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Thirty Today

by Tara

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!"

Tara's Surprise Party Tara's Surprise Party

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!

Jeremy at Tara's Surprise Party Charlie at Tara's Surprise Party Joan & Jeremy at Tara's Surprise Party Joan & Wine Bottle at Tara's Surprise Party Hercilia at Tara's Surprise Party Becky's Paella Becky & Paella Greer's Salad with Maple Dressing Tara at Surprise Party Tara's Surprise Party Hercilia at Tara's Surprise Party Greer & Tara & Cake Tara Blowing out Birthday Candles Tara

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

Tara Opening Presents Presents at Tara's Surprise Party

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.

Tyler & Becky at Tara's Surprise Party Tyler, Becky & Patty at Tara's Surprise Party Greg & Joanna at Tara's Surprise Party Patty at Tara's Surprise Party

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.

Tara on Her 30th Birthday

...*And this is a video from my friends that totally rocks my socks off!



Happy birthday Tara. You have seen more and done more in 30 years than most people do in a lifetime. Be very proud of yourself. All the Best. Steve in New York
Posted by Steve in New York on February 11th, 2014 at 9:39 AM
Happy birthday, Tara! How wonderful to be surrounded by such great people on your day.

In response to your first paragraph, as someone who has already (just barely) entered her 30s, let me tell you how wonderful it is. It seems that women in their 30s are more confident, more content, and just more awesome than ever. Of course, like Steve said, you already have seen and done more than most people have in a lifetime, so I bet your thirties will be pretty damn spectacular.

One more thing... if you are really worried about timing of offspring, read this article. It will blow your mind. It made me feel a lot better about my decision to wait a few more years.
Posted by Jennifer on February 13th, 2014 at 5:04 PM
WOW! I haven't watched that video since the day we made it. It's utterly terrifying… well Pete's part is terrifying… I'm almost angelic;) Sounds like a fabulous birthday! Good job on the sneaky surprise party Tyler!
Posted by Natasha on February 13th, 2014 at 7:20 PM
Steve - Thank you so much!

Jennifer - Thank you for your comment! I'm about a third of the way through that article, and it is *so* good. I'm so glad you shared it. What a comforting/mind-blowing piece!

Natasha - If by utterly terrifying you mean utterly amazing, then yes! Can't wait to see you!
Posted by Tara on February 15th, 2014 at 7:08 AM