Last week was J.O’s birthday. We were so blessed not only to get to be together for his special day, but he also had a long weekend! Unfortunately, he was sick for the majority of it with a stomach bug, but we still managed to have a good time once he was feeling better.
One day, we took a hike on Judd Trail and went down the natural waterfalls (read about it here) and spent then some time with friends (who were also celebrating their birthdays!) down in Waikiki where we went to the Yard House, Jimmy Buffet’s Beachcomber and Duke’s. The next day, J.O and I got up early to get coffee and drive to watch the surfers practice for the upcoming Vans Triple Crown competition. We video chatted and spoke on the phone with loved ones and then went for a nice drive along the North Shore and over to Kaneohe. We even got a glimpse onto the filming of the sitcom Hawaii 5-0. After we enjoyed a nice lunch at one of J.O’s favorite restaurants, Haleiwa Joes.
My favorite part of the day though, was when I was able to give J.O his gift. I gave him the few small things he had asked for/needed a day early (new sandals, an FM receiver for his iPod, a new shirt), but now he was going to get his from the heart gift. I always try to do something homemade or special for at least one of his gifts. Many times I have done photo books or personalized items (iPhone cases, monogramed humidor) and of course cards. This time, I was able to do something totally different. We are not going back to Minnesota this year for the holidays, so J.O had been thinking a lot about loved ones back home and when we’ll see them next. I decided to try to bring a little bit of them here.
I set out the store and purchased a bunch of hawaiian postcards, envelopes and stamps. Then I went back to the condo and wrote up a letter to everyone, asking them to please take a moment to write J.O a birthday wish or a memory on one of the postcards and to mail it back to me in the provided self addressed, stamped envelope. I instructed how it had to be in the mail, not later than a certain date, so that I would receive it on time for his birthday. I sent them to various friends and family and the response I got from people was amazing. People sent photos, nieces and nephews drew pictures, wonderful messages were inscribed. It was truly heartwarming to see the time and consideration people put into helping make his day more special.
When I presented J.O with all the cards, he was so happy. Watching him read each card and looking at his expression: laughing, thoughtful; you could tell he felt so loved. It was also fun after his birthday, because he continued to receive a few random postcards that got caught in the “hawaiian island time” system So, thank you to everyone that helped.
We ended our day baking a cake for him to take into work the following day. Yes, just like in elementary school, I have my husband bring in treats on his birthday He even helped me decorate it. We did a storm themed cake with down power lines and I hear it was delicious