Sunday, August 19, 2012

{25 -or- The Day I Stopped Counting}

What a week! With the way my workweek runs, I have Tuesdays and Wednesdays off, and work every other day. On Tuesday Jeff turned to me and asked me what I wanted to do for my Birthday. Not having put much thought into it I gave a shrug of my shoulders. By that afternoon he had talked me into getting a manicure and pedicure before having dinner with friends. Agreeing to go only on the condition that he'd do it too was probably the best turning point in the celebration of my birthday. It was comedy watching Jeff transition from disinterest to apprehension and then to euphoria. Suddenly all my past pedicure trips with girlfriends were condoned and approved for in the future ( as long as he comes too). I picked out the most festive polish I could find and had to explain to the girl working on my feet that it was my birthday so I wanted birthday toes. She still seemed to think it wasn't a very age appropriate polish. Half way through our manicures ( Jeff purring), we were offered free foot massages. After an hour in massage heaven Jeff ( and his baby deer legs) and I sauntered slowly back into the sunlight to meet friends for all you can eat taco Tuesday, brownies a la mode, and good company. A perfectly low key, relaxing, and content birthday celebration as far as I was concerned.

I'm not a fan of my feet, or feet in general for that matter- but I did want to show off my birthday toes!

Sunday started off bright and early with Jeff mumbling and shoving me off my pillow to go walk Jack. Church carried on as normal and I trudged to work in the unacceptably hot and humid weather of Suzhou in my bright and cheerfully yellow ( and now sweaty) dress. I started my lesson planning for the day, got materials prepared for the days classes, carried out conversations with coworkers, and braced myself for one of my lesser favorite days of the workweek. Jeff brought me lunch, and my fabulous assistant trainer ( AT) Vicky was especially kind and patient with me the entire day. My rough class was unusually smooth running and entertaining, with what I'm pretty sure was a birthday gift from the difficult kid in his deciding to stay home that day. At the end of the night as I began to leave Vicky gave me a card, that took her three tries to get the way she wanted. It was such a sweet gesture from a girl who I've had the pleasure of working so closely with the past five months.
It's amusing to me to think in retrospect how intimidated and worried I was to work with her. She and the teacher before me had clashed on a large scale when they first began and she made no bones about showing her discontent. It was always something on my mind when working with her and I have always wondered just a little bit where I stood with her when the big confrontation that I expected never happened. Today was her last day working with me as my partner, and I'm going ot miss her so terribly much. I'm more than a little glad that the feeling was mutual.
So Sweet!

Jeff has learned me well enough in the past two years of knowing me to know that I'm nosey. I sniff out surprises and am particularly suspicous around holidays. As he was going to pick up lunch for me I mentioned how much I was craving doughnut holes because they reminded me of real cake back home. I've given up trying to bake anything intricate with the easy-bake oven we're trying to pass off as a toaster oven. China is severely lacking appropriate baked goods, and cupcakes ( my favorite), are particularly rare.
Apparenlty in the mix of the day this wonderful man managed to borrow a legitamate oven to bake legitamate cupcakes and made legitamate CREAM CHEESE FROSTING. From scratch. All this from the man who emphatically insists that he does NOT bake. Hmmm.. In his explanation of his surprise he insisted that he wasn't copping out of icing the cupcakes, but that he knows that my favorite part of baking cupcakes is the decoration. Which is 100% true. Aside from the couple I taste tested/devoured, I plan on making a morning of it tomorrow. :)

OM NOM NOM Cream Cheese is my FAVORITE!
Oh how I love birthdays, and the wonderful people that make them special!

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