My birthday is always one of my favorite days of the year. Not because of the parties, not because of the presents, not because of the hundred Facebook posts from friends and family wishing me a happy birthday. My birthday is one of my favorite days because it is such a great day to be reminded of all the awesomeness surrounding me.
I turned 31 today. Yup, 31. I know, so old! And so fun!
After working extra long hours through the week, I was able to swing a 4 day weekend to celebrate and enjoy my birthday. I made a couple specific plans but left my time off fairly open to make sure I could just do whatever I wanted.
I worked a quick couple of hours on Friday morning before heading to lunch with Rachel and Aloura, where I had the best margarita I've ever had. We had such a great lunch, celebrating the start of my birthday weekend along with Rachel's last day of work. From there, I came home and cleaned a bit before meeting up with Kattie to shop and have another drink and some appetizers at Red Robin.
Saturday morning, I slept in before Kattie came to pick me up for birthday weekend. She brought me an awesome present, and we hit the road. We had a brunch beer and some hummus at the McMenamins on the Columbia, where we enjoyed the view from the patio, then stopped at Freddy's for some snacks for the hotel room that night, and headed downtown. When we got to Enso to check in, the office staff was at lunch, so we walked over to Bridgeport, where we were having dinner later, to make our reservation...and to have a cocktail, of course.
We checked into our room (Enso is an apartment complex managed by my company; they have a guest suite that employees can rent for a nightly rate, like a hotel), had a beer, and waited for Mike and Eric to get there so we could find something to do for the few hours before dinner. Once the boys got there, though, we ended up just hanging out, having a few (a lot) of beers, chatting, and enjoying the air conditioning in the room...fine by me!
I had made dinner reservations for 12 people at Bridgeport, but hadn't confirmed how many people were coming. Dinner ended up being so much fun, with 14 of my favorite people. I was so glad to see Kitty, who'd come home from the beach a day early, Jeanine, who I wasn't expecting to see, Lori, who I see way too rarely, Kimberly, who is about to go into labor any second, Heather, who I don't see very often either, and of course Rachel & Josh, Sarah & Brian, and Gahlya...and then Kattie, Mike, and Eric were still with me. The food was amazing, and the drinks were great - the service wasn't necessarily the best, but after Sarah bought me the biggest tequila shot I've ever seen, I wasn't too worried. It was just a ton of fun, and I was thrilled to have my friends there to enjoy my last night being 30.
After dinner, the group dwindled to the "real" party people. We dropped my gifts off at the room and had a quick beer, met back up with Pedro and Heather, and went to Blitz for more drinks and more shots. Some bachelorette party had left a scavenger hunt checklist behind, so we went down their list and tried to check off a few items - I was too drunk to now remember whose bachelor party photo I'm in, but it's out there. I was so happy that everyone was out and having fun - especially Kitty and Jeanine, since they have brand new babies at home. And I know that anytime someone is pumping & dumping, I need to be extra thankful!
The night started to get super fuzzy after a short time at Blitz (see the aforementioned tequila shots). But in rehashing the night with Kattie the next day, I think I have a pretty good handle on the night. From Blitz, we walked back to our room at Enso, but first stopped at Low Brau for a final couple drinks for Mike and Eric, and some big glasses of water for Kattie and me.
When we got back to the room, all I wanted to do was jump on the bed. You know, because I was hammered and it was a big hotel bed...you can't argue with my ideas! So, we jumped on the bed, and somehow managed to not wind up with a noise complaint, before we finally went to bed...at somewhere after 3am.
I woke up still drunk about 6:30 in the morning, chugged some water & some ibuprofen, and because I am such a good friend, woke Mike up to entertain me. At 7am. Because I clearly shouldn't have to be awake alone at too-early in the morning! Eventually everyone made their way out of bed, I made mimosas, and we headed out to Waffle Window on Hawthorne to meet Ben and have breakfast.
After breakfast, finally sober and aware of the lack of sleep I'd gotten the night before, we parted ways, and I went home to take a nap. I laid in bed with Juno, watched a movie, and looked through pictures on my phone while Facebooking...instead of napping. But just laying in bed in the dark was enough for me to relax and rally for some more Sunday fun. I got up and moving, and at 5:00 met back up with Kattie and Amy for a movie at Cinetopia. We saw Sex Tape, which was hilarious - I was so glad I'd planned something mellow, where we could just sit back in the dark and enjoy ourselves.
From there, Kattie and I met Rachel at Buffalo Wild Wings for a beer and some greasy food...hangover cure that we all learned 10 years ago...and to rehash the details of the weekend. It was fun, lots of laughs and a lot of "oh yea, I forgot about that." And then I headed home, watched some movies, and relished in the fact that I'd had such a great weekend.
Today, I was planning to spend the day with Blake, but he's under the weather, so I went to see Earth to Echo with Rachel and her son PJ. It was a really good movie, considering it was a kid movie, and I always love seeing movies during the day, cause we were the only 3 people there!
And now I'm home, in my jammies, catching up on my DVR and getting ready for the 4 day week. It was an awesome birthday weekend, and I am so grateful for all of the people who spent the weekend celebrating with me.
Here's the thing about birthdays. People think they don't matter after you turn 21. I have never thought that. Birthdays are a day to celebrate the year you had, and to look forward to the year that's ahead. They're a day to be happy, and to surround yourself with the people who mean the most to you.
And that's just what I did. I spent the whole weekend with my best friends, with my oldest friends, and with a group of people who make me want to be a better person. And I appreciate each and every one of them very much for the specific roles they play in my life...They're there for me 100% of the time, they hold my hand when we walk down the street, they entertain my wacky ideas & jump on the bed with me in the middle of the night, and they (well, some of them) wake up & pull me close when I'm shivering cold before it's light outside. These are people I need in my life. These are people who know the real me, and who give me the real deal back, people who won't let me down. People who make me happy, on my birthday and every day.
Thank you all for supporting me, and for celebrating all weekend with me. Loved all of it.
Even the two day hangover.