Today is my thirtieth birthday. I'd never understood the stigma that surrounds milestone birthdays… until a few months ago. Suddenly, an uneasy voice in my head started saying things like: "oof, you really should up your usage of facial moisturizer" or "holy crap if we're going to have kids, we better get on it" or "man, time flies by so quickly and before I know it I will be thirty and then forty and then my life will be halfway over and then I will be dead."
But now that my birthday is actually here, I only feel happy, grateful and loved. And a wee bit tired, because last night I was treated to the most wonderful birthday present ever—Tyler planned a surprise party for me! I thought we were just headed to our neighbors' place for an evening with our friend, Joan, but as I walked inside and turned the corner, a whole slew of our friends were there, beaming and shouting "SURPRISE!"
As the crackers popped and shot out colorful paper ribbons, I squealed with delight. What a wonderful feeling it is to be surrounded by dear friends, and so, so much love!
Though Tyler organized it, the party was a community effort. Hercilia baked a cake, and decorated the house with banners and streamers in pink and red (my birthday favorite!). Becky and Charlie let everyone park at their place down the road, and Becky made a massive pan of delicious paella with dollops of creamy aioli. Joanna and Greg brought delicious cheeses, while Rick and Greer brought a massive salad with their famous maple raspberry dressing. Patty and Mark brought booze, and Joan acted as the decoy—we'd come to see her!
After a delicious feast, I got to open presents! Thoughtful presents! There were jams and jellies and pickles, and wooly homemade oven mitts, and a cute-as-a-button reusable bag. There were fragrant soaps and fun stickers and a gorgeous batter bowl, and a simply stunning wooden serving platter. YAY presents! :D
We finished the evening with games, chatting, and much laughter. I felt (and still feel) so inordinately lucky to have such a wonderful community around me here. I feel so, so very loved, and in awe of the fact that we've only known these folks for a year at the most. Honestly, I feel like I've known these people my whole life.
As I write this, snow is falling—it has been snowing softly all day long as I've received birthday greetings from dear friends* and family. I'm wearing the new hat I treated myself to yesterday (I could've knit it myself, but somehow I always wind up knitting things for other people), and the cozy red flannel shirt jacket my mom and dad and grandma sent me. I feel happy and blessed and legit, as if I've crossed some invisible line into real adulthood.
For posterity, this is me, today, at thirty.
...*And this is a video from my friends that totally rocks my socks off!