Friday, September 3, 2010

The Gary Gray Way

My husband is 24 today!

Traditionally, I’ve used birthday blogs as a platform for singing the birthday boy or girl’s praises, but I feel like I’ve pretty thoroughly covered the bases of how awesome/manly/good looking/much of a hoss Gary is. Also he gets a little uncomfortable when I say stuff like that (probably because he's tired of beating all those other women off with a stick*) so today I’ve decided to take a different route and tell you what we’re doing for his birthday instead.

If you’d gotten a chance to peek into my kitchen last night, you might have assumed that we were planning on filling one of those plastic baby pools with homemade spaghetti sauce and going for a little swim. As fun as that sounds, it is not the case.

Gary’s family has a tradition that on your birthday, you get whatever you want for dinner. That means that every year of his life, Gary has had his mom’s amazing homemade lasagna on his birthday. This became a source of some concern after we got married and I realized that even though we had moved 800 miles away, he still expected lasagna on his birthday. No problem, I thought, I’ll just get the Stouffer’s kind and it’ll be just as good.

The day Gary got wind of this plan was the first and last time I’ve ever seen him cry.

Apparently nothing, not even the fact that when we got married I didn’t know how to make boxed macaroni & cheese, was going to get in Gary’s way of eating an entire pan of homemade lasagna on his birthday.

Luckily, not only is Gary’s mom a great cook; she also writes easy-to-follow directions that even I could understand, so I managed to get through the four-hour process of making the sauce relatively unscathed.

When I asked Gary what he wanted to do for his birthday this year, he said he didn’t care as long as there was lasagna. I decided it’d be fun to invite a few friends over and just have a laid back dinner together. I invited all our closest friends, and one by one they said they’d love to come. One by three...until nearly every person I’d invited had confirmed that they’d be coming. Before I continue, let me make one thing perfectly clear: I love our friends. It is always fun when we get together. However, as I was getting a final headcount, I’ll admit I started hyperventilating when I realized I was gonna have to make lasagna for twelve people.

It’s been almost two years since we got married, and I’m comfortable saying that in that time I’ve grown into a pretty decent cook, at least compared to where I started. Even still, the idea of making three pans of lasagna gave me a tiny heart attack. I managed to get all the sauce made last night, but it wasn’t easy. To give you a frame of reference, it included three pounds of Italian sausage, 42 oz of tomato paste and 96 oz of tomato sauce.

(Pause for applause.)

Now all that’s left to do is put everything together and hope to God I don’t drop a full pan on the floor...if that does happen, Gary’s birthday is cancelled.

In other news, I can FINALLY tell you what I got him!


(Not this one exactly, but we don’t own a camera so you’ll have to use your imagination to picture something that looks pretty much like this stock photo I found on the website, but slightly different. Also, by no means could I have afforded this by myself, so I feel I should give credit to my parents and Sarah for pitching in three fourths of the cost.)

Alright, enough disclaiming! His name is Beary Gray. (Get it? Eh? Eh?) Gary has big plans to strategically place him in our guest bed anytime we’re expecting visitors to see if he can get someone to scream or pass out.

Happy birthday Gary! A bear carved out of a log with a chainsaw was pretty much the manliest present I could think’s hoping you can use it to make someone pee their pants.

*Gary has never hit a woman with a stick in real life...this is just a figure of speech.

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