Well, another weekend is just hours away. It will probably be kind of a basic one for us, Eric has to work tomorrow, and then we have Stake Conference on Saturday night and Sunday. Sunday night, Ilsa is hosting a birthday potluck for me, so that should be fun. I'm looking forward to seeing some of our friends from the old gang, and hopefully eating a bit of chocolate cake.
My birthday is next week. I'll be 37 years old. I've never been one who has had a hard time with birthdays or getting older which is nice, I guess. I just kind of figure that I'd rather be alive and getting older than not be alive and not getting older. Maybe that's kind of a macabre way to put it, but there you are. Besides, even though I have tough years at times, and probably will continue to have ups and downs, the fact is that over the years, my life just seems to get better and better. So, what's not to like about that?
When I was little I absolutely loved my birthday. We got to choose what we had for breakfast, we usually got to open our family presents BEFORE SCHOOL, and then once we got to school, there were cards and special treatment there to be enjoyed as well. My mother (bless her) let us have a birthday party every year, and she always made these fun cut-up cakes for us. It was awesome.
I think if you make it clear that you enjoy your birthday, people are only too happy to celebrate with you. ('cause really, who isn't looking for a reason to celebrate?) At least, that's how it's worked for me. When I was on my mission (my first birthday away from home), one of the little girls in our branch had her birthday the day after mine (she turned four). So, the family put on a big birthday-as-only-Latinos-can-do-it party for her and for me, and they held it on MY birthday. I still have the picture of that day (not digital and I don't have a scanner or I'd scan it), me in the pretty dress that I had borrowed from my companion* for the celebration, holding hands with little Miss Martinez, who was about four feet shorter than me. We're both smiling so big, you'd think our faces would crack. I love that picture. Probably because I love that memory.
I could go through a whole list of other happy birthday memories, and even recount one or two unhappy birthday memories, but I think I've probably said enough for today. So, there it is. May you all have glorious weekends, and may you find sufficient sunshine in which to play.
-Charlotte (soon to be thirty-freaking-seven years old) Cantwell
p.s.-In case you're wondering, I'm still a BIG fan of the lightbox. I don't need it so much anymore, because it is getting more sunny. But, next year, I think I'll break it out as soon as we go off Daylight Savings. I get all warm just thinking about it.
A missionary companionship, consisting of two or, occasionally, three missionaries, is the smallest organizational unit of a mission. Every missionary is assigned by the mission president to be another missionary's companion. Missionary companionships are generally maintained for months at a time and most missionaries will have served with multiple companions by the end of their mission. Only in rare instances will missionary companions have met prior to the start of their missions. A missionary's companion is always a missionary of the same gender, with the exception of married couples, who serve as each others' missionary companion for the entirety of their mission.
Missionary companions are instructed to never be apart during the day or night (with the exception of time allowed for bathing and use of the toilet). Companions share the same living quarters and the same bedroom (but not the same bed, except in the case of married missionary couples). When companions have conflicting personalities or interests, they are encouraged to try to resolve them themselves. If they are unable to do so, mission leaders may be used to help resolve the differences. Sometimes the only resolution is reassigning the missionaries to new companions.