Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Celebrating 30 in style

My birthday is coming up in a little over a month. And, no, I'm not sending out a giant hint to all my friends and family. See, I'm turning 31. Blech. At least 30 was a big deal. 31, you're just in your 30s. Nothing special and not even deserving of a big party. I've always had a love-hate relationship with my birthday. Not that I've generally had a problem with getting older (that is a recent life development), but it is when my birthday takes place that causes me such consternation.

It is November 28th, and most years, that places it smack dab in the middle of the Thanksgiving holiday (American Thanksgiving that is). Sometimes, it even lands on Thanksgiving day. As a child, this meant my family mercilessly teasing me by putting four candles in a turkey and insisting that it was my birthday cake. When I got a little older, I could never have a party around my birthday because all of my friends were celebrating with their own families. Even my 16th birthday, which, of course, was on Thanksgiving day, was a total disaster. Think massive snow storm, people not being able to come, and others getting into crashes trying to drive to my house. Just a mess. Do you have a mental image of a sad girl sitting alone with a table full of uneaten food, trying not to cry? If you do, then you are remarkably intuitive, 'cause that's pretty much what that night looked like.

Anyway, all of that back story to say that I've become adept at having very low expectations for my birthday. Last year, when I turned 30, Cory told me that he was going to plan it all. That was fine with me, because then I didn't have to worry about things not turning out right. He far exceeded my low expectations. He surprised me with not one, but two amazing parties. AND, he arranged for childhood friends and family to come from around the country (North Carolina, Oregon, Minnesota and Texas) to surprise me. It was literally my best birthday ever, and totally made up for my disaster of a sweet sixteen party.

Surprise party #1
I guess I should even count Terah as a guest coming from a long way, she did come from western Kansas for the event.
Me with surprise guests: Cheryl (childhood friend from Oregon), Amanda (childhood friend from NC) and Laura (cousin from Minnesota). All were a complete and total surprise. Best. Presents. Ever.
Surprise party #2. Isn't that the most beautiful bunch of ladies ever?
So, it might seem strange that I'm bringing all this up right now. Well, for one thing, I didn't have a blog back then to extol the awesomeness of the event. But, also, and really the main reason, is that I got to pay back the favor. See, my cousin Laura turned 30 in September. So, I flew up to Minneapolis to help usher her into her 30s, just as she had helped me. Now, I'm not actually sure if she wanted me there, considering I just told her that I was coming, and didn't really ask. But, I'm going to tell myself that she did want me there.

Her daughter, Penelope, also turned 3 in September, so they were planning a 3-and-30 party for the both of them. Cory and I debated whether I should take Molly with me. I know she would've loved it, and I wanted to, but he was against it. When pressed, he finally admitted that he wanted to keep Molly home with him so she could help take care of Charlotte. I relented and made the trip solo.

We had a great time while I was up there. I got to help out with the party and was fed amazing food by her fabulous cook of a husband. Laura took time off work, and we shopped and lunched, and even went to a movie. Before you laugh at our modest plans, remember, these are big deals for two moms. We did them all sans children! The trip was the longest I've been without husband or kids since I got married 9 years ago.

Laura and I have figured out that since she moved to Minneapolis almost five years ago, we've seen each other more than the entire rest of our lives combined. We've been a whole country or half a country away from each other our entire lives, so being able to drop in for a birthday is a great treat. Our 30th birthdays are actually the first birthdays either of us have spent with each other.

So, my 31st birthday is coming up and will probably be celebrated with a giant "blech" the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend. But, at least I will have had a great time celebrating a birthday this year. It just wasn't mine. If anyone else wants me to fly in to help them celebrate their birthday, let me know, and I'll start booking my ticket now!

Sightseeing in Minneapolis.
Yum ... sangria!
Getting ready to go out and see a movie.
Cousins at the 3-and-30 party.

1 comment:

  1. I have absolutely no doubt Laura wanted you there and was over the moon when you said you were coming! I am thrilled you got to celebrate the "30" milestone together and have taken advantage of being closer in miles to spend time together. Although I won't be there on your birthday, I will be with you in thought and prayer that you have a wonderful day anyway! Love you bunches!!!!!