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On Rick’s birthday, he had to go to work very early in the morning. Later in the day, he called me and said, “I will be home soon.”

And I barked, “Happy Birthday. Don’t come home. Until five. At the earliest.”

Rick either thought I was having an affair with our hot pool maintenance guy Tim Riggins. Or I was baking him a cake. I don’t want to ruin this post for you but we don’t have a pool. Which of course means it would be a total waste of money to hire Tim Riggins as our pool maintenance guy.

(I know. I know. I’m having trouble letting “Friday Night Lights” go. But there’s talk of a movie!!)

Now if I was a half ass kind of wife, I would have just souped up the cake from my own birthday which is still sitting in our basement fridge. Yes, since June. But because I’m a full-on-party-to-the-max kind of wife, I whipped up a new one.

And when I say, “I”…. I mean, my babysitter bought the ingredients, my dad mixed them, I cooked it, Dylan and Summer helped ice it while I screamed, “STOP DIGGING YOUR KNIVES INTO THE CAKE!!!,” and then because I felt bad about yelling at them over something that should be fun like icing a cake, I’d perkily shout, “You girls are doing such a great job!!!” followed by, “STOP DIGGING YOUR KNIVES INTO THE CAKE!”

And then we all decorated it.

Although I did personally put the Phillies’ P on the cake.

We also decorated the house with red, white and blue streamers and balloons which was supposed to be a tribute to the Phillies baseball team. But it ended up feeling like we were kicking off Rick’s Tea Party campaign for President. Don’t miss him when he makes a campaign stop in Iowa!

The next day, after all this birthday hoopla, I spent many hours packing up the kids and driving to the Jersey shore where my in-laws have a beach house.

Just as we were pulling out of the driveway, Dylan asked…

“Will Santa die?”

“No,” I responded.

“Why not?”

“He’s magical” which I thought was a pretty awesome answer. However, Dylan thought it was crap and said it didn’t make sense. But thankfully, Summer changed the subject by stating…

“You just never see Santa in shorts.”

Which, by the way, is so completely true.

As a special treat for packing all day and driving three hours, I brought a sushi dinner for the ride. Because it’s a real snap to try to dip salmon sashimi into soy sauce while driving on the Garden State Parkway.

We finally got there and the very next morning, 14-month-old Chase broke one of my in-laws’ blinds and I started emptying a dirty dishwasher. We are obviously excellent house guests and we still have a few openings left in August if you want to invite us to your vacation home.

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kelcey kintner