In fact, because of logistics, the trip got moved from Thursday-Friday (which would have been super awesome) to Friday-Saturday (which is still awesome, but probably has more crowds and definitely involves having to by block-out tickets for the Twins, whose passes don't work on Saturday). The date change isn't that big a deal, except that we reeeeeally wanted to go Thursday-Friday, and our pleas were brushed off, because they just didn't work. Reasonable as the solution is, and grateful as we are that Mom and Steve are willing to pay for our block-out tickets, we started getting sulky, like, "Aw man, our birthday gets pushed aside again!"
The sulkiness wasn't enough to completely overshadow the excitement of Mom and Celeste and Sarah and Kimee getting to go to Disneyland (we love for people to go to Disneyland, especially when we go with them!), but it was still there. And the family trip thing makes it harder for us to, say, reserve seats for Fantasmic! (which actually isn't showing either of those days anyway) or go on a tour (we're not rich enough to pay for everyone!).
But we still wanted to do something for our birthday! So the thought came to me, "Hey, we could still get cake for our birthday if we go to one of the extra fancy restaurants!" Since we'll be spending our actual birthday at California Adventure, Ariel's Grotto seemed like the perfect choice, because it's one of the fancier restaurants, it's Ariel's Grotto (a good reason in and of itself), and we'd get to dine with character(s)! I came up with a sneaky plan to get everyone to want to eat there, then I'd call to make reservations and ask for birthday stuff! Eeeexcellent!
On the other hand, we do have a small streak of practicality, so before implementing the Plan, we went online to check pricing and menus. The menu... was actually kind of confusing, and I'm still not entirely sure what's on it, but when you're a picky eater, you tend to err on the side of "no way am I ever gonna eat that." The desserts were intriguing (what in the world would a chocolate chip strip be? obviously it has chocolate chips, and is in some sort of long, strip-like shape, but other than that...), but if we were going to get cake, we might not want a second dessert (though come to think of it, I'm not entirely opposed to the idea). And at approximately $33 a head, we thought we should probably not do anything crazy (especially since it would most likely be Mom and Steve's). So we gave up on the idea.
A few hours later, we got a phone call. Here I will go on a brief tangent to say how sad it makes me to hear the phone ring and think, "Somebody wants to talk to us!" and answer it and find out it's just somebody asking for our money. But anyway, the phone rang. This time it was Mom, and she had a favor to ask: she wanted us to call and make reservations for Ariel's Grotto.
I was like, "What? Are you serious?" We hadn't even seen Mom since coming up with our Plan, so we couldn't possibly have even hinted at her that we'd thought anything of the sort. I asked her, "Do you know how much it costs...?" "Do I know it'll cost me an arm and a leg? Yes." So I got all the details (how many people were coming (at that point it was undecided whether or not Sarah would be able to join us), do we want to eat inside or outside, etc.), and I got ready to make the call! And we were totally going to surprise everyone with our birthday celebration! If we can't surprise ourselves, we might as well surprise everyone else, right?
On the other hand, part of the wanting to surprise everyone came from the, "We'll show you to forget our birthday!" attitude. It's not like we were going to teach them a lesson in a mean way--just surprise them. But it was still a negative attitude, and it's usually not a good idea to act on negative attitudes. Not only that, but I tend to chicken out on the phone, especially when it comes to extra and unnecessary benefits. So during the entire reservation-making phone call, I was really nervous, trying to decide whether or not to actually ask for birthday goodness. Thinking about it now, it feels kind of like being in suspense watching a movie, not knowing how things are going to turn out, but not really having control over the situation (even though I had complete control in this situation).
So as I nervously made the reservation, including mixing up the date and what hotel we would be staying at (though I think I managed to keep it together very well regardless), I waited to see if I would have the guts to ask about birthday stuff. But then! the lady on the other line asked, "Is there anything special your party will be celebrating?" And I was like, "!!!!!"
Of course I told her that there would be two birthdays, and she took our names, and asked for all the other necessary information for the reservation, and tadah! We get to have a birthday celebration at Ariel's Grotto!!! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!
And then Mom called this morning to make sure when we call to make the reservations (she didn't know we already had) we let them know that it will be our birthday. So much for surprising everyone. I just really wanted to walk into the restaurant and have the greeter person (you can see how familiar I am with restaurant terminology) say, "And you two are the birthday girls?" and have everyone be like, "How did they know it was your birthday?" and I'd tell them, "It's Disney magic!" (And then a more logically thinking individual like Celeste or Sarah would be like, "Hello, who do you think made the reservation?" XD)
But Mom remembered, and that's happy, too!
Still, it is very expensive, so we'll be offering to help pay. When we told Celeste about it, she said there's no way Mom would let us, because we can't pay for our own birthday lunch. And in that case, we'll offer to pay for Celeste and Sarah's lunch.
Today I'm thankful for getting to eat at Ariel's Grotto (we've always wanted to, despite always suspecting the menu), getting to have our birthday at Ariel's Grotto, amazing "coincidences," having fun people to talk to while we waited to get a ride home from church (one of the couples who was in our temple prep class is moving to across the street from us!), and being surrounded by adorable kitties.