Hey, Hey, It’s My Birthday

37

It’s the normal human body temperature…in Celsius

It’s the number of plays written by William Shakespeare

It’s the number of weeks Michael Jackson’s album, Thriller, spent at #1 (coincidentally, also the first album I ever owned)

It’s the number of vertebrae of a Tyrannosaurus Rex

It’s the most commonly chosen number between 1-100

If you choose any single digit (1-9) and write it out three times. Say 3. 333, then add the sum of those numbers 3+3+3=9 and take the three digit number 333 and divide by the sum 9 and you get 37. Works for any single digit number.

It’s the age deemed officially too old to work for the FBI (and Homeland Security, and Treasury and the CIA)

It’s the year Amelia Earhart disappeared (1937)

Richard Nixon was the 37th president

Rubidium is the 37th element on the periodic table

It’s the television channel reserved for radio astronomy

In roman numerals it is XXXVII

It is also my age for the next 365 days. Now that my future no longer contains the option of becoming a profiler and working for Hotch, I shall strive to find a way to go on. But so far, 37 hasn’t treated me too poorly. I got a call from about 20 8-year-olds (and one 37-year-old) who sang me happy birthday. It’s not really your birthday until you hear all those tiny voices singing confidently….until they reach your name! But it was a terrific way to start my morning.

In the manner of technicalities, I’m not actually 37 until 5:00pm today. At that exact time, my mother and I will be watching a movie, it starts precisely at 5:00pm. And no birthday of mine is complete without a handsome man, which is why I chose London has Fallen with Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart. (Okay, that was mostly because there is nothing else out I’d want to see but I do want popcorn on my birthday). Of course, my favorite handsome man, Christian Kane, has been singing to me since I woke up this morning. Literally my fave CK playlist has been on repeat, nothing better than hearing his voice on my day.

Lastly, I’m treating myself to Jimmy Johns for lunch today. Seems a good way to celebrate. I’m also leaving work early, another good way to celebrate.

Happy Birthday to me, and thank you to all of you who reached out to me on this day.

ckandme1.jpg

(gratuitous photo, just because it makes me happy and it’s my day. Also, this was now FIVE years ago)

Thirty Five – Part V

Yep, five separate posts just to detail all my celebrations. Anyone else think I’m a little overboard? No? Me neither.

The festivities came to a close on the night of my actual birthday. I had sent an email to all my friends, asking them to meet me out for drinks at RayJs. RayJs used to be my bar, but I so rarely go out anymore that it has now become a thrill. My sister took care of reserving tables for us, right in the party area, near the dartboards. And she decorated with balloons.

My family was there, Kelly and Mark, Elena (my chauffeur), Niki, Frodo, and the Amys. It was a great turnout. Most of the rest of this post will be photo heavy.

P3150219
Me with my sister.

P3150222
Kelly and me, wearing the same shirt.

P3150226

With my mommy.

P3150232
Brother Zack (yep, he works there now!)

P3150233
Family photo. I do love this. We don’t do these nearly often enough. So thank you to whomever suggested it (Kel, was it you? I think you took the photo…but I don’t remember, actually).

P3150236
Lane and me. (And yes, many of these seem a little blurry, the lighting in there is horrible for photos, plus my new camera is a lot harder to use than my old one).

P3150240
Ooh, how I love this photo. From L-R Niki, Amy Blonde, Amy Red, Me, Frodo. My GW peeps.

This was so dorky/cute. I was sitting at the table and my dad came up and put his arm around my mom and then HE said, “take a picture of us”. He NEVER says that. That could possibly have been the first time in his 60 years he has ever said that. So, I did and he dorked out, as usual.

P3150244

P3150245
Elena took a selfie, which cracked me up. Still does, actually. When I was uploading, I didn’t remember she did that and I laughed out loud.

P3150248
Yet another shot of the people whose job it was to turn me into adult. Explains a lot, right?

P3150249
I think Lane took this. Wow, I look drunk there. I was, I assume, but I really look it.

My mom, with me and Kel, I really like this shot, too. It’s so cute. The last one of the three of us I believe was at my 30th.
Untitled

Yep, five years ago.
Me, Mom, and Kelly

And we end with the greatest gift of all. Kelly was the big winner this year, which is saying something because I got some seriously amazing gifts this year. But I actually gasped so loud in the busy, loud, crowded restaurant, that strangers were turning around to see what happened. True story.

I still get giddy when I look at this.

P3150251

Yes, it’s true, she got me a wine glass etched with Christian Kane’s FACE. I’m blown away. She and I might have to start a no gift policy because I don’t know how she will ever top this. Unless she actually gets me Christian Kane. Hmm…maybe we’ll keep the gifts in place, just in case. Also, I swore there was a picture of her and I where I was holding up the glass so you could see it, but I can’t find it. Anyone have it on a cell phone maybe?

And that’s all she wrote. Weeks of celebrating, ushering me into the back half of my 30s. Thank you so much to all my friends and family who turned out to celebrate with me. Love you all more than I could possibly express. And I’m pretty good with words.

Oh, and Mark, I did kick your ass at trivia. Deal with it.

Happy 35th to me!

Thirty Five – Part IV

Can you believe it is my actual birthday already?

For this day, I decided to have lunch with my family. My mom was making her famous corned beef and cabbage, which she makes for St. Patty’s day, but I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it on the holiday, so my birthday it was. Simon was going to be there to celebrate, and I invited Kelly and the kids to join us.

Lunch was excellent, as always. The kids were a bit thrown by the food, it was not food any of them are used to eating, but they still did well. Then we did some presents. Victoria, Christian, and Brecken got me a beautiful purple watch. I haven’t worn a watch in years, so it was surprising, but I also don’t have one, so it was great. I’ve worn it far more than I expected to!

My amazing mother MADE me beautiful wine glasses. She hand painted them in different colors. They are so me. If I had seen them in a store, I would have probably bought them.
P3150193
My sister and her family got me a gorgeous silver bracelet from Stella and Dot. It, too, went perfect with my planned evening outfit.

Then, of course, I wanted photos with the kids for my birthday, like last year.
P3150195
2014
Me Kids Edit
2013

And since they were there, I wanted pictures with Kelly’s kids as well. I don’t know if I have any of me with all three of her kids…but I do now.
P3150203
(Notice B and I coordinated the rocking striped look!)

And I love this photo, me with my only niece…and Simon in the background.
P3150192

My sister took this of Brecken because very little is as cute as a baby sucking its thumb. I’ve said this to Kelly over and over again and how much I wanted a pic of him sucking his thumb. But she had never given me one, for whatever reason. I think she thought she had. Anyway, that comment got me an addition to my birthday present.
P3150206

My birthday cake (the second one!).
P3150207

P3150209
What I enjoy about that photo is the two lonely sippy cups in the picture.

And then after everyone had left, it was just me and my mom and Simon hanging out. I asked for a photo with my little buddy because he’s getting so big and we don’t really do that anymore. And that is another treasure from my birthday experience.
P3150211

(and you can see my new purple watch in that picture)

So the rest of the afternoon was just chatting, talking, and hanging out. It was so relaxed and low key, I absolutely loved it.

Boy, even writing about all my celebrations is exhausting….imagine how I felt living them!

Thirty Five – Part III

This part was my celebration with Elena. She and I had very special plans. Back when I was in grad school, living by myself in DC, I met this girl who was obsessed with the show Veronica Mars. I had never seen it, but had an excess of time on my hands (I didn’t work while living in DC) so I checked it out. I quickly understood why she liked it so much. It’s a smart and savvy show. Unfortunately, it was cancelled, abruptly after the third season and left wide open with no actual conclusion. They always talked about one day doing a VM movie, but as the years passed….

Well, after a record setting kickstarter campaign, they funded it last year and released it to limited theaters just in time for my birthday this year. Last year, after the campaign, I added VM to my tv dates with Lane and she rushed to complete the series just in time for the movie release.

We had to go to an AMC theater to see it. There is one of those about 2 minutes from her house…Roseville, but I don’t like that theater and it is so expensive. I browsed online to find that the Coon Rapids AMC was offering discount tickets to the show, along with DreamLounger and reserved seating. Um, hallelujah? We bought tickets and I reserved two seats for us.

We decided to go to dinner at this place called Patricks? Billys? I seriously cannot remember the name of it. Anyway, it was in the city of Anoka and we were off on an adventure.

Oh, look at that. Apparently Billy’s. And now I remember thinking we should take a photo of ourselves just so I could remember that. I’m so smart.

And then it was off to Coon Rapids to the theater. And they had those crazy new touch screen pop dispensers. I honestly was stymied by it. I couldn’t figure out how to get pop from that machine. Luckily the girls using the machine next to me were kind enough to teach me. Crazy machines. So high tech. And slightly annoying to pay like $5 for a 16 oz pop that I have to serve myself. Basically paying for the cup.

And here we are in front of the theater marquee. It’s harder to read than I thought it would be.

Then in our dream loungers.

Yes, we’re pretending to sleep…and yes, she is peeking.

And the movie.

Sigh.

It was awesome. Can’t recall the last time I had so much fun at a movie. Knowing every person in there was a fan of the show…we all loved it already. It was a little like seeing a movie with all your friends…everyone in there. We were talking and chatting with strangers. Cheering for the movie to begin. Applauding when it was over. Crazy. And fun.

Elena and I (and many others) actually GASPED loudly when Logan first appeared on screen. It was priceless. A wonderful way to celebrate my birthday.

And then when we got back to her house, I got loads of gifts. A beautiful necklace that she MADE for me. This was weird, because as I was driving to her house that day, I was planning my outfit for my actual birthday and worrying because I didn’t think I had the right necklace for it. Then she gave me one…and it was perfect. And she had no idea what I was wearing. She’s a little psychic like that. She did the exact same thing a few years ago…got me the perfect necklace for a birthday outfit. How does she always know?

She also got me a wall hanging for my entry way that is so incredibly perfect I couldn’t have picked better myself. And beautiful decorative plates that still need a home, I’m working on that. And black lentils…which was just funny. But the best was she filled the bottoms of the gift bags with candy. I never thought of that, but what a great way to make a gift extra special.

It was a terrific and memorable way to continue ringing in my birthday.

 

Thirty Five – Part II

During the week of my birthday, I had several lovely surprises. A community partner at work came in and brought me these beautiful flowers. I actually just threw them out on Sunday. They lasted over two weeks! I had to refill the vase of water twice…these were some amazingly fresh flowers.
Untitled

I like the second photo because you can see the new clock Elena bought me for Christmas. The most perfect clock in the entire world…so incredibly glad I waited for the right item.

A coworker brought me a birthday gift of a water feature. It’s a little fountain that sits on my desk. It is beautiful and tranquil, the only flaw? It’s a huge battery suck. It eats through an entire set of batteries in about 40 hours. Yep, needs new batteries every WEEK. So now it sits on my desk without being on and I still enjoy it.

Then I stopped by my sister’s house to drop off a balloon for the kids. I got a cute photo of me and them in their jammies as an early birthday gift. And Arionna asked me what I was wearing to her birthday party, which was two weeks after mine. I asked what she wanted me to wear. “A red dress.” More on that later.
Untitled

Then Kelly had requested to take me out to birthday lunch on Thursday. She was on spring break and was putting the kids in daycare to have a free day for mom. I decided to take a half day at work and join her for the afternoon. We met for lunch, then went and did some shopping. I got new shoes at DSW. These ones here. In the orange. We also hit Lane Bryant so I could get a new shirt for my birthday. Kelly got one, too. Actually, the exact same shirt, but in different colors. It was an amazing afternoon.
Untitled


This second photo is me driving home after my shopping afternoon. I text this photo to my cousin in Alabama. Sara and company think 60 degrees is cold. I captioned the photo “it is 48 degrees. Driving with sunroof open and windows down, wearing a t shirt. Thought you’d get a kick out of it.” She did. (And Sara, notice how I’m not chastising you for NOT sending me my very favorite birthday video this year….)

As a matter of fact, considering how low key this week was, it was the perfect way to celebrate a big birthday.

And that covers the miscellany. And yes, this is two full posts before we’ve even reached my actual birthday.

Thirty Five – Part I

Well, it’s official, I’m 35. I’m feeling pretty good about this year. The festivities for this year were unusual. We began the week prior with a birthday dinner. Tom and Mindy hosted, Elena, Niki, and Finn were the other guests.

Mindy made an amazing meal, tarragon chicken with harissa sauce and braised black lentils.
Untitled

 

It was as beautiful as it was delicious.

P3080161

 

Me with the little lads. Lewie was determined not to look, though you can clearly tell he IS smiling. Finn and Clay were much more cooperative.

Here’s a shot of the adults:

P3080170

 

Clay was kind enough to take these for us.

Then he asked if he could take some more.

Here’s just the ladies:
P3080166

 

Yes, we look a little weird….

My amazing birthday cake that Mindy made and Lewie decorated.
P3080158

Then Clay took this one of Finn and me, one of my favorite birthday photos.
P3080176

Then we wanted a better ladies pic, so we enlisted Tom to help us out.
P3080184

After that, it was game time, we just sat around and chatted and played board games. I love that Clay is big enough to play adult trivia games, but is still little boy enough to sit on his daddy’s lap.

Untitled

It was an amazing experience, full of laughter, friends, good food, good drink, and shots of whiskey. What more could a girl ask for?

***Edited to ADD*** I cannot believe I forgot to mention this as it was my favorite part of the night. Clayton, just shy of 10 years old, plays the trombone at school. He was chosen for the trombone because he has the longest arms. Anyway, I knew he played, but he would never play for me. But that day, for my birthday, he had gone online and printed the sheet music for Happy Birthday and then, in front of audience, never having played it before, he played the song for me. He did amazing. Then he played it again and everyone sang along. It was so special to me, I don’t want to forget it. I wanted to record it, but I didn’t want to embarrass him, so I just sat and listened and enjoyed. Thanks, Clay! I loved that gift from you.

Do Not Spoil My Joy

I’m doing this because Elena asked me to.

I wrote her a story, which I will not tell here, because it is long. To summarize, I used my innate powers to will a song to play on my iPhone. True story.

She said that my magic finally kicked in at 34. I’m all “cool”. (Because I’m very casual about magic).

Then I said that maybe Dean Winchester will come and try to kill me now. Dean Winchester, for those not in the know, is the main character on Supernatural, my favorite television show. He, along with his brother Sam, hunt supernatural beings that are evil and the kill them.

Elena said Dean would not try to kill me.

My response was:

I WANT Dean to try to kill me. It’d be all dramatic. And I’d outsmart him. But only for a minute, because he’s freaking smart, and then he’d come after me again, but then I’d convince him that I’m good and would never use my magic for evil. And he’d still want to kill me. But them Sam would show up and actually almost kill me. But Dean would SAVE me, because he knows I’m not evil. And they’d have a heart to heart about it, right there in my living room. I’d get to watch.

Dean would do the single tear. Sam would stand there, looking awkward, but then he’d turn on the puppy dog eyes and he and Dean would hug. Then they’d decide to let me live. THEN, they’d start calling me for help. Like if they can’f figure out a spell or they’re just stumped. They’d call me, because they know I’m good AND powerful and I’d be their new ally.

 It’ll be great. And SPN S9 will be all about them hunting with their magic friend Olivia.

 Do not spoil my joy.

And she laughed, and told me to write this on my blog to allow others to share the wonder and the crazy that is my brain. I figured “why not”.

Because, it’s not like anyone will dare make fun of me.

I’m magic.

I could kill you with my mind.

But then Dean would actually kill me. So that would be bad. Fine. I won’t hurt people. But that won’t stop me from giving you a flat tire and making you late for work and then getting a cracked windshield and then burning your dinner and then getting a zit on the day of the big presentation and then dropping a pencil and bending over to retreive it, only to have your pants split down the middle.

I will not hurt anyone, but I will be the biggest pest alive, if you’re mean to me.

So be nice.

And for Heaven’s sake, do not spoil my joy. I’m magic now.