Another Day Older

Well, almost. My birthday is actually tomorrow, the 14th, but since it fell on a Monday this year, the celebrations have been going all weekend long.

Normally I’m not one to make a big deal of my birthday. Not because I hate getting older or anything like that. I just generally don’t like to have all the attention focused on me. But this year, for my 35th, I decided to get some girlfriends together and do it up right!

The formal plan was to meet at Cheesecake Factory for dinner around 6pm Friday night. Well some of us from work couldn’t wait that long to get our drink on, so we headed over there at about 4pm. I told the hostess when we arrived that there would be about 15 people coming at 6pm. She gave me a snotty look and said they don’t take reservations after 6. We went back and forth until finally she complied that they could have a table ready at 5:30pm. So we headed to the bar area and got foo-foo drinks and yummy appetizers (fried macaroni and cheese balls…HELLO!). It was great to unwind and have a general bitch session about work before everyone else arrived. A couple of the girls gave me my first gift – a winter survival kit – which included warm hat and gloves along with a lantern should my car break down. All very cool and super stylish.


At 5:30 I went back to the hostess station and found a different gal there. She said the table was all ready but they couldn’t seat us until most of the party was there. We had 6 so far, which wasn’t enough by Cheesecake Factory standards. Really? So, we kept waiting and drinking in the bar. Finally there were enough of us that we could be seated. That whole ordeal was kind of a pain in the ass but it all worked out.

Dinner was yummy and of course we all had to order cheesecake. I wish I had thought to get a group picture of everyone but I didn’t. Oh well.

Most of the group headed out around 8 except for a few of us who were wanting to go out. We decided to venture to Two Fine Irishmen, a local restaurant/bar that has live music on Friday and Saturday nights. On my way I got a text from CJ to get bananas before I came home. The question was, do I stop before or after the bar? Clearly, the right answer was, before the bar. So I swung by Hy-Vee to grab a bunch. Wouldn’t you know, I got a couple compliments on my couch coat while there! It never fails – every time I wear it I get a compliment. Winning!

Finally I got to the bar and the 3 of us ( me and my 2 friends ) grabbed a table and drinks.


Turned out, one of the most interesting parts of the night was going to the restroom. Each time any one of us would go, we’d hear something crazy in there. First, it was a gal offering $10 to anyone with a piece of gum because she wanted to kiss a guy she’d just met. Then, it was one girl complimenting another gal on her “beautiful boobies”. Another time it was some gals discussing a threesome. Entertainment for hours I tell you!

We also had another source of entertainment. This guy:


He was some dude (never even got his name) that was trolling around trying to pick up chicks. He bought us each a drink and loitered at our table even though we clearly didn’t want him there. At one point, desperate for conversation, I asked him what he did for a living. He told me he was a graphic artist. That was my major in college! I told him. He stuttered then and said, “OK fine, I sell toner cartridges for printers.” Um, that’s not a graphic artist dude. Then when I told him what I did he muttered something about that being impressive and sauntered off to talk to someone else.

But he didn’t give up so easily. Anytime we went out on the dance floor he’d come over and dance with, er, near us.


I think he was harmless enough, just annoying. Never the less, the 3 of us had a great time dancing, people watching and messing with Printer Boy. We called it a night around 12:30 am. That’s a late night for me and I was ready for bed. Not to mention my ears were ringing.

Boy do I sound old.

Today was the family birthday celebration. We always (well, since I’ve been an adult) combine my dad and my parties because our special days are only 4 days apart. We went out to lunch and then back to my parent’s house for gifts and cake.


Isabella was being a ham during lunch.


Gift time! My sister made me a really cool necklace with my birthstone in it. She does awesome beadwork.


I also got some super warm and comfy Simply Vera slippers, which I was in desperate need of.


My beautiful family!


Don’t you love the awesome football cake? Steelers for me and Broncos for my dad (both of whom won today so an extra gift!).


Everyone got to help blow the candles out and I got the first piece of cake (the logo from the Steelers helmet of course!)!

Now I’m ready to have a nice quiet evening at home.

Happy birthday to me!

New Year’s Eve

Our New Year’s Eve was quiet but it certainly had some interesting moments. I also got a little glimpse in to what 2011 might have in store for us.

I spent the day cleaning and putting away Christmas decorations so by evening, I was tired. I had run to the store in the morning, grabbing a pizza and some sparkling juice to ring in the new year (neither one of us really like champagne. Last year’s bottle sat untouched in our refrigerator until September when I finally threw it out). There wasn’t enough room in the ‘fridge for either one so I stuck them outside on the deck, figuring it was cold enough out there to keep them chilled. I put the pizza on top of the grill and the bottle of juice on the deck railing, to keep them up and away from any animals, namely Samson.

Mid-afternoon, I let Samson out and then went about my business inside. All of a sudden I heard a “thump” outside and I looked up in  time to see Samson tearing in to the pizza box! He had jumped up and knocked it off the grill and was now trying to get at the contents in the box!! Fortunately, it was wrapped up in plastic and I got there before he could tear through that. However, as I was trying to wrestle him off of it, Isabella came wandering out on to the deck (in my hurry to get outside, I’d left the door open) with no shoes on, which was covered in snow. So here I am, wrestling a 90lb dog off our pizza and also trying to grab a squealing 15 month old who thinks this is a fun game. I finally managed to get everyone inside, and Samson in his kennel. *sigh*

Later that evening, I heated up a pizza for dinner and Isabella happily ate it up, shouting “pissa, pissa!” the whole time. I had bought some New Year’s Eve party hats and noisemakers so I let her play with those while we ate. When we were done, she started running around the house with them.


Let me tell you, those $.99 party hats were not made to stand up to a 15 month old. It took all of 5 minutes for her to get part of the lining off the bottom and crunch up the top of the silver one. Good thing I had bought 3 of them!


CJ left around 7 for a quick meet up with some old friends and Munchkin, Samson and I stayed home. We were playing and Munch started to get a little, uh, out of control. She was taking the cardboard noisemaker and hitting everything with it. Samson thought this was a game so he attempted to snatch it from her hand on the up swing. I told him “no” and made him sit on the couch to calm down. Isabella then ran over and started beating Samson on the nose with the noisemaker! I had a quick flash that told me “this is what the ‘Terrible Twos’ will be like so get used to it lady”. I took the toy away and scolded her. She then went and sat against the window, pretty much putting herself in time out.

Around 7:45 I put her to bed and started cleaning up the living room. It was then that I realized I still had the bottle of sparkling juice outside! I went outside only to find that the bottle and it’s contents were frozen solid. I mean, there was not one ounce of juice still in liquid form. Crap. At least it hadn’t exploded. I guess that was the upside. I brought it in and stuck it in the refrigerator, thinking it was best to thaw it out slowly.

CJ was still gone so I made up a quick breakfast casserole that would get heated in the morning, and then threw together some nachos. Hey, it’s NYE – I can chow down on a snack of nachos if I want! Smile I then stuck my “Friends” season 9 DVD in the player and tucked myself in the couch to watch until CJ got home. At one point, I kind of felt a loser for not having a party to go to and sitting by myself, eating greasy food with my “Friends”. But, I got over it and realized that it was actually a good night and I was very happy with my life.

CJ got home around 9:30 and we contemplated playing Wii or a board game or watching a movie. Instead, he joined me on the couch and we continued with my “Friends” marathon. We laughed a lot and what better way to ring in the new year than with humor?

By 11:30, the juice was thawing but still had a block of ice frozen in the center. We ran it under some water until that melted too. As midnight approached, we were ready to toast goodbye to 2010 and hello to 2011. We even let Samson have some sparkling juice. At midnight we toasted, kissed and rang in the new year just right.


And of course we had to take a picture with Samson…

DSC00429(This picture should have a caption that reads “Help Me!” because he looks like he’s being held against his will.)

While it wasn’t a crazy, drunken, party all night kind of New Year’s Eve, it was still a good one full of everything that is important to me – CJ, Isabella, Samson, pizza, chocolate and “Friends”.

Today will be spent eating and watching football with the family. Tomorrow, I start my 2011 resolutions, which I will post about later.

Now, on to 2011!