Another (Good) Year Gone By

19 11 2013

Man oh man, I can’t believe we’re already entering The Holidays. Scary! And every year, The Holiday season is kicked off by the first of many important events: my BIRTHDAY!

Birthdays aren’t quite the epic events they used to be. No more slumber parties of 13 giggly girls, high on sugar, huddled around whatever board game we were in love with that year. No more hours spent playing Truth-or-Dare and evaluating the marital potential of every pimpled pubescent male in our school. No more daydreaming and pretending to be older, wiser, and (obviously) devastatingly gorgeous, successful, and rich. (Ok, I might still daydream about those last three…)

These days, birthdays just aren’t quite as exciting. Well, except for getting Queen of Sheeba privileges all weekend….and having my mailbox stuffed past capacity with amazing cards from family, friends and even coworkers….and omg the PRESENTS!

Anyway, I don’t look forward to birthdays like I did as a youngster. Maybe because I find gray hairs on a regular basis and need to dye them suckers before I go bald from plucking them. But this birthday, I decided to look back, since forward gets more and more scary. And looking back was actually pretty amazing.

My 28th year was rather spectacular. It sure started off well! This time last year, J and I were deep in the rainforests of the Andes of Peru, and yet J managed to hunt up cake mix and conspired with our cook to have the cake waiting for me at the breakfast table. I’m not sure any birthday for the rest of my life will top that one.

birthday cake in Manu National Park, Peru

J found a cake in a remote village deep in the jungle and managed to keep it a surprise. Everyone sang and we all shared the treat.

Annnnd this is me celebrating this year:

birthday at Chips, Bingen WA

Definitely not as cool as the Peruvian rainforest, but still special. 🙂

So this year was calm and quiet compared to last year’s birthday, but it’s so fun looking at all that happened during the year in between those photos. For one thing, I was in PERU! Let’s see…what else?  I moved to south central Washington, climbed my first mountain, adopted my first dog, roadtripped with just said dog all the way to Texas and back, trained for and then ran my first half marathon, bought my first season ski pass, and knit my first scarf!!! If I can keep this pace, the last year of my twenties will be EPIC.

However, like many of these events, the glory of my birthday weekend was mostly due to the ridiculously amazing friends and family I happen to have.

Friday was mostly like any other work day…except for the efforts of JRock and my sister (who happens to be crashing with us for a bit). My coffee mug had a hand-written “Happy bday!” from J, right on the side of my favorite chalk-board-painted mug. At lunch, my sister Breazy presented me with a delightful painting she did on a piece of bark – her talent is just ridiculous! – and a mood ring that told me I’m bipolar. J got me some winter layers and a box arrived from one of my close friends in Texas with more winter warmness. I’m so ready for cold weather now!!

Then after work, the real fun began. Breazy did my hair, I donned my new sparkly shirt, and J took Breazy and I to a super fancy restaurant in Hood River. We had super awesome food and…DESSERT! Molten lava chocolate cake!! Sinfully delicious…

We ended the night with a couple drinks in the Happiest Place on Earth. No, not Disneyland, but Chips – a questionable establishment in Bingen, WA, on the banks of the Columbia. Despite the dim lights and shady “back room”, they played great music and had interesting things on the walls. Good enough for us!

Saturday was still part of my birthday celebration because my dear friends Ash and Mad-Dawg Morgan were coming to visit. But poor Ash came down with the flu and despite her best efforts (Morgan mentioned “you damn stubborn Texas women”…not sure what he was referring to…) they weren’t able to come. We decided instead to meet for a hike on Sunday somewhere in between our towns.

So Saturday, J and I bummed around on our own – in the SNOW! We had heard storms in the forecast, and our weather has been disgusting for weeks now, but Saturday morning sent a lovely dusting of snow right up the road from us. We took Simba out to the woods and investigated a new lava tube we want to explore. The entrance of this one is little more than a crawl space – not for the weak of heart…or claustrophobic!

Deadhorse Lava Tube, Trout Lake, WA

Snow for my birthday! Oh, and this hole we found leading into a cave. We’ll come back to this one…

We hit up the Trout Lake Inn for music and even a little two-stepping (!) but turned in early in anticipation of the next day. Sunday, we left fairly early to meet Ash and Morgan at our decided-upon meeting place: White River Snow Park on Mt Hood! The storms were dropping lots of snow, so we layered up and took J’s truck. We had a happy little reunion in the parking lot, accompanied by the romping and wrestling of Simba and Morgan’s St Bernard, Osa. Hilarious. We hiked up the trail in the foot or so of snow, catching up and having a ball. The scenery was amazing, the company even better, and even the fog and snow clouding my glasses and thus my vision couldn’t bruise the good mood of the day.

We picked a spot in the trees for a snack break and rest. Then came the biggest surprise ever – Ash and Morgan had brought CUPCAKES for us to celebrate with! Mine had a little candle in my special dairy-free icing and they all sang happy birthday as the snow fell around us. Simba tried to help me out, but I ate as much as I could. Despite Morgan forgetting the box was in his pack and sitting on the dessert, that was the best cupcake ever. 🙂

Our trip was too short, our time with this wonderful couple too quick. Ash gave me my present back at the car (as though they hadn’t given me enough already!!) and I hugged her tight in good-bye. As we hung our sopping wet clothes to dry in front of the wood stove at home, I couldn’t stop smiling, glowing from gratitude of the whole weekend – the visits, the well-wishes, the thoughts of friends.

This silly girl sure felt special. A big thanks to all those who made my last 20-something birthday so great.

And here’s to all the adventures we’ll get into this year!!





2 responses

20 11 2013
Lucille Glasgow

Sounds wonderful! Add my best wishes for another year of fun & happiness!
Love, Grandma

22 11 2013

Thanks, Grandma! I got your card, thank you so much. You write the best card insides! And you bought me a new ski jacket for the winter. I’ll send you a picture when I get it! Love you tons!

Give it to me straight -

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