Monday, January 23, 2006

Moe's Happy Birthday

Last friday, my good friend Moe (short for Maureen) celebrated her 50th birthday. And on Thursday -- the day before -- I learned that Moe's sister Karen was throwing her an impromptu surprise birthday party on Saturday afternoon.

In college, Moe was one of our close foursome-- me, Beth (whose 50th birthday we celebrated a few weeks ago), Moe, and Beth. We met in the dorm when we were all college students at the University of California, Irvine, and then in various permutations, we roomed together for years after. We became friends for life, bonded over events like college boyfriends, break-ups, late-night confidences, popcorn parties, weddings, graduations, births of children...We've been together through all sorts of life events, small and huge.

So, of COURSE we'd want to get to Moe's 50th birthday party! Beth, in Sacramento, called me. Did I want to travel with her? You bet! I called Cheri, in the Santa Barbara area, and Cheri arranged to drive down and meet us.

I drove to Sacramento on Friday night, and spent the night at Beth's so we could be out early (up at 5:30, out the door at 6:30, and at the airport at 7am for an 8am flight.) We were in our rental car by 10am, and at Moe's sister's house excitedly greeting Moe's family and friends and having a reunion with Cheri by noon.

It's a good thing we were having a good time -- margaritas and catered mexican food helped, too! Because Moe, not knowing the plan, was keeping her two grown up boys tapping their feet impatiently while she was trying to finish an emergency work project. She didn't arrive her own party until 2:30! But she was grandly surprised, and downright shocked that Beth and Cheri and I were there from afar to celebrate with her.

Here she is, with hosts Karen and Howie looking on happily:

Get a load of this cake! Moe has worked at Disneyland for many years and is Disneyland obsessed, so this was perfect.

You might have heard that this is Disneyland's 50th anniversary. So, that has set a new standard among our friends -- are you older or younger than Disneyland?! Cheri and I make sure to remind Beth and Moe that while they are THE SAME AGE as Disneyland, we are far younger.

Moe is one of the most amazing women I know. Truly. She has worked hard her entire life, raised two active boys as a single mom, and they are now wonderful, handsome and entertaining men who adore their mom. She's attended every single one of their sporting events, and that's how she kept them active and safe and happy -- they've done every sport on the planet, one season after another, with Moe cheering on. Really, she is one of the people I admire most in the whole world.

She was so happy to see us. Here she is hugging Cheri.

It didn't take too long -- and too many margaritas -- for us to get goofy.

Happy Birthday, Moey! We adore you!

Beth and I hit the road by 6pm to catch an 8pm flight back up to Sacramento, and we were collapsed in bed by 10:30pm. It's a long day when you get up at 5:30, which is something ti which I am not and do not want to become accustomed! Thank goodness we could sleep in on Sunday morning...then I hopped in the car and drove home on Sunday after breakfast.

It was so great to celebrate together. We've vowed we'll see each other soon.

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