Thirty-five years ago...my mama did what mama's do and brought me into the world. After all my earlier musings I thought it might be fun to make a birthday post with pictures and memories from some of my birthdays gone by.
My family always did birthdays well. They weren't always big productions...but there was always a stack of presents, the family's undivided attention and a special cake. Oh, the cakes! My mom or grandma would always put some work into our cakes in those early years!
My seventh birthday is the first I can really remember. It was my first birthday that I had a party with friends and not just family. My mom, grandma, aunt & second cousin worked really hard to make a special day for me. If I can close my eyes I can almost put myself back at my grandma's table, surrounded by my friends and all the happy noise of a kid's party.
I got a bike for my 9th birthday...
The next birthday that really stands out in my mind is my 11th birthday. My mom let me have a slumber party with my 3 friends from school. We went roller skating, stayed up late, played truth or dare and acted just as silly as you'd expect from a group of 10-11 year olds in the early 90s! There is a cassette recording in a box somewhere that documents select portions of that night. My favorite being our rendition of "Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight".
Not all the most memorable birthday memories are good ones...I remember on my thirteenth birthday, we had a big scene because I was not opening my presents or at least was going annoyingly slow and people got impatient and I ended up crying in the bathroom. I was too embarrassed to tell everyone that I was stalling because I was hoping that if I waited a little while my cousin, Ryan, would get home from basketball practice and would be there for my birthday.
A couple days before my 16th birthday, I was at my grandma's house watching Scooby Doo and my mom told me to come with her to drop something off at my friends house. I was irritated 'cause I was enjoying me some Scoobs but she talked me into it! Turns out it was a ruse to get me to the surprise party my friends were throwing. As much as a appreciated the sentiment and had a lot of fun...I'm not a fan of surprises. I hadn't showered or anything and was all grungy and feeling ugly while all my friends were shiny, clean and dressed for the occasion!
I can't even find a picture from my 19th birthday!
I was in college on my 21st birthday. Unlike some people who spend their twenty-first with their first legal bout of drunkenness, I spent mine with my family. My parents came over to my dorm and took me out for pizza and a movie. They brought cake, which we ate in my dorm room. It was memorable because we got out my video camera and taped some of our good-clean birthday shenanigans.
I always look back on my 22nd birthday with a bit of melancholy. I had moved to a new city with my best friend a month before. A week before my birthday my boyfriend and I broke up. The day before my birthday my family drove up to see me and celebrate. They went home in the afternoon and that evening my best friend and I had a group of new friends over. My ex and one of my other good friends stopped in as well. It was a really fun night with just a bit of a sting. However...my actual birthday was spent alone. It was Superbowl Sunday. My best friend had to work. I decided to go to the mall and use my birthday money to buy myself a ring. I then spent the rest of the night sitting in the dark watching a stupid football game by myself and feeling sad.
By the next year, however, I was dating Russ and my 23rd birthday was spent with the man who was very soon to be my husband. I wrote a poem that year. I guess birthdays cause me to wax poetic...and get all introspective.
Since marriage--and thus, "real life" has begun--my birthdays have become, for the most party, just another day. Russ & I have tried to do something special for our birthdays over the years with dinners out, overnight trips out of town, and whatnot but birthdays as an adult just don't pack the same punch as they did before.
For my 27th birthday, Russ & I dropped Eden off with our parents and spent a night in Rapid City. The only thing I remember about the trip is that we ate at Chili's and for some reason or other we ended up getting our meal free.
Fast forward a couple years because apparently it didn't seem necessary to take a picture to honor my 28th & 29th birthdays.
I think Russ & I went on another overnight trip to Loveland for my 30th birthday. Only took the nursing child.
For my 31st birthday I finally got my dream camera and promptly took my first selfie. (Actually I had a 6 year old do it, I think.)
My 32nd was one of my most memorable birthdays over the last few years. I spent it away from my family at a "Captivating" retreat in the mountains of Colorado. It was one of the most powerful experiences of my life...and worth every moment...but it was kinda strange spending my birthday without any family.
Last year for my birthday I had an anti-Superbowl birthday party the night before my 34th. I didn't get any pictures of myself last year either...just the food.
AND now....I present me on my 35th birthday....drum roll?
I said it before and I'll say it again, birthdays as a grown up just aren't the same. But that's okay...the birthday parties may get staler but the person just keeps getting finer with age. Am I right?