Last Monday was Rima's twenty-seventh year of life. Birthday day, which is my favorite kind of day. I'm a VERY big birthday person, mine and others, especially Rima's. I love decorating, surprising, and gift giving. I'm a sucker for peoples excited "omg....you got me whatttt" faces. All in all, birthdays are the best kind of days. Monday morning I ran to Target and a florist quite early. I was going to decorate the Kitchen table and make Rima a surprise birthday breakfast. I woke up early and got my errands done in record time, for me at least. I decorated the table and made here a 5 layer crepe "cake" with nutella, strawberries and bananas. It worked, she was so surprised! She had thought I went for a run that morning, haha I fooled her! She was all smiles. Breakfast for her 99% of the time consists of a skandi shake which is a high calorie drink, that's not the tastiest. So this was a nice welcome change of pace for the birthday bee.
She had Pulmonary rehab that morning for an hour. No getting out of that even on a birthday. She obligingly went even though she was exhausted and not in the mind set. After she was pretty wiped which was not in my plan since I had a big surprise activity planned for her later that afternoon. I had spent hours trying to find a reasonable activity for her to do, that would not take too much physical energy from her. At first I wanted to take her kayaking but with her oxygen machine that proved to be kind of out of the question. Then I looked up some pottery options but, they were all for beginners and in groups, which she's not a beginner and no thank you to groups. Finally I got the bright idea of glass blowing. After a long search and almost giving up I found a studio in Saint Paul that would let her take a private lesson with one of their studio artists, BINGO!
After she got out of Pulmonary rehab we went to lunch at Wise Acre Eatery in Minneapolis. We met up with one of my good friends from Brooklyn. She was in town visiting her parents so we grabbed a quick bite. The restaurant is super cute inside, lots of plants and greenery for Rima to gawk at. Following our luncheon I had the glass blowing session set up for her. Unfortunately, they emailed me asking to reschedule the session to Tuesday, the very next day, they were having some issues with their furnace. This worked out in Rima's favor since her physical energy levels were quite low. When it came out at lunch that the surprise I had planned for her was glass blowing she freaked out. She had taken a semester of blowing back in College and loved it. She was so happy and thrilled at the promise of getting back into a glass blowing studio and creating things! So, with the tiny setback we decided to get some leaf peeping in along the Mississippi River. We drove along and explored some new neighborhoods and got some house gawking in. After we grabbed some kombucha and beer flights at a local brewery.
For dinner I made Rima one of her favorite meals, roasted chicken, brussel sprouts and mashed potatoes. While I was preparing dinner I had Rima relax and enjoy a lavender bubble bath with a side of prosecco. We finished the night with an episode of Homeland and then I sang her Happy Birthday and she blew out a bunch of candles on a chocolate velvet cupcake. Day one of Rima's birthday week, yes week ladies and gentleman was a success!
Day two of Rima's birthday week consisted of her sleeping in, well deserved after an exhausting day of having me pamper her. That afternoon we went to Saint Paul to Vandalia Glassworks where Rima had a two hour session with a private artist to blow glass. She was super excited to get creative. She was a little nervous about her o2 machine "pablo" and how she would do with the heat and physical aspect of it. Her artist, Rachel was amazing. She has been blowing glass for 9 years and was super understanding of the situation Rima was currently in and her capabilities. Rima started off with making a paper weight. After she got her hands a little "dirty" she moved on to blowing a stemless wine glass. Rachel walked her through the steps but also allowed Rima to figure things out on her own and let her memories of techniques come back to her. Rima got through about an hour of the the session and decided that it would be best to come back at a later time and do the second hour. We will 100% be back, and this week to pick up her finished pieces and make more. The studio is very impressive with all its artists work and how openly friendly and welcoming they are. It was a hit all around!
Day three of birthday week Rima had pulmonary rehab in the morning. After we grabbed some sushi lunch near Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. We then explored the Lake Harriet area and house/real-estate gawked for a good chunk of the afternoon. There are some major, major homes in that area, like wow! She had a doctors appointment later that afternoon at MNU for about an hour. She was pretty pooped by the time we got there and tried to nap in the waiting room.That day her electric piano arrived! Rima has always wanted to learn how to play the piano and when we found out about post transplant life, the three months after and not really being able to do much, we decided to get musical. I would relearn how to play the guitar and Rima would pick up the piano. So I thought it be fitting that her piano arrive during her birthday week.
Day four of birthday week involved some every sneaky sneaky planning on the part of Rima's best friend since kindergarten, Olivia. She was flying in that morning unbeknownst to Rima for the weekend! I had a cover of us having to go pick up a friend of mine from the airport that morning. Rima was not very thrilled about having to leave the house by 10am on the account of someone she had never met, haha. The plan almost was spoiled by snapchat, and Olivia snapping her boarding pass in on habit sending it to Rima. After about a hour of faking a super casual demeanor and level headed lies I convinced Rima that Olivia was coming for halloween and not that day. Phew, it was such a close call. Great practice for me thinking super fast on my toes! I think it's all the Homeland we've been watching, haha. Anyways we got to the airport and I secretly filmed Rima seeing Olivia and their reunion. There was a lot of squealing and giggling. We then proceeded to go to Pizzeria Lola, so far our favorite restaurant in Minneapolis. Of course it was only fitting that we go house gawk after with Olivia, who also loved this activity as much as we do! When we got back to the house there was a birthday present waiting for Rima from our brother Paul. She had no idea what he had gotten her, even though she had told him she wanted and needed nothing. Of course he didn't listed to any of her requests. After opening a box in a bag in a box she discovered a brand new MacBook Pro! She was in desperate need of a new laptop. She would never ask for a new one, not her style. So our techie brother took matters into his own hands. She was smiling ear to ear. What an amazing week it's been so far for this girl. She deserves the best and even more than what I could do for her. But there is no doubt in my mind that she had one of the best birthdays she's ever had....she's had a few great ones!