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Sunday, January 28, 2018

One Year Older and Wiser Too! Happy Birthday to Me!

Rose from my mom, Gerber daisies from my Stephen (he also gave me a mango dark chocolate bar- yum)
 Well, I've enjoyed 36 years on this lovely planet.  I'm pleased to report my health has been good, and I'm so blessed with a wonderful family!  I felt so very loved on my birthday! 

My kids and husband made me breakfast in bed!  I had toast, bacon, an over easy egg, a yogurt parfait, and water.  Then, when I got out of bed to start Zumba with the girls, I was surprised by all the decorations around the living room including crepe paper strung from one end to the other with other dangling strands spaced along it and a shiny gift bow at the end of each of them.  But the biggest surprise was the homemade confetti Amara lovingly made and threw right in front of me as I came out!

Lily is behind the camera.  Picture is blurry, but Amara is bringing back my breakfast tray and she and Lily were getting set up to surprise me with confetti.
 Then, as if I hadn't already had enough surprises (which, by the way, there's never enough surprises), my mom comes waltzing in the door announcing she had taken the day off work and wanted to take me out to lunch out on the Wasatch Front.  So, since that's a couple hours drive away, we had to leave right away so we could eat and then be back before dinnertime.  I considered it.  It was a long drive, but I honestly had no other plans other than doing school with the girls, so we just cancelled that and hopped in the car!  I decided to eat in Provo at Sam Hawk Korean Restaurant. 
 During the drive out there, we contacted Micah and April to see if they could meet us for lunch, and we were so pleased that they both were able to come.  April even brought me a box of my favorite chocolates, Merci.

Amara is getting to be quite the artist.  She drew this frog on the napkin at the restaurant. 
 I've been craving Korean food for some time.  My sister-in-law, Missy, keeps inspiring my taste buds with her Facebook posts of the Korean goodness she gets to eat far more often than I do.
Side dishes: kimchi, spicy cucumber salad, sesame bean sprouts, sweet beans, braised potatoes. rice
 The restaurant is known online for it's good food, but also it's slow service at times.  I figured a weekday lunch would be good timing and hopefully they wouldn't be too slow because I knew my brother had to get back to work.  Neither of my kids seemed to be huge supporters of my choice to have Korean food for lunch, but I think I made both of them believers after having tried it.  Amara particularly liked the noodles.  Lily liked the pork bulgogi served with leaves of lettuce to wrap it.


Pork bulgogi

Spicy Fusion Chicken Kalbi with rolls of chewy rice cake, just a little spicy.  Perfect.

Beef Bulgogi
 We didn't have to wait too long before the side dishes came out (one of my favorite things about Korean food).  The dishes seemed to come out one at a time.  They would bring out one dish, then it seemed they would go cook the next one and bring it out, then they would go back and cook the next one and bring it out.  It almost seemed like a 5 course dinner the way they did things.  April ordered soup for her and Tommy and it ended up being the last thing that came out.
Tommy eating soup.  I love watching him eat.  And I love that he LOVES soup.
 We were all very pleased with our food and the company was priceless.  When we finished, we went to the Asian market so we (I) could stock up on Kimchi!  And of course, we ended up stocking up on a bit more than Kimchi.  I found Vietnamese Lemongrass Salad dressing (SO GOOD!), Pho bouillon cubes, wombok, lau lau, and kimchi dumplings (WHAT?  That's a thing!).  Amara bought her favorite little cookies called "Hello Panda."

Another little birthday blessing was the chance to hold my little nephew that always gives me smiles.  He's soooo precious!

And, I think I'll note here that this winter has been remarkably dry and warm.  It made it easy for us to travel and make this impromptu trip.
Amara snapped our picture right outside the Asian market.
Then our 2 hours were up and we had to get back home, after all, we had sushi from the store awaiting us for dinner.  When I got home, there was a bouquet of gerber daisies waiting for me with a delicious chocolate bar with mango bits.  Another surprise!  And this one from my dear, loving husband.  I felt so bad leaving him having to work while I went out on the town for a day of fun, but he didn't see it that way.  He was just happy for me and glad that I got to have fun on my birthday.  He's really the best!

I was looking forward to my birthday dinner the night before, but it actually was a bit dried out and hard being a day old on my birthday (sushi is really best fresh).  It still tasted good, but after such a flavorful and filling lunch, dinner didn't need to be amazing.  We were all still so full that we really only ate a little of the sushi.  I ended up giving the rest to my neighbors.

Earlier, I had found a recipe in a cookbook I got from the library (Six Sisters' Stuff Desserts) for No bake Nutella Cheesecake.  It had a chocolate cookie crust, a thick nutella-cream cheese filling and a rich ganache layer on top.  It was delicious.  It was also so very hard to eat because I was still full from lunch.  I only had a couple bites, but it was all I needed.  It was perfect.

The next day as I went on visits with the Relief Society presidency I got to take home my birthday gift, a sweet little rice bag I can use as a heat pack or an ice pack.  These are what the Relief Society president has made to give out to everyone for their birthdays.  I'm a huge fan, they're so cute and perfect.  She also gave me a a little angel figurine made by Willow Tree.  I have a small collection of those and I do love them.  It was such a sweet and thoughtful gift.

So, all in all this birthday was full of wonderful surprises and I thank all my family and friends for making it so special!