This picture is kind of dark and blurry, but maybe that's appropriate for the occasion?
          Well, I turned 40 this summer, on July 4th. I don't hate it, due in large part to the fact that 4 is my favorite number, and turning 40 on July 4th seems kind of cool. And I felt very loved indeed, since my husband, my mom, and my Aunt Wanda put together an amazing party for me, with a PONY theme! I bet I'm the envy of every other 40-year-old man out there. Right? Because all 40-year-old men love ponies?

A pre-birthday strawberry shortcake at Aunt Wanda's

Anthony created these handmade invitations using prints of an old photo of me

At left: me and my handsome husband Anthony. At right: me with my dad & my mom.
          I feel very lucky that although divorced, my parents get along well with each other for special occasions that involve lil' ol' me. My stepdad and my stepmom are very cool about it, too. Not everybody can say that!
          NOTE ON PHOTOS: All the photos that have black borders around them are courtesy of my awesome sister-in-law, Lauren. She took tons of pictures that day, and then had them printed in a beautiful photo book, which I scanned so I could share them.  :)
          The photos WITHOUT black borders were taken with my cell phone, probably by me unless I'm IN the picture, and then Anthony probably took it. Unless HE'S in the picture, TOO, and then the pony probably took it.

Three shots of the enchanting pony decor, some of which was official "My Little Pony"

          Every little detail of the decorations was tailor-made for me. There were balloons in my favorite colors, teal blue and black, and even black HEART balloons!

Little collapsible ponies, little flocked ponies, pony pinata, rocking pony that sings... (it really does!)

My stepdad, Dan, being a good sport with a bow on his head. You have to do that with bald heads.

Hanging pony garlands: Threat or ill omen?
          At one point between presents and cake, my mom came over to me and said, "I know you would have loved having Courtney Love as a special guest at your 40th birthday party, but we couldn't get her. We have someone else, instead, which I hope will be just as good. They're about to come around the side of the house right now..."
          I froze in terror, staring at the corner of the house, wondering who or what was about to come around the corner. After a few breathless moments, all was revealed...

Sugar, the little birthday pony

          My mom had hired an ACTUAL LIVE PONY to make an appearance! Her name is Sugar, and she was done up in My Little Pony style with a purple tail, purple-painted hooves, and flowers braided into her mane. Admit it, you're jealous! My mom asked me if it was a good surprise, and I said, "Yes, and Sugar is definitely more sanitary than Courtney Love!"
          Julie and I were a little concerned that Sugar would notice the hanging garland ponies and take it as some sort of threat.
          There are more pictures to share, but I'll save it for a second birthday post, so the page doesn't take forever to load. Can you hardly wait?