2006 - when I was much younger
I absolutely adore birthdays. Especially mine. I love the presents, the cake, the focus on me, and the element of surprise that comes along with birthdays.
At some point in high school, I decided that one day simply wasn't enough. I wore an "It's my Birthday!" pin - probably stuck to my super fashionable blue jean jacket - for an entire week ... and Birthday Week was born (pun intended). I've since lost the ever-so-clever pin, however my determination to celebrate for an entire week remains fully in effect.
As for my most memorable birthdays, it's tough for me to choose ... and I came up with the stinkin' prompt so the pressure is on ... but how does one chose between ...
My 31st Birthday when a group of my friends sent me clues all week leading up to a day full of surprises and blindfolded rides to various events ... ice skating, dinner at a fancy restaurant, ...
My 30th Birthday when CPV took me on a cruise to the Bahamas and surprised me by having my parents drive from IL to FL (my dad doesn't fly) to go with us. I was completely shocked to see them! No kidding, that was the most surprised I have ever been. It was their first cruise, our second, and we had a blast!
My 22nd Birthday was probably one of the craziest things I've ever done ... and it was another surprise. I was on winter break and visiting CPV in Florida. He cryptically told me to wear comfortable clothes and drove me to a local airport. At the time, he was in flight school, so I assumed we were going to rent a plane a fly somewhere. Because he needed to build up flight hours, it was not uncommon for us to do that. What I quickly realized - after seeing several colorful shapes hovering overhead - was that we would be in a plane, but we weren't really going anywhere. Well, that's not exactly true ... we were going to 13,500 feet ... and then straight back down to the landing area. After several years of confidently saying that, given the chance, I would jump from an airplane ... because I thought there was no way in a million years I would ever get the chance ... it seems that CPV called my bluff. I did a tandem dive with a 60 second free fall and a very ungraceful landing. It was the most exhilarating experience of my life ... but I don't think I would ever do it again ... once was enough!
My 21st, which included 7 shots of cheap tequila ... I'd rather not remember that.
Or my 18th Birthday celebrated with my now-husband before we were officially dating. It snowed (which I love, love, love) and we took a walk through the woods behind my parents' house. I flirted with him like crazy. And I remember the warmth of anticipation as I wished for something to happen between us. It didn't. But I still remember this night as a time when I knew he was the one.
Another all-time favorite, my 16th Birthday. To make sure I had the cash I needed to buy a (used and very cheap) car, my parents hid 16 twenty dollar bills all over the house and sent me on a Scavenger Hunt to find them. I had worked all summer and saved as much as I could, but that $320.00 gave me enough to buy the car and have a little gas money.
My childhood is littered with cutesy cakes and parties with silly games. But none of them stand out as especially memorable or embarrassing or surprising.
My earliest memory is from my 3rd Birthday. My mom baked me a Cookie Monster cake. I still remember this mound of bright blue icing topped with ping-pong balls for eyes.
The good news is that I don't have to choose. Because it's my Birthday Week, and I get super special privileges today and for the next six days. I just love my birthday ... week!
Now it's your turn to play along ... my favorite part of all this mayhem!
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