I love birthdays. And not just my own. I love everyone’s birthday. Always have.
Growing up, my parents always made a big deal over our birthdays. Or at least that is what I remember anyway. They always made me feel so special on my birthday – more special on that day than any other day. I’ve always loved my birthday. And no, not because of the presents. It was because of the acknowledgement and the fact that I had one day that was all about me. Or at least that’s what my parents made me feel. I got to pick my favorite breakfast, I got to be pick what we did and I got to pick what we ate for supper. Which, by the way, is probably not what you would expect. My favorite meal my mom made was goulash. Or what we called goulash – hamburger, macaroni noodles, canned tomatoes and corn. I LOVED this hot dish. It was my favorite and what I always picked to eat. Plain, simple and oh-so-scrumptious.
My parents always – ALWAYS – made me feel special on my birthday and that is something I will always treasure. And I would like to say that hopefully my son feels the same way. I have always tried to make him feel special on his birthday. Even now, at the age of 23, my son’s birthday is important and very special to me and I want him to feel even more special and loved on that day than any other day of the year. Truly, his birthday is more important to me than it is to him. I am hoping deep down he secretly loves how much of a big deal I make.
Anyway, this past Friday – September 30 – was my 44th birthday and I’m telling you, that day – along with the entire weekend – was pretty damn special. And I loved every moment of it. Even my brother’s voice mail with the Happy Birthday song about living in a zoo, looking like a monkey and smelling like one, too. It was perfect.
I am going to share my TOP 15 from this weekend with you with pictures – TONS of pictures. Hope you enjoy!
1. I woke up to this:
2. And then I got to work out, outside, with this awesome group of ladies:
3. When I got to work, I got the best present from my co-worker – a pan of ooey, gooey chocolate, caramel, oatmeal bars. I took a pic, but somehow deleted it. But trust me, they were AMAZING!
4. On my lunch break, I got to bring my dad, who has Alzheimer’s, to a doc appointment. On the way there, I told my dad, “Today is a special day, it’s Friday, September 30.” And then I asked him why the day was special and he didn’t know. I then said, “It’s the day I was born. It’s my birthday.” He replied unenthusiastically and with just one word, “Oh.” As much as I would like to say it didn’t bother me because of his Alzheimer’s, I would be lying. It made me sad. But, I know it is the god-awful disease and not really my dad.
5. After work, I got to take a little time for myself courtesy of my hubby at one of my favorite places ever – Bombshells Salon & Spa! My massage and manicure were ah-maz-zing! It was just what I needed!
6. Next up, Al and I went to visit my mom. Oh, she was in such a good mood and so lucid. After we had been there a bit, she all of a sudden said, “Aren’t you guys going out to eat?” I told her we were and asked her why. She said, “Well today is a special day isn’t it?” SHE REMEMBERED! I totally had to hold back the tears, but I have to say, it truly made my day. She had the sweetest smile on her face when she said it. It was like she was my mom again. And then, she and Al proceeded to sing Happy Birthday to me. I so wished I would have video taped it. It was perfect. I loved it. I gave her the biggest hug when we left. That was probably my favorite birthday present…my mom singing Happy Birthday to me. Still makes me tear up.
7. Supper and a beer at D. Michael B’s.
8. Al and I walked around the mall afterward for quite awhile, but believe it or not, we didn’t buy a thing!
9. We decided to stop for a nightcap at 6th Avenue Wine and Ale before heading home and I got to have my favorite beer of all-time…Buffalo Sweat.
10. The next morning, I decided to get up and go for a run…a 4.4 mile run in honor of my 44th birthday. It was a pretty good run. Felt good.
11. After I got home, I had to hurry up and get ready as Al and I were heading to Sauk Centre for the American Legion Beer Run. This was our first time running this race and it was pretty dang cool. Relaxed and loads of fun. They had a one-mile route set up that participants – runners and walkers – went around three times. You could stop for a beer or root beer after each mile and use up one each of your three drink tickets or you could save all three tickets and use them after you completed all three miles. Al and I weren’t sure what we were going to do, but ended up stopping after each mile and drinking (chugging!) our beers. It was SO MUCH FUN! We will definitely plan on doing this race again next year. It was way hotter than expected out so the beers tasted pretty dang good after each mile!
12. After the beer run, we decided to head to St. Cloud. We stopped at the Snap Fitness in Sauk Centre to clean up. (We are now Snap Fitness members as I will be starting to teach group fitness there on Monday, October 10!). We had LOADS of fun in St. Cloud. We went to Granite City Brewery because I had a coupon for my birthday and I received a free appetizer and it turned out, a free dessert, as well! After Granite City, we walked around Bed, Bath and Beyond. Then, we decided to head to Beaver Island Brewery for a night-cap. After that, we went to Barnes and Noble for a coffee and a little browse time. When Al and I first started hanging out together, we would go to St. Cloud and hang out at Barnes and Nobles for hours. I wanted to do that for my birthday and old-times sake. I think we ended up spending at least two hours at the bookstore. It was SO MUCH FUN! Our last stop before heading home….of course, Cold Stone Creamery for my free birthday ice cream! I had another birthday coupon to use!
13. After we got home, we stayed up WAY TOO LATE and got caught up on a new show we started watching, The Night Shift. And when I say too late, I am talking 3 a.m. too late. Seriously, WTH? I haven’t stayed up that late in a forever long time. I guess that will teach me to drink coffee at 10 o-clock at night. Yes, that was stupid. But, it was still fun!
14. Today, Sunday, I got up – a little later than normal (about 9 a.m.) – and went for a run. I ran part of my run – about two miles worth – with my friend, Natalie. I finished the rest of my eight-miler by myself. It was not a fantastic run – it was hotter than I expected and I was just a wee bit tired. But, alas, I got in my eight miles! And when I got home, I immediately went down to our basement where it’s nice and cool and did one of my favorite things – put my legs up the wall (my very sweaty legs, that is!) After my run, Al and I headed to Perkins for a late lunch, early supper. I had another coupon for a free meal for my birthday. Yes, I am all about getting the free stuff for my birthday! Call me old, or call me smart, either one or both works just fine!
15. After we got done with our meal, I got to try and pretend that I am photographer. I am SO NOT a photographer. I love taking pictures, don’t get me wrong. And I love taking pictures of things – food, flowers, foliage, whatever. I normally don’t, however, like taking photos of people. But, my favorite friends asked me to take some family pics for them, so I obliged. Again, I am so not a “real” photographer, but the pics ended up okay. Here’s one of my favorites. (I may actually be okay at taking pics, but I suck at editing!)
So, there you have it. My birthday weekend. Thanks to everyone who made it the best birthday ever!
CHEERS TO ANOTHER GREAT YEAR!