Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It's my birthday and I'll blog if I want to.

As I cracked stretched my less-than-limber arms in bed this morning,
slathered hand cream on my rough hands, and put on my glasses
so that I could see what my son was up to on the baby monitor next to my bed,
I took an extra moment to contemplate the fact
that I awoke this morning as a 30 year old woman.

Thirty. Years. Old.
What happened to the 20-something girl dancing on top of a bar in downtown Milwaukee?

Wasn't it just last year that I was turning 26 in the Recovery Room in La Crosse, having an entire bar full of patrons sing me "Happy Birthday" followed immediately by a group embrace and karaoke rendition to this at bar time?  #CraziestBirthdayMomentEver

(Close second = 28th in Madison with possible snow fall, stumbling on a Michael Jackson street fest, losing credit cards down the sewer, sharing a cab with men in GS ski suits, and the worst hangover known to man...all with the lady above.)

To the year of my 25th, when my husband surprised me with my out-of-town friends & brother in Madison for Badger football opening weekend...

Didn't I just turn 23 and have my first "fancy" night out in Chicago, atop the John Hancock building with my then-boyfriend-now-husband?  Followed by SIX more years of impeccably delicious & fancy birthday dinners in the Windy City!
What memories.

What happened to the perpetual student, who just wanted new highlighters for her birthday?

I swear I'm still that bright-eyed 22 year old girl, living on Langdon St.,
imagining all the good, yet challenging, things that "real life" was about to offer me.

And didn't I just get a Nitty Gritty beer mug and balloon crown for turning 21?
(Who could forget when those balloons got caught in the ceiling fan, mid-dance moves? YIKES.  Admittedly, not my finest moment.)

(Hold the phone...I'm still that much fun, right guys??)

High school doesn't seem like too distant of a memory.
In fact, I can still vividly remember some of my childhood birthday parties...

...I'm looking at you, house on 29th Court, McDonald's, Chuck E. Cheese, Holiday Inn pool party, and the first co-ed, pontoon/sandbar party in 6th grade!
Ooo-eee, we are lookin' GOOD!

Yep, I remember them all.
All equally special!

Perhaps I'm a slightly less fun & crazy b-day girl than I was 5-10 years ago.
I'm definitely a few pounds heavier,
with a wrinkle or two surrounding my eyes,
(but thankfully no gray hairs...yet!).
Today I wake up possibly a little wiser,
and certainly full of even more love for the wonderful man next to me,
my family and friends (both near and far),
as well as a new love, too profound to describe,
for that little person I watch snooze away on the monitor.

You see, the thing I like best about birthdays,
are not the presents (although much appreciated!).
(And it's certainly not about blowing out that raging blaze of birthday candles!)
It's about the calls, cards, and even the heart-felt facebook posts
I receive from the people who matter the most.
I'm always blown away by the outpouring of good cheer!
Maybe we're too busy with our day-to-day and we don't talk as often as we'd like.
But when I open a piece of mail or hear a familiar voice
calling to wish me a happy day,
calling to say they wish they were here with me,
calling to say "I love you"?
That's  what birthdays are all about.

Birthdays, to me, are a reminder of how much you are loved.
It's about reflecting on all the people and things that make life wonderful.
It's the one day of the year that is truly "your day".
Why not be a little selfish and enjoy it?
There are 364 other days to celebrate everyone else!

(I may take my own advice, pack up my son, and hit up the Public Market for a lobster roll from here and then head down to enjoy it lakeside.  Weather permitting!  Followed likely by takeout, wine, & season 4 Sons of Anarchy season finales with the huzz!)

I'm very grateful for all the lovely people
who have taken time out of their day (and last weekend!)
to celebrate this "milestone" birthday with me.
 I love you all!  SO much.

Cheers to the next 30!
(God willing!)
May they all be just as fun and memorable as the first 30.

P.S.  Speaking of "others," I can't wait  to surprise my kids with an onslaught of birthday balloons and streamers when they awake on their birthday morning!

That and their favorite meal + birthday cake of choice.  Right, Dad?

  ~image via pinterest / photos by b / image via

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