My 31st Birthday

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything about our life outside the house project. Probably because it feels like the house is dominating our family’s life right now: our time, our schedules, our finances, nearly all our capacity for decision making. But this post is not about the house, it’s about my birthday!

I turned 31 over the weekend, and I got to celebrate in lots of fun ways.  We had a barbecue dinner at my parents’ house the day before with lots of good food, pie, balloons, and Little Lady singing the birthday song as loud as she possibly could. Then on my actual birthday, Big Man made me a delicious breakfast in bed (he’s a great cook), the four of us just relaxed the whole day, which was wonderful. And my mom and dad-in law stopped by with awesome gifts (I love presents!). Big Man and I even got to try my new Aeropress that afternoon and enjoyed lattes during the kids’ Rest Time.

Then the next day, Big Man gave me his gift, a whole day he planned out for us to enjoy together, and it was one of my favorite birthday celebrations I’ve ever had. My parents watched the kids for us, and Big Man and I spent the day enjoying food and drinks, and wandering around Estes Park. We had breakfast at a local restaurant and wandered through the unique cheese importer store in town (and bought some salted caramel butter that I can’t wait try next time I make biscuits!). We enjoyed coffee as we drove the long way up the mountain to Estes. We wandered about town for a while, checked out a local pie shop and bakery and shook our heads at the loads of tourists choosing Subway over the local, unique restaurants. We enjoyed a wine tasting at a local winery, and browsed the shops overflowing with kitschy souvenirs and the heavenly scent of fudge and waffle cones. The weather was beautiful, not a rain cloud in sight, and even though I realized later that I was sunburned, it was so worth it to be outside in the sunshine.

Later on we enjoyed a cocktail at a local distillery. The people working there were so enthusiastic and knowledgeable and we got to learn how their products are made and try a couple new things. I’m still torn about whether I liked the chai liqueur or bourbon liqueur better. Big Man and I sat outside for over an hour, sipping our drinks, reminiscing about our life together, and sharing excitement about bringing the kids back to Estes for ice cream cones.

We ended the day with dinner at the little cafe that’s right by where we are building our house. And yes, we did break our “no house stuff during birthday celebration” rule and stopped by the house to see the progress.  But it was fun seeing the master bedroom window installed and the exterior window trim going up, so breaking the “rule” was OK.

All in all, it was a fantastic birthday! Big Man planned the perfect celebration and we both had a blast trying new things and enjoying each other’s company. It felt like a mini-vacation! Plus the kids had a great time having the grandparents to themselves for an entire day. I don’t know that I gained much wisdom during my 31st year (except that I seem to be agreeing more and more with a hobbit’s view of the “good things” in life), but I sure did enjoy celebrating it and I’m looking forward to what year 32 will bring.

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