Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Big Weekend: Part 1

We had such a great time celebrating Bethany's Sweet 16. Turning 16 is pretty special so we celebrated all.weekend.long. And she's not the only one who had a big weekend. All three of my boys did too but that will come in Part 2. :) One thing at a time. For now, let's start at the beginning of the festivities for B.

Bethany's stepmom, Tara, put together a dinner party for B and a few of her closest friends in Decatur. I was invited and of course wouldn't have missed it. B had to cheer at a basketball game that afternoon so I headed north in time to see her cheer - which I always love to see.

The birthday girl was in need of a shower after cheering, so while she dressed I helped Tara with the last-minute details of the party.

I so do not have a creative bone in my body so it blows my mind when someone comes up with cutesy ideas like this and everything comes together so well.
The table turned out super cute and "sweet," and the food was fab.
As was the cake.

After the girls ate dinner, talked, laughed, and had eaten most of the centerpieces
it was time for gifts,
singing Happy Birthday,
and making that birthday wish.
After wrapping things up there it was time for comfy clothes for B and Ellie for the three hour trip back home to Wetumpka. We made it home a little after 11 and stayed up talking until after 1. So fun. A great day.

Saturday morning the girls and I slept in as much as we could (which wasn't much) then it was up and at 'em for an eyebrow wax. Mrs. Karen asked if something was wrong with us that the first thing on our agenda Saturday was the torture of waxing. But hey, Monday would be THE license picture so we had to take care of those caterpillars growing above our eyes.

Next was lunch
at Panera of course.

Then on to Breaking Dawn which did NOT disappoint!!
I never would have thought I would be into vampire movies but... Team Edward. There. I said it. Don't judge.

After the movie it was time to be reunited with my boys and for B to open her birthday gifts from RaRa. If you don't have a RaRa then I'm sorry for you. She always goes all out and really did for this one.

SUNDAY:  The actual birthday.
It was 7:47 a.m. on November 20. It's official. I have a 16-year-old daughter. Insert tears. Actually "insert tears" should just randomly be placed throughout this post because Bethany said she saw me cry more that weekend than her entire life. But y'all. My baby girl is 16. If you have a child who is that age or older you get it. If you don't, just wait. You'll get it.

For a 16-year-old, having your birthday fall on a Sunday that particular year sucks. Since there's absolutely nothing you can do about it, you may as well make the best of it. We had a very low-key day which was perfect in my book.
Gifts were first of course.
Then B asked for pancakes. We managed to survive the rest of that loooong day and all went to bed a bit early in great anticipation of the big road test the next morning.

When I called the DMV a couple of weeks before her birthday, I asked for the details on the driving test. I was told they take the first four people at 8:00 a.m., the first four people at 1:00 p.m., and to bring B's permit, my license, and the insurance card of the car she would be driving. We were familiar with them only taking the first four people as that's how it was for the permit test. We knew we needed to be there early. The lady suggested we be there no later than 7:15 a.m. to ensure her a spot.

Negative. Not good enough.

We were there at 6:45 a.m. Waiting. In front of the DMV in Wetumpka, AL. At 6:45 a.m.
Don't worry. We we first in line.

Once we were there we read a sign on the door that said they process the first four people at 8 a.m. but actually give the test at 10 a.m. We read it again. Processed at 8. Road test at 10. Surely not. Surely we won't have to wait until 10 for the actual test. Why didn't that woman tell me this? We still would've been there that early but would have been prepared. There were other people in line by this time, and it was confirmed they give the permit tests first then the road tests. Insert first teensy weensy meltdown. The doors were supposed to open at 8. Insert another teensy weensy meltdown when one of the the officers working that day said the person who has the key to open the door had an accident and that they were waiting on a key from Montgomery. We continued to stand outside and wait. And wait. As we had been doing since SIX FORTY-FIVE A.M. At 8:45 the front door is finally opened. HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!

Not so fast. Insert third meltdown when none of the 10 keys the officer had on his keyring were the right key to open the second door leading to the office/computers which is where everyone is processed. At that point Ellie looked down at this brochure:
All we could do was laugh.

The poor man was becoming a bit of a wreck himself and made one last-ditch effort to try one more key on one more door on the side. We heard his footsteps coming to open the office door. He opened it and everyone cheered. :) Once we were finally in-in anxieties calmed, and we could relax a little knowing we would be the first to take the road test. We were told to go have some breakfast and be back around 10:15. The girls had worked up an appetite so we killed some time with a breakfast at Hardee's.
FINALLY, FINALLY, FINALLY it was time to head back to the driver's license office. We had only been sitting a few minutes when her name was called.
This was as she was leaving. Holy crap people. Butterflies don't even begin to describe it. Just about the time Ellie and I were reaching for the vomit bucket she pulled back in. With a big ol' smile which only meant one thing...
She passed!! Thank goodness.

I think.

So fun to have your bestie cheering you on. We couldn't leave until all tests were given, and it was really neat and fun to cheer the other three people on. I think they all lucked up that Officer "Big 'Un"
had a rough start to his day because dude was just ready for his lunch break. When I took that picture he told me to try to get his skinny side. ;)
Everyone passed - hooray!! They may not ever see each other again but I guarantee you they'll always remember that day.
After she was officially a licensed driver it was on to Shelby County for the big reveal. What would she be driving??? She was supposed to think her car (which she knew was a car but had no idea what kind of car) wouldn't be ready, but I think she had a sneaking suspicion it would be there. And it was. It was there alright.
Her brand new Honda Civic.

With the keys sitting as pretty as you please right there on the driver's seat.

The keys. On the driver's seat. Which she can't get to because they're behind locked doors.

Yep. Locked. As in, the keys were locked in the car. Apparently Hondas now have an auto lock feature. Who knew! Insert one more teensy weensy meltdown. Actually I thought she handled herself quite well considering. I mean at that point, after the day she had, I'm surprised she didn't throw down like a toddler having a tantrum.

Tara and I both immediately were on our phones calling locksmiths in the area. We finally got in touch with one who kept telling us he was "about to be on his way." Two hours later the AAA good samaritan/angel sent from Heaven pulled in the parking lot and asked if we could use his help. Apparently we looked as though we were in a bit of distress. He was not the person we called. He had the door open in less than 3 minutes. And wanted nothing in return. Good to know there are still good people in this crazy world.
Once that door was open all was right with the world in her eyes. She took a few minutes to take it all in.
And just like that...
away she drove.

Let me just say that as a mother I don't think you're ever ready for this birthday. It's the beginning of an era for her, but for me it also means the end of one. I know our situation is not like most, but B and I have had some of our best times in the car on those every-other-weekend trips to Shelby County we've taken for the past 8+ years. We would talk, laugh, listen to music, laugh and talk some more. It truly was "our" time. Which time is now just hers. In her own car. As she drives herself to and from. So yes, it's been a tough birthday on this momma. But aside from that, it was a great one. One we're sure to remember always.

Since I'm so late in getting this post up it means she's been 16 a few weeks. I must admit, it's not all bad. A couple of weeks ago I thought she would be in Decatur for the weekend. I was standing outside with the dogs (yes, dogS - plural - maybe one day next year I'll get around to that post) around 8:30 in the morning when I heard a car coming up the drive. When it got closer I could see it was a Honda. My mom drives a Honda. I looked at the time and wondered what my mom would be doing here that early. I took a second glance and realized it was little Miss Priss. She left at 5:30 a.m. to surprise us. That was also her first time driving by herself all the way from Decatur to Wetumpka so I was doubly glad I didn't know she was coming.

I still tear up when I see her drive off. And I still sound like my dad every single time:  Please be very careful. Wear your seatbelt. And DO NOT text. And don't speed. And watch the other cars around you. You can't just drive, you have to be aware of every one else around you too. Drive defensively. There are a lot of idiots out there. And don't forget to call me the second you get there.

I have a feeling I'll still be saying those things when she's 30.
And that last picture? Well that's an empty cup which contained an adult beverage consumed by me while sitting outside by the pool the Monday night after The Big Weekend. I think I was entitled. ;)


Shea said...

Love this birthday post! She's one special girl and I know I will feel the same exact way when my babies are 16! yikes!

Angie said...

I am such a dweeb and a sap! I cried reading this post. I can't imagine and can't believe that child....YOUR...child is 16. The picture of her looking down opening her presents, she looks like a baby girl still!! How special her leaving at 5:30 am to surprise y'all?!!! Seriously getting up that early and going anywhere at that age...or any age for that matter is unbelievable!

Merry Merry--love ya!