an almost-birthday celebration (as told by my iPhone pictures)

My 28th birthday is tomorrow (only two more years and then...the big 3-0...goodness gracious)! So, to commemorate this kind-of momentous occasion, I would like to share a little story (okay, a novel) about how my husband and I celebrated on Saturday. And also about how he is maybe the most fantastic husband who has ever lived. 

Let's begin.

To start our day, I had long decided I wanted to sample Miss Ann's famous Ghetto Burger. She owns Ann's Snack Shack here in Atlanta, located in a quite sketchy area of town, and if you blink you will miss it entirely (the Shack, not the burger). It's a total dive, but The Wall Street Journal called this delectable sandwich the best in the country a few years back. So, obviously, my pregnant self had to find out if it was true.

Now, Miss Ann has a few rules about eating at the Shack. There are only eight seats inside at the bar. If they're full, you wait outside. So we were prepared for a long wait (everyone we know who has been there said to arrive early for the lunch hour). But on this fine, drizzly Saturday in Atlanta there were only six people dining at the bar and two empty red bar stools stood side-by-side, eagerly awaiting our arrival. Fate was on our side. 

[P.S. That's a dinner plate.]
We ordered the Ghetto Burger (a combination of two massive handmade burger patties, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, mustard, sauteed onions, and chili), along with two fries and two drinks. And we tried our best to make sure we followed all Miss Ann's rules (she's a small but quite formidable-looking old woman). When our burger arrived, we promptly dove into it, after which we experienced something akin to a mouth orgasm. Is that a thing? If there is a word for the delight of food living up to its hype, well, that's the word I choose. And when I accidentally dropped my drink outside on the steps as we left, Miss Ann very sweetly told me to go back inside and get another. I was terrified she'd yell at me for making a mess, but she is sweeter than her reputation made us believe and being pregnant has its perks.

Next, my dear, sweet husband drove me all over creation (i.e. outside the Perimeter) to a number of Salvation Army and Goodwill stores because, hey, I love to shop for my clothes where I can find pants for $3. And find I did! In fact, I purchased two pairs of skinny maternity jeans (glory be to God...the Belly Band has pretty much lost its use at this point in my third trimester), a white hi/lo top, a burnt orange pair of harem pants (which are basically the bottom half of a woman's over-sized suit from the 80s), a porcelain Precious Moments cross, two picture frames, and another item for my friend's wedding sign for the grand total of about, oh, twenty bucks. I. Love. Thrifting.

As we drove along on this adventure, Pierce was constantly making me laugh over silly things I can't remember now. He is a catch, that one. I kept looking at him and thinking, "I'm so glad he's mine". It was one of those perfect know what I mean? The kind when you're both at peace and every plan you've made clicks into place like it's been drowned in WD-40? Ideal. Yeah, that's a good way to describe it. It was an ideal day.

Next, we ended up at Target because, hey, it's Target and Pierce wanted to see the crib I put on our registry. I mentioned casually that I would love some Starbucks and, as soon as we walked in, Pierce craned his neck in search of it (I love that Target has those now) and told me to get my butt over there. So I happily obliged, ordered myself a little (er...not so little) decaf iced vanilla latte, we ooh-ed and aah-ed over the crib, and then we made our way home.

For dinner, Pierce suggested I treat myself again. I felt so spoiled by this time. Nothing we'd done all day had cost us very much money, and Pierce had taken time before we left to map out a little birthday budget for me. I didn't know he'd done this until that morning when we went to Miss Ann's (she doesn't take cards and we had to have cash...which we never have, so I learned how much he'd taken out of the ATM in preparation for our day). We aren't big spenders, my husband and I, but we love the little things. It's the part of our relationship I love the most. Give us a good movie, a coffee, or a friggin' awesome Ghetto Burger and we're happy as clams. Give us a perfect day together and we're in heaven. 

After we arrived home, I wanted to take a bubble bath and relax a little before we went out to the drive-in theater (I had never been and Pierce had only been once when he was about seven). And before I could even turn on the water, Pierce was in there scrubbing the tub to make sure it was sparkling before I got in. He also might have laughed at me for using our meat thermometer to test the water temperature (I am terrified of cooking Lucy). And just to make sure there was no way I could possibly make him feel any more special on his birthday than I did on mine, Pierce also showed up with lit candles and his iPad, all set to play the latest episode of Pretty Little Liars (I know...I know) for me to enjoy while I soaked. At this point I just plopped my hands down into the bubbly water and cried over the sweetness of it all. Every time I thought the day was all I could have hoped for, Pierce would find another way to make it that much more so. All day long, he served me in the loveliest ways and I felt so overwhelmed with gratitude for the fact that God has hand-picked this man for me to love. 

Finally, we ended the night eating popcorn and chocolate Rice Cakes and Twizzlers in my car, watching We're the Millers outside under the stars. We imagined Lucy there with us, drinking a juice box in the backseat, and went to sleep that night with lots of yummy food in our bellies and smiles on our faces.

Thanks Hubby for taking such good care of me and for making my birthday such a treat. I don't deserve you, but you're mine anyway. And I am thankful. 

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