That was me Tuesday. Tack on a few more to bring me up to date. I love birthdays!

Last year for my birthday, David cooked a fantastic meal–complete with a menu and fancy napkins–at our apartment. It was like Chateau de la Mertens or something. Delicious! We finished up last year’s dinner with a slice of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory. Mmm!

The only thing similar to that this year was the dessert. I hadn’t had cheesecake since summer 2007, it was high time!

I woke up on Tuesday morning to David singing “Happy Birthday,” and he made some great blueberry muffins from scratch for breakfast. He gave me a birthday card at breakfast with a gift card for a “stone pedicure” inside. I was thrilled! He headed off to work, and my morning was rather uneventful–aside from the wonderful emails, calls, and Facebook messages I received from friends and family.

At noon, I started the longest and most amazing pedicure I’ve ever had. I’ll spare you the details, but it was two hours of incredible!

I came back to the apartment to find a gorgeous flower arrangement on our kitchen table with a note from David. I thought, “Aww! He stopped by during his lunch break to drop off flowers. I love him!” I didn’t see his car in the parking lot or his keys on the key rack, so I had no reason to suspect otherwise.

I picked up the bouquet and walked into the office and saw my handsome husband standing there grinning. He’s wonderful, let me tell you. Despite his crazy busy schedule at work, he blocked off the second half of his day on Tuesday as “vacation” and spent it with me.

We walked five miles in North Park, relaxed, talked, and just enjoyed each others company. We felt like kids playing hooky or something.

Around 5:00pm, we changed for dinner and headed to Benihana Japanese Steakhouse. I told Hoy, the hibachi chef, that it was my birthday, but that I didn’t need all the cheering, etc. He smiled and agreed to keep it down. When he started cooking, though, he kept giving me more and more food, “birthday gift, for you!” I was plenty stuffed by the time we left. Thanks, Hoy!

We headed from there to the Cheesecake Factory, of course. Random note…did you know that their carrot cake actually has the highest calorie content of any dessert on the menu!? I was shocked.

Chris, our server, was a Cheesecake Factory vet having worked there for several years, so we had a lot of fun chatting with him. He found out that it was my birthday, and he said, “Happy 21st!” I had a puzzled looked on my face, I’m sure, but before I could say anything, he said, “I’m 21 too, but with eight years experience.” Aka, he’s 29. I followed suit with, “Ah! Well I’m also 21, but with only three years experience.” We ordered wine and our cheesecake and thought nothing more about it.

There were at least three other birthdays going on in the restaurant because we kept hearing singing and seeing cheesecakes with candles in them breezing by us. Little did I know, I was in store for such a treat.

Chris approached our table and said, “We’ll charge you for the cheesecake, but the embarrassment is free!” Out came a huge plate with my chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake (oh yeah, I don’t scrimp on special occasions!), a burning candle, and “Happy Birthday to You” written in chocolate sauce on the plate. Mmm! They sang, of course, and I dug in. It took both of us 10-15 minutes to finish our slices, but they were delicious.

After finishing, David chuckled and said, “I planned ahead, just in case.” He pulled out a birthday candle and matches. Looks like I would have been in for an embarrassment either way. Too fun!

All in all, my birthday was amazing! Here’s to a great 24th year of life!