair of tiny profiteroles in creme fraiche with a raspberry couli. Nice.
  8. Cheese course of goat cheese and a semi-hard French cheese with a slice of crunchy bread. Yum.
They disappointed me with their tea selection and the fact that they had neither chai nor hot chocolate. Whatever is a girl to do? Ah well, you can't excel at everything!

We talked and talked and talked and never once did we have to cut up someone else's food, nurse anyone, change a diaper or remind someone for the umpteenth time to Use your napkin! It's right there in front of you! Arghhhh! We did talk about the kids, of course, and how lucky we are and have been and how it seems like we've both been improving with age. He gets better every year and he can still make me laugh, even when I don't want to. This whole twin thing has pushed him really hard and parenting Caitlin has gotten tougher, but he's hanging in there and doing a fabulous job.
Eric & Logan.Caitlin's ready to go.

He's taken great care of me this last year while I was more pregnant than a woman should ever be and I've appreciated it more than I can say.

I think I'll keep him.

Especially if he lets me drive his new car.


ellen said...

Please pass a big "happy birthday" to Eric for us!

I am so glad you were still able to go out to dinner. You needed that.

Valerie said...

Happy Birthday! Sorry we aren't there... :(

Nice car! Very yellow. Do we get rides if we ever make it out there? Thought it looks small, not sure I would fit in it.

Congratulations on dinner!

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Thanks Ellen! Thanks Val!

Val, totally rides are available, once you make it out here and the weather is good. You'll fit!

Besides, the top comes down...

Red Flashlight said...

Happy birthday, Eric and Tracy. Soooo jealous of your dinner out at L'Atelier! It sounds fabulous. Can't wait to see the new car.

Yvonne Montgomery said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, one and all. Many, many more. I'm so glad you got to go out, despite snow, vomit, missing grands, etc.
Love to all in the Hatchet Household.

Scylla said...

I am glad you got to have a nice dinner out. Happy BDAY Er! I love you and wish we could have been there. (I love your car too!)

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