Tag Archives: birthday

Birthday, Birthday…

What do you get when you layer fabulous hometown beer, grilled steaks, and triple chocolate mousse cake? An amazing birthday. Yesterday was my birthday, I’m inching closer to the big 4-0 and I’m actually feeling pretty good about it. It helps to have a wonderful husband who is 12 years older and has very little sympathy for me where the aging process is concerned.

Mike is going to be 50 this year and he still gets up every morning and wages a life or death struggle with his ridiculous cat. That is a man who is not going quietly into senility by any stretch. I really have very little room to complain about 40 looming out there, just two years away.

I also have to appreciate a man who will stretch my birthday into an entire weekend of celebrating. Our family is notorious for stretching out birthdays and my birthday was certainly no exception. We celebrated all weekend long and it was wonderful!!

Saturday we spent a few hours at Lengthwise Pub. We indulged in the Zeus Imperial IPA (probably the only IPA I actually enjoy) and some fabulous food. I also had a Truffle, Lengthwise Kern County Crude Porter mixed with their Raspberry Wheat. It made for a delightful, chocolate-y, coffee, raspberry, dessert beer. I’m a dark beer girl at heart so this was the ideal way to end our trip to Lengthwise.

Sunday morning we rolled out of bed and headed to a local breakfast spot, J&M’s Bar & Grill. Mike had the homemade corned beef hash and eggs with a side of biscuits and gravy. I had the eggs benedict and the girls had pancakes and french toast. The eggs benedict was really fabulous. I’m picky about my hollandaise sauce and this one fit the bill nicely. It was the ideal way to start the day of my official birthday.

We spent the day visiting some nurseries in town. Our weather has been so spring-like lately that we almost forgot it was still January. It was a great day just hanging out with family and enjoying a little sunshine and mild weather.

One of the highlights of my birthday was logging into Facebook and seeing all the sweetest, birthday wishes from friends and family. I am really blessed to know some amazing people and have some of the sweetest friends on the planet.

Sunday morning I found myself tagged on instagram with the sweetest birthday collage ever:

Birthday collage

Katie is the most thoughtful daughter a mom could ever want. Each one of these pictures is a really great memory for me. There is Katie’s first birthday up in the top right corner and the bottom slide is from a baseball game last summer. Needless to say, this was a really special and very thoughtful treat.

We ended my birthday with a fabulous dinner. Mike grilled gorgeous steaks and we had a great dinner with all the trimmings. My birthday cake this year was an amazing triple chocolate mousse cake. There really aren’t enough words to describe the decadence of that cake, it was truly a cake fit to cap off an amazing birthday weekend.

Of course, after all that weekend indulgence the girls and I were out first thing this morning for a 2 mile run. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now to figure out how to fill the next 11 months until my next birthday! ๐Ÿ˜‰ We have lots of adventures planned this year so I bet it will fly by!

Still Stretching Out the Birthdays

Everyone seems to have the Monday blues today. This past weekend we celebrated Mike’s birthday and, as always, he stretched it out to the max because it’s a Doran tradition to stretch out birthdays.

Friday night we grocery shopped, brought the kids a pizza and slipped out for appetizers and margaritas before heading back home.

Saturday we took the girls out to breakfast and started a whirlwind day to celebrate Mike’s official birthday. Official birthdays around here get extra attention.

First up was shoe shopping, I know that seems a little odd… but Maggie needed new athletic shoes for biking, walking, etc. I needed new running shoes and Katie really wanted a new pair of Converse sneakers. Mike needed new work boots and had been eyeing a particularly fetching pair of black crocs (I’m serious… also, embarrassed) for most of the summer and decided to pick them up as a “Happy Birthday to me!” present.

After that it was off to a local fun park for miniature golf. We also gave Maggie some arcade time, she finally got to put all the YouTube videos on claw machines she’s been studying to good use. Nothing says “win” like $10 spent capturing a $2 stuffed animal, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Katie and I spent our time accumulating prize tickets playing a few of the other games. Of course, that meant Mike was left to supervise Maggie taking her time figuring out how many prizes she could pick with all the tickets we acquired.

Then it was Doran against Doran in club-to-club combat on the mini golf course, 18 holes of pure competition. Maggie utilized her most professional stance carefully turning the golf club the wrong way and taking quick swings so she could get back to trying to coax a stray cat into being the new addition to our menagerie. Mike and I breathed a collective sigh of relief when the cat was able to stay just beyond Maggie’s grasp. Even with that she still managed to beat Katie by two strokes.

No doubt, I’ll pay for adding that last part into this post.

I’ll leave you to guess who won okay, I won, by several strokes after all, it was just a friendly, family game of mini golf.

After that we went to Mike’s favorite butcher shop so he could select a prime piece of meat to hit the grill Sunday evening. We procured two gorgeous tri-tips, because birthdays call for special meals! I wish I had taken pictures!

Then it was time to head home and freshen up for dinner, because birthdays call for at least one dinner out! We had dinner at a local grill and came home to watch movies with the girls.

Sunday, continuing the celebration, Mike and I slipped out for a bike ride, then home to grill those tri-tips with potatoes and fresh asparagus. We topped the meal off with Mike’s favorite, cheesecake, because birthdays require cake!

Birthdays are cool, but birthdays that fall on a weekend are even better!

A Very Merry Birthday to Me!

I turned 36 last week. Seriously, 36… and I’m just not vain enough to lie about my age. Mostly because I’m not noticing any new wrinkles or crow’s feet and I’m okay that the reason for this is simply because my face is just pudgy enough to fill them out. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Gray hairs… nope. None of those, thankfully. Although, who could tell, considering my stylist talked me into a platinum blonde streak (just one, bold and up front) and a few, ahem, teal peek-a-boo chunks hidden underneath here and there.

I’m happy, it’s cheaper than a sports car, boob lift, younger boyfriend and far more exciting than a rest home. ( Elder Care Portland )

I’m thinner this year than I have been in probably oh… 4 years at least. In fact, all my jeans are my skinny jeans even if skinny is in the eye of the beholder.

What did I do for this momentous occasion?

Earlier this month my husband gifted me with an early present, a Kindle Fire. One of my dearest friends, Chickie, sent me a box full of the most delicious smelling bath bombs on the planet just barely outdoing the shotglass/necklace and dancing chicken card from last year!

On my birthday my husband made me dinner and I was presented with a gift that almost got me a little teary. Non-plant people probably won’t get this… but through the years I’ve always had “dream plants” my husband always smiles and usually goes along with whatever I want to grow at the time. I’ve had beautiful hydrangeas, roses, butterfly bushes and crepe myrtles all gifts for my birthday, Mother’s Day or Easter.

But the Holy Grail, for me anyway, has always been a lilac tree. Holy Grail, indeed, I even found an old post mentioning my desire for a lilac tree:

My great grandmother used to say that the best cure for a headache was putting your hands in the dirt. She was absolutely right. What I would give to have the lilac tree that my grandmother transplanted to her backyard from my great grandmotherโ€™s yard!

My grandmother had a lilac tree in the backyard and it was easily one of my favorites of her plants. I knew she had grown it as a cutting from her mother and I believe it was from an original tree in Oklahoma. I had never really seen them around here or available at nurseries and so had given up on ever having one of my own.

Until a few weekends ago when a sunny day sent me perusing the garden section at Lowe’s. They had a huge selection of bare root lilacs. I sort of looked like Agnes in that scene from Despicable Me with the unicorn, there was all sorts of gasping and ooo’ing and ahh’ing and “I MUST HAVE THIS!!!!!!”

Mike grumbled, began asking questions like, where was I going to plant it? How big would it get? Was it going to be like that butterfly bush that has to be fought back from eating his redwoods 200 times a year?

My husband deserves a Golden Globe or Oscar or something because I barely spoke to him for the rest of the day for “dashing my dreams” and his follow up to the act at Lowe’s was to pretend he didn’t notice how annoyed I was with him.

Amazing Pop Up birthday cardFast forward to my birthday when I was presented with what Maggie described as “an AMAZING CARD!!!!” which was a giant pop-up card with all sorts of cute, cartoon animals on it. I was later told it took her almost 45 minutes to pick out my birthday card (she took her assignment VERY seriously) and she probably molested every card with a puppy, kitty or other cute animal on it in the stands before selecting this card for it’s unique “pop up” feature.

After much time spent ooo’ing and aaah’ing (I do a ridiculous amount of this, no?) my TRULY AMAZING CARD (just in case Maggie reads this) I was presented with a lilac tree. Not just any lilac, but one my husband and daughter spent about as much time as Maggie with the birthday card, selecting just for me.

I’m really proud of it, but I’m going to spare you a full length picture because it’s only about 18″ tall and is essentially some sticks on a very short, skinny trunk. BUT… check out this beauty of a bud!!!!

Birthday Lilac Tree

I might have some LEAVES this year!!!!!!!