Hunting the Hummingbird - by David C Hoffman

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017


 Monday was my 36th birthday.

It started out with sweet hugs from my kiddos, who are old enough now to understand how fun birthdays are and how obnoxious their momma is about hers.
(I blame my father. Even though I grew up in a family of seven, miraculously, none of us shared the same birthday month, so he'd spread out the birthday into a week long celebration. He'll tell you now that this stems from his own birthday often falling on Thanksgiving, and while there is definite truth to that I also believe it comes from a deep love of celebration. And cake.)

Poor David has spent the last decade and a half hearing me say "but I can't do dishes, it's my birthday week..." from about March 9th through about March 15th. 

This year my birthday fell on a Monday, which is the second day in the work week here in Kuwait, and happened to be the day our Kindergarten and Preschool kids took a field trip to the Kuwait Zoo.
This was my first time at the zoo here, and it felt strange seeing it for the first time with other people's kids and not my own! But, I'd heard it wasn't much to see (turned out to be truth) and also that the conditions for the animals were a little depressing (also truth), so I hadn't made it a priority for the twins and learned on Monday that they indeed weren't missing much.

Nevertheless, it was a fun - albeit slightly chaotic - time spent with the little cuties I work with every day...

There are a lot of things that drive me crazy about my job...the pay is a joke, the kids can be downright feral, and it can be very unorganized, often.

But these cuties also make me laugh all the time, and smile even more, especially when they run up to me grinning and  yell say "Miss Kendra! Miss Kendra! I love you!!" 

(Plus working there has really helped me learn more Arabic. Especially phrases commonly heard in a preschool classroom, such as: "look at me!" and "please sit down" and "stop doing that" and "do you need the bathroom?" Plus, I can totally say "poop" and "fart" in Arabic now. 
So, there's that.)

I also get to work with some pretty cool women from all over the globe...

...this is the KG (preschool) crew, and the women here are from Pakistan, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, and Iran. So much culture at one little table =).

After work, I came home to a homemade cake and a decorated house. 
David had taken the kids to the store the night before to get all the supplies, and then they'd gone behind closed doors when they returned, and apparently the kids drew all over the balloons for me, which David then hung up the next day while we were away...

"Your hol (whole) family loves you" 
from my sweet, sweet son. 

My people serenaded me with a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday", and I couldn't help but feel so blessed as I stared at allllllll those candles on my cake...

...I mean, it looks like it's about to be one giant blaze. 36 candles appears to be a lot! But hand to God, I'm happy about getting older. Truly I feel grateful for another year here on Earth, and I find myself more and more comfortable in my own skin with each passing year. I remember being a teenager and thinking 36 was SO INCREDIBLY OLD, which makes me laugh now =).
That being said, I have officially reached the season of life where I forget how old I am. When people ask how old I am, sometimes I reply "34" (which, if my son is in earshot, he yells accusingly "NO YOU ARE NOT MOMMA!! YOU ARE THIRTY FIVE!!!" Which makes it look like I'm lying, which is not the case, I'm just kinda stupid.) Or I'd reply "36", which I hadn't yet turned.

After having cake for an after school snack (because BIRTHDAY), I opened my presents from my family, and we headed out to dinner...

The boy was thrilled, because he's fish-crazy and ordered the salmon...

...and the girl was equally thrilled, because spaghetti is one of her Love Languages...

Sister also gave us a little performance of the hula dance they'd learned in Drama class that day...

...normally I probably wouldn't let her dance around a restaurant, but it was empty this particular evening due to bad weather (more on that at the end of this post).

We had a tasty dinner and I felt really loved by all my people...

We had an early dinner, and we're back at the house by 6:30pm, which was a really good thing, as the sand storm that had begun earlier in the afternoon had really picked up.
Here is a clip from the Kuwait Times...

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...which means the day after my birthday I spent dusting our apartment. 
It doesn't matter that we didn't open any windows, or that the entry to our apartment opens into a closed hallway...the sand finds it's way in, and it's layered thick on every surface after every little sand storm, so it was downright gross on Tuesday.

Won't miss that part of Kuwait =)

Anyways. Here's to 36! 


  1. Looks like it was a great birthday - even with the sand.

    Aunt Carol

  2. I prompted Justin to call his brother in law last night because it was his birthday. He protested because he doesn't "believe in doing anything special for people's birthdays" and I just laughed and laughed and said, "you most certainly married the wrong person then."