Sunday, July 17, 2011

Weekend recap -- Pre-birthday edition

To me, birthdays are a big deal.  I love celebrating another year of my life with good friends and family.  Nearly every year for the past decade, I've tried to ensure my birthday is awesome.  Outside of one (my 24th), I have succeeded.  Each year has been a bit different, depending on where I am in life and geographically, but they've all been exactly what I needed.

My actual birthday isn't until this Wednesday, and since all of my close friends and family live a few hours a way, I knew I would have to celebrate on one of the weekends.  When Matt Nathanson announced a Des Moines show, my mind was made up. 

That's how I kicked off my pre-birthday weekend -- a concert along the Des Moines River with my friends, Alicia and Cynthia.  It was hot, and there were some rude concert goers around me, but Matt was great, and it was the perfect night.

On Friday, I enjoyed the opportunity to sleep in before I hit some shops with my mom.  I needed to find some more pants for work, and an upscale consignment store and a sidewalk sale at the mall were just what I needed.  I ended up with three new pairs of pants and a shirt for about $80.  Mom's treat.  :)   I also bought myself some new sunglasses and bras, and then we headed to The Cafe for lunch.  Our cheeseburger pizza was fabulous, but it was dessert that stole the spotlight -- peach crisp with butter pecan ice cream.  Mmmmm.  Next time, I think we'll just go for dessert and coffee.   We stopped a few more places before heading back to my parents' house.  I got to relax a little bit before heading out to have a dinner date with my friend, Ashley.  She presented me with a gorgeous photo for the gallery wall in my house, and we talked over dinner at Texas Roadhouse.  Yeah, I pretty much enjoyed a day of indulgence.  But I'm OK with that.

Saturday, I slept in again, knowing I'd need the extra rest for the evening ahead.  I ran errands with my parents during the afternoon, and then my brother joined us for dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings.  I'd only been there once before, and I was eager to try it again.  I ordered the buffalo and parmesan garlic, and I think I liked the former the most.  Later that evening, I headed to my brother's bar for some drinks and live music with friends.  I didn't invite anyone formally this year (as I have the two years prior), but I was pleased with the five friends who showed up -- Alicia, Eli, Katie, Jamie and Kristin.  I enjoyed Leinie's Summer Shandy all evening while I talked with friends and listened to some fun covers by $nack$.  Not a bad way to celebrate.

After a quick lunch with the folks, I headed home today.  My cats were none too pleased with my absence.  They were completely out of food, and apparently they went looking for more.  The bottom drawer in my kitchen was pulled open and all of the baggies were pulled out of the box and strewn about the kitchen.  Lovely.  But I suppose it could have been worse.

I have some projects to get done this week -- framing and hanging bathroom artwork, mowing the lawn (again!), putting a finish on a little bench for my front deck and figuring out an organization system for my bathroom cabinets.  I also need to get a few more carpet estimates for my living room and hallway.  The one I got last week was way more than I expected or wanted to spend.  On the good side, my beloved Rangers are riding an 11-game winning streak as they head into Anaheim.  I see some late night baseball in my near future.

For now, i'm taking it easy.  I decided to spend this evening relaxing as I gear up for the week ahead.  I'll enjoy some ice cream at work with the others in my office on my actual birthday, but other than that, I see a lot of solo time ahead.  I'm OK with that.  I need it.

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