FF & I are headed to a wedding in Bangor, Maine this weekend. My college roommate is getting married. We lived together for three years and have so many amazingly funny (albeit embarrassing) stories. I meant to dig up some old photos of us but I’m slacking. So here’s a pic we took when 6 of the 8 of us roomies from freshman year got together last October. It was the first time many of us had seen each other in about 10 years. It was awesome! Here’s a pic of all of us (the bride to be is right behind me in the yellow.). You can plan on MORE wedding pictures next week. And then I promise, no more weddings…for now! XO
As you all know, I’ve been dealing with some form of illness for the last three weeks. FF gave me a cold which in turn lead to bronchitis (and a cracked rib) and then I developed an ear infection. It’s been pretty shitty that I have been to the doctor three different times in two weeks. But I’m feeling better every day and I’m grateful for blood sugars returning to normal. And then on Friday my boss came to work sick. With the flu.
I tweeted my discontent and one of my twitter friends (who is also an IRL friend) commented back almost immediately that my boss had every right to come to work. That me staying healthy was only my issue. That she was already sick so what should she care if anyone else got it. I was furious and as often happens on Twitter we got into a battle of 140s and after a half hour of heated exchanges we simply agreed to disagree.
Here’s the thing though, I know I’m right! I don’t say this just because I have diabetes & therefore a much greater risk of catching any errant germ or virus due to my suffering, self feeding immune system. I say this because every person has a duty to care about those around them, and their general health. When I am sick? I don’t go to work. I don’t care if I get in trouble. I rationalize it in the way that me missing 2-3 days of work is better than me only missing 1 but leading to all six of my immediate coworkers (or ANY of the 200 employees at my company) also missing a day (or more!). When you look at it from a lost time standpoint, it simply does make sense. Also, if you’re puking or sweating or coughing (or heaven forbid all three – and more!) how often do you wish those awful feelings of sickness on someone else, let alone people you work closely with every day. And also, you open yourself up to be infected again. The bug will go around & around for as long as people contaminate others by being contagious in public settings.
When your child is in daycare and then school, isn’t there a rule about not being allowed in school until 24 hours after a fever clears up? Why is this rule dismissed once we enter “the real world?” Sure, our immune systems mature and we develop antibodies over the years due to vaccinations and suffering through certain ailments (chicken pox for example) but never have humans been nor never will we be completely immune to all that’s out there.
Sure, we can take steps to protect ourselves: eat right, exercise, get plenty of liquids and sleep. But you know what? Even those who do everything right? Get sick. Sis’s neighbor is currently in the hospital fighting off some unknown bug (they’re thinking meningitis or encephalitis). This is a guy who is at least 10-15 years our senior but whom FF & I see at the gym 3 days a week doing a workout that lasts an hour and a half and who’s body is in outstanding shape. The kind of person you not only admire for being what they are at that age, but who you would be happy to simply be compared to at ANY age.
Everyone gets sick at some point. Whether it’s like me and I always have some kind of something going on to someone who gets sick so infrequently yet so violently that you know it all evens out in the end. The basic point I’m trying to convey is that if you are sick, for the love of Christ, stay home and take care of yourself. No job is worth your health and neither is endangering the health of coworkers – whether their immune system is working properly or not.
Ok, besides updating my 50 Things To Do Before I Turn 31, I’m done talking about my birthday…until next year :). If you read all about my birthday week here, you’ll be able to better appreciate the pictures. XO (PS – all these pics were taken with my phone and I’m too lazy to edit them. So, sorry if they’re crappy, you get the idea 🙂 )
Wow! I’m 30! And you know what? I like it! I feel like a member of some super secret club that I’ve waited my whole life to join. Silly? Maybe, but c’mon, by now you know I am too! So I just wanted to update everyone on what a wonderful week it was and I’ll conclude the birthday madness on Wednesday when I post pics from the past week.
The festivities started last Sunday as that was the beginning of my “BirthdayWeek.” It was also the first Sunday of regular season football. So I made a big pot of chili & some cornbread (with homemade honey butter of course!) and we spent the day in front of the TV. My Ravens and FF’s Pats won (woohoo!). FF went to the store and bought me some champagne (yummy!) and that was about all that happened. Uneventful, lazy and relaxing – perfect!
Monday & Tuesday were pretty uneventful and then? Wednesday was here! Wednesday with all of it’s 30th birthday deliciousness! FF & I got the day started on the right foot 🙂 Then I slept some more and headed to work. I brought some of BRE’s girlfriend’s (Yes, he has a girlfriend. Yes, she is living with us. Yes, this is fodder for an entirely new post. Wait for it.) leftovers for lunch. I walked in and my coworker had decorated my desk with a banner & a balloon and there was my gift on my keyboard…a bag of Cheetos! Score! Then my boss came in and her gift to me? Lasagna for lunch! Awesome! And then? My coworker came in and announced he was buying lunch for the department because of the occasion. Oh God the food! I picked a little pizza place for lunch & had a delicious pepperoni stromboli. I got a call from my mom at my birthday minute (9:46am) and a call from Sis & BMan (“Happy birthday to you Gah!” Swoon!). After work I got home and got all dressed up and FF took me out to dinner. We went to a place called “Our House.” It was a surprise as I had put him in charge of all plans. It was amazing! You can read the review on my Foodie page. Let’s just say it was DELICIOUS!!!! Then we headed to T-Bones to see my friend Chad play. I knew FF had put the word out on Facebook (as had I) that we would be there but he informed me on the way that he hadn’t heard from anyone so not to be let down if no one showed. I let him know I didn’t care who was there, as long as he was and I got to listen to Chad. Well we walked in & a bunch of my friends were there. FF didn’t even know they were coming. And they bought me a shot (SoCo & lime) and brought me a cake (chocolate kahlua cake with whipped cream Nutella frosting – my brainchild!) and showered me with birthday love. It was awesome!
Thursday brought an epic hangover (they say they get worse when you get older. I didn’t realize it would be like a light switch as soon as I turned 30!). I made it through the day and then headed to my parent’s house for my birthday dinner with them. We had stuffed porkchops, mashed potatoes & green bean casserole. We had carrot cake for dessert. There was lot of laughter & love. It was perfect! And? I got some Nutella for my birthday! Awesome!
Friday wasn’t a whole lot of fun to start. My coughing fits were getting worse and I’d been done my antibiotic for 4 days and my sugars were still running very high. I decided a return trip to the doctor wouldn’t be a bad idea. He didn’t seem overly concerned but did give me some Tylenol with codeine. I went home and FF & I tried to take a nap. But the coughing wouldn’t let up. I mentioned cancelling our plans to go downtown to meet friends and go dancing but we didn’t know for sure who was coming & it was too late in the game to cancel a Facebook invite. So I hopped in the shower & did all I could to look cute (apparently I succeeded. FF was VERY impressed when I made my way back downstairs). And then we headed out. We hit the bar where we met and had a drink. My friend P showed up right as we were getting ready to leave. So we moved on the next place where we could dance. KL showed up and I was surrounded by giant men (FF was the shortest at 6’3″!). FF & I did some dancing, I drank some whiskey and the fun had begun. We decided (ok, I decided) to return to the first bar. Another Soco & Lime and a shared pitcher of PBR with FF & I wanted some food. So we headed to get some delicious gravy fries. We enter the bar and all of the sudden I’m like “Whoa! Oh HAI anxiety!” Looks like it’s time to leave. FF brought me home & I headed pretty much right to bed (he stayed up to eat leftover chili & make his fantasy football pics – which were bad choices BTW).
I awoke Saturday morning in a fair amount of pain. And I’m not talking hangover here (Yes, it sounded like I drank a lot. I had my fair share but no hangover – score!). My back, right under my right armpit was ACHING! And when I coughed? Holy eff!!!! FF considered the ER. I called Sis instead. She was pretty sure I bruised or cracked a rib from all the coughing – fun! Oh well, too much to do to worry about it! So FF & I headed out to run errands. We hit Walmart, and a local farm (for fresh corn, potatoes and 3 pints of fresh picked (by us) raspberries). Then it was off to the apple orchard for a peck of Cortlands (and a couple of Macs to snack on). And finally, our destination. The pig roast for BGF’s husband’s 30th birthday. There was SO.MUCH.FOOD! The pig? 250 pounds! And salads and crackers and potatoes and veggies. Oh my! We visited with mom, dad, Sis & the kids. With friends who we’ve seen much of recently and some we haven’t seen in years (or FF hadn’t met). We thought about spending the night but the party wound down and a sore rib isn’t good for car sleeping. So we headed home & grabbed takeout. Great night!
Yesterday was more morning discomfort and more wrapping me up like a mummy to keep pressure on the rib. Some more sleep and I was good as new (kinda). We had decided to make a big meal with all the fresh food we bought (and I had picked up roasting chickens at $0.88/lb!). I also planned to scratch off #43 from my list of 50 Things To Do Before I Turn 31 and make a homemade apple pie (I don’t like pie and I have never made one. Until now! Even the crust was from scratch!). I cooked like a mad woman! We had roast chicken, mashed potatoes, stuffing, squash/zucchini/onion saute & corn on the cob. DELISH!
And that my friends is a birthday week to remember. Thanks to all of you played a part. Whether it was by celebrating with me in person, sending me a video (thanks TurnJacson!), tweeting your birthday wishes, commenting here or on Facebook. I felt so loved and it was AMAZING! Thank you all again! XO
Whaddya know…my birthday falls on a Wordless Wednesday! So, here’s some pics of me through the years. Enjoy! XO
If you’d like to see the pictures in more detail and with more description, you can check them out on my Flickr page
PS – Also in honor of my birthday, I have created a To-Do list to be completed in the next 365 days.
Clearly you can see from this post, I know what I want for my birthday. What I didn’t mention in said post? Was what I want for my birthday that won’t cost anything. First off, I’d mentioned a week or so ago how much I’d love to have Skype dates with some of my favorite Twitter friends (Beth, Bea, TurnJacson & Jenn). That would be awesome! Turns out you can have a conference Skype too, with up to five people total! Even though I said my birthday was cancelled, I still think it would be awesome to plan a time for all of us to be able to chat face to face (kinda!). Anyway, there is one more thing that would trump all for my birthday, to hear from my old friend GJ.
GJ and I met my sophomore year in college. He transferred and moved in with some friends BDNF & I had made the year before. They were all dirty pot smoking hippies and he was an auxiliary state trooper. Not really a great fit. Oops! So we took him under our wing. His mom even called our RA & requested my number so she could chat with me about planning a birthday party for him (which I did. We had fun!) We got really close. He was from the town just north of me so often we would ride to and from school on the weekends. We became like brother & sister. Our relationship stayed close through many trials & tribulations (the biggest? 9/11/01. My world fell apart, and he helped me rebuild. And vowed to avenge the death’s from that day). Then he met the girl of his dreams. I haven’t seen him since. He’s married her and been deployed to Afghanistan. I worry every day that something will happen to him and I won’t know until I hear it on the news. I had lunch with a mutual friend recently and he updated me about a lot that’s going on (which none of is good news). So I want to write him a letter. No one will give me a physical or email address so I’m putting it out here for you. And maybe, somehow, it will find its way to him. And maybe? Just maybe, I will hear from him again someday.
I miss you. Terribly. Like my heart physically hurts when I think about you. I worry what you’ve seen & what you’ve done. I’ve worried what terrible things you’ve encountered & how it will affect you years after you return home. I also worry I will never see you again.
I won’t forget when we met. How I automatically knew I was going to like you. How shy & quiet you were. How you enunciated when you would say, “How are you doing?” I won’t forget how much your family loved me. How BDNF & I spent a lot of time with them. How welcoming they were. How your mom would give me manicures & I’d let your little sis borrow my makeup. I loved out date nights when we both came home from college, when BDNF would work late or have a fire meeting we would go to Pizza Putt and eat $5 pizzas & play a round of mini golf. How I could always tell you anything.
I remember the girls. Your mom always begging me to set you up with one of my friends. But in my opinion? None of them were good enough for you. You were like a brother to me and I was very protective of your heart. But you found them on your own (or they found you). And they were never right. I kept telling you that you weren’t meant for a stupid busty blonde. And then? You believed me.
Shortly after Ginger & I started dating, I called you because I wanted you two to meet (I needed your approval after all!) You never did meet him (he was a nice guy, even if he did break my heart). You informed me you had also met someone. And that I had been right. You met a sweet girl who was educated & motivated. You gushed about her and I was so excited for the both of us! But then? You stopped returning my phone calls. I was forced to become a pseudo stalker (getting information about you from your family) and then you lied to me! You said you would be in touch after your 2 weeks for the National Guard and I NEVER heard from you again.
I later discovered (through your ex fiancée) that you were forbidden to speak to me by your new lady, who is now your wife. From what I’ve been told (and I understand my source isn’t 100% reliable) wifey doesn’t trust me. Wow – really?! How can someone that has NEVER MET ME, not trust me? I know that the time we spent together might seem strange to some people, but we were just friends, weren’t we?
Ok, maybe not. You were my family. My sanity. My crutch. My reality. You played so many roles in my life (and I hope I was able to do the same for you). When those towers fell, who was at my side? Who took me for a drive to calm me down? Who let me sleep in his room for a week* watching those images over & over again? Who confided in me how angry he was and how powerless he felt? You did. And who was there with signs and balloons and flags when you returned home from boot camp? Who is scared every time a news story comes on about another local soldier losing his life in this war? Who misses you more that words can ever properly express? ME!!!!!
I’ve been reminded that while your wide made our friendship impossible, you had as much of a need to stand up for it. But you didn’t. And that breaks my heart far more than not seeing you in 3 years. Don’t get me wrong, I would never ask you to sacrifice love for our friendship. But in love, why would it have to be a decision? I wish you could have met Ginger and I REALLY wish you knew FF. I know you would love him and be so grateful we found each other. And I wish I knew your wife, this woman who you gave me up for. I’d love for her to get to know me and never doubt that my feelings for you are platonic & familial – not romantic. I want to tell her the funny stories of you, me and our 3rd Musketeer and all of our adventures in Adams Hall (Assmasters!). I want to tell her how sweet you were to me when I was heartbroken about my divorce or when there was a criminal on the loose coming after my roommate. I want her to know that there is no reason not to trust me.
So, to wrap things up, I miss you. I love you. I will cherish our memories for the rest of my life. I don’t think I’ll breathe deep until I know you’re home safely.
* – Yes, I slept in his room. In his bed. And he slept on the couch like the perfect gentleman he always was.
And also, I would never send him THIS letter. He’s fighting for our country – the last thing he needs is my whining!
First off, I’m cancelling my birthday. I’m keeping the main plans I had for the week with FF & my family, but I’m cancelling my friends. On Wednesday, my actual birthday, FF is arranging dinner. I don’t know if we’re eating in or out, alone or with others. I’m looking forward to a little surprise 🙂 After dinner we’ll go to one of my favorite bars (and one of FF’s least favorite) to listen to my good friend Chad Hollister. I might let some people know I will be there, and I might not. On Thursday, we will have dinner with my family(mom, dad, Sis, BIL, Bman & JD). I’ve already requested stuffed pork chops, mashed potatoes & green bean casserole for dinner. Yum! Friday I’m hoping to finally see Eat, Pray, Love with KP & Mamacita (my only friends who have also read the book – and liked it!) and then hit the town with FF for some dancing at a local club’s 90’s night. On Saturday I’ll be at a pig roast celebrating the 30th birthday of BGF’s hubby. I’m very much looking forward to it as I haven’t seen much of them lately. And their parties are ALWAYS a blast! FF & I have also discussed doing some apple picking before the party since it always makes me think of how we celebrated my birthday growing up & there’s an orchard very close to the party site.
So yes, I will still be celebrating. After all, I am turning THIRTY!!!!! But I will be celebrating with people who haven’t let me down – FF & my family. I love birthday parties. I have thrown my own birthday party for the last 9 years. My 21st birthday sucked. All my friends deserted me and I went out with my cousins. DOn’t get me wrong, I had a great time. But after all I’d done for my friends, they let me down when I needed them. So for 22, I threw my own party. Did a little downtown bar hopping. Arranged a meet up at my house and once we got downtown we were headed to a particular bar. After that, who knew? I also had my father lined up as a DD with his van to get everyone home safely. Awesomeness! My 25th was a Survivor premiere party (it premiers on my bday again this year!) Twenty sixth birthday was my first time singing with a live band. It was amazing! 27 introduced me to Ginger where I invited 3 different boys (and MANY other friends!) I liked to join me for dinner at the local Japanese steakhouse & then downtown for pitchers of beer and Sox v Yankees. 28 was kinda quiet. Sis, BIL, Mamacita, RO, KP, a few other friends and Ginger (we had separated but were still “hanging out”) went to karaoke. The night ended with me in a breakdown but I still have great memories of the wonderful friends that made it out to celebrate with me. Last year? Was CRAZY! The day started with me, Lucy and MC headed to Montpelier so I could sit in with the Chad Hollister Band at a fundraiser. Then onto the bowling alley where a few more friends joined in. Then to T-Bones (where FF met up with the crew when he was finally done with work) where I participated in open mic night AND sat in with the host for a few tunes. Then downtown for some 80’s night dancing. It was great! I was all over the place doing things that everyone loved and could join in at any time. Only wanna dance? Ok, see you at 11. Wanna see me sing? Bus leaves at noon. It worked. But this year, I REALLY wanted a house party.
I threw (what was supposed to be a surprise – another story for another time) party for FF’s Dirty 30 in January. I bought decorations, a keg & planned/made a ton of delicious food. We had music, friends, cake, beer pong, beer, food & dancing. It was a blast! I wanted much the same for me. Problem? We live in a pretty tiny condo with some seriously uptight neighbors so our place is out of the question. We have a few friends who have houses that are usually the party throwers. It’s common for people to “borrow” their places in order to throw party. As long as you’re willing to help clean & you provide everything, it’s not a problem. The first thought was use the same house I borrowed for FF’s. But wait! Another friend offers HIS house for my party. Score! So I check with the girlfriend a week or so later. No dice 😦 Her birthday is the 11th so they’ll be having a party for her a week before I wanted to have mine. So I went back to the original plan. If I would have asked a week earlier? Would have been on like Donkey Kong. But because I waited due to thinking I had a place, they now had family coming that weekend & staying with them. Shit! So FF said he would take care of it. He had some thoughts. Ahh, what a guy! Well, another friend who owned a house came over a few nights later & offered the use of his. SCORE! Problem? He couldn’t do the 17th 😦 And hasn’t gotten around to letting us know if the 24th or 25th would work. So the other day I tried one last friend who has a house. Three days after I left her a VM asking, I got a text saying no.
Add all that drama to the fact that my joint birthday party last month was not attended by ANY of the friends that I invited (and who said they were coming) except for the girls also turning 30 and my awesome family. That kind of shit all ganged up on me and I tweeted FF that no party was to happen. I even texted the friend who was going to make my cake (chocolate kahlua cake with whipped cream nutella frosting!) and told her to forget it.
I’m sad I won’t be having a party. Especially because it’s my THIRTIETH (have I mentioned that yet? 🙂 ) but I’m excited I’ve made plans that I’ll truly enjoy with people I love and I know love me. Maybe this is the change I needed. I need to pare down my “friends.” I’ve decided that now that I’m entering a new decade, I’m going to become more selfish. More time for me. More time with people who truly want to spend time with me. Time to take care of my body and my mind (starting with quitting smoking – 36+ hours smoke free!). Time to rid myself of “friends” who are time suckers, drama creators, shit disturbers & users. XOXO
My birthday is next week! I can’t believe it’s almost here. Eight days to go and then? I’m 30. Holy shit! I’m ready for it though. I’ve been talking myself into it since my 29th birthday last year. And again when FF turned 30 in January. And again at each of my friend’s 30th birthday parties. I won’t lie, my 25th birthday was amazingly hard. That was the first big birthday I had goals for. I always said I would be married, with a house, a career & possibly a family. I got married one month before I turned 25. I hadn’t graduated from college, I was less than a year into a data entry job and I rented a trailer for my house. Not exactly what I had seen for myself. Now that I’m rapidly approaching 30, I’m realizing my life has gone exactly as it should. Sure, I’ve experienced terror & heartache but without those? I would have no idea how lucky I am to be where I am in my life now! So I plan on spending the next 8 days celebrating me. Sounds selfish but, I don’t care! My birthday is the one time every year it’s ALL about me! I spend a lot of time celebrating friends. Celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, babies and weddings. And I love it, don’t get me wrong. I love that so many of friends have happy things happening in their lives. But sometimes, I want to be the center of attention. So I plan on discussing my plans for the big day (and the days that follow), what gifts I hope to get and what my goals are for my future. I want to compare where I’ve been to where I’m going. So I hope you’ll all enjoy. And if not, I’ll still be a happier person for doing it 🙂
Today, the birthday gifts! I don’t normally get a lot of presents for my birthday, and I’m ok with that. But I still like to put together a list every year just in case anyone asks what they can get me. So, I started a list on Kaboodle this year. I can take anything from the internet and put it on my wishlist! Fabulous! You can see the list in its entirety here but I’ll take you through some of my favorite items.
I’ve been going to the gym for the last 9 months! I think it’s safe to say I am now a gym rat. There are a few things I want that will help me with my workouts. Some new clothes (the green skirt from Old Navy? LURVE!) I also need some gloves for when I work with free weights (at least once a workout except for leg days) so I can make these stupid callouses go away. And this book called “This is Why You’re Fat.” Now, before you go jumping to conclusions, I don’t think I’m fat, and that’s not what the book is about. It gives ways to alter gym routines and playlists to keep boredom from setting in and I am in desperate need of some help in that area.
I love perfume. I think a part of it is because I’m a smoker but my love affair with fragrance started when I was young. I remember wearing Vanilla Fields and CK One religiously. I remember my first time wearing Perry Ellis 360 and how even today I save it for extra special occasions. I remember being bummed when some of my favorite fragrances were discontinued (Gap Om, Victoria’s Secret Exotic Bouquet and Bath & Body Works Wheatberry). I rarely buy actual perfume for myself. I like getting it as a gift. Whether because someone finds a particular scent that they think would smell good on me (I got VS Secret Crush one year and Love Spell for another. I absolutely LOVE both of these & still wear them to this day!) or because they know of my obsession. So this year I asked for refills of two of my favorites, Abercrombie 8 and Egyptian Musk. The Abercrombie scent is light & clean. The Egyptian Musk is a scent I’ve worn for about a decade now. It’s an essential oil and I love it but I have only ever been able to find it in a rollerball. I’ve always wished I could find it in a spray bottle. Well, a friend who also wears the scent found just that at Auric Blends. Plus my friend recommended another one of their scents that I am anxious to try, Love.
A couple miscellaneous items I’d like. A new Vera Bradley bag big enough to hold all my crap but not so big it would knock people out if I hit them with it. I’m partial to the Cupcakes Green pattern as it matches the cute mini wallet I got from FF for Christmas. Also, the Pioneer Woman cookbook…this is a must have right? Especially someone like me who has a cookbook fetish! And Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil? LOVE this stuff. It lasts all day and is neither matte nor shiny. It gives just a hint of sexy glow.
Some things more on the expensive side that I know not to count on? An ice cream maker for starters. I love ice cream. I also love experimenting. An ice cream machine would combine the two AND allow me to make substitutions for items such as sugar and milk so I don’t have to feel so guilty. I’d love a video camera too. The Ultra Flip is my dream one since it’s tiny. I’d love to take videos of my nephews or open mic nights. You never know when it would come in handy! This tub caddy? I have dreamed of this for years. There would be nothing like taking a candlelit bath and having something to hold my glass of wine & book while I relax!
And my biggest wish for my birthday? An original Modern Bird piece. I still don’t know if I would get one of FF & I or my nephews but I’m dreaming of the day I get to pick out a picture and my colors and see the beautiful final piece.
So the pressure is on folks! Ok, ok no pressure at all. Lord knows I’m not all over the interwebs sending birthday gifts to my blog buddies and my tweeps (although I would if I was rich!). I already know what to expect from FF…he’s getting me a new tattoo! My 5th tattoo for my 30th birthday! I like it! He’s not about buying gifts. He’d rather provide an experience. For example, last year he took me to Fenway Park to see my very first Red Sox game! A weekend in Boston was wonderfully relaxing and we’d originally planned the same for this year but timing just wasn’t working. I’ll tell you more about what I’ve decided to get for my tattoo sometime soon XO
BMan went to his first baseball game last week for Dad’s birthday. We had fun although he was upset he didn’t have his baseball & couldn’t go out on the field. Then the whole family was over for a birthday brunch on Saturday. Including JD – and his side eye XO