Birthdays and Beginnings

Happy Birthday Simeon!


It was a fun filled day of shooting, skyping and singing.

The day started off with breakfast in bed – biscuits and gravy – for Simeon, who was getting up early to go to the shooting range with some friends. While Simeon was at the shooting range I made the cake he requested for his birthday: Chocolate and Raspberry Layer Cake with vanilla frosting.





When Simeon got back from the range we skyped with family. After that we were inspired to record the song “Ulysses” by Josh Garrels. Check out our cover version on YouTube!


We took it easy for a little bit and then it was time for the Cantus concert. Cantus is the Norwegian female choir that sang the opening song of Frozen.. except they sang the real version of the song in concert. The real version of the song is a beautiful rendition of “Fairest Lord Jesus”. The conductor explained that the Disney movie took it out because the hymn is sacred and the movie is not. The production crew from Frozen flew out to Norway to record the new version.





The concert was absolutely beautiful. Goosebumps. The women were dressed up in their traditional Norwegian garb singing Norwegian songs and songs of the Sámi people. The Sámi people are indigenous to Scandinavia. While waiting in line to get a CD, Simeon was speaking Swedish *swoon* to the Norwegians and they all understood each other! They said they could tell he was from Sweden.

We ended the night enjoying midnight appetizers at Applebee’s with some friends. Great day!


Sounds like the day was well planned and went off without a hitch, right? Not so much. That’s the happy version, the “we’ve got it all together” version a.k.a. the version we tell people. This is the real version:

I asked Simeon what he wanted to do for his birthday. He didn’t really have a preference, just mentioned something about having a chill day in with me and his favorite show. So I planned out the day: wake up to breakfast in bed, frisbee golfing and a marathon of his favorite tv show with lots of yummy snacks. But I didn’t tell Simeon of this plan, it was more of a surprise. And most of all, my number one priority for the day was: Simeon gets to do what he wants. I didn’t want to tell him what to do on his birthday. Anything he wanted to do would supersede my plans and that’s how I wanted it. I just wanted him to enjoy himself. So whenever he’d mention something I’d say, “that’s totally up to you!”.

Plans kept changing. What was originally just a day with the two of us turned into lunch with friends/evening get together/late night Applebee’s. I thought this is what Simeon wanted so I didn’t say anything about my plans. Turns out this is not what he wanted..

On the way home from the concert Simeon asked me, out of nowhere, why I was frustrated.

“I’m not frustrated.”
“Yes you are, I can tell.”
“No, really, I’m not.”
“You’ve been frustrated all day.”

Ouch. I’ve been trying really hard not to be frustrated or show I was frustrated, thank you very much. Or so I thought.. but Simeon knows me too well. He started to tell me how he felt as though he had to plan his own birthday and I was just on vacation. (Okay, that’s probably not exactly what he said but that’s what it sounded like to me 😉 ) My frustrated feelings quickly turned to hurt ones. At this point I’m realizing the simple phrase, “Don’t make plans, I’m planning something for your birthday” would have avoided all of this.

*fast forward through some stubbornness and tears*

I finally told him what my plans had been. Long story short, he said that would have been the perfect day. He also wondered why I just didn’t tell him I had plans in the first place. (good question) What I love about Simeon is that a simple sorry goes a long way. We could have called it a day and gone home miserable but once we hashed it out in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot, the whole day instantly improved.

Here’s what we didn’t realize (until it was too late):
What makes a great birthday in Natalie’s mind: getting to choose how the day goes.
What makes a great birthday in Simeon’s mind: someone else choosing how the day goes.

Now we know for next year 🙂

We are new at this whole marriage thing and still learning but we are in this together and that’s the best part.



  1. 1. cake looks amazing
    2. I can’t believe you got to see that group in concert!!! How cool that Simeon could speak to them in Swedish
    3. lol, I’m glad everything worked out. Now you know for his next birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just re-read this a year later, and I do appreciate the honesty! Marriage is such a dance of practicing, re-do’s, and working through issues to come to a place of peace and joy. Enjoy the dance, even though sometimes you step on each others toes. 🙂


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