I had such a lovely 43rd birthday.

First, it was beautiful outside—just like I remember from all my birthdays as a kid. Finally, we enjoyed a spring day.

It started with coffee and reading (I am just finishing Girl on the Train and wow…what a great book!) the kiddos slept in a bit until it was time to head out to cheer Jeff on at the Mini Marathon. We first ducked in to Long’s donuts so the boys could get a treat to enjoy while we watched for Jeff and heckled and supported other runners (some we knew…some we didn’t).

Unlike cyclo-cross, heckling doesn’t seem to be as welcomed when people are in mile 11 of 13.1. I mean, we didn’t say anything mean, but I would sort of tease some people that they were not even trying, or sweating, or whatever. Some found it funny, smiled and picked up the pace. Others simply ignored me. I think I need to work harder to successfully integrate the heckling ways of cyclo-cross into marathons. It sure does make it a lot more fun to watch.

2015-05-02 09.35.31

Once we got home, I enjoyed a lovely 4 mile run myself on a beautiful spring day. It was blue sky and birds singing all the way. I ran a kiddo to soccer and just missed my BFF dropping off these lovely flowers. They completely matched the joy I was feeling on that special day.

2015-05-04 16.36.56

Then, more reading only instead of with a cup of coffee on the couch, it was under the blossoming crab apple tree while the kids kept busy playing outside.

2015-05-04 16.37.39

We took a nice trip to the bookstore where Andy desperately wanted to pick out a book for me. He randomly selected something from the shelf and when I read the inside flap, I had to gently break it to him that it wasn’t going to be one I would read. I picked up a few books and we headed to dinner as a family. We even got to sit outside because it was my BIRTHDAY! My husband does not like to eat outside—ever, so this was a wonderful treat.

2015-05-02 18.04.08

Finally, home for a huge slice of Dairy Queen cake. I love the fluffy icing (whatever it is) so I requested a cake that had lots of extra icing. My husband found the perfect one! He asked if they could write “Happy Birthday” on it like they usually do; the answer was a flat out no. He settled for this:

2015-05-02 18.40.31

And, two of my kids made me these cards.

2015-05-04 16.14.35

The above card from Andy (those are speakers…not boobs, he was sure to tell me) with me celebrating to my birthday anthem (Katy Perry’s Birthday). the below one from Sam, since he knows how much I love cats.

Screenshot 2015-05-03 06.48.03

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honestly, every year it is kind of fun to celebrate the one thing it’s easiest to overlook: YOU! Thanks to all of those that helped make it wonderful, including all of my text messages, voicemails, cards and Facebook messages! A perfect birthday.

Dear Dog People,

I like dogs. I love cats, but I like dogs—really, I do.

But…not as much as you do. And honestly, I just don’t always get it.

I have become increasingly annoyed with the insistence that I like dogs as much as you do. It’s not helping your case. It’s okay if I am not a dog person. I am starting to think you have all just about lost your minds and are simultaneously taking over the world.

It’s a dog. We are people.

Just watch yourselves. Running around town with dogs in places they don’t belong like Lowes or the grocery store. Walking your dog with no leash, letting it jump on strangers or smell them in private places. It has really gotten out of control. Dogs eating fancy food (that must be kept in a refrigerator at the grocerIMG_2866y store) and wearing designer clothes. I am not amused. By now, I am sure you are comparing me to that crabby old person in line at the grocery that won’t engage with your cute toddler. That’s not me. I like engaging with people, but I don’t always like engaging with your dog.

I get it that you love them and that they are part of your family, blah blah blah blah. I get it. I promise. But, just do me a favor and take a moment to reflect.

I have a child that is terrified of dogs. Most of the time, he warms up but it has to be on his terms. On a recent trip to Hilton Head, he could barely relax on the beach because the number of dogs running wild with no leash. And, when we would ask the people to either a) get their dog away from us, or b) put their dog on a leash, they were offended or annoyed.

I want to throw a rock at the next one of you that says, “Is he afraid of dogs?” why simultaneously pointing and humiliating my adolescent child.

Yes dumbshit, he is. And I want to punch the next one of you that believes you can cure him of this fear by gently introducing him to your dog. It’s not about your dog. It’s about dogs; dogs that come running at him, dogs that jump on him and dogs that bark at him. To cure him of this fear, just keep your dog on a leash and by your side.

Those of you who ride the elevator in my mother’s apartment building with your little dog not on a leash and think everyone wants to pet it—we don’t. Put it on a leash. To those of you who bring your dog to the park where we are riding bikes and think it’s a good place to let your dog off the leash—it’s not. Go to the dog park. To those of you who insist on treating dogs like humans—they’re not. People should come first.

Again, I like dogs. I like animals. I want them to be well cared for in good homes, free of abuse. I think they deserve love and become part of your family. But I am asking for you to consider maybe not everyone loves them as much as you do and give people the freedom to feel that way without judgment (judgement which is usually written all over your face). It’s OKAY that we don’t have a dog, want a dog or want your dog all up on our shit.

It’s like Kanye West. You know how he continues to use the “N” word in his songs? This really complicates things for discussions with my kids. Same thing with you dog people. I mean, not the use of the “N” word, but I keep telling my son, “It’s okay…the dog’s on a leash and won’t come over here.” And then some ass-hat dog owner doesn’t have their dog on a leash or lets the leash all the way out so then the dog comes sprinting toward him and he takes off screaming, seeking shelter as fast as he can (even from your little yappy ‘toy’ whatever).

Please talk to your people. Remind them that it’s okay if we don’t like dogs and remind them that there still are people who are afraid of dogs—and that’s OKAY too! I like dogs, I promise I do. I am allergic though and can’t/won’t pet your dog (otherwise I would need to go wash my hands). But I am okay with your dog. I don’t love your dog and I don’t want your dog’s wet nose on me or your dog to jump on me. So, just be okay with that…please.

And be okay with the fact that my kid is currently still afraid of dogs. Let it go, people. You are not going to cure him of this fear. Only time will.

Thanks for listening. I bet you have to go now…and pick up big piles of poo in your backyard (or in my front yard, I am sure…especially after you read this) .

Sincerely,

Kris