Here’s how I have planned my day:

I would start my day early and attend to my work inbox first thing, pick up the girls’ dresses for the recital on Sunday, then we’ll do the grocery shopping, buy shoes for the girls, buy me a cake since it’s my birthday, pick up some goodies for Xia’s classmates who are coming over after class to the house to do their group project, go home, take Bea to practice, then while Bea’s at practice, I’ll be taking pictures of her drawings for documentation and have Bea insert them in her portfolio, get Bea, attend to Xia’s guests, then finally sit down for more serious work.

That was my plan.

But God has other plans.

I was awakened by Jude’s kisses.  I know the kids all have something for me.  Xia wanted to know what time I would call it a day last night.  I knew she wanted me to get my “gift” the moment I wake up.

So Jude was in charge of waking Mommy up.  And Xia was already in her school uniform when she came in the room to ask if I’ve seen “it”.  “It” turned out to be cards that each of them made for me with dedication that brought happy tears to my eyes.  They were lying neatly beside my pillow.

Xia’s card reads:

Mom, I want you to know how much I love you

Your smile brightens up my day like sunshine
I am lucky to have a great mother like mine

You always encourage me
To become who I want to be

I know there are things that I can never repay
But still I just want to say, happy __rd birthday!

Bea’s card reads:

Dear Mommy,
Your birthday means so much to me

The time I spent enfolded in your love
I cherish the very special bond we have

I celebrate your life
I honor you and love you

Jude’s card is a whole long bond paper with a pencil drawing.  It looked like… uhm… planets?  And a big heart right at the center.  I see the earth.  And lots of dots.

Take a look:

When I asked him what it was, he said: “It’s the universe, Mommy.  ‘Yan lang ang kaya kong ibigay sa ‘yo.”

I cried.

And I mean, CRIED.  But with a big smile.  Didn’t want to frighten the kids and make them think I didn’t like their gifts.  I LOVE them!  My son has given me the universe, my middlechild honors and loves me, and my smile is sunshine to my firstborn.  Who could ask for more?

Ah!  I should remember to smile more.  A lot more. Since they are giving me so much to smile about.  Laugh, even.  And Bea’s card… it came with pressed sampaguita flowers.  I know she and Jude started on that project last week.  Jude circled the date on his calendar.  And a fight would always ensue when Jude would try to check on the flowers.  He doesn’t have Bea’s restraint.

So what went wrong?

I didn’t have time to do my scheduled laundry in the past days, so seeing the great sun up and bright, I just thought I’d throw in a couple of loads.  I knew we’d be busy over the weekend because of the recital, so I thought I’d take advantage of the sunshine and do my laundry a day early.  While the first load was spinning, I attended to my inbox, and disheartened to find out that for some reason, all the links in one of the websites I manage just stopped working.  They’re no longer clickable.  So I have to attend to that, pronto, or my client will lose clients.  Then there’s another link in another website that is supposed to go to a shopping cart, but it lands on a blank page, so another troubleshooting task on top of the regular stuff that I do daily.

A few days back, I’ve noticed that the belt of the water pump needs to be replaced already.  So before my first load, my husband replaced the belt.  We’re supposed to switch off the pump when the gauge reads 40, and we’re actually alerted that it needs to be switched off when the pump starts to sound like the wheels are no longer willing to turn. Or something. After the belt replacement, my husband warned me that it will no longer emit any sound, so I just need to be alert.  After my second load of laundry, I totally forgot that I had the water pump on.  And I succeeded in rupturing our water tank.

Panic time.

With the tank leaking, we could no longer pump water into it.  So off the husband goes to search for a welder.  He found one, but the guy was still busy with a prior commitment, so we had to wait.  There goes the trip to the grocery and the department store to buy shoes.  No cake.  No more having classmates over.  With no water, it would not be a good time to be entertaining at home.

Oh, but there’s water!  Because by lunchtime, it was raining cats and dogs.  There goes my hope of having the laundry dry and folded by afternoon.

We simply could not leave the house coz the welder might miss us.  So we just made a really quick trip to pick up the dresses, and settled in for the long wait until it was time to take Bea to her practice.

The rain has been incessant, so when the welder finally arrived, they had to take down the tank under the pouring rain.  And put it back up with just a teeny weeny bit of rain still.

But the good part is… in the midst of all the chaos that was happening at home, I was truly happy with all the birthday greetings (which actually started to trickle in last Monday) via Facebook, on my wall, thru private messages, SMS, FB Groups, Yahoo Groups and phone calls.  I may still have some messages that I need to reply to, but those can wait.  I just needed to write about today’s blessings.  I’ll just worry about the shoes tomorrow, and the fact that there is not a single slice of bread in the house, and there is not a single piece of egg in the fridge.  Today was a challenging one, but that’s all it was.  A challenge.  And I survived.

I had a really happy birthday!

And by the way, when I went to my desk (this was before I started work), I found these on top of my open notebook…