[Oh, and for anyone that may have worried about me having Something Dreadful in my Sinuses, I do. It's a cold. =/]
First, on my actual b-day, since the Mr. was in Chicago on business, I marked the date with a fabulous bottle of wine from a small vineyard in Napa that we own shares in. It's super tasty, old school big-flavor Cab. Rounded that out with some delicious goat cheese brie, fresh pear tomatoes and some pepperoccinis, because I love them like I love LIFE. The beautiful tulips are from my lovely friend flaming_muse who remembered that they're my favorite. <3
(I created a lovely little tableau, just for you, Flist. Lol.)
Since Miss Emily is my early birthday present (i.e.: her birthday is the day before mine) I always try and focus the Big Excitement on her. (Side note: I was born the day before my mother's birthday - and somehow it was always turned into a celebration of her, too. Keep in mind that this is the woman that wore HER wedding dress to MY wedding reception.) <-- I will never tire of that story, because it is nucking futs.
She had a fun party Friday night with a teeny elfkin child that is like Emily, but condensed and multiplied. I wanted to gobble her up, she's so teeny and cute. THEY ARE TOO SMALL TO GO TO JUNIOR HIGH, OH MY GOD. Sorry. Mom moment. The next night we had some of our couple friends over, as well as my wonderful sister dampersnspoons and her husband. They are kind of our favorite couple, so that's a double bonus.
My buddy Johnny (the sculpture artist) whipped up a piñata for me and made it a Stallioncrest-inspired treat. LOL.
They told me it was filled with "adult items" so I sent the kids away. Oh, I didn't need to, turns out, because they'd filled it with incontinence pads, moth balls, those toilet hangy things that grandmas have in their powder baths, Ensure meal replacers, Aspercreme, support hose (hahaha), a spray can of Aqua Net, and about 20 bottles of airplane-travel sized booze bottles. Perfect for hiding in a purse for church. Oh! And a turban for those days I just don't want to do my hair!
It was SO packed, in fact, that I had to go Walking Dead on it to open it up. I got the neck torn open, then had to bite off (I didn't have to, but why wouldn't I?) a leg to get all of my treats to rain down. Ha.
Here is my brother in law with his best "Mee-maw" face in front of my haul.
I have never had a piñata before, so that was a lot of fun. Yes, I know, I'm from Texas, and they are super common, but I have a white parent from Utah. You don't see many piñatas in Provo, is what I'm saying. And my mother is a racist. (Why do you think I have nothing to do with her? Dreadful woman.)
The Mr. was in charge of food, so I had nothing to do but sit back and relax and visit. Very nice.
As one does when they become old and boring (hooray!) I've been thinking on all the things I wanted to accomplish by the time I hit 40 - and how arbitrary that birthday is. It's kind of ridiculous to set up expectations for having ticked off x number of items on your Life Goals by a certain age. Don't get me wrong: I think it's important to set goals. I just don't think people need to beat themselves up for not achieving them by a specific time stamp. (I say this so I don't have a sad, of course.)
Things I wished I had accomplished by 40
- Be a professional actress by Hollywood standards - either TV/Film - or a cast regular on SNL
- have published something I've written
- have travelled to every continent (barring Antarctica - I'm notoriously a wimp in the cold)
Things I've done/have experienced instead
- I've done regional commercials (and one National print ad when I was a child) and feature length films (independent, but that means they were fun to work on)
- I've been named "the most profane character in film history" and the Italians said they "liked my sleaze." Aw, you'll make me blush! :D
- I've been married twice
- I've scaled mountains
- I've scaled cliff faces (and have gone "Aussie style" which means rappelling upside down)
- I've gone skydiving, and I liked it so much I enrolled in RW school and started training for canopy work. (I gave it up when my husband started traveling again. Let's face it: skydiving is dying until you stop yourself.)
- I've put myself through college, and maintained a 3.87 while working full time and going to school full time
- I've had some crazy-ass jobs over the years to pay for college
- In one of those jobs (fry cook in a bowling alley, no REALLY) a regular customer wrote a poem about my grilled ham and cheese sandwiches and read it to me. All five minutes of it. No, I am not making this up. (He was...a little touched in the head.)
- I've sewn an entire wardrobe for myself
- I've had natural childbirth (I do not recommend that, by the way. Would you have a root canal without Novocaine?)
- I've broken my kneecap (while hiking - and had to hike back over a mile)
- I've rebuilt a car from the tires up (Buick Special, 1964 baby)
- I've been kidnapped
- I've beaten up said kidnapper (it was how I got away, so it was necessary)
- I've had the state of Texas pay my high school to build me my own lab for Science Fair research
- I've cloned organisms (this was 1990, so it was a big deal)
- I've set someone's leg bone when they wrecked their motorcycle in front of my apartment while we waited for an ambulance
- I've moved to a completely new place over a thousand miles away - all by myself - and started over
- Twice. (The second time was with an 18 months old son and a 4 month old baby girl.
- I turned $.38 and a suitcase with hastily grabbed things for me and my two babies into a life that was safe and happy. Eventually.
- I had to live in some seriously poor conditions in order to survive and have seen a man beat his girlfriend to death on a street corner and another man's throat get cut. Life experiences aren't always positive ones.
- I've been a witness in a murder trial Unrelated to above) - which involved my OB-GYN, if you can believe it. He was murdered by his wife, and was found by a hiker in the desert by his beeper going off when I went into labor with #2 (his wife and lover got Life in Prison)
- I was in labor with #2 for three weeks. That is not an exaggeration. Contractions 2 minutes apart, then would stop for a few hours, only to start back up again. Utah law meant they couldn't induce me without my doctor's consent. (And where was my doctor? Lime'd in the desert. O_O)
- I've paid off my student loans before they could default :D
- I currently have a perfect credit score :D
- I have put myself back in school and became a Texas Master Gardener
- I have raised three kids that everyone adores. No, really. Well, adults do. Other kids suck when it comes to my boy because of his Aspergers. But all three of my children are interesting, intelligent, and funny. AND HAVE MANNERS.
- I have walked 60 miles in less than 19 hours (18:23, to be exact) and have done that TWICE.
- I have raised thousands for charity. (I do need a new charity, though, because I can no longer support Komen.)
- I have made my own shower, table, and foraged for my own food in the outdoors
- I can do pull ups and chin ups - still
- I can change a tire
- I can rebuild a car engine
- I have written four novel-length stories (whether they're great isn't the point. I've at least done that much!)
- I have assisted the Texas Rangers in my meager way when they busted the YFZ-Ranch in El Dorado, Texas. Some of the intel I gave them led to an arrest and conviction.
- I have removed people from my life that caused me harm and come away stronger and healthier as a result
- I have been a straight A student
- I have been a great wife (not always, but cumulatively speaking. :D )
- My kids know that no matter what, they can talk to me - and they do, regardless of how frustrating it can be
- I have turned $5 into $1325 (after tipping out) on a craps table in Las Vegas
- I have gone behind the scenes in Vegas with a casino owner and ooooh, do you not ever want to play Roulette or cards where they hold the deck. Trust me.
- I have watched a man go through $10 MILLION in a few minutes playing Baccarat
- I have made and kept some pretty amazing friendships
- I've been linked on Cracked, Salon, Jezebel, and a few other places for my Twilight sporking
- I have organized a "coin project" for my son and have been brought to tears more than once by the generous nature of people (We STILL haven't finished cataloguing every single coin that you all sent to us. I'm still blown away every time I see our project table laden with maps, coins, and printed out data to accompany them) And I just re-read that link - hit the tag to see the later ones from Antarctica! - and got choked up all over again. <3
- I have Real Life friends on every single continent of this earth (well, the one on Antarctica is virtual, but she's snail-mailed me in RL.) :D
- I have touched moon rocks. :)
There's probably something I'm missing there, but hey. It's a pretty good list. For bad or good, I've lived a pretty damn full life so far. Here's to 40 more. *clink*
(And I really need to get rid of this head cold so I can indulge in a glass of wine! I've had ONE since my birthday. Why waste it on a dulled palate?)