Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Birthday Week(s)

Turning 31 has been so different for me than turning 30. I am used to being in my thirties now, and I am simply having fun rather than experiencing a midlife crisis.  And what a birthday this has been!

I spent the first part of September enjoying my early birthday spoils.

I clearly had a rollicking good time making the red velvet cupcakes Shauna sent me.
I put together my birthday puzzle from my family one weekend.  I literally sat there for hours watching episode after episode of Royal Pains. It was a great time.
Over labor day, I went to Logan to spend time with my dear sophomore year roommates, Dana and Lisa, and the 8 children under 8 they have between them!  They surprised me with gluten free birthday peach cobbler.  If our fourth roommate, Lexi, had been there, there would have been 12 kids! We have certainly expanded since 2004!

Henry and Abigail, the newest members of the crew!

Lisa's baby feeding Dana's baby!

Love these girls so much!
Birthday shoes!!

Day 1, Opening Ceremonies: 
Fondue Night at Jessame and Allison's

Jessame outdid herself- what a feast! The spinach/artichoke deep was out of control good.

Day 2, Jessame's birthday: 
Brick Oven and Sutton Foster Concert

It was so fun to meet Jessame's sister and her niece and nephew!
It feels so nice to see BYU paraphernalia now that I live in U country :-/.

This concert was unforgettable.  The songs Sutton sang tugged at my heartstrings.  She sings with so much power and emotion.  She is a phenomenal story teller.  There is really nothing quite like her belt.  The concert was ten times better than I expected, and I had pretty high expectations for a singer I admire so much!

Day 3: 

Day 4: 
Sunday Sundaes

Day 5, Allison's birthday: 
Homemade Mini Pizza Night

We played a fun little birthday game kind of like Apples to Apples.  Guests filled in the chart with their best answer.  I read all the answers aloud anonymously first for Jessame, then for Allison.  They got to choose their favorite answer for each question.  People who had the most winning answers got prizes!
Day 6: Cosby show and Yogurtland

Allie rocks because she found gluten free chicken nuggets and BOUGHT THEM FOR COSBY NIGHT!  What a birthday treat. They were amazing, btw.

There is no one I'd rather share my birthday with than this guy.

Jessame, Allison, and Dallin saw a movie while we did Cosby.

I received 16 free birthday oz (and accidentally took 18).

The weekly Yogurtland crew!

Day 7, my birthday: 
Awkward Family Photo Game and Gluten Free Dessert 

My friend Angela gave me a journal (reminiscent of our first musical together, The Wiz!) and Erin gave me delicious treats.  On my way to work, I found a guitar tuner on my car windshield, along with a hot boyfriend.

My roommate gave me "my perfect day" with gift cards to the Habit, Yogurtland, and a movie! It was such a thoughtful gift.  Jessame popped by school with balloons- a total shock and delight.  Anna and Tina both got me gifts I saw and mentioned I wanted a long time ago. I completely forgot about them until I opened them- such a huge surprise!
We had ice-cream sundaes leftover from Day 5 for an appetizer, followed by an INCREDIBLE gluten free vanilla coconut cake compliments of Christina Houston. The cake is seriously unparallelled. I ate it for breakfast the next morning.

I love playing games with my family (and friends who are like family!), especially games that showcase each person's personality.  The Awkward Family Photo game was the perfect selection for the evening.  The top left picture came from the game.  The question was, "What do you think the person in this photo did right after this picture was taken?"
Day 8, Closing Ceremonies:

I got a haircut for the first time in many, many moons right before closing ceremonies.  31, here I come!

Indoor s'mores is a genius idea for a school night! Thanks, Allison!

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Farewell to Summer

This post is a fond farewell to summer.

Goodbye to my sweet summer full of reunions with my best friends and their children...

Shelley, Kate and I reunited for a roommate sleepover that was much too short, but blissful.  Love seeing my friends as sweet mothers!

Last time I saw Dana, she had three and now she has five (including TWO sets of twins!).  We joined Lisa and her crew (eight kids between them!) for an afternoon at the park!



Five car seats!
 Farewell to carefree afternoons babysitting the sweetest human beings on earth...

I got to hang out with my friend Jodi's baby while his parents saw Wicked- I fell in love.
Look how my main man's hair curls! Is that not the cutest thing you've ever laid your eyes on?!

 So long summer concerts with my little band...
For my dad's 60th birthday, Lane and I surprised him with a private concert by Farr from Houston followed by ice-cream sundaes.  My dad inspired me to play the guitar and I inherited my love of the blue grass genre from him.  I couldn't wait for him to hear our music (especially Lane's guitar/mandolin work!).

This was my favorite performance so far.
Ta ta to faculty training and classroom preparations...

I like our new faculty shirts.
New idea Christina sent me from Pinterest. If phones have too many visits to jail, they get sent to prison in the main office.
...hello first day of school.

Kind of fun/scary to forever have a first day of school.  The first day is always a little nerve wracking, no matter how many years I've been teaching!
 See ya later, age 30 (my hardest birthday)...and hello to the rapidly approaching 31 (shaping up to be my best birthday!).

My family took my out to dinner as an early birthday present.  Our chef introduced himself as "Big White Guy."  The food was incredible.
They surprised me with gifts! My dad always says whichever one I like best is from him, but we both know my mom chooses everything.  She knows me extremely well.  Stationary, music pin board and earrings, a puzzle, gift card to down east, and a travel backpack.  I was thrilled and have already begun putting my gifts to use!
On the first day of school, this incredible package arrived on my doorstep from Shauna "Cha Cha" Mcgarry, one of my very best friends from my youth.  She couldn't have picked anything I would love more. I was so overwhelmed by her thoughtfulness.  Her birthday is 7 days before mine and I'm not sure how I'm going to match this!