18 February 2013

A very Redheaded Stepchild thirtieth birthday celebration

I’m thirty, you guys! Officially! As of yesterday!

For all the big deal I’m making here on the blog, turning thirty in real life was rather low-key. I didn’t really want a giant party, for a few reasons. First of all: I feel thirty. There’s no need to mourn my twenties – they were nice and all, but I like my life now more. I’m cool with being thirty and old and boring. Another reason it was low-key? I really, really just wanted some time off, time to myself, time to relax. I have been tired, you guys, so very very tired. Therefore my idea of a party was to not do any work, not in the lab and not at home. That alone was a party.

Still! Just because I didn’t have some wild birthday bash doesn’t mean we didn’t celebrate. We did! And it started last Wednesday at lab meeting. My labmate brought a birthday cake to share at the lab:

I’d been joking about it being my “second twenty-ninth” birthday (an actual joke, not a lament) and he got me a cake to celebrate just that. Best part: another labmate brought candles, but no one had a lighter. I do believe this candle was lit with a Bunsen burner in our lab, in another building, then quickly and carefully brought to the seminar room for me to blow out at the end of the birthday song. D’aww. Thanks, labmates!

[Sidebar regarding the TIRED: I actually had to give a presentation at that lab meeting, which was the fourth presentation I’d had to assemble in just two weeks. And every one of those presentations was different, and each one took many hours of preparation. Which, thanks to my over-achieving crazy-brain, I tried to work on exclusively outside of traditional work hours so as not to interfere with my usual experiments. Ugh. So that photo marks the end of a crazy two weeks of no sleep and nonstop work, and I could not have been happier that the load was lightening!]

Because my birthday generally falls dangerously close to Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday, it can be tricky to go out to eat for my birthday. Fortunately, this year we got a sweet dining-out opportunity: free tickets to a $100/plate fundraiser at Mr. P’s school on Saturday night! Sure, it took place in the gym at Mr. P’s school, but it was swankified:

Don’t believe me? Two words: ice sculpture.

Two more words: OPEN BAR. I mean, that’s all I really needed to celebrate (see me clutching my glass of wine up there?). Also: coat check, hors d’oeuvres, filet mignon, rich people. Lots of fancy two-word phrases, there.

In addition to the dinner, the event had a silent auction (nearly a thousand items, each with several bids from the six hundred or so people in attendance) as well as a live auction.

We were seated in the back, as we clearly were only there because of our free tickets and also, hello, Mr. P has a lowly Catholic schoolteacher’s salary. So no, we did not bid on the flight in a private jet to Chicago and eight box tickets to the Cubs-Cardinals game at Wrigley Field. We just don’t have THIRTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS lying around, sorry.

We did have fun, though, pretending we belonged there with the rich people! And we have a free professional photo to commemorate the evening:

Here’s hoping my hair is more under control now in my thirties, eh?

So that brings me to Sunday, my actual birthday, and a day that I just wanted to fill with favorite things. That included post-Mass brunch with Mr. P at a favorite nearby brunch spot:

There I made sure to get champagne for my birthday, in the form of a brunch mimosa:

Then for the rest of the day, I just continued doing things that made me happy. I worked on some projects, I framed some art, I hung some pictures on the wall, I gave myself a pedicure, I played mindless games and watched Sherlock.

I did not, however, make dinner (sausage tortellini made at my favorite Italian market with arrabbiata sauce). That was all Mr. P. He also helped with the celebrations by surprising me with these:

The most perfect melt-in-your-mouth amaretti from a small family-owned bakery in the Italian neighborhood. Yes, yes, yes.

I especially enjoyed them during the ridiculously long bath I took:

Glass of wine, amaretti, leftover Valentine’s brownie, and lit candle courtesy of Mr. P. I told him he was setting the “bathmosphere.”

And finally, I got a few Valentines and birthday presents (that I’ll share with you later – they deserve a post of their own!) not to mention a fantastic number of cards:

We’re gonna need a bigger mantel, huh? Gosh, I feel loved.

So that’s how I ended my third decade and kicked off my fourth! If all I have to look forward to is more of this, well. This is going to be awesome.


Miranda said...

Yay for birthday celebrations! I was a lame-o and didn't send a card, but did you see the picture Lexie colored for you on Instagram? That still counts as a point for me, right? And I did text you happy birthday...did you get it? :)

Sarah said...

I did see Lexie's picture, thank her and give her a hug for me! That morning Mr. P said "You have a birthday instagram" and I said "That is not a thing" and then he showed me his phone with Lexie and her picture on it :) Also... I'll admit it, I haven't even charged my phone since my birthday. I told myself for my birthday I could ignore my phone, but it's continued for the rest of the week... hmm. Still! Your well-wishes are very much appreciated!!